Ranking Offseason Priorities for the New York Jets

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As soon as the final seconds of the Super Bowl ticked away, analysts and fans across the spectrum began their offseason assessments. For some diehards, the hypotheticals began as soon as their team was out of playoff contention. Though we at Turn On the Jets are already neck deep in offseason content, this article should provide a good overview of where the New York Jets will focus their attention in the coming months.

Priority #1: Wide Receiver

It feels like the conversation around the Jets dearth of pass catching options has been on the table for years now. In case you just close your eyes and cover your ears every time the Jets offense steps on the field, here is a list of who the team has trotted out as “starters” since 2011:

  • Santonio Holmes
  • Jeremy Kerley
  • Plexico Burress
  • Derrick Mason
  • Stephen Hill

I challenge you to find a successful team whose depth chart has featured an equal lack of talent in the past three seasons. Jeremy Kerley has led the Jets in receiving yards for both 2012 and 2013. He accomplished this as the Jets only legitimate threat and playing out of the slot over 50% of the time. Granted, Kerley is a versatile, reliable playmaker but he cannot carry an offense alone.

A modern day offense needs receiving talent to function. Look at the top five offenses of 2013 and their top receivers:

  • Denver: Demaryius Thomas – 92 rec, 1430 yds, 14 TDs
  • Philadelphia: DeSean Jackson – 82 rec, 1332 yds, 9 TDs
  • Green Bay: Jordy Nelson – 85 rec, 1314 yds, 8 TDs
  • New Orleans: Jimmy Graham – 86 rec, 1215 yds, 16 TDs
  • San Diego: Keenan Allen – 71 rec, 1046 yds, 8 TDs

Say what you want about the quarterbacks and the systems, but the truth is that the Jets lack the top end talent that makes offenses tick. The last time a Jets receiver broke the 1,000 plateau? Jericho Cotchery in 2007. I grant you, finding a talented receiver (like those listed above) is easier said than done.

The Jets will look for quantity in the receiver market, likely acquiring 2-3 new pass catchers and completely revamping the depth chart. Don’t be surprised to see the Jets sign two free agent receivers, improving both the depth and overall talent level.

For further TOJ reading on the 2014 FA/Draft WR class see:

Priority #2: Tight End

The tight end position faces a similar overhaul in the 2014 offseason. The Jets primary option at tight end, Kellen Winslow, is likely a goner after an uninspiring second half of the season and  infamous “Boston Market” incident. Jeff Cumberland, an unrestricted free agent, has had enough opportunities to “take the next step” and floundered. Chris Pantale and Konrad Reuland are passable blockers but barely saw the field and are likely gone as well. Zach Sudfeld showed something in his limited role this season and has earned a spot going into camp. Outside of “Mini-Gronk”, expect all new faces at the tight end position.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that this tight end class (both in free agency and the draft) is lacking. Dennis Pitta is the highlight of the free agents but word is that he won’t be leaving Baltimore. In the draft, Eric Ebron and Jace Amaro are not “elite” prospects but offer intriguing pro potential. After these two, the draft class drops precipitously. Unless the Jets snag Ebron or Amaro in May, look for the team to rely on stop gaps and projects.

Expect the Jets to sign one of the low end free agents (e.g. Brandon Pettigrew or Fred Davis), hope Sudfeld continues to develop, and draft a mid-round prospect  (e.g. CJ Fiedorowicz or Crockett Gillmore )if Amaro and Ebron are off the board at 18. Tight end is obviously a glaring need but if the value does not present itself, expect Idzik to look for his coveted low risk, high reward type player (e.g. Willie Colon and Antwan Barnes).

For further TOJ reading on the 2014 FA/Draft TE class see:

Priority #3: Safety

Rex Ryan’s defense has varied so much in his time here that it is hard to say what position he covets most. However, it is clear that while he relies on his safeties to play smart and quarterback the secondary, he does not value the position as much as say, defensive line or cornerback. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, so here is a list of the Jets starting safeties in Rex’s tenure:

  • Jim Leonhard
  • Kerry Rhodes
  • Brodney Pool
  • Eric Smith
  • LaRon Landry
  • Yeremiah Bell
  • Dawan Landry
  • Antonio Allen

Of those, only LaRon Landry has made the Pro Bowl as a Jet. There is a reason for this. Rex relies on tight, man-to-man coverage from his cornerbacks and prefers to let his safeties play in the box. While some of the above have been effective in the roles they have been assigned, the Jets haven’t had a playmaker on the back end since Rhodes left town.

The top two free agent options are Jarius Byrd and TJ Ward. Both excel in most facets of the game and would prove to be major upgrades in green and white. Byrd will likely demand a massive pay day, Ward less so. There are some who fear that a talent like Byrd will be wasted in Rex’s system that rarely plays a single high safety. Ward, arguably, is a better fit because he excels in the box and hits like a ton of bricks. It also helps that he is above-average in coverage.

Either of these players would provide an immediate upgrade in the Jets secondary and if anybody can scheme them into coverage, its Rex Ryan. Perhaps an upgrade at safety is what this defense needs to be put over the top.

Priority #4: Guard

Some may argue corner. A few may even argue linebacker. Yet, the Jets guard position looks more dire heading into the offseason than many expected. Willie Colon provided consistency and a blue collar mentality in 2013. However, Colon is aging and is consistently responsible for a few gaffs and penalties per game. Brian Winters had an abysmal 3/4ths of a season only to finish the last quarter strong. However, with Vlad Duccasse a goner and Colon a free agent, the guard position is bare.

Resigning Colon for a year or two would not be surprising and a recent ESPN New York article suggests the Jets expect Oday Aboushi or William Campbell to start. This sounds like wishful thinking. The guard position, though undervalued, is vital to a functioning offense. The Jets mediocre pass protection (27th in the league according to Football Outsiders) is reason 1b for the team’s passing struggles.

An upgrade at guard could go a long way to keeping the quarterback upright and the passing game moving. There are a plethora of guard options available this offseason and each should come at a reasonable price. Jon Asamoah and John Greco highlight a deep and talented free agent class. David Yankey and Cyril Richardson ought to be available when the Jets pick in the first and second rounds respectively. Guard play may not be flashy but, save a major jump in production from Winters or Colon, an upgrade is needed.

For further TOJ reading on the 2014 FA/Draft G class see:

Priority #5: Cornerback

We can all take a deep sigh of relief after Dee Milliner’s finish to the 2013 season. Had the ninth overall pick continued to seem lost, the cornerback position could have shot up to priority number one or two. Equally as inspiring should be the fact that Antonio Cromartie’s down season seems to have been due to a lingering hip injury and not some drop in ability. With Kyle Wilson, Darrin Walls, and Ellis Lankster rounding out the depth chart, the Jets seem pretty set at the position. However, Cromartie will likely be cut and wether he returns or not depends on his health and asking price.

If Cromartie returns, then the cornerback situation becomes less dire. However, the Jets don’t appear to have a long term starter opposite Milliner. Kyle Wilson, though effective in the slot, has failed to prove his worth on the perimeter. Darrin Walls, though talented, does not appear ready for a major role on defense.

The free agent cornerback class is an intriguing one:

  • Brent Grimes
  • Aqib Talib
  • Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
  • Alterraun Verner
  • Walter Thurmond

These players make up the top of the class and could all be reasonable targets for the Jets. Though you can expect the team to allocate most of their funds to the aforementioned positions, Thurmond or Verner may come cheap(er) and Grimes’ age could limit his asking price. The draft also presents a good deal of potential at the position but don’t expect the Jets to draft a corner until day three.

Priority #6: Linebacker

Much like the safety position, Rex Ryan’s tenure as a Jet has lacked a decent edge rusher. The Jets are set (at least for 2014) at middle linebacker with Demario Davis and David Harris. At outside linebacker, the Quinton Coples experiment continues as the team holds its breath for him to put together a complete season. A healthy Antwan Barnes can provide an explosive pass rush but may be overmatched if asked to play every down. Resigning the resurgent Calvin Pace may be an option but the Jets are still thin at the position.

Brian Orakpo is the best of the free agent bunch but will likely return to Washington. With Orakpo off the market, Jason Worlids’ (the next best option) asking price will likely shoot up. Rumored cuts of Terrell Suggs, Lamarr Woodley, and even DeMarcus Ware could spice up some bidding wars but all will likely be out of the Jets’ price range and may be over the hill.

If the Jets address their major areas of need prior to the draft, don’t be surprised to see them take a look at the available pass rushers. Don’t get your hopes up for Anthony Barr or Kahlil Mack but Kyle Van Noy, Kony Ealy, Jeremiah Attaochu, Dee Ford, and Jackson Jeffcoat could all be on the Jets radar.

Priority #7: Quarterback

Geno Smith’s rookie year was a bit of an enigma. At times (@Atlanta), he looked like the franchise quarterback of Jets lore. The next week (@Buffalo), he looks like a JUGS machine during a DB drill. And yet, the hot-and-cold Smith finished the season with an inspiringly strong few games.

Regardless of how you view Smith, the Jets need to bolster the quarterback position. A competent backup and serious competition for the young-gun is a must this offseason. The reason this position is so low on the priority list, however, is that (in all likely-hood) Smith will be the starter next year and any new addition will ride the bench. That being said, the addition of a player like Matt Schaub or Chad Henne could help push Smith and provide insurance should the incumbent falter or get injured.

The Jets will also likely draft a quarterback in May. Look for the mid to late rounds for a new signal caller and expect names like Aaron Murray, Tahj Boyd, and Logan Thomas to be thrown around. The caveat to all of this, however, is if a quarterback that the Jets covet falls to them or to early in the second. With Smith unproven, it shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

For further TOJ reading on the 2014 FA/Draft QB class see:

Priority #8: Running Back

It may seem strange to see a playmaker this low on the Jets list of priorities but the nature of the running back position lends itself to the ranking. Running back has been slowly devalued over the past few years as the league transitions to a new era of offense. The position is still impactful but in a different way.  Long gone are the plodding, bruisers of yesteryear. A running back today must be able to run outside the tackles and create big plays on limited carries. The ability to find cheap running talent late in the draft and the proliferation of running back by committee further devalues the position.

The Jets hope Chris Ivory can be their guy for the foreseeable future, with Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson (hopefully) taking some of the load. However, any player that can help move the Jets down the field is one worth considering. Free agents Knowshon Moreno, Ben Tate, and Darren McFadden could provide some explosiveness the Jets running backs have been missing. That being said, the team just committed a fourth round pick to Chris Ivory and like his style, making any serious free agent acquisition unlikely. The draft is a more likely source for a new ball carrier, particularly if a player presents himself that could help upgrade the return game as well.

For further TOJ reading on the 2014 FA/Draft RB class see:

Priority #9: Offensive Line (Center and Tackle)

Austin Howard is a free agent but look for the Jets to resign the big man quickly. D’Brickshaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold are no longer in their primes but they have provided remarkable consistency and play positions that are not so easily replaced. The truth is, these three will likely return as starters and Oday Aboushi, Will Campbell, and Ben Ijillana will remain as back ups. Perhaps a center or tackle could be taken in the late rounds as a development prospect but Ferguson, Mangold, and Howard are not going anywhere.

Priority #10: Defensive Line

Any addition here is luxury. There are barely enough snaps to go around for Wilkerson, Richardson, Harrison, and Ellis. If Douzable returns, then any addition is superfluous. Even if the Jets fill all their positions of need prior to the draft, selecting a defensive lineman early would be a poor assessment of value.

Disagree with this assessment and enumeration of priorities? Sound off below, we would love to see your lists! 

Follow Cole Patterson: @CPatterson_TOJ

  • Richard A

    Good Article- I agree with almost everything you said. Except Safety is not as big a need as you think.

    Guard and corner much more important (depending on cro and colon)
    Landry is a good stop gate who is an important voice in the secondary.
    Antonio Allen was GREAT last year!
    the second he was benched for Ed Reed the defense went to shit.

    When he came back in the rotation the d turned it on again. He will only get better.
    I wouldn’t mind a sign like Louis Delmas- hes a top 10 safety and might be able to get him cheap.

    One last point, if Suggs is cut we NEED to sign him. He would bring a fire to the front seven. They would be unblock-able. Wilk Sheldon coples and suggs – we can literally kill Brady and isn’t that the goal?

  • John X

    Disagree with you Richard on safety as I agree that Allen (not that great) will be the lone certain returnee, but who else will? Do you want to retain Ed Reed and Dawan Landry? And who are the backups? Jarrett and Bush? No, this needs some addressing with a quality FA and a 2nd day pick IMO. This position has been long neglected.

    Cole,

    I agree with you on WR – they need 2-3 new WR’s. It sounds as though you are going with the #1 pick here. I think that’s a mistake (and unnecessary) especially if you’re getting 2 FA’s.

    I disagree with not getting one of the top TE’s as not having a weapon who can separate will lead to safeties creeping in making things tougher on the running game and short to intermediate routes.

    I agree that OG is a very instrumental position to fill this year. That said, I don’t think you go cheap by settling for a mid-season, benched Asamoah or any of these other mediocre RG’s. I don’t think this is a good FA class at all. There are no viable LG’s. I think this can be had only with a high (2nd rounder) pick in the draft. Winters would probably be much more comfortable at RG.

    At CB, I agree that Walls will return but I think Berry will also – they didn’t place him on IR unless they wanted to keep him. Trufant and Lankster did not get many snaps and I think they’re gone. A high 3rd day pick to bolster this position comes to mind.

    I want Davis Harris replaced stat but have no idea the direction the Jets will go at OLB. I don’t know what type player Rex wants there. 3 consecutive seasons he’s teased us with prototypical 3-4 rush OLB’s.

    Here we go again with drafting a QB. I can only think of one instance ever in the NFL where a team drafted a QB the year after they drafted a QB high in the draft. And this got not only the GM fired, but the coach as well (CAR). Yet every writer here thinks it’s a good idea (based on what?). Besides that, the Jets already signed Matt Simms. This means that you envision a 25, 23 & 22 year old QB manning that position. I don’t get it. And wouldn’t that undermine Geno’s confidence? Did we already forget what Tebow brought to the table? I think that would be comparable. Couldn’t disagree more.

    If the Jets dump Goodson, yes, If not, no. Alex Green is now two years removed from his surgery and should be fresh and powerful and an adequate replacement for Ivory should he get hurt – they are similar in style. I think he’s worth keeping.

    On the DLine, we had only Douzable as backup. I think it would be a good idea to use maybe a 5th rounder on a young backup (Ed Stinson?) there in addition to Douzable.

  • Cole Patterson

    John,

    I honestly have no preference for the first round pick (outside of preferring it not be a d-lineman). I would be more than happy to see Amaro, Ebron, or one of the talented WR/OLB/S prospects taken at 18. I only envisioned the TE position being handled that way IF Amaro and Ebron are gone (I’m fairly certain at least one of them will be).

    As to the QB – I said I believe a competent back up is needed, preferably through free agency (I suggested Henne/Schaub in particular). The hope is that they would push Geno to improve while also being able to spot start. Drafting a mid-late round QB (Boyd/Thomas) is NOTHING like what Carolina did or the Tebow situation. Newton and Tebow both came in with a certain expectation that they would start or at least be allowed to compete. Drafting a late round QB to groom, provide insurance, or compete is never a bad idea. This would be far more similar to the RGIII/Cousins situation than the ones you listed.

  • Lidman

    What I really want to know is where you found that picture? Could Idzik look anymore ‘geeky’ (which is saying a lot, because his best look is ‘nerdy’)?

  • KAsh

    I am one of those that will argue that you have guard valued too highly. Simply put, when you look at the roster, there are no OLBs except for Coples and Barnes, the latter of which cannot be a starter. No depth at LB in a hybrid 3-4 and no starter at one of the positions trumps in priority having to pick two starters from four young o-linemen.

    I will also dispute your notion that “a running back today must be able to run outside the tackles and create big plays on limited carries.” You saw last year a bunch of teams fail to run the ball when they transitioned to speedy, explosive, outside-the-tackles, swing-for-the-fences backs. To be effective, a running back needs to pick up yardage on the first two downs on a reliable basis and keep teams out of third-and-long situations. So, outside of third down, a concrete less is better than a potential more. (Reliable running backs were also part of all the top five offenses you listed.)

    I agree with everything else absolutely. Wide receiver is a big hole we can solve this season; tight end is likely not (unless we can get Jimmy Graham). It is important to address both, but not to reach for tight ends in FA or the draft.

  • Kyle

    My well thought out jets offseason. Please give me feedback.

    Cuts
    WR Santonio Holmes
    QB Mark Sanchez
    CB Antonio Cromartie 
    RB Mike Goodson
    Re-Sign
    RT Austin Howard (4/16m)
    K Nick Folk (3/5m)
    TE Jeff Cumberland (2/2m)
    OLB Calvin Pace (1/900k)
    S Ed Reed (1/815k)
    DE Leger Douzable (2/1.85m)
    Free Agency 
    1) S Donte Whitner 4/20m 
    He’s a physical, tough safety that is a big hitter and solid in coverage. 
    2) WR Golden Tate 5/25m
    He’s not the fastest or the biggest, but he competes for the ball and he creates yards after the catch. In fact he was one of the best last year in that category. Plus, the seattle connection.
    3) QB Matt Schaub 2/7m
    A veteran QB who has picked by many to lead his team to a Super Bowl. A lot as changed since then, but he’s still more than capable of leading us to the playoffs if Geno underperforms or gets injured.
    4) G Geoff Schwartz 1/2m
    An underrated guard, Scwartz is an adept run blocker and pass blocker. Should start week 1 because of winters not being ready or colon on the shelf. 
    Mock draft (I used drafttek.com and I drafted the BPA according to their mock)
    1 WR Mike Evans Texas A&M
    2 OLB Kyle Van Noy BYU
    3 TE CJ Fiedorowicz Iowa
    3 S Deone Bucannon Wash. State
    4 CB Keith McGill Utah
    5 RB Dri Archer Kent State
    5 DE DeAndre Coleman Cal
    6 ILB Max Bullough Michigan State
    6 WR Tevin Reese Baylor
    6 QB Logan Thomas Virginia Tech
    7 FB Jay Prosch Auburn
    QB Smith Schaub Simms
    RB Ivory Powell Archer 
    FB Bohanon
    WR1 Evans Kerley Hill
    WR2 Tate Nelson Reese
    TE Fiedorowicz Cumberland Sudfeld
    LT Ferguson Aboushi
    LG Schwartz Winters
    C Mangold Freeman
    RG Colon Campbell
    RT Howard 
    D
    NT Harrison Ellis
    DT Richardson Coleman
    DE Wilkerson Douzable
    LOLB Pace Van Noy
    MLB Harris Bellore
    WLB Davis Bullough
    ROLB Coples Barnes
    CB Cromartie Wilson McGill
    FS Whitner Allen
    SS Landry Reed Bucannon
    CB Milliner Walls Lankster
    K Folk
    P Quigley
    LS Purdum

  • Kyle

    Jets 
    Cuts
    WR Santonio Holmes
    QB Mark Sanchez
    CB Antonio Cromartie 
    RB Mike Goodson
    Re-Sign
    RT Austin Howard (4/16m)
    K Nick Folk (3/5m)
    TE Jeff Cumberland (2/2m)
    OLB Calvin Pace (1/900k)
    S Ed Reed (1/815k)
    DE Leger Douzable (2/1.85m)
    Free Agency 
    1) S Donte Whitner 4/20m 
    He’s a physical, tough safety that is a big hitter and solid in coverage. 
    2) WR Golden Tate 5/25m
    He’s not the fastest or the biggest, but he competes for the ball and he creates yards after the catch. In fact he was one of the best last year in that category. Plus, the seattle connection.
    3) QB Matt Schaub 2/7m
    A veteran QB who has picked by many to lead his team to a Super Bowl. A lot as changed since then, but he’s still more than capable of leading us to the playoffs if Geno underperforms or gets injured.
    4) G Geoff Schwartz 1/2m
    An underrated guard, Scwartz is an adept run blocker and pass blocker. Should start week 1 because of winters not being ready or colon on the shelf. 
    Mock draft (I used drafttek.com and I drafted the BPA according to their mock)
    1 WR Mike Evans Texas A&M
    2 OLB Kyle Van Noy BYU
    3 TE CJ Fiedorowicz Iowa
    3 S Deone Bucannon Wash. State
    4 CB Keith McGill Utah
    5 RB Dri Archer Kent State
    5 DE DeAndre Coleman Cal
    6 ILB Max Bullough Michigan State
    6 WR Tevin Reese Baylor
    6 QB Logan Thomas Virginia Tech
    7 FB Jay Prosch Auburn
    QB Smith Schaub Simms
    RB Ivory Powell Archer 
    FB Bohanon
    WR1 Evans Kerley Hill
    WR2 Tate Nelson Reese
    TE Fiedorowicz Cumberland Sudfeld
    LT Ferguson Aboushi
    LG Schwartz Winters
    C Mangold Freeman
    RG Colon Campbell
    RT Howard 
    D
    NT Harrison Ellis
    DT Richardson Coleman
    DE Wilkerson Douzable
    LOLB Pace Van Noy
    MLB Harris Bellore
    WLB Davis Bullough
    ROLB Coples Barnes
    CB Cromartie Wilson McGill
    FS Whitner Allen
    SS Landry Reed Bucannon
    CB Milliner Walls Lankster
    K Folk
    P Quigley
    LS Purdum

  • Mark Phelan

    I agree w. Kash that when assessing a RB it is the average pickup per carry is the key. Give me a 3.5…3.5….3.5 rather than a 0….0….10.5 any day.

  • Harold

    Walter Thurmond is not a top F/A CB. He is one strike away from a 1 year suspension and has been good not great. DRC is very inconsistent and is not likely to get one of top 5 contract at CB this year.

    Sam Shields is rated much higher by most outlets (including myself). Also Vontae Davis is rated highly because of size, skill and age.

    Your list would be a more accurate one with these guys in it instead of the one you selected.

  • John X

    I wouldn’t point towards RGIII and Cousins as a model of success. But thanks for the reply. I think it’s very close to insanity to suggest drafting another QB this year. That’s just me.
    I only suggested CAR because it’s the only similar situation ever pulled. Where’s the precedent or blueprint for success with 3 QB’s 25 or under?
    To me, it’s a reckless notion for such a respectable site. I’m just surprised.

  • Cole Patterson

    Kyle: I like your mock offseason, really covered the bases. Though, I have serious doubts that Whitner makes it out of the Bay.

    KAsh/Mark: A fair point, reliability is preferable. I still maintain that the position is devalued and only players that can make those chunk plays will see good money or a high draft spot.

    Harold: Shields and Davis are most likely staying put. I tried to stick to realism.

    John: I’m not advocating 3 under 25. I’m saying roll into the season with: Geno (23), Henne/Schaub (28/32), and a rookie. Simms cannot be relied on to spot start. I’m glad you find us so respectable!

  • Harold

    Cole:

    The Packers have Micah Hyde to replace him.
    They may not pay him the 7 to 8 million per year needed to keep him.

    Davis as well may command as much as 8 million per year. I think they may both hit the market at those rates.

  • KAsh

    @Kyle

    I doubt that you can resign Pace or Douzable for under $1 million/year. Pace had a great statistical season in the perfect year to have one. He might be the second or third best FA OLB if there are no surprise cuts at the position. And he is the only one of the top FAs that is almost guaranteed to make it to the market. If the Cowboys keep Ware, the Skins resign Orakpo, and the Steelers resign Worilds, we might have to compete for Pace. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Douzable also had a very good year being a backup and may get paid to start somewhere.

    With BPA, it is really important to consider team fits. Evans might be the BPA in general at #18, but I think that he is not what the offense is looking for. I really want to come out of the draft with Abbrederis and Sims (both ideal fits that should be monsters if they develop).

  • Anthony

    Pace is gonna get paid by some shitty team box score scouting his 10 sacks. He will get a 2 year deal and ride off into the sunset playing out his finals years on some 5-7 win (oakland) bad team looking for roster fodder.

    Douz was too good to be a backup before we signed him. He will find a much sweeter offer like devito did last year. Sucks, but the dood did work for us and deserves to be paid.

    There are a ton of useful 3-4 backers in FA and the fact that a 33 year edge setter walked into a career high 10 sacks will not go unnoticed to the rest of the league. We are probably the #1 landing spot in football for 1 year show-me deals after getting laron, yeremiah, Pace, douz, devito, ect… paid for just doing what rex told them. I have no.doubt we can plug whatever holes the departure of the above mentioned for cheap and with quality talent.

  • John X

    Matt Simms was already extended. If the Jets were planning on drafting another QB, this would not have happened…and it won’t, guaranteed.

  • Steve Windeler

    I’m hoping Rex will look at film from the last 2 games and realize Reed still has something left, but more importantly we need a coverage safety, or at least to play a FS more often. We’ve got the horses to stop the run. It’s no coincidence that Miliner started playing better once Reed was acclimated, and Dee could stop worrying about the deep middle. Coples pass rushing improvement was no coincidence either.

    I’m hoping the Eagles will decide they cannot afford to pay Celek. He’s a very underrated all around TE IMO. Then I want to go hard after Bolden. He’s never been courted as a #1 option, and I think it really bothers him. If we make him feel wanted I think he’ll sign an incentive laden contract. Kind of like Rex. He seems like a man willing to bet on himself. He would bring a whole new attitude to the passing game, and I think the benefits would far exceed his individual play. It seems like anyone he plays with has career years when he’s there. They go deep in the playoffs. They get huge contracts, then he’s immediately released.

  • Steve Windeler

    Guards are underrated because there is a salary cap, and you cannot afford to pay everyone top dollar. Then there’s the fact that so few good guards come out of college. Most are college tackles that are developed over a few years. The running game’s importance has been diminished, and there’s the fact that guards often seem to have wild swings in performance level, especially when they switch teams. Look at Slauson for example. It’s very difficult to distinguish an OG performance from the entire line play.

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