American Football Appeals
To Analytical Minds
My friend, David, was born and raised in South Africa (and very naturally lives and breathes rugby) but through American friends was introduced to American football. He’s now a football believer and follows the game more closely than most Americans. He’s also got a very keen analytical mind (he’s in the law profession) and remembers everything he reads or hears.
Fortunately, he’s also a Jaguars fan so at the end of the 2014 season I asked for his thoughts on how the head coach, Gus Bradley, was doing. Following was his response.
He (Bradley) is on top of things and the owner is all in on the total rebuild that has occurred over the last two years.
They (being the GM, Dave Caldwell, and Bradley) were up front with Mr Khan on the rebuilding plan. The team was only ever going to be competitive in the third year but the plan was to gut the roster and build from the ground up through the draft supplemented by judicious spending in free agency to address needs in the first two years.
That brings me to the third year where the Jags are in fine shape in respect of the cap (with the most cap space of any team in the league of about $60m). They will target top level talent in free agency, such as:
- Devin McCourty – FS – Patriots (watch him this weekend)
- Julius Thomas – TE – Broncos
- Brian Bulaga – OT – Packers
- Malcolm Smith – OLB – Seahawks (who is very familiar with Bradley’s system)
- Torrey Smith – WR – Ravens (watch him in the playoffs against the Patriots)
- James Carpenter – OL – Seahawks
- Rodney Hudson – C – Chiefs (ex-FSU player)
The team will be picking at #3 in the draft and will obviously not select a QB. I believe that absent a trade down for extra picks they will select Leonard Williams (DT – USC) who has the potential to be great. He is a special talent who can play any position along the DL. That may be necessary as both starting DTs have had to have off-season surgery with our top DT talent, Sen’Derrick Marks, tearing his ACL in the last game of the season in Houston.
I think they have to look at bedding down the RT spot with the second pick and they will be looking at someone like Ereck Flowers (OT – Miami) who played LT in college but who will shift over to the right side in the pros. He has the ideal length and size at 6 – 5 and 325 pounds and plays with an edge and nastiness that I think is required (and an underrated attribute in offensive lineman).
Finally I think Bradley will not struggle to secure top level talent for the OC position. The Kirby Wilson interview satisfies the Rooney rule (interviewing a black candidate for every coaching or GM vacancy) but I think it will be either Trestman (who is held in high regard by Bradley and who is an offensive genius) or Greg Roman (a college roommate of Dave Caldwell) who is similarly gifted.
I am extremely positive about the direction of the franchise.
(End of David’s thoughts)
David is only one of several non-Americans I’m personally acquainted with who’ve become engrossed in the game and that’s good for me. He has become a portal for information and gives insights I never noticed as an American born fan.
Thanks to David for sharing. Thanks to football for being such a great game.