Being Joe Douglas; How I Would Rebuild the Jets Using 2020 NFL Draft – Part I

Being Joe Douglas; How I Would Rebuild the Jets Using 2020 NFL Draft – Part I

When Adam Gase worked behind the scenes to get then, New York Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan fired during the offseason heading into the 2019 season, he might have finally altered a very dysfunctional system of drafting. A few weeks later, the Jets signed Joe Douglas to a six-year contract. Douglas finds himself with the colossal task of supplying the organization with players to fill the multiple holes on their roster.

Douglas brings an impressive resume of finding productive players wherever he was part of assisting in the draft. However, in the what have you done for me lately NFL, Jets fans will not be impressed unless he achieves similar success.

The Jets currently own four picks in the first three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft. Regardless of the players available, the Jets have too many holes to be content with only four picks. 

Every loss from over the final four weeks of the season secures the Jets additional leverage in building the best scenario for the franchise. 

The higher up on the draft board the organization finishes, the higher return should Douglas should trade it, which he definitely should.

Since I am hiring myself as the Jets general manager for a day, I would set a goal to secure seven picks in the first three rounds.

HOW CAN THAT REALISTICALLY HAPPEN?

The first thing that I would be doing is shutting down key players that are my building blocks for the future. Both Sam Darnold and Jamal Adams should be placed on IR for the remainder of the regular season. The last thing the Jets can afford is a severe injury to either player. Adam’s injury against the Bengals should scare the Jets into what they would look like without his ability to blitz, cover receivers, and running backs, along with making tackles coming up the line of scrimmage. 

Darnold is seemingly running for his life every week. God forbid Darnold hurts himself and risks his future being the franchise QB behind the worst offensive line in the NFL. Sam I am has shown enough during their three-game streak of 34 points to see what the Jets needed.

TEAMS WITH MULTIPLE PICKS IN FIRST THREE ROUNDS

First Round: Raiders (2), Jaguars (2), and Dolphins (3) all have multiple picks in the first round. 

Second Round: Colts (2), Seahawks (2), Bears (2), Dolphins (2) and Falcons (2)

Third Round: Broncos (3), Raiders (3) and Jets (2)

If the Jets draft in the top three:

Trade first and the lower of their third-round picks to Dolphins for lowest two of their first-round picks and both second-round picks. That gives the Jets six picks in the top three rounds. In this scenario, I would exceed that original number of seven, by trading the higher of my two second-round picks to the Broncos for their two highest third-round picks.

Total picks in first three rounds: Eight

If the Jets draft Fourth or Fifth:

Trade first-round pick to the Raiders for both their first-round picks. Trade the lowest of the first-round picks obtained from Las Vegas to the Dolphins for both second-round picks and their lowest third-round pick.

Total picks in first three rounds: Seven

In Part II of my article on being Joe Douglas, I will discuss the draft picks that will make the Jets a playoff team in 2020.

NFL Notes Entering Week 14

NFL Notes Entering Week 14

As Week 13 turns to Week 14 in the NFL, here are some notes around the league.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens became the first team in NFL history to record at least 2,490 passing and rushing yards through 12 games. Their victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, combined with the New England Patriots loss to the Houston Texans, pushes them to the top of the AFC.

The Ravens three-point win over the 49ers ended their streak of dominance over recent opponents. In their previous three games, the Ravens became the first team in NFL history to win three consecutive games by 34 or more points.

Lamar Jackson is on pace to throw for 3,400 yards. The last QB to win the NFL MVP Award to throw for under 3,500 yards was Steve McNair of the Tennessee Titans in 2003.

Tennessee Titans

Since taking over for Marcus Mariota at QB, Ryan Tannehill has led the Titans to wins in five of six games. When Tannehill took over on October 20, the Titans ranked 19th in Red Zone TD Percentage (53.3). Over their last six games, Tennessee has scored TDs on just under 88 percent of their Red Zone visits to vault to first entering Week 14 (71.8). 

Derrick Henry continues to show why he is one of the NFL’s most dominant running backs. Henry has averaged 165.0 rushing yards per game over his last three games.

New York Jets

Entering their game against 0-11 Cincinnati, the Jets had posted three consecutive games with 34 points (first time accomplishing that since 2008). However, San Darnold and company managed just six points in a 22-6 loss to the Bengals.

The Jets became the first team in NFL history to suffer losses against teams 0-7 and 0-11 in the same season. While that looks like a damning stat (and it is), since the NFL extended the season to 16 games in 1978, they were just the fourth team to play such teams.

Faced 0-7 & 0-11 Opponents, Same Season, Since 1978

2019New York JetsLost at 0-7 DolphinsLost at 0-11 Bengals
2011Tennessee TitansWon vs 0-7 ColtsLost at 0-13 Colts
2001Tampa Bay BucsWon at 0-7 LionsWon vs 0-11 Lions
1980 Los Angeles RamsWon vs 0-8 SaintsWon at 0-11 Saints

Los Angeles Chargers

This Sunday, the Chargers found another fascinating way to lose a close game. A pass interference call with three seconds remaining, allowed Denver to kick a game-winning 53-yard field goal.

Despite being four games under .500, the Chargers have a +3 point differential. The last team to finish as many as four-game under .500 with a positive point differential was the 2011 Miami Dolphins (6-10, +16). 

If the Chargers continue on their trend, they might have a chance to equal their own record. Since 1978 the record for most games under .500 to finish with a positive point differential was the 2001 San Diego Chargers, who finished six games under (5-11, +11).

NFC East

The Dallas Cowboys have lost six of their last nine games after starting the season 3-0 and lead the NFC East with a 6-6 record. The Eagles loss at Miami on Sunday dropped their record to 5-7.

In NFL history, only five teams have won their division with a record of .500 or worse.

Won Division, .500 Record or Worse, NFL History

W-L
2014Carolina Panthers7-8-1
2011Denver Broncos8-8
2010New Orleans Saints7-9
2008Indianapolis Colts8-8
1985Cleveland Browns8-8

If It Doesn’t Happen This Year, It Never Will

 

NEW YORK, N.Y.- An all-too-familiar image flashed on the
television Sunday afternoon as Jason Garrett was seen clapping his hands and
shouting encouraging words towards his players coming off the field as yet
another game slipped out of the grasp of the Dallas Cowboys. This image has
become synonymous with the Cowboys, seeming almost as iconic as the star that
brands their logo. The beleaguered head coach has earned a reputation of his
teams underperforming on the big stage, and it’s time for the Cowboys to make a
change if they are truly serious about finishing the season as the lone team
standing.

 

 

 

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and
over and expecting different results.” This is a powerful message from Albert Einstein
that Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones needs to recognize, as he continues
to expect championship results while employing the same head coach that has
proven time and time again he is unequipped to tackle that task.

 

 

 

The NFL head coaching position is the most impactful of all four major sports. We’ve seen brilliant head coaches elevate bad teams and terrible head coach destroy great teams. The latter is what is happening to the Cowboys with Garrett at the helm. One of the best indicators of this is simply looking at the win-loss record coupled with the talent on the roster

 

The Cowboys have built one of the best rosters in football
this season and have done so smartly, locking up young players on long-term
deals earlier in their careers to save money in the future. Every position
group is solid and Dallas is littered with top-five players at their respective
position. Ezekiel Elliott. Leighton Vander Esch. Amari Cooper. Demarcus
Lawrence. The list goes on and on. This roster is built for sustained success
and on paper, should be one of the elite teams in the league.

 

 

 

The problem is “the clapper” hasn’t been able to take all of
that skill and translate it to wins on the field. While the Cowboys are 6-5 and
alone in first place in the NFC East, a large part of that “success” so far has
been beating inferior teams coupled with the rest of the division struggling
mightily. Their six wins have come against: Giants (twice), Redskins, Dolphins,
Eagles and Lions. The combined record of those teams is 14-40-1. On the flip
side, Dallas has yet to beat even an average team, losing to the Saints,
Packers, Jets, Vikings and Patriots. With the talent in place to win these
games against tougher opponents, the blame has to fall upon the coaching staff.

 

 

 

The good news if you are a Dallas fan is that it seems like the czar of the Cowboys is finally getting fed up with losing and coming after Garrett. After Sunday’s loss to the Patriots in which New England was severely outmanned yet still found a way to win, Jones called out the coaching staff, saying “I don’t think there’s a game where a coaching staff couldn’t do better.” Jones also went on to say he “shouldn’t be this frustrated” given the makeup of this roster, echoing the same sentiment that a majority of the fan base has been lamenting for years.

 

 

 

 

 

Hearing this first major criticism towards Garrett from
Jerry should be an encouraging sign for fans because the Cowboys’ championship
window is as wide open as it might ever be. With so many key pieces in place
for the next few years, Dallas needs a head coach that can put them in
positions to succeed and take this team to the next level. In the 10 years that
the former Cowboy quarterback has been the head coach, has there ever been a
game where Garrett was credited with outcoaching the opponent?

 

 

 

The best analogy to describe the 2019 Cowboys is to compare
them to a sports car. Dallas has a souped-up engine in a great offensive line,
powering the rest of the team to have success. Ezekiel Elliott is like the best
set of tires, running steady to give the offense rhythm. Adding Amari Cooper to
this offense is like taking the restrictor plate off the engine. And the
defense is a reliable pair of brakes, providing a safety blanket. The only
issue is the driver of this perfectly crafted vehicle is a man who’s unable to push
this car to its potential.

 

 

 

Criticism of Jason Garrett’s conservative decision making
isn’t new. Neither are the calls for him to be fired. But those calls do take
on a different meaning with the way the team is currently constructed. Dallas
has never been better equipped to win their first Super Bowl since 1996 than
they are in the next two-to-three years. Jerry has to realize this and bring in
a coach that can take this team to its peak, something Garrett has failed at
for the past 10 years.

 

 

 

If Jerry truly wants to win another Lombardi Trophy, he
needs to heed Einstein’s advice and try something new, or run the risk of falling
into a never-ending cycle of insanity.

 

The Ravens Are The Latest Change In The NFL

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, described the NFL best when he said, “Change is the only constant in life.” Nothing speaks truer about the parity, turnover and landscape of the NFL. Change is rampant, from players to coaches to philosophy.

Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay has been at the center of the latest philosophical change in the NFL, engineering a pass-happy, wide-open offensive system that took the league by storm and helped guide the Rams to the Super Bowl in just his second season at the helm. At the time of the hire, McVay was the youngest head coach in NFL history, which has since changed the way executives look at head coaching candidates.

NFL offenses have changed dramatically, now geared towards establishing the pass, spreading defenses out with four and five wide receiver sets, and emphasizing speed. Enter the Baltimore Ravens, whose offensive game plans have been the latest change agent in the NFL, deviating from the throwing craze and instead opting for an old-school approach that has been unstoppable up to this point.

The Ravens, led by Lamar Jackson, have not only set the league on fire with their dominant run style, they have changed the way the quarterback position is defined. In an era that is predicated on and dominated by throwing the ball, the quarterback position has become the most important in all of sports. With that comes a certain pigeonholed set of standards that a quarterback must check off in order to succeed in today’s NFL. This was especially the case for the Louisville great during the draft process, as teams continued to quibble over whether they could fit the square peg that was Jackson’s skillset into the round hole of what NFL offenses should be.  

What many of us failed to see coming was the latest change in philosophy: the Ravens scrapped the idea of the traditional quarterback and catered their entire offense to fit the style of their first round pick.

After the rookie had his ups and downs in an offense built for Joe Flacco, head coach John Harbaugh decided to go all-in on the style that helped guide Jackson to win the Heisman Trophy and promoted Greg Roman to offensive coordinator. This decision has helped to reinvigorate the Baltimore franchise and flip the narrative that more passing equals more winning.

This idea of the Ravens zigging when the rest of the league is zagging has paid immediate dividends. The Ravens are currently second in the NFL in total offense, averaging 428 yards per game, while leading the league in rushing yards per game with 203. What makes Baltimore so dynamic is that they aren’t just running the ball with their running backs; they are using Jackson at the point man for the entire operation. The second year starter is the leading rusher on his team and 10th in the entire league in rushing, amassing 781 yards.

With defenses focused on containing the pass game and getting after the quarterback, the Ravens have feasted on a scheme that’s extremely difficult to game plan for and defend on a weekly basis. They’ve swung the pendulum so far in the other direction that while they are the only offense averaging over 30 points per game, the Ravens have actually attempted to throw the ball the least amount of any team in the NFL.

Baltimore has blended the perfect combination of smash mouth football with current speed concepts that has resulted in highlight-worthy runs and spin moves that leave defenders bewildered. While Jackson has been extremely successful with his legs, the 22-year old has actually been more dangerous with his arm.

Lamar is completing 66% of his passes, a percentage that is higher than Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes. He’s thrown 19 touchdown passes, which are more than Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson while his five interceptions are the same amount as Tom Brady. His quarterback rating is 106.3, which is good enough for fourth in the NFL. So while the passing attempts may be limited, Jackson is making the most of his opportunities and flat out torching defenses.

Baltimore isn’t just having success against bottom of the barrel teams. Jackson and the Ravens already own wins over the Seahawks in Seattle, the Patriots and most recently the Texans. The big question for the rest of the league is how long will this last? The litmus test for this run heavy, throwback system continues the next few weeks as the Ravens travel to face the Rams, host the 49ers and visit the Bills in consecutive weeks.

There’s no doubt Lamar Jackson with this new offense have changed the fortunes of the Ravens. Sitting in second place in the AFC winners of six in a row, including handing the Patriots their lone defeat of the season, has hopes bright in Baltimore. Not to mention the last pick in the first round of the 2018 draft has catapulted all the way the MVP rankings, currently owning the best odds to take home the award.

Louise Penny once said, “Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving, you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead.” It’s safe to say the Ravens have changed, and right now, they are surging ahead of everyone else in the NFL.

COLUMN: The Chargers Should Bolt to London

New York, N.Y.- The green and yellow faithful packed in to watch another Packers game. Screams of “Go Pack Go” reverberated throughout the stadium as Green Bay enjoyed a nice advantage given to them by their fans. The only issue is this game wasn’t being played at Lambeau Field, it was 2,000 miles away in Los Angeles.

The NFL’s thinking that Los Angeles could support and welcome two teams after not hosting any team for 21 years has backfired. The Rams have benefitted from their history in the City of Angels as a large chunk of their fans remained loyal when they returned home. The Chargers have been kicked to the curb and left virtually irrelevant in the second biggest media market in the United States.

This has turned the Chargers into a punch line, as no matter the opponent, the visiting fans take over and deck the stadium out in their colors. Even small market teams take over the Dignity Health Sports Park eight times a year.

Image result for packers-chargers 2019 crowd

A change has to be made because the NFL can’t be comfortable knowing Los Angeles is apathetic to one of it’s franchises. A move has to be made, but with San Diego all but out of the question, is there a place that can allow the Chargers to flourish? An answer might come across the pond.

The Athletic reported late Monday evening that while the Chargers still plan on moving into their new home in Inglewood next season, they would listen to the option of permanently playing in London. The report also went on to say that NFL owners, who expressed concern over the viability of the Chargers in Los Angeles, would support the move to London if pursued.

Bingo. This is it. This is the perfect situation for the Chargers to take advantage of. For the record, I’ve never been a fan of the London series and thought the idea of having a full-time team there was ludicrous. But this situation with the Chargers is different. I’m all-in on the Chargers moving to London, as this would provide a fresh start and more importantly, a fanbase they can call their own.

If your argument against a move to London is that the NFL should look at domestic options first, no U.S. market without an NFL team is as expansive, lucrative and already set up to embrace a franchise better than the London market. Moving the team to Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi or any other state wouldn’t generate the revenue to make it a logical choice. Not to mention with many of these states treating their college teams like professional teams, the Chargers wouldn’t capture the market as easily as they would in London.

The NFL in London has grown exponentially since it was first introduced 17 years ago. Of the last 28 games played in England, 25 have drawn at least 83,000 fans. While many of the locals that attend these games don jerseys of all 32 teams, having a team to call their own could draw them to drop the one team they were rooting for and latch on with the home team. I’m sure the Chargers would welcome this with open arms as they’ve never felt the home town support since leaving San Diego three years ago.

The infrastructure needed to house a team is already set. The recently completed Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was built with the NFL in mind and half of the games played across the pond this season were played there, so it’s been tested and passed. Saving the cost of having to build a new stadium is an extraordinary advantage for London, as it was the lack of funding for a new stadium that forced the Chargers to leave San Diego in the first place.

Image result for tottenham hotspur stadium nfl

The Athletic laid out the growing fanbase in the United Kingdom, citing that there are five million NFL fans, with four million of them being labeled as avid fans. Between streaming, social media engagement and an increasing digital presence, all of the numbers are pointing up, a good sign that the interest in the NFL is rampant in a soccer-crazed country.

This solution is without hurdles as travel, division layouts and other issues will need to be ironed out before this can be a practical solution. Would players be willing to play for a team in another country? The obstacles can be tough, but the reward of tapping into an international market full-time is something the NFL and the Chargers shouldn’t pass up.

Prime Time Another Offensive Display For Jets

Prime Time Another Offensive Display For Jets

Albert Einstein once described insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” Although the New York Jets franchise was not in existence when he uttered those words, I believe he was predicting the future of the team.

On Monday Night Football in front of a Prime Time audience, the Jets once again showed that they are not a real football team. This game was not the result of the Jets having an off game. This game was not the result of just poor execution by the home team. This game was not the result of the Patriots defense setting records for holding offenses through their first seven games. Those not familiar with the New York Jets franchise could believe those were crucial factors in the New England Patriots 33-0 victory. They were not.

The Johnson Brothers (Johnson & Johnson) purchased the team back in 2000 after longtime owner Leon Hess passed away in May of 1999.
They Johnson Brothers deserve the vitriol of a fan base that is forced to hide in humiliation. Week after week, season after season, year after year, decade after decade, a quarter-century after quarter-century and a half-century after a half-century, Jets fans take verbal abuse.

The latest clown in the circus that is the New York Jets is Adam Gase. Just like his predecessors, Todd Bowles, Rex Ryan, Eric Mangini, and Herman Edwards, Gase cowers in fear of the mighty Patriots.

I don’t enjoy being vicious with my words of choice when describing a professional sports franchise. However, the Jets effort on Monday was not the effort of a real franchise. It was not the effort of a functioning organization. The Jets were an embarrassment and a black mark on the National Football League on Monday.

PATRIOTS CONTINUE TO OWN THE JETS

Monday Night’s 33-0 victory was the Patriots’ eighth straight victory over the hapless Jets, setting a franchise record for most consecutive wins against them. Since the Jets supposed landmark victory over New England in the 2010 AFC Divisional Round, the Patriots are winners of 16 of 18. In eight of those victories, Tom Brady and company scored 30 or most points. Six of those wins saw Foxboro’s heroes triumph by 20 or more points.

Jets vs Patriots
Last 8 Prime Time Games
Patriots Wins*8
PPG Differential*+18>>
Tom Brady TD-INT*19-1
Jets QB TD-INT*5-19
>>Patriots 32 Jets 14

More disturbing than those dominant figures are the consistent beatings Brady’s teammates have laid upon Gang Green in prime time.
The Patriots have won the last eight meetings against the Jets by an average of 18 PPG (32-14). Tom Brady’s passing numbers are almost perfect, throwing 19 TD to 1 INT.

On the flip side, the Jets quarterbacks suffered many nights as Darnold did on Monday. Darnold is the sixth different quarterback to start for the Jets during this stretch. All of the Jets quarterbacks combined to throw 5 TD to 19 INT.

In closing, I would like to make a simple request to the NFL. PLEASE do not schedule Jets-Patriots prime time games anymore. Airing such destructing programming could permanently scar young children.