NFL 2017 Conference Championship Thread

Rat Boy wrote:

Pat Shurmur's taking over the G-Men.

Enix wrote:

New head coach in Arizona: Steve Wilks, formerly the DC in Carolina.

Not much surprise with either of these. Arizona did claim they wanted to interview Pats LB coach Brian Flores again, but I guess they weren't going to wait.

Now we just wait for Patricia to Detroit and McDaniels to Indy to happen. Pretty much the same "done deal except we can't say so" that Shanahan to San Francisco was last year.

Solid hire by Arizona. I like what I see in him although he only has 1 year as coordinator. What I read, he brings a strong presence and leadership perspective which a head coach needs.

The new Giants GM was excited for mgmt to interview Wilks but the Mcadoo fiasco I think soured them on bringing a rather new coordinator on board. Man i hope this doesn't backfire with Shurmur.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Maybe the Jaguars will do something really unusual and trade up so they can draft an immensely physically talented yet raw QB with loads of potential. JOSH ALLEN, JACKSONVILLE JAGUAR.

Speaking of Josh Allen:

Another link

I hope they pickup Cousins instead since developing QBs isn't their forte.

*Legion* wrote:

MilkmanDanimal wrote:

Maybe the Jaguars will do something really unusual and trade up so they can draft an immensely physically talented yet raw QB with loads of potential. JOSH ALLEN, JACKSONVILLE JAGUAR.

Speaking of Josh Allen:

Another link

I will openly admit that I just started rooting so hard for the Jaguars to take him that I'm pretty sure my spleen ruptured please call doctor kthxbye.

Skins are just gonna franchise tag Cousins again... (because we need to spend another 10 years in 6-10 land)
/em bitter

fangblackbone wrote:

Skins are just gonna franchise tag Cousins again... (because we need to spend another 10 years in 6-10 land)

YES YES YES. As a Panthers fan, I definitely like that.

BREAKING: Todd Haley to the Browns. Eh, someone's gotta coach the Cleveland team.

I like this, lets keep just talking like we are past the SB already.

What are the likely Cousins scenarios anyways?

Suck it up and realize the team needs to hit reboot and trade Cousins before and let the new team negotiate a deal?

Option 2:

fangblackbone wrote:

Skins are just gonna franchise tag Cousins again... (because we need to spend another 10 years in 6-10 land)
/em bitter

I think they might be so stubborn they actually go this route. I'm not knowledgeable all things Washington Racial Ephitets but are they even close to hanging with Philly/Dallas? Seems like a good time to look at the rest of the division and decide to suck and start drafting.

Washington was competitive when they had McVey, Cousins, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon. Then they all left but Cousins and Washington was rendered boring.

I don't think Jay Gruden is a good HC, but considering who owns the team he's probably the best they're gonna have.

Josh Norman continues to not be a bit of a liability when not making turnovers.

They're a middling team in a division with talent, but they're not yet bottom feeders. They lose Cousins they're screwed. Their defense is not very good and their run game struggled. They have the makings of a bottom feeder. Almost.

Their defense was on the turn around this season but got bit by a ton of injuries. I would say they lost their running game a few years ago when they decided Alfred Morris was no longer viable and Cousins had a great year after that. So of course the natural thing for management to do is get rid of all Cousins targets and pass on giving him a contract but expect great things for the season...

I thought a team could only franchise 2 years in a row?

You can franchise players indefinitely, but they get a significant raise every year. What I heard in the radio is that if Cousins is franchised, he gets either a 34% or 44% this year. At some point, it becomes impossible to pay the player and the rest of the team.

Enix wrote:

BREAKING: Todd Haley to the Browns. Eh, someone's gotta coach the Cleveland team.

How much of a dick must Haley be that Cleveland is where he s stuck. He’s been a great OC at Pittsburgh and Arizona. He was an absolute disaster of a head coach, but the guy can call plays.

Why is Pittsburgh letting him go?

Jayhawker wrote:

You can franchise players indefinitely, but they get a significant raise every year. What I heard in the radio is that if Cousins is franchised, he gets either a 34% or 44% this year. At some point, it becomes impossible to pay the player and the rest of the team.

They'd owe him $35mm if they tag him again. Crazy.

Jayhawker wrote:
Enix wrote:

BREAKING: Todd Haley to the Browns. Eh, someone's gotta coach the Cleveland team.

How much of a dick must Haley be that Cleveland is where he s stuck. He’s been a great OC at Pittsburgh and Arizona. He was an absolute disaster of a head coach, but the guy can call plays.

Why is Pittsburgh letting him go?

They had to blame someone for their playoff losses.

Top_Shelf wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

You can franchise players indefinitely, but they get a significant raise every year. What I heard in the radio is that if Cousins is franchised, he gets either a 34% or 44% this year. At some point, it becomes impossible to pay the player and the rest of the team.

They'd owe him $35mm if they tag him again. Crazy.

Yeah, it's a 44% raise, after a 20% last year. I thought it was 44%, but that seemed so high it was ludicrous, so I thought I must have misremembered it and it was actually 34%.

And if they tag again next year, it's another 44%, or just over $50 million. At that rate, it would be Cousins and the best arena league players they can find.

Todd Haley brings instant credibility with offensive coordinator hire

I really like this hire. Haley knows the division as well as any coach in it. If the decision wasn't forced on him, it shows some to invite your potential replacement into the building.

garion333 wrote:

I hope they pickup Cousins instead since developing QBs isn't their forte.

Hey, Coughlin developed Brunell just fine!

I also think Doug Marrone needs credit for his work with QBs at two head coaching stops now. Obviously, this season, he wrung out every drop of production he could get from Bortles. For the first time in his career, Bortles broke the 60% completion mark (juuust barely), and his turnovers were the lowest in his career.

Back in Buffalo, he said "f*ck this EJ Manuel sh*t the front office stuck me with", lured Kyle Orton off his couch with a bottle of Jack, and got that sumbitch throwing 64% and an 88 passer rating and took the Bills to a 9-7 record and just missing the postseason.

Marrone has made some decent lemonade with QB lemons. I'm not convinced that he couldn't develop a young QB, provided that player has more to offer than, well, EJ Manuel.

That said, I think the Jags should go all-in on acquiring Cousins. There's a billion think pieces being written today about how the Jags don't "need" to spend big on a QB, because look how far they got with Bortles, but that's just ignorant of the fact that the rest of the team isn't going to stay exactly how it is forever, and the defense isn't guaranteed to be as dominant as they were in 2017 year in and year out. They should be good for a long time, they have the young core for that, but the Jags don't even make the playoffs if it's Bortles paired with the 7th ranked defense, and it's more likely the Jags defense regresses to "merely a top 10 unit" than to stay as the league's top 1 or 2 unit in every major category.

(Also, how quickly those think pieces forgot Bortles being unable to complete simple screen passes in the wildcard game. How close all those writers were to writing pieces about how badly the Jaguars needed a QB if they didn't squeak out that 10-6 win.)

They don't have the kind of free cap space they used to, but once you take Bortles' $19 mil off the 2018 cap, there's enough room to work with.

If Cousins stays with Washington, it will likely happen by Washington applying the transition tag to him, and then matching the inevitable offer sheet Cousins signs with someone else. The franchise tag's inflation for a 3rd year is, as has already been pointed out, unsustainable.

If the Jags can't land Cousins, I think you have to look at Alex Smith and Teddy Bridgewater, the latter of whom interests me quite a bit. Bridgewater is the kind of high percentage passer than the Jags offense needs (as is Cousins, of course). Alex Smith can do that too, and 33 isn't as old for quarterbacks as it used to be, but Bridgewater carries more upside, at the cost of more risk.

sr_malo wrote:

Todd Haley brings instant credibility with offensive coordinator hire

I really like this hire. Haley knows the division as well as any coach in it. If the decision wasn't forced on him, it shows some to invite your potential replacement into the building.

Tonight, on Cleveland's Next Top Interim Head Coach...

*Legion* wrote:

If the Jags can't land Cousins, I think you have to look at Alex Smith and Teddy Bridgewater, the latter of whom interests me quite a bit. Bridgewater is the kind of high percentage passer than the Jags offense needs (as is Cousins, of course). Alex Smith can do that too, and 33 isn't as old for quarterbacks as it used to be, but Bridgewater carries more upside, at the cost of more risk.

I would think that getting Alex Smith and drafting a QB that needs developing would be good too, as Smith has helped develop QB's at his last two teams. So clearly he knows how to handle the situation without screwing up the future for the team.

Zaque wrote:
*Legion* wrote:

If the Jags can't land Cousins, I think you have to look at Alex Smith and Teddy Bridgewater, the latter of whom interests me quite a bit. Bridgewater is the kind of high percentage passer than the Jags offense needs (as is Cousins, of course). Alex Smith can do that too, and 33 isn't as old for quarterbacks as it used to be, but Bridgewater carries more upside, at the cost of more risk.

I would think that getting Alex Smith and drafting a QB that needs developing would be good too, as Smith has helped develop QB's at his last two teams. So clearly he knows how to handle the situation without screwing up the future for the team.

If the Jags were in better position to draft a QB, this would have its appeal. But it's not looking like they will have great options for the position at pick #29. Drafting a lower-round QB is probably in the cards (I don't see Chad Henne returning), but I think their window for getting a Bortles replacement in the draft has closed for the time being.

I do like Alex Smith as a mentor and bridge QB, I just don't know where the Jags are going to come up with the quarterback to bridge to. Unless maybe the draft shakes out differently than is being mocked, and some of these QBs getting mocked in the middle of round 1 slide later.

The draft is going to be super interesting, because there's a lot of QBs that seem destined for round 1 and 2 picks, but zero consensus on the who and where. Josh Rosen might be #1 or he might be the 3rd one taken. Baker Mayfield might be #1 or he might be mid-to-late 1st. This will be a draft worth watching.

*Legion* wrote:
garion333 wrote:

I hope they pickup Cousins instead since developing QBs isn't their forte.

Hey, Coughlin developed Brunell just fine!

I also think Doug Marrone needs credit for his work with QBs at two head coaching stops now. Obviously, this season, he wrung out every drop of production he could get from Bortles. For the first time in his career, Bortles broke the 60% completion mark (juuust barely), and his turnovers were the lowest in his career.

Back in Buffalo, he said "f*ck this EJ Manuel sh*t the front office stuck me with", lured Kyle Orton off his couch with a bottle of Jack, and got that sumbitch throwing 64% and an 88 passer rating and took the Bills to a 9-7 record and just missing the postseason.

Marrone has made some decent lemonade with QB lemons. I'm not convinced that he couldn't develop a young QB, provided that player has more to offer than, well, EJ Manuel.

That said, I think the Jags should go all-in on acquiring Cousins. There's a billion think pieces being written today about how the Jags don't "need" to spend big on a QB, because look how far they got with Bortles, but that's just ignorant of the fact that the rest of the team isn't going to stay exactly how it is forever, and the defense isn't guaranteed to be as dominant as they were in 2017 year in and year out. They should be good for a long time, they have the young core for that, but the Jags don't even make the playoffs if it's Bortles paired with the 7th ranked defense, and it's more likely the Jags defense regresses to "merely a top 10 unit" than to stay as the league's top 1 or 2 unit in every major category.

(Also, how quickly those think pieces forgot Bortles being unable to complete simple screen passes in the wildcard game. How close all those writers were to writing pieces about how badly the Jaguars needed a QB if they didn't squeak out that 10-6 win.)

They don't have the kind of free cap space they used to, but once you take Bortles' $19 mil off the 2018 cap, there's enough room to work with.

If Cousins stays with Washington, it will likely happen by Washington applying the transition tag to him, and then matching the inevitable offer sheet Cousins signs with someone else. The franchise tag's inflation for a 3rd year is, as has already been pointed out, unsustainable.

If the Jags can't land Cousins, I think you have to look at Alex Smith and Teddy Bridgewater, the latter of whom interests me quite a bit. Bridgewater is the kind of high percentage passer than the Jags offense needs (as is Cousins, of course). Alex Smith can do that too, and 33 isn't as old for quarterbacks as it used to be, but Bridgewater carries more upside, at the cost of more risk.

That's one heck of a post, but I actually meant the Browns as the article linked was about them.

Guess my point stands for the Jags too, mostly, but I really meant the Browns can't develop QBs.

*Legion* wrote:
sr_malo wrote:

Todd Haley brings instant credibility with offensive coordinator hire

I really like this hire. Haley knows the division as well as any coach in it. If the decision wasn't forced on him, it shows some to invite your potential replacement into the building.

Tonight, on Cleveland's Next Top Interim Head Coach...

Gawd, did Haslam pay for that article in order to strike Hue Jackson's broad ego?

There’s zero reason to complain about his hire as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator

And then he goes on to talk about how he rubs players the wrong way sometimes. Uh.

Haley is a solid pickup for a team that desperately needs one, but it isn't the hire of the century.

LeapingGnome wrote:

They had to blame someone for their playoff losses.

Being that the offense wasn't as good as it had been these past two years the shooting was on the wall, but Pitt promoted their QB coach to OC so it sounds like they're placing Ben a bit. "Maybe I don't have it anymore." Or and he was sick of Haley. Way back when he first started things were not peachy between Haley and Ben until the offense began to succeed. Seems that relationship grew tired and now Haley is a Brown.

jowner wrote:

I like this, lets keep just talking like we are past the SB already.

Nah, I'm curious to see if Brady can get a 6th ring.

It's fun to watch sports legends create a legacy in real-time.

I think I was too counter-culture to really appreciate Jordon in his prime, but I imagine watching him carry the Bulls to six rings felt much the same back then.

MilkmanDanimal wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:
I'll stand behind the Giants, they have certainly won enough Super Bowls but they've been spread out over the years and outside of having a dominating pass rush (sometimes) they don't have an identity. Maybe it's years and years of Manning Face, but they're an average team who sometimes gets hot at the right time (and takes Brady down).

Just strange given their history over the years.. they have NFL championships to go with Super Bowl Championships across several time periods. Historically they are a storied franchise and right up there with the Cowboys and Packers as all time storied franchises.

The Giants have a weird franchise history in recent years, though; they're barely about .500 since Eli took over, his TD/INT ratio is as close to 1:1 as you're going to find for a modern-day long-term starter, and they've managed to win a playoff game in only two of Eli's 14 seasons as a starter, where they managed to win the Super Bowl even though they were 10-6 and 9-7 in the regular season. The Giants pretty much feel like a decent team that's managed to Flacco their way through the playoffs for two magical runs.

Sorry to dredge this up from yesterday, but just read this over at FO:

f we include all the postseason games, the Patriots are No. 1 and the Eagles are No. 2 in weighted DVOA. That sounds like a message from Captain Obvious. "Of course the last two teams left are going to be 1-2 in weighted DVOA." And, in fact, it's been that way the last two years. But it's not always that way. For example, before Super Bowl 50, Carolina was No. 2 and Denver was No. 5. Before Super Bowl XLVIII, Seattle was No. 1 but Denver was No. 4. And, of course, the New York Giants weren't anywhere close to the top of weighted DVOA before they won their two recent Super Bowl titles.

And then there's the Super Bowl that the Giants won with Phil Simms as their QB, which set us all up for him to be a talking head for the next few decades so that clearly counts as a negative on their record.

Aaron D. wrote:
jowner wrote:

I like this, lets keep just talking like we are past the SB already.

Nah, I'm curious to see if Brady can get a 6th ring.

It's fun to watch sports legends create a legacy in real-time.

I think I was too counter-culture to really appreciate Jordon in his prime, but I imagine watching him carry the Bulls to six rings felt much the same back then.

Honestly, it wasn't much the same at all. Jordan was nearly universally loved, and the Bulls, despite being the favorites every year, also tended to be rooted on by most fans. I mean, there is a reason that Jordan's name is now synonymous with basketball shoes.

My favorite reaction vid in Philly:

https://twitter.com/BlueWaffleIron/s...

Jayhawker wrote:

Honestly, it wasn't much the same at all. Jordan was nearly universally loved, and the Bulls, despite being the favorites every year, also tended to be rooted on by most fans. I mean, there is a reason that Jordan's name is now synonymous with baseball shoes.

There's some weight to this given the Pats run-ins with controversy.

At the same time I'd add a healthy dose of The Internet, which pre-dated Jordon and went on to give the toxic-touch to everything it brushed up against.

Aaron D. wrote:
Jayhawker wrote:

Honestly, it wasn't much the same at all. Jordan was nearly universally loved, and the Bulls, despite being the favorites every year, also tended to be rooted on by most fans. I mean, there is a reason that Jordan's name is now synonymous with baseball shoes.

There's some weight to this given the Pats run-ins with controversy.

At the same time I'd add a healthy dose of The Internet, which pre-dated Jordon and went on to give the toxic-touch to everything it brushed up against.

sh*t, Jordan's legacy hasn't sustained itself through the touch of The Internet. He's now considered an asshole, basically, and while his competitive streak was well known only The Internet has allowed the stories to be spread far and wide. And this, natch:

IMAGE(http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/001/078/057/aae.jpg)

This is dope:

Sorry, Legion, sounds like Jacksonville played right into the Pats hands by being predictable, again. That's on coaching.

After the long field goal in the 1st half, the Jags basically gave the game away by making bad calls on offense and defense. Gotta keep the petal to the metal against the Pats so you don't become another 28-3.

(As an aside, I've been following Sharp on Twitter for a while now, but the above thread cements my *need* to buy his NFL preview next summer.)