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Year End Thoughts


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Before anyone insists on what our biggest personnel needs are, we'd better get the Def Coord spot figured out first. Marvin is in all likelihood gone. Let's hope he gets a new position fast. I don't say this out of spite, but the longer it's left hanging out there, the more damage it will cause. If/when Marv goes, I'd rather get a DC who will adapt to the personnel we have, as opposed to a devoted disciple who will insist on players adapting to the system. Granted, it means loss of continuity, but as Rhodes proved when he stepped in, the right guy for your personnel doesn't really need a half-dozen games to get things going.

If Marv or a Marv clone is running the D next year, our most immediate need (after re-signing Gardener) is going to be a high caliber FS. Terrell is a special teams animal, and a competent dime back, but not a good FS in the zone. When Marty/Kurt ran the D, they used him more like a CB, usually throwing him up against the 3rd WR. This year, we've given away too many 3rd and long plays on zone coverage.

Personally, I'd rather see a Jim Johnson kind of guy come in and put Champ against the #1 guy and Smoot against the #2. Safety is still obviously a need, but not as pressing. We could get by with a serviceable role player. Look for us to draft one in the 3rd round.

We'll be drafting a D-lineman in Round 1, but I dunno if it'll be a DT or a DE.

If we're keeping a Marv clone, I won't be as upset about losing BDW; but if we get an attacking DC, Big Daddy could be a real force paired with Gardener. It's too bad his missing all the "voluntary" workouts has estranged him from SS. Unless we draft a DT, I don't see us saving much $$ cutting him and picking up a new FA DT.

Neither Smith nor L. Jackson can be an everydown DE. If we don't manage to get a solid guy in the draft, we'll need to cough up some $$$ for a half decent guy. If Smith only plays 1/3 of the snaps, he should be fresh enough that we don't need to put LaVar on the end.

I think McCants will be a solid possession-type WR. He's a bit raw, but showed a lot in the Dallas game. He’s also shown himself to be very coachable, and learns from his mistakes. Gardner and Thompson wow me at times they way they catch in traffic, and frustrate me other times (particularly Thompson) with their drops. Hopefully, we'll re-sign Thompson, and add a solid veteran WR to the mix. I'm not crazy about overpaying for Boston or Price. Darrell Jackson would be my first choice. Hilliard isn't really on my wish list, but Art has convinced me he'd be good insurance if McCants or Thompson doesn't fully blossom next year. I don't see any burners available, unfortunately. I agree one would add a lot to the mix, but I think that's still a year off.

Obviously we need to add another OG, and I think Mo Collins is everybody's first choice. Mine too. Still, imagine how this year might've turned out for us if Rod Jones had stayed healthy. Tre will be back, and hopefully be part time duty to keep him healthy. Next year our line could be Samuels, Mo Collins, Moore, Jones/Johnson, and Jansen. Plus, I think we’ll pick up an OG in Round 2. That should make Helton happy.

Watson and Betts look like a respectable combination. They’re still unproven in my book, but I’m optimistic about them. I also would like to see us make an offer for Olandis Gary, just in case.

Ramsey will both delight and infuriate us in ’03. There will be growing pains, followed by weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. By ’04, I’m hopeful he’ll be pro-bowl bound. Look for us to draft a mobile QB project in the 6th round, or pick up Testaverde if Parcells doesn’t grab him first.

Obviously we need new kickers. This time, let’s not wait till the last minute to pick them up. We should’ve held on to Tuthill, but it’s time to move on now. Eff Cortez and Jarrett. We might get one with the 7th rounder we got from Miami.

As I stated in a previous thread, our ’02 draft is starting to look better with age. If Betts gets over 800 yds (along w/ Watson’s 500+) at 4+/carry next year, and Ramsey emerges as one of the top 15 QBs, we will have walked away with a starting QB, RB, a great nickelback, and a solid FB (Rock). If by some miracle, Russell stays healthy, then our FO will really look like geniuses.

Spurrier needs to stop making personnel decisions on the fly. It’s good to hold guys accountable, but he needs to decide at the beginning of the week who’ll be handling return duties, etc. Look for Stock to be more vocal about getting personnel for special teams. You can bet we’ll want to sign Kato back, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see us pick up Metcalf again, even if it’s just for coverage.

Parcells may go to Dallas, but he’s never had a winning season w/o Belichik running his D. He’ll get a lot more out of that Dallas personnel than Campo could. Look for him to bring in Testaverde and Stephen Davis, and put Hutchinson back on the bench for another year. Also, look for him to straighten Bryant out and turn him into a real threat. Look for the NFC East to re-emerge as the conference with all the genius coaches. And, look for him to leave in two years after fighting with Jones. Parcells’ biggest talent is much like Jimmy Johnson’s – he has the eye for talent and for squeezing every drop of talent out of his players. No way is he gonna agree to go thru Jones for every personnel move. The Girls will be contenders, but they won’t be SB bound.

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