Shawn Johnson coach

Shawn Johnson is a former artistic gymnast of the American origin. She is a five-time Pan American Games medalist. In the 2008 Olympic, she won a gold medal in a balance beam and team and a silver medal in all-around and floor exercise. JOHNSON COUNTY, Ga. — Johnson County Coach Shawn Linder and his daughter Bella will be laid to rest this weekend. The father and daughter were killed in a car accident in Laurens County earlier ... Shawn Johnson East Birthdate: 1/19/1992 Program: Women's Artistic Level: Senior Current Residence: Nashville, TN Head Coach: Liang Chow Other Coaches: Liwen Zhuang. Career Highlights. In 2012, came in second on the 15th season of Dancing with the Stars (All-Stars edition) Shawn Johnson is a former American gymnast who won a gold medal for the balance beam at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. In 2009, she was the winning contestant on 'Dancing with the Stars.' MACON, Ga. — Johnson County is mourning the loss of a beloved coach and his 2-year-old daughter who died in a car accident. Johnson County coach Shawn Linder and Bella Ann Linder died in the ... Zyaire Johnson. One of my greatest joys ever was hearing, “Congratulations Shawn, you are being offered the 2018-19 Head basketball coaching job.” I was ecstatic to be able to coach my own talented child in his Senior year. View Shawn Johnson’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. Shawn has 5 jobs listed on their profile. See the complete profile on LinkedIn and discover Shawn’s connections and jobs at similar companies. Shawn Johnson Gymnast. Johnson competed in the Junior Olympics (U.S. Level 10) National Championships when she was 12. She finished fourth in the all-around, first on beam, and second on floor. Johnson as a youngster she was not scouted by USA Gymnastics, and her coach, Liang Chow, had no interactions with the national staff. ST. PAUL, Minn. - On May 11, 2020, Coach Shawn Johnson-Hipp, the head women’s track and field coach, announced her intention to retire effective July 31, 2020. Johnson-Hipp just completed her 30th year as a head coach for Hamline University, spending 16 years coaching both track and field and cross country, 10 years coaching just track and field, and four years coaching just cross country. Shawn Johnson (born January 19, 1992) is an American gymnast who won the Gold Medal in Women's Balance Beam and the Women's Individual All-Around Silver Medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in ...

[Game Preview] Week 2 - Los Angeles Rams (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles(0-1)

2020.09.18 18:22 Rsubs33 [Game Preview] Week 2 - Los Angeles Rams (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles(0-1)

Los Angeles Rams (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (0-1)
The 2020 Philadelphia Eagles season didn’t have the start they were looking for week 1 as they opened the season without their starting LT, RT, RG, RB, DT and WR and struggled against the Washington Football team to open their season with a loss. Luckily they will get two of those starters back this week in running back Miles Sanders and RT Lane Johnson. Both will be welcome additions as the Eagles struggled to block anyone against the Football Team both on the line and from the running back position. Additionally, getting a running game going will greatly help slow the pass rush which will be impressive as the Rams posted one of the best pressure rates last week led by All-Pro Aaron Donald. Hopefully Doug Pederson learns from his mistakes of last week and gets Carson moving with some designed rollouts and mixes up his play-calling more to establish the run. If Doug tries to do the same thing as last week it will be a long day for Carson and Donald will feast. On the other side of the ball, Schwartz had Slay follow McLaurin last week and it worked as Slay shut McLaurin down, but that is more difficult this week as the Rams have two talented receivers in Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. The Eagles will need to see how Maddox holds up on the outside with a bigger challenge this week. With the struggles of the Eagles offense and their injuries on that side of the ball, the Eagles will need their defenses to limit the quick scoring Rams offense or it will be a long day. Should be a good test for the Eagles to rebound after falling flat out of the gate last week. Go Birds!
General Information
Posting Rules and Guidelines
Remember to [join us on Discord]https://discord.gg/HwwBbM3) during the game!
New to the Eagles? Take a look at our New Fan Page!
Score Prediction Contest
Date
Sunday, September 20th, 2020
Game Time Game Location
1:00 PM - Eastern Lincoln Financial Field
12:00 PM - Central 1020 Pattison Ave
11:00 AM - Mountain Philadelphia, PA 19148
10L00 AM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Open Air
Surface: Grass
Temperature: 62°F
Feels Like: 62°F
Forecast: Clear. Clear throughout the day.
Chance of Precipitation: 0%
Cloud Coverage: 0%
Wind: Northeast 10 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Even
OveUnder: 45.5
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 0-1, Los Angeles 0-1
Where to Watch on TV
FOX will broadcast Monday’s game to a national audience. Kevin Kugler will handle the play-by-play duties and Chris Spielman will provide analysis. Laura Okmin will report from the sideline.
TV Map - Week 2 TV Coverage Map
Radio Streams
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability
Radio.com 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (44th season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo and Bill Kulik will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Rams Radio
Rams Radio J.B. Long will handle the play-by-play duties and former pro bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew will provide analysis. D'Marco Farr will report from the sidelines.
National Radio
N/A
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Rams Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 98 (Streaming 825) SIRI 156 (Streaming 818)
XM Radio XM 231 (Streaming 825) (Streaming 818)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 231 (Streaming 825) SXM 386 (Streaming 818)
Eagles Social Media Rams Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: snaptherams
NFC East Standings
NFC EAST Record PCT Home Road Div Conf PF PA Net Pts Streak
Football Team 1-0 1.000 1-0 0-0 1-0 1-0 27 17 +10 1W
Eagles 0-1 .000 0-0 0-1 0-1 0-1 17 27 -10 1L
Cowboys 0-1 .000 0-0 0-1 0-0 0-1 17 20 -3 1L
Giants 0-1 .000 0-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 16 26 -10 1L
Series Information
The Philadelphia Eagles lead the Los Angeles Rams (Philadelphia Eagles lead series, 22-19-1)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
September 21, 1937 at Philadelphia Municipal Stadium, Philadelphia, PA. Cleveland Rams 21 Philadelphia Eagles 3
Points Leader
Philadelphia Eagles lead the Los Angeles Rams (843-842)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 2-0 against the Rams
Sean McVay: 0-2 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Sean McVay: Pederson leads 2-0
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against Rams: 1-0
Jared Goff: Against Eagles: 0-2
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Jared Goff: Wentz leads 1-0
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead Rams: 2-0
Record @ Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum: Rams lead Eagles 5-4-1
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 21 - Rams No. 09
Record
Eagles: 0-1
Rams: 1-0
Last Meeting
Sunday, December 12th, 2018
Eagles 30 - Rams 23
Nick Foles filled in for the injured Carson Wentz, taking up his spot under center after three months without game action. Foles promptly recaptured the magic, passing for 270 yards and confidently leading the Eagles to a 30-23 win over the Rams on Sunday night with plenty of help from his defense and his playmakers. Foles got plenty of help from his running game as Wendell Smallwood rushed for two touchdowns and rookie Josh Adams ran for another score as the Eagles (7-7) kept their playoff hopes quite viable with a gritty victory over the Rams (11-3), who lost consecutive regular-season games for the first time in coach Sean McVay's tenure.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last Meeting at Site
Sunday December 10th, 2017
Eagles 43 - Rams 35
Carson Wentz threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns before leaving with a knee injury and Jake Elliott kicked the go-ahead 33-yard field goal with 3:45 left for the Philadelphia Eagles, who beat the Los Angeles Rams 43-35 in a thriller Sunday to clinch the NFC East title.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
12/16/18 Eagles Rams 30-23
12/10/17 Eagles Rams 43-35
10/05/14 Eagles Rams 34-28
09/11/11 Eagles Rams 31-13
09/07/08 Eagles Rams 38-3
12/18/05 Eagles Rams 17-16
12/27/04 Rams Eagles 20-7
12/01/02 Eagles Rams 10-3
01/27/02 Rams Eagles 29-24
09/09/01 Rams Eagles 20-17
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Rams Rams
2020 “Expert” Picks
Week 2 - "Expert" Picks
2020 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Rams Season Stats
2020 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
2020 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 34 42 57.1% 270 2 3 72.5
Goff 20 31 64.5% 275 0 1 79.4
Rushing
Name ATT YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Scott 9 35 35 3.9 0
Brown 18 79 79.9 4.4 2
Receiving
Name REC YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Goedert 8 101 101 12.6 1
Woods 6 105 105.0 17.5 0
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Sweat 1 3
Donald/Floyd/Brockers 1.0 3
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Gerry 10 5 5 0.0
Fuller 8 5 3 0.0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
N/A 0 0
N/A 0 0
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB BP
Johnston 5 268 62 53.6 50.2 3 0 0
Hekker 3 142 58 47.3 40.7 2 0 0
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Elliot 2 1 50.0% 38 2/2
Sloman 3 2 66.6% 35 2/2
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
NA 0 0 0 0 0
Webster 1 20.0 20.0 40 0
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Raegor 2 6 3.0 6 0 2
N/A 0 0 0 0 0 0
League Rankings 2020
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Rams Stat Rams Rank
Total Offense 265.0 29th 422.0 5th
Rush Offense 57.0 30th 153.0 6th
Pass Offense 208.0 T-21st 269.0 8th
Points Per Game 17.0 T-23rd 20.0 T-19th
3rd-Down Offense 35.7% 23rd 52.9 8th
4th-Down Offense 0.0% T-17th 100.0 T-1st
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 50.0% T-18th 40.0% T-25th
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Rams Stat Rams Rank
Total Defense 239.0 1st 380.0 22nd
Rush Defense 80.0 5th 136.0 22nd
Pass Defense 159.0 3rd 244.0 20th
Points Per Game 27.0 T-21st 17.0 T-8th
3rd-Down Defense 27.8% 5th 25.0% T-3rd
4th-Down Defense 50.0% T-19th 33.3% T-17th
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 75.0% T-20th 50.0% T-9th
Team
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Rams Stat Rams Rank
Turnover Diff. -3 31st -1 T-19th
Penalties Per Game 3.0 T-2nd 5.0 T-8th
Penalty Yards Per Game 20.0 T-2nd 34.0 6th
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles - In a near-reversal of the previous season's opener, the Eagles scored the first 17 points, only for the Washington Football Team to then shut their offense out for the remainder of the afternoon. Meanwhile, Washington's offense scored 27 unanswered points, and the defense sacked Carson Wentz eight times, recorded two interceptions, and forced three fumbles. With the loss, Philadelphia's six-game winning streak against Washington was snapped dating back to Week 14 of the 2016 season, and the Eagles lost the first game of the season since 2015.
Rams - Playing their first game ever in their brand-new home at SoFi Stadium, the Rams held off the Cowboys in a close battle of NFC contenders. Receiving the opening kickoff (from former Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein), Los Angeles drove 75 yards in seven plays, with Malcolm Brown scoring the new stadium's first touchdown on a 1-yard run. Rookie kicker Samuel Sloman missed on his first field goal attempt, a 29-yard try that bounced off the left upright near the end of the first quarter, but later was successful on field goals of 35 and 31 yards in the second quarter. However, Dallas took a 14-13 halftime lead as Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott scored on both a touchdown run and a touchdown reception. The Rams reclaimed the lead as Malcolm Brown (who finished with a team-high 18 rushes for 79 yards) scored his second touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run midway through the third quarter to put Los Angeles ahead 20-14. Zuerlein converted a 33-yard field goal late in the third quarter, but it would be as close as the Cowboys would get. Rookie safety Jordan Fuller led the Rams with eight total tackles, including a key tackle of Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb on a fourth-and-3 play at the Rams' 9-yard line, just one yard short of a first down to kill a Dallas scoring drive.
Connections
Rams QB Jared Goff and Eagles QB Carson Wentz were selected 1st and 2nd in the 2016 NFL draft after both teams traded up.
Eagles S Rodney McLeod played for the Rams from 2012-16.
Eagles CB Nickell Robey-Coleman played for the Rams from 2017-19.
Eagles LB coach Ken Fajole was defensive coordinator of the Rams for three seasons from 2009−2011.
Eagles TE Zach Ertz went to Stanford (2009-13) and is from Orange County, CA.
Eagles Director of Sports Performance Ted Rath worked for the Rams from 2017-2019 as their Strength and Conditioning Coach (2017) and Director of Strength Training and Performance (2018-2019).
Eagles Special assistant to the general manager Connor Barwin played for the Rams in 2018.
2020 Pro Bowlers
Eagles Rams
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) DT Aaron Donald (Starter)
OG Brandon Brooks (Starter) CB Jalen Ramsey
C Jason Kelce (Starter)
LS Rick Lovato (Starter)
TE Zach Ertz
SS Malcom Jenkings (1st Alt)
OT Lane Johnson (1st Alt
General
Referee: Brad Allen
Philadelphia has produced a 22-19-1 (.536) record in the all-time series vs. Los Angeles. The Eagles own a 6-game winning streak against the Rams, scoring 30+ points in 5 straight contests.
Philadelphia is 15-8 (.652) in home games vs. Los Angeles, with victories in each of the last 2 such meetings (last: W, 34-28 on 10/5/14 at Lincoln Financial Field).
The Eagles are 23-9 (.719) at home in the regular season under head coach Doug Pederson, which marks the 5th-best home winning percentage in the NFL since 2016, trailing only New En-gland (.818, 27-6), Baltimore (.758, 25-8), Kansas City (.758, 25-8) and New Orleans (.727, 24-9).
Philadelphia has captured all 4 of its home openers with Doug Pederson at the helm (since 2016). Pederson is one of only two head coaches in Eagles history to win each of their first 4 home openers with the team, joining Joe Kuharich (1964-67).
In Week 1 at Washington, Philadelphia allowed only 239 total yards (80 rushing, 5th; 159 passing, 3rd), which were the fewest by any defense in the NFL during kickoff weekend. The Eagles limited Washington to just 27.8% (5-of-18) on third downs, which was also the 5th-best mark in the league.
Draft Picks
Eagles Rams
WR Jalen Raegor RB Cam Akers
QB Jalen Hurts WR Van Jefferson
LB Davion Taylor OLB Terrell Lewis
S K’Von Wallace S Terrel Burgess
OT Jack Driscoll TE Brycen Hopkins
WR John Hightower S Jordan Fuller
LB Shaun Bradley LB Clay Johnston
WR Quez Watkins K Sam Sloman
OT Prince Tega Wanogho G Tremayne Achrum
LB/DE Casey Toohill
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles Rams
S Will Parks DT A’Shawn Robinson
DT Javon Hargrave OLB Leonard Floyd
CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
CB Darius Slay
S Sean Davis
WR Cody Latimer
CB Kendell Fuller
RB JD McKissic
G Wes Schweitzer
Notable Off-season Departures
Eagles Rams
S Malcom Jenkins DE Dante Fowler Jr.
CB Ronald Darby RB Todd Gurley
RB Jordan Howard WR Brandin Cooks
WR Nelson Agholor LB Cory Littleton
OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai S Eric Weddle
LB Kamu Grugler-Hill CB Nickell Robey-Coleman
RB Darren Sproles WR Jojo Natson
DT Timmy Jernigan WR Mike Thomas
LB Nigel Bradham LB Clay Matthews
QB Blake Bortles
Milestones
Eagles QB Carson Wentz (99) needs 1 passing TDs for 100 career passing TDs.
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (6322) needs 145 yards to move up to 3rd on the Eagles all-time receiving yards list all-time passing WR *Mike Quick
Eagles WR Desean Jackson (34) needs 2 TDs to move into a tie for 7th on the Eagles all-time receiving TD list tying WR Jeremy Maclin
Eagles DE Brandon Graham (51) needs 3.5 sacks to move to 4th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Hugh Douglas
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox (48) needs 2.5 sacks to move up to 6th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying DE Greg Brown
Eagles DE Vinny Curry (27) needs 1 sack to move up to 19th on the Eagles all-time sack list passing DT Darwin Walker
Rams WR Cooper Kupp (2636) needs 28 yards to move up to 16th on the Rams all-time receiving list passing WR Carroll Dale
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge (join.profootballfocus.com/edge/)
WDB Matchups (CAPS = expected shadow coverage)
Stats to Know
Pressure Rate
It doesn’t take advanced stats to know that Wentz spent most of Sunday under significant pressure. Washington sacked him eight times behind a makeshift offensive line that struggled to contain the Football Team’s pass rush. The Eagles allowed a 34% pressure rate Sunday, according to ESPN Next Gen Stats. That was the third-worst in the NFL. Five different Washington players generated at least four pressures. And it doesn’t get any easier against the Rams. The Cowboys allowed a 40.5% pressure rate Sunday night in their loss to the Rams, which was the second-worst mark of Week 1. And a big reason for that was Rams star Aaron Donald. Donald — the six-time Pro Bowler, five-time All-Pro and two-time AP Defensive Player of the Year who has 44 sacks over the past three seasons — posted a 28.6% pressure rate on Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott himself. He pressured Prescott 10 times for 35 pass rushes and finished with four tackles, one sack, one tackle for loss and four quarterback hits. According to Next Gen Stats, Donald’s pressure rate over the past three seasons is 13.5%, 13.9% and 14.6%. The Eagles offensive line is going to have to be ready or it is going to be another long Sunday for Carson Wentz.
Matchups to Watch
Carson Wentz vs. Himself
I note this matchup not to downplay the Rams and what they bring to the table, but to note that Wentz had plenty of mistakes that ultimately cost us the week 1 matchup. Change nothing of the game last week, bad OL, questionable scheming especially in the second half, Carson Wentz playing better wins us the game. Things were bad around him and he actively made them worse at times. These two things can be true: Wentz cost us the week 1 game and he should bounce back because he is a really good QB. This isn't the sky is falling, #TankForTrevor blurb, it's simply acknowledging the biggest change from week 1 to week 2 that would aid in a victory - Carson Wentz returning to form. There was also a lot of good last week, namely the first half! Check out the first TD throw to Ertz. Short, compressed field where he needs to make a snap decision and he comes off his first read (JJAW) and hits Ertz for 6. This is a great play by Wentz where he showed how good he is capping off a great drive. We need more of this consistency. Wentz was even missing on staples of the offense. He was erratic in the pocket and regularly off target. I love hero ball, I hate when QBs play scared, but better urgency and avoiding negative plays in the pocket would go a long way in smoothing out the rough edges of his game. It's infuriating to have some of the same issues he had in year 3 continue in year 5. Regardless, Wentz is a really good QB, so he should be expected to bounce back from a bad game every QB has once in a while. It just needs to happen quickly so the Eagles don't fall behind in the young season. This Rams secondary has a phenomenal CB in Jalen Ramsey and a really good young safety in John Johnson III; they aren't slouches. Wentz needs to be better and it would be surprising if he isn't.
Eagles (downright) Offensive Line vs. Aaron Donald and the Rams Pass Rush
Washington may have a better, deeper defensive line but they don't have Aaron Donald. He is so good he lifts a pass rush up to the top tiers of the league on his own given his dominance and versatility. Donald isn't just a Defensive Tackle; he'll line up inside and outside while wrecking every part of the OL he can along the way. Just look at what Baldy has in his review for him this week. This is a problematic matchup for Philly given their patchwork offensive line. Even though there were positive things some of the new guys did, they made a lot of mistakes, and will continue to do so in their young careers. The last time the Eagles played the Rams in 2018, Philly held Donald to 2 total pressures in probably his most ineffective game during the course of his DPOY season. The difference between that Eagles OL and this one is the health. Philly won't have a healthy Brandon Brooks; while they'll have Lane Johnson again it'll be in his first start of the season, he's coming off a late summer ankle procedure. So his effectiveness is still TBD. JP, who also played in that game, has also declined a considerable amount since then. One player returning to the field Sunday that should also give the Eagles a boost in pass protection is Miles Sanders. Not only is Sanders the best runner on the team, he's also the best pass blocking running back on the team. This alone won't stop Donald, but it should help. This defensive front from the Rams can get pushed around in the run game (more on that later) but can absolutely get after it in the pass rush department. Dallas doesn't have the line it used to either and Dak was under pressure at a roughly 42% rate, among the worst in week 1. The return of Lane Johnson should increase the effectiveness of this OL a considerable amount but given the new parts there will still be an adjustment period. This unit needs to come together quickly and the coaching staff needs to actually focus their game plan on helping their OL much more so than they did in week 1. Otherwise, expect Donald and his homies to bring the pain up front.
Eagles Pass Rush vs Rams OL
Even with some of the sustained injuries on this roster, the Eagles still have a formidable pass rush and flashed it quite a bit in week 1. The box score stats are highly deceiving in this area as Washington shifted their game plan quite a bit as the game went along. Philly pressured Haskins at a 30% clip last week. That number isn't great considering the state of Washington's offensive line. However, Haskins had the quickest time to throw in the NFL in week 1 with an average time to throw of 2.13 seconds. It's extremely difficult to pressure QBs when they get the ball out that quickly. Last week, Jared Goff was 8th in the NFL in this category, which will present some challenges for the Eagles. Dallas pressured Goff at a 20% clip last week, which is a horrendous number. Goff is a good QB and will slice you up if you don't get to him. But when you do, oftentimes he's effectively standing in quick sand as he was a bottom 8 QB under pressure (by Rating) in 2019. It's imperative this defensive front plays well this week. We already saw Malik Jackson return to form, now we need Fletcher Cox. Philly should get Brandon Graham (concussion) and Derek Barnett (hammy) back this week which should increase the effectiveness of the pass rush. Josh Sweat has also shown tremendous growth in year 3 having the best game of his career this past Sunday with TY McGill flashing in limited snaps. This offensive line from the Rams underwent a mini make-over this offseason but still has some question marks up front. This will be a real test for them as the Eagles pass rush is much more formidable than the one Dallas offers. Furthermore, this is a defensive staff that has consistently gotten to Goff of late. Given the changes on both squads, this is a good measuring stick game in the trenches.
Eagles Coverage vs Rams Receivers
Jim Schwartz had Sean McVay's number in their most recent matchup in 2018 so I am curious to see who gets the upper hand this time around. The Rams have a really good WR room with Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, and Josh Reynolds. They also have a good tight end in Tyler Higbee. Philly has their work cut out for them this week as the Rams are much deeper than Washington. The Rams passing attack was predicated on the short, quick game with a lot of motions and play action last week. Carson Wentz led the NFL in Average Intended Air Yards while Jared Goff was last. Goff's Average Intended Air Yards were 4.3 per attempt with roughly half his passing attempts coming within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Getting the ball to Goff's first read and out of his hands quickly is key as he can be an adventure when he is forced to hold onto the ball. McVay is really good at disguising what the Rams will do running multiple plays out of similar looks. Lastly, their receivers are great at getting quick separation and great getting yards after the catch. The defensive game plan for Philly in the secondary should look quite different this week than it did last week. There isn't one receiver the Eagles can key on for Slay to take away. I'd bet Schwartz moves him around quite a bit but with Woods as the primary recipient of special attention. Slay looked every bit as good as you'd expect last week and that's a huge addition to this secondary. One area of concern I have for Philly is the middle of the defense. This Eagles LB group is among the worst in the NFL in coverage; McVay is going to look to attack that relentlessly all game long. He did the same thing to Dallas last week. It was encouraging to see Rodney McLeod bounce back after a poor 2019 as he was every bit as spry as he once was. The rest of the middle of this defense leaves a lot to be desired. Either way, this is a deeper Rams receiving room, with a creative play-caller, and a better passer than the Eagles just faced. There was a lot of good to take from the defensive performance last week but they face a significant test Sunday in the Rams.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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2020.09.18 13:55 UberHansen Game Matchups Preview #2: Bills @ Dolphins

Before every Bills’ game I spend some time, probably too much time, digging into how the Bills roster stacks up against their opponent’s. While doing this I specifically look at 5 matchups; Bills’ Pass Offense vs. Opponent’s Pass Defense, Bills’ Rush Offense vs. Opponent’s Rush Defense, Bills’ Pass Defense vs. Opponent’s Pass Offense, Bills’ Rush Defense vs. Opponent’s Rush Offense, Bills’ Special Teams vs. Opponent’s Special Teams. After doing all of this I try to come up with reasons “Why We Will Lose” and “Why We Will Win” ultimately leading to a prediction. Below I present 2020’s 2nd iteration of this analysis for the Bills upcoming game at the Dolphins. Included is a scale to rank the advantage in each matchup from 👏👏👏👏👏 (Massive Advantage) to 👏 (Minimal Advantage).
Bills’ Passing Offense vs. Dolphins’ Passing Defense
“Josh Allen has never thrown for 300 yards in a single game” is a statement that Bills’ fans never have to hear again after last Sunday. The last time a Bills QB threw for this arbitrarily set number of passing yards was December 24, 2016 when Tyrod Taylor threw for 329 yards in an overtime loss to the Miami Dolphins. Between Tyrod and Josh’s 300 yard games there have been 368 such games from other teams, leading to a record of 230-135-3 (.629) for those achieving it. As reference, the 2019 Bills finished the season 10-6 (.625) representing a winning percentage just .004 lower when compared to the previously mentioned 300 yard passers. All of this to say, passing for 300 yards has not been, and will never be, the determining factor in the Josh Allen lead Bills’ success, but it doesn’t hurt to end one of the most annoying narratives applied to him.
So, to be clear, the goal this Sunday is not to pass for 300 yards but instead come out of Miami with a 2-0 record. To do this the Bills will at least have to complete some passes and do so against one of the better CB groups in the NFL directed by Xavien Howard, who lead the NFL in INTs in 2018, and Byron Jones, who comes from Dallas where he was a Pro-Bowler in 2018. It’s worth mentioning that each of these CBs have been limited in practice as of Thursday which will completely alter the complexity of the game if either or both do not play. Regardless, these two along with safeties Eric Rowe and Bobby McCain will be a good early season challenge for the Bills equally revamped receiving corps. The most intriguing part of how these two groups will fair against each other will be how they matchup. Howard and Jones will be flanked by 1st round pick Noah Igbinoghene and 3rd round pick Brandon Jones. How Miami shuffles its top tier CBs & young CBs and how Brain Daboll counters it will be a key to watch Sunday.
Stefon Diggs will be one of the possible matchup issues at Daboll’s disposal as his ability to break man coverage is top-tier in an era of highly skilled WRs. Look for Diggs to be put in motion throughout the game in an effort to move safeties and expose coverages early. This will lead to an increase in opportunities for Gabe Davis, Cole Beasley, and especially John Brown. It went under the radar last week but John Brown remains Josh Allen’s most targeted receiver with their chemistry apparent on multiple ad-hoc plays where Brown would break towards Allen. John Brown is good, really good, so when I see a tweet circulating where a Bills fan suggested trading Smoke and a 2nd round pick for OBJ I have to address the slander and say, “We just don’t stand for it”.
EDGE: Bills 👏
Bills Rushing Offense’ vs. Dolphins’ Rushing Defense
Running the ball did not go well for the Bills RBs in Week 1 as Zack Moss and Devin Singletary combined for 18 carries and just 41 yards, 2.3 Y/C. While it wasn’t nearly as bad as the day the Giants’ Saquon Barkley had, 15 carries for 6 yards (0.4 Y/C), it was an underwhelming performance from a promising duo. What stood out most was how slow Zack Moss seemed to look. Whether it was time taken to find a hole or his delay in driving the ball up field Marshawn Lynch-Lite did not live up to the hype in his first outing. But it was his first outing. Expect him to be quicker to the hole in Week 2 with Daboll emphasizing that Moss is the Gimli to the Legolas of Singletary.
This week may represent an opportunity for the Bills to get their running game back on track. In Week 1 the Dolphins gave up 217 yards on 42 carries (5.2 Y/C) of which RBs accounted for 120 yards on 26 carries (4.6 Y/C). The majority of the RB runs came either up the middle or to the left side taking advantage of Emmanuel Ogbah (RDE) and Shaq Lawson (WLB) who struggled to maintain the point of attack against Isaiah Wynn (LT) and Joe Thuney (LG). This week Ogbah and Lawson will contend with Dawkins (LT) and Spain (LG) who have intimate knowledge of Shaq Lawson’s playstyle and should be the key to this matchup on Sunday. On the strong side will be some combination of Raekwon Davis, Jerome Baker, and Kyle Van Noy all of whom will be more focused on the Bills’ biggest weapon, in both the pass and the run.
That weapon is Josh Allen who is by far the biggest mismatch the Bills have offensively against the Dolphins. Allen’s running proficiency should be on display Sunday as the Dolphins were exposed by Cam Newton who rushed for 75 yards against a LB group who struggled to keep up with the mobile QB. The same gameplan is likely to be applied by the Bills who seem keen on using every part of Josh Allen’s game to attack opposing teams. As with last week, watch the fumbles. Allen’s struggles with ball security are well documented and will lead to teams consistently attacking the ball when Allen escapes the pocket. This will be a major point of emphasis until it isn’t.
EDGE: Bills 👏 👏
Bills’ Passing Defense vs. Dolphins’ Passing Offense
The Bills hounded the Jets all day Sunday holding them to 215 passing yards and 1 TD on 35 attempts. It’s worth noting that if it was not for a missed tackle by Tremaine Edmunds on a bubble screen to Jamison Crowder that went for 69 yards the Jets passing stats would have been significantly worse. The palms scheme used by the Bills continues to confuse opposing QBs leading to low completion rates and/or a minute amount of yards per pass. Credit is due across the board but Tre White’s strong play and presence continues to be felt each week. He continues to control an entire half of the field to a point where the Bills’ can scheme extra blitzers and spies to counter the QB as he pivots to the opposing side of the field.
This week the Dolphins will likely find it more difficult than most to compete against the Bills secondary. The top WRs on the Dolphins roster are slot WR Jakeem Grant, perennial practice squad player Isaiah Ford, 2nd year 6’5” 220lb Preston Williams, and oft injured but considerably talented Davante Parker. The key here is if Parker plays, as of Thursday he is practicing on a limited basis but a nagging hamstring injury could keep him out. If he does play Parker has a similar body to AJ Green which represents the large long armed players capable of giving Tre White problem. Outside of Parker Jakeem Grant is likely the most dangerous receiver on the Dolphins who could be a major problem if Edmunds and Milano are out exposing the middle of the field to quick crossing routes.
There are two other keys to this matchup, the first is TE Mike Gesicki who will be a matchup problem for the Bills. Last year he abused Levi Wallace on a handful of plays and could draw double teams this week with a CB and PoyeHyde responsible for locking down the TE. The second key is can the Bills pressure Fitz Patrick/Magic/Tragic? In Week 1 the Bills consistently collapsed the pocket around Sam Darnold causing difficult and rushed throwing lanes. Ed Oliver was a massive factor in this and while he only showed up in the Boxscore with an assisted tackle in advanced metrics he had 1 QB Hit and 3 QB Pressures. Expect a similar Sunday from Oliver who will line up in front of the likes of E. Flowers (LG), T. Karras (C), and S. Kindley (RG).
EDGE: Bills 👏 👏 👏 👏
Bills’ Rushing Defense vs. Dolphins’ Rushing Offense
The Bills held the Jets to just 52 rushing yards on 15 carries on Sunday. One significant reason for this low total was how much of the game the Bills spent with the ball amassing an incredible 41:17 time of possession to the Jets 18:43. Reason two, weak depth in the Jets’ running game with an injured Le’Veon Bell having the same number of carries (6) as 37 year old Frank Gore. But reason three, and most important, was the he Bills play in the front 7 where they were disruptive at the line and then swarmed to the carrier if they broke to the second level resulting in a game high rush of just 8 yards. This will be even more important this week as the Bills depth at LB will be tested.
Miami has strong depth and variety at the RB position with a trio of Myles Gaskin, Matt Breida, and Jordan Howard. Howard, the power option, torched the Bills while on the Eagles in 2019, Brieda a “Do-It-All” receiving back put up solid numbers in San-Francisco last season, and Myles Gaskin is a strong RB with high end speed. None of these RBs scream All-Pro but the 3 together could cause problems for a weakened Bills second level. A sneaky fourth option is Ryan Fitzpatrick who continues to show a propensity to run the ball with 54 rushes in 2019 and 5 already in 2020. Fitz may be 38 but with age comes wisdom and somehow he continues to know when and how to break the pocket to gain significant yardage.
Four of the Bills LBs have been limited this week in practice, Tyrel Dodson, Tremaine Edmunds, Matt Milano, and Del’Shawn Phillips. This leaves the only completely healthy LBs on Buffalo’s active roster at run stopping A.J. Klein and special teams ace Tyler Matakevich. The Bills often run Big-Nickel sets with only 2 LBs on the field and replacing the other with CB Taron Johnson (Who played 86% of the snaps against the Jets) but will still be tested this week. The injury report Sunday morning will say a lot, but regardless of if Milano & Edmunds play this matchup could expose the Bills against the Dolphins. The DL will be an important factor in this matchup as players like Harrison Phillips and Quinton Jefferson will be called upon to secure the line. One last thing, keep an eye on the scratches before kickoff Sunday, this week could be the perfect opportunity to get the versatile 2nd round pick A.J. Epenesa on the field.
EDGE: Dolphins 👏 👏
Bills’ Special Teams vs. Dolphins’ Special Teams
I was wrong, Andre Roberts did not have a return for a TD last week however, he did consistently flip the field averaging 13.6 yards per Punt Return and returning his only kickoff for 31 yards. He is a massive weapon for the Bills so the slander must cease. At punter Bojo had an “excellent” day punting launching his one and only punt 53 yards. Is it considered consistent if you only punt once? For the sake of this post let’s assume yes. Then there is Tyler Bass. I know there is debate over whether or not his first FG was good (I think it was) but it should have never been that close. The second miss may have been in part due to the nerves caused by the first but two misses in a kicker’s debut is concerning. Moving forward Bass’ leash may be short and if this spirals into a negative situation the Bills may be in the market for a new kicker early in 2020.
The Dolphins also have a prolific return man in Jakeem Grant so don’t take his -3 return yards last week as an indicator of his overall skill. Grant is coming into 2020 on a two year streak of having at least 1 return for a TD. We are no longer in the age of Devin Hester so even a single TD return is impressive. This guy is dangerous. At Punter is Matt Haack who enters his 4th season as a player who consistently hovers around 45 yards per punt. Last is Jason Sanders who has only missed a single FG within 40 yards coming into the third year of his career as well as missing only 2 of his 66 XPs (97%).
I also would be remiss if I did not mention the single biggest matchup of the week. This matchup will pit a Bills’ Captain against a Dolphins’ rookie. Of course we are talking about the Bills’ Reid Ferguson and the Dolphins’ Blake Ferguson. These two brothers will set out Sunday to have the greatest Long Snapper battle in the history of the NFL. Watch and enjoy this heavyweight bout.
EDGE: Dolphins 👏 👏
Why We Will Lose
The Bills should have beaten the Jets by 40, but they didn’t, why? Josh Allen scoring position fumbles, missed field goals, and missed tackles. Against the Jets you can get away with multiple mistakes but against better teams you can’t. I’m not sure how much better the Dolphins are than the Jets, or if they even are, but their defense is surely more talented. Even more important than that they are simply a better coached team lead by Brian Flores. This Dolphins will couple adequate discipline and skill on Sunday and attack the ball any opportunity they get. This means when Josh is on the run, which he will be whether fans like it or not, the Phins will be punching at the ball. Force turnovers and the Phish could shut down the Bills’ offense.
On offense we all know the drill, Ryan Fitzpatrick has the ability to be Ryan Fitzmagic. If that version of Fitz shows up on Sunday it won’t matter if Devante Parker plays or not because Fitz will just make play after play himself. In the run game, the Dolphins motley crew of backs is somehow better than Le’Veon Bell and Frank Gore (Imagine saying that 5 years ago) and will pose a challenge to the Bills one weakness on defense. The lack of depth at linebacker weighs heavy for the Bills who could be consistently exposed with passes and runs to the middle of the field. Consistently moving the ball and executing on Special Teams will allow the Dolphins to control the field positon battle and consistently put points on the board.
Why We Will Win
Just like last week the Bills are just more talented than the Dolphins. I promise I won’t say this every week but for the first two weeks it’s undeniably true. On defense the Bills matchup across the board all too well to give up a large number of points. Yes the LB depth is a concern, but because of the Bills defensive scheme the impact can be hidden against an offense lacking in talent. It’s likely the Dolphins will attack the interior of the defense with the Bills’ LB issues so Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer will be expected to come down field and make tackles, and they will. The Bills should also continuously push the OL into the backfield as their new look DL seems to have the potential to be one of the best groups in the NFL.
On defense the Dolphins are a much improved group, but still don’t have the talent across the board to control the Bills. I didn’t mention Dawson Knox anywhere above but he could play a pivotal role on Sunday if the Bills can get the matchup they want, which should not be difficult with the Dolphins slow and coverage weak LB group. But the key to the Bills offense will be Josh Allen’s legs. I cringe every time he runs for fear of injury or turnovers but if Cam Newton can use his legs for 75 yards then there is no reason that Allen should not be unleashed to secure a 2-0 start to the season. Look for the Bills to employ a slew of Zone Reads and RPOs to get every facet of their offense clicking in a game they should run away with.
Prediction: Bills 31 – Dolphins 13
I’ll brag for one second, I hit the nail on the head last week with the score prediction. Bragging complete. This week I am going bold and while not as comfortable with this prediction I could see it happening. The Bills offense is clicking and should be able to consistently put points up on the Dolphins. The Bills defense is just getting started and while lacking in LBs just has too much power to consistently give up scores to the Phins. I see the Phins scoring a touchdown with two field goals but getting behind early as the Bills cruise to 2-0 by consistently moving the sticks drive after drive after drive after drive…
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2020.09.15 02:59 collegedropout2018 Rewriting NBA History Part 4

Here is a link to part 3
https://www.reddit.com/NBA2k/comments/ijr3ox/rewriting_nba_history_part_3/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf
I want to give credit to Dom2k for the idea and uGriEr05 the format.
This is a re-sim of NBA History. I play on PS4 and the furthest I could go back with a full roster and accurate historic draft classes was the beginning of the 1989-90 season. So I will start there and continue with historic draft classes until present day. From there I will keep adding future draft classes and when they run out I will continue with fictional created draft classes and see how many years I can go. I control all teams in the league so this will be more of a whole league look rather than one team. Also I am using a random event generator to add more storylines to the league. I got the idea from this thread
[https://forums.operationsports.com/forums/nba-2k-basketball/964675-myleague-random-events.html]
1992-1993
A) REGULAR SEASON (WEST) :
After pulling off a trade in the offseason to get Charles Barkley, the Lakers were the favorites heading into the season, but it was Seattle that once again ended up atop the West. The Supersonics once again led the way with their offense. Although Xavier Mcdaniel led the team in scoring, Shawn Kemp and Dana Barros put up career best numbers and Barros was moved into the starting lineup at the beginning of the year. While the top seed is nice, history has shown us that anything can happen with this team in the playoffs. The Utah Jazz were also fighting for that top seed. The defending conference champs finished better than they did last season as Karl Malone has become one of the most consistent offensive threats in the league. The Lakers performed a bit below expectations. Trading for Barkley has all but depleted the depth of the Lakers, so games against deep teams like the Sonics and Jazz are tough to win. They did have some great moments but the roster might one or two more moves before they can contend for a championship. San Antonio stepped up in the right direction this season as David Robinson once again bested his competition for best center of the league title. It comes at the right time too, as Robinson is set to be a free agent at the end of the season.
  1. Seattle Supersonics
  2. Utah Jazz
  3. San Antonio Spurs
  4. Los Angeles Lakers
  5. Phoenix Suns
  6. Los Angele Clippers
  7. Houston Rockets
  8. Portland Trail Blazers
  9. Golden State Warriors
  10. Dallas Mavericks
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves
  12. Denver Nuggets
  13. Sacramento Kings
B) REGULAR SEASON (EAST) :
The Bulls ran away with the East this year, finishing almost 15 games ahead of the 2nd seed. Michael Jordan's dominance continues as he came very close to putting up the first ever 60-40-90 season in league history. He continues to put distance between him and his competition for GOAT of the sim. The Bulls had 2 different 20 game win streaks and posted the highest scoring average in the league for the first time in the sim. They do not even let Jordan get to his last year on his contract before extending him, signing him to the longest extension in league history. Elsewhere in the East the Knicks finally stepped out of the middle of the pack and finished as a clear cut second seed. This is a team that has not made many moves so far, just relying on the dominance of Ewing to get them to this point. He had stellar season with one notable exception. A Christmas game against the Miami Heat where rookie Shaquille O'Neal blocked Ewing's shot to tie the score at the end of the game. Shaq had an outstanding rookie season, winning rookie of the year and helping turn around the heat from one of the worst records to a playoff berth in one year narrowly beating out an improved Indiana Pacers squad. Boston and Detroit have finally started to show their age. They both dropped from where they had finished in years past. Both rosters are aging and they have not made many moves so they will have to change things up in the offseason to get back to fighting for the top of the East. The Philadelphia 76ers were not what they were the last couple of seasons without Barkley, but they were not a bad team either, making the playoffs behind the trio of James Worthy, Hersey Hawkins, and Terrell Brandon.
  1. Chicago Bulls
  2. New York Knicks
  3. Atlanta Hawks
  4. Detroit Pistons
  5. Boston Celtics
  6. Philadelphia 76ers
  7. Charlotte Hornets
  8. Miami Heat
  9. Indiana Pacers
  10. Milwaukee Bucks
  11. Washington Bullets
  12. Cleveland Cavaliers
  13. New Jersey Nets
  14. Orlando Magic
C) REGULAR SEASON STATS:
  1. Best Offense: Chicago Bulls 109.1 PPG
  2. Best Defense: Utah Jazz 83.7 PPG
  3. Best PPG (player): Michael Jordan 29.1 PPG
  4. Best RPG (player): Hakeem Olajuwon 16.9 RPG
  5. Best APG (player): Magic Johnson 10.6 APG
  6. Best SPG (player): Gary Payton 2.3 SPG
  7. Best BPG (player): David Robinson 3.9 BPG
D) REGULAR SEASON AWARDS:
  1. MVP: Michael Jordan (Bulls)
  2. Rookie of the year: Shaquille O'Neal (Heat)
  3. 6th man of the year: Tim Legler (Suns)
  4. Most improved player: Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (TWolves)
  5. Defensive PotY: Hakeem Olajuwon (Rockets)
  6. Coach of the Year: Bernie Bickerstaff (Sonics)
E) THE ALL-NBA TEAM
1st - MJ (Bulls)Isiah (Pistons) Malone (Jazz) Barkley (Lakers) David Robinson (Spurs)
2nd- Clyde (Blazers) Magic (Lakers) Mullin (Warriors) Pippen (Bulls) Ewing (Knicks)
3rd - Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (TWolves) Ricky Pierce (Clippers) Mcdaniel (Supersonics)
F) THE ALL-STAR GAME:
Team Jordan vs Team Malone
Notable moments: MJ scores 31 and wins MVP.
3pt contest winner: Isiah Thomas (Pistons) - Won on the final shot!
Dunk contest winner: Chris Gatling (Milwaukee)
G) THE PLAYOFFS (WEST) :
First round:
Seattle sweeps the Portland Trail Blazers. Xavier McDaniel had a notable game 2 where he hit back to back turnaround jumpers late in the game to tie and give Seattle the win.
The Lakers put their foot on the gas from the beginning of their series against Phoenix and swept them.
San Antonio dropped game 1 to the Clippers then beat them by double digits the next four games to advance.
The Rockets were hurting before the series started after losing Hakeem for most of the year with a broken leg. They barely scraped their way to the 7th seed and could not do much against to score against the best defense in the league. Utah advanced in four.
Conference semi-finals:
After a trio of dissapointing exits, Seattle might be in their own heads more than they are the opponents. That may explain why they were never able to put away the Lakers this series. With the series on the line in game three the Lakers mounted a big comeback in the fourth quarter led by Magic Johnson. That game changed the momentum in the series as the Lakers took the next two after that and suddenly the Sonics were facing another early playoff exit. In the third quarter Charles Barkley took over the game scoring 16 points by himself. In the 4th quarter he and Magic combined to make up all but a few of the Lakers points and the Sonics were sent home without reaching the finals despite being the #1 seed for the fourth year in a row.
Karl Malone absolutely balled out this series averaging just over 30 points. While it was a 2/3 seed matchup, the Spurs could not match up with the depth of the Jazz. This game went 6 games and the Jazz advanced.
Conference Finals:
The Lakers had made an impressive run through the playoffs and it looked like they were on the verge of another big time run to the finals. Standing in their way was the Finals runner-ups from last year, The Utah Jazz. It was a battle of star power against team ball, a fast paced offense and the best scoring defense in the league, and a battle of the two best point guards and best power forwards in the league. In the beginning it looked like the Jazz would dominate cruising to two easy wins at home. The Lakers bounced back at home and took the next two. Magic took over the final minutes of game 4 scoring the last 8 points to get the series back even. Back in Utah for game 5, the duo of Stockton and Malone made two defensive plays late in the game. with the Jazz trailing by 1 Stockton stripped Magic on a drive to the rim. Then with the Jazz now leading Malone blocked Barkley and grabbed the rebound with less than a minute left to seal the win. Malone would save his best for last in this series. After game 6 went to overtime on a missed Barkley jumper at the end of regulation, the Jazz had the ball with less than 10 seconds left. After nearly turning over the inbounds pass Stockton caught Malone out of the corner of his eye and Malone hit the series ending jumper over Barkley as time expired to send the Jazz back to the Finals!
H) THE PLAYOFFS (EAST) :
First round:
The Bulls matched up with the Heat in the first round as the two biggest players in the league met for the first time in the playoffs in Jordan and Shaq. The Bulls took the first meeting in a sweep despite a solid showing from Shaq in his debut.
The Pistons faced off against the Celtics for what might be the last time for these versions of the teams. It was anticlimactic as the Pistons made quick work of Boston and swept them out of the playoffs.
The 76ers pushed the Atlanta Hawks and Dominique Wilkins to the brink of elimination. But James Worthy was lost in the first half of game 7 with an ankle injury and would not return as the Hawks moved on to the next round.
The Knicks dismantled the Hornets winning each game by double digits.
Conference semi-finals:
The Bulls and Knicks both swept their secound round opponents. The Knicks physical defense made offense hard on Dominique Wilkins and the Hawks and the series was never close. The Bulls faced off the Pistons again but what a difference a year makes! After last years classic seven game series, the Bulls dominated the older Pistons. The Pistons were never really close at the end of each game and felt their championship window close shut with this loss. The two best teams in the East in the regular season would face off in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Conference Finals:
The Knicks had certainly exceeded expectations from the beginning of the season to comfortably make it this far. But the Bulls were a much higher bar than the one that had been set. New York looked to take one of the first two home games in Chicago, but Michael Jordan and his crew made sure that did not happen by showcasing the offense that led the league in scoring this year. Both home games the Bulls scores over 110 and the Knicks could not keep up. In New York, Patrick Ewing played one of his best games in a must win game three playing a 31-7-6 to give the Bulls their first loss of the postseason. They could not carry that momentum into the next game however and fell flat in game 4 as the Bulls took control of the series. The Bulls would close out the series in game 5 and in typical Jordan fashion MJ would be the one to give the knockout blow by hitting a jumper as the clock wound down to ensure the Bulls 4th straight trip to the Finals.
I) THE NBA FINALS:
In a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals the Jazz wanted to show everyone that they were not the same team that had fallen to the Bulls a year ago. But the ghost of Finals past crept in as the Bulls led another fourth quarter comeback against this Jazz team and with the perimeter play of the Bulls firing on all cylinders, the post play of the Jazz was nowhere to be found down the stretch as the Bulls snatched the opening game. Game 2 wasn’t close as MJ posted another Finals triple double. Game 3 saw Craig Ehlo return to the lineup for the Jazz, but it was Karl Malone who would steal the show. He would drop 50 on the Bulls as they had no answer for him in the post. The Mailman put on an absolute clinic and exposed the biggest weakness of the Bulls, their post play. Malone had been hot all playoffs but now he was reaching a level that only so few in the league could ever get to. He continued in game 4 as him and Stockton led the Jazz back from down 20 at the end of the first half. Stockton put the finishing touches on the come back with a mid range jumper with less than a minute to go. A Jordan desperation three hit the back of the rim and suddenly the Jazz had tied the series. Before game 5 Phil Jackson decided to try and match their size and moved Sam Perkins out of the starting lineup in favor of big man Alec Kessler. It was the first major lineup adjustment the Bulls had made since before they started their title run. Game 5 was a classic where no team had a bigger lead than 6 points the whole game. While Jordan missed a shot that would have ended the game in regulation he was a perfect 4-4 for 11 points in overtime as Stockton and Malone combined to go 2-7 for 4 points. Jordan would finish the Jazz off on their home court in game 6 clinching the title with another 40 point performance. After he missed that shot at the end of regulation in game 5 he went 22-25 for 51 points the rest of the series! The Bulls three-peated in an epic Finals!
J) OFFSEASON BUILD UP
Retirements: Dennis Johnson
RULE CHANGES:
1993 NBA DRAFT: This was a pretty major draft as Chris Webber and Penny Hardaway we’re potential franchise changers at the top of this draft. A huge shock happened on lottery night as the Pacers ended up with the second pick after having the worst odds in the lottery and Charlotte had the third pick in the draft after receiving Orlando’s pick in a trade. The Kings ended with the top pick and they took Webber over Penny as they plan to team him with Larry Johnson for a monster future front court. The Pacers drafted Penny Hardaway but then traded him to Charlotte for 3rd overall pick Jamal Mashburn and Avery Johnson and a lottery protected first rounder next year. It will be very interesting to see how this trade looks seasons from now.
FREE AGENCY: Tim Hardaway signed with the Miami Heat in the offseason. That might be the big free agent signing they need, pairing him with Shaq might be the star power needed to challenge the Bulls. Speaking of the Bulls, Sam Perkins left Chicago for more money in Portland. Could this be the first crack in the foundation of the defending three time champs? David Robinson resigned with the Spurs and Magic Johnson opted out to sign a max extension with the Lakers that ensures that he will retire in LA, but after that deal and re-signing Vlade Divac, the Lakers has no money to add that depth that they need with an aging roster.
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2020.09.11 05:17 xylopolist The Rookie Report: Week 1 Starts & Sits

Welcome back to the Rookie Report! We’re on the brink of a new season, albeit a strange one. Stadiums with no fans, the Raiders in Vegas, 14 playoff spots, and no Tom Brady in New England are just a few of the things that will feel strange this year – but football will go on. Of course, there’s always the looming threat of a Covid-19 outbreak derailing things, but I’m going to operate from the optimistic point of view that things will go on as scheduled. If you’re new to the Rookie Report, each week I’ll be breaking down the matchups that the rookie class will be facing and letting you know which ones are good fantasy options and which ones should be avoided. I’ll throw in some sleepers and guys to stash on the bench as well, and I try to cover all of the fantasy relevant rookies each week (kickers excluded). Make sure to read the details on each player and not just what header they’re under since some of these may be format specific. Any players under the same header that play the same position are listed in the order that I would play them this week.
The rookies are always a tough group to predict for fantasy production, but week 1 is always tough since we don’t have any on field production to go off of when making decisions. This year we don’t even have preseason games. For some of these predictions you have to read the tea leaves a bit and read between the lines of the coachspeak, and sometimes you just have to trust the talent of the player to win out. With all that in mind, let’s dive in and talk about week 1…

Rookies to Start:

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (Wk. 1: vs. Hou.): If you have CEH, you likely took him in the first round, so you don’t need me to tell you that you’re starting him every week unless he gives you a reason not to. The Chiefs have the highest projected point total in the league this week at 31.75, and the Texans were in the bottom-6 in the league last year at limiting RB fantasy points. They were especially vulnerable to receiving backs, allowing more receptions per game to backs than every team other than the Colts. There’s no reason to shy away from CEH in DFS lineups despite a $7,000 price tag in DraftKings. Editor's Note: this article was posted here on /fantasyfootball after TNF aired, although it was composed earlier. Sheesh. :)
RB Jonathan Taylor, IND (Wk. 1: @ Jax.): Taylor will be in a prime spot to make a splash in his NFL debut. You likely drafted him as your RB2 unless you started with 3 straight running backs, so you’re probably going to play him regardless of what I write here. I won’t try to stop you. He’ll likely be splitting the backfield work with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines this week, but the Jaguars were one of the worst defenses in the league against opposing running backs last year and lost Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and AJ Bouye from that defense in the offseason. They’re projected to be one of the worst teams in the league and are an 8-point home underdog in week one. The Colts should be able to run plenty in this one, and I expect Taylor’s talent to show through even if his opportunities are limited. He’s a solid RB2 option this week.
WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL (Wk. 1: @ LAR): Lamb is the best of the rookie receiver crop in my opinion, and he gets a great opportunity to start proving me right in week 1. The Rams consistently use Jalen Ramsey to shadow the opposing team’s #1 receiver, and with Dallas that means Ramsey will be chasing around Amari Cooper. This will be good news for both Lamb and Michael Gallup who get to face off with Troy Hill and Darious Williams instead. Advantage Cowboys. Despite Zeke Elliott racking up plenty of carries last season, the Cowboys ranked 10th in pass attempts, 2nd in passing yards and 5th in passing TDs in 2019, so there is plenty of volume to go around, and this week that volume should be finding Lamb and Gallup. The Cowboys also have the 3rd-highest implied point total of the week at 27.5. You may not have drafted Lamb as one of your top 3 wide receivers this season, but this could be a week to get him in the lineup over someone you drafted before him. At just $4,100 in DraftKings, he’s a screaming value for tournaments.

Borderline Rookies:

RB Cam Akers, LAR (Wk. 1: vs. Dal.): Akers enters week 1 listed as the number 3 running back on the depth chart with Malcolm Brown as the starter and Darrell Henderson at #2, but I see ‘starter’ as a nominal title for Brown. He’s a guy the team trusts to do the job if the others don’t step up, but he’s not a feature back that you build around. Darrell Henderson is playing catch-up a little bit after being banged up in camp, and I think Akers has a real chance to take over the lead role in week 1. I expect the team will ride whoever gets the hot hand this week, but this is an offense that creates plenty of fantasy production for the running back position. We know that Todd Gurley was an otherworldly talent at his peak, but McVay has also gotten productive fantasy seasons from Alfred Morris and Rob Kelley when he was in Washington, and an incredible 3-game stretch from a seemingly washed up CJ Anderson in LA. Dallas was a middling run defense last season, so if Akers is able to get the bulk of the work this week, he’s got obvious RB2 upside.
RB Zack Moss, BUF (Wk. 1: vs. NYJ): The Jets boasted one of the best run defenses in the league a year ago, but in the offseason they lost two of the guys that were big reasons why they were so effective. CJ Mosley opted out of 2020, and Jamal Adams was dealt to Seattle. Even if the Jets are able to be a solid run defense again without those guys, they’re likely going to be playing from behind so much that the RB counting stats are still going to add up. Moss enters the season expected to be the Bills’ early down running back. The Bills had the 7th-highest rushing percentage in the league last year, running on 47.5% of their offensive snaps, and they figure to be run-heavy again. I’d expect Moss to finish week 1 around 15 touches, and he’d be first in line for any goal line carries. That puts him firmly on the flex radar in 12-team leagues and is a better play in non-PPR formats.
WR Henry Ruggs, LVR (Wk. 1: @ Car.): Ruggs was the first receiver off the board in April, and he’ll open the season as the team’s WR1 with Tyrell Williams out for the year. Ruggs has the speed to be a dangerous deep threat, but with Derek Carr at QB he’ll likely have to make his living on schemed touches in the short part of the field where he creates yards after the catch. As the WR1, I’m sure Jon Gruden will make sure Carr is getting the ball to Ruggs, but the group of pass catchers that thrives in the short part of the field is crowded in Vegas. Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and Jalen Richard are all good receivers in that area, so I don’t see Ruggs being a target hog early on. His road to being a fantasy standout will be through creating big plays. He’ll get a chance to do that against a Carolina defense that isn’t terrible against the pass but isn’t imposing either. Ruggs is a boom-or-bust option who is capable of a Marquise Brown style week 1 breakout (Brown went 4-147-2 in week 1 last year), but is also capable of falling short of 40 yards.
WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN (Wk. 1: vs. Ten.): Jeudy is an outstanding talent and landed on a team where he’ll walk right into the WR2 role in the offense, but it’s not a high volume passing offense and he’ll likely start the year behind both Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant in the pecking order. That outlook may have changed on Thursday with Sutton suffering a shoulder injury in practice. If Sutton sits, Jeudy could be the WR1 in week 1. No cornerback on the Titans should be capable of stopping Sutton, but they probably won’t be quite as overmatched by Jeudy. Fant should be in line for a nice day as the Titans struggled to contain tight ends last year, allowing the 6th-most points per game to the position. Keep an eye on the Sutton updates. If Sutton sits or is going to be limited, Jeudy should see enough volume to be a playable WR3 option. If it seems like Sutton is going to be fine, I would probably keep Jeudy benched until we see what his target share looks like as the WR2.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF (Wk. 1: vs. Ari.): Aiyuk’s status is still up in the air this week, as is Deebo Samuel’s. If Aiyuk plays and Deebo doesn’t, there should be some consideration for getting Aiyuk in your lineup as a flex option. He may be facing off with Patrick Peterson in that scenario, but Peterson was anything but his typical self after returning from a 6-game suspension to open the 2019 season. He rounded into form late in the year, but Peterson is on the wrong side of 30 and Aiyuk is the type of receiver that can win at all levels of the field. The 49ers’ offense is going to run through George Kittle and their running backs, but they do have an implied point total of 27.25, so it’s likely that *some* receiver puts up a nice fantasy game Sunday. If he plays, Aiyuk is likely to lead the wide receiver group in targets, giving him the best shot of being that guy.

Rookies to Sit:

QB Joe Burrow, CIN (Wk. 1: vs. LAC): I like Burrow’s upside over the course of the year as a QB2, but I think there will be some growing pains in the early part of the season. The Chargers are not an inviting matchup for an NFL debut. They’ve got a solid pass rush anchored by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. No team blitzed less than the Chargers in 2019, and yet they ranked 13th in the league in QB pressure percentage. It didn’t translate into a lot of sacks, but the addition of Linval Joseph to the middle of the line should help free up the edge rushers to be more disruptive this season. The team will be hurt by the loss of Derwin James to injury, but they still boast one of the best starting pairs of corners in the league in Casey Heyward and Chris Harris. I think there is a good chance the Chargers make Burrow look like a rookie in his debut and would be hesitant to play him in 2 QB leagues if I didn’t have to.
RB JK Dobbins, BAL (Wk. 1: vs. Cle.): If I drafted Dobbins as my RB3 this season, I’d be tempted to play him this week. The Browns ranked 30th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA stat last year, and the Ravens are favored by 8 in the opener. There could be some garbage time for Dobbins once the Ravens get out in front, but Baltimore may still try and keep Gus Edwards and/or Justice Hill involved in the run game as well. The official team depth chart listed Dobbins as the 4th-string back. I expect he’ll work as the number 2 guy behind Mark Ingram but would like to see how the rotation plays out before putting Dobbins in my lineups. I
RB Antonio Gibson, WAS (Wk. 1: vs. Phi.): Gibson has had a ton of buzz around him during camp after Washington cut Adrian Peterson. He’s a versatile player who has drawn comparisons from the coaching staff to Christian McCaffrey. That’s obviously a pretty big stretch, but the head coach and offensive coordinator making the comparison were both in Carolina last year. I think Gibson will be the best fantasy back on the team this year, but I don’t love him for week 1. The Eagles ranked third in run defense DVOA last season, and I expect we’ll see Peyton Barber handle most of the early down work early in the season for Washington. Gibson will also be competing with JD McKissic and Bryce Love for 3rd-down work. The team is thin at wide receiver, so you could even see Gibson line up in the slot a bit since he played a lot of wide receiver in college. All in all, there’s just too much uncertainty about what his week 1 role will look like to trust him in fantasy lineups.
RB D’Andre Swift, DET (Wk. 1: vs. Chi.): Swift has been working through a couple injuries in camp but should be able to suit up on Sunday. The problem is that with the signing of Adrian Peterson this backfield figures to be a three-headed monster, and that’ll be a headache for fantasy players. Swift may get the valuable 3rd down passing work, but I’d like to see how the workload is divided before relying on any Lions running back in my fantasy lineups. I’d take a wait and see approach with Swift.
RB AJ Dillon, GB (Wk. 1: @ Min): Dillon enters week 1 listed as the 3rd running back on the depth chart in Green Bay, and while I would normally tell you to ignore the official team depth charts at this point, this one feels like how it’ll actually play out on the field. I’d expect Aaron Jones to be the clear lead back with a mix of Jamaal Williams and Dillon spelling him for some early down work. The best bet for Dillon getting a healthy workload would be garbage time in a blowout win, but that seems unlikely with the Vikings favored by 3. I’d keep Dillon away from your lineups.
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB (Wk. 1: @ NO): In case you drafted Vaughn early and have been living under a rock in recent weeks, the signings of Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy will make Vaughn mostly useless for now in fantasy leagues. He’ll likely be limited to special teams early in the season and won’t have much value without injuries in front of him. Feel free to drop him outside of dynasty leagues.
WR Michael Pittman Jr., IND (Wk. 1: @ Jax): Pittman should see the field quite a bit in week 1, but I don’t expect it to translate into fantasy production just yet. The Colts played 61% of their snaps last season in 11 personnel (3 WR), and their 3-WR sets to open the year should feature Pittman, TY Hilton and Parris Campbell, but the bulk of the passing volume should go through Hilton and Campbell (along with Jack Doyle and Nyheim Hines). The Colts are an 8-point road favorite this week, and I’d expect them to lean heavily on the running game which will limit how many targets there are to go around. If Pittman makes it to even 5 targets, I’d consider his week 1 to be a successful one.
WR Chase Claypool, PIT (Wk. 1: @ NYG): The Steelers have spent much of the summer talking up Claypool, but this is an offense with a lot of mouths to feed. The return of Ben Roethlisberger should make this a much more fantasy-friendly offense than it was last year, but Claypool enters the season as no higher than 4th in the target pecking order. The Steelers do have a favorable matchup this week and have the 5th-highest implied total of the week, and Big Ben hasn’t really played much with James Washington or Diontae Johnson, so if you want to roll the dice on Claypool in a DFS tournament (just a $3,000 price tag in DraftKings) I wouldn’t fault you for it. For season-long leagues you should have safer options for week 1.
WR Denzel Mims, NYJ (Wk. 1: @ BUF): It sounds like Mims is going to play this week, but after missing much of camp with a hamstring injury, I wouldn’t count on him getting a full workload in this one. It also remains to be seen which outside receiver will tangle with standout corner Tre’Davious White. Breshad Perriman is coming off an injury of his own, and both players make for poor options against a tough Bills defense with the Jets having an implied point total of just 16.5 points.
WR Justin Jefferson, MIN (Wk. 1: vs. GB): Jefferson is a very talented receiver, and the Vikings obviously believe in him after drafting him in the first round in April, but he’ll likely open the season splitting WR2 snaps with Bisi Johnson. The Vikings play with 3 WRs less often than any other team in the league. They consistently operate out of a 2 tight end base set with Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. Jefferson will eventually work his way past Bisi, but I’d want to see what kind of opportunities he gets early on before trusting him in my fantasy lineup. His week one matchup isn’t all that appealing either. Green Bay is one of just 2 teams in the league that allowed less than 10 receptions per game to opposing wide receivers last year.
WR Tee Higgins, CIN (Wk. 1: vs. LAC): With AJ Green expected to play week 1, it’ll be hard for Higgins to get on the field much. It looks like Green, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate will be the trio on the field in 3 wide receiver sets, and Higgins will be competing with John Ross for any leftover reps. There’s no reason to consider Higgins for week 1.
TE Cole Kmet, CHI (Wk. 1: @ DET: Kmet was the first tight end drafted in April, but he doesn’t figure to play a large role early in his rookie season. He’ll open the season behind at least Jimmy Graham on the depth chart, and possibly Demetrius Harris as well. The Lions were a middle of the pack defense against tight ends a year ago, but Kmet shouldn’t be a consideration in any formats this week.

Deep League Sleepers, Stashes, and Cheap DFS Options:

QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (Wk. 1: @ NE): I don’t list Tua here with any thoughts of you using him in week 1. I mention him in case you’re in a 2-QB league where he’s sitting on the waiver wire. He’s going to take over for Fitzpatrick at some point this season, and when he does he’s going to have big-time upside. He’s worth stashing if you have the roster spot in superflex and 2-QB leagues. I would rather have Tua than fellow rookie Justin Herbert.
RB Josh Kelley, LAC (Wk. 1: @ CIN): Kelley enters week 1 as the likely backup to Austin Ekeler, but that role will probably come with 10-12 touches and possibly more if the Chargers pull away. Ekeler isn’t built to be a 20+ touch per game kind of back and the Chargers are shifting to a more run-heavy approach this season with Philip Rivers gone. Kelley looks like the back who will pick up the slack the Melvin Gordon left behind. Only 4 teams allowed more rushing yards last season than the Bengals, and while Cincy could be improved with the addition of DJ Reader to their D-line, I expect they’ll still find themselves in a lot of negative game scripts. For week 1, Ekeler has RB1 upside, but Kelley isn’t a terrible option as a flex in deep leagues. He’s someone you should be picking up everywhere if he’s on the waiver wire. I expect his role will grow as the season progresses.
RB James Robinson, JAX (Wk. 1: vs. Ind.): What a difference a week makes for Robinson. A week ago Robinson looked like he was going the be the number 4 or 5 running back on the depth chart, but since then Leonard Fournette was cut, Ryquell Armstead went back on the Covid-reserve list, and Devine Ozigbo landed on IR. Robinson is suddenly the projected starter this week. Chris Thompson will handle most of the 3rd down work, but Robinson is going to be on the field a lot. The Colts didn’t give up many running back touchdowns last season (6), but they gave up plenty of yards to them, both on the ground and through the air. The Jaguars project to be playing from behind in this one, so Chris Thompson is probably the guy that will lead this backfield in fantasy scoring this week, but in deep leagues a starting running back is hard to ignore. Robinson certainly shouldn’t be on your waiver wire and he has 10+ point upside this week.
WR Bryan Edwards, LVR (Wk. 1: @ Car): Ruggs is the guy with the draft capital, but Bryan Edwards may emerge as the alpha receiver on this Vegas team. He excels in the intermediate part of the field where few other receivers on the team do, and he’s easily the most physical of their receivers, which will serve him well in the red zone. His QB has compared him to former teammates Davante Adams and James Jones, both of whom excel at getting in the end zone. The Raiders have a reasonable implied point total of 25.25 this week, and if I had to bet on any Vegas pass catcher getting in the end zone it would be Edwards. He costs just $4,200 in DraftKings and is very likely to outperform that price tag. He may not get as many targets as Ruggs, but don’t be surprised if he outscores the first rounder in week 1.
WR Laviska Shenault, JAX (Wk. 1: vs. Ind.): After all of the changes and injuries that have come up for the Jaguars over the last week or 2, about the only thing that seems clear with this offense is that DJ Chark is going to be targeted a lot. I’ll add a second thing here – Laviska Shenault is going to be very involved in this offense. Reports out of camp this week are that the Jaguars are getting VERY creative with the ways they’re using him. He’s a versatile player that lined up all over the field in college and is dynamic with the ball in the open field. I expect Jacksonville to make it a point to get the ball into his hands any way they can, even if it means handing it to him out of the backfield. Viska has a higher DraftKings price tag than some of the other rookies at $4,400, but he could be a really interesting option in limited slate contests. 10 touches isn’t out of the question in week 1.
WR Van Jefferson, LAR (Wk. 1: vs. GB): I wasn’t high on Jefferson coming into camp, but he’s been impressive. He’s not an explosive athlete, but his football IQ and feel for the game are off the charts. He’s a route running technician who was a tough cover for Jalen Ramsey in camp. It remains to be seen if he’s fully overtaken Josh Reynolds for the WR3 role in the offense, but if he has he’ll be on the field a lot. The Rams like to line up with 3 wide receivers on the field as much as anyone. Dallas was stingy against wide receivers a year ago, but they said goodbye to their number one corner Byron Jones in the offseason. Jefferson is more of a stash right now, but if he’s on the field as the WR3 a 4-60 kind of game wouldn’t be that crazy for him this week.
WR John Hightower, PHI (Wk. 1: @ Was): Hightower has a chance to benefit from a couple of injuries ahead of him this week, and also from the extra attention the Washington secondary will give to DeSean Jackson. D-Jax burned them in the opener last year with 2 TDs of 50+ yards. They’re going to do everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen again. That means less attention for JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, and Hightower. Of that trio, Hightower is the only one with the burner speed to hurt Washington deep. He’s a DFS tournament dart throw who will cost the minimum in DraftKings, and can have a nice NFL debut with just one or two deep balls.
That’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully it helps you as you try to figure out what to do with the rookies on your team for week 1. Keep a close eye on the injury report this week to make sure you don’t end up playing anyone inactive. Feel free to hit me up on twitter (@Shawn_Foss) if you have any questions or want to yell at me about anything written above. As always: Good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game. Original article from drinkfive.com
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2020.09.05 20:22 xylopolist The Rookie Report: Buy or Sell?

Rookie Report Special: Rookie buy or sell

Welcome back to the Rookie Report! The season is almost upon us. The NFL season kicks off Thursday, but if you’re like me you’ve likely put off most of your redraft fantasy drafts as long as possible in these uncertain COVID times. I’m guessing a large portion of fantasy leagues will be drafting over the long holiday weekend or early next week, and I wanted to give you some last minute tips on some rookies that you may not be as familiar with. The lists below are by no means a straight ranking of the rookies, rather it’s a look at which guys I am willing to reach for, which guys are a little too rich for my blood, and which guys I think are priced just about right based on FantasyPros average draft position. Let’s dive in…

Guys I’m buying:

QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (Average Draft Postion: QB28): Recent camp headlines have made it clear that Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to be starting for Miami week 1, but it’s only a matter of time before Tua takes over under center. If you’re in superflex or 2-quarterback leagues, Tua is a guy you can draft as a QB3 at a deep discount who has a chance to smash once he gets onto the field. He’s an efficient and accurate passer in the mold of a young Drew Brees, and he’s currently being drafted later than Derek Carr, Gardner Minshew and Teddy Bridgewater. When you’re drafting that far down, I want the upside of the rookie over the known limitations of the other options.
RB Cam Akers, LAR (ADP: RB 26): An injury to Darrell Henderson is making it clear that Akers is the Rams’ back that you want for fantasy. He’s been a star in camp so far, and the Sean McVay offense is a good one for running back production. Todd Gurley was obviously an elite talent at the position, but he finished RB1, RB1, and RB12 in his 3 years under McVay and was clearly just a shell of himself in year 3. In his 3 years as Washington’s offensive coordinator McVay also got a top-15 season out of Alfred Morris and a top-25 season out of Robert Kelley. Akers should be better than either of those players. If he takes the job and runs with it, he has true RB1 upside that you can draft outside of the top-50 overall picks.
RB JK Dobbins, BAL (ADP: RB32): Clyde Edwards-Helaire has gotten a lot of press for falling into the absolute best scheme fit possible for him, but people have been ignoring that basically the same thing happened to Dobbins. Yes Mark Ingram is still in Baltimore for this season and Dobbins true upside may be a year away, but Gus Edwards carried the ball 133 times last season and the talent gap between Ingram and Dobbins isn’t as big as the gap between Ingram and Edwards. Dobbins is going to be a factor this season. I view him as someone who is likely to finish as a top-30 back and would have borderline RB1 upside this year if anything happens to Ingram. I’d much rather leave a draft with Dobbins than the guys going right in front of him – Jordan Howard, Kareem Hunt, Ronald Jones (this was written before the Fournette news).
RB Zack Moss, BUF (ADP: RB41): It appears Moss’s master plan of greasing up every football that Devin Singletary uses in practice is working, as Singletary’s summer fumbling woes have given Moss a leg-up over the incumbent for early-down and goal line work. The Bills still project to be a run-first football team despite the addition of Stefon Diggs, and there should be ample goal-line opportunities for Moss if he can cash them in. Frank Gore carried the ball 10 times from the 3-yard line or closer last season, but totaled zero yards and scored just 2 touchdowns on those attempts. Moss should play a similar role to the one Gore did last season, and if the Bills’ offense takes a step forward double-digit scores are not out of the question for him. You should be targeting Moss as an RB3 with upside for more, especially in half- and non-PPR formats.
RB Antonio Gibson, WAS (ADP: RB50): Washington surprisingly moved on from Adrian Peterson just a week before the season kicks off, and that can’t be anything but good news for Gibson. Peyton Barber is still a threat to handle the early-down work, but Barber isn’t anything special and given Gibson’s pass-catching skills he will probably finish the year as the top fantasy running back on the team. JD McKissic has shown himself to be a capable 3rd down back, and Bryce Love was explosive in college, but all signs in camp pointed to Gibson being ahead of them both on the depth chart. New head coach Ron Rivera and new offensive coordinator Scott Turner were both in Carolina last year, and they’ve compared Gibson’s dual-threat capabilities to those of Christian McCaffrey. That’s obvious hyperbole, but I think Gibson will get every opportunity to be the lead back in this offense, and is likely to finish as a top-30 running back that you can get quite a bit later than that. Be warned though: the Peterson news is going to move that ADP up in the coming days.
RB Josh Kelley, LAC (ADP: RB68): I honestly don’t know how to explain why Josh Kelley is being drafted later than AJ Dillon and Ke’Shawn Vaughn in redraft leagues. The Chargers lost Melvin Gordon in free agency this offseason, and all reports out of camp are that Kelley is going to be the guy who picks up most of the work that he left behind. Austin Ekeler is obviously a fantasy stud who will be worth the draft capital it costs to draft him, but he shouldn’t be a 20-touch per game kind of back, and the Chargers realize that. His efficiency as a runner last year was underwhelming as he averaged more than 4 yards per carry in just 5 out of 16 games (and fewer than 3 yards per carry 7 times). Ekeler’s value comes from his work in the passing game. I expect Kelley will open the year splitting early down work with Ekeler and growing into a bigger role as the season goes on. The rookie is an above average athlete (68th percentile SPARQ-x score) who posted over 1,000 yards in both of his college seasons at UCLA. To give you a little context on just how low RB68 is, Justin Jackson finished last season with 222 scrimmage yards and zero touchdowns and was the RB71 in non-PPR scoring. Kelley is a slam dunk to outproduce his ADP, and I expect he’ll do it by a lot. You should be looking to draft him as an RB4 and reaping the rewards as his role grows.
WR Denzel Mims, NYJ (ADP: WR67): Mims had the unfortunate luck of pulling a hamstring the day before training camp started, but he returned to practice this week and expects to be healthy enough to suit up week one. It’ll likely take him a few weeks to work his way into the starting lineup after missing so much practice time, but there is almost NO wide receiver talent ahead of him on the depth chart outside of slot maven Jamison Crowder. The rest of the options to play on the outside consist of Breshad Perriman who currently is dealing with a knee injury that could keep him out a bit, journeymen Chris Hogan & Donte Moncrief, and a trio of replacement-level players who may not even make the roster (Josh Malone, Vyncint Smith and Jehu Chesson). Mims is big, fast, and has excellent hands and body control. He improved his game throughout his college career and landed on a team that projects to be throwing a ton. He’s a natural fit as a deep threat who should complement Crowder’s short game well. He’ll be a great best-ball option and is a guy you should be targeting late in drafts, especially ones that are not full PPR leagues.
WR Bryan Edwards, LVR (ADP: WR72): Edwards’ college stats don’t jump off the page at you, never reaching 900 yards in any season, but South Carolina only reached 3,000 passing yards once in his 4 seasons there. As a freshman, Edwards had 21% of the team’s receiving yards in an offense that also featured Deebo Samuel and Hayden Hurst, and in the 10 games he played last year he totaled a whopping 35% of the team receiving yards. The former Gamecock should start right away in Las Vegas and will be a better option in the intermediate part of the field than Henry Ruggs or Hunter Renfrow. He’s already drawn rave reviews from his new QB Derek Carr, who has compared Edwards to his college teammate Davante Adams and former pro teammate James Jones. Edwards has a chance to be a total package alpha receiver in his career, and although he walks into a crowded group of pass catchers (Ruggs, Renfrow, Darren Waller, Jason Witten, Jalen Richard, etc.) he should get a chance to showcase his potential this year. There is a real chance that he finishes as the top fantasy WR on the Raiders this season, and you can get him in the late rounds of your draft.
WR Laviska Shenault, JAX (ADP: WR73): Shenault was long considered to be among the best wide receiver prospects in this class and a potential top-20 overall draft pick entering the 2019 season, but lackluster production in 2019 and injury woes drove his stock down a bit. He landed on what should be a miserably bad team, but that should afford him plenty of opportunities to play. He’s built like a running back but stands 6’2” and is dangerous with the ball in the open field. He was used in a lot of different ways in college (he had 9 more college rushing attempts than Antonio Gibson), and that versatility should make him a valuable part of a Jaguars’ offense that will be desperately looking for playmakers outside of DJ Chark. He should be available in the last couple rounds in most redraft leagues and is likely to have a big role as a rookie.

Guys I’m selling:

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (ADP: RB8): I understand the love for CEH. He landed in what seems like a dream spot, playing in the most explosive offense in the NFL that seems tailor-made for his skill set, and to top it off the returning starter at his position opted out of the 2020 season. “RB1!” “Take him in the first round!” Not so fast, I say. CEH posted just 1 productive college season and doesn’t have the freakish athletic profile of top backs like Saquon, Christian McCaffrey or Derrick Henry. He’ll certainly play right away in Kansas City, but he’s being drafted as though he’ll be an automatic workhorse back when it still remains to be seen if that’s the case. I do believe that Edwards-Helaire should be going in the top-20 picks in most drafts, but to get him in most leagues you’ll have to reach into the first round to do it. That’s a price I’m not willing to pay at this point. I’d rather take a top WR and get a player like Miles Sanders or Kenyan Drake in the 2nd or Austin Ekeler in the 3rd who can put up similar production at a lower cost.
RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB (ADP: RB46): Vaughn was widely expected to compete with Ronald Jones for the starting job in Tampa this season, but that outlook has changed drastically in recent weeks with the signings of LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette. The Fournette signing just happened, so I would expect Vaughn’s ADP to take a significant tumble in the next few days. He’ll likely be limited to special teams for much of his rookie season barring injuries ahead of him.
RB AJ Dillon, GB (ADP: RB52): Dillon has been a popular name this summer after photos surfaced showing off his ridiculous tree trunk thighs in camp (basically the opposite of the kind of camp photos we were used to with Eddie Lacy). Despite how he looks in shorts, Dillon will be hard-pressed to make a huge impact for fantasy purposes this year. He’s likely going to eat into Jamaal Williams workload, but I don’t expect Williams to go away entirely. Aaron Jones is the Green Bay back you want, and I’d expect Dillon’s presence to make both Williams and Dillon bad bets to finish as productive fantasy backs. Williams has never finished higher than RB29 without Dillon to compete with. I’d steer clear of both.
WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN (ADP: WR41): Jeudy is an outstanding talent, but he goes to an offense that ranked 27th in passing attempts last season and is likely to lean on the run game again after adding Melvin Gordon to their backfield mix. Courtland Sutton is essentially a lock for 120+ targets, and Noah Fant should see a nice bump in volume as well. I’d expect Jeudy to wind up somewhere around 80 targets assuming health. 67 players had more than 80 targets last season, and we still aren’t certain whether or not Drew Lock is any good. I’m not too keen on drafting Jeudy at his current ADP.
WR Henry Ruggs, LVR (ADP: WR47): Ruggs was the first wide receiver taken in the NFL draft this year, but he isn’t the best one taken in the first round. He’s just the fastest. The Raiders will certainly get him involved in the offense after drafting him so high, and he is projected to open the season as a starter after Tyrell Williams had season-ending labrum surgery. The problem for Ruggs is that Derek Carr is notorious for not throwing the ball deep, and the deep ball is going to be the best opportunity for Ruggs to pile up fantasy points. Bryan Edwards is a more well-rounded wide receiver, and Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller are better possession options in the short part of the field. Unless Carr changes his approach and starts throwing deep, or Gruden finds creative ways to scheme the ball to Ruggs, it’ll be hard for him to live up to the draft capital you’d have to spend on him.
TE Cole Kmet, CHI (ADP: TE29): Kmet is the only rookie tight end being drafted in the top-30 at the position, but I would be surprised if he finishes as the top scoring rookie tight end this year. Old man Jimmy Graham has been raved about as the best player at Bears’ camp and is likely going to be the starting tight end, and there are plenty of other tight ends on the roster who could factor in as well including Demetrius Harris and Adam Shaheen. I just don’t see an obvious path to a lot of early playing time for Kmet. The Bears should still be in win-now mode (despite the QB situation) and a rookie tight end playing a bunch doesn’t make sense with so many capable vets on the roster.

Guys that are priced correctly:

These are players that are certainly worth drafting at their current ADP and may have upside for more, but also carry enough risk that I would be hesitant to reach too far for them. If you really like a player in this group, I wouldn’t fault you for reaching a bit for them to make sure you get them.

QB Joe Burrow, CIN (ADP: QB18): In two quarterback leagues, Burrow is a good player to target as a second QB that you can get a little later who still gives you the upside you get from the QBs that would be going in the 12-15 range. He’s assuredly going to start week 1, and the Bengals do have enough weapons around him for him to succeed. There is always risk with a rookie QB, but Burrow is a gunslinger who will have a long leash and the Bengals will be throwing a lot.
RB Jonathan Taylor, IND (ADP: RB19): You don’t need me to tell you that Jonathan Taylor is good. In his *worst* college season he ran for 1,977 yards and 13 TDs. He was a monster at Wisconsin. Defenses knew he was getting the ball and still couldn’t stop him. He has monster upside in the NFL as well, but I’m going to throw a little bit of a wet blanket on that upside for this season. The Colts aren’t going to stop using Nyheim Hines on 3rd downs, so if you’re counting on much receiving production from Taylor you’re hanging your hat on Philip Rivers’ habit of heavily targeting his backs and hoping he catches a lot on early downs. Hines had 64% of the running back targets that Indy backs saw last season. A more likely scenario for Taylor is a dominant rushing season a la Derrick Henry. Derrick Henry finished last season as the RB5, but he also was the unquestioned starter from day one and handled 80% of the Titans’ non-QB rushing attempts. He was also the only top-10 back in PPR scoring that had fewer than 49 targets. Taylor will enter the year splitting the early down work with Marlon Mack, so it’s hard to envision him coming close to what Henry did last year. If you’re a big Taylor fan, I wouldn’t fault you for reaching into the mid-2nd round to make sure you get him, but know that he most likely won’t be producing what you paid for until the middle of the season.
RB D’Andre Swift, DET (ADP: RB29): Like Jonathan Taylor, Swift lands on a team that already has an established starting running back that has been solid, but not great. Kerryon Johnson’s injury history means that there is a solid chance that Swift will have some weeks as the starter, but if KJ stays healthy Swift will most likely work in tandem with him. I like Swift as a player, but Detroit hasn’t had a running back finish in the top-20 fantasy backs since Reggie Bush back in 2013, and I don’t like Swift’s chances of breaking that streak. In the last 4 seasons, 73% of Detroit’s offensive touchdowns have been scored through the air (league average is typically in the low to mid 60s). I’d rather draft Swift than Kerryon Johnson – he’s the more talented back, but I’d prefer a safer option if we’re talking about your #2 running back or a high end RB3.
WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL (ADP: WR38): Lamb is without a doubt the best wide receiver in this rookie class, but the pass-catching group in Dallas is crowded. Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are both WR1 types who should command 120 or so targets apiece. Blake Jarwin and Zeke Elliot should combine for another 150. That still leaves room for Lamb to establish himself on the pass-happy Cowboys, but I’m not sure his breakout starts week 1. I think the best plan of attack with Lamb is to let someone else reach for him and then make a deal for him a few weeks into the season if the person who drafted him gets impatient.
WR Justin Jefferson, MIN (ADP: WR50): Jefferson was a first round draft pick in the NFL draft, but he finds himself opening the season as the WR3 behind Adam Thielen and Bisi Johnson in an offense that had more than 2 receivers on the field on just 25% of their snaps last season. No other team was below 40%. They also ranked 30th in the league in pass attempts. Offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski bolted for Cleveland, and there should be a little bit of regression to the mean when it comes to their passing volume, but the run-heavy game plan is part of who Mike Zimmer wants this team to be. Jefferson should eventually overtake Bisi Johnson for the starting role opposite Thielen, but how high do you want to reach for a guy who likely won’t be producing like a top-40 WR until the back half of the season?
WR Jalen Reagor, PHI (ADP: WR52): I would be talking about Reagor as a player to target in your drafts, but one of the biggest factors working in his favor was the expected early season absence of Alshon Jeffery giving him the opportunity to establish himself in the offense. Instead, Reagor will miss the start of the season with an injury of his own and it’ll be JJ Arcega-Whiteside and John Hightower who should see the increased early opportunity instead. This passing game is still going to run through Zach Ertz, but Reagor was picked in the first round and brings game-breaking speed that the Eagles’ offense was desperate for last season. They’re going to get him on the field when he’s healthy. Three receiver sets should be made up of Jeffery, Reagor and DeSean Jackson for much of the season, and given the health history of the other two Jalen should have plenty of chances to produce. Reagor’s ADP isn’t crazy high, and the upside that he’ll bring in the back half of the season will make him worth the price tag even if he misses the first few games.
WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF (ADP: WR65): WR65 probably feels low given Aiyuk’s likely starting role and the injuries to Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, but it’s sounding more and more like Samuel will be back by week 2 at the latest and this offense doesn’t run through the wide receivers. The 49ers had the 4th-fewest pass attempts in the league and the 5th-lowest wide receiver target share in the league (51%) last season. George Kittle and the running backs should remain very involved in this low-volume passing attack. Aiyuk has forged a nice rapport with Jimmy Garoppolo in camp and has a similar skill set to Deebo’s, but he figures to be the WR2 behind him for much of the season. In this offense, that makes him more of a WR5 for your fantasy team.

Deep League Flyers:

These guys are basically going undrafted in most leagues but may be worth a flyer in really deep leagues or are at least worth monitoring in the early weeks of the season to see what kind of role they have.

RB James Robinson, JAX: Jacksonville dumping Leonard Fournette just days before the season kicks off was a bit of surprise, but it opens the door for several young backs on their roster to get a chance. Reports out of camp suggest that Devine Ozigbo may have the inside track on the early down work, but Ryquell Armstead and Robinson should factor in as well. Armstead was the backup to Fournette last season, but he was placed on the league’s COVID reserve list on Friday opening the door further for the rookie. Robinson went undrafted after running just a 4.64 40-yard dash at the Combine, but he dominated the FCS level with 1,899 rushing yards and 18 TDs last season. He’s worth a late flyer in really deep leagues and worth monitoring early in the year in shallower formats. It’s not impossible that he beats out Ozigbo for the starting job.
WR John Hightower, PHI: Injuries will leave the Eagles’ WR depth chart wide open in the early part of the season with Alshon Jeffery and Jalen Reagor each sidelined for at least the first few weeks. The rest of the depth chart includes DeSean Jackson (33 years old and played just 3 games last year), JJ Arcega-Whiteside (had an extremely disappointing rookie season in 2019), and Greg Ward (AAF star who was serviceable when the team was depleted last year). The Eagles draft strategy at the WR position was clear after they struggled mightily to stretch the field last season. They wanted to add speed, and Hightower brings that. He averaged 18.3 yards per catch at Boise State last year and ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the Combine. He should see the field early in the year, and if he flashes, he may keep seeing the field.
WR Van Jefferson, LAR: I admittedly wasn’t very high on Jefferson coming out of the draft despite the Rams taking him in the 2nd round. He’s old for a prospect at 24-years old entering his rookie season. He isn’t a supreme athlete, and he wasn’t overly productive in college (despite playing at an advanced age). He seems like a player best suited to the slot, but that’s also where Cooper Kupp does his best work. This all added up to Van looking like a long shot to see the field much as a rookie but reports out of camp are that he is going to beat out Josh Reynolds for the WR3 role in the offense. He’s the son of former standout NFL WR Shawn Jefferson, and he has the route-running acumen and natural feel for the game of someone who grew up around it. It’s possible the Rams play more 2-tight end sets given the departure of Brandin Cooks and the breakout of Tyler Higbee last season, but only the Bengals spent more snaps in 11 personnel (3-WR) than the Rams last season. Monitor the Rams offense early in the season. If they continue to play a lot of 3-WR sets, Jefferson is going to have some value in most leagues.
TE Devin Asiasi, NE: Rookie tight ends are notoriously poor fantasy producers, and there are a plethora of upside options to target this season among the veteran tight ends, but there might not be another rookie better positioned to produce in year 1 than Asiasi. He was considered mostly a pass-catching tight end when drafted, but his blocking has also drawn raves in camp and the only thing standing between him and a starting role is Matt LaCosse. The Patriots’ offense is light on receiving weapons, and Cam Newton has always liked throwing to his tight ends. Asiasi is no Greg Olsen, but he has a legitimate chance to be a top-20 tight end as a rookie.

That’s all I’ve got for now. I’ll be back next week with a quick look at some week one rookie matchups, but feel free to hit me up on twitter (@Shawn_Foss) if you have any questions or anything you want to yell at me about that’s written above. If you’ve already done your draft, you can use this info to help you target early season trade or waiver wire candidates if another person in your league gets impatient with a slow start. If you haven’t drafted yet, good luck in your drafts and enjoy the holiday weekend. As always: Good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game. Original article from drinkfive.com
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2020.09.02 21:02 RedLicoriceJunkie [Jourdan Rodrique - The Athletic] 53 Man Roster Projections

[ Removed by reddit in response to a copyright notice. ]
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2020.08.31 13:39 CitizenOfIdiocracy Final 53+16+Cuts Projection

Predictive Roster Projection:
QB Josh Allen Matt Barkley Jake Fromm
 
Jake Fromm stays because they drafted him. The 2021 backup. In the fifth round, where Beane said he was ‘sticking out’. But is he really worth keeping? I think it would be a positive sign if they were able to move on from a 5th round rookie, and maybe they will, but I’m not expecting it.
 
RB Devin Singletary Zach Moss Taiwan Jones* TJ Yeldon
 
Moss is a rookie and Singletary might have a fumbling problem, so maybe they hold onto Yeldon. I don’t think it’s necessary, but I do think they might.
 
FB Reggie Gilliam*
 
On one hand, if DiMarco’s injury was that serious, couldn’t they have put him on PUP at the start? Or was the timing of it too late? If Gilliam had done enough already, would DiMarco still be on the team? How many teams would claim a FB, couldn’t they just stash Gilliam on the PS? Don’t they value DiMarco as a leader? But then if they are just being cautious, isn’t 2 weeks a long time still? They can save a little bit by cutting DiMarco, but after adding a rookie salary on top of the dead cap, it’s less than 1m savings. I could see this going either way, but the edge tends to go with the younger and cheaper as my default. I also think DiMarco didn’t play as well last year.
 
TE Dawson Knox Tyler Kroft Lee Smith
 
Tommy Sweeney might start on PUP. Croom might be a sleeper for the number 4 spot.
 
WR Stefon Diggs John Brown Cole Beasley Gabriel Davis Andre Roberts* Isaiah Hodgins
 
Foster seems most likely to be out. Duke is closer, but he might be too old to be a back of roster player who’s not a core special teamer when there is also young talent there. Hodgins or McKenzie? Can they keep both? I think based on the performance Davis has put on, he will be one of the 5 active WRs on game day. That might make it difficult for McKenzie to find his spot. Maybe he stays, but in this projection he doesn’t make it.
 
OL Dion Dawkins Quinton Spain Mitch Morse Cody Ford Ty Nsekhe Daryl Williams Evan Boehm Ryan Bates Brian Winters
 
Feliciano probably makes the initial 53, but I’m thinking they put him on IR figuring he might be eligible to return about halfway through the season. But... maybe they don’t put him on IR and they just keep 10. I wonder if they’d cut Winters if Feliciano is close or after his stint on IR. I think Ford is RG. I think Williams is RT, but also that Nsekhe should be. I wonder if Bates can be RT next year? Can Boettger make it over Winters? That wouldn’t be too surprising given the camp reports. But maybe the veteran gets the benefit of the doubt.
 
DT Harrison Phillips Ed Oliver Vernon Butler Quinton Jefferson
 
I think Eric Washington has a lot of pull already on this team. And it appears D Line is one of the deepest positions. So it wouldn’t be too surprising to see as many as 10 DL here. Vincent Taylor has the best case at DT to make it. But I have him just missing. Hopefully he can be on the practice squad if someone else doesn’t snatch him up.
 
DE Jerry Hughes Mario Addison AJ Epenesa Darryl Johnson* Bryan Cox Jr
 
Cox Jr is on got a chance in Buffalo because of his familiarity with coach Washington. That said, I think coach Washington will want his guy in the rotation as it’s still unclear what to expect from Epenesa and even Daryl Johnson. And while Cox Jr is no star player, it’s someone Washington presumably trusts and has had a solid camp. Given it makes too much financial sense to let Murphy go, they might hedge with up to 6 guys capable of playing DE on the roster (including Jefferson).  
LB Tremaine Edmunds Matt Milano AJ Klein* Tyler Matakevich* Tyrell Dodson
 
I thought Vosean would have to prove himself in his second year to make the team. He’s been mostly unavailable to practice, Dodson has been noted for his play in camp, and Farwell hasn’t said much about the LBs on special teams either. With not much word out there on Vosean, they might be able to get him on the practice squad. After hiring a nickel coach that might be an indication they could play even more nickel than before. If so, that might make 6 LBs less necessary.
 
CB Tre White Josh Norman Levi Wallace Cam Lewis - Cut and re-signed after Feliciano sent to IR
 
I wonder if Cam Lewis can overcome the draft bias here and beat out Dane Jackson. Reports from camp sounded slightly in Lewis’s favor. Not sure about his inside/out versatility or if he’s primarily a nickel. But if he’s capable of playing outside, he might have a strong case.
 
NB Taron Johnson Siran Neal* Dean Marlowe*
 
Borderline: New position coach this year, so listing it as a position. I also feel like this more accurately describes the role of these players.
 
S Micah Hyde Jordan Poyer Jaquon Johnson*
 
Other than at what positions to list Neal and Marlowe, I think this is relatively straight forward.
 
ST Tyler Bass* Corey Bojorquez* Reid Ferguson *
 
Done.
 
INJ Tommy Sweeney PUP Jon Feliciano IR
 
PS Davis Webb QB Christian Wade RB Antonio Williams RB Jason Croom TE^ Nate Becker TE Brandon Walton IOL Marquell Harrell IOL Victor Salako OL Vincent Taylor DT # Tanzel Smart DT^ Mike Love DE^ Vosean Joseph LB Del’Shawn Phillips LB Dane Jackson CB # Brian Allen CB Josh Thomas S
 
Seems like there should be someone capable of returns on the PS, but wasn’t sure who to put. Wish they would give Wade a chance there. Decided not to use the exemption on Wade to leave open the possibility of him being brought up at some point. And I’m going to be wrong a lot on the PS anyway.
 
OUT Rober Foster WR, Signed Patriots Practice Squad Duke Williams WR, Signed Colts Practice Squad Ike Boettger IOL, Signed Bears Trent Murphy DE, Signed Cardinals Corey Thompson LB, Signed Tampa Bucs Practice Squad Justin Zimmer DT, Cut Patrick DiMarco FB, Cut Signed Patriots Trey Adams OT, Cut Isaiah McKenzie WR, Signed Browns
 
I know Belichick often gushes about opponents, but they way he talked about Foster’s speed last year - and NE’s lack of speed... AND the whole Saban, Belichick, Dabol triangle, I could see Foster ending up there somehow. Duke is the perfect Rivers WR. Pittman has had the dropsies. I wonder if they’d give Duke a chance. Boettger reunites with Castillo in a system that suits him. Murphy is from Arizona, and they could use some help opposite Jones. Corey Thompson gets left behind Dodson. Bowles picks up another LSU alumn. Sounds like Smart has outplayed Zimmer. Patriots have had some bad luck at FB. If DiMarco is available and healthy, I could see the Pats signing Pat. Sounds like Trey Adams has been having some difficulties. Browns are looking for a 3rd WR, and McKenzie could be a good fit.
 
*-special teams contributor ^ unlimited experience practice squad (5 spots available) ‘# protected practice squad player
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2020.08.30 07:00 LonghornMod [8/30/2020] Sunday's Off Topic Free Talk Thread

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2020.08.27 04:04 collegedropout2018 Rewriting NBA History Part 1

I want to give credit to Dom2k for the idea and u/GriEr05 for the format.
This is a re-sim of NBA History. I play on PS4 and the furthest I could go back with a full roster and accurate historic draft classes was the beginning of the 1989-90 season. So I will start there and continue with historic draft classes until present day. From there I will keep adding future draft classes and when they run out I will continue with fictional created draft classes and see how many years I can go. I control all teams in the league so this will be more of a whole league look rather than one team. Also I am using a random event generator to add more storylines to the league. I got the idea from this thread
https://forums.operationsports.com/forums/nba-2k-basketball/964675-myleague-random-events.html
For context here is where we are. The Detroit Pistons, aka Bad Boys, have just won their first title beating the Los Angles Lakers. The league seems to be in a transition as we exit the 80s with most stars like Magic, Larry, Moses, and Dominique entering the final years and a new generation of stars led by Michael Jordan is entering their prime. Michael has not won a title yet but the Bulls are looking to change that with the help of new first year coach Phil Jackson. They will have plenty of competition in the East, not only the defending champs, but a Boston Celtics team looking to get back to the Finals after their many appearances in the 80s. Charles Barkley is the center point of the 76ers and Patrick Ewing dominates the paint in New York. In the West the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to remain atop but will face challenges from the duo of Stockton and Malone in Utah, Clyde Drexler's Trail Blazers team in Portland, and a uptempo Phoenix Suns team led by Kevin Johnson.
1989-1990
A) REGULAR SEASON (WEST) :
The West took me by surprise with how everything played out this year. The Phoenix Suns shot off to a fast start being 22-1 at one point. But once the 1990 year started they struggled and were below .500 in the new year. Meanwhile the Utah Jazz with Stockton and Malone took the top seed in the West. Right behind them was a Seattle Supersonics team that did not have one all-star on the roster. The Los Angeles Clippers were another surprise team that made their way to the 4th seed of the conference behind Ron Harper and Danny Manning. The defending western conference champion Los Angeles Lakers had a tough time as almost every player except for Magic Johnson was hit with an injury. The team did not have much time to play together during the year as it seemed someone was always out for extended time and limped their way into the playoffs. The playoff race was extremely tight in terms of seeding as the difference between the 3rd spot and the 8th spot was only two games and lots of tiebreakers had to be used.
  1. Utah Jazz
  2. Seattle SuperSonics
  3. San Antonio Spurs
  4. Los Angeles Clippers
  5. Portland Trail Blazers
  6. Phoenix Suns
  7. Denver Nuggets
  8. Los Angeles Lakers
  9. Dallas Mavericks
  10. Houston Rockets
  11. Golden State Warriors
  12. Minnesota Timberwolves
  13. Sacramento Kings
B) REGULAR SEASON (EAST) :
It was a tight three way race at the top between the Celtics, Pistons, and Bulls all year. A team that seemed to be at the end of its rope, the Boston Celtics turned back the clock night after night to finish with the best record in the East thanks to the dynamic duo of Larry Bird and Kevin Mchale. The defending champion Pistons kept up the pace and constantly locked down opponents night after night. One person who could not be locked down this year was Michael Jordan, he led the league in scoring, jumping over anyone who dared to try and stop him. The biggest surprise in the East was the first year Orlando Magic making the playoffs! Behind the scoring of Nick Anderson, they beat out an aging Milwaukee Bucks team for the final spot.
  1. Boston Celtics
  2. Detroit Pistons
  3. Chicago Bulls
  4. Atlanta Hawks
  5. Philadelphia 76ers
  6. Washington Bullets
  7. New York Knicks
  8. Orlando Magic
  9. Milwaukee Bucks
  10. New Jersey Nets
  11. Miami Heat
  12. Cleveland Cavaliers
  13. Charlotte Hornets
  14. Indiana Pacers
C) REGULAR SEASON STATS:
  1. Best Offense: Seattle Supersonics 105.3 PPG
  2. Best Defense: Detroit Pistons 90.6 PPG
  3. Best PPG (player): Michael Jordan 31.7 PPG
  4. Best RPG (player): Charles Barkley 15.5 RBG
  5. Best APG (player): Magic Johnson 11.3 APG
  6. Best SPG (player): Michael Jordan 2.3 SPG
  7. Best BPG (player): Patrick Ewing 3.9 BPG
D) REGULAR SEASON AWARDS:
  1. MVP: Michael Jordan (Bulls)
  2. Rookie of the year: Shawn Kemp (Supersonics)
  3. 6th man of the year: Dennis Rodman (Pistons)
  4. Most improved player: Retro Filler (glitch)
  5. Defensive PotY: Michael Jordan (Bulls)
  6. Coach of the year: Buddy Rogers (Celtics)
E) THE ALL-NBA TEAM
1st - MJ (Chicago) Magic (Lakers) Charles Barkley (76ers) Karl Malone (Jazz) Ewing (Knicks)
2nd - John Stockton (Jazz) Isaiah Thomas (Pistons) Kevin McHale (Celtics) Scottie Pippen (Bulls) Hakeem (Rockets)
3rd - Kevin Johnson (Phoenix) Joe Dumars (Pistons) Dominique Wilkins (Hawks) Larry Bird (Celtics) David Robinson (Spurs)
F) THE ALL-STAR GAME:
Team Jordan vs Team Magic
Notable moments: Jordan dunks on Magic to seal a victory and the MVP award
3pt contest winner: Micheal Adams (Nuggets)
Dunk contest winner: Blue Edwards (Jazz)
G) THE PLAYOFFS (WEST) :
First round:
The Los Angeles Lakers, now fully healthy flipped the switch and upset the top seed Utah Jazz in 6 games.
Seattle took care of business in 5 against the Nuggets.
The up and down Phoenix Suns took out the San Antonio Spurs
Clyde Drexler stole the show and guided his Trail Blazers past the Clippers
Conference semi-finals:
The Trail Blazers and Lakers faced off in a classic playoff series. The home teams took all of the first four games and with the series tied at 2-2, game 5 would turn out to be a classic. Clyde Drexler stepped up big and put his team up 2 with 4 seconds remaining, but James Worthy threw up a moon shot runner from the baseline as time expired to send the game into overtime. In overtime Magic took over and the Lakers took game 5 and used that momentum to take game 6 and the series
The Phoenix Suns had been sporadic with their play all year and it finally came back to bite them in this series. After taking the first two games, they dropped the next 4 and Seattle moved on to the Western Conference Finals.
Conference Finals:
The eight seeded Los Angeles Lakers continued their miracle run through the playoffs. In game 1 Magic stripped Sedale Threatt as the clock was winding down and scored a breakaway layup as time expired. The Supersonics never really recovered and lost the series in 5.
H) THE PLAYOFFS (EAST) :
First round:
The first round was really quick as the Boston, Detroit, and Chicago all swept and Philly won in 5 games over Atlanta
Conference semi-finals:
The Bulls had been knocked out of the playoffs in the past years by the Celtics and were determined to not see it happen again. The Bulls took the first two games on Detroit's floor, and it seemed like the defending champs were in trouble. But Bill Laimbeer made his return from injury in game 3 and gave them the fire to take two on Chicago's floor. The teams would split the next two games and we would have a game 7. In the game 7 Joe Dumars would go off for 32, but it was no match for his counterpart Michael Jordan who scored 56 points and sent the defending champs packing.
Philly's one star approach was simply no match for the team play of the Boston Celtics. While Philly took a close game 2 on a late Barkley shot, three of the first four games of this series were double digit wins for Boston. Philly took game 5, but Boston was simply too much to handle in game 6.
Conference Finals:
It seemed like it was destined for this matchup to happen. In order for Jordan to be the true heir apparent he would have to knock off the man who controlled the East for so long. The Celtics and the Bulls battled back and forth throughout the series in a clash of styles. Boston would slow things down and the Bulls would try to speed things up. It was back and forth all series long, ultimately having to be decided in a seventh game. In that game the pressure defense of Jordan and Pippen took over in the second half as they forced multiple turnovers for fast break points. They were simply younger and more athletic than their opponents. In that game 7 Jordan had 48 proving that he is the next up.
I) THE NBA FINALS:
So in this version Magic vs. MJ happens a year earlier than it did in real life. Also in this game Los Angeles is healthier than in the Finals matchup in 91. That would prove to be big as the trio of Magic, James Worthy, and Byron Scott lit up the Bulls this series. Jordan and Pippen could hold their own, but with only John Paxson or BJ Armstrong to play the other spot, there was always going to be a mismatch on the floor. Despite that this series did come down to a game 7 just as the Bulls previous two series had. It looked for a long time that it was destined for the Bulls to win and even seemed all but over when Jordan hit a 3 to put the Bulls up 5 with less than a minute remaining. But then something Magic happened. The Lakers hit a three to cut the lead to two. Pippen tried to force it to Jordan but the Lakers tipped and stole the inbounds pass for a layup to tie the game! Jordan against Magic to win the championship, 1 v 1. Jordan had come through so much for the Bulls already but so had Magic and he was able to force Jordan into a contested layup that circled around the rim before falling out and the Lakers grabbed the rebound with less than a second left. They called timeout and now had a chance to win a title. Worthy popped open to the top of the key and drained a three as time expired....ALL NET!!!
The Lakers win the title!
(I could not believe this ending as it happened, I know it is only the first year but it will be almost impossible to top a Finals ending like this)
J) OFFSEASON & BUILD UP
Retirements:
RULE CHANGES: I made rule changes to revert back some of the rules to how they were in the 90s
1990 NBA DRAFT: This draft had one hall of famer in Gary Payton and the rest of the guys were role players and it seemed an easy choice for the top pick. So with the first pick in the draft the Sacramento Kings selected....Tony Smith?!?!? It was not a good night for Gary Payton as he slid down to 9 to the New Jersey Nets. The Warriors picked up Derrick Coleman which now gives them a forward to put with the Run TMC back court. The Rockets selected sharp shooter Dennis Scott which should help space out the offense for Hakeem
FREE AGENCY: The Chicago Bulls were the top winners of free agency. An organization that came so close to winning the title last ensured they were here to stay for a long time by adding guard Ron Harper and forward Sam Perkins. Harper averaged over 20 points and 5 assists last season, but more importantly is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league. Sam Perkins, besides being MJ's former college teammate and friend, gave the team a shooting boost the offense needed. No other moves came close to being as important as this as it looks like the Bulls have set themselves up to be not only the favorites for next season, but the seasons after this as well.
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2020.08.22 16:04 CitizenOfIdiocracy Roster+Practice Squad+Cuts Roster Projection Update

QB Josh Allen Matt Barkley Jake Fromm
 
Borderline: Jake Fromm stays because they drafted him. The 2021 backup. In the fifth round, where Beane said he was ‘sticking out’. But is he really worth keeping?
 
RB Devin Singletary Zach Moss Taiwan Jones* TJ Yeldon
 
Borderline: Yeldon is the steady veteran where Moss is unproven in pass pro, and it’s not Singletary’s strength. Is that worth the roster spot and price?
 
FB Reggie Gilliam*
 
Borderline: Not sure the severity of DiMarco’s neck injury, and the Bills certainly value his leadership. But Matt Parrino’s podcast seemed to indicate there was something he couldn’t say in the way they used Gilliam that indicates he has a real shot at this roster.
 
TE Dawson Knox Tyler Kroft Lee Smith
 
Borderline: Tommy Sweeney is not mentioned here as it is too convenient to assume he gets put on inactive/PUP for the first 6 weeks.
 
WR Stefon Diggs John Brown Cole Beasley Gabe Davis Isaiah Hodgins Andre Roberts*
 
Borderline: Hodgins is 5-6 years younger than Duke which gives him the advantage. McKenzie could make it, but if they don’t trust him on returns, his chances seem slimmer. The gadget guy role probably isn’t exclusive to McKenzie, but he’s good at it and that gives him a definite chance.
 
OL Dion Dawkins Quinton Spain Mitch Morse Brian Winters Cody Ford Ty Nsekhe Evan Boehm Daryl Williams Ryan Bates
 
Borderline: Boettger has survived two different OL coaches. He has positional versatility. But there’s a strong chance he’s no better than third in line for any given OL position. Might Juan Castillo want him in Chicago?
 
DT Harrison Phillips Ed Oliver Vernon Butler Quinton Jefferson
 
Borderline: There’s a case for Vincent Taylor, and maybe they bring him up from the practice squad at times (it’s easier to do now). But the versatility of this group might make it less necessary.
 
DE Jerry Hughes Mario Addison AJ Epenesa Darryl Johnson*
 
Borderline: There’s only so many D Line snaps to go around for Murphy anyway. New D Line coach too that had a hand in major investments of Epenesa, Addison and Jefferson. And Johnson fits the physical prototype Washington has coached previously. Farwell might request Johnson too. The sleeper would be Bryan Cox Jr who has a history with coach Washington.
 
LB Tremaine Edmunds Matt Milano AJ Klein* Tyler Matakevich* Vosean Joseph Tyrell Dodson
 
Borderline: I’m not sure Joseph has shown them anything to validate he is worth keeping. But they still might want to ride out the year with the draft pick. Dodson is also entering his second year. They may be hoping one of them could possibly compete to take Milano’s spot next year. Del’Shawn Phillips might be worth mentioning too as a sleeper. Especially if Vosean hasn’t picked things up. Phillips Tested well athletically, team captain at Illinois (with Frazier’s former HC Lovie) and was on the practice squad last year.
 
CB Tre White Josh Norman Levi Wallace Dane Jackson
 
Borderline: Cam Lewis might be competing with Dane Jackson for a reduced version of the Kevin Johnson role from last year. Either will probably be inactive on game day if the rest of the secondary is healthy.
 
NB Taron Johnson Siran Neal* Dean Marlowe*
 
Borderline: New position coach this year, so listing it as a position. I also feel like this more accurately describes the role of these players. Mike Bell and Garrett Taylor have already been released as the primary competition (except for Cam Lewis as mentioned above).
 
S Micah Hyde Jordan Poyer Jaquon Johnson*
 
Borderline: Josh Thomas got a relatively decent signing bonus for an UDFA. And he may be less limited in range than Jaquon. But without more evidence, it’s hard to anoint any one other than these three at S (except Marlowe and Neal, but they’ve already been mentioned).
 
ST Tyler Bass* Lac Edwards* Reid Ferguson *
 
Borderline: They felt inclined to draft Bass. Hauschka is still having issues with range. Bass isn’t perfect. Could Edwards do kickoffs? Edwards doesn’t force fair catches often. But they weren’t satisfied with Bojorquez just beating Vedvik. Bojorquez has been one of the worst punters in the NFL since he’s been on the roster. Edwards is more consistent historically.
 
INJ Tommy Sweeney PUP Jon Feliciano IR
 
PS Davis Webb QB Christian Wade RB Jason Croom TE^ Nate Becker TE Gunner Olszewski WR # Trey Adams OT Brandon Walton IOL Marquell Harrell IOL Victor Salako OL Vincent Taylor DT # Tanzel Smart DT^ Bryan Cox DE^ # Mike Love DE^ Del’Shawn Phillips LB Cam Lewis CB # Ike Brown CB Josh Thomas S
 
Gunner Olszewski is the only player not on the current roster listed. I think they may want to bring someone in with return experience, especially punt returns. He’s on the roster bubble for the Patriots - and is the type of guy the Bills love to have on their team. I believe 2 players can be brought up to the active roster in a given week and automatically revert to practice squad. But each player can only be brought up a max 4 times per season.
 
OUT Rober Foster WR, Signed Patriots Practice Squad Duke Williams WR, Signed Colts Practice Squad Ike Boettger IOL, Signed Bears Trent Murphy DE, Signed Cardinals Corey Thompson LB, Signed Tampa Bucs Practice Squad Stephen Hauschka K, Signed Jets Corey Bojorquez P, Cut Justin Zimmer DT, Cut Isaiah McKenzie WR, Signed Jaguars Patrick DiMarco FB, Signed Patriots
 
Foster may look for new scenery to get a better opportunity. The Patriots are lacking speed, and the former Saban pupil might find his way to Belichick. Duke is a perfect fit playing style wise for Philip Rivers. Reich always has an ear to the ground in Buffalo. Boettger rejoins Juan Castillo in Chicago. Murphy goes back to his roots in Arizona where they already signed Jordan Phillips and need more DL help. Todd Bowles loves his LSU players. Literally. Tyrann Mathieu is his son in law. Thompson played with Matthieu, and Bucs 1st round pick Devin White. Jets finally take in a Bills special teamer. McKenzie gets picked up in Jacksonville where former WR coach Terry Robiskie is, and where they love speed. Keelan Cole at 27 might be too old for the back of the roster. The Pats don’t have Develin and Vitale opted out, leaving only second year from the international pathway program Jakob Johnson. If DiMarco is available, it might be a smooth transition from Daboll’s offense.
 
*-special teams contributor ^ unlimited experience practice squad (5 spots available) ‘# protected practice squad player
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2020.08.15 01:29 Sconnie92 Around the Alliance 07.20 ROOKIE ROUND UP and 2020 PROJECTIONS

In this important (and delayed) edition of Around the Alliance:

RECAP of 2020 UFFA ROOKIE DRAFT

Quarterbacks
Joe Burrow (1.02) Lincoln - After a blockbuster trade that saw Lincoln move up, it was believed the move was to get Burrow. The young QB will have plenty of time to develop alongside Sam Darnold as the veterans Ryan, Newton, and Rivers helm the Johnsons' first season in the heartland.
Tua Tagoviola (1.05) Swansea City - After some surprise that Tua wasn't taken at #4 overall, the Ducks made sure he didn't fall farther. The pick eases pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick to perform when starters Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo need a break. QB and RB were Swansea's biggest needs coming into the draft, and walking away with Tagoviola is a great feeling.
Justin Herbert (1.08) St Louis - While Herbert was never mocked higher than #8 overall, it was by no means a reach. The rebuilt Clydesdales are fully moved into their new headquarters across the river in Illinois and excited to see what a new signal caller can do for the Gateway City.
Jalen Hurts (3.06) Hawaii - Hurts lands in a great position in Hawaii with starter Drew Brees entering into his last season and Derek Carr and Marcus Mariotta unlikely to coexist long in the SF slot. Though currently slotted for the Taxi, it would not be surprising to see the Volcanoes move Hurts to active for emergency starts given his 3 year contract option.
Jordan Love (3.09) Northwoods - Love will ride the taxi for the Hoes for possibly two years, given the team's strength and youth at the position. By selecting at the end of the 3rd round, Northwoods now effectively controls Jordan Love for possibly 5 years before entering into extension talks. Hindsight may look back quite fondly on this pick on day.
Jacob Eason (5.04) Alaska - Headed to the great white north, Eason will look to ride the taxi for 2020 in hopes of getting a shot on the active roster in 2021. For the time being, he'll need to progress in the minors before getting his Alliance shot.
Running Backs
Jonathan Taylor (1.01) Alaska - Despite half-assed smokescreens, Taylor goes 1st overall to the Kodiak. While the addition of McCaffrey was a major transaction (in a continuation of Alaska going all-in on 2020), Taylor gives a small glimmer of hope for the future at RB with the looming unknown of Aaron Jones career arc.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (1.03) San Juan - Adding CEH at #3 overall has helped cement the Shrimp as a real player in the 2020 Extior. While some are ready to hand over the championship to Alaska, San Juan has a strong case that the division is still up for grabs. Safely playing Flex behind Mixon and Drake will give Edwards-Helaire time to acclimate to the Alliance before needing to produce.
Cam Akers (1.04) Albuquerque - The first true Roadrunner, Akers was a bit of a surprise, but not a reach. While the majority of mocks had Albuqueque landing CEH or Tua, the fiesty expansion team gave a boost of confidence to Tannehill and Bridgewater as they turned toward RB over QB. Akers should sure up the Flex, if not outright challenge Conner or Ekeler for starting RB.
J.K. Dobbins (1.09) Northwoods - After missing out on landing Dalvin Cook via trade, the Hodags were able to grab Dobbins at the end of the 1st. With a strong backfield already, Dobbins will have time to sit, but is unlikely to ride the taxi.
De'Andre Swift (2.02) Dunedin - With their second pick, the Rangers landed top talent with Swift. Given the age and shaky injury history of Dunedin's backfield, it makes sense why GM Koch was thrilled to send in the pick.
Zack Moss (2.03) San Juan - Somewhat of a surprising pick at #13 overall, GM Ramos got his guy in Zack Moss. Moss was unlikely to fall into the 3rd round, and San Juan has always been cautious with trades, so the pick only raises eyebrows on ADP. Should Moss produce at the goal line, as the Shrimp hope, then no one will worry about this selection.
Ke'Shawn Vaughn (2.05) Swansea City - The Swansea City Ducks addressed a position of need when they drafted Ke'Shawn Vaughn in the middle of the second round. Vaughn will hope to be a depth piece behind Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb, and Kareem Hunt and may even get consistent game time this season depending on how the Ducks plan to line up. (DonJuaN64)
Darryton Evans (2.09) Hawaii - The 8th RB off the board, Evans leapfrogged several backs that he was projected behind. While the pick was unexpected given some of the other names available, GM Alexa has received resounding praise for his alertness in reading the room and pulling the trigger ahead of the curve.
Antonio Gibson (3.01) Oklahoma City - The defending Alliance champs didn't get their first pick until the beginning of the 3rd. With that 21st overall selection, the Storm strengthened their RB room with the versatile Gibson. While OKC only has 7 rostered RBs, all of them, including Gibson, are in contention for snaps this season.
A.J. Dillon (3.04) Lincoln - Selected with the 1st of the Johnsons two picks in the 3rd round, A.J. Dillon joins a running back group already led by Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs. If he plays, he will most likely be in the mix with Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram II for backup snaps and he'll be hoping his large frame will allow him some limited goal line work behind Henry. (DonJuaN64)
Joshua Kelley (3.10) Albuquerque - After a long wait from their first pick, the Roadrunners ended the 3rd with another RB. Kelley is a prime taxi target given the depth of the position for the team.
Lamical Perine (4.04) St Louis - A depth pick for sure, Perine could get in the mix for 2020 snaps should starters Melvin Gordon, Leonard Fournette, or Kerryon Johnson experience prolonged injury.
Anthony McFarland (4.08) Lincoln - While likely to make the team, McFarland will have to fight for his spot on the active roster against declining veterans Rex Burkhead and Dion Lewis.
Eno Benjamin (5.02) Hawaii - A move for the future, Benjamin has already been declared a taxi target by the Volcanoes. The hope is for Benjamin to pick up some wisdom from elder backs Freeman, Bell, and the like.
Lynn Bowden (5.06) Dunedin - Mired in some legal trouble, Bowden is a swing for the fences you like to see at the end of the draft. If he is able to play in the Alliance, he could easily turn into a star for the Rangers.
DeeJay Dallas (5.10) Albuquerque - Mr. Irrelevant 2020 goes to DeeJay Dallas. Despite the moniker, the Roadrunners are hoping for early return on Dallas thanks to his return skills. This is likely the only path to keeping him off the taxi/roster bubble.
Wide Receivers
CeeDee Lamb (1.06) Dunedin - Taken 6th overall, CeeDee Lamb was one of the two most hyped wide receivers in this stacked draft class for the position. The 6'2" 21 year old joins a Rangers wide receiver group led by 'Bama boys, Julio Jones and Amari Cooper. Given his talent and high draft spot, CeeDee BLAM will no doubt be competing with Brandin Cooks for a starting spot. (DonJuaN64)
Justin Jefferson (1.07) Lincoln - Lincoln was the only team with two 1st round picks. The first pick was chalk (Joe Burrow, 1.02), but Jefferson was a heart pick at #7. With other highly touted names still available, the Johnsons addressed a position of need with the guy they clearly believe in the most.
Jerry Jeudy (1.10) Hawaii - Closing out the 1st round, Hawaii took Jeudy as part of their air raid offense. With Drew Brees in the final act of his career, the front office is surrounding him with all the talent possible. Jeudy's route running and high football IQ should help him instantly mesh with the veterans of the corps.
Henry Ruggs (2.01) Alaska - Taken as the first pick of the second round by the Alaska Kodiak, Henry Ruggs III comes into the Alliance boasting one, of if not the, fastest speeds of any receiver. Even with his speed and upside, Ruggs will face an uphill battle to make it into the starting lineup on a weekly basis, as the top 3 spots will most likely be filled by Tyreek Hill, Deandre Hopkins, and Mike Evans. He may have to settle for being 4th receiver in the Flex, if he makes the starting lineup at all. (DonJuaN64)
Jalen Reagor (2.04) St Louis - Reagor adds some depth behind a star studded starting WR corp. Expect the Clydesdales to call on the rookie a few times this season for Flex play.
Michael Pittman (2.06) Hawaii - Grabbing their second WR in as many picks, the Volcanoes continue to go all-in on their passing attack. Playing alongside minor league teammate Parris Campbell will also be a boon to Pittman's value.
Tee Higgins (2.07) Northwoods - GM Smith has an affinity for WR, and it must have hurt passing on Jeudy in the 1st. But patience paid off as the Hodags snatched Higgins at a great value. There's little pressure on the rookie to produce early, but he may still see some action in 2020.
Laviska Shenault (2.08) Alaska - A favorite of co-owner Peele, Shenault brings versatility to an already stacked starting line up. It was well known that the Kodiak needed to come out of the draft with several WRs to bolster their depth, and Laviska falls perfectly in line.
Denzel Mims (3.02) St Louis - Taken 2nd in the 3rd round by the Clydesdales, Denzel Mims is most likely a depth pick. The 6'3" man out of Baylor starts his UFFA career buried in the Clydesdales depth chart. (DonJuaN64)
Brandon Aiyuk (3.03) San Juan - Brandon Aiyuk starts his UFFA journey with the Shrimps after being taken 3rd in the 3rd round. Taken as the first WR to the Shrimps, the 6'0" man out of ASU is far from being guaranteed a start, with the Shrimps starting wide receivers being relatively established, but don't be surprised if the YAC monster makes a push up the depth chart. (DonJuaN64)
Chase Claypool (3.05) Swansea City - Claypool is a nice pick at a relatively strong position for the Ducks. His $3 rookie contract makes him a likely candidate for active roster, but Swansea City has no need to press him into the lineup. That said, recent news about starter Deebo Samuel's foot injury could make Claypool an interesting depth piece.
Devin Duvernay (3.07) St Louis - The 2nd wide receiver taken by the Clydesdales in the 3rd round, Devin Duvernay faces the same uphill battle as earlier pick Denzel Mims for a starting spot. Duuuuuvernaayyyy however, is at a height disadvantage compared to his fellow 3rd round draftee at only 5'11". (DonJuaN64)
Bryan Edwards (4.01) Alaska - In what was a truly bizarre pick (traded twice in a matter of minutes), the Kodiak came away with Edwards. Rumor has it Alaska was itching to get back into the 3rd to grab the WR. Obviously they see something special, as they valued him equal to a 2021 2nd rounder.
Antonio Gandy-Golden (4.03) San Juan - Gandy-Golden is a nice depth piece, but comes into a crowded (and talented) WR room. Given the Shrimp's roster construction and cap situation, AGG might go unsigned come August.
K.J. Hamler (4.06) Dunedin - Rumored to be half-hobbit, the 5'9" WR will hope to make a big impression to the coaches as the Rangers look to transition their corp from aging veterans to younger talent.
Tyler Johnson (4.07) St Louis - The Clydesdales used their last pick on Johnson (their 4th WR taken). While a potential taxi target, Johnson could also be thrust into action to see if he's worth the flier or could be a cut candidate in seasons to come.
Donovan People-Jones (4.10) Alaska - The Kodiak came away with 4 receivers as expected from mocks, but People-Jones may be best suited on the taxi rather than a depth piece on the bench.
Van Jefferson (5.05) Swansea City - One of the most surprising falls in the draft, Jefferson was expected to late 3rd/early 4th. The Ducks got great value on the pick and even have the luxury of possibly putting Van on the taxi to extend his rookie 2 year deal.
Gabriel Davis (5.08) Lincoln - While the Johnsons need WR depth, Davis is very much on the roster bubble given that Lincoln is 2 players over the max.
Tight Ends
Cole Kmet (2.10) Dunedin - Selected at the tail end of the 2nd round by the Rangers and as the 1st tight end off the board, Cole Kmet joins a crowded tight end group led by Darren The Wallerus. Kmet fits the mold that the Rangers look for at the position, having similar measurements to the majority of their current tight ends. Given the other tight ends on the roster, it is very possible Kmet starts at some point in his rookie season depending on how his competition performs. (DonJuaN64)
Adam Trautman (3.08) Lincoln - Adam Trautman became just the second tight end to be drafted when he was selected by the Lincoln Johnsons near the end of the 3rd round. He comes into an already crowded tight end room, and given when he was taken in the draft, he will be hoping that competition for a starting role will be lessened by roster cuts. At this time though, the 6'5" man out of Dayton may just be a piece for the future of the Johnsons. (DonJuaN64)
Devin Asiasi (4.02) Hawaii - Over the moon to get their guy, Asiasi becomes a Volcano. After Northwoods traded into the 4.01, it seems certain that Asiasi wouldn't make it to Hawaii, but with a second trade of the pick to Alaska, GM Alexa was able to get his guy at tremendous value.
Thaddeus Moss (4.05) San Juan via Swansea City - The son of Hall of Fame wideout Randy Moss, Thaddeus was drafted in the middle of the 4th round to the Ducks as a tight end out of LSU. There were negotiations behind the scenes to bring Moss across the pond to San Juan to join the Shrimps and the two teams reached an agreement in the days following the conclusion of the draft. The deal sees veteran tight ends Rudolph the Red Zone Danger and Cameron Brate the Great head the other way to the Ducks. With this deal, the Shrimps are back within roster requirements and get a young, exciting prospect with future potential even if he doesn't start this year, while the Ducks receive two very capable backup tight ends with reasonable deals that have the ability to step up and start if needed. Moss will hope to get some game time this year or at very least get acclimated with San Juan and the Shrimps and be their tight end of the future as the joint youngest tight end on the roster at 22. (DonJuaN64)
Albert Okwuegbunam (4.09) Northwoods - With the strong duo of Kittle and MAndrews, Albert O will have no pressure to produce anytime soon and is a prime taxi target.
Josiah Deguara (5.01) Albuquerque - The only non-RB taken by the Roadrunners, Deguara may be pressed into duty with injury concerns around Gronk, Eifert, Dissly, and Graham.
Harrison Bryant (5.03) San Juan - A solid upside pick, Bryant may not get the chance to take the field in San Juan given the team's full roster.
Brycen Hopkins (5.07) Oklahoma City - Only the second pick for the defending champs, GM Reynolds had to pinch himself to believe Hopkins fell into their lap. If capturing the imagination of one of the owners isn't enough, Hopkins is likely to have a comfortable rookie (and maybe even sophomore season) on the taxi.
Dalton Keene (5.09) Northwoods - Joining a stacked TE room, Keene will have the opportunity to grow in a potentially killer group of young TEs.
Trades
1.02 - Lincoln was able to acquire the #2 overall selection (along with other assets) the day before the draft. Trading away Christian McCaffrey is a bold move, but the Johnsons are still a solid team with a bright future thanks to Burrow. The trade also saw the defending champion Storm give up the pick in order to acquire Dalvin Cook, a move that I'm sure any team in the Alliance would make.
4.01 - In what will go down as one of my more bizarre draft day moments, Albuquerque traded out of of the pick for Northwood's 2021 3rd only to see the Hodags immediately flip the pick to Alaska for a 2021 2nd. When reached for comment, GM Spira said, "I was enjoying a show with my wife and checked my phone when she went to the bathroom. I saw the trade, saw Bryan Edwards on the board, and immediately knew this was our chance to get our guy. [GM Smith] was lucky to have gotten to [GM Williams] ahead of us."
Bryce Love - Late in the draft, Alaska began shopping around roster bubble players. While the team would have needed to cut someone to clear room for the incoming rookies, Hawaii took a flyer on RB Bryce Love and his $1 contract for a 2022 5th. The low risk play works out for both sides, as Hawaii gets a high upside depth piece and Alaska got back $1 and roster space.
Wentz/McLaurin et. al. - Within hours of the draft, the heated rivalry of Northwoods and OKC cooled for a moment as the teams announced a major trade to shake up the Interior. The Storm took on WR breakout star, Terry McLaurin, unproven TE Jace Sternberger, and RB Alexander Mattison (a great pairing with minor league teammate, Dalvin Cook). In return, the Hoes get high upside TE depth behind starters Kittle and MAndrews in the form of Irv Smith, who just received a major payday this past free agency with a $5 contract from OKC. Northwoods also received QB Carson Wentz, creating a 3-headed monster at the position with Jared Goff and Dak Prescott. Should Dwayne Haskins (and/or the long term stash of Jordan Love) pan out, the Hodags could be looking at a generational QB room.
Thad Moss/Rudolph & Brate - Despite being a mid-4th round pick, Moss gained the attention of the Shrimp. A fateful combination of cap and roster gymnastics left San Juan needing to make some creative moves. Swansea City benefits by surrendering their dart throw TE rookie for proven veterans at the position, Kyle Rudolph and Cameron Brate. While Moss may have glimmers of long term success, Rudolph and Brate both are looking to prove they still have some gas left in the tank.
Grades
Alburquerque Roadrunners: B+
Cam Akers (1.04) / Joshua Kelley (3.10) / Josiah Deguara (5.01) / DeeJay Dallas (5.10)
Holding only 4 picks in this year's draft, none in the 2nd or 4th rounds, and none of their own, the Roadrunners focused on the running back position, accounting for 3 of their picks. The only non running back chosen by the Roadrunners was TE and gadget player Josiah Deguara. The highlight of their draft was undoubtedly 4th overall pick, Florida State running back Cam Akers. Though largely not "flashy" picks, every one of the Roadrunners draftees has the potential to surprise this year.
The Roadrunners needed to address a lot of areas from being one of the two expansion teams. The first area that needed help was the RB position, and they addressed it with two great picks. They did a great job addressing the biggest hole in their team, but didn’t address anything else.
Akers is a solid pick and may be a better long term asset over Tua, Lamb, or other RB options. Kelley and Dallas also could find a niche after some minor league seasoning. The big unknown is Degaura who will likely be called to action given the fragility of the other TEs on the team.
Alaska Kodiak: B+
Jonathan Taylor (1.01) / Henry Ruggs (2.01) / Laviska Shenault (2.08) / Bryan Edwards (4.01) / Donovan People-Jones (4.10) / Jacob Eason (5.04)
The Kodiak did not need much from this draft other than depth. They have stars everywhere at every position. The first 4 picks might be able to make a splash their rookie year, but they probably won’t do better than the starters. Peoples-Jones was an interesting pick, and Eason was a bit interesting as well. The first pick of the draft could have been many different choices, CEH, Taylor, Jeudy, Lamb, Burrow, or Tua. This draft went well, they were able to get some depth pieces if a star were to fall to injury .
Holding none of their original picks, including one extra, the Kodiak looked heavily to the wide receiver position in a historically stacked wide receiver class. Their first overall pick of Jonathan Taylor out of Wisconsin came as little surprise as they had been linked to him leading up to the draft. The rest of the Kodiak draft consisted of signing depth pieces with potential including a late flier on Washington quarterback Jacob Eason.
The Kodiak addressed a clear positional need in this draft by taking 4 WRs, but how many of these will truly standout? Ruggs and Shenault were coin flips with many other 2nd & 3rd round receivers, making it hard to give lots of credit to the team. Spending a future 2nd on Edwards was bold and possibly foolhardy. Eason and Taylor seem to be the only picks to escape critical eyes.
Dunedin Rangers: A
Ceedee Lamb (1.06) / De'Andre Swift (2.02) / Cole Kmet (2.10) / K.J. Hamler (4.06) / Lynn Bowden Jr. (5.06)
The Rangers went into the draft trying to shore up multiple positions including running back and wide receiver and they came out of the gates with intent, selecting 1st round wide receiver stud CeeDee Lamb followed by running back D'Andre Swift. Both can make an immediate impact while their other 2nd round pick Cole Kmet has a chance to be a factor in the tight end room. The Rangers also added additional depth through the draft, picking another running back and wide receiver, concluding a very successful draft.
Dunedin absolutely crushed this draft. They came away with the #1 WR (Lamb) and #1 TE (Kmet), along with grabbing a top tier RB in Swift as the top of the 2nd. Hamler in the mid-4th was a steal and a great slot weapon, and getting the gadget talent of Bowden in the mid-5th definitely offsets the potential baggage he carries.
The Rangers really needed to get a QB with their first-round pick but chose to go for a WR here which was a bit of a shocker when Herbert was still available. They were able to get Swift and address their RB need and the rest of their picks did a good job addressing the depth they needed for their team.
Hawaii Volcanoes: B+
Jerry Jeudy (1.10) / Michael Pittman Jr. (2.06) / Darryton Evans (2.09) / Jalen Hurts (3.06) / Devin Asiasi (4.02) / Eno Benjamin (5.02)
Hawaii is one of the two expansion teams and needed a lot from this draft, but the main points of emphasis needed to be WR, RB, and QB. Hawaii did a good job to get some depth pieces. Pittman and Jeudy are looking to make a splash for their rookie seasons, but Hurts, Asiasi, and Benjamin are pieces for the future and are going to be mainly depth pieces. Hawaii still has a bit of a hole at QB that needs to be addressed as soon as they can, but with what was available, Hawaii made the best picks for their team. Their future is bright!
Holding an extra pick in this year's draft, the Volcanoes spread out their picks fairly evenly amongst the positions. As an expansion team, this was to be expected. The Volcanoes landed absolute stud wide receiver Jerry Jeudy at the end of the 1st round and followed that up with another talented wideout in Michael Pittman Jr. They would have hoped to land a running back in one of the first 2 rounds, but the Volcanoes did well with who was on the board at the time of their picks and late running back pick Eno Benjamin may surprise people. Quarterback Jalen Hurts and tight end Devin Asiasi will also be players to watch.
Hawaii may be the team whose draft changes the most when hindsight rolls around. Jeudy and Pittman both have potential to make rookie splashes, but may need some time to adjust to pro ball. Meanwhile, Evans, Hurts, and Asiasi are all positional gambles looking to get a lucky break in the minors. GM Alexa closed the tiers with Jeduy and Asiasi, which is always a good sign of evaluating BAP (best available position).
Lincoln Johnsons: A-
Joe Burrow (1.02) / Justin Jefferson (1.07) / A.J. Dillon (3.04) / Adam Trautman (3.08) / Anthony McFarland Jr. (4.08) / Gabriel Davis (5.08)
The Johnsons drafted every position this year and were helped by the fact they held an extra pick. A big surprise was the selection of Joe Burrow 2nd overall. He joins an already talented quarterback room, but they must see something special in Burrow they didn't want to miss out on. LSU wideout Justin Jefferson was another notable addition, being selected 7th overall with the Johnsons 2nd pick in the 1st round. Running back A.J. Dillon and tight end Adam Trautman were also intriguing additions to the Johnsons.
Lincoln had a mixed draft. They surprised everyone by moving up in the draft to the second overall pick. They then took Burrow who was the perfect pick for this team. They have some good QBs, but Burrow has the possibility to break out. Justin Jefferson was a bit of an interesting pick. Reagor, Pittman, and Jeudy were all still available and ranked higher than Jefferson, so I am unsure about that pick being the best pick they could have made. They also got some depth pieces with every other pick, so that should help them out.
Lincoln seems to be embracing the "reboot" over "rebuild" model, as they rounded out their roster across the board. Going in, it was expected they would make a strong push at WR, but waited until the closing moments to grab a second in Gabriel Davis. Choosing Justin Jefferson over Jerry Jeudy was a bold move in the 1st, but is balanced by the chalk pick of Burrow at #2. Perhaps Lincoln would have taken another WR in the 3rd had the tier not closed one pick ahead, but "settling" for Dillon isn't too bad.
Northwoods Hodags: B
J.K. Dobbins (1.09) / Tee Higgins (2.07) / Jordan Love (3.09) / Albert Okwuegbunam (4.09) / Dalton Keene (5.09)
The Hodags had all of their original picks this year aside from swapping one. They addressed a need with their 1st round pick J.K. Dobbins, who will undoubtedly play a major role in their team in the coming years. Their swapped pick turned into wide receiver Tee Higgins who will be at least a depth pick, joining a crowded wide receiver group. Although not an immediate need, The Hodags decided to use their 3rd round pick on quarterback Jordan Love. Depending on how things shake out, that pick may come in handy. A position of need was addressed in the 4th and 5th rounds when the Hodags drafted tight ends Albert Okwuegbunam and Dalton Keene. Both will be fighting for backup spots but were necessary depth picks at the position.
GM Smith took advantage of some key situations and came out of the draft a big winner. He snatched top RB talent that got pushed down thanks to positional needs in the late first, grabbed a fringe top-tier WR in Higgins in the mid/late 2nd, and sniped Jordan Love for their taxi squad at the end of the 3rd, functionally giving them 5 years of Love on a rookie deal,
When Northwoods had its first pick, the best RB available was who they should have taken, and that is exactly what they did. This was a smart pick backed up by another smart pick with Tee Higgins. The real hard part about the rest of the picks is that these are guys who won’t be making any splashes in the league anytime soon unless something happens that no one expects, so it’s hard to rank those picks that high, because of that
Oklahoma City: B-
Antonio Gibson (3.01) / Brycen Hopkins (5.07)
This was a very hard draft to grade due to only two players being drafted. They had the second overall and should have gotten Burrow but chose to trade it away in a blockbuster trade that involved Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, and others. Due to this and many other trades made in the offseason, they lost a lot of picks. Gibson is not a bad pick, but it’s a very risky and quite interesting pick. He has a lot of talent but got drafted to a Washington team with so many different RB options, it’ll be hard to see if Gibson plays in the next two or maybe even three years. They really need to figure out how to get some QBs in the future, because they missed out here.
The Storm only had two picks this year and neither of them were their original picks. With their 1st pick coming in the beginning of the 3rd round, the Storm drafted running back Antonio Gibson. With an already stacked running back group, it was a surprise they took Gibson here. Their second and last pick came near the end of the 5th round with Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins. Hopkins is a depth piece that the Storm hope will be able to contribute in the future.
In only having a mid-round and end of draft picks, OKC gets no star power to smooth the grading curve. Gibson and Hopkins are both solid players with room to flash on their minor league squads in the next few years. That said, Gibson was taken while A.J. Dillon was still on the board, and Hopkins felt like a homer dart throw when selected ahead of Dalton Keene. Neither player was the consensus BAP at their position, but then again this draft grade is of little importance considering Dalvin Cook was the reward the Storm got for selling their rookie draft down the river!
San Juan: A-
Clyde Edwards-Helaire (1.03) / Zack Moss (2.03) / Brandon Aiyuk (3.03) / Antonio Gandy-Golden (4.03) / Harrison Bryant (5.03)
Sitting pretty at 3rd overall, the Shrimp were in prime position no matter what. Going CEH over Tua or Lamb feels good, but there was no wrong answer among them. Grabbing Aiyuk in the early 3rd as the last WR of the startable tier was a great spot as well. That said, the Zack Moss pick at 2.03 felt like a reach, given the WR options available and that similar tier RBs Gibson and Dillon went a full round later. Keep an eye on Harrison Bryant who might make waves as a do-it-all H-Back for San Juan... provided he makes the final roster.
San Juan really needed to address their RB position, and they more than did so with Moss and CEH. They were able to address every other position they needed. The biggest shame here is that they did not take a TE earlier, they took the TE late and the TE they got might not be the best to what they needed.
One of the only 2 teams with all of their original picks, the Shrimps focused on increasing depth during the draft, with running back being their clear priority, accounting for their first two picks, followed by wide receiver, making up the next two. Their quarterback room may need a new addition in the near future depending on when Brady and Rodgers decline or slow down and how the young, unproven Kyle Allen and Jared Stidham perform. But for now it seems they aren't in too much of a hurry and picked the best of who was available, without loading up on one position, and added depth along with taking a chance at the tight end position.
St. Louis: A-
Justin Herbert (1.08) / Jalen Reagor (2.04) / Denzel Mims (3.02) / Devin Duvernay (3.07) / Lamical Perine (4.04) / Tyler Johnson (4.07)
With the first pick, the Clydesdales looked to get a depth piece for their QB spot, but could have used this pick better to get a WR to make an impact for the upcoming year, and Jeudy was still available, so the QB pick was not as helpful as it could have been. They did bounce back and take 4 more WRs before the end of the draft, so that was a good idea, but they really needed a RB for depth, and could have managed the draft a little better to address everything they needed.
St. Louis came in hot and heavy for the WR! Herbert in the 1.08 wasn't a surprise, but fans may debate if this was gamesmanship by GM Steinke over BAP. Though Jerry Jeduy was unlikely to fall to 2.04, there would still be top-notch WR, but Herbert wasn't getting past Hawaii at 1.10. Regardless of how calculated it was, the Clydesdales still got three solid WRs with Mims, Reagor, and Duvernay. Perine and Johnson are likely to dress as emergency relief if they even manage to avoid the Taxi.
The Clydesdales held an extra pick in this draft and none of their own. They entered the draft needing a quarterback and a wide receiver and the Clydesdales addressed both. After Burrow and Tua were off the board, the Clydesdales made sure to get their man Herbert. They followed this up by picking talented TCU receiver Jalen Reagor in the 2nd round. Out of their draftees, Reagor is the one tipped to have the biggest immediate impact.
Swansea City: A-
Tua Tagovailoa (1.05) / Ke'Shawn Vaughn (2.05) / Chase Claypool (3.05) / Thaddeus Moss (4.05) / Van Jefferson (5.05)
With many in the UFFA industry mocking Tua to the Roadrunners, the Ducks had to be pleasantly surprised to snatch up the young QB. While it must have hurt to pass up on all the WR talent in the 2nd, gettting Vaughn was necessary to adding a possible RB Flex not named Kareem Hunt. This was the right call given the entire 2nd tier of RBs was gone by 3.05. Claypool, Moss, and Jefferson are all medium-ceiling picks, but there's not too much invested should they flame out early.
The second of the 2 teams holding all of their original picks, the Ducks went into the draft wanting to address the quarterback and running back positions and that is exactly what they did. The Ducks drafted Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa 5th overall, which would have been of little surprise to those close to the organization. They followed up by drafting Vanderbilt running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who was the highest rated running back available at that spot. The Ducks remaining picks were used to increase wide receiver depth along with a surprise pick of LSU tight end Thaddeus Moss, who shortly after the draft, was traded to the Shrimps for 2 veteran tight ends who can make an immediate impact.
The Ducks did everything right at the beginning of the draft, but then came in with a very interesting pick with Claypool. Moss and Jefferson were really good picks for the depth of this team. The Ducks were able to do a good job with their picks.
submitted by Sconnie92 to UFFA [link] [comments]


2020.08.12 13:19 TheFencingCoach 2020 Offseason Review: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Division: NFC South (7-9 2nd in the Division)
Head Coach: Bruce Arians
Offensive Coordinator: Byron Leftwich
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Bowles

Intro: Let me Get Something off my Chest

A couple of months ago, I wrote the Buccaneers 32 Teams/32 Days Post. Looking back a it, I’m sticking to my guns on most of my analysis. There’s just…one….little….thing….we need to talk about. Regarding Jameis’s pending free agent status, I said:
There's also the question of QB. Jameis is also a UFA and I'd say there's a...40% chance we re-sign him. So who replaces him, and would an aging veteran QB like Brady or Rivers really be a marked improvement?
[Sneezes in Boston accent]
The answer is yes, Fencing Coach, you fawkin dumbass!
Did you really think that Jameis Winston was a bettah option than Tawm Fawkin’ Brady 6-time supah bowl champion and enemy of Rawjuh Fawkin’ Goodell? You were fawkin’ wrong!
Admit to the good people of Aw/NFL that you wuh just another paht of the fake news media that tried to say Tawm Bwady deflated the footballs and that Bill Belichick used the video cameras for the SpyGates!
And who would have evah guessed that we’d end up with Gronk! What a yeeyah! What an offseason you fawkin’ pessimist! We got the GOAT! Get ya Covid immunity TB12 pills and shove ‘em up yuh asshole!
[Snaps out of it]
Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get serious for a moment. This is the final Hail Mary of the underwhelming Jason Licht era, and aggressive moves were made this offseason, because the excuses have finally run out.
Since taking over the team in 2014, Jason Licht is on his third head coach (to be fair, Lovie Smith was not his choice) and only has a 34-62 (.35) record to show for, 0 playoff appearances, and only one winning season.
Meanwhile, a select list of his GM peers hired since include:
Big moves were made this offseason at the Quarterback position, bringing in a certain 6th round pick out of Michigan to compete with the ethereal and legendary Blaine Gabbert. Jameis was shown the door. And the result is about a case of beer’s worth of cap space and little depth across the roster. Buckle your Bucs, this is going to be a helluvah ride.

Top Offseason Stories

The Tompa Bay Gronkeneers: The biggest news of the offseason was giving Tom Brady a 2 yeaar, $50M contract (fully guaranteed). I won’t be blind to the fact that Tom Brady is 43 years old and clearly on the decline. But Tom Brady on the decline doesn’t have to carry the team on his back when he has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Rob Gronkowski, Cameron Brate, and Oterius Jabari Howard to throw to. Not to mention, people will be sleeping on the Buccaneer defense. They shouldn’t be (more on that later).
Had Jameis Winston cut his 2019 turnovers in half, the Buccaneers would have been a playoff team and he would have been in the MVP discussion. Of course, if my mother had wheels, she’d be a bicycle. The real value of the Brady deal will be in his accuracy and more conservative approach to quarterbacking. Let’s exclude Tom Brady’s rookie year and his 2008 season cut short by injury, and Tom Brady has averaged ~10 interceptions. In five seasons, Jameis averaged ~18 interceptions per season (and dozens more fumbles).
Numbers aside, Brady’s value will come in the swagger he brings to the locker room. The 2019 Bruce Arians signing brought in a coach with a track record of winning. Brady’s window is obviously short…very short. But the ride should be fun while it lasts.
Then of course, there’s Rob Gronkowski, one of football’s most beloved meatheads. One year post retirement, Gronk put the cleats back on and chose to follow Brady to Tampa (in exchange for a 4th and the Patriots’ 7th round pick). With OJ Howard and Cameron Brate already on the roster, the Gronkowski trade was a luxury move, but will give Brady his favorite all-time target in an offense largely unfamiliar to him.
Jason Licht’s approach of building from the outside-in has often worked to his detriment for a team that has always excelled at receiving skill position players…but little else. The Tompa Bay Gronkeneers will be fun to watch. Let’s hope Brady can capture lightning in a bottle.
The Jameis Winston Cult of Personality Ends: When Jameis Winston first entered the league, I declared that his ceiling was Brett Favre and his floor was Jay Cutler. Five seasons in and I feel like he got a quarter of the way past Cutler. So how will I remember Jameis? For those of you who were old enough to watch the Jerry Springer show and see a big reveal that Cletus’s wife was cheating on him with the next door neighbor, it sure was entertaining for everyone watching, except for Cletus himself. For five years, Bucs fans were Cletus. Fans of the NFL marveled at his “eating W’s” meme while many of us cringed in embarrassment. You saw 5,000 yards and 30 TD’s. We saw 30 INT’s and 6 more fumbles.
The worst part of the Jameis Winston era wasn’t the embarrassment on-field, but the divisiveness he generated off the field. Post-game discussion threads on Buccaneers were riddled with personal attacks should anyone have dared mentioned that perhaps we would have won the football game had he not thrown 18,000 picks. But the worst of all? The discussion that came from his third sexual assault allegation (no, this is not a typo. People forget there were two allegations at FSU). Three allegations were not enough to keep a large contingency of the fan base from defending him, justifying his actions, and of course the classic Redditor “she was just in it for the money” trope.
Jameis Winston signed with the Saints this offseason, becoming a division rival’s embarrassment. I still believe he has an on-field future in the league. Perhaps, for now, the comments section will allow for smoother sailing. Perhaps not.

2020 Outlook

Hard to believe that I’m now in Year 6 of writing these offseason reviews for Tampa, and outside of 2017 where I was wildly off on predicting our record, I’ve managed to fall within one victory/loss in each of the other four. The past two seasons, I’ve predicted our exact record. While Covid delays could impact the 2020 season itself, I predict the Tom Brady Bucs will go 10-6, win the wild card, and lose in the Divisional round.
Year My Prediction Actual
2015 7-9 6-10
2016 10-6 9-7
2017 10-6 5-11
2018 5-11 5-11
2019 7-9 7-9
2020 10-6 ???

Things I Like About the Bucs in 2020

Things That Scare me About the Bucs in 2020:

2020 Draft Analysis

Round/Pick Player Analysis
Round 1, #13 Overall Tristan Wirfs (RT – Iowa) Admittedly, I always struggle with evaluating OL positions. I thought Chance Warmack, Robert Gallery, and Jason Smith were generational talents. They were far from that. So take what I have to say with a grain of salt, and listen to people like Barian_Fostate who did an excellent breakdown of Wirfs and Jedrick Wills, with the evaluation noting some glaring flaws in Wirfs’ footwork and hand technique. There’s no denying that Wirfs’ athletic ability is deity level batshit. At 6’5, 320 pounds, he ran a 4.86 forty at the Combine, had a 36.5” vertical, and a 10’1 broad jump. Not to mention, the kid can straight up jump out of a pool and casually hang clean 500 pounds. I wanted to watch how Wirfs performed against some of his incoming peers in the NFL, so I watched his matchup against Pedophilia State University to see how he’d fare against Yetur Gross-Matos, 2nd round pick of the Panthers and future division opponent. The results were…underwhelming. YGM brought constant pressure throughout the game, and seemed to have Wirfs beat from his first step onward, but in the same game, his ability in the run game was eye opening (Example). But then you had cases of sheer lack of awareness on blitzes and also stunts that showed deep areas of weakness for Wirfs. One way or another, this was a necessary pick, and even if he doesn’t pan out at RT, Wirfs’ athleticism and gifted abilities in the run game will make him a long-term key part of the Bucs and a potential Guard candidate.
Round 2, #45 Overall Antoine Winfield Jr. (S – Minnesota) Antoine Winfield Jr.’s entrance into the league was a “you’re an old man” moment for us Redditors in our 30’s who grew up watching his “Hall of Very Good” father. This was a pretty pick. While Winfield is of course a safety, the very first thing that stood out to me watching his tape was his pass rush ability. Yes, his pass rush ability. The first couple of clips I put on of Winfield had him perfectly timing a snap from the box and immediately in the backfield by the time the QB had the ball in his hands. The second thing that stood out was his nose for the ball, particularly in clutch situations. As Joe Theismann simply stated: “big players make big plays,” and that couldn’t have been more true of Winfield, who had big time game saving interceptions against both Fresno State and Penn State. Winfield was my favorite pick of the Buccaneers draft class, and what he lacks in size he makes up for in speed and an excellent nose for the ball. Keep an eye out for this one.
Round 3, #76 Overall Ke’Shawn Vaughn (RB – Vanderbilt) Ke’Shawn Vaughn was one of the harder players to scout from this Buccaneer class, simply because it looked like he would have been better off with an offensive line of obese, beefy toddlers than whatever Vanderbilt rolled out for him. Nearly every snap I viewed of him, he rarely had a clean hole and was hit in the backfield the moment he touched the ball. Like, seriously, what is this? Vaughn’s biggest strengths to me showed up on tape with designed outside runs. Between the tackles, he showed little elusiveness, and a similar issue I saw with former Buccaneer pick Jeremy McNichol is that Vaughn tended to make multiple cuts before turning upfield. Not a good thing. Unlike a glaring weakness I saw in McNichols’ complete inability to block, it’s an area where Vaughn succeeded with flying colors. This, along with his adequate pass catching abilities (28 receptions for 270 yards in 2019) will make him a valuable 3rd down back in the beginning of his career (assuming RoJo is anointed the feature back). There are some traits in a RB that can’t be coached, like vision. There are other things like running upright with high pad level, a weakness I frequently saw with Vaughn that can be taught. Vaughn crosses me as a valuable utility player who may get looks as a feature back should RoJo continue to struggle. The value was there with his 3rd round selection, but expectations for his upside should be kept in check.
Round 5, #161 Overall Tyler Johnson (WR – Minnesota) A lot of the Buccaneers crew is pretty high on the Tyler Johnson pick. Pro Football Focus (PFF) had him top 50 on their big board and a Round 2 grade. I just don’t see it. Not at all, in fact. For a guy who stands at a mere 6’1 and is expected to play slot receiver, his speed and separation stand out as glaring weaknesses on tape. What I do like however, is his footwork coming off the line. Most of the time he’d beat his receivers within the first 5-7 yards off the line, but when it came to the deep ball I didn’t see a lot of “wow” factor. Tyler Johnson, I think, will be a reserve WR, which is exactly what you want from a 5th round pick. But I don’t see him as the massive steal many other fans did.
Round 6, #194 Overall Khalil Davis (DT – Nebraska) Played alongside his twin brother Carlos at Nebraska (who went one round later to the Steelers). I watched Davis’s game against Wisconsin and he looked to me like he’d fit best as a backup 5-tech. Not particularly explosive with a slow first step, and there were numerous occasions when he did penetrate the backfield but had terrible angles on the RB. Mind you, he was playing against Jonathan Taylor and a stalwart OL, but you want to see flashes of brilliance, even against good competition. Did not see anything that made me say: “this guy’s going to make our final roster.”
Round 7, #241 Overall Chapelle Russell (LB – Temple) I was able to find little tape of Russell, but one area where I do trust Jason Licht is in his ability to scout LB’s. I’m not going to pretend I know anything about Russell. I don’t.
Round 7, #245 Overall Raymond Calais (RB – Louisiana Lafayette) Calais’s best shot to make the roster will likely be as a return man, where he excelled at Louisiana Lafayette. Based on the limited tape I saw of him, I saw flashes of Felix Jones for his ability to get big gains off of draw plays in the shotgun. Obviously a longshot to make the roster.

Schedule Predictions

Week Opponent Prediction Analysis
Week 1 @Saints 27-24 Bucs (1-0) Bucs pass rush finds a way to get to Brees. Fun fact: this will be the oldest matchup of QB’s ever in NFL history…until the Bucs play the Saints again in week 9.
Week 2 Panthers 34-20 Bucs (2-0) Panthers are no doubt in rebuild mode right now. In the past two matchups, Bucs run game has managed to stifle Christian McAffrey. Keep an eye on rookie Yetur Gross-Matos. I think he’ll have a more immediate impact than even 1st round pick Derrick Brown.
Week 3 @Broncos 37-28 Bucs (3-0) Always a challenge to play at Mile High on the road, but I think the Bucs defense will manage to shut down a young and budding Broncos offense. On a Broncos note, I’ll never understand Jeudy being the 2nd WR off the board (let alone the 2nd Bama receiver taken). Best route runner I’ve seen enter the league since OBJ.
Week 4 Chargers 28-21 Chargers (3-1) No, I’m not too high on Justin Herbert, but when the Bucs play a rookie QB, I’m usually prone to pick the other team. For some reason, no matter the Head Coach and/or defensive coordinator, the Bucs crumple into fetal position against rookies.
Week 5 @Bears 31-13 Bucs (4-1) If Foles’ performance against the Bucs last year is any indication, they have his number. Pray that Mitch Trubisky doesn’t start. In his last outing against Tampa, he threw 6 TD’s. He did that as a rookie, mind you. Remember what I said about Bucs against rookie QB’s?
Week 6 Packers 28-24 Packers (4-2) Rumors of Aaron Rodgers’ demise are greatly exaggerated. It’s a team that’s just complete enough on both sides of the ball that I find it surprising so many are writing them off.
Week 7 @Raiders 34-31 Bucs (5-2) Here’s another team that is starting to form well under the cracker Mike Mayock. Raiders will be as good as Carr is in Gruden’s offense, and while he improved somewhat in Chucky’s offense by the end of year 2, this is a team at the tipping point between playoffs and an outright QB replacement.
Week 8 @Giants 37-17 Bucs (6-2) Though rookie Daniel Jones (sense a trend here?) shredded the Bucs with gusto last year, Bucs run defense should be able to neutralize Saquon, and despite a good rookie showing, I don’t have much faith in the long term prospects of Daniel Jones.
Week 9 Saints 20-17 Saints (6-3) Can usually count on the Saints and Bucs to split the division series. And once again, the oldest QB matchup ever. Put on some episodes of MASH. Get your Bingo cards ready. It’s geriatric QB time.
Week 10 @Panthers 41-21 Bucs (7-3) Will there be a season by this point? I don’t know. But I still like the Bucs to sweep the series with the Panthers this season.
Week 11 LA Rams 24-17 Rams (7-4) Rams offense is all of a sudden looking less like the powerhouse it was from a few years ago, but their defense is still nasty. Aaron Donald will make any QB poop their pants, including Tom Brady. This will be a violent defensive battle and I think the Rams will take the edge.
Week 12 Chiefs 37-27 Chiefs (7-5) For years on NFL going back to his time at Texas Tech, I told you all to get on board the Mahomes canoe. Love seeing him already building his Madden legacy. I’m just not going to bet against him right now.
Week 13 Bye N/A I have no way of confirming this, but I’m fairly certain during the bye week Bruce Arians clears out his office and runs an illegal cockfighting ring with his assistant coaches. You can’t convince me I’m wrong.
Week 14 Vikings 31-28 Bucs (8-5) Vikings remain a balanced team on offense and defense and the Zim Zamm still can’t be flim flammed. Close game here that will be a defensive battle with a few big time plays on offense sprinkled in.
Week 15 Falcons 34-27 Falcons (8-6) I’m glad to see Raheem Morris back in a DC position after seeing him work his way back up the coaching ranks. Always one of my favorite Buccaneer coaches despite his (many) flaws. I pick the Falcons in our first matchup because of one man and only one man: Julio Jones. Jones has now played a full 16 games in his career against Tampa, coming up with a staggering 116 catches for 1,841 yards and 11 TD’s. That’s cruelty.
Week 16 Lions 41-14 Bucs (9-6) I have a feeling by this point in the season, Fat Patricia will be one of the first Head Coaches fired and the Lions will be staffed by Interim Head Coach Darrell Bevell. The Bucs will be playing a team with a wounded ego ready to be put down like Old Yeller.
Week 17 Falcons 28-3 Bucs (10-6) Bucs fight hard to squeak into the playoffs, their first appearance since 2007.
Final Projection: Bucs win wild card, lose in the Divisional Round

Projected Starting Lineup & Analysis: Offense

QB- Tom Brady: See above analysis. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 4,438 yards, 67.1% completion percentage, 33 TD’s, 13 INT’s
WR1 – Mike Evans: At only 26 years old, Mike Evans already sits at 128th all-time on the career receiving yards list, and has a chance to pass [checks notes] Michael Crabtree on the all-time list this season. In every season in the league, Evans has surpassed 1,000 yards and has become a hallmark of consistency, even with the suspect supporting cast around him. Having an accurate QB for the first time in his career will be a huge benefits to Evans. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 70 receptions, 1,213 yards, 6 TD’s
WR2 – Chris Godwin: Godwin had a brilliant breakout last season, earning 2nd Team All-Pro honors (that probably would have been 1st team had his season not been cut short by injury). While Evans might be the bigger threat, Godwin is among the most complete receivers in the league. A fantastic route runner with sure hands—and perhaps his most overlooked quality is his blocking. Find me a WR who does it better right now. You won’t. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 77 receptions, 1,387 yards, 7 TD’s
RB – Ronald Jones: RB is one of the few positions where fans can reasonably expect instant production from a player when he transitions from the college ranks to the pros. As a rookie, RoJo was a mega dud who could barely find the field in the Koetter era. He took a huge step forward in year 2 (724 yards, 4.2 ypc) but still often disappeared in games and lacked the pass protection skills that are so necessary in Arians’ offense. RoJo will have Vaughn to take off some of his workload, but I still see RoJo as one of the weakest links on an otherwise complete offense. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 808 Rushing yards (4.2 YPC), 5 TD’s
TE – Rob Gronkowski: See above analysis. Probably Wrong Projected Stats: 41 receptions, 614 yards, 6 TD’s
LT – Donovan Smith: Donovan Smith provides as much protection as Jeffrey Epstein’s guards when he was on suicide watch. While Tom Brady tends to release the ball far faster than Winston, the Arians offense designed for Brady better be getting the ball out fast. 43 year old QB’s aren’t meant to take the kinds of hits Winston did. Let’s hope that Tristan Wirfs is able to prove himself a viable option on the left side. We’ll be able to get out of Donovan Smith’s contract after this season with no cap ramifications. On a side note, there’s a decent change Donovan Smith will opt out of his contract due to Covid concerns. And I wouldn’t blame him one bit.
LG – Ali Marpet: Marpet continues to be the most reliable piece of our OL. Like Lavonte, a continually unheralded player who you can rely on to go toe-to-toe with the league’s best interior DL while manhandling the dregs of the NFL. I thought last season would be Marpet’s shot at a 2nd Team All-Pro, but he was passed over once again. Love Marpet.
C – Ryan Jensen: Jensen’s first year with the team was free agent bust material. He seemed to thrive more in the Arians offense and we saw marked improvement in all facets of his game last year. Overpaid for his value? Definitely. Living up more and more to the contract we gave him? Yup.
RG – Alex Cappa: When Jason Licht rolled the dice on small school Humboldt State product Alex Cappa, he may have been expecting the next Ali Marpet. In his first full season as a starter, there were things to be encouraged by and I’m a little more bullish on Cappa than most of the fan base. Though he allowed 31 pressures on 562 pass snaps (roughly 6% pressure rate), I saw Cappa’s confidence growing as the season went on. His third season will tell us what his true ceiling in this league is. Right now, his floor isn’t Garrett Gilkey, but his ceiling ain’t Earl Grey.
RT – Tristan Wirfs: See above analysis.

Projected Starting Lineup & Analysis: Defense

EDGE – Sack Ferret: The Sack Ferret was brought on a 1 year, $4 million deal last season. I predicted he’d be a 5.5 sack guy and then probably hit free agency again. Just like we all expected, he went off and led the league in sacks with 19.5 (more than his previous five years in the league combined) and earned himself the franchise tag. Barrett has quickly become a fan favorite, and while I don’t see him replicating his majestic 2019 season, I still think he’ll be the same terror he’s been off the edge. Probably wrong projected stats: 12.5 sacks.
0-Tech - Tevita Tuliʻakiʻono Tuipulotu Mosese Vaʻhae Fehoko Faletau Vea: Running on the Buccaneers in 2019 was damn near impossible, so much so that the team only allowed 73.8 rushing yards per game. That success started up front with Vita Vea, who has quickly emerged as the league’s top 0-tech. Unfortunately, like his forefathers in Vince Wilfork and Casey Hampton, he’s likely to spend his career as a valuable defensive cog who receives few to no career accolades due to the “unsexiness” of being a two-gap space eating defender. So NFL, here’s a homework assignment for you. Watch Vea on All-22 if you have some time while on Covid lockdown. You will see one of the most absurdly athletic big men in the league who is your definition of immovable object. His progress last year was a joy to watch and he’s quickly becoming one of my favorite players. Oh, and he’s the best TE on the Bucs. By far. Probably wrong projected stats: 2.5 sacks, 2 receiving TD’s.
5-Tech – Ndamukong Suh: We brought Suh back on another 1 year deal. No, he’s not the player he once was (he’s even refrained from curbstomping genitals in Tampa…so far), but his attitude he sets on the field has been a welcome change compared to the namby-pamby milquetoasts on our DL from the past. Suh’s value will come mostly in the run game. His sack producing days are long gone. Probably wrong projected stats: 3.5 sacks.
EDGE – Jason Pierre-Paul: It’s [checks notes] August, and Jason Pierre-Paul hasn’t had an offseason accident. Praise the football Gods. Despite starting in only 8 games last year due to a serious auto accident, JPP managed 8.5 sacks. At 31, father time hasn’t quite caught up with him yet. Probably wrong projected stats: 9.5 sacks.
ILB – Lavonte David: The good part of Lavonte David bouncing inside last season to Will is that he no longer got grouped in the same bucket as sack-producing 3-4 OLB’s who beat him out for All-Pro nods nearly every year. Even at 30, Lavonte only seems to be getting better, and his instincts and smarts continue to essential to the defense. Though Lavonte is one half of the Mike tandem and has been one of the league’s best LB’s’ for all of 8 seasons, I don’t think he’s going to be the centerpiece stud. Keep Devin White’s name at the forefront of your mind, which leads me to... Probably wrong projected stats: 3.5 sacks, 3 INT’s
ILB – Devin “Get Live 45” White: If you’ve read any of my posts here for the last 5+ years, you would see I don’t take a blind homer approach with player evaluation. Not once have I predicted a Buccaneer would win the MVP award, nor have I predicted a Buccaneer would win DPOY. In fact, only once have I ever predicted we’d be a playoff team. Now that preamble is done, let me say it outright: Devin White is going to win Defensive Player of the Year in Year 2. What? Mikes never win, you say. And you’d be mostly correct. In fact, Vegas odds don’t even have Devin White listed in their top 10. Here’s what I saw from Devin White in the last half of his rookie season: an absolutely insane nose for forcing the fumble, excellent pass rush abilities, and smarts that put him in the backfield often before the RB even had the ball in his hands. I saw enough from him to believe his leap in year 2 is going to be similar to that of Luke Kuechly’s where he won DPOY in his second year in the league. Wherever the ball is, Devin White will be there. You’re going to see one of the league’s dominant defensive enforcers for a long, long time. Probably wrong projected stats: 6.0 sacks, 5 INT’s, 6 FF’s.
FS – Antoine Winfield Jr.: See above analysis. I think we’re also going to see Justin Evans get cut Probably wrong projected stats: 2.0 sacks, 2 INT’s
SS – Jordan Whitehead: Jordan White is the most underrated player on the Buccaneers defense, in my eyes. No, not Lavonte, because people talk about how underrated he is all the time to the point he’s not so underrated anymore. Whitehead’s mistakes went down drastically last year and he has a knack for being where the football is. Really like him and could see some big plays from him this season. Probably wrong projected stats: 1.0 sacks, 3 INT’s
CB – Carlton Davis: Bruce Arians doesn’t give empty praise, but he recently called Carlton Davis a top ten CB in the league, an assessment I’m inclined to agree with. He was battle tested big time in year 2, getting targeted 105 times and only allowing 52.4% of those balls thrown his way to be completed. He was able to shadow the best, and his 18 pass breakups are indicative of a guy with great awareness. And the funny thing is, he’s not even the CB I’m highest on with this roster. Probably wrong projected stats: 4 INT’s
CB – Jamel Dean: For a guy who came in as a 3rd round rookie, Dean exceeded expectations and then some. His first game as a starter came against the Seahawks, there’s no sugarcoating it—he got owned. But what I saw was a guy who stayed stride for stride with his receiver with little help over the top. By the end of his rookie season, he was looking like a shutdown corner. This is the CB I’m most excited for in 2020. Kid’s got a bright future. Probably wrong projected stats: 3 INT’s
CB – Sean Murphy-Bunting: When I’m wrong, I admit I’m helluh wrong, and with Murphy-Bunting, I was helluh wrong. Yes, it’s been only one season and things could still go south, but I was baffled when we passed on Greedy Williams in favor of SMB.

Non-Buccaneer Predictions for the Season

  1. My 2018 breakout player prediction was Patrick Mahomes. Last year, it was Joshua Jacobs and Corey Davis (oops). This year, you need to watch J.K. Dobbins (rookie, Baltimore), N’Keal Harry (2nd year, NE). Perhaps not a true breakout, but I think Calvin Ridley will surpass 1,000 yards and become an even bigger complement to Julio Jones.
  2. MVP will go to Russ Wilson. DPOY will go to Devin White (and if you’ve been reading these posts long enough you know I don’t usually go the homer approach). OPOY will go to Patrick Mahomes. COTY will go to Cliff Kingsbury.
  3. The NFC Championship will be played between the 49ers and the Cowboys. The Cowboys will win. The AFC Championship will be played between the Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots. The Chiefs will win. The Chiefs will repeat in the Super Bowl, defeating the Cowboys.
  4. Last year I wrote: “Sam Darnold isn’t going to amount to much as an NFL QB. Not this year, and probably not ever.” I’ll repeat it this year too. But let me add one guy to that list: Tua Tagovailoa.
  5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire isn’t the superstar you think he is. I think his career will wind up like Joseph Addai’s: a guy who had a few flash in the pan seasons but never among the top backs. That’s not a bad thing, I would just cool expectations on him.
  6. The teams with the highest potential to land a top 5 pick, in no particular order: Lions, Jaguars, the Washington Football team (I feel like an idiot even typing that), Bears, Jets. Dark Horse: Eagles.
  7. Coaches who have the hottest seats: Fat Patricia, Dan Quinn, Adam Gase, Doug Marrone, Bill O’Brien (as coach and GM).

Shoutouts

Shoutouts to my fellow mods on Buccaneers and NFL. It's a pleasure working with you all every day and shooting the shit with dank memes. And of course, much love to platypusofdeath who puts an insane amount of work into this series every year. Thank you for all you do.
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2020.08.11 15:48 Test_bank_Solutions Gloria Solutions manual( SOLUTIONS MANUAL+ TEST BANKS 2020-2021)

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2020.08.05 18:06 daprice82 Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Jul. 22, 2002

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUSLY:
1-7-2002 1-14-2002 1-21-2002 1-28-2002
2-4-2002 2-11-2002 2-18-2002 2-25-2002
3-4-2002 3-11-2002 3-18-2002 3-25-2002
4-1-2002 4-8-2002 4-15-2002 4-22-2002
4-29-2002 5-6-2002 5-13-2002 5-20-2002
5-27-2002 6-3-2002 6-10-2002 6-17-2002
6-24-2002 7-1-2002 7-8-2002 7-15-2002
  • WWE hit the reset button again with a new storyline assigning general managers to each brand, and it featured the shocking debut of Eric Bischoff. The new storyline will have Bischoff as the heel GM of Raw, while Stephanie McMahon will be the babyface GM of Smackdown, while Vince McMahon will take more of a backseat role and reduce his TV presence. Of course, just 5 weeks ago, Vince panicked and blew up the existing "feuding GMs" storyline between himself and Ric Flair, so now we're re-starting it with new people I guess. It feels like a last-ditch effort to save the brand extension, which has been an utter flop since day one, with no effort to differentiate the shows and only resulting in diluting the talent and falling ratings.
  • Bischoff and McMahon struck a secret deal about 10 days prior to his debut. Bischoff had talks with WWE last year about coming in during the original Invasion angle, except they only wanted him to do a one-off match with Vince for the PPV (which Vince would obviously have won), but Bischoff turned down that offer. But this time, they agreed to a more long-term deal. Bischoff didn't know he was going to debut on Raw until just a day or two prior, when Vince called him and told him to be there. The whole thing was kept secret and almost no one other than Vince himself knew about it. This is believed to be a unique contract, in which it's a short-term deal with the option to renew it for longer-term if the angle gets over. His only role is as a television character, it's strictly a performance contract. Bischoff is not going to be a part of management or creative.
  • When Bischoff walked across the screen in the backstage segment, almost everyone in the company was just as shocked as the viewers at home. Bischoff's debut saw him come out and hug Vince, which Dave thinks about is the dumbest possible way to introduce him. Sure, the Invasion angle is over but WCW's corpse isn't completely cold yet. It's only been a year or so. There is probably still plenty of money to be made in Bischoff as an outsider trying to destroy Vince McMahon and the WWE. But as always, that would involve Vince allowing himself or WWE to look vulnerable against an "outsider" and his utter refusal to do that is a big part of what tanked the Invasion. But that's par for the course. Bischoff cut a promo, giving the fake "WWE version" of the Monday Night Wars history (Dave points out multiple inaccuracies that WWE still clings on today, such as claiming they stole Hulk Hogan from WWF. Of course, Hulk had been in NJPW and hadn't worked for WWF for nearly a year at the time WCW signed him. Things like that.). Dave thinks it became one of those promos full of old stuff or inside references where so much of it is about things that the average fan doesn't know or care about. Dave thinks most of this audience in 2002 isn't familiar with Alundra Blayze, they don't know Raw used to be taped instead of live, and they don't care about 83-week TV ratings streaks (Dave also notes that Bischoff said 84 on this show, which is incorrect). And once again, it became one of those promos talking about how much WWE sucks lately, which is something you don't want to keep pointing out to the fans who are still watching because you just make them feel dumb for supporting something that even the people producing it knows sucks. Shit like that is partly what drove off WCW fans. Bischoff also gloated about almost putting WWE out of business, and to the many guys in the locker room who remember that vividly, it wasn't a joke or a storyline. Those are guys who really were fighting for their job against a guy who really was trying to put them out of business. Bischoff has tremendous heat from the locker room, with a lot of people who worked for him in WCW or who resent him from the WWE side....they don't want Bischoff there.
WATCH: Eric Bischoff debuts in on WWE Raw - 2002
  • This angle was going to take place regardless, but it's thought that the injury to Kevin Nash may have moved things up a couple of weeks because Vince once again panicked when his plans went down in flames. Nash had surgery last week. Because of the location of the tear, it's not quite as serious as the tear Triple H suffered last year. But Nash is also 10 years older. However, he has vowed to return, noting he doesn't want his career to end like that. With his age and his track record of injuries (this is his 22nd surgery, dating back to his collegiate basketball days), Dave isn't sure how much Nash will be able to offer if/when he returns next year. Also, while nobody wanted Nash to get hurt, the mood in the locker room was said to be much happier this week without him around, as the whole Nash/X-Pac/Shawn/Triple H group isn't very well liked these days (the more things change...)
  • Speaking of X-Pac, a weird situation with him this week led to him being suspended by WWE. The day of the Raw when Nash tore his quad, X-Pac missed his flight to the show. Why? Well, he was hospitalized earlier that day in Minneapolis. Again, you ask, why? No idea. Sounds like X-Pac sure would like to know also. He called WWE saying he was in the emergency room and had no idea how he got there. He left the ER and made new travel arrangements and he got to Raw 90 minutes before the show started. And then he went out there that night and worked his match (and Dave says looked more impressive than he had in a long time). However, after the match, he still couldn't explain to WWE officials how or why he was in the hospital earlier that day and so they were naturally suspicious. As a result, X-Pac has been suspended and removed from all upcoming bookings until they get a medical report on what the deal is. Dave says X-Pac has been acting out of control for weeks now and it's been well-documented (threatening to quit if match finishes weren't changed week after week). The feeling backstage was that as long as Nash was around to go to bat for him, he was basically protected, but no longer. With Hall fired, Nash out for probably a year, X-Pac suspended, and Hogan a babyface, the feeling within the company is that the NWO angle is dead. Shawn Michaels is still expected to appear at upcoming house shows and Raws in some new role, since much of the advertising for those shows was based around him appearing, but this is probably the end of the road for the NWO. (This kinda flew under the radar, but yeah, X-Pac never wrestled another match in WWE. The match where Nash tore his quad remains to this day the last time X-Pac ever worked a match in a WWE ring. He gets released soon after this and we all know in retrospect that he was dealing with some drug issues throughout this time).
  • Dave provides some details on Vince Russo's first (and only) creative meeting when he was briefly rehired by WWE last month. Russo apparently proposed a Raw vs. Smackdown feud that would eventually lead to reviving one of them as WCW and reigniting the WCW vs. WWE war. This time, they would have Eric Bischoff leading the WCW side, while Russo suggested Mick Foley as the leader of the WWE side. It was pretty much made clear to Russo during the meeting that if they were to do a Raw vs. Smackdown angle, it would be Stephanie in charge of the WWE side, not Foley, and sure enough, that's what is expected to happen (but without the whole WCW-revival part). Russo's idea was pretty much a combination of the 2001 Invasion angle and the 2000 WCW Bischoff/Russo angle. Dave notes that Russo wanted to essentially start from scratch again, strip everyone of their belts the way they did in 2000, and bring in Bret Hart and Goldberg to be involved as well.
  • A big recap of UFC's debut show in England, which featured rising star Frank Mir getting beat in what should have been an upset, but word is Mir didn't take the fight seriously and barely trained. As a result, he got murked in the first round. Also, while in England, some people in Tito Ortiz's camp got into a big drunken bar brawl with fellow fighter Lee Murray. Chuck Liddell was somewhere involved too. Anyway, long story short, some people tell the story that Murray knocked Ortiz out. Ortiz denies it (to this day, this is a famous MMA story and both men tell different versions, so depending on who you believe I guess).
  • TNA's 4th show ended with a strong angle that actually got them some national publicity. It involved Tennessee Titans players Frank Miller and Zach Piller hopping the rail and attacking Jeff Jarrett and some other wrestlers, resulting in a big brawl to end the show. So how much of it was real or shoot? Well, Russo is involved, so who knows. The official story is that Jarrett and Piller were supposed to shove each other from across the rail, but that's it. From NFL sources, Dave has actually heard the same thing. It was supposed to stop at a shoving confrontation, and then Malice would come pull Jarrett away. That was the story as Russo allegedly wrote it. But reportedly, Piller had been drinking and he ended up hopping the rail and straight up overpowered Jarrett like it was nothing and took him down. Whether this was a shoot or a work is still unknown, but it ended up getting them coverage on SportsCenter and Dave says it's possible it was a work that only a few people were in on. If it was a work, nobody else was in on it. Ron Harris, who works backstage, almost rushed to the ring to save Jarrett and Malice (who wasn't supposed to touch the football players) got involved and broke it up quickly. After the show, the players were backstage laughing and joking with Jarrett and Miller has been openly telling people it was all planned and they were told to make it look as real as possible, but it's still unknown if jumping the rail and tackling Jarrett was part of the plan or not. Several other Titans players were at ringside with them and saw it unfold, but mostly didn't get involved. So now after the publicity, TNA is trying to see if they can make a match out of this. Either way, it's starting to feel like an elaborate work that none of the rest of the roster was clued in on, which is exactly the kind of shit Russo used to do constantly in WCW that soured morale among the locker room, and for this to happen on Russo's first night in, with an angle he wrote, sure feels a little familiar.
WATCH: Tennessee Titans/TNA brawl
  • Puerto Rico's IWA had its most successful show in company history, drawing more than 11,000 fans (without a single WWE name on the card) to see the payoff of an angle with Savio Vega fighting for control of the company. WHO SAID SAVIO AIN'T A DRAW?!
  • On the other side of things, WWC has postponed its anniversary show from August to September in order to give themselves more time to build up big angles and storylines. Seems like something they probably should have been planning earlier? IWA has become the dominant promotion in Puerto Rico and WWC felt they didn't have the build-up necessary to do a big-money show right now. Especially after this IWA show did such big business, anything less would be an embarrassment.
  • Bischoff's debut on Raw was a pretty big hit. How big, you ask? During Bischoff's in-ring promo after his debut, Raw added nearly 1.1 million new viewers from the previous segment. Meaning that as soon as Bischoff walked across the screen backstage, tons of wrestling fans started calling their friends telling them, "Holy shit, Eric Bischoff is on Raw, turn it on!" The bad news is that as soon as Bischoff's promo was over, a lot of them tuned right back out, leading to a huge drop-off for the rest of the show. On the flip side, this week's Smackdown, featuring the heavily-hyped return of The Rock ended up being the 7th lowest rated episode of the show in history (4th if you don't count holidays). Rock's not a draw, bet he won't even be in the business in a couple more years.
  • Kenta Kobashi is finally back in the ring, wrestling undercard prelim tag matches for NOAH. Even though he's in tags and doing limited in-ring work, his knees are said to be already killing him and one of them totally locked up on him after one of his recent matches. But he still hasn't missed any dates.
  • NJPW announced that Kensuke Sasaki will face Pancrase star Minoru Suzuki at the Tokyo Dome in October. This match was actually planned for the big Tokyo Dome show back in May, but negotiations fell apart because Pancrase didn't like the idea of Suzuki doing a worked pro-wrestling match. Suzuki started his career in NJPW back in 1988 and was being groomed to be a big star for the company, but he quit and joined UWF because he preferred to work shoot-style matches. In 1993, he and a few other guys all started Pancrase, which he's been doing ever since. These days, Suzuki's days of fighting for them at a top level are over and he usually only competes against nobodies or in catch wrestling (grappling and submission only, no striking). Anyway, for those curious, this didn't happen. Not sure why yet, I haven't gotten that far, but Suzuki doesn't return to NJPW until 2003.
  • Goldberg is said to be leaning very much against going to WWE anytime soon and is instead eyeing his options of working big shows in Japan. He's contemplating an offer to make an appearance at Toryumon's show in Tokyo in September, but only an appearance. He doesn't plan to wrestle until later in the year (don't think the Toryumon appearance happens, but he does end up working a few matches in Japan here soon).
  • Bret Hart is still hoping to make his scheduled appearance for Jacques Rougeau's upcoming indie show in Montreal. If you recall, Rougeau's big show there last year drew over 11,000 fans and he's got himself another big stadium to fill this year and Bret was expected to be the biggest draw. Whether he'll be healthy enough to make the show, following his recent stroke, remains to be seen but he's determined to try. As of this week, Hart is able to lift his left arm over his head. Just a week ago, he couldn't move it at all. His grip strength is also coming back and he's able to walk short distances. His vocal cords were also damaged but have started strengthening again and he's able to talk again (though he can't cut a wrestling promo yet, Dave says, so he might not be doing much other than coming out and waving to the crowd if he does make it). He's still having some vision problems also, but not too bad all things considered.
  • Dave says that "no matter what you may hear," a lot of people involved in TNA behind the scenes are very unhappy about Vince Russo being brought in. He also says that a lot of people associate Russo and Ed Ferrara together, but they actually had a major falling out awhile back and hadn't been on speaking terms until now. When it became clear Russo was coming back, Ferrara reached out to Russo and the two sides made up. He goes on record saying for sure that neither Mike Tenay or Bill Behrens are happy about Russo's arrival, among others, but says everyone is being professional.
  • Notes from TNA Weekly PPV: Crowd of about 1,500, only about half paid. Dave says it was easily the best of the 4 shows they've had so far. About 85% of it was written and booked by Jerry Jarrett and the original writing team before Russo was hired, but Russo did make some changes. Dave says some people are beginning to get tired of Don West on commentary already and he definitely brings a ton of enthusiasm (but nothing else, Dave adds) to the table. During the Ken Shamrock vs. Omori match, the crowd was distracted by one of the cage dancers near the entrance who was apparently showing her ass to the crowd. Former WCW wrestler Crowbar (real name Chris Ford) worked a tag match under the name Tempest and Dave notes that when Ford worked a try-out match for WWE awhile back, he also signed over the name Crowbar to them when he did (guessing Dave is mistaken about this. He never used the name Crowbar in TNA, but he's been using it everywhere else ever since for the last 18 years). Brian Christopher is now going by his real name, Brian Lawler, and cut a promo on Jerry Lawler about being a bad father. It got a lot of heat but now they've made fans want to see a match that they can't deliver. K-Krush faced NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler and got DQ'd. Dave says Krush was absolutely awesome here, actually carrying Sadler to a watchable match. Sadler was awful of course, but the Gayda/Stratus match from Raw was light years worse, so hey, who cares? TNA tried to bring in Hermie's more famous older brother Elliott Sadler, but that fell through because Elliott has some type of affiliation with WWE, though Dave isn't sure what (I did the research and apparently Elliott drove a Summerslam-themed car during a race around this time, so I assume that's it).
  • More notes from TNA Weekly PPV, since this recap is huge and big, unbroken paragraphs suck: Mark and Jay Brisco worked a brief match until Malice ran in and destroyed everyone (Dave says this was a Russo addition to the show. Dave also says the Briscos will be great some day and notes that on this show, the announcers lied and said both of them are 18, when in fact, Mark Brisco is still 17 and therefore not even allowed to wrestle in many commission states). Former porn star and ECW valet Jasmine St. Claire debuted and gave Jeremy Borash a lap dance, took off her underwear, and was about to strip nude until a big angle stopped it. And yes, in case it wasn't obvious, this was another Russo addition. AJ Styles and Jerry Lynn are the tag team champions and ended up in a big brawl backstage. If you've been paying attention to the show the last 2 weeks, you would have recognized that they were doing a slow build with these two partners having friction, but Russo convinced Jarrett to hurry up and pull the trigger on the split, so here we are. Dave thinks this had no impact at all because it felt completely rushed, the story hadn't progressed far enough yet for these two to already be coming to blows. Another interview with the Dupps saying "shit" repeatedly was, yes, another Russo addition. Try not to cut yourself on all this edginess. Shamrock vs. NOAH star Takao Omori ended in a no contest because of politics. Shamrock was supposed to win clean, but then NOAH decided they didn't want Omori to do a job, so this is what we got. Dave thinks TNA should have said screw them then and just not used Omori because it's not like TNA's fanbase knows who the fuck he is anyway. Omori was said to have been spaced out all day beforehand and looked bad in the match. Crowd didn't care and they pumped in a ton of fake crowd noise for it. Jeff Jarrett ran in and took everyone out with chair shots, including "NWA rep" Harley Race, who ate a brutal unprotected chair shot to the head from Jeff and Dave thinks that's not good for anyone's brain, especially a guy pushing 60. Race was there basically to help Omori since Harley's small promotion in St. Louis has a relationship with NOAH. And finally, the 6-man X-Division #1 contenders match was excellent. Dave thinks WWE really missed the boat on Jerry Lynn and K-Krush. He admits Lynn probably couldn't have ever been a top guy in WWE or anything, but he makes everybody he wrestles look like a million bucks and guys like that are priceless to have on your roster. They also pumped a bunch of crowd noise in for this match, and at one point, the fake crowd noise loop stopped and there was a moment where it went from a loud roaring crowd to dead silence in a blink. Also, a fight in the stands distracted the crowd near the end. But great match otherwise. Show ended with the Titans players angle.
  • In other news, The Shane Twins have been working as the masked penis wrestlers The Johnsons in TNA but the penis aspect of it has been played down to almost nothing. Upcoming plans were for the team to unmask and revert back to the Shane Twins, but when Russo came aboard, that plan got scrapped and they will remain The Johnsons for now. Because dammit, Russo will get to make penis jokes on TV or he's going to die trying.
  • Many of the key names in TNA (Shamrock, AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Mike Tenay, among others) have now signed 1-year contracts. Scott Hall was rumored to have also signed a 1-year deal, but Hall is telling people it's not true and he's only committed for 4 more dates. Low-Ki is signed through the end of the year.
  • At the recent K-1 vs. PRIDE show, there was a huge upset when PRIDE fighter Quinton Jackson knocked out Cyril Abidi, one of the top kickboxers in the world. The "plan" was for Abidi to win and then go on to a bigger money match with Don Frye, but that's what happens when you try to plan things around a shoot.
  • And I'm sorry, I know this ain't an MMA recap, but this is too good: at the UFC press conference for the UK show this week, Dana White showed up with a bag filled with $250,000 in cash and challenged UK boxing promoter Frank Warren to put up any fighter in his stable and White would find a UFC fighter of the same weight to fight him, winner takes all the money. If you recall, Warren made some statements a few weeks back calling UFC fighters unskilled steroid freaks and claiming that his boxers could beat any of them in a real fight. So Dana showed up with a whole bag of cash, doing Dana things.
  • Notes from Raw: Vince came out to the NWO music and said that's the last time we'll ever hear it and that the NWO is dead, so as expected, that's it for that gimmick. Tommy Dreamer is back to his old ECW gimmick and is already 1000x more over than the jobber-eating-gross-stuff gimmick WWE gave him. There was a Coach/Booker T segment backstage which is when Eric Bischoff walked through the shot, leaving everybody with their mouths hanging open, and then his promo. Another hype video for Rey Mysterio debuting on Smackdown next week. Former WCW wrestler and recent developmental guy Johnny The Bull made his Raw debut winning the hardcore title, and Dave is baffled how he got the call up because he's one of the worst guys they have in developmental and is nowhere near ready. But it's all about how he looks. Undertaker & Lesnar beat RVD & Flair in the main event and afterward, Lesnar turned on Undertaker in a good angle, though Dave doesn't have high hopes for the inevitable match.
WATCH: Rey Mysterio debut vignette
  • Notes from Smackdown: it was a pretty bad show and for a pretty surprising reason. It was all built around Rock and he was awful. Rather than trying to sell a PPV, he came off like he was trying too hard to be a funny, "cool" guy and became a parody of himself. Dave is a huge Rock fan and thinks it was painful. He did a big in-ring promo segment with rapper Busta Rhymes that was just an elaborate plug for his new Halloween: Resurrection movie ("coming out in July?" Dave asks incredulously and, right, wtf?). Even Rock using Angle's own ankle lock against him at the end of the show looked hilariously fake and Dave has no interest in the Rock/Angle match at Vengeance after this show. Edge & Hogan defending the tag titles was a super heated match and Dave can't understand it. The live crowds are still nuclear hot for Hogan, but it's not translating at all into TV ratings or ticket sales. But man, the people who do buy tickets sure do love him. They seem to be slow-burning a Randy Orton heel turn. The Nidia segment at the buffet was great and Dave thinks they may have stumbled across a pretty great gimmick with her.
WATCH: The Rock & Busta Rhymes Smackdown segment
  • The crew got a little backstage pep talk before Raw this week, mostly given by the agents (John Laurinaitis, Arn Anderson, and Fit Finlay) as well as Triple H. In particular, Triple H talked about there being too many people in the locker room who think they deserve a push ahead of the newer guys because they've been there longer. He said too many guys are sitting back waiting for someone to give them a push rather than breaking out from the pack and earning the push. He said he got over on his own when management was trying to hold him down after the MSG curtain call incident. Said too many guys are being lazy, playing cards and playing video games backstage rather than watching the matches and learning. He said just because you've had a few good matches on TV doesn't mean you know how to work or deserve a push, and also said everyone needs to work harder at house shows because attendance is down and it was guys like him who worked hard to re-build the company the last time business was down. Needless to say, for a locker room full of people who feel like they bust their asses only to get their legs cut off and hit a glass ceiling (often at the hands of the same guy giving the speech), this went over just about as well as you'd expect with the rest of the locker room. Not that anything Triple H said is wrong. Dave agrees with most of it. But considering who the messenger was, it was not well-received.
  • Lots of backstage talk about last week's Bradshaw/Trish Stratus vs. Chris Nowinski/Jackie Gayda match, which was among the worst matches anyone has seen in years. Fit Finlay is the usual trainer and agent for the women and usually goes over their matches and spots with them, but in this case, Sgt. Slaughter put together this match. Gayda missed a few spots early in the match and seemed to panic and it all fell apart from there. Backstage, she was fully aware of how bad it was and was said to be extremely upset. There's been talk of sending her down to OVW for more training, but she'll probably still be on TV because she's fresh off winning Tough Enough.
  • Steve Austin hasn't had any contact with anyone in WWE except for Jack Lanza, who was the agent Austin often worked with for his matches. All that's known now is Austin told Lanza he's still training hard and Lanza felt like he's getting antsy sitting at home and may be ready to return already (I think he's got bigger problems at home). But Austin and Vince still have not spoken and there's still a lot of bad feelings there.
  • In light of recent events, Dave digs up the transcript from an old Prodigy online chat from 1996, in which Eric Bischoff was asked if he would ever work for Vince McMahon. His response: "I would rather chew off my fingers."
  • Writer Brian Gewertz reportedly has some heat over Raw's declining ratings. The problem is, no matter who it is (Gewertz, Heyman, Russo, or even Stephanie), the final approval for everything you see on television comes down to Vince McMahon. He deserves the credit when it's good and the blame when it's bad, end of story. It's a common occurrence for Vince to rip up a script and tell the writers to come up with something new, so any bad segment that makes it to TV is on him, and resulting in lots of last minute changes. Some people are even blaming Gewertz for Kevin Nash's recent injury because Gewertz wrote the match into the script the day of the show, so Nash wasn't even aware he was going to be wrestling until a couple hours before they went on the air and I guess he didn't have time to properly stretch and get ready, and ended up tearing his quad 10 seconds in. Same thing with Cena's debut, that was a day-of decision, and luckily Cena was already on the road with the crew working dark matches, so he was available. But again, Dave says you can't blame Gewertz for either of those things because, once again, it's Vince who is constantly changing his mind and forcing last minute rewrites and whatnot every week. How is Gewertz or any other writer supposed to build long-term stories under those conditions? (Man, this sure feels familiar)
  • Latest on DDP, he and wife Kimberly are planning on moving from Atlanta to Los Angeles to try their hand at acting careers. They've both saved a lot of money from their years in wrestling and can afford to take a chance on this kind of thing I guess. (DDP has done a handful of acting roles, mostly in the mid-00s, but obviously nothing of note. And Kimberly Page did a few movies, including a starring role with DDP in a movie called The Scam Artist that I can't find anywhere, and of course, her most famous role as "chick who's tit fell out" in The 40 Year Old Virgin).
  • Randy Orton suffered a concussion in a house show match with Batista. Orton was trying to sell a clothesline by flying in the air and taking a big flat back bump, but hit his head on the mat coming down and was knocked unconscious. He should be back in a week or so though, because it's not like concussions are serious injuries or anything. EMT's helped him out of the ring and he walked to the back under his own power but he was knocked clean the fuck out for a bit there.
  • This week's episode of WWE Confidential featured Big Show and Bradshaw playing a game of HORSE with the winner "getting a shot to sexually harass Linda Miles." So obviously they're out of ideas for this show. (Yeah JBL is on some full-blown Jerry Lawler shit with Miles here).
WATCH: JBL perving on Linda Miles for 5 minutes under the guise of playing basketball
  • John Cena is still finishing up in OVW and working the upcoming big Six Flags show in Louisville. Despite being a big babyface on TV, he's still a heel in OVW and is playing a gimmick where his main roster success is going to his head.
  • The New York Daily News ran a story on the "Sex, Lies & Headlocks" book that is coming out soon about Vince McMahon and noted several revelations in the book, such as Vince being paranoid about his office being bugged in 1993 prior to the steroid trial and how he wouldn't sit or talk near windows because he thought the FBI was listening in. It also talked about how Vince gave a job interview to Matt Lauer to host the WBF Bodystars show but didn't think Lauer had the right look, among other things. When asked for comment, WWE responded "No one in WWE has any interest in reading it. No one cares to." Dave says that's 2002 carny talk for, "Can you get us an advance copy?"
NEXT WEDNESDAY: Raw appears to turn a corner (lol no), WWE making major cutbacks and severing developmental ties, TNA also making major budget cuts, WWE Vengeance fallout, and more...
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2020.08.03 14:40 Projinator Offseason Review Series: Los Angeles Rams

2019 Summary

Division: NFC West
Record: 9-7 (3rd in Division, 7th in Conference)
After a wildly successful 2019 season, the Los Angeles Rams had high hopes for 2020. It was truly Super Bowl or bust for the team, and unfortunately as high as the expectations were the end result was disappointment almost as high. Despite the shortcomings (and media doubt), the team is still in great shape to have another great year and playoff hopes are completely within shooting distance. Here's a brief summary of some of the positives and negatives on the 2019 season.
Positives
Negatives

2020 Coaching Staff/Changes

Position Name (* indicates new coach) Notes
Sean McVay Head Coach Total babe
Joe Berry Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Coach
Thad Bogardus Assistant Defensive Line Coach/Defensive Quality Control Dope name
John Bonamego Special Teams Coordinator* Previously with the Detroit Lions
Thomas Brown Running Backs Coach* Previously with the South Carolina Gamecocks
Liam Coen Assistant Quarterbacks Coach Previously WRs coach
John Cooley Defensive Quality Control* Previously Akron CBs Coach
Andy Dickerson Assistant Offensive Line Coach
Ejiro Evero Safeties Coach Dope name
Eric Henderson Defensive Line Coach
Aaron Kromer Run Game CoordinatoOffensive Line Coach
Zak Kromer Offensive Quality Control lol nepotism
Bill Nayes Assistant to the Head Coach insert The Office joke here
Kevin O'Connell Offensive Coordinator* Previously with the Washington REDACTED
Wes Phillips Tight Ends Coach
Aubrey Pleasant Cornerbacks Coach
Zac Robinson Assistant Wide Receivers Coach Was Assistant QB coach in 2019
Chris Shula Outside Linebackers Coach
Brandon Staley Defensive Coordinator* Previously with the Denver Broncos as OLB Coach
Shane Waldron Pass Game Coordinator
Eric Yarbor Wide Receivers Coach
Key Changes

Free Agent Signings and Departures

Key Signings
Player Position Former Team Contract Details
Michael Brockers Defensive Tackle LA Rams 3 y31.5 million
Andrew Whitworth Offensive Tackle LA Rams 3 y30 million
Austin Blythe Offensive Guard/C LA Rams 1 y3.9 million
A'shawn Robinson Defensive Tackle Detroit Lions 2 y17 million
Leonard Floyd OLB/Defensive End Chicago Bears 1 y10 million
Key Departures
Player Position New Team Contract Details
Greg Zuerline Kicker Dallas Cowboys 3 y7.5 million
Todd Gurley Running Back Atlanta Falcons 1 y5.5 million
Dante Fowler Jr OLB/Defensive End Atlanta Falcons 3 y30 million
Cory Littleton Linebacker Las Vegas Raiders 3 y36 million
Marquis Christian Safety New York Jets 1 y2 million
Jojo Natson PKR Cleveland Browns 1 y1 million
Clay Matthews OLB/Defensive End Free Agent n/a
Eric Weddle Safety Free Agent n/a
Nickell Robey-Coleman Cornerback Philadelphia Eagles 1 y1.35 million
Lets start our discussion with the departures, because we lost a lot of key starters. Dante Fowler, Cory Littleton, Clay Mathew, and Eric Weddle were four starters on our defense, with NRC being our primary slot DB. Weddle was more of a leader than an anchor on defense, and did a remarkable job mentoring his replacement in rookie Taylor Rapp. Clay Mathews had a nice season but at his age is certainly replaceable. What isn't going to be replaceable is Cory Littleton, who might be one of the most underrated linebackers in the NFL. His coverage ability is going to be sorely missed and leaves the linebacker room, which was already weak, almost defunct.
The strategy regarding our free agent signings is a little mysterious. In early free agency we signed Floyd and Robinson, which filled two holes left by Fowler and Brockers, who had originally signed with the Baltimore Ravens. A few weeks afterwards Brockers offer was rescinded by the Ravens, and he resigned at a lofty amount. This effectively leaves the team with a log jam at defensive tackle, with two DTs that do virtually the same thing to be paired with Aaron Donald. I'll explain later in this post how I think our defense might look, but it's certainly a puzzling signing.
Resigning Whitworth, in what should be his final contract, is a nice bonus even if it was for another larger than anticipated deal. It gives our numerous young OL talent a wonderful vet to learn from, and despite media reports our offensive line room actually isn't bad. It's just incredibly young, and we have many sophomores who look to make jumps this year.

2020 Draft Class/Undrafted Free Agents

Round Pick Player Position College Team
2 52 Cam Akers Running Back Florida State
2 57 Van Jefferson Wide Receiver Florida
3 84 Terrell Lewis OLB/DE Alabama
3 104 Terrell Burgess Safety Utah
4 136 Brycen Hopkins Tight End Purdue
6 199 Jordan Fuller Safety Ohio State
7 234 Clay Johnston Linebacker Baylor
7 248 Sam Sloman Kicker Miami (OH)
7 250 Tremayne Anchrum Offensive Line Clemson
Cam Akers and Van Jefferson are the only players on offensive who should make an immediate impact. Akers could battle for the starting position with Gurley out, and Jefferson could battle Josh Reynolds for WR3. The intriguing pick is Terrell Lewis, who could have been a 1st rounder if healthy. He fills a major need at EDGE for the team, and if he works out will be a massive value pick.
Brycen Hopkins will battle with Johnny Mundt for the final TE spot, which may be a tall order given Mundt's proficiency on special teams. But he's a good prospect to replace Gerald Everett, who will demand a larger contract next year. Tremayne Anchrum is probably a longshot to make the team, especially with no preseason games considering we have a logjam of OL prospects with Bobby Evans, David Edwards, Joe Notebloom, among others.
For more information on the UDFA list, check out this link. The interesting choices are Easop Winston, Josh Love, and Bryce Perkins. Easop I think may have a decent shot at making the roster, while Josh Love and Bryce Perkins may be able to battle it out for the backup position. The Rams will look to shed future salary cap space where ever possible, and both players have decent ceilings and could be a cheap backup alternative for Goff, but both will have to usurp AAF legend John Wolford who is the leader in the clubhouse.

Projected Depth Chart/Scheme Changes

Offense (* indicates rookie)
Position 1st 2nd 3rd
QB Jared Goff John Wolford
RB Malcom Brown Cam Akers* Darrell Henderson
WR Cooper Kupp Van Jefferson*
WR Robert Woods Nsimba Webster
WR Josh Reynolds Easop Winston* Trishton Jackson*
TE Tyler Higbee Gerald Everett Brycen Hopkins*
LT Andrew Whitworth Bobby Evans Tremayne Anchrum
LG Joe Notebloom David Edwards
C Austin Blythe Brian Allen
RG Austin Corbett Coleman Shelton
RT Rob Havenstein Jamil Demby
The first thing that I envision changing for this Rams offensive is to break out of our traditional 11 personnel into more 11 or 22 based packages. Sean McVay has made no secret about our change to a running back by committee team, which makes sense given the different types of backs we have on the roster. Malcom Brown probably gets the start due to his veteran presence, and because he's a traditional runner of the football. But Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson are both Alvin Kamara-like backs and can open things up for McVay to get more creative.
An interesting camp battle will be to see who makes it at wide receiver. Kupp, Woods, Reynolds, Jefferson, and Webster are all locks to make the team, but we will probably carry 6-7 on the roster. I'm partial to Easop Winston and Trishton Jackson to fill those voids but other guys like JJ Koski could also impress and camp and make an impact. As the season goes on, the Rams are going to hope that at least one of these rookies can manage to impress enough to replace Josh Reynolds, as both him and Cooper Kupp are in contract years and we probably won't be able to afford to resign both.
On the offensive line front, I'm really excited to see the development that Bobby Evans, Joe Notebloom, and David Edwards show. Make no mistake, if our team is to have flexibility moving forward it is absolutely vital that one, if not all three, of these guys pan out. Luckily, due to injury Bobby Evans and David Edwards were given starting jobs and performed really well all things considered. Evans in particular was given the task to block Jadeveon Clowney and Khalil Mack and really held those guys to minimal impact.
As a quick update, the only member of the team to opt out of the 2020 season is OL Chandler Brewer, who was probably a good bet to make the team as a backup OL. In his place I slot Jamil Demby who's been a prospect on the team for what seems like a decade. In any other year, I'd slot a rookie to take over that slot but given the lack of a structured offseason I think the team stays with someone familiar for another year.
Defense (* indicates rookie)
Position 1st 2nd 3rd
DE Leonard Floyd Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
DT Aaron Donald Sebastian Joseph-Day Greg Gaines
DT Michael Brockers A'shawn Robinson
DE Samson Ebukam Justin Lawler
LB Micah Kiser Kenny Young Travin Howard
LB Terrell Lewis Clay Johnston*
CB Jalen Ramsey Darious Williams
CB Troy Hill Donte Deayon
CB David Long Jr Adonis Alexander
S John Johnson III Jordan Fuller*
S Taylor Rapp Terrell Burgess*
Our biggest change in identity is going to come from the defensive side of the ball. Losing Wade Phillips is a huge blow to the leadership of the team, but newcomer Brandon Staley may be able to provide a McVay-like spark in ingenuity that provides results. The way that the Rams targeted safeties in the draft, and avoided a massive need in linebacker, makes me believe that we are transitioning to a DB let system similar our neighbors in the LA Chargers. If you do film study on the Chargers, you can see them run a package that consists of 7 DBs occasionally, which works well when you have physical safeties like Derwin James. Luckily for us, we have two incredibly physical guys in Johnson and Rapp, and with the team clearly focusing on DBs I think its in the cards for us to roll this package out in 2020.
One area that might be a struggle for us is going to be our defensive line, and generating pressure via the pass rush. Luckily again, we have the greatest defensive player in the NFL and the greatest defensive tackle of all time on our team. Another fortunate circumstance is that we no longer will be marred by Wade Phillips conservative play calling, and in fact may be able to use DC Brandon Staley's expertise as an OLB coach to get improvement out of guys like Okoronkwo and Ebukam, In free agency we signed A'Shawn Robinson, who paired with Michael Brockers can be a force against the run, but neither player is a threat to rush the passer. Leonard Floyd, another free agent signing, is another guy who is strong against the run but struggles in pass rush. This area of defense will be key to the success of the team, and these guys are gonna have to find ways outside of relying on Aaron Donald to generate pressure.
Special Teams (* indicates rookie)
Position 1st
K Sam Sloman*
P Johnny Hekker
LS Jake McQuaide
PR Trishton Jackson*
PR Nsimba Webster*
Losing Greg Zuerline is going to hurt, and he will always have a place in Rams history for making clutch kicks in the 2018 NFC Championship game. But he grew inconsistent especially inside the 40 yard line, and struggled with injuries since 2017. We drafted Sam Sloman in 2020 but also have two decent UDFA that will compete for the starting job..

Projected Game Results

Week 1: Win (1-0)
Dallas Cowboys @ Rams - NBC Sunday Night Football
Opening the season at the new SoFi stadium, with potentially no fans is going to be an odd experience. The last time the Rams beat dem boyz was in the 2018 Divisional round of the playoffs. Both teams will struggle early to find continuity, and I'd expect a relatively low scoring, run heavy game. In the end I think the Rams will get the season off to a good start with a win. Rams 24 Cowboys 17
Week 2: Win (2-0)
Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles - FOX 10am PST
We should finally get to see Goff vs Wentz healthy in full game for the first time. The Eagles have beat the Rams both times they've played Sean McVay, and I think they get things back on track in 2020. I believe our strength at the DL and DBs will be able to effectively manage the weaknesses of the Eagles WRs and aging OL, though the key will probably be Zach Ertz. Rams 30 Eagles 28
Week 3: Loss (2-1)
Rams @ Buffalo Bills - FOX 10am PST
Our first stumble will come against an underrated team in the Bills. I think having two close games in a row to open the season will leave the team waiting for a crash, and how else to crash than by facing what might be the best defense in the NFL. I expect Tre White and the rest of the secondary to handle Goff and company in a convincing loss. Bills 23 Rams 10
Week 4: Win (3-1)
New York Giants @ Rams - FOX 1:05PST
Home sweet home, the Rams get back on track with a convincing win over a struggling Giants team. I'll predict an offensive explosion from Goff, somewhere around 400 yds and 4 TDs in a blow out win. Sorry Giants fans, nothing personal. I'm expecting an early struggle for this Giants team as it adjusts to new coach, young QB, with little prep time.Rams 42 Giants 16
Week 5: Win (4-1)
Rams @ Washington [REDACTED] - FOX 10amPST
I think this gsme is much closer than most might expect. The [REDACTED] are my surprise pick of the year, I have them winning the NFC East. An already tenacious defense led by Ron Rivera and gaining a bona-fide star in Chase Young is going to be fun to watch. I think the key to this game will be quick passes to avoid that ferocious defensive line as much as possible. Rams 24 [REDACTED] 21
Week 6: Loss (4-2)
Rams @ San Fransisco 49ers - NBC Sunday Night Football
As much as I want to win this game, I think Shanny and those fucks take this one from us. Divisional games tend to be unpredictable and chaotic, and while I do think we split the series with them, being on the road for this one isn't going to favor us. Its going to be interesting to see how DC Brandon Staley chooses to defend Kittle. I dont think shadowing him with Ramsey is the best play, perhaps it's a combination of jamming him at the LOS and covering him in zone. Either way, its a tall order for whoever gets that assignment. 49ers 31 Rams 25
Week 7: Win (5-2)
Chicago Bears @ Rams - ESPN Monday Night Football
As it stands, McVay will be 1-1 on the year in prime time games. His record as a coach is , which leads me to believe he'll have an edge in winning this one. Of course the Ram fucker Foles might be in at QB, which could spell disaster for our team. I think that our offensive prowess will shine during this long week, and we win in convincing fashion. Rams 36 Bears 20
Week 8: Win (6-2)
Rams @ Miami Dolphins - FOX 10am PST
We continue this offensive success against a team that will probably be pretty good defensively. HC Tom Flores is a Bill Belichek disciple who learned something important from his former mentor; acquire as many great DBs as you can. The improved secondary will make things tough for Goff and gang, but ultimately working with a rookie QB is going to be hard against a defense with all pros scattered around it. Rams 17 Dolphins 0 ' Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Win (7-2)
Seattle Seahawks @ Rams - FOX 1:25PST
And entering the second half of the season we have our first three game winning streak. Coming off a bye week will give McBae ample time to prepare for a Seahawks team thay frankly will have a struggling offensive line and holes on its defense. Even with Jamal Adams, I expect this team to take a step back in 2020. Rams 31 Seahawks 17
Week 11: Loss (7-3)
Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers - ESPN Monday Night Football
Facing the best offensive weapons in the league is going to be a tough order for any team this season. Now that they have a QB that will make effective, eccifient decisions this Bucs team should take off. I dont think its particularly close, this is a complete team on both sides of the ball. Bucs 28 Rams 10
Week 12: Win (8-3)
San Fransisco 49ers @ Rams - FOX 1:05PST
The winning continues as the team really clicks into high gear. A brutal NFC West game will likely be a repeat of Week 6, but with a few more bounces going our way. Being at home will be a helpful factor. Rams 26 49ers 24
Week 13: Win (9-3)
Rams @ Arizona Cardinals - FOX 1:05PST
If there is any team in the league that McVay can be relied on to spank, its the Cardinals. McVay has yet to be beat by the team in his tenure with the Rams and I expect that to continue at least through this week. Despite a huge game from future MVP Kyler Murray, the Rams prevail, improving to 9-3
Week 14: Loss (9-4)
New England Patriots @ Rams - FOX/NFLN/Amazon Thursday Night Football
A short week against Belichek spells doom for almost every team, and McVay will continue his struggles against the GOAT. The Pats defense was able to throw Goff off his game on the Super Bowl a few years ago, I expect we see more of this on Thursday.
Week 15: Loss (9-5)
New York Jets @ Rams - TBD
Every team had one puzzling loss, and this matchup with the Jets is ours for the year. I dont expect the Jets to have a grest year but I do think Sam Darnold is universally underappreciated and will have a great game against us.
Week 16: Loss (9-6)
Rams @ Seattle Seahawks - CBS 1:05PST
And we are really ending the year on a slump. Losing to the Seahawks this late in the year isn't great for our playoff hopes, but its always a tall order to go into Seattle and leave with a W. This game may he one of the most important games going into the playoffs and I wont be surprised to see it get flexed.
Week 17: Win (10-6)
Arizona Cardinals @ Rams - FOX 1:25PST
Luckily for us we end the season against our little cousins, and use this opportunity to get our chakras realigned. This game will move us into the 6th seed and bounce Arizona into the 7th seed, becoming the first division in history to have every team make the playoffs.

Conclusion

I think people have forgotten that the Rams were a mkssed field goal away from making the playoffs last year, and thats with playing very sloppy through most games. The only thing holding this team back is the fact that they play in the toughest division in football. I think that Goff has a bounce back year and ends up a top 10 QB for the season. This season will be critical for McVay to really show the new coaches and players that he's capable of not only calling proficient offense but leading an entire team of players. It will be an interesting season, so make sure to wear your damn mask so it actually happens.
Thank you for reading, and bless all the knees and keep them healthy!!
Thanks for reading!! Bless all the knees and keep them healthy.
Link to hub
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2020.07.25 19:15 ClubberLin Future Rams

Who are some players in the league, upcoming prospects, or even players currently on the team that that you foresee playing a key role on the Rams at some point?
My list:
Jamison Crowder, WR A seasoned veteran for the Rams, who runs a diverse route tree and has worked with McVay in Washington before. And also having some experience working with Shawn Jefferson in New York, he could be a jet sweep option for the Rams, a change of pace wideout that can play #4 WR role later on in his career.
John Kelly, HB The running back that is left out of the conversation this offseason. Has a classic play style, small size but plays with a ferocity. He could be another goal line threat for the Rams along with Malcolm Brown, he plays a patient game, and finds the gaps well. Would love to see him emerge as one of the RBs in the Rams newfound RB committee.
Malcolm Brown, HB Super underrated, I believe he’s going to shock Rams fans. He’s looked good when he got the playing time, the first two years with McVay, he’s made a few key moments, one involving him hurdling a defender while barely staying inbound and then scoring. Last season, scored 5 TDs when most snaps went to Gurley. He could be our version of an Antowain Smith for the Patriots back in 2001. Both TE’s and power running backs are safety blankets for young QB’s, and I expect to see someone like Brown to play a key part in moving the chains.
Johnny Mundt, TE He’s been mentioned a lot by the Rams coaching staff, and although he may never be a starter, he could be a rock solid depth player for the Rams, being a key blocker, being a good leader, and then improving his receiving. He’s a solid athlete, and I think the Rams are going to have a TE by committee as well, given McVay’s love of TE’s. Higbee is the all around type, Hopkins is the receiving type, Everett is the vertical threat, and Mundt is the blocker.
Tremayne Anchrum, G He’s not a regular 7th rounder in my eyes, played 4 years for Clemson, was a starter, and has experience with winning, and with leadership. He falls into the type of players that McVay likes, someone who is team-first. I think Kromer mentioned that he would’ve been drafted way higher if he were 6’5, but there’s advantages to a lower center of gravity, and he’s a good pass blocker. I think he could be a future starter at RG, and one of the leaders on the offensive line moving forward.
Joseph Noteboom, T Has a good head on his shoulders, has the personality of Tim Duncan lol, just shows up and goes to work. I still think he could become the Rams future starting LT, real versatile, has great size, and he sparks me as someone who could be a fundamentally sound player.
Erik McCoy, C The Saints eventually move forward with Cesar Ruiz, and the Rams seize the opportunity and acquire a young athletic pass blocker for the franchise moving forward.
Mase Funa, OLB He has the name that fits this team. Prospect out of Oregon, drawing some comparisons to Dont’a Hightower. Has good instincts as a player.
Justin Strnad, ILB Another player with a good knack for getting around the ball. Was drafted by Denver this year, but I think he’s someone that could eventually sign with the Rams if there’s better opportunity for him in LA. He would have first hand experience with Vic Fangio, so a transition would be seamless if defensive coordinator Brandon Staley is in LA for the long haul. He’s also a great special teams player, which Sean McVay would like to see. Very similar to Cory Littleton, in terms of coverage skills, special teams ability, and knack for the ball.
P.J Williams, CB I’d imagine another Florida State player reunites with Jalen Ramsey at some point, and Williams is a good tackler at his position. He just signed a 1 year deal with the Saints, but I see the Saints declining as a team in the future. Brees getting older, leadership problems with Michael Thomas and Malcolm Jenkins, underperforming in the playoffs. Saints will go into rebuilding in the near future in my eyes. The Rams just drafted a ton of players for the secondary, and I’m liking it. It reminds me of the 80s 49er teams, where their secondary was loaded with Dwight Hicks, Ronnie Lott, Eric Wright, Carlton Williamson, Don Griffin. I see players like Rapp, Johnson III, Jordan Fuller, Terrell Burgess, and of course Jalen Ramsey being switched around a lot, playing safety, nickel corner, box safety. This defense is going to be fun.
Phillip Lindsay, HB I like the idea of the Rams getting someone like Phillip Lindsay, who’s not a big enough star like Gurley to be getting the touches, but has the talent to be able to make a huge impact. A good fit for the Rams zone run scheme, has good speed to go along with a good size, he could form a good tandem in the future with the likes of Cam Akers, John Kelly, Darrell Henderson. Him and Akers would be the all around backs, Kelly would be the goal line threat, and Henderson could be a good receiving back.
Lorenzo Lingard, HB I see a lot of HB changes in 3-5 years with this Rams team. A lot of players will get replaced, players like Darrell Henderson Jr., who is not that good of a fit on this team. Henderson will have his moments, I foresee him making some plays as a receiving back, and maybe even as a kick returner, but not as a key running back for 5 years straight. This is where Lingard comes, a now Florida Gator who formerly played at Miami during his freshman year, who’s an absolute monster. He could form a great tandem with Akers and even someone like Lindsay, an all around player who is good at catching screen passes, has really good speed, great playmaking abilities, and solid frame at 6’0 200.
Clay Johnston, ILB His father was Brett Favre’s best man, and a longtime strength and conditioning coach. Highly touted by Favre, with him mentioning that Johnston was the player to watch for in this years 2020 draft. High energy, high motor, and a strong tackler. He could develop into someone like Tedi Bruschi if he plays his cards right. Such a fan favorite, rooting for this guy.
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2020.07.25 15:46 PM-ME-A-PRIME-NUMBER Offseason Review Series: The 2020 New York Jets

New York Jets

Division: AFC East
 
1 New England Patriots (12-4)
2 Buffalo Bills (10-6)
3 New York Jets (7-9)
4 Miami Dolphins (5-11)
 

Coaching Changes

The Jets did not make any major coaching changes this offseason, retaining HC Adam Gase, OC Dowell Loggains, and DC Gregg Williams.
 

Free Agency

Players Lost/Cut
Player Position New Team
Trevor Siemian QB Free Agent
Bilal Powell RB Free Agent
Ty Montgomery RB New Orleans
Robby Anderson WR Carolina
Demaryius Thomas WR Free Agent
Kelvin Beachum LT Arizona
Brent Qvale LG Houston
Ryan Kalil C Free Agent
Tom Compton RG San Francisco
Brandon Shell RT Seattle
Brandon Copeland EDGE New England
Paul Worrilow ILB Free Agent
Albert McClellan ILB Free Agent
Trumaine Johnson CB Free Agent
Darryl Roberts FS Detroit
Rontez Miles FS Free Agent
Blake Countess DB Free Agent
Lachlan Edwards P Free Agent
 
The Jets reshaped their weapons for Sam Darnold this offseason, losing three veterans and bringing in a number of free agents and draft picks. GM Joe Douglas opted not to re-sign RB Bilal Powell who the Jets drafted in 2011, and he remains a free agent. Most significantly, Douglas allowed his top offensive weapon in WR Robby Anderson to walk to Carolina on a 2-year, $20.0 MM deal, creating a void at outside receiver. The team has also not re-signed WR Demaryius Thomas, who filled in for Quincy Enunwa last season and remains a free agent.
 
The biggest change that the Jets made to their personnel this offseason was along the offensive line, and as such there were a number of veteran casualties. LT Kelvin Beachum started for the Jets from 2017 to 2019, but he seems to have regressed, but he projects to compete for Arizona on a 1-year deal. The Jets also let C Ryan Kalil go, who unretired to snap for Sam Darnold last offseason but disappointed and got injured, and he remains a free agent. RG Tom Compton was forced into action last season with the injury to Brian Winters, and he, as is characteristic of his NFL career thus far, struggled massively in run blocking and pass pro, but he projects to compete anyway next year for San Francisco on a 1-year deal. Joe Douglas and Adam Gase never expressed interest in RT Brandon Shell for the long term, benching him for the raw Chuma Edoga early in 2019, so it was not a surprise to see the Jets let Shell go to start for Seattle on a 2-year contract.
 
The Jets mostly kept their 7th-ranked total defense in tact this offseason, only losing two key pieces. EDGE Brandon Copeland left for New England on a 1-year contract, which is not a surprising location, as Copeland is a great utility player, functioning as a rush linebacker, an off-ball linebacker, and a core special teamer for the Jets in 2019. Similarly, Joe Douglas has not re-signed the versatile FS Rontez Miles, who has played high safety, box safety, and a key special-teams role during his seven-year Jets tenure, and he remains a free agent.
 
The Jets cut CB Trumaine Johnson, which was virtually a no-brainer after two injury-plagued seasons in which his lack of speed was frequently exposed. The only real decision was whether to cut Johnson immediately, which would have resulted in a $12.0 MM dead cap hit in 2020, or to designate Johnson as a post-June 1 cut, which would have resulted in a $4.0 MM dead cap hit in 2020 and a $8.0 MM dead cap hit in 2021. Joe Douglas opted for the latter, meaning that the Jets saved a total of $11.0 MM by cutting Johnson in 2020. Grade: A
 
The Jets cut FS Darryl Roberts in mid-March. The Jets had high hopes for Roberts following the 2018 season, prompting them to sign him to a three-year contract with an out after one year. Roberts had a rocky first eight games of the season at cornerback before injuring his calf and being benched in favor of Maulet and Austin. Roberts remained a special-teams asset and good safety depth in December, but ultimately GM Joe Douglas decided he could cut Roberts, save $6.0 MM, and look elsewhere for a replacement. Grade: B
 
Players Signed
Player Position Old Team Length Salary
Joe Flacco QB Denver 1 year $1.5 MM
David Fales QB NY Jets 1 year $0.9 MM
Frank Gore RB Buffalo 1 year $1.1 MM
Breshad Perriman WR Tampa Bay 1 year $6.5 MM
Josh Doctson WR Minnesota 1 year $0.9 MM
Daniel Brown TE NY Jets 1 year $0.8 MM
Alex Lewis LG NY Jets 3 years $18.6 MM
Greg Van Roten LG Carolina 3 years $10.5 MM
Josh Andrews LG Indianapolis 1 year $1.0 MM
Connor McGovern C Denver 3 years $27.0 MM
George Fant RT Seattle 3 years $27.3 MM
Jordan Jenkins EDGE NY Jets 1 year $3.9 MM
Neville Hewitt ILB NY Jets 1 year $2.0 MM
Patrick Onwuasor ILB Baltimore 1 year $2.0 MM
James Burgess ILB NY Jets 1 year $0.9 MM
Pierre Desir CB Indianapolis 1 year $4.0 MM
Arthur Maulet CB NY Jets 1 year $0.9 MM
Quincy Wilson CB Indianapolis 1 year $1.3 MM
Brian Poole NCB NY Jets 1 year $5.0 MM
Bennett Jackson FS NY Jets 1 year $0.7 MM
 
Jets GM Joe Douglas used to work in Baltimore, where he was supposedly very influential in the decision to draft QB Joe Flacco, so this signing is far from surprising. While Joe Flacco may be trending down in his play, $1.5 MM feels like a bargain for the chance at solid veteran insurance for Sam Darnold. However, his neck surgery will supposedly keep him out for the opening of the season. Grade: B
 
After the draft, the Jets signed RB Frank Gore to a 1-year, $1.1 MM deal to ensure that he will play his 16th season in green and white. Gore is a physical back who played under Jets HC Adam Gase in San Francisco in 2008 and in Miami in 2018. Gore can take some of the pressure off of starting RB Le'Veon Bell in 2020 as the Jets move towards a "runningback by committee" system. Grade: B
 
The Jets-Ravens connection proved strong again with the signing of WR Breshad Perriman. Perriman was a first-round pick for the Ravens in 2015 while current Jets' Director of Player Personnel Chad Alexander was with Baltimore, and though he never really produced at a high level there, he had a resurgence in 2019 for the Buccaneers. Especially in November and December, where he performed at a 1000-yard rate projected over a whole season, Perriman proved to be a legitimate outside option across from Mike Evans with Chris Godwin in the slot. Perriman is a big, athletic receiver who projects to be worth the $6.5 MM deal to get a shot on the outside. Grade: A
 
Yet again, the Jets signed a former Ravens player, re-signing LG Alex Lewis, who played 2016 through 2018 with Baltimore before GM Joe Douglas traded for him in the 2019 offseason. Lewis stepped in for Kelechi Osemele last season and was a serviceable starter. Lewis is good in pass pro, versatile, and a good zone fit as a guard. However, Lewis could touch up on his penalties and overall run blocking for 2020. GM Joe Douglas only gave Lewis a 3-year, $18.6 MM deal which actually has an out after 1 year, which seems like a solid price to get another look at a 28-year-old guard who might be part of the team's future. Grade: B
 
The Jets' biggest free-agent singing in 2020 in terms of guaranteed money was former Broncos' C Connor McGovern at $18.0 MM. McGovern is an athletic lineman with experience at guard and center. He is a powerful center, and that serves him well in the run game. However, McGovern has a weak anchor and inconsistent pad level and leverage in the pass game. For this reason, despite the need at center, Joe Douglas' decision to commit two years to a center who is, perhaps, below average in pass pro is worthy of scrutiny. Grade: C
 
The biggest heavily-scrutinized acquisition that the Jets made in 2020 was probably signing former Seahawks RT George Fant to a 3-year, $27.3 MM contract. Fant functioned primarily as a swing tackle and as a sixth offensive lineman in Seattle, as he could not see the field as a starter over Germain Ifedi. Fant remains a very raw pass protector in terms of his anchor and the fluidity of his kickslide, and his ability in the run is only theoretically a strength in zone blocking. While Fant's contract has an out in 2021, it is a bit strange to see him making a similar salary to Bryan Bulaga and Halapoulvaati Vaitai. Grade: D
 
The Jets were patient in re-signing their own free agents, which probably helped get good value retaining EDGE Jordan Jenkins. Despite notching 15 combined sacks over the past two seasons, Jenkins only got $3.9 MM from the Jets. The sack number is a bit misleading, though, due to a high quantity of "coverage sacks" and a relatively modest pressure rate. However, Jenkins is a fine run defender, and he'll slot in as EDGE #1 again for the Jets in 2020. Grade: B
 
The Jets also acquired a former Raven on defense with LB Patrick Onwuasor, and they only paid $2.0 MM to bring him in. Onwuasor is an undersized linebacker but a good linear athlete, and while he struggles reading offensive cues and getting off of blocks to stop the run, he is a really good coverage player with the ability to get home as a pass rusher. Onwuasor has played next to CJ Mosley before, and he could potentially contribute in subpackage and base 4-3 looks, in addition to in a depth capacity and on special teams. Grade: A
 
With the cuts of Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts, GM Joe Douglas decided to fill a starting cornerback spot with former Colts CB Pierre Desir on a 1-year, prove-it deal. Desir lacks longspeed, but he is a long, physical corner with decent short-area quickness. However, Desir lacks refinement in press and zone. With that said, $4.0 MM is a reasonable price to get a fill-in outside cornerback in 2020. Grade: B
 
This signing probably didnt get much national coverage, but re-signing CB Arthur Maulet could pay huge dividends for the Jets in 2020. In 2019, Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts failed to hit expectations, forcing Maulet, Nate Hairston, and rookie Blessuan Austin into the outside cornerback rotation. Maulet is the only one of that group who was not benched for performance reasons. For a mere $0.9 MM, retaining a guy in Maulet who is familiar with the defense who will compete to start in 2020 is seemingly a no-brainer. Grade: A
 
Instead of making another draft choice, the Jets decided to trade pick 211 for former Colts CB Quincy Wilson. Wilson, a former 2nd-round pick, was a raw prospect coming out of Florida, and his penalties and lack of zone instincts followed him to the pros and led to his benching. However, Wilson is a big, long, and athletic corner, and at only 23 years of age, it makes sense that GM Joe Douglas wants to bring him on board to compete in an iffy cornerback room. Grade: C
 
This signing went somewhat under-the-radar, but Jets fans were thrilled when the team retained NCB Brian Poole to play slot on a 1-year, $5.0 MM contract. Poole is a good run defender with an ability to rush the passer, and he had a career year in coverage in 2019. Brian Poole is a good fit for Gregg Williams' defense, so retaining him to start in 2020 for a mere $5.0 MM seems to be a good value. Grade: B
 

Draft

Round Number Pos Player School
1 11 LT Mekhi Becton Louisville
2 59 WR Denzel Mims Baylor
3 68 FS Ashtyn Davis Cal
3 79 EDGE Jabari Zuniga Florida
4 120 RB La'Mical Perine Florida
4 125 QB James Morgan FIU
4 129 LT Cameron Clark Charlotte
5 158 CB Bryce Hall Virginia
6 191 P Braden Mann Texas A&M
 
The eleventh pick, Louisville LT Mekhi Becton, was my favorite acquisition that the Jets made during the 2020 offseason. While there were other options on the board, namely Tristan Wirfs, Henry Ruggs, and CeeDee Lamb, that the Jets presumably could have considered, Becton was the exact player I thought the Jets should take when he fell to 11. The first thing that stands out about Becton is his massive size, as he's 6'7", 364 lbs, with a monstrous 83-inch wingspan. Becton, however, is much more than a heavy lineman, as he defies expectations with his exceptional 5.1-flat movement skills. Becton is a hulking run blocker who is inexperienced but a fluid mover in pass pro. Becton projects to replace Kelvin Beachum and slide in at left tackle immediately in his rookie season. Grade: A
 
Wanting to add more picks to build the Jets in his image in his first year as GM, Joe Douglas opted to move down from 48 to 59 in the second round. This was a costly move, as it caused the Jets to miss out on AJ Epenesa and Darrell Taylor, but the Jets managed to grab a falling Senior Bowl standout in Baylor WR Denzel Mims. Mims is a height-weight-speed freak with good length, hands, and blocking. Mims should start at outside receiver across from Breshad Perriman in year one. Grade: B
 
The Jets' first third-round pick of 2020 was a real surprise to many fans, as although the team already had arguably the best safety tandem in football with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the Jets drafted Cal FS Ashytn Davis with the 68th-overall draft selection. Davis is a freak athlete who played high safety, box safety, and even slot corner at Cal and would almost definitely have been drafted significantly higher but for teams' inability to medically check his groin post-surgery. It's possible that Gregg Williams will utilize Davis as a big nickel defender this year, but this selection could also give the Jets flexibility if Marcus Maye, who is a free agent in 2021, or Jamal Adams, with whom the Jets are supposedly far apart on a long-term contract, depart. Grade: B
 
Despite having a starting EDGE tandem consisting of Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham and losing Brandon Copeland to New England, the Jets did not add outside talent to the position group before the draft, forcing GM Joe Douglas to pick Florida EDGE Jabari Zuniga at 79 overall. Zuniga is a good linear athlete with a decent ability to set the edge and some interior versatility, and he could project to replace Jordan Jenkins as a starter in 2021. However, Zuniga struggles with stiff hips and slow reaction time at the snap, and plus he missed most of the 2019 season with ankle injuries. The Jets probably hit the right position with Zuniga, who should factor into the pass-rush rotation with Jenkins, Basham, and Kyle Phillips, but it's hard to justify drafting Zuniga with guys like Jonathan Greenard, Terrell Lewis, and DJ Wonnum still on the board. Grade: C
 
With his first day-3 selection as GM, Joe Douglas chose Florida RB La'Mical Perine. Perine is a physical runner with some receiving versatility out of the backfield. However, Perine doesn't really offer very much in terms of speed or vision, and drafting a RB instead of going offensive line, pass rush, receiver, or cornerback with Le'Veon Bell already in the fold was a curious move. Grade: D
 
The second of the Jets' 4th-round picks probably stirred up the most intrigue, as most casual football fans probably didn't expect the Jets to draft a quarterback. With that said, the Jets have gone a combined 0-6 over the past two seasons in games that Darnold did not start, and at this time David Fales was slated to be the backup quarterback, so drafting FIU QB James Morgan in the fourth round, which I thought was a value anyway, was a good choice. Morgan is a thick quarterback with a live arm with developmental potential. Grade: B
 
With their third pick in the fourth round, the Jets chose a player with the potential to start soon on the offensive line in Charlotte LT Cameron Clark. Clark is a powerful lineman who started at left tackle in his rSo, rJr, and rSr seasons and has good short-area quickness despite his 5.29 forty. Some have floated Cameron Clark as a potential convert to guard for the Jets due to his sloppy pass-pro footwork. Grade: B
 
The Jets addressed the secondary in round 5, taking Virginia CB Bryce Hall at 158 overall. Hall is a long, tall corner who moves well, has zone instincts, and contributes in the run game. However, Hall's struggles in press and off-man probably project him better as a safety in the NFL rather than as a corner, which doesn't seem to be a need with Adams, Maye, and Davis already in the fold, and Hall's ankle injury prevented him from working out at the Combine, leaving teams in a state of uncertainty about his health and his testing numbers. Grade: C
 
With their 6th-round pick, the Jets went special teams with Texas A&M P Braden Mann. Mann has a big leg and can handle kickoff duties. Mann projects to replace Lachlan Edwards, but this may have been a tad high for a punter. Grade: C
 
The Jets had an intriguing undrafted free agent class with a number of guys who warranted day-3 draft consideration, but two guys that I liked pre-draft stood out as being worth mentioning. Georgia WR Lawrence Cager is a physical receiver at the line of scrimmage and a redzone threat. Alabama NCB Shyheim Carter played the STAR role in Nick Saban's defense, and he proved his versatility as a college approximation of a nickel corner, a box safety, a high safety, and a subpackage linebacker, and he likely would have been drafted if teams had been able to conduct medical rechecks on him after a minor injury prevented him from working out at the Combine.
 

Other Offseason News

After tensions flared at the trade deadline last season, SS Jamal Adams expressed his frustrations with a lack of a contract extension on social media before supposedly requesting a trade in June. However, according to Connor Hughes at The Athletic, the Jets still hope to sign Adams to a long-term contract. Reportedly, over half of the teams in the NFL have expressed interest in adding the defensive star, but the Dallas Cowboys have gotten the most traction as a potential trade partner, with La'El Collins and Michael Gallup coming up as potential trade targets. Jamal Adams is still on his rookie contract for 2020, and the Jets accepted his fifth-year option for 2021.
 
Also, this isn't really news, but former Jets' All Pro CB Darrelle Revis continued his spat with 49ers' All Pro Richard Sherman, culminating in this unusual Tweet:
3 facts here.
@RSherman_25
•I’m more handsome than him according to women.
•I’m better at corner than him according to everyone.
•Shutdown corners are paid more than Zone 3 corners which I’m currently still am today.
 

Projected Starting Lineup

Pos 1 2 3 4
off
QB Sam Darnold J Flacco J Morgan
RB Le'Veon Bell F Gore L Perine T Cannon
WR Breshad Perriman J Smith
WR Denzel Mims V Smith
SWR Jamison Crowder B Berrios
TE Chris Herndon R Griffin D Brown
LT Mekhi Becton C Clark
LG Alex Lewis G Van Roten
C Connor McGovern J Harrison
RG Brian Winters
RT George Fant C Edoga
def
EDGE Jordan Jenkins K Phillips
EDGE Tarell Basham J Zuniga
DT Henry Anderson N Shepherd F Fatukasi
DT Quinnen Williams S McLendon
ILB CJ Mosley N Hewitt B Cashman
ILB Avery Williamson P Onwuasor H Langi
CB Pierre Desir B Hall
CB Arthur Maulet Q Wilson
NCB Brian Poole S Carter
SS Jamal Adams A Davis
FS Marcus Maye M Farley
spec
K Sam Ficken
P Braden Mann
LS Thomas Hennessy
 
Roster Bubble (In): RB Trenton Cannon, WR Jeff Smith, ILB Harvey Langi, NCB Shyheim Carter, K Sam Ficken
 
Roster Bubble (Out): WR Josh Doctson, TE Trevon Wesco, LG Josh Andrews, EDGE John Franklin-Myers, CB Blessuan Austin
 

Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses

QB - Neutral/Weakness
Jets fans aren't going to love this one, but Sam Darnold is arguably still a bottom-third passer going into 2020. Darnold has been surrounded by a poor supporting cast over the past two years, including a turnstile of receivers with drop issues across Robby Anderson and linemen with pass-pro issues, but he certainly has not dominated like other young quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and Carson Wentz. The Jets have a good group behind Darnold, though, including Joe Flacco, who supposedly won't be ready for week 1, and James Morgan, a 4th-round rookie out of FIU.
 
Backfield - Strength
Le'Veon Bell, who is making $15.5 MM this season, is an all-around back in terms of running between the tackles, receiving, and pass protecting. The Jets also signed the ageless wonder Frank Gore to take some of the pressure off of Bell. Joe Douglas also drafted La'Mical Perine to contribute in the backfield.
 
Pass Catchers - Neutral/Weakness
In 2020, the Jets are banking on production from unproved pass catchers who have performed well in limited sample sizes. Joe Douglas signed Breshad Perriman, who had a very productive end to his 2019 season, to man one of the outside receiver spots. He also drafted Denzel Mims out of Baylor to presumably also start as a rookie. Jamison Crowder broke out last year as an above-average slot receiver, and Chris Herndon missed virtually all of last season but played well in his rookie season as a tight end. The receiver depth lacks standout names, with Vyncint Smith as the presumptive WR4, but the tight end depth is strong, with Ryan Griffin returning on a multi-year extension.
 
Offensive Line - Weakness
The Jets entirely remade their offensive line, and while each position is arguably improved on paper, it is still young and unproven. Most significantly, at LT, Joe Douglas drafted Mekhi Becton at 11, who is already a really good run blocker with the tools to grow in pass pro. Douglas also re-signed Alex Lewis, who is probably serviceable but below average, to start at left guard, but he could face competition from 4th-round rookie Cameron Clark. The Jets signed Connor McGovern to start at C, and while he should solidify the position for at least the next two years, he is not extraordinary. Right guard shapes up to be an open competition between incumbent Brian Winters, who is serviceable when healthy, and new acquisition Greg Van Roten. At RT, the Jets signed George Fant, who played mostly as a swing tackle or sixth offensive lineman for Seattle to compete with Chuma Edoga.
 
Defensive Line - Weakness
This is a tough pill to swallow for Jets fans, but the days of Muhammad Wilkerson, and Leonard Williams are over. At EDGE, the Jets have arguably the worst duo in the NFL with Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham presumably playing as starters, with rookie 3rd-round pick Jabari Zuniga and 2019 UDFA Kyle Phillips playing rotationally and John Franklin-Myers competing for snaps. Starting on the interior, the Jets have Quinnen Williams, the former third-overall selection who notched 2.5 sacks and 4 TFLs in his rookie season and was arrested in March on a weapons charge, and Henry Anderson, a nimble interior penetrator who had a breakout year in 2018 before regressing to the mean in 2019. Nathan Shepherd, Steve McLendon, and Foley Fatukasi should all see plenty of tread on the DL, as well.
 
Linebackers - Strength
The Jets had a nearly-comical number of injuries at off-ball linebacker last season, but on paper, the unit appears very strong. CJ Mosley, 2019 FA acquisition, missed almost the entire 2019 season with a groin injury, but when healthy, he is one of the best linebackers in football. Avery Williamson, who projects to start across Mosley in 2020, is a good run defender but missed the entire 2019 year with a torn ACL. Returning starter Neville Hewitt, cheap FA acquisition Patrick Onwuasor, and promising second-year player Blake Cashman could each play in various base or subpackage roles, in addition to on special teams.
 
Secondary - Neutral
Similar to the defensive line, the Jets secondary is a tale of two halves, in this case safeties and cornerbacks. At safety, the Jets have reigning All Pro Jamal Adams and solid free safety Marcus Maye returning, in addition to the versatile 3rd-round pick Ashtyn Davis out of Cal. Outside cornerback is in flux, as new acquisition Pierre Desir should lock up one spot, while Arthur Maulet, Quincy Wilson, 5th-round rookie Bryce Hall, and Blessuan Austin could compete for the other starting spot, with last year's breakout player Brian Poole locking up the slot. Nate Hairston and Shyheim Carter could compete for other key depth roles in the secondary.
 
Special Teams - Strength/Neutral
At kicker, the Jets had a rocky performance last year, so they brought in Brett Maher to compete with last year's starter Sam Ficken. At punter, the Jets have rookie Braden Mann, who handles kickoffs and whose 47.1 yards per punt would have ranked 4th in the NFL last year. At longsnapper, Thomas Hennessy is an asset in coverage and will return in 2020. Additionally, WR Vyncint Smith and FS Matthias Farley project to play major roles in kick coverage next season, with other jobs up for grabs.
 

Schedule Predictions

Week 1 at Buffalo: L - Other than the loss of Shaq Lawson and the additions of Stefon Diggs and AJ Epenesa, the Bills mostly had a quiet offseason, though with encouraging performances from young players in Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, Tremaine Edmunds, and Tre'Davious White and with the team coming off of a 10-6 campaign, there’s a lot about which to be enthusiastic in Buffalo. The Bills, who went 10-6 last year and made the playoffs, beat the Jets here in their home opener. Record: 0-1
 
Week 2 vs San Francisco: L - The 49ers took a huge leap in 2019, marching through the NFC and into the Super Bowl, and the additions of Trent Williams, Brandon Aiyuk, and Javon Kinlaw should keep them competitive in 2020. If Jamal Adams is on the team, he might be able to get in George Kittle's way, but nevertheless the 49ers should be one of the NFL's most well-rounded football teams, and so it would be difficult to envision the Jets winning in week 2. Record: 0-2
 
Week 3 at Indianapolis: L - The Colts had a big free agency period, signing Philip Rivers and adding DeForest Buckner in a trade while retaining their entire offensive line. While the Jets went 7-9 last season, just like the Colts did, the Colts probably are the favorites to win at home, especially with the advantage that the Indianapolis offensive line should have over the New York pass rush. Record: 0-3
 
Week 4 vs Denver: L - While the Broncos went 7-9 last season, they have championship aspirations in 2020, as they went 4-1 in Drew Lock's starts last year and added Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Albert Okwuegbunam to a group of weapons already containing Philip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and Jeff Heuerman while retaining defensive stars in Von Miller, AJ Johnson, and Justin Simmons. Though it is a home game, the Jets should be seen as heavy underdogs in week 4. Record: 0-4
 
Week 5 vs Arizona: W - The Cardinals look poised to improve in 2020, with the additions of DeAndre Hopkins, Jordan Phillips, and Isaiah Simmons, but questions remain with the offensive line and defensive line, in addition to with the poor playcalling from Kingsbury and Joseph at times during last season. This could be a key game for Quinnen Williams, Henry Anderson, Steve McLendon, and the interior defensive line to feast on a poor Cardinals' interior offensive line and for Gregg Williams to outmatch Kingsbury and Murray at home. Record: 1-4
 
Week 6 at LA Chargers: L - The Chargers revamped their team this offseason, adding Justin Herbert in the draft and surrounding him with Bryan Bulaga, Trai Turner, and Joe Reed on offense and Kenneth Murray and Chris Harris on defense. Though the quarterback situation is in flux in LA, it’s unlikely that the Jets will go on the road to the West Coast and beat an otherwise well-rounded team. Record: 1-5
 
Week 7 vs Buffalo: W - The Jets have beat the Bills at least once in 8 of the last 10 seasons, and so the Jets should have a shot to win one at home. Record: 2-5
 
Week 8 at Kansas City: L - The Chiefs has a pretty quiet offseason aside from locking up Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones on long-term deals, as they added Mike Remmers, Taco Charlton, Willie Gay, and Lucas Niang while losing Stefen Wisniewski, Emmanuel Ogbah, Reggie Ragland, and Kendall Fuller. Despite the offseason losses, Reid and Mahomes should easily be able to storm past the Jets at home. Record: 2-6
 
Week 9 vs New England: W - The Patriots took a hit this offseason, obviously headlined by the loss of Tom Brady but also supplemented by key defensive losses in Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Duron Harmon in addition to a general lack of attention towards improving a lackluster wide receiver corps. The Jets haven't beat the Patriots since their week 16 overtime thriller in 2015, but a November home game could be a good chance to do it, as the Patriots don't really possess the weapons to exploit issues with the Jets' cornerbacks nor the pass rush to exploit issues with the Jets' offensive line. Record: 3-6
 
Week 10 at Miami: W - The Dolphins had a very poor 2019, finishing 5-11 with the 27th-ranked total offense and the 30th-ranked total defense, and as such they had an incredibly busy offseason, adding Matt Breida, Ereck Flowers, Ted Karras, Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, Emmanuel Ogbah, Elandon Roberts, and Byron Jones in free agency and Tua Tagovailoa, Austin Jackson, Noah Igbinoghene, Robert Hunt, Raekwon Davis, and Solomon Kindley in the draft. However, in Miami before the bye would be a good chance for Adam Gase to get a revenge game win, seeing as the Dolphins still have weaknesses all over their roster including quarterback, offensive tackle, and edge rusher. Record: 4-6
 
WEEK 11 BYE
 
Week 12 vs Miami: L - With all their offseason additions, the Dolphins figure to match up fairly evenly with the Jets in 2020, and so it's likely that the two teams will split the season series. Record: 4-7
 
Week 13 vs Las Vegas: W - The Raiders had a very busy offseason, adding Jason Witten, Maliek Collins, Nick Kwiatkoski, Prince Amukamara, and Damarious Randall in free agency and Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette, Lynn Bowden, Bryan Edwards, and Amik Robertson in the draft with their only major losses being Darryl Worley and Karl Joseph. At home against a West Coast opponent, the Jets would be wise to take advantage of some of the Raiders’ weaknesses in this game, including inexperience at wide receiver, edge rusher, linebacker, and cornerback. Record: 5-7
 
Week 14 at Seattle: L - The Seahawks went 11-5 last season and were one play away from securing the top seed in the NFC, so their offseason was pretty quiet, mostly focusing on the offensive line with the losses of Germain Ifedi, DJ Fluker, and George Fant and the additions of free agents Brandon Shell, BJ Finney, and Cedric Ogbuehi, and draft pick Damien Lewis. Pete Carroll is one of the best coaches in football today, and in this late-season matchup at Seattle he’ll have the personnel advantage against the Jets offense, which lacks talented weapons and blockers. Record: 5-8
 
Week 15 at LA Rams: L - The Rams regressed to 9-7 last year and then had a difficult offseason, losing Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Dante Fowler, and Nickell Robey-Coleman, with their only major addition being A’Shawn Robinson. The 2020 Rams are not the Super Bowl Rams of the past, but with both McVay and Goff still on board, the Rams have to be favorites to take this late-season home game against the Jets. Record: 5-9
 
Week 16 vs Cleveland: W - The Browns had a busy offseason, hiring head coach Kevin Stefanski, losing Greg Robinson, Joe Schobert, and Damarious Randall, signing Austin Hooper, Jack Conklin, Andrew Billings, Karl Joseph, and Damarious Randall, and drafting Jedrick Wills, Grant Delpit, and Jacob Phillips. Despite these additions, however, Cleveland still has a new, inexperienced offensive playcaller at head coach and a question mark at quarterback, and Gregg Williams generally handles quarterbacks who struggle with post-snap reads well with disguised coverages and aggressive blitz packages. Record: 6-9
 
Week 17 at New England: L - With the expanded playoffs, the Patriots have an even greater chance to make the postseason this year than they otherwise would, so this late-season match in Foxborough could be a consequential, divisional-revenge game for New England. Record: 6-10
 
Final Record: 6-10
While I firmly believe that the Jets improved significantly this offseason, especially in terms of the offensive line and getting players back from injury, this year’s schedule is substantially more difficult that last year’s, which could result in less games in the wins column for 2020. Last year, the Jets closed out the back-half of their season going 6-2 playing against rookie Daniel Jones, rookie Dwayne Haskins, Carr, Dalton, Fitzpatrick, Lamar Jackson, rookie Devlin Hodges, and Matt Barkley, and this year the Jets have to play both the AFC West and the NFC West, which is a jump in competition level.
 

Training Camp Battles

WR #2: Denzel Mims vs Vyncint Smith
Jets fans would hope that starting receiver isn’t much of a battle, but since rookie wideouts traditionally are been known to take longer learning the playbook, the other receiver spot next to Perriman and Crowder is in flux. Denzel Mims, the rookie receiver from Baylor, is the odds-on favorite to get a starting role and to play as a deep threat and red-zone threat in year one. However, if Mims proves to be too raw off the bat, the Jets could fall back on Vyncint Smith, who had 17 receptions last year and showed his value as a deep threat.
 
Left Guard: Alex Lewis vs Cameron Clark
Following a 2019 season where Alex Lewis spot-started in place of Kelechi Osemele, the Jets rewarded him with a 3 year, $18.6 MM contract, and he goes into 2020 as the favorite to start at left guard once again. With that being said, the possibility exists that rookie tackle Cameron Clark out of Charlotte will kick inside and compete at left guard.
 
Right Guard: Brian Winters vs Greg Van Roten
After a 2019 season in which Brian Winters went down with a shoulder injury in week 10, many expected the Jets to cut him, but he instead will return as the incumbent starter at right guard. However, new free agent acquisition Greg Van Roten could switch to the right side and compete against Winters to start.
 
Right Tackle: George Fant vs Chuma Edoga
After the Jets had a poor performance form their offensive line in 2019, GM Joe Douglas brought in competition at all position, including at right tackle. George Fant, former Seattle swing tackle, is the presumptive favorite to land the starting job, despite his lack of starting experience. Chuma Edoga could compete as well, but his performance in both run blocking and pass pro was so shaky last year that he needed extensive help from tight ends.
 
EDGE #2: Tarell Basham vs Kyle Phillips vs Jabari Zuniga vs John Franklin-Myers
The Jets started Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham at edge rusher last season, so it was somewhat of a shock to see them add absolutely no outside talent until the middle of the third round, and so now Gregg Williams and the defensive staff are forced to make the pitiful decision between starting Basham, Kyle Phillips, Jabari Zuniga, or John Franklin-Myers across from Jenkins. Basham, who the Jets claimed off waivers in 2018, is the odds-on favorite to start once again after only notching 2 sacks and 4 quarterback hits in 54% of the Jets' defensive snaps. Kyle Phillips, the second-year player from Tennessee who was a five-star high-school recruit, is a thicker lineman best suited to play on run downs who could push for starting snaps as well. Jabari Zuniga, 3rd-round rookie out of Florida, is a third contender for the starting job, but his interior versatility and similarity to Jenkins in terms of his stiffness and poor pad level could suggest the Jets envision him in more of a rotational role. Franklin-Myers, a large and athletic pass rusher who missed last season with an undisclosed injury after the Jets claimed him off waivers from the Rams, could compete for a large snap share with a strong camp.
 
DT #2: Henry Anderson vs Nathan Shepherd
This battle won't get much media coverage, as both Anderson and Shepherd project to get plenty of tread on the New York defensive line, but nevertheless the two will compete in training camp for the upper hand in the snap count. Henry Anderson, incumbent starter and penetrating defensive lineman, saw his production fall off a bit in 2019, in part due to a nagging shoulder injury. Nathan Shepherd saw his role increase in the back half of the season after a suspension sidelined him from weeks two through eight, and with a good camp, he could establish himself as the primary nimble-footed complement to the heftier, run-stopping trio of Williams, McLendon, and Fatukasi.
 
CB #2: Arthur Maulet vs Quincy Wilson vs Bryce Hall vs Blessuan Austin
The outside cornerback spot across from Pierre Desir is probably the most open starting battle on the team. Arthur Maulet, the undersized but physical cornerback out of Memphis, is probably the favorite to start after outplaying Johnson and Roberts last season to win the left cornerback job. Quincy Wilson, the former second-round pick, should be Maulet's primary competition after the Jets traded a draft pick to acquire him from the Colts. Bryce Hall, the rookie 5th-round corner from Virginia, is a darkhorse to start as well if he is healthy to start the season. Blessuan Austin, the former 6th-round pick, might factor into the competition, but he'll have to climb out of Gregg Williams' doghouse after reacting poorly to his week-16 benching last season.
 
Kicker: Sam Ficken vs Brett Maher
Sam Ficken, who hit 70% of his kicks last season, will compete with Brett Maher, who hit 67% of his kicks last season, for the starting kicker job, but neither candidate should have to handle kickoffs with rookie punter Braden Mann in the fold.
 

Offensive and Defensive Schemes

Adam Gase, head coach and offensive playcaller for the Jets, runs a zone-blocking, short-passing offense mostly out of 11 personnel while also mixing in some 2-TE sets. In the run game, Gase is willing to run gap concepts based on his offensive line personnel, but he favors his inside zone running playcalls. In the pass game, Gase likes to stack his receivers, throw checkdowns, split his backs out wide, and utilize the sidelines.
 
Gregg Williams, defensive coordinator for the Jets, runs a 3-4 hybrid, blitz-heavy defense with an emphasis on zone coverage. In the front seven, Williams has used both 3-4 and 4-3 base packages, though he mostly uses nickel fronts and one-gapping penetration schemes. In the secondary, Williams stresses MOFC shells, press-zone concepts, and disguised coverages and blitzes.
 
Huge thanks to u/PlatypusOfDeath for running this series.
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2020.07.19 17:24 PM-ME-A-PRIME-NUMBER r/NFL Offseason Review — 2020 NY Jets

New York Jets

Division: AFC East
 
1 New England Patriots (12-4)
2 Buffalo Bills (10-6)
3 New York Jets (7-9)
4 Miami Dolphins (5-11)
 

Coaching Changes

The Jets did not make any major coaching changes this offseason, retaining HC Adam Gase, OC Dowell Loggains, and DC Gregg Williams.
 

Free Agency

Players Lost/Cut
Player Position New Team
Trevor Siemian QB Free Agent
Bilal Powell RB Free Agent
Ty Montgomery RB New Orleans
Robby Anderson WR Carolina
Demaryius Thomas WR Free Agent
Kelvin Beachum LT Free Agent
Brent Qvale LG Houston
Ryan Kalil C Free Agent
Tom Compton RG San Francisco
Brandon Shell RT Seattle
Brandon Copeland EDGE New England
Paul Worrilow ILB Free Agent
Albert McClellan ILB Free Agent
Trumaine Johnson CB Free Agent
Darryl Roberts FS Detroit
Rontez Miles FS Free Agent
Blake Countess DB Free Agent
Lachlan Edwards P Free Agent
 
The Jets reshaped their weapons for Sam Darnold this offseason, losing three veterans and bringing in a number of free agents and draft picks. GM Joe Douglas opted not to re-sign RB Bilal Powell who the Jets drafted in 2011, and he remains a free agent. Most significantly, Douglas allowed his top offensive weapon in WR Robby Anderson to walk to Carolina on a 2 year, $20.0 MM deal, creating a void at outside receiver. The team has also not re-signed WR Demaryius Thomas, who filled in for Quincy Enunwa last season, and he remains a free agent.
 
The biggest change that the Jets made to their personnel this offseason was along the offensive line, and as such there were a number of veteran casualties. LT Kelvin Beachum started for the Jets from 2017 to 2019, but he seems to have regressed, and he remains a free agent. The Jets also let C Ryan Kalil go, who unretired to snap for Sam Darnold last offseason but disappointed and got injured, and he remains a free agent. RG Tom Compton was forced into action last season with the injury to Brian Winters, and he, as is characteristic of his NFL career thus far, struggled massively in run blocking and pass pro, but he projects to compete anyway next year for San Francisco on a 1 year deal. Joe Douglas and Adam Gase never expressed interest in RT Brandon Shell for the long term, benching him for the raw Chuma Edoga early in 2019, so it was not a surprise to see the Jets let Shell go to start for Seattle on a 2 year contract.
 
The Jets mostly kept their defense in tact this offseason, only losing two key pieces. EDGE Brandon Copeland left for New England on a 1 year contract, which is not a surprising location, as Copeland is a great utility player, functioning as a rush linebacker, an off-ball linebacker, and a core special teamer for the Jets in 2019. Similarly, Joe Douglas has not re-signed the versatile FS Rontez Miles, who has played single-high safety, box safety, and a key special teams role during his seven-year Jets tenure, and he remains a free agent.
 
The Jets cut CB Trumaine Johnson, which was virtually a no-brainer after two injury-plagued seasons in which his lack of speed was frequently exposed. The only real decision was whether to cut Johnson immediately, which would have resulted in a $12.0 MM dead cap hit in 2020, or to designate Johnson as a post-June 1 cut, which would have resulted in a $4.0 MM dead cap hit in 2020 and a $8.0 MM dead cap hit in 2021. Joe Douglas opted for the latter, meaning that the Jets saved a total of $11.0 MM by cutting Johnson in 2020. Grade: A
 
The Jets cut FS Darryl Roberts in mid-March. The Jets had high hopes for Roberts following the 2018 season, prompting them to sign him to a three-year contract with an out after one year. Roberts had a rocky first eight games of the season at cornerback before injuring his calf and being benched in favor of Maulet, Austin, and Canady. Roberts remained a special-teams asset and good safety depth in December, but ultimately GM Joe Douglas decided he could cut Roberts, save $6.0 MM, and look elsewhere for a replacement. Grade: B
 
Players Signed
Player Position Old Team Length Salary
Joe Flacco QB Denver 1 year $1.5 MM
David Fales QB NY Jets 1 year $0.9 MM
Frank Gore RB Buffalo 1 year $1.1 MM
Breshad Perriman WR Tampa Bay 1 year $6.5 MM
Josh Doctson WR Minnesota 1 year $0.9 MM
Daniel Brown TE NY Jets 1 year $0.8 MM
Alex Lewis LG NY Jets 3 years $18.6 MM
Greg Van Roten LG Carolina 3 years $10.5 MM
Josh Andrews LG Indianapolis 1 year $1.0 MM
Connor McGovern C Denver 3 years $27.0 MM
George Fant RT Seattle 3 years $27.3 MM
Jordan Jenkins EDGE NY Jets 1 year $3.9 MM
Neville Hewitt ILB NY Jets 1 year $2.0 MM
Patrick Onwuasor ILB Baltimore 1 year $2.0 MM
James Burgess ILB NY Jets 1 year $0.9 MM
Pierre Desir CB Indianapolis 1 year $4.0 MM
Arthur Maulet CB NY Jets 1 year $0.9 MM
Quincy Wilson CB Indianapolis 1 year $1.3 MM
Bennett Jackson FS NY Jets 1 year $0.7 MM
Brian Poole DB NY Jets 1 year $5.0 MM
 
Jets GM Joe Douglas used to work in Baltimore, where he was supposedly very influential in the decision to draft QB Joe Flacco, so this signing is far from surprising. While Joe Flacco may be trending down in his play, $1.5 MM feels like a bargain for the chance at solid veteran insurance for Sam Darnold. However, his neck surgery will supposedly keep him out for the opening of the season. Grade: B
 
After the draft, the Jets signed RB Frank Gore to a 1 year, $1.1 MM deal to ensure that he will play his 16th season in green and white. Gore is a physical back who played under Jets HC Adam Gase in San Francisco in 2008 and in Miami in 2018. Gore can take some of the pressure off of starting RB Le'Veon Bell in 2020 as the Jets move towards a "runningback by committee" system. Grade: B
 
The Jets-Ravens connection proved strong again with the signing of WR Breshad Perriman. Perriman was a first-round pick for the Ravens in 2015 while current Jets' Director of Player Personnel Chad Alexander was with Baltimore, and though he never really produced at a high level there, he had a resurgence in 2019 for the Buccaneers. Especially in November and December, where he performed at a 1000-yard rate projected over a whole season, Perriman proved to be a legitimate outside option across from Mike Evans with Chris Godwin in the slot. Perriman is a big, athletic receiver who projects to be well-worth the $6.5 MM deal to start on the outside. Grade: B
 
Yet again, the Jets signed a former Ravens player, re-signing LG Alex Lewis, who played 2016 through 2018 with Baltimore before GM Joe Douglas traded for him in the 2019 offseason. Lewis stepped in for Kelechi Osemele last season and was a serviceable starter. Lewis is good in pass pro, versatile, and a good zone fit as a guard. However, Lewis could touch up on his penalties and overall run blocking for 2020. GM Joe Douglas only gave Lewis a 3 year, $18.6 MM deal which actually has an out after 1 year, which seems like a solid price to get another look at a 28-year-old guard who might be part of the team's future. Grade: B
 
The Jets' biggest free-agent singing in 2020 in terms of guaranteed money was former Broncos' C Connor McGovern at $18.0 MM. McGovern is an athletic lineman with experience at guard and center. He is a powerful center, and that serves him well in the run game. However, McGovern has a weak anchor and inconsistent pad level and leverage in the pass game. For this reason, despite the need at center, Joe Douglas' decision to commit two years to a center who is, perhaps, below average in pass pro is worthy of scrutiny. Grade: C
 
The biggest heavily-scrutinized acquisition that the Jets made in 2020 was probably signing former Seahawks RT George Fant to a 3 year, $27.3 MM contract. Fant functioned primarily as a swing tackle and as a sixth offensive lineman in Seattle, as he could not see the field as a starter over Germain Ifedi. Fant remains a very raw pass protector in terms of his anchor and the fluidity of his kickslide, and his ability in the run is only theoretically a strength in zone blocking. While Fant's contract has an out in 2021, it is a bit strange to see him making a similar salary to Bryan Bulaga and Halapoulvaati Vaitai. Grade: D
 
The Jets were patient in re-signing their own free agents, which probably helped get good value retaining EDGE Jordan Jenkins. Despite notching 15 combined sacks over the past two seasons, Jenkins only got $3.9 MM from the Jets. The sack number is a bit misleading, though, due to a high quantity of "coverage sacks" and a relatively modest pressure rate. However, Jenkins is a fine run defender, and he'll slot in as EDGE #1 again for the bets in 2020. Grade: B
 
The Jets also acquired a former Raven on defense with LB Patrick Onwuasor, and they only paid $2.0 MM to bring him in. Onwuasor is an undersized linebacker but a good linear athlete, and while he struggles reading offensive cues and getting off of blocks to stop the run, he is a really good coverage player with the ability to get home as a pass rusher. Onwuasor has played next to CJ Mosley before, and he could potentially contribute in subpackage and base 4-3 looks, in addition to in a depth capacity and on special teams. Grade: B
 
With the cuts of Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts, GM Joe Douglas decided to fill a starting cornerback spot with former Colts CB Pierre Desir on a 1 year, prove-it deal. Desir lacks longspeed, but he is a long, physical corner with decent short-area quickness. However, Desir lacks refinement in press and zone. With that said, $4.0 MM is a reasonable price to get a fill-in outside cornerback in 2020. Grade: B
 
This signing probably didnt get much national coverage, but re-signing CB Arthur Maulet could pay huge dividends for the Jets in 2020. In 2019, Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts failed to hit expectations, forcing Maulet, Nate Hairston, and rookie Blessuan Austin into the outside cornerback rotation. Maulet is the only one of that group who was not benched for performance reasons. For a mere $0.9 MM, retaining a guy in Maulet who is familiar with the defense who will compete to start in 2020 is seemingly a no-brainer. Grade: A
 
Instead of making another draft choice, the Jets decided to trade pick 211 for former Colts CB Quincy Wilson. Wilson, a former second-round pick, was a raw prospect coming out of Florida, and his penalties and lack of zone instincts followed him to the pros and led to his benching. However, Wilson is a big, long, and athletic corner, and at only 23 years of age, it makes sense that GM Joe Douglas wants to bring him on board to compete in an iffy cornerback room. Grade: C
 
This signing went somewhat under-the-radar, but Jets fans were thrilled when the team retained DB Brian Poole to man the slot on a 1 year, $5.0 MM contract. Poole is a good run defender with an ability to rush the passer, and he had a career year in coverage in 2019. Brian Poole is a good fit for Gregg Williams' defense, so retaining him to start in 2020 for a mere $5.0 MM seems to be a good value. Grade: B
 

Draft

Round Number Pos Player School
1 11 LT Mekhi Becton Louisville
2 59 WR Denzel Mims Baylor
3 68 FS Ashtyn Davis California
3 79 EDGE Jabari Zuniga Florida
4 120 RB La'Mical Perine Florida
4 125 QB James Morgan FIU
4 129 LT Cameron Clark Charlotte
5 158 CB Bryce Hall Virginia
6 191 P Braden Mann Texas A&M
 
The eleventh pick, Louisville T Mekhi Becton, was my favorite acquisition that the Jets made during the 2020 offseason. While there were other options on the board, namely Tristan Wirfs, Henry Ruggs, and Ceedee Lamb, that the Jets presumably could have considered, Becton was the exact player I thought the Jets should take when he fell to 11. The first thing that stands out about Becton is his massive size, as he's 6'7", 364 lbs, with a monstrous 83-inch wingspan. Becton, however, is much more than a heavy lineman, as he defies the norm with his exceptional 5.1-flat movement skills. Becton is a hulking run blocker who is inexperienced but a fluid mover in pass pro. Becton projects to replace Kelvin Beachum and slide in at left tackle immediately in his rookie season. Grade: A
 
Wanting to add more picks to build the Jets in his image in his first year as GM, Joe Douglas opted to move down from 48 to 59 in the second round. This was a costly move, as it caused the Jets to miss out on AJ Epenesa and Darrell Taylor, but the Jets managed to grab a falling Senior Bowl standout in Baylor WR Denzel Mims. Mims is a height-weight-speed freak with good length, hands, and run-blocking toughness. Mims should slot in as a starting outside receiver across from Breshad Perriman in year one. Grade: B
 
The Jets' first third-round pick of 2020 was a real surprise to many fans, as although the team already had arguably the best safety tandem in football with Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, the Jets drafted California FS Ashytn Davis with the 68th-overall draft selection. Davis is a freak athlete who played single-high safety, box safety, and even slot cornerback at Cal and would almost definitely have been drafted significantly higher but for teams' inability to medically check his groin post-surgery. It's possible that Gregg Williams will utilize Davis as a big nickel defender this year, but this selection could also give the Jets flexibility if Marcus Maye, who is a free agent in 2021, or Jamal Adams, with whom the Jets are supposedly far apart on a long-term contract, depart. Grade: B
 
Despite having a starting EDGE tandem consisting of Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham and losing Brandon Copeland to New England, the Jets did not add outside talent to the position group before the draft, forcing GM Joe Douglas to pick Florida EDGE Jabari Zuniga at 79 overall. Zuniga is a good linear athlete with a decent ability to set the edge and with some interior versatility, and he could maybe project to replace Jordan Jenkins as a starter in 2021. However, Zuniga struggles with stiff hips and slow reaction time at the snap, and plus he missed most of the 2019 season with ankle injuries. The Jets probably hit the right position with Zuniga, who should factor into the pass-rush rotation with Jenkins, Basham, and 2019 UDFA Kyle Phillips, but it's really hard to justify drafting Zuniga with guys like Jonathan Greenard, Terrell Lewis, and DJ Wonnum still on the board. Grade: C
 
With his first day-3 selection as GM, Joe Douglas chose Florida RB La'Mical Perine. Perine is a physical runner with some receiving versatility out of the backfield. However, Perine doesn't really offer very much in terms of speed or vision, and drafting a RB instead of going offensive line, pass rush, receiver, or cornerback when Le'Veon Bell was already in the fold was a curious move. Grade: D
 
The second of the Jets' fourth-round picks probably stirred up the most intrigue, as most casual fans probably didn't expect the Jets to draft a quarterback. With that said, the Jets have gone a combined 0-6 over the past two seasons in games that Darnold did not start, and at this time David Fales was slated to be the backup quarterback, so drafting FIU QB James Morgan in the fourth round, which I thought was a value anyway, was a good choice. Morgan is a thick quarterback with a live arm with developmental quarterback potential. Grade: B
 
With their third pick in the fourth round, the Jets chose a player with the potential to start soon on the offensive line in Charlotte T Cameron Clark. Clark is a powerful lineman who started at left tackle in his rSo, rJr, and rSr seasons and has good short-area quickness despite his 5.29 forty. Some have floated Cameron Clark as a potential convert to guard for the Jets due to his sloppy pass-pro footwork. Grade: B
 
The Jets went corner in round 5, taking Virginia CB Bryce Hall at 158 overall. Hall is a long, tall corner who moves well, has zone instincts, and contributes in the run game. However, Hall's struggles in press and off-man coverage schemes probably project him better as a safety in the NFL rather than as a corner, which doesn't seem to be a need with Adams, Maye, and Davis already on the roster, and Hall's ankle injury prevented him from working out at the Combine, leaving teams in a state of uncertainty about his health and his testing numbers. Grade: C
 
With their sixth-round pick, the Jets went special teams with Texas A&M P Braden Mann. Mann has a big leg and can handle kickoff duties. Mann projects to replace Lachlan Edwards, but this may have been a tad high for a punter. Grade: C
 
The Jets had an intriguing undrafted free agent class with a number of guys who warranted day-3 draft consideration, but two guys that I liked pre-draft stood out as being worth mentioning. Georgia WR Lawrence Cager is a physical receiver at the line of scrimmage who will attempt to make the team as a redzone threat. Alabama DB Shyheim Carter played the STAR role in Nick Saban's defense, and he proved his versatility as a college approximation of a subpackage linebacker, a nickel corner, a box safety, and even a high safety, so he'll vie to make the team as a versatile depth defensive back and as a special-teams ace.
 

Other Offseason News

After tensions flared at the trade deadline last season, SS Jamal Adams expressed his frustrations with a lack of a contract extension on social media before supposedly requesting a trade in June. However, according to Connor Hughes at The Athletic, the Jets still hope to sign Adams to a long-term contract. Reportedly, over half of the teams in the NFL have expressed interest in adding the defensive star, but the Dallas Cowboys have gotten the most traction as a potential trade partner, with RT La'El Collins and WR Michael Gallup coming up as potential trade pieces. Jamal Adams is still on his rookie contract for 2020, and the Jets accepted his fifth-year option for 2021.
 
Also, this isn't really news, but former Jets' All-Pro CB Darrelle Revis continued his spat with 49ers' All-Pro CB Richard Sherman, culminating in this unusual Tweet:
3 facts here.
@RSherman_25
•I’m more handsome than him according to women.
•I’m better at corner than him according to everyone.
•Shutdown corners are paid more than Zone 3 corners which I’m currently still am today.
 

Projected Starting Lineup

QB: Sam Darnold
RB: Le’Veon Bell (and Frank Gore)
WR: Breshad Perriman, Denzel Mims
SWR: Jamison Crowder
TE: Chris Herndon (and Ryan Griffin)
LT: Mekhi Becton
LG: Alex Lewis
C: Connor McGovern
RG: Brian Winters
RT: George Fant
EDGE: Jordan Jenkins, Tarell Basham
DT: Henry Anderson, Quinnen Williams (and Steve McLendon)
ILB: CJ Mosley, Avery Williamson (and Patrick Onwuasor)
CB: Pierre Desir, Arthur Maulet
NCB: Brian Poole
SS: Jamal Adams
FS: Marcus Maye
K: Sam Ficken
P: Braden Mann
LS: Thomas Hennessy
 

Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses

QB - Neutral/Weakness
Jets fans aren't going to love this one, but Sam Darnold is arguably still a bottom-third passer going into 2020. Darnold has been surrounded by a poor supporting cast over the past two years, including a turnstile of receivers across Robby Anderson with drop issues and linemen with pass-pro issues, but he certainly has not dominated like other young quarterbacks such as Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, and Carson Wentz. The Jets have a good group behind Darnold, though, including Joe Flacco, who said he won't be ready for week 1, and James Morgan, a fourth-round rookie out of FIU.
 
Backfield - Strength
Le'Veon Bell, who is making $15.5 MM this season, is an all-around back in terms of running between the tackles, receiving, and pass protecting. The Jets also signed the ageless wonder Frank Gore to take some of the pressure off of Bell. Joe Douglas also drafted La'Mical Perine to contribute in the backfield.
 
Pass Catchers - Neutral/Weakness
In 2020, the Jets are banking on production from unproved pass catchers who have performed well in limited sample sizes. Joe Douglas signed Breshad Perriman, who had a very productive end to his 2019 season, to man one of the outside receiver spots. He also drafted Denzel Mims out of Baylor to presumably also start as a rookie. Jamison Crowder broke out last year as an above-average slot receiver, and Chris Herndon missed virtually all of last season but played well in his rookie season as a tight end. The receiver depth lacks standout names, but the tight end depth is strong, with Ryan Griffin returning on a multi-year extension.
 
Offensive Line - Weakness
The Jets entirely remade their offensive line, and while each position is arguably improved on paper, it is still young and unproven. Most significantly, at LT, Joe Douglas drafted Mekhi Becton at 11, who is already a really good run blocker with the tools to grow in pass pro. Douglas also re-signed Alex Lewis, who is probably serviceable but below average, to start at left guard, but he could force competition from fourth-round rookie Cameron Clark. The Jets signed Connor McGovern to start at C, and while he should solidify the position for at least the last two years, he is not extraordinary. Right guard shapes up to be an open competition between incumbent Brian Winters, who is serviceable when healthy, and new acquisition Greg Van Roten. At RT, the Jets signed George Fant, who played mostly as a swing tackle or sixth offensive lineman for Seattle but certainly has the athletic ability to outperform Chuma Edoga from last year.
 
Defensive Line - Weakness
This might be surprising to the non-Jets fans, but the days of Muhammad Wilkerson, and Leonard Williams are over, and pressure from the defensive line probably won't come easily for Gang Green. At EDGE, the Jets have arguably the worst duo in the NFL with Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham presumably playing as starters, with rookie 3rd-round pick Jabari Zuniga and 2019 UDFA Kyle Phillips playing rotationally. Starting on the interior, the Jets have Quinnen Williams, the former third-overall selection who notched 2.5 sacks and 4 TFLs in his rookie season and was arrested in March on a weapons charge, and Henry Anderson, a nimble interior penetrator who had a breakout year in 2018 before coming back down to Earth in 2019. Nathan Shepherd, Steve McLendon, and Foley Fatukasi should all see plenty of tread on the DL, as well.
 
Linebackers - Strength
The Jets had a nearly-comical number of injuries at off-ball linebacker last season, but on paper, the unit appears very strong. CJ Mosley, 2019 FA acquisition, missed almost the entire 2019 season with a groin injury, but when healthy, he is one of the best linebackers in football. Avery Williamson, who projects to start across Mosley in 2020, is a good run defender but missed the entire 2019 year with a torn ACL. Returning starter Neville Hewitt, cheap FA acquisition Patrick Onwuasor, and promising second-year player Blake Cashman could each play in various base or subpackage roles, in addition to on special teams.
 
Secondary - Neutral
Similar to the defensive line, the Jets secondary is a tale of two halves, in this case safeties and cornerbacks. At safety, the Jets have reigning All Pro Jamal Adams and solid free safety Marcus Maye returning, in addition to the versatile 3rd-round pick Ashtyn Davis out of Cal. Outside cornerback is in flux, as new acquisition Pierre Desir should lock up one spot, while Arthur Maulet, Quincy Wilson, and Blessuan Austin could compete for the other starting spot, with last year's breakout player Brian Poole locking up the slot. Nate Hairston, Javelin Guidry, Shyheim Carter, and 5th-round rookie Bryce Hall could compete for other key depth roles in the secondary.
 
Special Teams - Strength/Neutral
At kicker, the Jets had a rocky performance last year, so they brought in Brett Maher, who hit 67% of his field goals last season, to compete with Sam Ficken, who hit 70% of his field goals last season. At punter, the Jets have rookie P Braden Mann, who handles kickoffs and whose 47.1 yards per punt would have ranked 4th in the NFL last year. At longsnapper, Thomas Hennessy is an asset in coverage and will return in 2020. Additionally, WR Vyncint Smith and FS Matthias Farley project to play major roles in kick coverage next season, with other jobs presumably up for grabs.
 

Schedule Predictions

Week 1 at Buffalo: L - Other than the loss of Shaq Lawson and the additions of Stephon Diggs and AJ Epenesa, the Bills mostly had a quiet offseason, though with encouraging performances from young players in Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, Tremaine Edmunds, and Tre'Davious White and coming off of a 10-6 campaign, there’s a lot about which to be enthusiastic in Buffalo. The Bills, who went 10-6 last year and made the playoffs, beat the Jets here in their home opener. Record: 0-1
 
Week 2 vs San Francisco: L - The 49ers took a huge leap in 2019, marching through the NFC and into the Super Bowl, and the additions of Brandon Aiyuk, Javon Kinlaw, and Trent Williams should keep them competitive in 2020. If Jamal Adams is on the team, he might be able to get in George Kittle's way, but nevertheless the 49ers should be one of the NFL's most well-rounded football teams, and it would be difficult to envision the Jets defeating them. Record: 0-2
 
Week 3 at Indianapolis: L - The Colts had a big free agency period, signing Philip Rivers and adding DeForest Buckner in a trade while retaining their entire offensive line. While the Jets went 7-9 last season, just like the Colts did, the Colts probably are the favorites to win at home, especially with the advantage the Indianapolis offensive line should have over the New York pass rush. Record: 0-3
 
Week 4 vs Denver: L - While the Broncos went 7-9 last season, they have championship aspirations in 2020, as they went 4-1 in Drew Lock's starts last year and added Melvin Gordon, Jerry Jeudy, KJ Hamler, and Albert Okwuegbunam to a group of weapons already containing Philip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and Jeff Heuerman while retaining defensive stars in Von Miller, AJ Johnson, and Justin Simmons. Though it is a home game, it's hard to imagine the Jets defeating the Broncos in 2020. Record: 0-4
 
Week 5 vs Arizona: W - The Cardinals look poised to improve in 2020, with the additions of DeAndre Hopkins, Jordan Phillips, and Isaiah Simmons, but questions remain with the offensive line and defensive line, in addition to with the poor playcalling from Kingsbury and Joseph at times during last season. This could be a key game for Quinnen Williams, Henry Anderson, Steve McLendon, and the interior defensive line to feast on a poor Cardinals' interior offensive line, and for Gregg Williams to outmatch Kingsbury and Murray at home. Record: 1-4
 
Week 6 at LA Chargers: L - The Chargers revamped their team this offseason, adding Justin Herbert in the draft and surrounding him with Bryan Bulaga, Trai Turner, and Joe Reed on offense, and Kenneth Murray and Chris Harris on defense. Though the quarterback situation is in flux in LA, it’s a bit hard to envision the Jets going on the road to the West Coast and beating an otherwise well-rounded team. Record: 1-5
 
Week 7 vs Buffalo: W - The Jets have beat the Bills at least once in 8 of the last 10 seasons, and so the Jets should have a good chance to win one at home. Record: 2-5
 
Week 8 at Kansas City: L - The Chiefs has a pretty quiet offseason aside from locking up Patrick Mahomes and Chris Jones on long-term deals, as they added Mike Remmers, Taco Charlton, Willie Gay, and Lucas Niang while losing Stefen Wisniewski, Emmanuel Ogbah, Reggie Ragland, and Kendall Fuller. Despite the offseason losses, Reid and Mahomes should easily be able to storm past the Jets at home. Record: 2-6
 
Week 9 vs New England: W - The Patriots took a hit this offseason, obviously headlined by the loss of Tom Brady but also supplemented by key defensive losses in Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, and Duron Harmon in addition to a general lack of attention towards improving a lackluster wide receiver corps. The Jets haven't beat the Patriots since their week 16 overtime thriller in 2015, but a November home game could be a good chance to do it, as the Patriots don't really possess the weapons to exploit issues with the Jets' cornerbacks nor the pass rushers to exploit issues with the Jets' offensive line. Record: 3-6
 
Week 10 at Miami: W - The Dolphins had a very poor 2019, finishing 5-11 with the 27th-ranked total offense and the 30th-ranked total defense, and as such they had an incredibly busy offseason, adding Matt Breida, Ereck Flowers, Ted Karras, Kyle Van Noy, Shaq Lawson, Emmanuel Ogbah, Elandon Roberts, and Byron Jones in free agency and Tua Tagovailoa, Austin Jackson, Noah Igbinoghene, Robert Hunt, Raekwon Davis, and Solomon Kindley in the draft. However, in Miami before the bye would be a good chance for Adam Gase to get a revenge game win, seeing as the Dolphins still have weaknesses all over their roster including quarterback, offensive tackle, and edge rusher. Record: 4-6
 
WEEK 11 BYE
 
Week 12 vs Miami: L - With all their offseason additions, the Dolphins figure to match up fairly evenly with the Jets in 2020, and so it's likely that the two teams will split the season series. Record: 4-7
 
Week 13 vs Las Vegas: W - The Raiders had a very busy offseason, adding Jason Witten, Maliek Collins, Nick Kwiatkoski, Prince Amukamara, and Damarious Randall in free agency and Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette, Lynn Bowden, Bryan Edwards, and Amik Robertson in the draft with their only major losses being Darryl Worley and Karl Joseph. At home against a West Coast opponent, the Jets would be wise to take advantage of some of the Raiders’ weaknesses in this game, including inexperience at wide receiver, edge rusher, linebacker, and cornerback. Record: 5-7
 
Week 14 at Seattle: L - The Seahawks went 11-5 last season and were one play away from securing the top seed in the NFC, so their offseason was pretty quiet, mostly focusing on the offensive line with the losses of Germain Ifedi, DJ Fluker, and George Fant and the additions of free agents Brandon Shell, BJ Finney, and Cedric Ogbuehi, and draft pick Damien Lewis. Pete Carroll is one of the best coaches in football today, and in this late-season matchup at Seattle he’ll have the personnel advantage against the Jets offense, which lacks talented weapons and blockers. Record: 5-8
 
Week 15 at LA Rams: L - The Rams regressed to 9-7 last year and then had a difficult offseason, losing Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Dante Fowler, and Nickell Robey-Coleman, with their only major addition being A’Shawn Robinson. The 2020 Rams are not the Super Bowl Rams of the past, but with both McVay and Goff still on board, the Rams have to be favorites to take this late-season home game against the Jets. Record: 5-9
 
Week 16 vs Cleveland: W - The Browns had a busy offseason, hiring head coach Kevin Stefanski, losing Greg Robinson, Joe Schobert, and Damarious Randall, signing Austin Hooper, Jack Conklin, Andrew Billings, Karl Joseph, and Damarious Randall, and drafting Jedrick Wills, Grant Delpit, and Jacob Phillips. Despite these additions, however, Cleveland still has a new, inexperienced offensive playcaller at head coach and a question mark at quarterback, and Gregg Williams generally handles quarterbacks who struggle with post-snap reads well with disguised coverages and aggressive blitz packages. Record: 6-9
 
Week 17 at New England: L - With the expanded playoffs, the Patriots have an even greater chance to make the postseason this year than they otherwise would, so this late-season match in Foxborough could be a consequential, divisional-revenge game. Record: 6-10
 
Final Record: 6-10
While I firmly believe that the Jets improved significantly this offseason, especially in terms of the offensive line and getting players back from injury, this year’s schedule is substantially more difficult that last year’s, which could result in less games in the wins column for 2020. Last year, the Jets closed out the back-half of their season going 6-2 playing against rookie Daniel Jones, rookie Dwayne Haskins, Derek Carr, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Lamar Jackson, rookie Devlin Hodges, and Matt Barkley, and this year the Jets have to play both the AFC West and the NFC West, which is a huge jump in their level of competition.
 

Training Camp Battles to Watch

WR #2: Denzel Mims vs Vyncint Smith
Jets fans would hope that starting receiver isn’t much of a battle, but since rookie wideouts traditionally have been known to take longer learning the playbook, the other receiver spot next to Perriman and Crowder is in flux. Denzel Mims, the rookie receiver from Baylor, is the odds-on favorite to get a starting role and to play as a deep threat and red-zone threat in year one. However, if Mims proves too raw off the bat, the Jets could fall back on Vyncint Smith, who had 17 receptions last year and showed his value as a deep threat.
 
Left Guard: Alex Lewis vs Cameron Clark
Following a 2019 season where Alex Lewis spot-started in place of Kelechi Osemele, the Jets rewarded him with a 3 year, $18.6 MM contract, and he goes into 2020 as the favorite to start at left guard once again. With that being said, the possibility exists that rookie tackle Cameron Clark out of Charlotte will kick inside and compete at left guard.
 
Right Guard: Brian Winters vs Greg Van Roten
After a 2019 season in which Brian Winters went down with a shoulder injury in week 10, many expected the Jets to cut him, but he instead will return as the incumbent starter at right guard. However, new free agent acquisition Greg Van Roten could switch to the right side and compete against Winters to start.
 
Right Tackle: George Fant vs Chuma Edoga
After the Jets had a poor performance form their offensive line in 2019, GM Joe Douglas brought in competition at all position, including at right tackle. George Fant, former Seattle swing tackle, is the presumptive favorite to land the starting job, despite his lack of starting experience and struggles with pass-pro footwork. Chuma Edoga could compete as well, but his performance in both run blocking and pass pro was so shaky last year as a rookie that he needed extensive help from tight ends to prevent the right side from entirely becoming a liability.
 
EDGE #2: Tarell Basham vs Kyle Phillips vs Jabari Zuniga vs John Franklin-Myers
The Jets started Jordan Jenkins and Tarell Basham at edge rusher last season, so it was somewhat of a shock to see them add absolutely no outside talent until the middle of the third round, and so now Gregg Williams and his defensive staff are forced to make the pitiful decision between starting Basham, Kyle Phillips, Jabari Zuniga, or John Franklin-Myers across from Jenkins. Basham, who the Jets claimed off of waivers in 2018, is probably the odds-on favorite to start once again after notching 2 sacks and 4 quarterback hits in 54% of the Jets' defensive snaps. Kyle Phillips, the second-year player from Tennessee who was a five-star high-school recruit, is a thicker lineman best suited to play on run downs who could push for starting snaps as well. Jabari Zuniga, 3rd-round rookie out of Florida, is a third contender for the starting job, but his interior versatility and similarity to Jenkins in terms of his stiffness and poor pad level could suggest the Jets envision him in more of a rotational role. The wildcard in this battle is John Franklin-Myers, who was claimed by the Jets off of waivers from the Rams at the start of 2019 but who also notched a pair of sacks in his rookie year and is really explosive for his size.
 
DT #2: Henry Anderson vs Nathan Shepherd
This battle won't get much media coverage, as both Anderson and Shepherd project to get plenty of tread on the New York defensive line, but nevertheless the two will compete in training camp for the upper hand in the snap count. Henry Anderson, the penetrating defensive lineman, saw his production fall off a bit in 2019, in part due to a nagging shoulder injury and utilization in different fronts and roles. Nathan Shepherd saw his role increase in the back half of the season after a suspension saw his role increase in the back half of the season after a suspension sidelined him from weeks two through eight, and with a good camp, he could establish himself as the primary nimble-footed complement to the heftier, run-stopping trio of Quinnen Williams, Steve McLendon, and Foley Fatukasi.
 
CB #2: Arthur Maulet vs Quincy Wilson vs Bryce Hall vs Blessuan Austin
The outside cornerback spot across from Pierre Desir is probably the most open starting battle on the team. Arthur Maulet, the undersized but physical cornerback out of Memphis, is probably the favorite to start after outplaying Johnson and Roberts last season to win the left cornerback job. Quincy Wilson, the former second-round pick, should be Maulet's primary competition after the Jets traded a draft pick to acquire him from the Colts. Bryce Hall, the rookie fifth-round corner from Virginia, is a darkhorse to start as well if he is healthy to start the season. Blessuan Austin, the former sixth-round pick, might factor into the competition, but he'll have Williams' doghouse after reacting poorly to his week-16 benching.
 
Kicker: Sam Ficken vs Brett Maher
Sam Ficken, who hit 70% of his kicks last season, will compete with Brett Maher, who hit 67% of his kicks last season, for the starting kicker job, but neither candidate should have to handle kickoffs with rookie punter Braden Mann in the fold.
 

Offensive and Defensive Schemes

Adam Gase, head coach and offensive playcaller for the Jets, runs a zone blocking, short passing offense mostly out of 11 personnel while also mixing in some 2-TE sets. In the run game, Gase is willing to run gap concepts based on his offensive line personnel, but he certainly favors his inside zone running playcalls. In the pass game, Gase likes to stack his receivers, throw checkdowns, split his backs out wide, and utilize the sidelines.
 
Gregg Williams, defensive coordinator for the Jets, runs a 3-4 hybrid, blitz-heavy defense with an emphasis on zone coverage. In the front seven, Williams has used both 3-4 and 4-3 base packages, though he mostly uses nickel fronts and one-gapping penetration schemes. In the secondary, Williams stresses MOFC shells, press-zone concepts, and disguised coverages and blitzes.
 
Huge thanks to u/PlatypusOfDeath for running this series.
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2020.07.17 02:51 nickb1603 1999-00 Season Preview

Here is a full preview of each team for the upcoming 1999-00 season. For each team, their previous record is given, as well as a prediction for this season. Starting lineups are listed, with player ages in parenthesis.
East
Atlanta Hawks
Last Season: 53-29 2nd (Lost 3-1 first round to Orlando)
Prediction: 46-36
Lineup:
  1. Mookie Blaylock (31)
  2. Steve Smith (29)
  3. Stacey Augmon (30)
  4. Alan Henderson (27)
  5. Christian Laettner (30)
Key Reserves: Aaron Gordon (22), Dario Saric (23)
Head Coach: Lenny Wilkens
Expiring Contracts: Augmon, Gordon, Saric

Boston Celtics
Last Season: 43-39 9th
Prediction: 48-34
Lineup:
  1. Baron Davis (21)
  2. Voshon Lenard (25)
  3. Caron Butler (24)
  4. Kevin Garnett (23)
  5. Joel Embiid (23)
Key Reserves: Zach LaVine (22), Carlos Boozer (22), Chris Morris (33)
Head Coach: Rick Pitino
Expiring Contracts: Davis (Team Option), Butler (Team Option), Embiid, LaVine, Boozer (Team Option)

Charlotte Hornets
Last Season: 43-39 10th
Prediction: 40-42
Lineup:
  1. Kenny Anderson (29)
  2. Glen Rice (31)
  3. Shawn Marion (22)
  4. Larry Johnson (28)
  5. DeAndre Jordan (R) (20)
Key Reserves: Don MacLean (29), JR Reid (31)
Head Coach: Alan Bristow
Expiring Contracts: Marion (Team Option)

Chicago Bulls
Last Season: 52-30 4th (Lost 3-0 first round to Philadelphia)
Prediction: 45-37
Lineup:
  1. Elliot Perry (29)
  2. Michael Jordan (36)
  3. Scottie Pippen (34)
  4. Juwan Howard (26)
  5. Elden Campbell (31)
Key Reserves: Toni Kukoc (31), Steve Kerr (34), Rodney Rogers (27)
Head Coach: Bob Staak
Expiring Contracts: Jordan (Player Option), Campbell, Kukoc, Kerr, Rogers

Cleveland Cavaliers
Last Season: 44-38 8th (Lost 3-1 first round to Washington)
Prediction: 34-48
Lineup:
  1. Chris Childs (32)
  2. Bob Sura (26)
  3. Jabari Parker (22)
  4. Don Reid (26)
  5. Shawn Bradley (26)
Key Reserves: Lucious Harris (28), Bo Outlaw (27)
Head Coach: Keith Smart
Expiring Contracts: Childs, Parker, Harris

Detroit Pistons
Last Season: 49-33 6th (Lost 4-3 second round to Orlando)
Prediction: 45-37
Lineup:
  1. Lindsey Hunter (28)
  2. Allan Houston (27)
  3. Grant Hill (27)
  4. Drew Gooden (23)
  5. George Zidek (28)
Key Reserves: Gary Trent (25), Danny Ferry (32), BJ Armstrong (32)
Head Coach: George Irvine
Expiring Contracts: Trent, Gooden (Team Option), Armstrong

Indiana Pacers
Last Season: 24-58 15th
Prediction: 40-42
Lineup:
  1. Russell Westbrook (R) (19)
  2. Willie Anderson (32)
  3. Derrick McKey (32)
  4. Amar'e Stoudemire (20)
  5. Chris Andersen (21)
Key Reserves: Cory Alexander (25), Wally Szczerbiak (23)
Head Coach: Mike Dunleavy
Expiring Contracts: Anderson, McKey, Stoudemire (Team Option)

Miami Heat
Last Season: 52-30 3rd (Lost 3-2 first round to Detroit)
Prediction: 52-30
Lineup:
  1. Tim Hardaway (33)
  2. Reggie Miller (32)
  3. Walt Williams (29)
  4. Kurt Thomas (25)
  5. Dale Davis (29)
Key Reserves: Rick Fox (30), Jayson Williams (31)
Head Coach: Pat Riley
Expiring Contracts: Miller, Williams, Fox

Milwaukee Bucks
Last Season: 40-42
Prediction: 30-52
Lineup:
  1. Jannero Pargo (22)
  2. Sam Mitchell (35)
  3. Glenn Robinson (26)
  4. Rasheed Wallace (25)
  5. Julius Randle (22)
Key Reserves: Sean Rooks (30), Lou Roe (26)
Head Coach: Dick Motta
Expiring Contracts: Pargo (Team Option), Mitchell, Randle

New Jersey Nets
Last Season: 30-52 12th
Prediction: 32-50
Lineup:
  1. Spencer Dinwiddie (24)
  2. Richard Hamilton (22)
  3. Ed O'Bannon (26)
  4. PJ Brown (30)
  5. Vlade Divac (31)
Key Reserves: Steve Francis (22), Antonio Davis (30), Danilo Gallinari (R) (20)
Head Coach: Eddie Jordan
Expiring Contracts: Dinwiddie, Hamilton (Team Option), Francis (Team Option)

New York Knicks
Last Season: 25-57 14th
Prediction: 30-52
Lineup:
  1. Bimbo Coles (30)
  2. Mitch Richmond (33)
  3. Latrell Sprewell (29)
  4. Tayshaun Prince (22)
  5. Keith Tower (29)
Key Reserves: Chris Douglas-Roberts (R) (21), Michael Ruffin (23), Anthony Goldwire (27)
Head Coach: Phil Jackson
Expiring Contracts: Richmond (Player Option), Prince (Team Option)

Orlando Magic
Last Season: 47-35 7th (Lost 4-3 NBA Finals to Los Angeles Lakers)
Prediction: 53-29
Lineup:
  1. Penny Hardaway (28)
  2. Nick Anderson (31)
  3. Dennis Scott (31)
  4. Terry Mills (31)
  5. Alonzo Mourning (28)
Key Reserves: Aaron McKie (28), Kenny Smith (33), Nik Stauskas (24)
Head Coach: Brian Hill
Expiring Contracts: McKie, Stauskas

Philadelphia 76ers
Last Season: 50-32 5th (Lost 4-2 Conference Finals to Orlando)
Prediction: 50-32
Lineup:
  1. Jason Kidd (25)
  2. Jerry Stackhouse (24)
  3. Chris Mullin (36)
  4. Derrick Coleman (31)
  5. Clint Capela (23)
Key Reserves: Nené (22), Anthony Avent (29), Sam Mack (28)
Head Coach: George Karl
Expiring Contracts: Capela, Nené (Team Option)

Toronto Raptors
Last Season: 28-54 13th
Prediction: 40-42
Lineup:
  1. Terry Dehere (27)
  2. Gary Harris (23)
  3. Michael Finley (25)
  4. Kevin Love (R) (20)
  5. Yao Ming (24)
Key Reserves: Carlos Rogers (28), Dante Exum (22)
Head Coach: Rudy Tomjanovich
Expiring Contracts: Harris, Yao (Team Option)

Washington Wizards
Last Season: 61-21 1st (Lost 4-0 second round to Philadelphia)
Prediction: 45-37
Lineup:
  1. Chris Whitney (28)
  2. Calbert Cheaney (27)
  3. Chris Mills (29)
  4. Chris Webber (25)
  5. Oliver Miller (28)
Key Reserves: Clifford Robinson (32), Rex Chapman (32)
Head Coach: Darrell Walker
Expiring Contracts: Whitney, Mills, Robinson, Chapman

West
Dallas Mavericks
Last Season: 34-48
Prediction: 30-52
Lineup:
  1. Pooh Richardson (32)
  2. Jim Jackson (29)
  3. Armen Gilliam (34)
  4. Michael Beasley (R) (19)
  5. Zan Tabak (28)
Key Reserves: Jalen Rose (26), Clarence Weatherspoon (28)
Head Coach: Chris Ford
Expiring Contracts: Rose

Denver Nuggets
Last Season: 40-42 6th (Lost 3-1 first round to Vancouver)
Prediction: 36-46
Lineup:
  1. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (30)
  2. Cam Bowen (26)
  3. Tracy Murray (28)
  4. Antonio McDyess (25)
  5. Dikembe Mutombo (32)
Key Reserves: LaPhonso Ellis (28), Theo Ratliff (25), Shabazz Napier (26)
Head Coach: Bernie Bickerstaff
Expiring Contracts: Abdul-Rauf, Bowen, Murray, Mutombo

Golden State Warriors
Last Season: 38-44 8th (Lost 3-2 first round to Los Angeles Lakers)
Prediction: 41-41
Lineup:
  1. Terrell Brandon (28)
  2. Corey Maggette (20)
  3. Doug Edwards (28)
  4. Anthony Mason (32)
  5. Joe Smith (23)
Key Reserves: Harvey Grant (33), Derrick Alston (26), OJ Mayo (R) (20)
Head Coach: Ron Adams
Expiring Contracts: Brandon (Player Option), Maggette (Team Option), Edwards, Alston

Houston Rockets
Last Season: 20-62
Prediction: 25-57
Lineup:
  1. Derrick Rose (R) (20)
  2. Scott Burrell (28)
  3. Sean Elliott (30)
  4. Doug McDermott (25)
  5. Luc Longley (30)
Key Reserves: Sam Cassell (29), Billy Owens (29)
Head Coach: Rick Adelman
Expiring Contracts: Longley

Los Angeles Clippers
Last Season: 38-44 9th
Prediction: 38-44
Lineup:
  1. Jason Terry (23)
  2. Rodney Hood (24)
  3. Lamond Murray (25)
  4. Loy Vaught (30)
  5. Jim McIlvaine (26)
Key Reserves: Brent Barry (27), Donyell Marshall (25), Arvydas Sabonis (34)
Head Coach: Jeff Van Gundy
Expiring Contracts: Terry (Team Option), Marshall

Los Angeles Lakers
Last Season: 56-26 1st (NBA Champions)
Prediction: 60-22
Lineup:
  1. Nick Van Exel (27)
  2. Eddie Jones (27)
  3. Cedric Ceballos (30)
  4. Dino Radja (31)
  5. Shaquille O'Neal (26)
Key Reserves: Anthony Peeler (29), Noah Vonleh (22), Kevin Gamble (34)
Head Coach: Del Harris
Expiring Contracts: Van Exel, Vonleh

Minnesota Timberwolves
Last Season: 51-31 2nd (Lost 4-3 second round to Vancouver)
Prediction: 45-37
Lineup:
  1. Trevor Ruffin (26)
  2. Isaiah Rider (27)
  3. Tom Gugliotta (29)
  4. Chris Gatling (31)
  5. Nikola Jokic (22)
Key Reserves: David Benoit (30), Hersey Hawkins (34)
Head Coach: Kevin McHale
Expiring Contracts: Jokic, Benoit (Team Option)

Oklahoma City Thunder
Last Season: 34-48 12th
Prediction: 39-43
Lineup:
  1. Jay Williams (23)
  2. Bryant Stith (28)
  3. Eric Williams (26)
  4. Elton Brand (21)
  5. Brook Lopez (R) (20)
Key Reserves: Bison Dele (29), Scott Skiles (34)
Head Coach: Alvin Gentry
Expiring Contracts: Williams (Team Option)

Phoenix Suns
Last Season: 43-39 (Lost 4-1 second round to Los Angeles Lakers)
Prediction: 40-42
Lineup:
  1. Kevin Johnson (32)
  2. Bobby Phills (29)
  3. Michael Curry (31)
  4. Danny Manning (32)
  5. David Robinson (34)
Key Reserves: Tim Legler (32), Chris King (29), Jusuf Nurkic (23)
Head Coach: Cotton Fitzsimmons
Expiring Contracts: Phills, Nurkic

Portland Trail Blazers
Last Season: 38-44 7th (Lost 3-1 first round to Minnesota)
Prediction: 36-46
Lineup:
  1. Rod Strickland (34)
  2. Kendall Gill (30)
  3. Dontonio Wingfield (24)
  4. Brian Grant (26)
  5. Stacey King (32)
Key Reserves: Mike Dunleavy (21), Andre Miller (24), Gheorghe Muresan (27)
Head Coach: Maurice Cheeks
Expiring Contracts: Grant, King, Dunleavy (Team Option)

Sacramento Kings
Last Season: 36-46 11th
Prediction: 28-54
Lineup:
  1. Tyus Edney (25)
  2. Wesley Person (27)
  3. Ron Artest (22)
  4. Serge Ibaka (R) (19)
  5. Rik Smits (33)
Key Reserves: Greg Minor (28), Dana Barros (31)
Head Coach: Mike Fratello
Expiring Contracts: Artest (Team Option), Barros

San Antonio Spurs
Last Season: 45-37 4th (Lost 3-1 first round to Phoenix)
Prediction: 42-40
Lineup:
  1. Dee Brown (30)
  2. Vinny Del Negro (33)
  3. Jamal Mashburn (26)
  4. Charles Barkley (36)
  5. Vin Baker (28)
Key Reserves: Damon Stoudamire (26), Acie Earl (29)
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich
Expiring Contracts: Barkley, Baker (Player Option)

Seattle SuperSonics
Last Season: 36-46 10th
Prediction: 33-49
Lineup:
  1. Gary Payton (32)
  2. Tony Dumas (26)
  3. Lamar Odom (21)
  4. Michael Smith (26)
  5. Hakeem Olajuwon (36)
Key Reserves: Marcus Smart (23), Eric Piatkowski (28)
Head Coach: Terry Stotts
Expiring Contracts: Payton, Dumas, Odom (Team Option), Olajuwon, Smart

Utah Jazz
Last Season: 31-51 14th
Prediction: 32-50
Lineup:
  1. John Stockton (36)
  2. Trajan Langdon (23)
  3. Bryon Russell (28)
  4. Karl Malone (36)
  5. Mitch McGary (22)
Key Reserves: Avery Johnson (33), Andrei Kirilenko (19)
Head Coach: Jerry Sloan
Expiring Contracts: Stockton, Langdon (Team Option), Russell, McGary, Johnson

Vancouver Grizzlies
Last Season: 49-33 3rd (Lost 4-1 Conference Finals to Los Angeles Lakers)
Prediction: 42-40
Lineup:
  1. Bobby Hurley (27)
  2. Jimmy King (25)
  3. Andrew Wiggins (22)
  4. Shawn Kemp (30)
  5. Bryant Reeves (26)
Key Reserves: Mark Davis (26), Greg Anthony (31)
Head Coach: Stu Jackson
Expiring Contracts: Wiggins, Anthony
submitted by nickb1603 to NBA96Revive [link] [comments]


2020.07.15 19:32 ProfProfessorberg Offseason Review Series: Day 1 - The Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals

Division: AFC North
Record: 2-14 (1-5 division) (last in AFC North)
 

Coaching Changes

The Bengals had minimal staff turnover from 2019. LB coach Tem Lukabu left to become the Defensive Coordinator for Boston College. He was replaced by Al Golden, who was fired after 4 seasons as the LB coach of the Detroit Lions. Considering the state of our LBs, Lukabu won’t necessarily be missed, but Golden also comes from a defense that has struggled in LB play. He will get the benefit of coaching a completely overhauled unit.
 
The team did not renew the contract of Defensive Backs Coach Daronte Jones, who wound up taking the same position with Minnesota. He was replaced by Steve Jackson, who has coached mainly safeties in his 15 year coaching career, except for one stint as Cornerbacks Coach under Jim Schwartz in 2013 with the Detroit Lions. Jackson spent his playing career as an in-the-box safety in the 1990s, and in early interviews will seek to make the Bengals revamped secondary (see more about that below) a better tackling unit, an area they struggled with in 2019. Troy Walters joins the team as assistant WR coach. He has been coaching in the college ranks since 2010, bouncing from wide receivers coach to offensive coordinator. He most recently held both positions at the University of Nebraska from 2017-January 2020, after which he was quickly snatched up by the Bengals. This will be his first shot in the NFL.
 
ST Assistant Brayden Coombs left after seven seasons with the team to become the Detroit Lions Special Teams Coordinator. Coombs wore many hats during his time with the Bengals including offensive assistant and quality control for both the defense and the offense before moving to ST Assistant in 2019. He will be replaced by Colt Anderson, a young former safety who played most recently in 2017. This will be his first time coaching.
 
Additionally, longtime Special Teams Coordinator Darrin Simmons was promoted in the offseason to Assistant Head Coach, in addition to retaining his existing role. Simmons has been with the team for 18 years, and in that tenure has consistently produced above average units. This promotion is likely a nod to his time with the team and the wealth of experience he brings to a young coach like Zac Taylor. As far as actual responsibilities that will come with this promotion, nothing has been reported from the team or beat writers.
 

Free Agency

Players lost/cut
Player Position New Team Salary
Andrew Billings DT Cleveland Browns 1 yr, $3.5 million
Darqueze Dennard CB FA N/A
Tyler Eifert TE Jacksonville Jaguars 2 yr, $9.5 million
Clayton Fejedelem S Miami Dolphins 3 yr, $8.55 million
Nick Vigil LB LA Chargers 1 yr, $2.4 million
Cordy Glenn (released) OT FA N/A
Dre Kirkpatrick (released) CB FA N/A
John Miller (released) G Carolina Panthers 1 yr, $4 million
BW Webb (released) CB FA N/A
 
Most of the impact losses this offseason were on the defensive side. Nick Vigil might have been our best LB last year, but that isn’t saying much as the unit as a whole was among the worst in the league. Kirkpatrick and Dennard were 2 of our top 3 CBs. Kirk flashed at times, as he has throughout his career, but also continued to struggle with getting beat outside, penalties, and missed zone assignments. Dennard is a bigger loss, he was great in the slot but wants to play outside, which is the main reason he didn’t want to re-sign with us. Billings and Fejedelem were solid rotation pieces on the DL and S, respectively, but neither is a loss that can’t be replaced. Webb was flat out terrible.
 
On the offensive side, Tyler Eifert FINALLY was healthy all season last year, but had minimal impact. Partly due to our lack of use of the TE position, but also one could watch him play and see the multitude of injuries he’s had over the years have sapped him of the athleticism that made him such an effective TE in 2015. He will be missed as a fan favorite, but there was no justifying keeping him as the price he signed for with JAX.
 
Now we come to the offensive line where Cordy Glenn and John Miller are gone from last year. Now I’m sure everyone is familiar at this point with the struggles of Cincy’s OL. Miller started the majority of the season at RG, beating out the clear bust of Billy Price, but was never more than solid. He’s a fine backup OG.
 
Heading into 2019, Glenn was projected to kick inside to LG to make way for Jonah Williams at LT. However, William was knocked out for the year in training camp, so Glenn was set to be our LT once more, where he was likely the best of a bad bunch in 2018. Then he too was knocked out by a concussion in the preseason. That’s when things got….weird. Week after week Glenn would be ruled out by a concussion, taking (seemingly) much longer than most players to return to play. Now I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of a concussion, and most fans understood and were more concerned for him than anything. Then reports started coming out that there was strife between Glenn and the FO behind the scenes. That the team thought he was ready but Glenn insisted he wasn’t. This culminated in the team suspending him in week 7 for “disciplinary reasons” related to the treatment of his concussion. The suspension was short, and he eventually returned to the field where he performed decently well, especially compared to Andre Smith and Bobby Hart (though that is the lowest possible bar to clear). However it was clear he would not be back this season after the breakdown in the relationship with the team.
 
 
Players signed
Player Position Old Team Salary
D.J. Reader DT Houston Texans 4 yr, $53 million
Trae Waynes CB Minnesota Vikings 3 yr, $42 million
Mackensie Alexander CB Minnesota Vikings 1 yr, $4 million
Xavier Su’a-Filo OG Dallas Cowboys 3 yr, $9 million
Josh Bynes LB Baltimore Ravens 1 yr, $1.6 million
Mike Thomas WR LA Rams 1 yr, $850k
Von Bell S New Orleans Saints 3 yr, $18 million
LeShaun Sims CB Tennessee Titans 1 yr, $1.7 million
Jacques Patrick RB Tampa Bay Vipers (XFL) 3 yr, $2.285 million
Austin Calitro (waiver claim) LB Jacksonville Jaguars 1 yr, $750k
Samaje Perine (waiver claim) RB Miami Dolphins 1 yr, $850k
Alex Redmond (UFA) G Re-Signed 1 yr, $2.133 million
Cethan Carter (UFA) TE Re-Signed 1 yr, $2.133 million
Josh Tupou (UFA) DT Re-Signed 1 yr, $2.133 million
Brandon Wilson (UFA) S Re-Signed 1 yr, $2.133 million
Greg Mabin (RFA) CB Re-Signed 1 yr, $825k
Torry McTyer (RFA) CB Re-Signed 1 yr, $875k
AJ Green (Franchise Tag) WR Re-Signed 1 yr, $17.865 million
 
The Cincinnati Bengals spent more in FA this year than, well, ever. After a quiet first couple of days, fans assumed this would be like every other year: Cincy would wait for the top tier FAs to get signed to big money deals, miss out on some middle tier FAs that would fill in some gaps, and settle for some low level guys that don’t make much impact. Boy were we wrong. First Cincy made DJ Reader one of the highest paid DTs in the league (at the time). He will help anchor the interior of the OL next to Geno Atkins and help solve our issues with stopping the run.
 
This was soon followed by bringing in Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander to bolster a secondary that was below average last season. Waynes will replace the disappointing Dre Kirkpatrick, who was later cut, as the teams #2 outside CB. Alexander will man the slot position after Darqueze Dennard opted to not re-sign with the team, indicating he wants the opportunity to move back outside. Dennard was among the league’s best in the slot, but struggled earlier in his career on the outside, so it was better for the team to move on and for Dennard to seek that opportunity elsewhere. As of this writing, both remain FAs.
 
But the Bengals weren’t done. Soon came announcements of more signings: OG Xavier Su’a-Filo from the Cowboys to compete at RG. LB Josh Bynes from Baltimore. And finally SS Von Bell, who became available after Malcolm Jenkins returned to the Saints. All told the Bengals committed some $150 million in contracts to FAs, mainly on the defensive side of the ball. It was a massive change in policy from how the Bengals have run since the dawn of Free Agency.
 
Among the players we re-signed, most were no more than backups or role players, with the notable exception of slapping the Franchise Tag on WR A.J. Green. Green has missed the last year and a half of football due to injuries, but reports are he’s healthy and ready to go. There wasn’t much traction on signing a new contract pre-Covid, and now it seems both sides are content to play 1 year on the tag and re-evaluate a longer contract after that.
 
 

Draft

Round Pick Player Position School
1 1 Joe Burrow QB LSU
2 33 Tee Higgins WR Clemson
3 65 Logan Wilson MLB Wyoming
4 107 Akeem Davis-Gaither OLB Appalachian State
5 147 Kareem Khalid DE Notre Dame
6 180 Hakeem Adeniji OT Kansas
7 215 Markus Bailey MLB Purdue
 
I wrote the Defending the Draft for the Bengals HERE so if you’d like a little more in depth look at our draft check that out.
 
Round 1, Pick 1: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
No brainer. This pick was pretty much a lock since at least the CFB National Championship Game, though that didn’t stop analysts from throwing out a variety of scenarios in which Burrow didn’t end up a Bengal. Burrow is coming off the greatest season by a QB in CFB history, and fans are excited. There’s no such thing as a sure thing when it comes to drafting players, but Burrow shows on tape the accuracy, pocket awareness, and ability to make plays when things break down to be an elite QB in the NFL.
 
Round 2, Pick 33: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The team had lots of options at 33. Most expected OT or LB, the team’s two weakest positions, to be addressed here. WR was also in play, but the name Tee Higgins rarely came up. In fact, Higgins was a little bit lost all offseason amongst the volume of talented WR available this year.
Higgins is a Bengals fan who models his game after AJ Green. He should start the season lining up outside across from Green, with Boyd manning the slot.
 
Round 3, Pick 65: Logan Wilson, MLB, Wyoming
The Bengals have taken lots of stabs in the middle rounds at fixing their LB problems, and thus far none have panned out. Wilson seems to be a much more complete backer than previous attempts however. A 4 year starter at MLB, he was an effective run stopper with over 400 career tackles, who also showed athleticism and good instincts against the pass. He has the potential to be the captain of the defense this team has been looking for.
 
Round 4, Pick 107: Akeem Davis-Gaither, OLB, Appalachian State
Many were surprised to see the team double dip at LB rather than addressing other holes. But if you watched the LB play last year, you wouldn’t second guess the decision. The team has struggled for YEARS at covering TEs and RBs. Enter Davis-Gaither. Among the best coverage LBs in this year’s draft, the hope is ADG can slot in as a nickel LB to help ease these woes.
 
Round 5, Pick 147: Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame
He has the power to set the edge effectively and bring down big ball carriers. He likely does not have the athletic ability nor the pass rush repertoire to transition to a 4-3 starter, but should fit nicely into the rotation the Bengals deploy and help solve some of their woes against the rush.
 
Round 6, Pick 180: Hakeem Adeniji, OT, Kansas
Finally, OL is addressed! Waiting until the 6th to draft anyone to help out on the OL really drove home what the coaching staff said all offseason, they’re happy with the guys they have and expect growth and improvement from them. Still, you can never have too much depth and Adeniji should provide that. While he played OT through college, his size and athleticism show more of an OG at the NFL level. The hope is he can be a backup all along the line and a spot starter when needed.
 
Round 7, Pick 215: Markus Bailey, MLB, Purdue
A 3rd LB? That’s what happens when you try to completely reinvent a position over one offseason. Bailey has the resume of a much higher draft pick than the 7th round, but unfortunately back to back knee injuries pushed him down the board. He has all the IQ you want in a MLB, and his tape shows athleticism and instincts. If he recovers to full health he could be a draft steal, but as is should still make the team as a solid ST contributor.
 
 
Overall this was a solid draft. Burrow was an easy choice at #1, and the potential is sky high. It’s been a long time since anyone said that about a Bengals QB. The next three picks of Higgins, Wilson, and ADG are strong candidates to start as rookies. The main criticism of this draft is not addressing OL, especially when the team had multiple chances to do so in the mid rounds. However that is not enough to grade this draft badly, and I’d give it an A- as things stand.
 
 

Projected Roster

QB: (2) Joe Burrow, Ryan Finley
RB: (4) Joe Mixon, Gio Bernard, Trayveon Williams, Rodney Anderson
WR: (7) AJ Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, John Ross, Auden Tate, Mike Thomas, Alex Erickson
TE: (3) Drew Sample, CJ Uzomah, Cethan Carter
OT: (3) Jonah Williams, Fred Johnson, Bobby Hart
OG: (5) Michael Jordan, Xavier Su’a-Filo, BIlly Price, Alex Redmond, Hakeem Adeniji
C: (1) Trey Hopkins
DE: (5) Carlos Dunlap, Sam Hubbard, Carl Lawson, Jordan Willis, Khalid Kareem
DT: (4) Geno Atkins, DJ Reader, Renell Wren, Josh Tupou
OLB: (3) Akeem Davis-Gaither, Germaine Pratt, Jordan Evans
MLB: (3) Logan Wilson, Josh Bynes, Markus Bailey
CB: (6) William Jackson III, Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, Darius Phillips, Tony Brown, LeShaun Sims
SS: (2) Von Bell, Shawn Williams
FS: (2) Jesse Bates III, Brandon Wilson
K: (1) Randy Bullock
P: (1) Kevin Huber
LS: (1) Clark Harris
 
 
Position Group Strengths and Weaknesses
 
QB:
The Bengals had subpar play from QBs in 2019. Andy Dalton regressed to well below average, while Ryan Finley was downright putrid. Part of these struggles can be blamed on our turnstile OL, but beyond that it was clear the Bengals needed. a new answer at QB. Joe Burrow was drafted to start day 1, and the team will ride or die with him. His ability to move in and out of the pocket will be a huge asset if the line doesn’t improve from last year. He will also have a talented WR corps and stable of RBs to work with. However, he is still a rookie and there will be growing pains. No matter how dominant he looked in college one cannot expect him to step into the NFL, especially with a truncated offseason, and play to that level. The best one should be rooting for is that he continues to grow throughout the year and shows flashes of that elite play that rocketed him to the #1 pick. Something akin to Baker Mayfield or Andrew Luck’s rookie season should be the high end of expectations.
 
Backfield:
Joe Mixon leads the way with solid depth, especially if Rodney Anderson can stay healthy. Mixon is a top 10 dual threat RB, who will hopefully be used more in the passing game this year, an area he was underutilized in 2019. Part of this is because backup Gio Bernard is a top pass catcher, as well as a solid pass protector. When asked to shoulder the load, he has had many great games over the years. Trayveon Williams never even saw the field last year, but showed some talent in preseason. And the aforementioned Anderson has all the talent in the world, but injury after injury in college and then his rookie year have derailed his career. Still, there is hope he can at least carve out a contributing role. If Mixon goes down the team would most likely platoon Bernard and Williams, which would be a considerable downgrade given Mixon’s talent.
 
OL:
Right now this is the team’s biggest question mark. The unit ranked among the worst last season, if not the outright worst in the league. The team opted to not spend any high draft capital on the position group, though they did grab Hakeem Adeniji in the 6th. The only returning starter with confidence is C Trey Hopkins, and even he only ranked about average compared to his peers. Several sub-par starters from 2019 are currently projected to start again, including Bobby Hart and Michael Jordan. There are some reasons to be optimistic however. Jonah Williams will be back to anchor the LT spot after missing all of last season. If he can be the player he was drafted to be, that will instantly upgrade the unit. Further, the coaching staff has talked a lot about players they expect to take a leap, chiefly OG Michael Jordan and possible new RT Fred Johnson. If those players can lock down their spots and take the next step, this unit could end up middle of the pack in the league.
 
Pass catchers:
On paper this is a great unit. Green has played like a top 5 WR for most of his career. Boyd is reliable in the slot, among the best in the league. Higgins projects as a Baby Green, who gets to learn from the player he modeled his game after. And Ross can run past anybody in the league. But there’s still a lot of question marks that knock this unit down a few spots in the rankings. Green hasn’t played in 1.5 years due to injury. Can he return to his old form at 32? Higgins has concerns about separation that caused him to fall to the 2nd round, will he be able to win outside against NFL corners?
And Ross. Oh John Ross. The #9 pick from 2017 hasn’t remotely lived up to his drafting, struggling with injuries, drops, and quitting on routes. He will flash here and there, including getting off to a hot start last year, but is yet to put it all together. Going into the final year of his contract, he will most likely be the #4 WR on the team. Will that help him to better showcase his talent? Here’s hoping. But speaking as someone who hated the pick at the time, I’m not holding my breath.
At TE the unit features 2nd year Drew Sample and C.J Uzomah. Neither was particularly utilized nor effective last year. There's still a chance for Sample to become a contributor, after all he was drafted in the 2nd round and did miss time with injury last year. However thus far the Zac Taylor offense mainly utilizes TEs as blockers, and there is no reason to assume that shifts dramatically this year.
 
DL:
This is without a doubt the best unit on the team. The unit has a great pass rush anchored by Geno Atkins, who will benefit immensely from newcomer DJ Reader joining him in the middle and eating up. Reader is known more as a run stuffer than a pass rusher, but is not slouch when it comes to collapsing the pocket. At DE there’s a solid rotation of perennially underrated Carlos Dunlap, Sam Hubbard, and Carl Lawson. Hubbard improved immensely in his sophomore season, and Lawson played well coming off an ACL tear. If he can play like he did his rookie season now that he’s fully healthy, this unit could be top 10 in pass rushing.
Defending against the run was a weakness of this unit last season, but the addition of Reader in the middle and rookie Khalid Kareem in the rotation outside will help with that. Reader is a monster of a man at 6’3” and 347 lbs. Having him anchor the line should go a long way to preventing teams from gashing us down the middle again and again like last season. Rookie Khalid Kareem will work into our DE rotation and has great tape when it comes to setting the edge and defending against the run. While he may not offer much at this level when it comes to pass rush, he should still help elevate the unit.
 
LB:
Last year’s bottom of the barrel unit was almost completely revamped in the offseason. Returning 2nd year player Germaine Pratt will be joined by draft picks Logan Wilson, Akeem Davis-Gaither, and Markus Bailey, as well as FA signing Josh Bynes. The unit can’t be any worse than last year, and the newcomers offer a lot of reasons for hope. Wilson and ADG both showed great athleticism and coverage ability in college. Both should see extensive playing time as rookies, with Wilson aiming to be a 3 down LB while ADG should see plenty of play in nickel and dime packages.
Bynes was an above average player on the Ravens defense last year who now will have to step up to be the veteran in the room. While most are ecstatic about these new faces, it has to be said that a new LB coach with all new players, most of whom are rookies, will see some growing pains.
 
Secondary:
Next to the LB corps, this was the most overhauled unit on the team. Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander replace Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard, and Von Bell should move into the starting SS role over Shawn Williams. This unit had a fair amount of struggles last year, along with the rest of the defense. One area they should show significant improvement this year is in run support. New secondary coach Steve Jackson emphasizes tackling and physicality, and Waynes and Bell are both known for being sure tacklers.
In terms of pass protection Waynes is a slight upgrade to Kirkpatrick, especially if he can play more like he did 2 seasons ago. Alexander is a slight downgrade to Dennard’s coverage ability in the slot, but not enough to be a liability. Finally Bell is a definite upgrade to Williams, who has always struggled in coverage and is much more comfortable in the box as a S/LB hybrid.
For depth, CB Darius Phillips flashed last year so should see more snaps in dime packages, and FA acquisition Leshaun Sims will be an instant upgrade from BW Webb if nothing else.
 
Special Teams:
The Bengals have generally had above average to good units under Darrin Simmons. In fact, Football Outsiders ranked them the #1 unit in the league for 2019. Kicker Randy Bullock is closer to average, but is still fairly consistent at the position, if underwhelming at times. Kevin Huber has long been a quality punter, good at pinning teams inside the 20.
Alex Erickson has been the main punt/kick returner the last few years, however last year he ceded many kick returns to CB Darius Phillips. Going into this year it is assumed they will continue to split the load, though Erickson may not stick on the roster if the team goes a different way at returner as that has been his primary role in a crowded WR room.
 
 
Training Camp Battles to watch
Backup QB:
Ryan Finley was atrocious last year. In 3 starts he managed 474 yds on 47.4% completion, with only 2 TDs. Some fans want Jake Dolegala, who has stuck on the roster after some solid preseason performances, to take over as the primary backup. But considering the staff didn’t even give him a look despite Finley playing so terribly, it’s unlikely he unseats Finley for the #2 role. Perhaps the Bengals carry 3, but it seems more likely one of them ends up on the practice squad.
Projected Winner: Ryan Finley
 
 
RT: Fred Johnson vs Bobby Hart
Ahh Bobby Hart. Long known as one of the worst starting OTs in the league, he’s becoming more and more famous for his asinine Instagram posts. Hart played both RT and LT last season, as injuries to Jonah Williams, Cordy Glenn, and Andre Smith forced him to the left side of the line for a time. Fred Johnson was signed off the Steelers’ practice squad and ended up making 2 starts at LT towards the end of the season, performing admirably and showing possibly the best tape of any Bengals’ OT last season.
Heading into this season, with the healthy Jonah Williams expected to lock down LT, these two are poised to battle it out for RT. Hart has the edge in experience and has been repeatedly defended by the coaching staff despite fans’ frustration with his play. But don’t count out Johnson either. A complete surprise last season, he has earned rave reviews from OL coach Jim Turner. This one could go either way.
Projected Winner: Fred Johnson
 
 

Schedule Predictions

Week Opponent Home/Away Prediction
1 LAC HOME W
2 CLE AWAY L
3 PHI AWAY L
4 JAX HOME W
5 BAL AWAY L
6 IND AWAY W
7 CLE HOME W
8 TEN HOME L
9 BYE BYE
10 PIT AWAY L
11 WAS AWAY W
12 NYG HOME W
13 MIA AWAY L
14 DAL HOME L
15 PIT HOME W
16 HOU AWAY L
17 BAL HOME L
 
Prediction: 7-9
 
Assuming there is a 2020 season, the Bengals have nowhere to go but up after finishing 2-14 (unless they decide to become the 2017 Browns). And in looking at the schedule, combined with an on paper much improved roster, there’s much potential. Finishing last in the division gets us matchups against JAX, MIA, and LAC, who all project to be much easier matchups than their respective division rivals.
 
The Bengals also get to play the NFC East this year, which last season was one of the worst divisions in football. However, the Bengals also have to face the Ravens and Steelers twice, and despite the Browns underwhelming last year, they are stacked on both sides of the ball. If the new coaching staff can get more of Rookie Baker Mayfield rather than Year 2 Baker, they will be a dangerous team to contend with.
 
I think it’s reasonable to expect the Bengals to finish somewhere with 6-8 wins. They should show clear improvement from last year’s squad due to the offseason acquisitions, but will still be dealing with a rookie QB (who likely will get a limited to no offseason) and still play in one of the toughest divisions in football. Playoffs are a stretch to project this year, but Zac Taylor will be on the hot seat if he shows no improvement over last year with the new additions he’s been given. Most likely the team will be drafting in the 10-15 range.
 
 
Link to hub
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2020.07.03 21:19 David-MJ Will the Detroit Lions win OVER/UNDER 6.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

Will the Detroit Lions win OVEUNDER 6.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

After firing Jim Caldwell following a 9-7 record in 2017, the Lions posted a 6-10 in Matt Patricia’s first year as a head coach. Things got even worse last season with a 3-12-1 record.

This is a critical year for Patricia. The team has talent for sure. If he does not right the ship, he may be gone sooner rather than later.

2. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Detroit Lions are expected to win 6.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:

Here are the results:

Estimated probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 6.5 wins 55.9% Sports Interaction -125 +0.6%
UNDER 6.5 wins 44.1% Heritage Sports +130 +1.4%

Tip: Bet UNDER 6.5 wins
Return On Investment (ROI): +1.4%
Rank: 31st-highest ROI out of 32 teams
Minimum odds required to bet (i.e. ROI = 0%): +127

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Lions’ 16 regular season games:
HOME: -1.5 vs CHI, +2 vs GB, -1 vs HOU, +1.5 vs IND, +2 vs MIN, +5.5 vs NO, +2.5 vs TB, -6 vs WAS.
ROAD: +3 @ ARI, +4 @ ATL, +1 @ CAR, +5 @ CHI, +6.5 @ GB, -1.5 @ JAX, +7 @ MIN, +6 @ TEN.

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

3. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 QUARTERBACKS (QB)

I feel bad for Matthew Stafford. He has to be one of the best quarterbacks to have never won a playoff game. He’s 0-3 in the postseason and has played for many terrible teams in Detroit during his 11-year career.

He had yet another good season in 2019. He finished as the 8th-best QB in the league based on PFF rankings. He missed half the season because of injuries, but still threw 19 TD passes versus 5 picks. Prior to last year, he had not missed a single start over eight seasons, which is unbelievable! He’s a durable and tough guy.

David Blough and Jeff Driskel didn’t do very well in Stafford’s absence. That’s a big reason why the team led Driskel go, while acquiring backup Chase Daniel from the Bears. I was stunned to realize that after spending 10 years in the NFL, Daniel has only thrown 7 TDs and 5 interceptions (most of them in 2018 and 2019 with Chicago). He received decent grades from PFF and he looks to be a definitive improvement over Blough and Driskel.

3.2 RUNNING BACKS (RB)

I like what I’ve been from Kerryon Johnson over his first two seasons in the NFL. In each of those years, the former running back from Auburn was on pace to be close to a 1,000 rushing yard season, but his pro career has been marred by injuries thus far.

Beyond the stats, I thought he passed the eye test. Upon seeing him play several games, he looked like a good back. In his third year, the main goal will be to prove he can make it through a full season.

Johnson received a 66.7 grade from PFF last year, which put him in the #37 spot out of 58 RBs. I believe he can make a nice jump in 2020.

Bo Scarbrough finally saw some action last season. He did “okay”, but his main limitation is in the passing game. He’s not much of a receiver. He’s still a decent weapon to have when running between the tackles because of his big frame.

J.D. McKissic was the opposte of Scarbrough; he is undersized, but a good pass catcher. He still managed to post a lofty 5.4 yard per carry average, while catching 34 balls. However, he left for Washington.

Considering Detroit’s backfield was already crowded, drafting D’Andre Swift in the 2nd round was a puzzling move. It probably means the Lions will go with a committee approach with Johnson and Swift being the RB 1A and 1B.

Swift is a smart RB who has good vision and runs with patience; he understands and evaluates block timing very well. He is also pretty good out of the backfield; he caught many passes in college and was tagged with just three drops across 73 receptions.

3.3 WIDE RECEIVERS (WR)

Can you believe Kenny Golladay’s salary was under one million last year? What an astonishing bargain for the Lions!

Golladay solidified his position as one of the top wideouts in the league by posting a second consecutive 1,000-yard season. He also doubled his TD production by catching 11 last year versus 5 the year before.

He has a great combination of size and athleticism, which allows him to stretch the field and make contested catches in traffic. His numbers have the potential to increase even more if Stafford can stay healthy for the whole season, and considering Golladay is only 26 years old.

Marvin Jones posted a very nice 62-779-9 stat line despite missing three games. He has been a steady producer in this league, both with the Bengals and now with the Lions. A very reliable guy.

Danny Amendola has never been a top wideout: his career best is 689 receiving yards back in 2010. However, having him as your #3 receiver is a nice luxury. The main concern pertains to his age, as he is now 34. His level of play has not deteriorated yet, but we should keep an eye on this situation.

The team added even more depth by signing a younger guy: Geronimo Allison. The former Packer showed flashes during an injury-shortened 2018 season, but he really fell flat last year by catching just 34 balls despite a wide open #2 WR spot in Green Bay. He received poor grades from PFF and finished as the #111 receiver out of 122 qualifiers.

3.4 TIGHT ENDS (TE)

Was T.J. Hockenson’s rookie season a success? The jury is still out on that one.

Everyone got overly excited about his first career game, where he caught 6 passes for 131 yards and 1 TD. However, he surpassed 50 yards just once in his final 11 games (an ankle injury put him on injured reserve for the last four contests).

He was the #8 overall pick in the 2019 draft, so the expectations were high for the former Hawkeye. The adaptation to the NFL-level is not always easy for rookie tight ends, so let’s cut him some slack. He is a candidate to improve his numbers greatly in his second season, especially with Stafford back under center.

Both Logan Thomas and Jesse James caught 16 passes last year. Thomas left for Washington, which leaves James as the clear-cut #2 TE. He is an adequate backup for Detroit.

3.5 OFFENSIVE LINE (OL)

Right tackle Rick Wagner provided respectable protection to his quarterbacks during his first six seasons, but his play tailed off dramatically last year. The team released him and signed Halapoulivaati Vaitai to replace him.

Vaitai has only started 20 games in four seasons, but he played pretty well in spots with the Eagles last year and that earned him a jaw-dropping five-year, $50 million contract. That seems like a high price for a career backup, but he did grade as the 22nd-best tackle among 81 qualifiers in 2019. We’ll see if the Lions made a wise investment or not.

The other four starters all received good marks from PFF: Taylor Decker (19th out of 81 tackles), Frank Ragnow (6th out of 37 centers), Graham Glasgow (12th out of 81 guards) and Joe Dahl (27th out of 81 guards). Yet, the team finished below-average in terms of sacks allowed (19th out of 32 teams).

The bad news is Detroit also lost Graham Glasgow via free agency. He signed with the Denver Broncos. He has obtained grades above 70 by PFF in each of its past three seasons. His replacement is unlikely to match that performance.

One potential replacement is third round selection Jonah Jackson. He needs to improve as a run blocker since he tends to struggle sustaining blocks. On the other hand, he’s more comfortable in passing situations, while also excelling at processing blitzes.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The Lions scored the 18th most points in the NFL last season. That output is much more likely to go up than down.

Except on the offensive line, we notice a potential upgrade over the 2019 season at all positions.

At quarterback, having Stafford back is obviously a big boost. Also, Chase Daniel is a better back than the Blough-Driskel duo.

At running back, Kerryon Johnson missed half the season. He also has two years of experience under his belt and is ready to explode. Rookie D’Andre Swift offers an additional potential deadly weapon.

Adding Geronimo Allison to an already talent WR group won’t hurt. Golladay-Jones-Amendola will provide good targets for Stafford.

Hockenson is now more familiar with the NFL speed and it was reported he played through some pain before landing on injured reserve. Again, an improvement seems a more likely scenario than a regression here.

As mentioned above, the OL play will be a source of concern, though. Replacing Wagner with Vaitai could be a plus. However, Glasgow’s loss will be difficult to compensate.

Still, overall I can see the Lions jumping to the 7th-12th rank on offense in 2020. You read this right; the Lions could have the number 7 offense in the NFL. They have a very talented and underrated group (with nice depth at all positions!).

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Moderate upgrade

4. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

4.1 DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (DL)

The interior of the line has been completely revamped. That may not be a bad thing.

Both Damon Harrison and A’Shawn Robinson are gone after a subpar year. They both graded as below-average last year, which was a big surprise in the case of Harrison. He obtained a grade above 90 as a run defender in each of its past four seasons, but cratered to 63.2 last year. What the heck happened?

The newcomers are Danny Shelton, formerly of the Patriots, and Nick Williams, coming over from the Bears.

Shelton has done very well in all five of his seasons in the league and is entering his prime. He’s a solid addition and he’s good a plugging up running lanes.

I’m not so high on the Williams acquisition, though. He didn’t get good grades throughout his career until last year where he finally got some starts and posted six sacks. He could be a one-year wonder. He had been a journeyman thus far and is a former 7th-round pick.

Mike Daniels is also off the team. The former didn’t do much in his lone season in Motor City.

4.2 DEFENSIVE ENDS (DE) / EDGE (ED)

Both Trey Flowers and Devon Kennard recorded seven sacks last season. Kennard left for Arizona; his leadership as team captain will also be missed.

Flowers is a vital piece of this defense. He will enter his age-27 campaign and he has racked up between 6.5 and 7.5 sacks every year since 2016.

Who will step up in Kennard’s absence? Romeo Okwara will need to come back to his 2018 form, where he posted 7.5 sacks. Only getting 1.5 last year was a big disappointment.

Another alternative may come from Romeo’s younger brother, Julian, who was taken in the 3rd round of this year’s draft. Considering Julian’s speed and strength (the bull rush remains his favorite move), you would have expected him to produce more in college. He still needs to learn good techniques to beat experienced offensive linemen.

4.3 LINEBACKERS (LB)

Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones and Jahlani Tavai all played a bit above 50% of the defensive snaps last year. They ranked as the #84, #82 and #44 linebackers out of 89 guys. That’s bad.

The position will get a lift with the acquisition of Jamie Collins. He led the Patriots with seven sacks last season, which was a career-high for him.

I don’t mean to be disrespectful for him, but I believe he’s overrated. He enjoyed great 2014 and 2015 seasons in New England, but his played tailed off big time in his time away from the Patriots in 2016, 2017 and 2018. He came back with a pretty good season when reuniting with Belichick’s squad last year, but will he revert back to mediocre play in Detroit?

Super Bowl champion Reggie Ragland also joins Matt Patricia’s team. He adds depth to the team and may play behind Jarrad Davis.

4.4 CORNERBACKS (CB)

Last year, the trio made of Darius Slay, Rashaan Melvin and Justin Coleman saw the field pretty often.

Slay and Melvin are gone to other teams. Slay had a very bad year as opposed to his previous five, but that may have been an outlier. He’s 29 years old and he’s likely to rebound in Philly. He asked to be traded after fights over contract negotiations.

Unlike Slay, Melvin won’t be missed too much. He was an undrafted guy who is more of a rotational corner.

In order to alleviate Slay’s loss, the Lions signed Desmond Trufant, formerly of the Falcons. His best days are behind him, but he has never received a grade below 69.5 by PFF over his seven-year career, which is remarkable. Last year’s 70.3 grade put him as the 32nd-best corner out of 112 qualifiers.

The team’s instant #1 corner is rookie Jefffrey Okudah, who was taken with the third overall selection of this year’s draft. He’s a true lockdown corner who is likely to perform at a high level right away.

Over the last two seasons at Ohio State, he held every wideout he faced to fewer than 50 receiving yards. He also surrendered just two touchdowns during that time frame. Those are outstanding numbers!

Okudah is a blue chip prospect whose mental makeup and physical traits are elite.

4.5 SAFETIES (S)

Safeties Tracy Walker and Tavon Wilson led the team in tackles last year. They both played close to 75% of the snaps and obtained similar marks from PFF. They finished 22nd and 26th out of 87 safeties in the league. As of now, Wilson has yet to sign with a NFL team. He is open to re-signing with Detroit, but that has yet to happen.

The team decided to upgrade the position by acquiring Duron Harmon, yet another ex-Patriot. He can play safety or as a corner; he is likely to be on the field often. He may not be the best against the run, but his skills in coverage are way above average.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

There’s been a lot of shuffling with this unit during the offseason.

The biggest acquisitions are Danny Shelton, Nick Williams, Jamie Collins, Desmond Trufant, Duron Harmon, as well as #3 overall pick Jeffrey Okudah. The biggest losses are Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, Devon Kennard, Darius Slay and Rashaan Melvin.

My own assessment of those moves is a moderate upgrade.

However, I value continuity as a key factor in the NFL. Knowing how your teammates are going to react in game-time situations is important in such a fast sport like the NFL.

Considering the impact of COVID-19 on offseason preparation, having numerous new faces will likely penalize offenses/defenses even more.

Detroit’s defense finished 26th in points allowed last year. They will remain the team’s Achilles heel, but a significant improvement is doable.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Moderate upgrade

MOST LIKELY RECORD: 7-9
(based on the one-million simulated seasons using BetOnline’s 2020 point spreads)

Tomorrow, I'll discuss the team whose ROI is 30th in the league; the New Orleans Saints!

Thanks for reading, I hope you found it insightful!

Professor MJ
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2020.06.30 05:58 nickb1603 1998-99 Season Preview

Here is a full preview of each team for the upcoming 1998-99 season. For each team, their previous record is given, as well as a prediction for this season. Starting lineups are listed, with player ages in parenthesis.
East
Atlanta Hawks
Last Season: 50-32 5th (Lost 3-2 first round to Detroit)
Prediction: 41-41
Lineup:
  1. Mookie Blaylock (30)
  2. Steve Smith (28)
  3. Stacey Augmon (29)
  4. Alan Henderson (26)
  5. Christian Laettner (29)
Key Reserves: Aaron Gordon (21), Billy Owens (28), Dee Brown (29), Rony Seikaly (32)
Head Coach: Lenny Wilkens
Expiring Contracts: Henderson, Smith, Augmon (Player option)

Boston Celtics
Last Season: 36-46 13th
Prediction: 46-36
Lineup:
  1. Baron Davis (R) (20)
  2. Tim Legler (31)
  3. Caron Butler (23)
  4. Kevin Garnett (22)
  5. Joel Embiid (22)
Key Reserves: Eric Williams (25), Zach LaVine (21), Elfrid Payton (22), Carlos Boozer (21)
Head Coach: Rick Pitino
Expiring Contracts: Embiid (Team Option), Butler (Team Option), Williams, Boozer (Team Option), LaVine (Team Option), Payton (Team Option)

Charlotte Hornets
Last Season: 38-44 12th
Prediction: 36-46
Lineup:
  1. Kenny Anderson (28)
  2. John Starks (33)
  3. Glen Rice (30)
  4. Larry Johnson (27)
  5. Benoit Benjamin (33)
Key Reserves: Don MacLean (28), Dell Curry (33), Shawn Marion (R) (21)
Head Coach: Alan Bristow
Expiring Contracts: MacLean, Anderson

Chicago Bulls
Last Season: 57-25 1st (Lost 4-3 NBA Finals to L.A. Lakers)
Prediction: 52-30
Lineup:
  1. Steve Kerr (33)
  2. Michael Jordan (35)
  3. Scottie Pippen (33)
  4. Juwan Howard (25)
  5. Elden Campbell (30)
Key Reserves: Toni Kukoc (30), Duane Causwell (29), Ron Harper (34)
Head Coach: Tim Floyd
Expiring Contracts: Howard, Causwell, Harper

Cleveland Cavaliers
Last Season: 17-65
Prediction: 22-60
Lineup:
  1. Bob Sura (25)
  2. Doug Christie (27)
  3. Jabari Parker (21)
  4. Don Reid (25)
  5. Shawn Bradley (25)
Key Reserves: Lucious Harris (27), Charles Oakley (34), Richard Dumas (28)
Head Coach: Keith Smart
Expiring Contracts: Parker (Team Option), Sura, Oakley

Detroit Pistons
Last Season: 50-32 4th (Lost 2-4 second round to Chicago)
Prediction: 51-31
Lineup:
  1. Lindsey Hunter (27)
  2. Allan Houston (26)
  3. Grant Hill (26)
  4. Drew Gooden (22)
  5. Theo Ratliff (24)
Key Reserves: BJ Armstrong (31), Robert Horry (28), Sasha Danilovic (28)
Head Coach: George Irvine
Expiring Contracts: Hunter, Gooden (Team Option), Danilovic

Indiana Pacers
Last Season: 39-43 10th
Prediction: 40-42
Lineup:
  1. Cory Alexander (24)
  2. Rex Walters (27)
  3. Derrick McKey (31)
  4. Amar'e Stoudemire (19)
  5. Keith Tower (28)
Key Reserves: Mark Jackson (32), Willie Anderson (31), Bogdan Bogdanovic(24)
Head Coach: Mike Dunleavy
Expiring Contracts: Stoudemire (Team Option), Walters, Bogdanovic (Team Option)

Miami Heat
Last Season: 49-33 6th (Lost 4-3 Conference Finals to Chicago)
Prediction:47-35
Lineup:
  1. Tim Hardaway (32)
  2. Reggie Miller (31)
  3. Walt Williams (28)
  4. Kurt Thomas (24)
  5. Isaac Austin (29)
Key Reserves: Rick Fox (29), Voshon Lenard (25), Greg Sutton (30)
Head Coach: Pat Riley
Expiring Contracts: Hardaway (Player Option), Thomas, Williams

Milwaukee Bucks
Last Season: 32-50 14th
Prediction: 19-63
Lineup:
  1. Jannero Pargo (22)
  2. Mitchell Butler (27)
  3. Glenn Robinson (25)
  4. Popeye Jones (27)
  5. Julius Randle (21)
Key Reserves: Hariss Calmuschi (22), Kevin Gamble (33)
Head Coach: Dick Motta
Expiring Contracts: Randle (Team Option), Calmuschi, Jones

New Jersey Nets
Last Season: 40-42 9th
Prediction: 46-36
Lineup:
  1. Steve Francis (R) (21)
  2. Kevin Edwards (32)
  3. Armen Gilliam (33)
  4. PJ Brown (29)
  5. Vlade Divac (30)
Key Reserves: David Benoit (29), Ed O'Bannon (25), Antonio Davis (29)
Head Coach: Butch Beard
Expiring Contracts: Gilliam, O'Bannon, Benoit

New York Knicks
Last Season: 42-40 8th (Lost 3-0 first round to Chicago)
Prediction: 43-39
Lineup:
  1. Bimbo Coles (29)
  2. Mitch Richmond (32)
  3. Latrell Sprewell (28)
  4. Tayshaun Prince (22)
  5. Patrick Ewing (36)
Key Reserves: Anthony Goldwire (26), Jordan Clarkson (24)
Head Coach: Phil Jackson
Expiring Contracts: Sprewell, Clarkson (Team Option)

Orlando Magic
Last Season: 56-26 2nd (Lost 4-2 second round to Miami)
Prediction: 54-28
Lineup:
  1. Penny Hardaway (27)
  2. Nick Anderson (30)
  3. Dennis Scott (30)
  4. Horace Grant (33)
  5. Alonzo Mourning (27)
Key Reserves: Dennis Rodman (37), Aaron McKie (27), Kenny Smith (32)
Head Coach: Brian Hill
Expiring Contracts: Mourning (Player Option), Anderson, Grant

Philadelphia 76ers
Last Season: 48-34 7th (Lost 3-2 first round to Orlando)
Prediction: 52-30
Lineup:
  1. Jason Kidd (24)
  2. Jerry Stackhouse (23)
  3. Chris Mullin (35)
  4. Derrick Coleman (30)
  5. Clint Capela (22)
Key Reserves: Nene (21), Bobby Hurley (26), Sam Mack (27)
Head Coach: George Karl
Expiring Contracts: Capela (Team Option), Coleman

Toronto Raptors
Last Season: 39-43 11th
Prediction: 40-42
Lineup:
  1. Damon Stoudamire (25)
  2. Gary Harris (22)
  3. Kyle Anderson (23)
  4. Carlos Rogers (27)
  5. Yao Ming (23)
Key Reserves: Terry Dehere (26), Bison Dele (28), Bobby Phills (28)
Head Coach: Darrell Walker
Expiring Contracts: Yao (Team Option), Harris (Team Option), Rogers

Washington Wizards
Last Season: 54-28
Prediction: 49-33
Lineup:
  1. Chris Whitney (27)
  2. Calbert Cheaney (26)
  3. Chris Mills (28)
  4. Chris Webber (24)
  5. Gheorghe Muresan (26)
Key Reserves: Rasheed Wallace (24), Scott Burrell (27), Doug McDermott (24)
Head Coach: Bob Staak
Expiring Contracts: Wallace, Cheaney, Burrell

West
Dallas Mavericks
Last Season: 46-36 6th (Lost 4-0 Conference Finals to L.A. Lakers)
Prediction: 41-41
Lineup:
  1. Pooh Richardson (31)
  2. Jim Jackson (28)
  3. Jalen Rose (25)
  4. Clarence Weatherspoon (27)
  5. Zan Tabak (27)
Key Reserves: Clyde Drexler (35), Scott Skiles (33)
Head Coach: Chris Ford
Expiring Contracts: Skiles

Denver Nuggets
Last Season: 51-31 2nd (Lost 4-0 second round to Dallas)
Prediction: 45-37
Lineup:
  1. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (29)
  2. Brian Shaw (31)
  3. Danny Ferry (31)
  4. Antonio McDyess (24)
  5. Dikembe Mutombo (31)
Key Reserves: Dale Davis (28), LaPhonso Ellis (27)
Head Coach: Bernie Bickerstaff
Expiring Contracts: Mutombo (Player Option), Davis, McDyess

Golden State Warriors
Last Season: 33-49 12th
Prediction: 38-44
Lineup:
  1. Terrell Brandon (27)
  2. Vernon Maxwell (33)
  3. Sam Mitchell (34)
  4. Joe Smith (22)
  5. Rik Smits (32)
Key Reserves: Corey Maggette (R) (19), Rex Chapman (31), Derrick Alston (26)
Head Coach: Rick Adelman
Expiring Contracts: Smith, Maxwell, Chapman

Houston Rockets
Last Season: 40-42 10th
Prediction: 30-52
Lineup:
  1. Sam Cassell (28)
  2. Dion Glover (R) (21)
  3. Sean Elliott (29)
  4. Reggie Evans (R) (22)
  5. Hakeem Olajuwon (35)
Key Reserves: William Avery (R) (21), Joe Wolf (33)
Head Coach: Rudy Tomjanovich
Expiring Contracts: Wolf

Los Angeles Clippers
Last Season: 24-58 13th
Prediction: 22-60
Lineup:
  1. Jason Terry (R) (22)
  2. Brent Barry (26)
  3. Lamond Murray (24)
  4. Loy Vaught (29)
  5. Elmore Spencer (28)
Key Reserves: Jim McIlvaine (25), Chris Morris (32)
Head Coach: Jeff Van Gundy
Expiring Contracts: Morris, Spencer

Los Angeles Lakers
Last Season: 54-28 1st (NBA Champions over Chicago 4-3)
Prediction: 56-26
Lineup:
  1. Nick Van Exel (26)
  2. Eddie Jones (26)
  3. Cedric Ceballos (29)
  4. Dino Radja (30)
  5. Shaquille O'Neal (25)
Key Reserves: Anthony Peeler (28), Noah Vonleh (21)
Head Coach: Del Harris
Expiring Contracts: O'Neal (Player Option), Vonleh (Team Option)

Minnesota Timberwolves
Last Season: 43-39 7th (Lost 3-2 first round to Denver)
Prediction: 41-41
Lineup:
  1. Trevor Ruffin (25)
  2. Isaiah Rider (26)
  3. Tom Gugliotta (28)
  4. Chris Gatling (30)
  5. Nikola Jokic (21)
Key Reserves: James Posey (R) (22), Robert Pack (28)
Head Coach: Jim Cleamons
Expiring Contracts: Gugliotta, Jokic (Team Option), Gatling

Oklahoma City Thunder
Last Season: 12-70 15th
Prediction: 30-52
Lineup:
  1. Jay Williams (22)
  2. Dante Exum (21)
  3. KJ McDaniels (23)
  4. Elton Brand (R) (20)
  5. Sean Rooks (29)
Key Reserves: Chris Carr (23), Howard Eisley (25)
Head Coach: Alvin Gentry
Expiring Contracts: Williams (Team Option), Rooks, Carr

Phoenix Suns
Last Season: 50-32 3rd (Lost 3-0 first round to Dallas)
Prediction: 42-40
Lineup:
  1. Kevin Johnson (31)
  2. Bryant Stith (27)
  3. Michael Finley (24)
  4. Danny Manning (31)
  5. David Robinson (33)
Key Reserves: Jusuf Nurkic (22), Blue Edwards (32)
Head Coach: Cotton Fitzsimmons
Expiring Contracts: Finley, Stith, Nurkic (Team Option)

Portland Trail Blazers
Last Season: 40-42 8th (Lost 3-0 first round to L.A. Lakers)
Prediction: 35-47
Lineup:
  1. Rod Strickland (33)
  2. Kendall Gill (29)
  3. Dontonio Wingfield (23)
  4. Brian Grant (25)
  5. Arvydas Sabonis (33)
Key Reserves: Clifford Robinson (31), Mike Dunleavy (21), TJ Warren (23)
Head Coach: Maurice Cheeks
Expiring Contracts: Strickland (Player Option), Grant (Player Option), Sabonis

Sacramento Kings
Last Season: 21-61 14th
Prediction: 29-53
Lineup:
  1. Tyus Edney (24)
  2. Wesley Person (26)
  3. Greg Minor (27)
  4. Anthony Mason (31)
  5. Luc Longley (29)
Key Reserves: Ron Artest (R) (21), Chris Childs (31), Malik Sealy (27)
Head Coach: Mike Fratello
Expiring Contracts: Edney, Sealy, Longley

San Antonio Spurs
Last Season: 48-34 4th (Lost 4-3 second round to L.A. Lakers)
Prediction: 55-27
Lineup:
  1. Vinny Del Negro (32)
  2. Hersey Hawkins (33)
  3. Jamal Mashburn (25)
  4. Charles Barkley (35)
  5. Vin Baker (27)
Key Reserves: Acie Earl (28), Chuck Person (33), Laron Profit (R) (21)
Head Coach: Gregg Popovich
Expiring Contracts: Hawkins, Del Negro

Seattle SuperSonics
Last Season: 35-47 11th
Prediction: 30-52
Lineup:
  1. Gary Payton (31)
  2. Tony Dumas (25)
  3. Lamar Odom (R) (21)
  4. Tony Massenburg (30)
  5. Jay Elliott (25)
Key Reserves: Marcus Smart (22), Pete Chilcutt (30)
Head Coach: Paul Westphal
Expiring Contracts: Smart (Team Option)

Utah Jazz
Last Season: 40-42 9th
Prediction: 36-46
Lineup:
  1. John Stockton (35)
  2. Jeff Hornacek (34)
  3. Bryon Russell (27)
  4. Karl Malone (35)
  5. Olden Polynice (33)
Key Reserves: Adam Keefe (27), Avery Johnson (32), Dan Majerle (33), Mitch McGary (22)
Head Coach: Jerry Sloan
Expiring Contracts: Stockton (Player Option), McGary (Team Option), Polynice

Vancouver Grizzlies
Last Season: 46-36 5th (Lost 3-2 first round to San Antonio)
Prediction: 40-42
Lineup:
  1. Greg Anthony (30)
  2. Jimmy King (24)
  3. Andrew Wiggins (21)
  4. Shawn Kemp (29)
  5. Eric Mobley (28)
Key Reserves: Oliver Miller (27), Mark Davis (25) **Note** Bryant Reeves (25) torn ACL OUT until March, 1999
Head Coach: Stu Jackson
Expiring Contracts: Wiggins (Team Option), Reeves, Miller
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Interview with Shawn Johnson and her coaches THE PERFECT WEDDING  SHAWN JOHNSON + ANDREW EAST - YouTube usa gymnastics + larry nassar  i am disgusted. - YouTube Gymnastics Spotters Saving Epic Fails *SCARY*  Shawn Johnson What's it like inside Chow's Gym? Shawn Johnson East knows Jordyn Wieber + Samantha Peszek + Shawn Johnson - YouTube The East Family - YouTube Legends- Shawn Johnson (The Trailer)

Shawn Johnson - Athlete, Gymnast - Biography

  1. Interview with Shawn Johnson and her coaches
  2. THE PERFECT WEDDING SHAWN JOHNSON + ANDREW EAST - YouTube
  3. usa gymnastics + larry nassar i am disgusted. - YouTube
  4. Gymnastics Spotters Saving Epic Fails *SCARY* Shawn Johnson
  5. What's it like inside Chow's Gym? Shawn Johnson East knows
  6. Jordyn Wieber + Samantha Peszek + Shawn Johnson - YouTube
  7. The East Family - YouTube
  8. Legends- Shawn Johnson (The Trailer)
  9. Qualified Episode 4: Shawn Johnson Helps Mentor Gabrielle ...

Shop My Closet! http://amzn.to/2xnwMEJ Jordyn Wieber + Samantha Peszek + Shawn Johnson I got to sit down with these two lovely girls! Jordyn Wieber competed ... GoPro: 'Two Roads' - Gymnastics with Coach Liang Chow (Ep. 7) - Duration: 7:00. ... Shawn Johnson Helps Mentor Gabrielle Douglas On Her Way to London Olympics - Duration: 3:59. Qualified Episode 4: Shawn Johnson Helps Mentor Gabrielle Douglas On Her Way to London Olympics - Duration: 3:59. Team USA 707,173 views Subscribe for weekly videos http://bit.ly/sjofficial Shawn and Andrew take a break from the dating series to do some more gymnastics fails. Gymnastics spot... Subscribe for weekly videos http://bit.ly/sjofficial This was the hardest video I have ever had to make, but I had to make it. Gymnastics was a huge part o... Shop My Closet! http://amzn.to/2xnwMEJ Subscribe for weekly videos http://bit.ly/sjofficial This is the FULL highlight reel of our wedding! Enjoy :) Follow... Take a look inside Chow's Gymnastics in West Des Moines as Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East explains what it's like to train with coach Liang Chow. When Olympian Gabrielle Douglas first starting rising through the ranks of competitive gymnastics, she knew she needed to find the best coach to take her to ... Hey guys, welcome to The East Family!! If this is your first time on our channel, WELCOME! We're so happy to have you join us on our journey. We promise to b...