The "New" NFL
When I wrote an article supposing a majority switch to the spread offense in the NFL I didn’t realize its evolution would occur so quickly. It’s appalling to me that the NFL is thinking about banning a 3 and 4 point stance. If I were a GM and it happened I’d decide to run the ball even more: imagine d-linemen in a 2 point stance trying to stop the run. The defenses would have to pull a Green Bay/Pittsburgh "stand around" defense just to try to confuse blocking assignments.
That guy is money. The guy is definitely the Colts non-QB MVP – he’s money on 3rd down. For the "New" NFL I propose getting a linebacker/safety hybrid – some sort of physically freakish athlete, and all he does is shadow Dallas Clark/other physically gifted TEs the entire game. Lord knows the Jags had problems with opponents’ tight ends the past 3 years, particularly Dallas Clark.
Live by the draft
Or die by it. Looking back at the guys the Jags have passed over since 2003 kills me. Often guys were drafted immediately after the Jags selection that became instant successes. Debate over which guys you would rather had. I would have preferred Jordan Gross, Jonathan Vilma, Aaron Rodgers, Nick Mangold, and Jon Beason (but then again you can find linebackers later in the draft, but can you imagine Darryl Smith, Jonathan Vilma, Jon Beason lined up together).
2003 – Byron Leftwich, QB – 7th Overall
8: Jordan Gross, OT, Carolina
9: Kevin Williams, DT, Minnesota
10: Terrell Suggs, DE/LB, Baltimore
11: Marcus Trufant, CB, Seattle
2004 – Reggie Williams, WR – 9th Overall
10: Dunta Robinson, CB, Houston
11: Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh
12: Jonathan Vilma, LB, New York Jets
13: Lee Evans, WR, Buffalo
14: Tommie Harris, DT, Chicago
2005 – Matt Jones, WR – 21st Overall
22: Mark Clayton, WR, Baltimore
24: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay
25: Jason Campbell, QB, Washington
26: Chris Spencer, C, Seattle
27: Roddy White, WR, Atlanta
2006 – Marcedes Lewis, TE – 28th Overall
29: Nick Mangold, C, New York Jets
30: Joseph Addai, RB, Indianapolis
2007 – Reggie Nelson, FS – 21st Overall
22: Brady Quinn, QB, Cleveland
23: Dwayne Bowe, WR, Kansas City
24: Brandon Meriweather, S, New England
25: Jon Beason, LB, Carolina
There’s nothing free about it. Look back at some of the big Free Agent acquisitions the past few years, and most of the big ones blow up in the teams faces. Expecting a savior they find themselves wasting craploads of cash. I was going to write a big story on it, but between work and a 7 month old I haven’t found the time. Here’s the summary of 2008 "Free" Agency:
Of the "Bigger Names" I examined (35 players - I would have done more, but had problems with time and data) that only 42% were still with their signing team in 2009. Just between Boss Bailey, Donte Stallworth (Patriots), Jerry Porter, Ernest Wilford, Travis LaBoy, Drayton Florence, and Gibril Wilson there were 39 years and $192.5 million in contracts.
Really just 3 "big names" worked out for their teams: Michael Turner, Asante Samuel, and Justin Smiley (though he’s had injury problems). Those 3 guys were signed to a collective 17 years $115.5 million.
I’d rather get young "no name" or moderately priced veteran than an guy in his prime and ready for a big payday.