Thomas -> RE: NFLX 2019 Newsletters and info (8/5/2019 11:02:20 PM)
FL preseason is just around the corner and although betting on it might seem like a crapshoot, there are factors that can give you an edge on the odds.
Changes in coaches and coordinators means that as many as half the teams in the league will be adjusting to new gameplans and schemes. If players need to learn a new playbook it could take them some time to get on the same page as their coaching staff but a familiar scheme can make that adjustment much easier.
In addition, knowing which teams have the best quarterback depth can ensure that even in the second-half of preseason games you're backing competent QB play.
We break down the changes in the play-callers and list the teams with best and worst quarterback depth so you can turn a profit on the turf.
COACHING CHANGES - NEW FACES IN NEW PLACES
Note: We've left out situations where a new coordinator will not be calling plays (such as Kevin O'Connell in Washington), since their impact will be less significant.
Head Coach, Kliff Kingsbury
The former Texas Tech head coach brings the Air Raid offense (or at least a variation of it) to the NFL. Expect the Cardinals to use multiple WR sets and push the tempo with No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray. This is a bit of an experiment at the NFL level however and there could be some hiccups early as players adjust to the system.
Defensive Coordinator, Vance Joseph
The former Broncos head coach will bring his aggresive 3-4 defense to Arizona which utilized a 4-3 scheme last year.
Offensive coordinator, Dirk Koetter
Koetter is returning to Atlanta where he served as OC from 2012-2014. Matt Ryan enjoyed two Pro Bowl seasons with Koetter who will look to get tight ends and running backs more involved in the passing game.
Offensive coordinator, Greg Roman
After two years as an assistant and tight ends coach at Baltimore, Roman has been promoted to OC. Unlike many of the pass-happy coordinators that have taken over the league, Roman relied on strong running games as the OC in San Francisco and Buffalo. He should be ecstatic to work with Lamar Jackson at QB.
Defensive Coordinator, Chuck Pagano
With Vic Fangio given the head coaching job in Denver, Pagano comes over from Indianapolis to call the shots on D. Chicago's defense will likely look similar to last year with perhaps more blitzing packages thrown in the mix.
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Head Coach, Zac Taylor
As teams search for the next Sean McVay they invariably land on McVay's assistants like Taylor who was the QB coach last year for the Rams. Taylor is relatively inexperienced and is just three years removed from being the OC at the University of Cincinnati which had one of the worst offenses in the FBS. He will bring a change in philosophy from the stale play-calling of Marvin Lewis but that might not necessarily be an improvement.
Defensive Coordinator, Lou Anarumo
The former defensive backs coach for the Giants will likely add more 4-3 fronts to a unit that primarily relied upon a 3-4 scheme under Lewis.
Head Coach, Freddie Kitchens
Kitchens was promoted to the Browns offensive coordinator midway through last season, and the Browns offense improved so much he was given the head coaching gig. The Cleveland offense will be familiar with his playbook.
Defensive Coordinator, Steve Wilks
Wilks was the head coach last year in Arizona before getting fired. He runs a 4-3 front similar to the one that the Browns had been running under Gregg Williams for the last two years.
Head Coach, Vic Fangio
While Denver will continue to use a 3-4 defense under their new head coach, Fangio will likely use more zone coverage from Denver's corners than in the past.
Offensive coordinator, Rich Scangarello
Scangarello will be calling plays for the first time in the NFL after two years as the quarterbacks coach in San Francisco. He will be working with the recently acquired Joe Flacco and rookie Drew Lock.
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Offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell
The Lions were criticized for having one of the most conservative offensive game plans in the league last year but that's exactly what coach Matt Patricia wants. Expect Bevell to go run-heavy in Detroit just like he did with the Seahawks and the Vikings before that.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
Head Coach, Matt Lafleur
Aaron Rodgers had Mike McCarthy as his head coach for almost his entire head coach and there will likely be kinks to iron out as the Packers offense adjusts to the new guy calling the shots.
Offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo
A Doug Pederson protege in Philadelphia, DeFilippo is seen as a QB specialist. He was canned by the Vikings last season, largely because of their struggles running the ball. He'll be reunited with Nick Foles in Jacksonville but it will take time for the rest of the Jags to adjust.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Defensive Coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo
Spagnuola comes over from the New York Giants and has plenty of experience working with Andy Reid. He will shake up KC's defense by implementing a base 4-3 defense as opposed to the 3-4 scheme they have - ineffectively - run for years.
Head Coach, Brian Flores
Flores has worked as an assistant coach in New England since 2004 and most recently held the position of linebackers coach. He will likely bring the Patriots hybrid 3-4, 4-3 defense to Miami.
Offensive coordinator, Chad O'Shea
Flores brought over the Patriots' wide receivers coach in O'Shea to run the offense. He will run a modified version of the Erhardt-Perkins offensive system for the Dolphins so expect to see more catches for the running backs and better use of slot receivers. Either way there will be a learning curve.
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Offensive coordinator, Kevin Stefanski
Technically Stefanski was already the OC in Minnesota since he took over duties with three games left to go in 2018, but this time he has an entire offseason to put his stamp on the offense. Stefanski has been on the Vikings coaching staff for more than a decade and he will likely go back to what made the Vikes successful in 2017: a run-focused scheme with loads of play action and zone runs.
NEW YORK JETS
Head Coach, Adam Gase
The offensive-minded coach served as the OC in Denver during the Peyton Manning years. He was the head coach in Miami for the last two years before getting canned at the end of the regular season. He will be tasked with developing last year's third pick overall in quarterback Sam Darnold.
Defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams
Despite running a 4-3 defense in Cleveland and St. Louis, Williams will reportedly continue using the 3-4 base defense that the Jets have ran since 2006.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Head Coach Bruce Arians
A two-time winner of the AP NFL Coach of the Year Award , Arians has come out of retirement to take over the reigns in Tampa Bay. His reliance on the passing game and his willingness to take risks downfield are best summed up in his phrase, "No risk it, no biscuit."
Offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich
Leftwich called plays for the second-half of last season for the Cardinals and is expected to do the same for the Bucs. He's a protege of Arians and will likely follow the same pass-first philosophy and playbook of his mentor.
Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles
While the biggest storyline in Tampa Bay will be how Arians and Winston fit together, Todd Bowles could have an equally massive impact on the defensive side of the ball. Bowles will implement a 3-4 defense to a Bucaneers side that has run a 4-3 scheme for decades.
Offensive coordinator, Arthur Smith
The former tight ends coach for the Titans, Smith has never been the playcaller at any level and is expected to stick to Matt LaFleur's playbook from last season.
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QUARTERBACK DEPTH CHARTS
THE FIVE BEST
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck, Jacoby Brissett, Phillip Walker, Chad Kelly
OK, Kelly is an asshat but he's still a talented thrower who was Case Keenum's backup in Denver for a few games before doing more asshat things. Brissett has plenty of regular season snaps and Walker has been patiently biding his time on the Colts practice squad for a couple years.
Los Angeles Chargers: Philip Rivers, Tyrod Taylor, Cardale Jones, Easton Stick
Taylor is one of the best backups around while Jones has thrown passes at the NFL level and should be comfortable with the Chargers offense since he's been on the practice squad for a couple of years. Stick is an ultra-athletic rookie QB that compiled a 49-3 record over four years at North Dakota State.
San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard, Wilton Speight
While Speight is an unknown, he at least had success in a Power Five conference when he was at Michigan. Mullens and Beathard are both young QBs with more than 2000 passing yards at the NFL level to their name.
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson, Paxton Lynch, Geno Smith
Both Smith and Lynch came into the league with high expectations but have fizzled despite getting plenty of NFL snaps to show their stuff. But with both of them reportedly in a dead heat to serve as Wilson's backup they should be motivated to impress during the preseason.
Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins, Case Keenum, Colt McCoy, Josh Woodrum
Even their third string QB in McCoy has plenty of experience at the NFL level, while Woodrum has been around the league for a few years and had a solid preseason with the Ravens in 2017.
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THE FIVE WORST
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson, Robert Griffin III (injured), Trace McSorley, Joe Callahan
If Griffin wasn't injured this wouldn't be so bad, but with RG3 sidelined for at least a few weeks with a broken bond in his hand this doesn't look great. McSorley was a sixth-round draft pick that has athleticism but also completed just 53.2 percent of his passes last year in college. Callahan is on his eighth team after going undrafted in 2016 and joined the team on Monday.
Dallas Cowboys: Dak Prescott, Cooper Rush, Mike White, Taryn Christion
Rush and White were two of the worst quarterbacks last preseason with Rush averaging 4.84 yards per attempt and White averaging 5.91. Christion is an undrafted free agent who was recently released by the Seahawks. He played last year at South Dakota State University so even the preseason will be a big step up in competition for him.
Detroit Lions: Matt Stafford, Tom Savage, David Fales
Both Fales and Savage are new faces in Detroit. Fales had a poor preseason last year in Miami while Savage hasn't taken an NFL snap - of the regular season or preseason variety - since 2017.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Nick Foles, Gardner Minshew, Tanner Lee, Alex McGough
Foles might not be great but he's a hell of a lot better than any of the guys behind him, none of whom have ever taken a snap in the NFL. Minshew is probably the only one most football fans have heard of, but there's a reason the rookie fell to the sixth round in this year's draft.
Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Mahomes, Chad Henne, Chase Litton, Kyle Shurmer, Jon Lovitt
Don't expect Mahomes to get as many preseason snaps as he did last year, especially with five QBs on the roster. Henne is solid backup but Litton, Shurmer and Lovitt are all 23 or younger and don't have a single NFL pass to their name.