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Thread: Kiran Artlicle on this part of the Offseason

  1. #1
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    Kiran Artlicle on this part of the Offseason

    Nice article. Mentions the Jets looking at BT moving to OLB. I think he can excel in the position with this size and speed.
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9370645

    It's not as quiet as you might think

    By Pat Kirwan
    NFL.com Senior Analyst


    (April 11, 2006) -- For some reason, as soon as teams get into their final draft preparations, we are led to believe that every other aspect of the business of football goes dormant. That is the farthest thing from the truth, but you do have to look a little deeper to see the undercurrent of all the business being handled while the draft boards are being stacked from April 10-24.

    Here is a look at some of the things on the agenda for most teams:


    Buffalo's Dick Jauron is among the new head coaches keeping a watchful eye on voluntary workouts.
    1. Voluntary camps: There are 10 teams with new head coaches and most of them are in the process of having veteran voluntary camps with a couple of objectives in mind. First, the coaches want to find out exactly what the veterans are capable of learning and see if there is a chance they can play in the scheme the coaches want to install. They can then compare the on-field information gathered about most of the veterans during the camps with the information being gathered about the players in the draft. For example, the Jets are taking a look at veteran defensive end Bryan Thomas as an outside linebacker for their new 3-4 defense. If Thomas shows any promise that he can drop into coverage and function like a linebacker rather than just the 4-3 defensive end that he has been for his four-year career, then the Jets brass can alter their draft plans for an outside linebacker.

    2. Preparing in case they miss: If it isn't enough that coaches and personnel people are running veteran camps in the morning and endless draft meetings in the afternoons and evenings, they also are still talking to free agents. Imagine a coach who doesn't like what he sees on the field from the present players and discovers the draft is lean at the same position or that there’s a probability that certain players will not be available when they draft. That realization forces the club decision-makers to keep recruiting unrestricted free agents.

    The dilemma is that the club is still hopeful it can draft the players needed to improve the team, so they don't want to sign veterans right now, but they do want to set themselves up for a post-draft signing at a reasonable price as a backup plan. This is a tricky process since the club doesn't want to pay top dollar and wants the older veteran to wait until at least the third round of the draft is over. For example, the Giants visited with linebacker Chad Brown the other day to see how much fire he still has left, and to give Brown a sense that the Giants are an ideal situation for him, but just not right now (unless, of course, he wants to sign for the minimum).

    3. Working through the adjustment period: Someone high up in the organization has to keep a constant check on the value of the remaining quality veterans. It is clear that LaVar Arrington, Charles Woodson and Ty Law didn't hit the big dollars in the early stages of free agency and all three are going through an adjustment period about financial value. If a club takes a single day off from measuring where the dollars are headed, they could get left out when a deal starts to take place. For example, Eric Moulds told me that the Eagles showed interest in him, but it was too late for Moulds to turn back from his deal with the Texans. I'm not sure if the Eagles had genuine interest or if Moulds wasn't headed to the Texans anyway, but I do know there has to be constant communication.


    The longer LaVar Arrington waits for a deal, the lower his value may become.
    Arrington, Law and Woodson can still impact the draft if they sign prior to the start of Round 1. But, on the other hand, the second NFL teams draft an outside linebacker or cornerback in the first round, the player's value goes down. I expect six linebackers and three cornerbacks selected in the opening round and that eliminates nine teams from having interest in the veterans. If the players sense the market is folding up, the price could drop and the window of opportunity could be hours wide.

    4. The Patriots plan getting challenged: I have always admired the way Patriots coach Bill Belichick and player personnel chief Scott Pioli constructed their football team: patience in free agency, tough decisions about older veterans on their roster and sound contracts that don't haunt them down the road. As I pointed out a few weeks ago, the Patriots plan, which is being mimicked by other teams, is being challenged by the extra cap space and cash teams have these days.

    Peerless Price is a good example of the new pressure the Pats face. A year ago, Price would have been excited to be offered a one-year deal by the world champions -- a chance to reinvent his career and be at the receiving end of Tom Brady passes, especially with David Givens gone in free agency. Today, a team like the Buffalo Bills, with a losing record in 2005 and questions at the quarterback position, can still sign Price because they are willing to offer a long-term deal.

    5. Pre-draft visits: As if coaches and executives aren't busy enough, there are pre-draft meetings with draft picks. Each club will bring 20 or more rookie candidates through the facility for one last look before the draft. The players aren't worked out when they visit, but it becomes a two-day "get to know you" kind of trip that usually includes classroom work and dinner with the coaches. I used to budget about four hours of my time for each young man we visited with, and when you think that 20 players means close to 80 hours over a two-week period dedicated to this dimension, it keeps everyone very busy.

    Throw in specific team issues like Brett Favre and the Packers, Ricky Williams and the Dolphins and pausing draft meetings to go see the Charlie Whitehurst or LenDale White workouts and it's easy to see how there just isn't enough time in the day for any club official these days.

    I'm excited about the new defense and the LBs being the strength of the team!

  2. #2
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    It would be nice to see Thomas against the run i mean if he can give any production we'll take it but in pass coverage i think Thomas will kill us, i can see him bitting on play action every time...wow.....Hobson must be that bad, if there thinking about starting Thomas as a LB. Wouldn't Hobson be good on the inside with Vilma....and have Kassell and Barton outside

  3. #3
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    nice read

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