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nine

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  1. I think it’s entirely possible; it just depends on how JR assesses the talent and depth relative to other areas. If he sees a guy like Hock or Fant as an elite generational talent, then they could be very much in play at #19. Or maybe he doesn’t see that much of a drop off from those guys to an Irv Smith or one of the other prospects who might be available in round 2-3. Or maybe he’s happy with the current depth at TE and doesn’t see it as a priority for this year. One thing we know for sure: JR will keep every option open and wont rule out any possibility. And he damn sure won’t tip his hand or offer any meaningful insight as to what he’s actually thinking.
  2. It was my understanding that Marcus' injury at the end of the season was a stinger caused by trauma or compression of the nerve bundle in his neck/shoulder. It was a separate nerve issue that was unrelated to the ulnar nerve injury he sustained in the season opener, which was caused by trauma to the elbow. Same arm...different nerve, different issue. I won't even be particularly concerned if he's still healing up in April....as long as he's ready to go in August.
  3. Now that I think about it...I do seem to be hearing about a lot of my gay friends hooking up with newly-gay frogs on Grinder these days. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  4. IMO, Mariota getting tagged is the most likely scenario for 2020.
  5. Perhaps the fact that the HC was a former punt returner himself and took a special interest in working with them?
  6. This video is an excellent cross-section of Mariota's 2018 season; it shows everything. I doubt it will sway any opinions....but anyone looking to confirm a preconceived notion will find it here.
  7. It seems to me that drafting OL (especially IOL) is all about a team's philosophy. Some teams have a history of investing significant draft capital and cap dollars on OL to acquire the best talent possible. The Colts, Cowboys, and Steelers are good examples of this approach. But there are also teams at the opposite end of the spectrum and see IOL play more as a product of coaching rather than talent; instead of investing big money or high draft picks, they use mid/late-round picks and coach them up. The Rams and Packers haven't drafted IOL earlier than round 3 in the past 20 years; the Patriots have done it only twice during the Belichick era. (This was also Floyd Reese's preferred approach, as Mike pointed out.) Either approach can work....but one thing is certain: no matter the talent level, the OL coach is absolutely critical. Think about the Steelers OL situation: despite having multiple high-round picks, their O-line was a mess until Munchak was brought in to right the ship. Last year, the Cowboys' talented O-line was so bad, their OL coach was fired mid-season.....and their OL play improved after his departure. It'll be interesting to see what JRob does this year. The signing of Ben Jones was one of his first moves as GM....but then he went with more of a plug-and-play approach with Kline and Spain. (Which worked fine for a couple years, but was a disaster in 2018). Saffold is obviously a prominent high-profile signing....I really have no idea how JR plans to address the RG position. After last year's issues, I can see him going all in and drafting a guy at 19.....but I can just as easily see him plugging in an experienced-but-affordable veteran who gets the job done.
  8. NFL teams are so hard-pressed to find quality quarterbacks, they'll consider pretty much anyone who shows the slightest shred of talent.
  9. An elite QB will make pretty much every OC look like a genius; consistently high-level execution works in any offensive scheme. Non-elite quarterbacks tend to be more a reflection of their surroundings. Put them in a good system and with a strong supporting cast and they'll do well. Put them on a bad team and/or a dysfunctional offense and they'll struggle. (See Nick Foles, Alex Smith, Jared Goff, Case Keenum, Kirk Cousins, etc). Wilson and Luck are elite quarterbacks. Mariota is not; like many, he's more dependent on the pieces around him as compared to the league's elite passers. With all due respect to LaFleur....last year's offense as a whole was a mess. Mariota's inconsistency obviously played a big role in the struggles....but the problems went far beyond the QB position. The running game was garbage for most of the year, the O-line was equally bad in run blocking and pass protection, and the WR play was inconsistent at best. LaFleur is a sharp guy with a lot of good ideas and concepts....but the implementation left much to be desired, with significant breakdowns and poor execution across the board. It's entirely possible that an elite passer might have overcome or mitigated some of those issues...which is what makes them elite. As a less-than-elite QB, Mariota is dependent on others to help shoulder the load. Unfortunately, those other players rarely held up their end of the bargain last year...which amplified Marcus' struggles and made matters even worse. JRob can't wave a magic wand to instantly make Marcus an elite and transcendent QB. What he can do is address areas of weakness by adding talent and surrounding Marcus with players who can be depended on to do their jobs....so Marcus can focus on his own job rather than worrying about the guys who aren't. Saffold is clearly an upgrade over Spain....and likewise, Humphries should provide a consistent and dependable presence at slot WR which was sorely lacking last year. Delanie's return should provide a boost as well....and we should see continued growth from Davis, Taylor, and Jonnu Smith in year 3. The team doesn't need them to perform miracles or even play at an All Pro level; they just need to do their jobs with some semblance of consistency. If that happens, then I'm confident that Mariota will be able to perform and produce at a top 10-15 level. But without a dependable supporting cast, then Mariota likely ends up being a bottom 10 passer once again....and the team moves on in 2020.
  10. The Verner situation was definitely a boneheaded decision by the organization. AV was a good-but-not-great player, but he was a tremendous high-character guy who was very well liked in the locker room....and he wanted to remain a Titan. All Webster had to do was make a reasonable offer....but he mismanaged the situation so badly, AV ended up getting pissed off and accepted the Bucs' offer instead.
  11. I had no idea Eric Berry was released last week.
  12. As I recall, the problem with Decker was more about his drops than a lack of speed. I also seem to recall rumors that he wasn’t a great fit in the locker room. I could see Nelson being a veteran presence like Harry Douglas was or what Decker was supposed to be. Whether it would translate into production, who knows.....but at least he’ll catch the ball when it hits him in the hands/chest.
  13. Hopefully JRob gets a tee shirt or maybe a free toaster? Maybe one of these.....after all, it's a major award!
  14. Not that surprising, really. Pats have obviously dominated the past two decades. The Marv Levy/Jim Kelly-era Bills were one of the great teams of the 90s and played in four Super Bowls. The Miami Dolphins had only two losing seasons from 1970-2003, which is incredible.
  15. I’ve not been a proponent of drafting IOL at 19. However, after the Saffold signing... I can envision a scenario where JR swings for the fences and goes all in on a truly dominant O-line for the next 4-5 years. Drafting an OG at 19 or 51 would likely do just that.
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