EL BARRIO, EL FALLS: Welcome to my Saturday Football Special. This week we’ll be getting way ahead of what should be breakout seasons for teams that have stunk like poop in recent years. With that, let’s look closely at a handful of teams and players that need to strongly consider some off season moves: The Jets, Browns & Da Bears.
The Jetsies have some big calls to make. The Biggest one is whether to keep or fire Mike Maccagnan. As the GM, a lot of issues fall on his shoulder but so too does praise and he has been the GM for 4 seasons. In his time with the Jets, the team has struggled and only had one winning season. He did have to go from a win now build in his first two seasons to a rebuild and look towards the future in his last two seasons. Like every GM he has been hit or miss with draft picks. He was successful on the gamble for Sam Darnold but he is also the guy that picked Geno Smith and Christian Hackenberg, for instance. However, having gotten Darnold right, he also seems to have found Darnold a partner in 3rd year receiver, Robby Anderson, an undrafted free agent, which shows great scouting, along with a find in rookie tight end Chris Herndon and 2017 6th-round pick Elijah McGuire. All this shows is he is good finding late picks but the Jets offense is woeful short on top level weapons to actually scare the opposition. He has also made good big time picks for defense in Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams and signed return specialist Andre Roberts and kicker Jason Meyers, veteran players who have made the pro bowl this season. The other argument Maccagnan can make is that head coach Todd Bowles is not his guy. The pair were hired together courtesy of consultants in an arraigned marriage at the behest of team owner Woody Johnson. The question is has he done enough? I don’t know if he has, but after the 2 years he struggled, he seems to have the rebuilding process going in the right direction so who knows. I say give him a 2 year extension.
The Jets also have to make a decision on Todd Bowles. Bowles was a top defensive coach who finally got a head coaching gig. He has struggled. His partner in the arraigned marriage, Maccagnan, did him no favors with the selection of QBs he has had to work with. His most successful year was Ryan Fitzpatrick, in a year that Fitzpatrick was not expected to be a starter. But a fortunate fight helped him avoid Geno. Bowles argument is that he has gone to war with the weapons he had and fought bravely, as he can’t be responsible for a lack of talent. That argument would have held up until this season. The blowout loss to the Bills at home had many questioning the preparedness of the team, then they just won 1 of their last 4 going into this weekend, despite leading going into the fourth quarter in each of those 5 games. He has had good QB play from Darnold and is still not winning games. He is finding ways to lose, as players are committing mistakes and penalties in the clutch… defensive players, no less. As a defensive coach, that is unacceptable in most organizations. The Jets may look to an offensive coach who can get the most out of this offense and help nurture the franchise’s new Ken O’Brien.
Gregg Williams: The Browns have finally found a quarterback in Baker Mayfield. It took them 12 or so attempts and 25 years, but for once it seems that QB is not a position of need for the Browns. The issue they have is what to do about head coach. After jettisoning Hue Jackson as head coach and offensive coordinator Todd Haley, it looks like they may have the right coach for the moment in Gregg “Bounty” Williams. Yes, he’s the Gregg Williams who as defensive coordinator of the Saints created a bounty system for his players. He is now the head coach and has been hands-off with the offense for the most part. But has been the right person to help “No More Poop” Mayfield achieve 6 wins this season. He has steadied the ship but the question is: Is he the man to get the job full-time? Some say he has done enough to earn the job and considering the previous coach was winless in two consecutive seasons, who can argue with that? Well, I can. Williams may just be the guy triage-ing a wound, which is the Browns franchise. He is not the doctor you need. His only head coach experience was the Bills from 2001-2003 and I know they didn’t do well then… but DJ Eberle can elaborate. Also, let’s always remember guys like Wade Phillips, who are great coordinator but not ready to be coaches.
Da Bears: The Bears have one of the best defenses in the league. They are going be a tough in the playoffs. But they will be out because of their offense. They have a good running game, but their QB1 is Mitch Trubinsky (CPA) and QB2 is Chase Daniel (CMA Award Winner). That is not good enough to me. That is not Trent Dilfer with the Ravens good enough. In the offs-eason the Bears will have to make a move to get a good enough QB to win the big one and here are the options in my head.
1) Go big and spend big money on Nick Foles as QB. He should be only a restricted free agent at this point. They may have to give Philly a pick but that is my best advice because a sign and trade won’t work because I don’t see Philly trading Foles in conference.
2) Get Teddy Bridgewater or trade for Eli Manning. Teddy will be a free agent and the Giants need to rebuild, so a QB like Eli with a good running game and defense can get you the title
3) Get Joe Flacco. He has won a SB, he is limited but knows those limits and plays well within himself and he would be the smart fit to a team trying to play the way the Bears are built to play.
Share your thoughts below and come back tomorrow for another gem by Cheesy Bruin. You can also find us on Twitter – @JunoirBlaber, @MeetTheMatts & @Matt_McCarthy00, Instagram – @MeetTheMatts – and Facebook – Meet The Matts