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TJJackson

The Complete 2020-21 Offseason Plan

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PART A : 2020 Season

A1 Get more game reps for players who will be around in 2021.  All of the following non-starters should be getting starters reps now:

--The 4 rookie linebackers (I count Pratt)

--Adeniji (at either ORT or OLG)

--Fred Johnson

--Kareem at DE

--Austin Seibert.  Figure out if he is at least as good as Fat Randy over the remainder of 2020.  If so, he's in, and FR is out

Extend WJ3, Jesse Bates, Spain, Brandon Wilson, and Lawson

PART B: Offseason before the Draft

Fire the coaching staff except Simmons.  New head coach might want to bring in his own guy, but Simmons is there for him to pick up as a quality guy at that spot

Let frequently injured players whose contracts have ended walk.  The best ability is availability

You failed to extend WJ3, Jesse Bates, Spain, Brandon Wilson, and Lawson during the season, right?  DO IT NOW.  NOW DAMNIT.

AJ - we will always love you, wherever you go.  Please come back at the end of your career and retire as a Bengal

Identify and sign a placeholder veteran QB to a 1 or 2 year contract.  This QB will start til New Guy is ready to play.  Neither of the two guys we have now is that guy

Bring in a tier 1 veteran at either the WR, TE, DE, OG, or CB spot.  My preference is OG (and if we wanna get specific, gimme Brandon Scherff) but any of the five will help.

Be on the lookout for a replacement Punter and Longsnapper.  I Love Huber and Harris but they are both FAs and both quite old

Part C: The Draft

We're not gonna draft any linebackers, going on the directive that the 4 newbie linebackers need time to develop together

We're not gonna draft a QB because we're going with the placeholder (mentioned above) and our existing backups (or a surprise UDCFA, ya never know)

Top priority is strengthening both the Offensive and Defensive Lines

We need (much) more than one top notch player so we will be looking very hard at any offers we get for our top 3 pick

Priority of needs:  Passblocking ORT, Passrushing DT, Passblocking OG,  Passrushing DE, Man/Press CB, Three down TE, K, P, LS

Part D: Postdraft

This will be an interesting year with a much lower salary cap than expected due to revenue lost due to COVID.  Teams will be dropping players they'd prefer not to drop because of this lowered salary cap.  We need to be ready to pounce on players dropped in this way that are a serious upgrade to our team

What about Mixon, TJ?

I am really unsure what to do about Mixon.  There's been injuries that have lingered far too long.  He's failed to produce at times when healthy even against weak defenses.  I love the guy's positivity and energy but at the end of the day he needs to be available and producing.  I havent seen enough of either, overall, so I dont know whether to re-sign him (which will cost more than it should given production of late) or let him go.  No need to remind me that Gios not getting any younger.  Open to ideas here.  Uhm, nothing.  He signed an extension earlier this year.....sorry, I missed that.

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Mixon signed a 4 year extension in September.

Clark Harris is a golden god, I will hear no proposals about His release. :p

Other than that works for me.

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I missed the Mixon extension, sorry, will edit that out

Harris is eligible for social security soon, Joisey........if he gets extension money he wont get his SS check

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I still miss Billy

I'd still say a 1 year placeholder veteran qb should be signed to a contract that pays him a big bonus for every game started, such that if he plays the vast majority of the year he is well overpaid

that way he is paid as a top starter if New Guy isnt ready, and otherwise collects decent play for just sitting the bench, likely towards the end of 2021 (assuming our OL doesnt put New Guy into surgery yet again)

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Oh, they’ll sign someone, but not Cam. More like the current guy. Heck, may even be the current guy. The bigger question at qb is why are we still wasting a roster spot on Finley?

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Bring Fitz back. He'd be perfect. Lapham signed off on that idea this week.

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Odd thing the other day. I did my first mock of the year using draft network’s engine. Took Sewell at 3 of course but when the second round pick came up, the top 4 guys were all OTs and the fourth was Leatherwood (who I took). If there’s any chance the real draft falls like that or even something close to it, where there are multiple red chip OL prospects mid to late first, trading down from 3 is muuuuuuuch more attractive to me.

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I see in this past weeks snap counts (https://www.cincyjungle.com/2020/12/7/22158471/bengals-week-13-snap-counts-offensive-line-michael-jordan-xavier-su-a-filo) that all 4 (I count Pratt) of the rookie linebackers are now getting at least a few snaps, which is encouraging.  I saw some paragraphs from some writers complaining that our LB corps were still no better than average, and I was like "dude, last year we could have KILLED to have been average as a LB corp.  Average is  HUGE improvement....and we're very young there"

another good sign in this very bad season is that OLG Michael Jordan was pulled, albeit far later than he should have been  I dont see the Michael Jordan experiment as succeeding, but I also dont doubt that he could be a decent backup given time.  that said, it was only a handful of snaps and those snaps should have imo gone to the Big Johnson.  So mainly the good news here is that someone, likely Turner, finally had the good sense to realize MJ isnt getting the job done.  even moreso than the other players, which is really saying something.  Best possible result from my point of view for the remainder of the season is for the Big Johnson to start at ORT, BJ Finley (lets see what he has) to start at OLG, and Adeniji to start at OLT.  If Williams can come back from injury to retake OLT, put Adeniji at OLG

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Jordan has some cringe worthy pass blocking snaps.   He also has some massive run blocking highlights especially when he pulls.  

Just can’t seem to improve in pass pro
 

 

 

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I think we need to see BJ Finney (this is the player we got from Seattle in the Dunlap trade) get some snaps at either center or guard (or both) before the season ends, so we know what we have in him

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4 hours ago, AMPHAR said:

Jordan has some cringe worthy pass blocking snaps.   He also has some massive run blocking highlights especially when he pulls.  

Just can’t seem to improve in pass pro

Sheehan had a good video breakdown here:

https://www.cincyjungle.com/2020/12/9/22162653/bengals-film-room-the-plays-that-got-michael-jordan-benched-vs-miami

Basically he has bad feet and punches like TJ’s dead gramma. This should be fixable by good coaching but...

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A portion of it might be fixable or it might not.   It very well could be repeat story from what we've seen up close with Hart and Cedric and what the league has seen the last decade.

Athletes that can't carry that same skill when ask to be reactionary/passive going against NFL rushers and rush schemes.  

Sheehan did a great break down and to me Jordan looks like he isn't confident and just guessing. 

Hart is a great athlete, but I'm doubtful any coaching is going to turn him into an Elite pass blocker.   If you have him locked up one v one and asking protection to be longer than 3 seconds...the QB is going to run or get hit.

The NFL is unforgiving and Jordan is that guy.   His problems magnify because I'm sure teams are going to run more stunts/blitzes or whatever at him.   Then you got Hart/Spain doing the same thing the other side.

Common theme under Tobin though.   Great Athlete can't translate it to pass pro.  Jonah is the only one out of several draft picks/FAs post 2010 that seem to have a chance of working out.

 

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I should emphasize that the linchpin upon which all else depends is the team ridding itself of most (perhaps all) of the coaching staff.

(you know I want the FO gone as well, but given we're stuck with them til Pumpkin dies, why bother talkin' it up?  Ii mean, we have no idea how hard it is, right?)

If Taylor sticks, any moves that otherwise would have been good ones will be dulled or negated, and another year of Burrow/Higgins will be wasted

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I think the only realistic  coaching staff changes given the history of M. Brown are none or coordinator changes that won't effect Burrow's progression.   Just my guess.    Maybe new line coach.  Maybe defensive changes.   So that's part 1.

2nd part - Atkins, Jackson, Lawson.   Defensive coaching staff changes has a major effect on these.  Atkins fan favorite, franchise best,  not producing.   Jackson people can argue how great he is or isn't but he's getting paid by some one.   Same with Lawson.  

3rd part - AJ Green.  Probably a pass or cheap deal.  His position coach was on the radio recently declaring; AJ still draws the most coverage and is big reason why Boyd gets the opportunities he does.  Also made it sound like he is still recovering from whatever took his season last year.  I dunno.  Not producing at all.

That's alot right there.   Now to dream stuff....

4th part is a dream of mine.  Bill Callahan.  Assistant Head Coach.   IMO, best impact without destroying foundation on offense.  If it takes making him Head Coach then do it but that's not realistic if any of this is.     He's unquestionable the right guy to build a offensive line and that is their greatest need. Critical o-line draft and he's the right guy for that too.  It also puts them at the table to consider Brandon Schreff or Trent Williams which lead into part 5.

5th part - Brandon Schreff.  Do it.  Doubt it happens. 

6th part - absent of any major Brandon Schreff type FA signing.  Then got to 2nd tier quantity over quality approach and hope you get some hits.   Sign multiple FA guys irrespective of position that have made rosters, logged snaps and were former top 150 draft picks.

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Coaching - Would prefer a clean slate.  I think there is a high probability that we could attract Eric Bieniemy from KC with Burrow, if not then we would have to look at Robert Saleh or Joe Brady.  There will be a number of high profile defensive coaches on the marketplace to be DC because of firings My target would be Raheem Morris.  We need to also attract a REALLY good Offensive Line Coach....my wishlist would start and end with Andrew Whitworth (i think it is HIGHLY likely that this is his last year playing).

Free agency:  First Target, a high profile ORG signing.  Three choices here Brandon Sherff, Joe Thuney, or Larry Warford.  My inclination is that we would go the Larry Warford route because he is local, has already expressed interest and is still under 30.  You resign Spain and WJ3.  You let Green, Atkins, Price, and Ross all walk.  That will SUBSTANTIALLY free up cap space.  One of the things not often mentioned is that the Bengals have a chance to really clean up in FA because the cap is likely to remain static which will put alot of teams up against it from a cap perspective and also mean that many teams simply will not be competing.  The Bengals go into the season with $41 million free before releasing Atkins, Price, and Ross.  we should be buyers.  One target I would love for them to go after is Kyle Rudolph.  Good all-round TEs are rare, MN will be in cap hell again and will likely cut him because they have the heir apparent in Irv Smith Jr.  We should also go hard after a quality Vet. WR I think it likely that one of the three Cowboys WR will be released (likely Amari Cooper if they can get around the cap implications).

Draft:  I am usually a more is better guy but if you have a chance to draft a generational talent at Tackle you do it.  I feel the same way about Sewell as I felt about Quentin Nelson when he came out and he totally re-made the Colts oline.  In the second you trade down a little with eyes on Edge, Corner, TE, and Interior Oline. BPA from those position groups.  BTW if Travis Étienne is still available at our pick in the 2nd, snap him up!

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Given how much we already have invested in our starting RB (and he just signed an extension this year) plus all the needs on both lines, I dont want to draft any running backs this year, even the talented Etienne

""Green, Atkins, Price, and Ross all walk ".  I will miss the first two terribly, as they are all time greats in my book and are good folks as well, but yes, its time to part ways with all 4 of these guys.

what do you want to happen with Bates and Lawson?

any thoughts on our three FA specialists - kicker, punter and ls?  (all FAs)

 

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11 hours ago, TJJackson said:

Given how much we already have invested in our starting RB (and he just signed an extension this year) plus all the needs on both lines, I dont want to draft any running backs this year, even the talented Etienne

""Green, Atkins, Price, and Ross all walk ".  I will miss the first two terribly, as they are all time greats in my book and are good folks as well, but yes, its time to part ways with all 4 of these guys.

what do you want to happen with Bates and Lawson?

any thoughts on our three FA specialists - kicker, punter and ls?  (all FAs)

 

Bates will be kept either with a long term deal or with the franchise tag.  Lawson is harder....I guess it depends on asking price.

A swiss army knife like Etienne in the hands Joe Burrow would be something spectacular regardless of the state of the RB room.....

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I hope and pray the tag isn't used on Bates (or any one), as the only result of such an action seems to be that a lot of money is paid for a player who no longer wishes to be here and departs the next year regardless

it seems to create considerable ill will despite the many millions the tagged player earns

they should be working to extend Bates, WJ3, and Lawson right this very moment as I see it

oh, one more thing my draft-focused friend..........I personally see this years draft class as one of the better ones in Bengals history based on what they've done so far this year.  Thoughts?

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Bates is under contract for next year.   That targets him as a typical summer extension guy.

Lawson gets pressure period.    William Jackson is a high level CB.    I just don't see how you improve the overall team losing any of these 3.   You'll have to spend a high draft pick or a bunch of cap room to replace.

AJ Green and Atkins appear to be gone.  Sad, but it's time.   Atkins will clear 12m in cap.  That has to go for extensions.  AJ clears 18m but that's probably factored into next year's cap numbers anyway.

 

 

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Margus Hunt deserves a reserve role player extension.   He's never lived down the Zimmer comparison to Watt during that one hard knocks year.    But he is consistently moving line man backwards.

I think you can move him up and down that line to rest starters and not see a drop off in terms of eating blocks.     As long as you are not counting on him to produce stats, you'll be happy with him.

 

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