Well, the elephant in the room (literally?) whenever this topic comes up is, what do we do with Wade? I hate the idea of in-season firing. It rarely inspires the team, and it leaves you generally with another guy posing as a head coach who isn't good enough to be a head coach. That being said, it's time.
Well, I don't think there's too much left to be excited about this year. It's still fun to watch Dez, Ware gets a sack every now and again, and............that's about it. Unfortunately, it's only week 8, so rebuilding is still quite a way away. We need a plan to get us to the draft, where we can try to regain some optimism. After the jump, my plan for getting to April in the best position realistically possible.
The 2010 iteration of the Dallas Cowboys is totally finished. The players no longer respond to Wade, and it would be in both parties best interest to end the current arrangement. Not to light a fire under a team that has none, but simply to put Phillips out of his misery. Do I think we'll be better with Garrett at the head and Pasqualoni calling defensive plays? Absolutely not. Do I think we'll be worse? How could we possibly be worse?
That's basically all you can do until the sweet release of January 3rd. That's the day the off-season begins in earnest (at least for us). Interview Garrett if you must (though I'd be surprised if he does enough to warrant it), interview Rob Ryan, interview Leslie Frazier, and hope the Jets make a quick playoff exit, because no head coaching search is complete right now without either Pettine or Schottenheimer, if not both. As discussed, I vote Schottenheimer. That would most likely give you Matt Cavanaugh as Offensive Coordinator, and Bob Sutton would seem the most likely D-Coordinator on the Jets staff (with a possible shot at getting Pettine, with play calling responsibility) Perhaps more importantly, assistant offensive line coach Mike Devlin would be very likely to jump here to be O-Line Coach. Devlin coached a very successful offensive line at the University of Toledo, and obviously the Jets have been a formidable group in the 4 years he's been there. My vote would be to keep DeCamillis here, but Ben Kotwica would be a name to watch for, as he is assistant special teams coordinator for the Jets.
Before we look at prospective free agents, who goes from our current team? Can I vote everyone? Seriously, its a roster in need of a facelift. Luckily, we have a GM who knows a thing or two about those.
Leonard Davis may be the most obvious cut. I see no way he wears a star next year. Keith Brooking needs to go. Yeah there isn't much behind him, but its clear that there's nothing ahead for him, either. Chris Gronkowski will be gone. He wouldn't have made this team if John Phillips was healthy, and a healthy Phillips next year spells the end of Gronk's stay. (Related Sidenote: I'm firmly against trading Witten, which some have suggested. It isn't quite fair to scold him for not playing his heart out, when no one else is either. Witten seems salvagable with a new head coach and a fresh start). Quickly, Barron gone, Sensabaugh gone, Ball either gone or moved back to 3rd or 4th corner if needed, Scandrick gone, and if I could plead here: PLEASE RESIGN SPEARS! If for no other reason than to afford getting rid of Olshanski. Despite his solid work this season, Roy Williams is gone, barring a very reworked contract. Barber should be cut if he can't be traded. He lacks punch at the goal-line, and it just seems to me he no longer does anything that I don't think Choice could do.
Now on to free agency! If we look at this through Schott-colored lenses, we can try to get a feel for what o-line options might be pursued. The Jets o-line group is all between 6-3 and 6-6, all over 300 pounds, but only RT Damien Woody is over 320. By this standard, Logan Mankins stays on our radar, and as long as Leonard Davis is dumped before any salary cap returns, Mankins would be the only big guard money we'd be paying. Matt Light will be a free agent also, and if he doesn't command LT money somewhere (he is 32 years old), would seem like a great RT pickup that will bring leadership and accountability to an offensive line that will be getting young very fast (like overhauled within the next 2 years fast).
Unfortunately, the DB crop in free agency this year won't be very strong. Eric Weddle of San Diego would seem to be the only starting quality safety, although he may be under the radar enough to sign without breaking the bank (he's smart and dependable, but nothing worth breaking the bank over). Dashon Goldson and Tanard Jackson will most likely be resigned by the 49ers and Bucs, respectively. While names like Johnathan Joseph, Antonio Cromartie, Champ Bailey, and Will Blackmon highlight the cornerbacks, all are likely to be resigned before their contracts expire. Bailey would be the only exception (given his age, Denver may let him go), and would be intriguing if he's willing to move to safety. At 6'0" 193 lbs., he's got the size to make it work.
ILB may have some intriguing, young options. There are a lot of solid if unspectacular young players due to be free agents this year. Time will tell if any slip through. Paul Posluzsny is interesting. Smart and instincitve but, like our own young PSU linebacker, injury prone. The Bills may decide they've seen enough empty potential. With his injury history, I can't imagine he'd get huge money thrown at him. Familiar faces Kevin Burnett and Scott Shanle are both due to be free agents, and both have had some starting seasoning thrown over the potential we saw when they were in Dallas. Other interesting names include Stewart Bradley, Justin Durant, Chad Greenway, Stephen Cooper, and Ben Leber. As noted however, a good deal of these guys will have new contracts before March rolls around.
And now we're at April. Shiny new coaching staff, high picks, and hopefully a couple new grunts in the trenches. I'll lay off going as far as the draft, if for no other reason than its the next logical post for next week.