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New Faces in New Places: QB Edition

A lot of quarterbacks moved around this offseason. To me, none are as impactful as Matt Ryan joining the Indianapolis Colts.

Ryan is joining the number one rushing offense from last season, and one of the things about Matt Ryan is that he’s a great play-action quarterback. Pairing him with Frank Reich, they can put it all together this season. I think they’ll have some explosiveness with the receiving core too, and obviously, with Jonathan Taylor doing his thing in the run game. This is a team that can be in the playoffs by the end of the year if they do it right.

Actual Versus Expected Sacks in 2021

Actual Versus Expected Sacks in 2021
In the past, pressures have been the best indicator of future sack totals for pass rushers, even more so than sacks themselves. Because not all sacks are the same, it is not always the most reliable statistic to look at when judging performance or projecting for the future. That is where seeing actual versus expected […]

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Breakdowns

Meeting Room: How Coaches & Front Offices Work Together

The grind of the NFL season doesn’t end when teams walk off the field for the final time.

The Process

Coaches and front office members get straight back to work as soon as the final whistle blows, determining the future of the roster for the next season. Positional coaches get to work scouting out their respective positions, while front office personnel scout other teams and prospects in the upcoming draft.

Position coaches present players on the rise and players they feel are starting to lose a step. There is constant communication and planning between the coaching staff and members of the front office.

All the while, the General Manager, Head Coach and Owner begin working in tandem to shape the team and establish a clear direction on the team.

Repercussions

Those three discuss the details of decisions, planning on what happens and what they’ll do based on the repercussions of these decisions. Two recent examples of this were brought up by Mike Tannenbaum, former NFL executive and Founder of The 33rd Team.

“Tyreek Hill and Davante Adams left partially due to the money that went to Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Obviously, if you’re privileged enough to have these guys you have to pay them, but you have to plan out what happens after because some of these complementary pieces just won’t fit under the cap.”

This communication goes into scouting as well. The coach sets the guidelines for what he’s looking for to fulfill certain player types that fit his vision, while the General Manager orchestrates the members of the front office and scouts into finding those kinds of players. Tannenbaum brought this up discussing how Bill Parcells had certain player archetypes he liked, and how establishing these prototypes gave the scouting department a clear vision of the kinds of players to look for that fit the vision of the coaching staff.

Meeting Room: Difficult Decisions in August

Meeting Room: Difficult Decisions in August
The month of August is when difficult decisions are made for every NFL team. It’s the time to have difficult discussions about players’ futures. Decisions to keep or cut players going into the regular season can make or break seasons in some cases, other times it may change the direction of position groups.  Does a […]

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Breakdowns

Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos Offense Will Be One of NFL’s Best

The Denver Broncos offense is about to become one of the best in the league, very quickly. Consequently, the defense is in a place and has its leaders to set the tone. With the front office and staff now working in sync, this team can go places.

The acquisition of Russell Wilson will have Denver playing at the highest level possible. Equally, receiving group he has is deep with some top-end talent. They have some younger guys at a couple of positions but overall this offense is set up nicely. In their division they are going to have to score a lot of points, Wilson and this Broncos offense can do that. 

In the past, Russell Wilson has been one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the league. Previously we talked about the receiving group and it seems like Courtland Sutton is having a healthy camp, that will go long way. His veteran presence around guys like Javonte Williams, Jerry Jeudy, and Greg Dulicich is going to be instrumental.

Similarly on defense, players and leaders are in place. Looking at it from top to bottom they are in a very good place to find success. The Broncos offense at times may serve as the complement to this defense. George Patton made a great pick last year with Patrick Surtain II, alongside Justin Simmons will do wonders for a long time. Not many teams can boast they have such a young and top-level duo in the defensive backs group.

New Head Coach Nathaniel Hackett will have the offense cleaned up in a few spots. His leadership in Green Bay we know was something that Aaron Rodgers loved to have. He with Wilson and this Broncos offense could prove to be one of the best relationships in the league. 

Hackett and Patton both should be very proud of where they have this Denver team.

Breakdowns

How Do You Deal With a Struggling QB?

The losses are mounting, there is a struggling quarterback. The offense can’t score. The fan outrage is growing. The quarterback just isn’t getting the job done. What should the team do? 

Longtime NFL coaching veteran Marty Mornhinweg take the helm. He chats with Super Bowl champion Head Coach Dave Wannstedt and former NFL quarterbacks Matt Cassell and Rich Gannon. Altogether they get to the bottom of the question no team wants to ask: how much time do you give a struggling quarterback? 

Drawing From Similar Situations

Mornhinweg starts the discussion by asking Wannstedt about his experience with struggling signal-callers while he was coaching the Chicago Bears. The veteran coach asserts it’s not always talent or injury that is the catalyst for a coach making a change under center. 

He explains, “[coaches] have a strong feeling in their gut, what they want to happen and they’re hoping happens. I know competition sounds good, and it’s great for the media and all that, but deep down in the coaches’ rooms… we always knew who we wanted to be the starter.”

Having a struggling quarterback, or two, is less than ideal. Mornhinweg jumps back in to discuss how reps are distributed during a quarterback competition.

“If you have two quarterbacks, you don’t have one,” Mornhinweg said. 

Mornhinweg then goes on to explain something else. He explains how teams, historically, that enter camp—or the regular season—fair without a clear starter at the quarterback position.

Next, Gannon, a former NFL MVP, jumps in to discuss the multitude of teams entering the season with new quarterbacks, new offensive coordinators, and handle business.

Plus, he explains why it’s not always a question of what a new quarterback can handle, but what the other ten players on the offense around him can handle. 

A Struggling Quarterback Needs Proper Support

Continuing with the discussion, the former Raiders quarterback takes an exception. When it comes to the Chicago Bears, they have paired second-year QB Justin Fields with a new (and inexperienced) play caller in Luke Getsy. 

Matt Ryan serves as a good example here for them. Touching on his own time with Norv Turner and the Raiders, Gannon explains learning a new offense can be difficult. Even for the most accomplished and experienced QBs. They may end up appearing as if they are a struggling quarterback versus the latter.

Finally, Wannstedt explains how he felt about Tom Brady as a young QB. He states how NFL legends like Mike Holmgren and Bill Belichick used the same strategy. That strategy was what brought out the best in their superstar quarterbacks. 

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Wade Phillips: Rams' Super Bowl Winning Drive

Wade Phillips: Rams' Super Bowl Winning Drive
  Longtime NFL Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips goes to the film to break down the Rams’ Super Bowl Winning Drive. It was a historic 15-play drive that clinched the Los Angeles Rams’ Super Bowl LVI.  Phillips points out that the Rams’ opponents, the Cincinnati Bengals, were solid against the run all night. […]

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Is Kenny Pickett a Starting QB?

Is Kenny Pickett a Starting QB?
  Greg Cosell— Executive Producer & Analyst for NFL Matchup on ESPN— is joined by veteran NFL Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and former NFL Quarterback Hugh Millen to discuss Kenny Pickett’s potential as an NFL starter. Cosell’s Breakdown Breaking down the tape, Cosell shares why he believes the Pittsburgh QB has what it takes to […]

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