The Tennessee Titans will be the next NFL team to embrace a collegiate-style spread system as a sizable chunk of their offense.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel made it clear in his introductory news conference that there would be plenty of spread elements for quarterback Marcus Mariota, including run-pass options, run options and bootlegs.
Vrabel also was honest in how he viewed the dynamic between college football and the NFL.
“The NFL has the greatest farm system in the world. We pay our farm-system coaches $10 million to develop players,” Vrabel said. “[Alabama coach] Nick Saban is our farm system. [Ohio State coach] Urban Meyer is our farm system.”
Vrabel’s comments will certainly reignite conversations about whether college football players should be paid. Vrabel’s oldest son, Tyler, will be a freshman tight end at Boston College this fall.
Vrabel, who was an active NFL Players Association representative as a player, has coached college football at Ohio State and pro football with Houston Texans and now the Titans.
College football is the feeder system for the NFL, and it appears the league will see more similarities between the two games moving forward.
“Those are the type of players that they are developing. Those are the type of players that are playing in high school. That’s where the game is at,” Vrabel said. “You have to be creative. You have to cause conflict. They’re taking great athletes and putting them in similar positions to succeed.”
With the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finishing under .500 … again, last in the division … again, and missing the playoffs … again!, what are some of the biggest mistakes that the team made which caused them to go from 9-7 and on the cusp to 5-11 and back in the basement?
For the tenth season in a row the Tampa Bay Buccaneers season ends after a week seventeen game which was shockingly a win against the NFC South Champion New Orleans Saints, and finishing last in the division for the seventh time in the last ten seasons. After a 9-7 season last year the hype going into this season was that the Buccaneers would most likely make the playoffs, but as the season played out the team went through two five game losing streaks and sadly it was not to be as they finished 5-11 with a top 10 draft pick again.
Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht came out recently in an interview with the Tampa Bay Times and blamed the bad seasons on injuries, poor run game, and the inability to rush the passer. Yes those are the obvious issues as to why the team under performed this season, but what are some of the biggest “Mistakes” that were made during the 2017 season all the way from the beginning of the season through the end of such a terrible season?
Those big “Mistakes” are what I will dig into in this article and hopefully those mistakes will be corrected in the up free agency period, draft, and during the season so that we Buccaneers fans will finally taste the playoffs for the first time in ten seasons, so here we go what are some of the biggest mistakes that the team made this season?
Matt Patricia and his beard will be the next head coach of the Detroit Lions, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The deal is not confirmed, as Patricia and the Lions aren’t allowed to come to a formal agreement until after the Patriots season ends.
If the report comes to fruition, Patricia will be reuniting with Lions GM Bob Quinn, who served as the Patriots director of pro scouting before joining Detroit in 2016. Now Quinn stakes his first head-coaching hire in a beard that rests on the face of a 43-year-old former engineering student and actual rocket scientist turned Belichick sidekick. Patricia will be tasked with taking the Lions from competent to contender and reversing the legacies of failed Lions coaches (Rod Marinelli, Jim Schwartz, Steve Mariucci, Marty Mornhinweg, et al.) and failed coaches from the Belichick coordinator tree (Romeo Crennel, Eric Mangini, Charlie Weis, Josh McDaniels’s first try, et al.)
Not only is his current and future employer’s history this century working against him, but he had an unlikely path to make the Pats coaching staff. Patricia spent two seasons as a defensive line coach at Amherst College and three seasons as a graduate assistant at Syracuse University before parlaying the Syracuse connections into interviews as a coaching assistant with the Patriots in 2004. (When New England offered him that job, Patricia said he had to discuss it with his wife. The Patriots, who are some intense folks, pulled the offer for his lack of commitment. After some frantic phone calls, Patricia got the gig.)
Patricia proceeded to rise from assistant to linebackers coach to defensive coordinator, and in the process went from entry level position to Bill Belichick’s right-hand man. He is an integral part in the intensive film study that is the key to New England’s weekly metamorphosis that sees the most dramatic game-to-game schematic changes of any team in the league. Patricia’s engineering background was reflected in a meticulous attention to detail that often impressed his peers (he also taught some on the Pats coaching staff how to use computers, so you know he’s wicked smart.) It’s hard to parse a coach’s role in game preparation, but we can try: Pats cornerback Malcolm Butler credited Patricia for preparing him to jump the slant route in Super Bowl XLIX, which might be the best example of game preparation in league history. The Patriots never had a dominant defense under Patricia, but they never had a bad one either. They ranked in the top ten in points allowed every season under him as coordinator as New England won two Super Bowls and reached a ridiculous seven consecutive AFC championships.
Detroit is not New England––in Patricia’s tenure, the Pats won as many Super Bowls as the Lions played in postseason games. Patricia would be taking over a team that has their quarterback position solidified with Matthew Stafford, but he’ll have to kickstart Detroit’s anemic running game and repair a defense that was dead last in DVOA in 2016 and 19th in 2017. His first key decision will be whether to retain offensive coordinator Jim Bob Cooter, who Detroit also interviewed for the head coaching position. Cooter would be key to preserving the Lions DNA as a frightening passing attack.
It’s anyone’s guess as to whether Patricia will be able to continue his success in a head coaching gig, which is more managerial than the coordinator role, but if there’s any franchise that appreciates details, it’s the Lions. Patricia has likely been prepared well by Belichick, but turning around the Detroit Lions is going to be harder than rocket science.