Sorting out coaching, front office changes at offseason's start
Anxious to get those quiz answers from yesterday's column? Hang on just a moment now. Almost here.
Making sense of the first two days of what's going to be a newsy offseason:
• The Chargers' unexpected decision to retain coach Norv Turner and GM A.J. Smith now makes the Rams the favorite to land Jeff Fisher.
• Just an educated guess, but I think the removal of GM Jerry Angelo in Chicago had something to do with the continued failure of Angelo to fix a terrible offensive line -- the Bears allowed a league-high 105 sacks over the last two seasons -- and their collapse this season after losing Jay Cutler. Trotting out J'Marcus Webb for the last 32 games at starting tackle is a continuing embarrassment; according to ProFootballFocus.com, Webb has allowed 24 sacks and 77 quarterback pressure in the last two years. This is the best the Bears can do? And to continue to play Caleb Hanie while Rome burned ... I'll join the cacophony of Chicagoans who have asked: Are you saying Donovan McNabb wasn't better than that?
• Dallas won't go get a strong GM. We knew that. It's Jerry Jones' team, and it's his call, and he's not giving up personnel control. If he didn't give it to Bill Parcells after three straight 6-10 seasons, he's not giving it to anyone now. That being said, I'd call Bill Polian and offer him a nice little consultant's contract right now -- and I'd put Polian in the room on draft day for advice.
• But I'd call Polian, too, if I were the Bears.
• Best two front office guys right now: Indy director of player personnel (for now) Tom Telesco, and right-hand-of-Ozzie-Newsome Eric DeCosta, likely the heir to Newsome in Baltimore.
• If the Rams hire Fisher -- he'll interview there this week -- I'd go hard after Telesco to be the GM. Fisher is a good coach to have for a GM because he respects the personnel side of it and will let the general manager do his job. And on draft day, he doesn't have to be the one to make the picks, though he wants to have a say.
• Said it before, and I'll say it again: No question the best job out there is St. Louis. Three reasons: Incumbent quarterback, more money to spend in free agency than any team in 2013, and because of the second overall pick this year when a very good quarterback will be on the board means you can use the pick to ransom to the highest bidder
Quiz answers. Here they are. Grading system:
Here's we go:
Now for your mail:
I DON'T KNOW, BUT I HAVE BEEN RANTING ABOUT IT FOR YEARS.
Agreed. But the 32 owners feel they want to reward all division winners with a home game. It's ridiculous, but that's the way it is. Totally unfair.
WHY NOT GRONK FOR MVP?
Ask yourself this question and you may have the answer: Would the Patriots win more games if they had to without Tom Brady, or if they had to play without Rob Gronkowski? That's how I determined Brady to be the most valuable player on the Patriots, and, in general, why I think quarterbacks are the best candidates to be MVPs. Now, if a pass-rusher, for instance, got 25 sacks one year and made plays in four or five games that clearly determined the outcome of a game, then I think you could make an argument that he would deserve strong consideration. The quarterback's play determines so much about who wins and who loses.
YOU ARE RIGHT, AND I TWEETED MY IGNORANCE LATER IN THE DAY AFTER BEING CALLED ON IT.
Got it, and you're right. File that under dumb things I think I think at 4:30 in the morning without looking at every team's numbers. But I still think the Patriots are in trouble if they face one of the big quarterbacks in the playoffs.
NOT SURE ORTON'S AN INSPIRED PICK.
I don't know. The Broncos have changed their offense quite a bit to accommodate Tebow, so I don't know if they'd want to change it back before a playoff game. Re: Orton, I like him, and I think he's better than Rex Grossman and probably (but not certainly) better than Matt Moore in Miami. But the problem with Orton, as owner Steve Ross in Miami discovered early this year when he quashed the Orton-to-Miami deal, you have to ask yourself if you're willing to make a multi-year commitment to a guy who's never had a great season, and seems to have a C-plus ceiling.