Observing 2017’s Left Tackle Market

There was a fair amount of news yesterday regarding the status of multiple left tackles as the 2016 league year wraps down.  Cameron Wolfe added to the conversation by expressing proper skepticism on Russell Okung’s four year option being picked up. With the possibility that the Broncos will be looking for a new left tackle for 2017, I thought it would be instructive to take a look at where all 32 teams stand at the position so that it’s easier to reference what possibilities the Broncos have in changing up the position. Continue reading Observing 2017’s Left Tackle Market

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017

Who Would Be Your Ideal NFL Broadcast Team?

Here’s the quest: you are in charge of a network that airs NFL Sunday afternoon coverage.  You have full power to choose whoever you want to be in front of the microphone and camera to commentate on the sport.  Here are the jobs that you need to fill:

  • Six game broadcast teams, each consisting of a play-by-play commentator, a color commentator, and a sideline reporter.
  • A studio crew that consists of one host, and as many analysts as you feel is practical (though explain why you’re adding them and how much they’re going to be on the air).

You don’t have to be limited to current NFL talent, but try to stay practical in noting that those who have NFL broadcast experience may perform better.

Tale Of The Tape: John Elway vs. Ryan Grigson

As most Broncos fans know well, a grave injustice was done when Ryan Grigson edged out John Elway for Executive of the Year in 2012.  While this subject will always contain a little bit of soreness, history has vindicated this injustice, as can be illustrated in these respective links for Grigson and Elway.

Now that the Grigson era has ended in Indianapolis, I feel that we should close the chapter on this by taking a detailed look at the transactions that Elway and Grigson each executed during their overlapping reins as GMs.  This means that I’m not giving Elway credit for 2011, and his stellar acquisitions such as Von Miller, Julius Thomas, and Chris Harris.  But as you’ll see, he doesn’t even need that year.

This list represents the opinion that I’m expressing in this article.  The grades that I’ve given each transaction are subjective, but I feel they are also fair. Continue reading Tale Of The Tape: John Elway vs. Ryan Grigson

More Like “Coach (That Exceeded Low Expectations) Of The Year”

I have always found the Coach Of The Year awards in the NFL to be among the most useless.  You probably have a good idea why: it’s rarely awarded to the head coach that’s actually the most outstanding of that season. Instead, all too often it’s given to the head coach that turns a bad team into a good team.  This year, it’s almost certain that Coach Of The Year votes will largely go to Jason Garrett (taking the Cowboys from 4-12 to 13-3), with the runner up being Jack Del Rio (taking the Raiders from 7-9 to 12-4).  What’s something that those two teams have in common?  Yep, they were both one and done in the playoffs.  Furthermore, does anyone really think that either Garrett or Del Rio belongs in the top five among head coaches when considering the entire body of their work?

This article will further expose the problem with how this award is handed out–and also attempt to find a more reliable metric to include in future consideration. Continue reading More Like “Coach (That Exceeded Low Expectations) Of The Year”

How Should The New Coaching Staff Alter The Broncos’ 2017 Offseason Road Map?

When I wrote my offseason road map for the Broncos this year, I did so under the presumption that Gary Kubiak was not going anywhere.  That, of course, was incorrect, and the Broncos have already got a head start on achieving goal #1, a cleanout of the offensive coaching staff.

Now that we know that John Elway has hired Vance Joseph as head coach and Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator, I think it would be prudent to revisit some points on my roadmap–specifically the goals that refer to the quarterback and offensive line positions. Continue reading How Should The New Coaching Staff Alter The Broncos’ 2017 Offseason Road Map?

Would Week 17 Be More Or Less Interesting By Seeding Without Regard To Divisions?

It seems to happen at least once every year: a team who is superior in whatever metric you want to measure–win-loss record, head to head, DVOA, etc.–is sitting on their couches in January while an inferior team is on to the postseason. Perhaps the largest aggravating factor is the requirement that a division champion must not only make the playoffs, but also host a playoff game.  Such a champion gets this privilege even if the division was a complete dumpster fire, as the AFC South has been for the past few seasons.

At the very least, I’ve advocated that division champions should not be entitled to a home playoff game, and seeding should first be determined by win-loss record.  I’ve also toyed with the idea that teams with a losing record should not make the playoffs at all. (Yes, I’m aware that such teams are 2-0 so far–my responses are “any given Sunday” and “small sample size”.)

Pushback against these ideas takes a few forms.  Among the most simplistic are, “Shoulda won your division if you wanna get in”, or “Winning your division is something you should be proud of”. My response to that is, “Shouldn’t playing in a more difficult division give you more credit?” and “Let’s ask teams like the 1999 Jaguars or 2010 Bears how meaningful their pretty division banners really are”. Some will also say that there would be no point in having divisions at all, but I see no reason why you can’t still schedule division rivals twice a year, and also hold claim to division titles, even if every now and then that title doesn’t come with a playoff berth and/or home game.

The more sophisticated argument is that giving division champions playoff privileges helps to create more meaningful games in the playoff race–and in turn, better TV ratings for the infamous Week 17.  Surely, the 6-9 2010 Seahawks or the 6-8-1 Panthers would have nothing to play for if it wasn’t for hopes of a playoff ticket via winning their division, right?  The NFL has doubled down on this notion by making Week 17 games exclusively division matchups since 2010.

This article will scrutinize this final idea.  It will take a look at the playoff picture entering Week 17 since 2002, the year the NFL went to eight divisions and thus creating more of these automatic playoff tickets, and see if there would have been more or fewer games in which teams would have something to play for if divisions were completely ignored for seeding purposes. Continue reading Would Week 17 Be More Or Less Interesting By Seeding Without Regard To Divisions?