With the brand new yr simply days away, it is a good time for NFL gamers, groups, and followers to replicate on the yr that was and attempt to study from their errors.
Here is one decision every NFL membership ought to take to coronary heart as they navigate by way of 2018:
Plan for the long run … offensively
The Cardinals have invested early-round picks on the defensive aspect of the ball closely the final 5 years solely to ask Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer to proceed to hold the offensive load at ages 34 and 37, respectively.
Deal with consistency
In every of Dan Quinn’s three years as Falcons’ head coach, the workforce has received at the very least 5 of six video games whereas additionally going by way of a seemingly hopeless stretch sooner or later throughout the identical season. They clearly have expertise; they only want to determine how one can begin and end sturdy.
Admit what Joe Flacco actually is
Publicly or privately, the Ravens have to face the music and admit that Flacco is not well worth the $22 million he’ll be getting in every of the following two years (at the very least). Get artistic with the wage cap and study to win regardless of unreliable quarterback play.
Set up an id
Who’re these Payments below Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane? Are they a re-creation of the Carolina Panthers? Is McDermott harkening again to his decade with the Eagles? Or is that this a totally new model of workforce?
Do not mess up the possession search
Whether or not it’s Michael Jordan, Diddy, Oprah, Mark Cuban, or some mixture of superstar billionaires, the Panthers have an opportunity to make an enormous distinction in possession circles that they cannot afford to mess up.
Be affected person
There are some necessary items already on the Bears’ roster, however loads of holes to fill and certain a brand new teaching workers with which to adapt. It’ll take time for every little thing to return collectively, however the wheels towards success are in movement.
Finish the Marvin Lewis period
It is unclear if Lewis actually needs to remain in Cincinnati for a 16th season, however the Bengals have seen all they should from him with no playoff wins in that span. Lower the wire and transfer alongside.
Do not overthink issues
Do not suppose exterior the field. Do not attempt to reinvent the scouting recreation. Actually, strive to not repeat an excessive amount of in any respect from the final three years. If you happen to cross on a quarterback 3 times within the first spherical, do not decide him within the second as a result of he has “good worth.”
Shut Jerry Jones up
We’re all sick of listening to Jones’ remarks about every little thing that occurs within the NFL. No different proprietor holds postgame press conferences or weekly radio exhibits. Let Stephen Jones do extra of the speaking – it would not appear to be he inherited the “cannot preserve my foot out of my mouth” gene.
Cease drafting quarterbacks simply because they’re tall
John Elway was noticed on the sidelines of 6-foot-5 Josh Allen’s bowl recreation with two tall-guy quarterbacks already on his roster: the failed Brock Osweiler and the underwhelming Paxton Lynch. He ought to’ve discovered from Russell Wilson, Drew Brees, et al that brief guys can play too.
Discover a working recreation
Good quarterback. Three strong receivers. Veteran offensive line. There’s only one factor lacking from the Lions’ offense, and Barry Sanders is not coming again.
Inexperienced Bay Packers
Prolong Davante Adams
Adams has emerged because the Packers’ strongest receiver to allow them to’t afford to let the pending free agent stroll away for nothing.
Plan the parade
Deshaun Watson is the actual deal. As soon as he is wholesome and the protection will get its injured stars again on the sphere, this workforce will probably be a championship contender in a convention missing dominant golf equipment.
Do not dwell on 2017
Andrew Luck will probably be again. Chuck Pagano will (hopefully) be gone. Chris Ballard could have a complete offseason as common supervisor. It’s going to be a completely new world for the Colts in 2018.
Be clear about Blake Bortles’ future
Whether or not the Jaguars wish to transfer on from Bortles or decide to him, they should make it apparent the place he stands inside the group.
Kansas Metropolis Chiefs
Quit the gimmick
The Chiefs’ offense has resembled a collegiate unfold system the previous few seasons below Andy Reid with out a typical No. 1 receiver or conventional pocket passing assault, and has gone by way of too many ups and downs to justify persevering with extra of the identical.
Los Angeles Chargers
Seek for a star
With the emergence of Todd Gurley and Jared Goff, the Rams have taken the lead within the reputation battle for Los Angeles. The Chargers want to usher in their very own star (*cough* Baker Mayfield *cough*) to even think about maintaining.
Los Angeles Rams
Sustain the nice work
Sean McVay. Wade Phillips. Les Snead. Todd Gurley. Jared Goff. Aaron Donald. All you guys. Simply preserve doing all of your factor.
Blow up the offense
Adam Gase hasn’t been shy about his contempt for the best way his offense has performed this season. Ryan Tannehill’s contract is straightforward to get out from below. Jay Cutler and Jarvis Landry will probably be free brokers. Jay Ajayi is gone. Simply begin over.
Embrace Case Keenum
The NCAA’s all-time passing chief has the Vikings in Tremendous Bowl competition. Why let him go?
New England Patriots
Rely your blessings
Issues have been going effectively for the Patriots for an awfully very long time. Who is aware of how for much longer it’s going to final? Simply be glad about what you will have.
New Orleans Saints
Carry on constructing the protection
Think about how good Cam Jordan can be if he had one other cross rusher with which to work? The Saints cannot let 2017’s defensive success be a flash within the pan.
New York Giants
Rent an skilled head coach
Previous to coming to the Giants, Ben McAdoo had by no means served as a coordinator, not to mention a head coach, within the NFL. The workforce cannot enable their subsequent head coach to study on the job.
New York Jets
Hold the underdog mentality
Regardless of the preseason ensures made by everybody and their canine that the Jets can be completely horrible this yr, they are not that dangerous. The Jets have to preserve the chip on their shoulder.
Get Derek Carr’s confidence again
What occurred to the man who was within the 2016 MVP race? If he may come again, that might repair a variety of points.
It is clear that Carson Wentz could be the franchise quarterback the Eagles drafted him to be. It sucks that he is harm, however Eagles followers ought to preserve their heads up excessive by way of the offseason.
Cease counting on Ben Roethlisberger a lot
The Steelers have a strong offensive line, the NFL’s greatest receiver, and arguably the perfect working again, but injury-prone Roethlisberger has been the star of the present, throwing at the very least 30 makes an attempt in all however two contests this season and over 40 makes an attempt 5 instances.
San Francisco 49ers
Make extra Jimmy Garoppolo jerseys
This man is already a stud, and the 49ers have one of many NFL’s bigger fan bases. Ensure that there are sufficient No. 10 jerseys for everybody.
Give Russell Wilson some assist
As entertaining as it’s to look at Wilson put your complete Seahawks’ offense on his again on a weekly foundation, each man has his limits.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Get Jameis Winston a mentor
As a lot as he needs to be the Buccaneers’ chief, Winston has some apparent maturity points to beat earlier than the workforce could be trusted in his palms. Having somebody to point out him the best way may do wonders.
Discover a head coach who will not waste Marcus Mariota’s expertise
Mike Mularkey is among the blandest head coaches the NFL has to supply, but he controls the destiny of one of many league’s most versatile, dynamic younger quarterbacks. Mariota wants some assist – maybe from Josh McDaniels?
Change workforce identify
It is (nearly) 2018. That is getting ridiculous. Change the identify already. “Redhawks” is ok.
(Photographs courtesy: Getty Pictures)