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dll2000

Random Thoughts for May 2019

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Ravens:

Like I said in another thread.  Ravens fascinate me this year.  They have built a college offense.  They won't be throwing it together mid-season this year like last year following Flacco injury, they will have entire off season to prep and prepare it and add wrinkles.  

They have done what you have to do to run this style.  Bring in multiple QBs with similar skill sets and don't care if they get hurt.  They will have to break tendency and actually give back ups practice reps which few NFL teams do particularly in season.  If they don't that could monkey wrench the season when/if top guy goes down.  

Everyone assumes it will fall apart quickly this year because DCs will figure it out.  I am not so sure.  College DCs have been trying to stop this style of offense for two decades with mixed success.  It isn't that easy.   There is a reason, well prior to last season, that college teams score a lot more than NFL teams.  They have misdirection and the QB is a running threat.  Prior to last handful of seasons NFL had done little of either for many years.  Instead relying on complex passing concepts employed by a heady and accurate big armed QB complemented by a basic zone running attack and play action off same.  Problem is heady, big armed QBs are few and far between.  College and HS game is filled with running QBs as that is both easier and more effective to implement and win games.  

They also get the advantage of being only team running such a scheme.  They get better at it each week and you get one week to prepare for something completely different than everything else you prepare for.  

Baltimore may have a problem defensively though as they lost a lot of talent in a short time.  

Dolphins:

Dolphins have some great individual players on their team, but they don't have a team.  Their fan base is exhausted and impatient (been there) and they are going through another non-rebuild rebuild.   They seem to be looking to get on Cleveland style carousel of losing as each successive plan gets thrown away and a new one implemented before old one can bear any fruit.

Broncos:

Elway went from initially being greatest GM in history to completely coming apart.  From doing no wrong to doing very little right.  How do you get away from a living legend and tell him to retire?

Eagles:

The way Eagles manage free agency, draft and salary cap lately is masterful.  The way they built that team despite giving up all those picks for Wentz is very impressive.  If Wentz can stay healthy and play like he once did Eagles are a real threat every year for foreseeable future.  If they have to start over at QB again it will set them back to Earth.

The trade up for Dillard in first round in front of Houston was arguably best move of the 2019 draft and a credit to their spy network.  They got best prospect at a premium position at 22.

Colts:

Colts are quietly drafting their way into a contender spot.  

Bears:

Bears are really disrespected by national commentators and much of public for 2019 and I can't figure out why.  Actually, I know why, they don't think MT is any good, but I can't figure out why they discount the rest of team so readily.  Even assuming arguendo MT is bad or average, rest of team is really good.  History shows time and again that a good team with great defense is still good with a mediocre QB.

Before 2018 draft R. Smith was really hyped and everyone was super high on him publicly.  After the holdout and relatively slow start he became out of sight out of mind.  But quietly he became one of best LBs in entire NFL later in season.   Does media coverage or non-coverage really have that much influence?  I guess it does.  

I just watched a 2018 highlight reel of Mack.  A lot of people are high on this pass rusher or that pass rusher in FA remaking a team (cough Packers).  But none of those FAs can do what Mack does or how he does it.  There are difference makers and there are difference makers.  His ability to create turnovers in 2018 cannot be easily quantified, but the value of it is astronomical. 

I think one aspect about Bears that is overlooked is personality types that they have assembled.  We poo poo it sometimes, but there is a ton of high character, hard working guys on this team now.  

Another fascinating thing is Bears have brought in a lot of high end trait guys to compete for a spot on a near ready made team.  I hope coaches keep the right ones.  Real easy to make a mistake and let a future great player walk out the door.  Hard to know which guy that will be.  

Patriots:

I think people overlook a lot of little things that makes Patriots so good.  They correctly identify a players strengths and maximize that strength.  They don't ask the player to do something that a paper scheme calls for that they aren't good at.  They adjust the scheme to accommodate the player strengths.   Lack edge rushers, okay, we have guys in middle of our defense that are really strong.  We'll pressure the middle instead and send our ILBs.   All our RBs are hurt?  We'll make Patterson a RB for a few games.   Everyone is going spread, getting rid of TEs and going small on D?  We'll draft Gronk and Hernandez and run two TE sets.   We'll have a smash mouth RB and a pass catching RB, we can pas 50x a game or run it down your throat the whole game.  Prepare for both.

Cleveland:

Browns are getting a ton of hype because they have assembled an all star team of talent with all their draft picks, trades and FAs   But their personality mix is extremely combustable.  If they win a lot in a row they can get on a steam roller and really go places, but if they go on any kind of losing streak look out.  Also look out for a possible off field scandal even if things are going great on the field.   Like a celebration at a club or something that goes sideways.

Packers:

Green Bay is becoming, once again, a trendy pick to be in SB.  Not only win NFCN, but be in the SB.   Rodgers love by national talking heads or writers is really something.  Maybe once you declare someone the best you have to forever justify it no matter the actual results.   Many guys have literally picked GB to be in SB almost every year for like last 8-9 years.   They have to have some kind of record for picked the most without it actually happening.

Because they added a bunch of FAs and went defense with 2 first round picks the assumption is defense will be one of best in NFL.    A great defense plus Rodgers, well how can that not be a SB team?  

I see a good team and an improved defense, but I don't see a team better than Bears.  Bears WRs group is better.  Bears Defense is better.  Bears O line is better overall.  Bears return game is better.

MN had a down year, but they are still loaded with talent.  They can easily bounce back in year two of Cousins era with some improved O line play.  They too are being overlooked within the division.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I 100% agree with you about Green Bay. They are a very obvious pick for the national media. I think part of it is the fact that the Packers have been good for so long that it's an easy choice. No other team in the NFCN has had sustained success since the Packers took over in the 90s. 

The Packers have def lost a step but with Rogers they will continue to be ranked high on the list of teams going somewhere. If they end up not making the playoffs for a third straight year I think the national media will finally switch the narrative.

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I disagree with you about Miami. Besides Howard and Tunsil, their roster blows. Obviously Drake is decent and M.Fitzpatrick and Rosen have a ton of potential, but outside of that, they'll be playing for a top 5 pick.

Baltimore leaves a lot to be desired imo. They can sure run the ball but we saw what happens when a team game-plans for it how the Chargers did.

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I really like your write up, and agree or can at least see the point of everything you say

BUT

My favorite bit is that you left out the Lions.  I was once at a bar at watched someone try and recall who the 4th NFC North team was, it was hilarious, and once someone said Lions they were stunned they'd forgotten, but I wasn't.  I love that they're irrelevant. 

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3 hours ago, Nads786 said:

I 100% agree with you about Green Bay. They are a very obvious pick for the national media. I think part of it is the fact that the Packers have been good for so long that it's an easy choice. No other team in the NFCN has had sustained success since the Packers took over in the 90s. 

The Packers have def lost a step but with Rogers they will continue to be ranked high on the list of teams going somewhere. If they end up not making the playoffs for a third straight year I think the national media will finally switch the narrative.

You could be spot on.

GB is one of those team who are money in the bank for broadcast networks looking for ratings.  But then so were the '80s Bears and the mid-late '00s Bears when Hester was being ridiculous.  This bunch seems a lot like the '80s Bears.  They have character and they have a personality and so does Nagy.  They work hard and the play hard as a team and IMHO that's their principal advantage. It's a winning culture now.

Frankly I don't know how anyone could be all that disappointed in Mitch.  His stats are good for an inexperienced passer and he's progressing nicely. 

IMHO Mahomes has peaked and will have a tough time duplicating his past performance if Hill ends up suspended or released whereas Mitch is just now getting all of his weapons added and he's another year farther along in learning the offense.  He has to keep upping his game and producing but I'm not all that concerned about it.  The basic skill set is there.  All he needs is good coaching and more experience.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, beardown3231 said:

I disagree with you about Miami. Besides Howard and Tunsil, their roster blows. Obviously Drake is decent and M.Fitzpatrick and Rosen have a ton of potential, but outside of that, they'll be playing for a top 5 pick.

Baltimore leaves a lot to be desired imo. They can sure run the ball but we saw what happens when a team game-plans for it how the Chargers did.

I think Miami may be worst team in league in 2019.  They still have some good individual players.  Just not that many.   You could see it in Bears game.  Not a Rosen fan. 

Chargers kind of lucked into that game plan.  All their LBs were hurt and they went dime.  Balt was not expecting what they did and couldnt adjust. 

When Flacco went down last year they already stunk.  They turned into a good team by being different.  

Win or lose for Balt. isnt really the point I am making. I find them interesting because they are daring to be different in a copy cat league.   

 

 

Edited by dll2000

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6 hours ago, RunningVaccs said:

I really like your write up, and agree or can at least see the point of everything you say

BUT

My favorite bit is that you left out the Lions.  I was once at a bar at watched someone try and recall who the 4th NFC North team was, it was hilarious, and once someone said Lions they were stunned they'd forgotten, but I wasn't.  I love that they're irrelevant. 

Patricia was on GMFB today and he's playing the "I'm happy no one is talking about us" card. Give me a break, clown. They're talking about your team alright.. to have another under .500 year

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5 hours ago, beardown3231 said:

Patricia was on GMFB today and he's playing the "I'm happy no one is talking about us" card. Give me a break, clown. They're talking about your team alright.. to have another under .500 year

I don't see how the same schtick in NE would work for him.

In NE how many years have we heard, "Is Brady finished? Is he finally declining? And people assume NE is going down with him. Come week 8 though, they are hitting their stride to be primed for the playoffs. Sure, that works for them, but they have dominated that division for the better part of 20 years with little challenge.

 

The Lions on the other hand have been at or near the bottom of this division for that same length. There were a few seasons of success, but that was when Chicago was old (late Lovie years) or inept (Emery/Trestman and Fox - though with Fox it was clear there was a full on rebuild going) and the Vikes weren't near as talented through their roster as they are. GB of course had too much offense for most of the NFC North to handle for years too.

 

So sure, there is a doubt of success as a correlation between DET and early-season NE (the last several years). The problem is DET lacks a HOF Brady, a mastermind in Old Bill, and the expectation and track record of success. In DET, they have history proving that they are a near constant stepping stone. They have been the NFC North's version of NYJ/BUF the last 20 years.

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DET is possibly cursed.  In historic terms they became one of wealthiest cities in history of world to one of poorest (in US) in record time.  

There is a photo essay on it from 90s that is depressing as hell.

Glad I dont follow NBA anymore.  Bulls losng lottery would be very depressing. They are trapped in basketball no mans land with no end in sight. 

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Random thought.  Where can I find good seats for the Bears vs Broncos game without getting gouged.  :D

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On May 20, 2019 at 2:11 AM, soulman said:

Random thought.  Where can I find good seats for the Bears vs Broncos game without getting gouged.  :D

I dont know.  On street at last minute maybe. 

Everything on line will have a floor. 

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On ‎5‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 2:11 AM, soulman said:

Random thought.  Where can I find good seats for the Bears vs Broncos game without getting gouged.  :D

When individual tickets go on sale, be on Ticketmaster at that minute

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Bears have a lot of weapons this year.  But you still have to rep things so you have to pick a general direction.

Last year it looked like off season plan was 2 TE 2 WR, heavy Howard, heavy RPO.  

Then Shaheen got hurt and that was all out the window and they went mostly 3 WR 1 U TE. Essentially 4 WR.  Unfortunately they found they couldnt run the football out of that set.  Understandable as it isnt a favorable running personnel unless they are expecting pass and you have a scat or speed back in game. Howard didnt fit the bill. 

Original plan was a good plan and it was working in practice and scrimmages, Denver was frustrated, bad plan in sense that it couldnt work without a Y TE and you had only one. 

So offense kind of became either MT had to make a play with his feet or Cohen had to do something amazing.  Often they both came through, however; as a coach you want plays to work as drawn and it is frustrating when they don't.

They never got their run game together, but passing game improved throughout season.  Without threat of run however, they got a bit exposed by Philly who sat on their route combos. 

I think they spent off season thinking how to fix run game and that will be a huge emphasis in camp.  If you were self evaluating your offense the obvious problem was running game; 3 yards a carry sucks.

/1

 

 

 

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/2

So you have better backs, line should be better if Long is healthy, but question remains can you run effectively without a Y TE when you couldn't last year? We'll see. 

  Shaheen will be healthy to start, but there is no one else.  You can't build around Shaheen/Burton package again. Burton can't block front 7 guys and Shaheen hasn't shown he can stay healthy or is worth building around. 

Looking at clues, they didn't go get another Y, so that tells me that isn't the plan.  2 TE will be still be a small package of course, but they aren't going to count on it again and be left wanting. 

Keep an eye on what they do in training camp scrimmages towards end of camp. Should tell you what their plan or emphasis is going to be.  I am thinking it will be heavy 3 WR this time with Burton or Shaheen switching off rather than being on field together.  Its what I would do.  

I think its Robinson, Miller as mainstays. Burton and Shaheen will mostly rotate with Burton getting more of reps. 

Gabriel, Patterson, Cohen will rotate depending on play.  Cohen will get extra reps in backfield of course.  I think when its going to be a run or screen and Cohen is in backfield, Patterson will be in game over Gabriel or he should be.

Ridley will work in here and there for Robinson.  Nagy said he wants to start with him on outside because inside is harder to learn.  

So you have better backs, line should be better if Long is healthy, but question remains can you run effectively without a Y TE again?  Shaheen should be healthy, but there is no one else.  You can't build around Shaheen/Burton again. Burton can't block front 7 guys. They didnt go get another Y, so that tells me that isnt the plan.  2 TE will be a small package, but they arent going to count on it again and be left wanting.

Keep an eye on what they do in training camp scrimmages towards end of camp. Should tell you what their plan or emphasis is going to be.  I am thinking it will be heavy 3 WR this time with Burton or Shaheen switching off rather than being on field together.  Its what I would do.  Look for heavy play action/RPO off zone read/power  and jet action. 

 I think Davis is best pass protector/receiver/runner combo until Montgomery gets better at pass pro.  I think Davis is slightly better receiver regardless.  

I think Cohen is best receiver and screen option.

Patterson is best jet, OZ back, running seam, and quick power off RPO.

Montgomery is best runner. 

Whyte has great speed.  

Davis and Montgomery will rotate, with Davis more early when/until Montgomery shows he can pass protect.  

 

 .

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Long being healthy all offseason could be X factor to this season.  

Last off season he was pumped that surgeries took away his great pain, but obviously he wasn’t dead lifting massive weight immediately after multiple surgeries.  

Could be cumulative damage is too much at this time and next injury is inevitable. However, looking at bright side a loss of weight and a healthy offseason with no surgeries or debilitating daily pain allows him to train and prepare in way that could both make him a better player and keep him on field playing at high level. 

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