View Full Version : Around the NFL by Rich Gosselin

08-10-2003, 12:03 PM
Around the NFL (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dallas/cowboys/gosselin/stories/081003dnspoaroundnfl.14104.html)

Smart man this Rich Gosselin guy..... :D

Football success begins on draft day – and the New England Patriots have mastered the month of April. New England is the only franchise to draft a Pro Bowler in both 2000 (Tom Brady) and 2001 (Richard Seymour). The Dallas Morning News gave the Patriots an A for their 2003 draft, and New England already has two first-rounders, two seconds, a third and two fourths in the bank for the 2004 draft. If a dynasty is possible in a salary-cap world, the Patriots are one of the few franchises with the resources and expertise to pull it off.

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Who did the Washington Redskins tick off in the NFL office? Did you see Washington's opening schedule? The New York Jets, Atlanta, New York Giants, New England, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay. That stretch includes the Super Bowl champion, two other division winners from 2002 (Jets and Eagles) and two other playoff teams (Falcons and Giants). Don't tell anyone, but the Patriots might be the best team of the bunch in 2003. You talk about a must game – it's Washington's opener against the Jets. If the Redskins lose that one, an 0-6 start is conceivable.

• • •

One final thought on the NFL's fining Detroit GM Matt Millen $200,000 for failure to interview any minority candidates before hiring Steve Mariucci as Lions coach: The timing smacked of a grandstand play by the league office. The NFL had the entire off-season to levy punishment but chose the eve of training camp. Way to make a circus out of it. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and his staff often forget their role in this process. The NFL isn't the league office on Park Avenue. It's the 32 teams. The commissioner and his staff work for the teams, not the other way around.

• • •

Black shoes are supposed to make you look slower. The Atlanta Falcons are abandoning white shoes for black ones this season. My guess is that Michael Vick won't look any slower in black than he did in white.

This year, a bonus on defense

The NFL is a stats league. Talent evaluators annually study the numbers and trends to determine where to draft and direct the money in today's NFL.

Ponder these numbers: 13 of the last 15 Super Bowl champions ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in defense. The last three champions – Tampa Bay in 2002, New England in 2001 and Baltimore in 2000 – all prevailed with suffocating defenses.

"Defense wins championships," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "That's no secret. We all know that."

And are finally taking action on it. The NFL issued 16 signing bonuses in excess of $3 million in free agency this off-season – and 11 went to defensive players.

New Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis knows the importance of defense. He coordinated that 2000 Baltimore defense that set an NFL record for fewest points allowed in a 16-game season (165).

The Bengals ranked 17th in defense last season, and that's not acceptable to Lewis, who also coordinated a top-five defense at Washington last season. So the Bengals awarded two of those $3 million-plus signing bonuses to defenders: linebacker Kevin Hardy and tackle John Thornton. The Bengals, however, lost linebacker Takeo Spikes to the Buffalo Bills.

The 16 free agents who received the largest signing bonuses this off-season:

Pos., Free agent Team Signing bonus
WR Laveranues Coles Washington $13 million
LB Takeo Spikes Buffalo 9.0 m
QB Jake Plummer Denver 7.0 m
G Randy Thomas Washington 7.0 m
CB Dre Bly Detroit 6.5 m
LB Rosevelt Colvin New England 6.0 m
DE Hugh Douglas Jacksonville 6.0 m
LB Shawn Barber Kansas City 5.5 m
OT Wayne Gandy New Orleans 5.0 m
DT Daryl Gardener Denver 5.0 m
WR David Boston San Diego 4.5 m
DT John Thornton Cincinnati 3.75 m
CB Tory James Buffalo 3.6 m
LB Kevin Hardy Cincinnati 3.5 m
DE Vonnie Holliday Kansas City 3.0 m
CB Tyrone Williams Atlanta 3.0 m

08-10-2003, 12:20 PM
Tory James signed with Cincinnati

08-10-2003, 01:50 PM
New England best of the bunch out of those first 6 teams? Yeah, right ;).

I'd take Philly, Tampa, and maybe the Giants.

08-11-2003, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by clumpedplatelet
Tory James signed with Cincinnati

i was about to say.....