4. Andy Reid
Reid is the first offensive coach to modernize the NFL since Walsh and Gibbs.
Reid was Mike Holmgren’s assistant coach on the Packers from 1992 to 1998. And Holmgren was Bill Walsh’s assistant coach on the 49ers from 1986 to 1988. So Reid comes from the Walsh tree.
But Reid diverged where others didn’t, others such as Holmgren, Jon Gruden and Steve Mariucci. Those three were more faithful to Walsh’s original West Coast Offense.
Reid took the West Coast Offense and blended it with new-age spread-offense concepts that have taken over college football the past 15 years. Stuff Chip Kelly tried to bring to the NFL, but failed.
Kelly’s offense was too simple — he called the same few plays over and over. And he constantly used a hurry-up offense, which forced his defense to play most of the game. He had a gimmick.
Reid took parts of Kelly’s gimmick and added them to an already-dense West Coast Offense playbook. Added the zone reads, the run-pass options, the shifts and the motions. And now when you think of Andy’s Reid’s offense, you think of little Tyreek Hill running around behind the line of scrimmage causing the defense to panic before the play even starts. Reid made the game smaller and faster — defenses have to match up with Hill and players like him. Call it small ball.
Every team wants its own Tyreek Hill. Its own gadget player who can play wide receiver or running back. That’s Deebo Samuel on the 49ers.
Any team that doesn’t use lots of motions and shifts before the snap probably will fire its offensive coordinator soon. He’s outdated.
Kansas City Chiefs: Bob Sutton
On this list, it feels like many teams can simply blame the Patriots for not reaching more Super Bowls. New England—along with a key fourth-quarter penalty—also prevented the Chiefs from reaching the big game two years ago.
Late in the fourth quarter, Pro Bowl pass-rusher Dee Ford was called offside on what likely would have been a game-sealing interception. Instead, the Patriots got a do-over, took the lead and entered overtime after Kansas City tied things up with a field goal.
Brady and the Patriots offense scored to win the game without ever giving the ball to Patrick Mahomes.
While many Chiefs fans may want to blame Ford, the call or the overtime rules as a whole, defensive coordinator Bob Sutton was really to blame for the loss. His unit allowed a whopping 524 yards and 36 first downs. It also was responsible for allowing the opening-drive touchdown in overtime.
If the Chiefs wanted to get the ball back to Mahomes, they should have stopped the Patriots.
And while slowing Brady and Co. is never easy, it’s not impossible. Two weeks later, the Los Angeles Rams held the Patriots to just 13 points in Super Bowl LIII. Sutton was replaced by Steve Spagnuolo, and Kansas City won Super Bowl LIV. Had a change occurred earlier, the Chiefs might be back-to-back champs.
A 50-year drought came to an end last season as the Kansas City Chiefs won their first championship since defeating the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV. With a quarterback in Patrick Mahomes who already has a league MVP and Super Bowl MVP under his belt after just two seasons as a starter, the Chiefs could become the first team to repeat since the Patriots accomplished the feat over 15 years ago. The Chiefs are the favorites in the latest 2021 Super Bowl odds.
The latest Super Bowl 55 odds by William Hill list the Chiefs as 4-1 favorites, with Baltimore (13-2), defending NFC champion San Francisco (7-1) and New Orleans (12-1) also among the 2021 Super Bowl favorites. Before making any 2021 Super Bowl picks, be sure to check out the Super Bowl 55 predictions from SportsLine NFL handicapper R.J. White.
It is on defense where the questions lie. The Lions have disappointed on that side of the ball in both of Matt Patricia’s seasons as head coach.
The Lions made moves to address that in the offseason, adding Jamie Collins at linebacker and Duron Harmon at safety while drafting cornerback Jeffery Okudah.
But acquiring an interior rusher of Jones’ standard would be a substantial boost to a pass rush that lacked juice even following the signing of edge rusher Trey Flowers last year.
The Lions, $28.2million under the cap, have the financial capital to tie Jones to a long-term deal and trading for him would be a move to turn Detroit from irrelevant to playoff contender.
6. Tyreek Hill
Arguably the most dangerous wide receiver in the NFL today, Tyreek Hill has been a nightmare for defensive backs and impossible to stop. Statistically, Hill’s numbers declined due to his four-game, almost a full five, absence from a shoulder injury early in a Week 1 game in Jacksonville. But Hill still played at a high level when he returned from his injury.
The star tight end is expected to be Jimmy Garoppolo’s go-to target once again when the 2020 NFL season eventually begins. But just how many receiving yards will Kittle rack up in his fourth season?
Pro Football Focus projects Kittle to have the second-most receiving yards for a tight end this upcoming season. Their projected leader is a bit of a surprise, though. Many would expect Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs to be ahead of Kittle, but PFF has him third on the list. Instead, it’s Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews.
Here is how the rest of round two went down:
52. Cleveland Browns - LB Haason Reddick
53. Detroit Lions - LB Raekwon McMillan
54. Miami Dolphins - TE David Njoku
55. New York Giants - S Jabrill Peppers
56. Las Vegas Raiders - CB Sidney Jones
57. Houston Texans - OT Cam Robinson
59. Kansas City Chiefs - RB Marlon Mack
Around the NFL
EA announced last month that Madden NFL 2021 will be released on next-generation video game consoles but gave no more information about the game. Monday’s event was slated to give fans a first look at the latest installment of the iconic franchise.
“We’ll find another time to talk football with you. Because this is bigger than a game, bigger than sports, and needs all of us to stand together and commit to change.”
OT Jason Peters
Proposed team: Denver Broncos
Projected contract: 1 year, $8.5 million
Peters has apparently been on the Eagles’ speed dial and still prefers to return to Philly, but Doug Pederson has also declared Andre Dillard ready to take over at left tackle. Peters is also looking for a guaranteed starting spot, and the clearest route to that lies in Denver, where Garett Bolles has struggled since the Broncos made him a first-round pick in 2017. John Elway made it a priority this offseason to build around Drew Lock, and even with his injury history, Peters represents a major upgrade on Lock’s blind side. Intent on playing into his 40s, Peters would also be betting on the chance to be a contender’s LT as Lock grows.
“As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league,” Goodell said. “These tragedies inform the NFL’s commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners.”
“I think it matches up very nicely with being in control, getting checks in the run game and just being efficient,” Mayfield told reporters Thursday – via team transcript — of how he meshes with Stefanski’s offense. “Last year, I know, was not a great year for turnovers, but I have always prided myself on not turning the ball over. That is something in the conversations we have had is where we do take our shots, it has to be smart decisions and there is nothing wrong with throwing an incompletion every once in a while. Scheme wise, I think my skillset matches up to that very well and also how he is coaching it. I think it is going to be a great fit.”
In case you missed it at Arrowhead Pride
“Dustin was definitely a leader when I got to the Chiefs.” Butker said to reporters. “He was able to guide me and you talked about the caddy to golfer relationship. I’d go out there on really windy days and sometimes I’d have an awful warmup off of the sticks and then Dustin would make some changes with the hold and I’d be kicking the ball straight and making them.”
Butker will miss the 15-year veteran and one of the most accomplished punters of the generation — but he recognizes the opportunity it presents for himself. After being the pupil to Colquitt’s teaching for almost three seasons, it’s now the 24-year-old Butker who must become the top voice in the specialist room.
“Now that Dustin’s no longer here unfortunately, I’m kind of the leader and I’m the one teaching them about the holding stuff,” Butker admitted. “Dustin was able to share a ton of information with me and now kind of going on year four I’m gonna have to be the leader now and help those guys out.”
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