Yes, it’s only May and yes experts are already weighing in on the 2019 NFL Season, so I thought I’d join in. As a NY Giants fan, I will admit I’m a little apprehensive about some of the moves they have made this offseason, but I want to keep my feelings positive. Although, certain actions made in this offseason has not been a beacon of success to me, but what do I know.
Let’s take a look at a few of my WAY too early predictions for this upcoming year.
On May 13th it was announced that former Kansas City Chiefs head coach, and former Chiefs, Raiders, and Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham had passed over the weekend.
For the Lions, he served as both a defensive coordinator under former head coach Jim Schwartz and then a defensive analyst for the Lions when he retired.
Born in Germany, he came to the United States as a child, shortly after World War II ended. At the time, he didn’t speak English but used football to help get acclimated to America. He ended up having college coaching stints at Oregon, California, Stanford and Arkansas.
After his college career, he spent some time in Canada in the CFL. In 1982, he came back to the States and began his NFL Coaching career; first with the Colts, then moving on to Kansas City.
We hear it all the time… “That veteran will be mentoring the young guys, showing them the ropes.” But is that really true? And even more, is it really fair to expect a veteran who wants the starting job to spend any time at all helping the rookie who wants to take his job?
That seems to be the big story in Denver this week as quarterback Joe Flacco is taking heat for saying it’s not his job to be a mentor to newly drafted QB Drew Lock.
When people talk about NFL stars who were found in the late rounds of the draft, there are a few names that are always brought up. Tom Brady, Richard Sherman, Bo Jackson, Terrell Davis… it’s a long list. The western divisions in both conferences have a tendency to find these players regularly and turn them into superstars. Let’s take a look at this year’s picks and see if there could be another future star.
You can find an entire list of AFC draft picks for each team here.
Since the beginning of the offseason, the Kansas City Chiefs wasted little time to start rebuilding the defense – by seeking out a new defensive coordinator and staff, in addition to signing six new players.
Some of the #Chiefs‘ defensive additions this offseason:
DC Steve Spagnuolo
LBs – Matt House
DL – Brendan Daly
DBs – Dave Merritt
CBs – Sam Madison
S Tyrann Mathieu
DE Frank Clark
CB Bashaud Breeland
DE Alex Okafor
DE Emmanuel Ogbah
LB Damien Wilson
This season an unprecedented eight NFL teams will have new head coaches. And for six of these coaches, it will be their first time running the whole show.
Bruce Arians has stepped out of the booth and back onto the field in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have floundered recently and Jameis Winston hasn’t grown or flourished the way we expected him to when he was drafted in 2015. Perhaps promoting former NFL QB turned offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich will be the first step in turning Winston around.
But the seven other coaches have their work cut out for them. Let’s take a look at these “rookies” and, maybe the biggest key to their success, who will be under center as they take the field.
Lets just all admit it. The minute we saw that John Gruden had been paid an insane amount of money to become the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, we knew we were in for a wild ride. While his first season didn’t live up to the hype, it has been nothing but Must See TV ever since the season ended.
Lets quickly recap.
First, the disaster that was the 2018 season. With a record of 4-12, Gruden’s first season as head coach was underwhelming to say the least. In a year where the AFC West was a stand out division, the Raiders were the bottom dwellers. The tone of the season was set very early with the trade of linebacker Khalil Mack to Chicago, then later in the season the trade of wide receiver Amari Cooper to Dallas. Gruden didn’t hide the fact he was completely overhauling the team and managed to get some great draft capital in the process. While fans weren’t happy, the value received was fantastic.
This week, we are focusing on the positives of the AFC, its teams, its players and its communities making ‘good happen’. #GiveBack
But before I get to that, some news on the retirement front. Yesterday, it was announced that New England tight end Rob Gronkowski is officially retiring from the NFL, effective immediately. He will be missed. This week, there was another memorable retirement announcement from Philadelphia defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. He put new meaning into ‘going out on top’.
The Haloti Ngata Family Foundation‘s motto is: Improving the lives of others through love and strength. We wish him all the best in his future! Ngata definitely belongs on the #NFLGoodGuy list here at Our Turf Football.
To look at the NFL today it’s hard to imagine it without the diversity it displays, but there was a time when there wasn’t. In honor of Black History Month, we will look at the changes the NFL has gone through as it pertains to African American players.
African Americans have been a part of the American Football evolution as far back as the 1920s with players like Fitz Pollard and Bobby Marshall leading the way. The position of quarterback had not been a position that was openly offered to African Americans, but in 1968 that all changed with Marlin Briscoe.
Going into the 2019 NFL season many teams have needs. Some have different needs than others, but no need is more important than that of the quarterback. There are at least 5 teams that are going to need some help at that position.
The Denver Broncos addressed theirs by agreeing in principle for Baltimore Ravens benched QB Joe Flacco. While Flacco won’t be the answer long term for the Broncos, he will at least give them some time to find their franchise quarterback.
Many NFL analysts have ranted that this 2019 quarterback class, to say it nicely, is average. No one guy stands out at this moment. You’d have to assume Bronco’s GM John Elway agrees with that assessment since he pulled the trigger so quickly on Flacco. I’ve always felt that if you pick a player in the first round, that player has to start day one. I just don’t feel that there are day one starters in this draft, which in my mind is why Flacco is a Bronco.
So what does this signing mean for the other teams that are quarterback-starved? It means another free agent/ “Gap” quarterback is about to hit the market. If the Broncos can’t find a team to trade their one and done QB, Case Keenum to, then he is expected to be released.