As the new NFL year is about to begin, lets take a look at some decisions our teams need to make, as well as outlook for the upcoming season.
The new Rex Machine is ready to embark to new heights. 9-7 is as good as the Bills have finished since the days of the creation of the planet. Bills fans are very excited, optimistic, and rightly so. Let’s see what my crystal ball says this early in the year:
- Rex is not the good choice as HC. I like Rex, but both he and the Bills have made a huge mistake in marrying one another. Rex took over a Jets team with a very good defense and decent offense, especially running the football, which is what he wants to do. As a result those teams did very well, but as time went on, the obsession with running also limited the growth of both QBs and the team; even the defense suffered. Rex has hired a running OC, history is about to repeat in Buffalo.
- The Bills have got to keep their defense intact and Hughes is a huge part. Spiller cannot be allowed to walk away. Rex will force Roman to run, run and run some more. Old man Freddy cannot shoulder that load. Spiller and possibly another RB will be needed. FA money needs to be used to upgrade a very pedestrian OL, or running will not be an option.
- Can Bills fans realistically allow Rex time to grow within that system? They are hungry, and Marrone gave them a taste of the honey, can they now be patient?
The Dolphins are entering a very interesting off season, to say the least. The team has been hanging around .500 during Joe’s reign, as they waited on QB Ryan Tannehill to grow up.
- Tanny has grown up, but slowly. A lot has to do with the fact he really had little experience coming in. In year four, Tanny has to make a huge leap forward, and he just might. Its year two of the Lazor Regime, and there is no question the team is all in on the belief he will do so.
- Can the Dolphins rebuild a defense good enough to compete? The run D has been bad, mostly because the LBs are pitiful at best. Money will need to be found and used at LB.
- Do you sign Tanny right now to a long term deal? I say no, and not because he may not be worth it, but because he is at a point in his young career, when he can become a star, or just another Henne. I say wait for another year.
- Can this team find a running game to complement the passing game? They have tried, but signing cast offs that have a history of injuries is not the answer.
New England Patriots
The Super Bowl is over, congrats! Buts its time to worry about the next season. Can this CAP strapped team retain its main components?
- Must resign McCourty even more so than Revis. Both players were huge in improving the defense this past year, both will be costly to keep. Somehow they must find a way.
- What do you do with Wilfork & Mayo? Do you keep them or cut them to create needed CAP relief?
- After years of drought, winning a SB with 28 seconds to go, does this veteran team have it in them to do it again. No doubt the Pats are still the team to beat in this division, the only question is can they win another SB?
New York Jets
After a horrible season, the team cleaned the house, all the way down to the 15-20 year scouting team. Can this team rebound? I like what I hear from Maccagnan and Bowles, but what does that translate to?
- Should Harvin stay, or should he go? At 10.5M guaranteed, the Jets have until March 19th to decide. If they keep him and or restructure his contract, the price tag is a 4th round pick to the Seahawks. Maccagnan will have 12 days to see if he can find a cheaper alternative in Free Agency. (before you question me, 9 days + 3 days of negotiating = 12).
- If the team finds Mariota available at 6, do they pick him? My guess is no. All QBs that come from spread offenses have to learn to huddle up and it takes time. Do the Jets want to wait 2-3 years for Mariota to become an NFL QB? Geno came in from a spread no-huddle offense too. Jets will not pick Mariota, instead trade that pick if it were there for them.
- Bowles needs CBs and Safeties even more than Rex did, do they get more? No choice here; Bowles is known to run more 4-3s than 3-4s, and he often replaces his LBs with CBs and Safeties. The Jets have good SS, but no FS, and at CB, Dee Milliner may not even be ready for training camp. I fully expect a boat load of money to be used in this department.