Holiday Wish List for Every NFL Team
December 23, 2013 in NFL Observations
By Guest Writer Sam Pericolo:
Arizona Cardinals – A Change of Division
The Arizona Cardinals are actually a decent football team. They have a very good defense and some pieces on offense that they can build around, most notably wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. However, they have the unfortunate duty of sharing a division with the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. Both of these teams are young and already dominant. Barring any major injuries, these two teams should be atop the division most seasons. The Cardinals are a good team, but not on the level of the Seahawks and Niners. If they could switch divisions to, say the NFC East, they could be a playoff team.
Atlanta Falcons – A very persuasive front office to pry Tony Gonzalez back for another year
When healthy, the Falcons offense is one of the best in football. Matt Ryan. Julio Jones. Roddy White. Tony Gonzalez. Stephen Jackson. However, they have not been healthy at all and teams have been able to focus on Gonzalez and limit his production. If the Falcons can convince Gonzalez to play another year, he will have a typical Tony G season and produce for a playoff team. If they improve the defense (drastically), he could even have a shot at a ring.
Baltimore Ravens – A time machine to go back, not make Flacco the highest paid player in NFL history, and build a better all-around team
Since Flacco demanded to be the highest paid player in the league, the Ravens had to let most of their unrestricted free agents walk and had to trade Flacco’s number one receiver (Anquan Boldin) to the Niners. If they could do it over, would they give Flacco so much money? He is by no means worth it. Personally, I would not want a player who is more concerned with being the highest paid player in the league than building a well-rounded team on my team!
Buffalo Bills – A healthy backfield
I am not a big CJ Spiller fan. However, when he hits the open field, he is impossible to catch. Fred Jackson also continues to produce when he is healthy. If these guys are healthy, it will open up a lot for the Bills’ passing attack and let EJ Manuel develop as a passer in the league.
Carolina Panthers – A “haters gonna hate” shirt after Cam Newton actually panned out and many, including myself, were wrong
Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 7:55 PM. Samuel Joseph Pericolo admits to being wrong. It does not happen often but I admit it when I am. If I remember correctly, I said the Panthers should draft AJ Green first overall. Since nobody was there to throw to Green, they would again have the first pick and select Andrew Luck. While that would be an insane combination, Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly is not too bad itself. Newton has been a very good player and, while inconsistent at times, has proven he can play with the league’s best.
Chicago Bears – A contract offer for Cutler from another team that the Bears can’t top
The Bears do not want to bring Cutler back. Why would they? However, it would make them feel better if another team (Jacksonville) offers Cutler a massive contract that the Bears could not match.
Cincinnati Bengals – Consistency from Andy Dalton
I do believe Dalton can be a solid starter in the league. He will never be among the elite; however, if Joe Flacco can win a Super Bowl, so can Dalton. He just needs to be more consistent. He can throw five touchdowns one week, and then turn the ball over four times and throw no touchdowns the next week. (He actually did that this year.) I believe Gio Bernard, if they increase his touches, will help this offense become more consistent.
Cleveland Browns – A running back
Actually, they need a quarterback, too. They most certainly will not draft a running back in the first round. That did not work out so well the last time they did it. That is why running back is on the wish list. There are quarterbacks available in the upcoming draft. Maybe they take a flyer on Cutler. As long as Josh Gordon is at wide receiver it does not matter who is throwing him the ball. They, however, need someone who can carry the workload in the backfield.
Dallas Cowboys – Rob Ryan back in Dallas
Good idea, Jerry Jones. Fire your best coach in Rob Ryan instead of the head coach, who is the real problem. Rob Ryan went from Dallas to New Orleans and has turned the Saints’ defense around. Dallas has a historically bad defense.
Denver Broncos – More balance on offense
The Broncos need to have more balance. Peyton Manning is in love with his stats and because of this, they throw the ball far more than they should. With less than two minutes to go and up by a sizeable amount, they have thrown the ball. Manning was complaining after the loss to the Chargers saying they ran 95 plays on Sunday. First of all, it was 91, get it right, Peyton. Second, you could very easily run the ball more to keep him rested. Nope, that would take away from Peyton’s beloved yards and touchdowns.
When Calvin is not available to catch a pass, the Lions have nobody to catch the ball. If they can get a solid number two receiver, he will be wide open as Calvin draws the coverage, or he can pull coverage away from Calvin.
Green Bay Packers – Eddie Lacy to not flame out like Trent Richardson did
Lacy has had a very good rookie year. He has had a better rookie year than Richardson did last year. If he can avoid a sophomore slump, the Packers, with their already potent passing game, will finally have a balanced offense.
Houston Texans – A quarterback…but not one from the 2014 draft class
There are some good quarterbacks in the 2014 draft class. However, I am not sure I am ready to reach and pick one with the first overall pick due to the need. Next year the quarterbacks will be even better. Stick with Schuab and Keenum for another year. Maybe draft a quarterback later in the 2014 draft. Imagine if the Texans draft Clowney and add him to a defensive line with JJ Watt. That is a scary thought for opposing quarterbacks.
Indianapolis Colts – Their first round pick back from the Browns
Just a bad, bad trade. I understand where they were coming from. Their pick would be in the 20s and Richardson was a third overall pick. However, the change of scenery did nothing for Trent. The Colts would love to have this pick back and stick with Donald Brown at running back for now. After all, he has been better than Richardson.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Von Miller’s drug collector
The Jags need a lot. A quarterback is at the top of the list. Another need is Justin Blackmon to stay on the field. If he had Von Miller’s drug collector, he could buy his way out of a failed test and stay on the field. He is an absolute stud and can seriously help any offense. (Hey, Belichick…take a shot! He can’t cost too much.)
Kansas City Chiefs – A passing attack
Jamaal Charles is the Chiefs leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns. He is a running back. They need a better passing attack. Alex Smith is a very good game manager but not a real offensive threat. Dwayne Bowe, who just signed a massive deal to stay in Kansas City, has been a non-factor. They need to change this somehow if they want to win in the NFL. As good as their defense and running game is, you need a passing game to win in this day and age.
Miami Dolphins – A preschool teacher who tells you bullying isn’t nice
It is mean to bully. We al have been told this since we were toddlers. Somebody forgot to tell Richie Incognito that it is not nice to bully. Hey, at least he picked on someone his own size.
The Vikings may explore the option of trading Peterson in the offseason. He will not come cheap. The tough part will be finding a trade partner who has what they Vikings want, and are willing to part with it. The Redskins gave up two firsts and a second to swap firsts with the Rams so they could draft Robert Griffin III. While quarterbacks are more important than running backs, Peterson is the best there is in the league. His price will be higher than this. Is there somebody willing to pay it? Who knows, but it makes for a fun story.
New England Patriots – Ray Lewis and his deer antler spray
Think Ray Lewis could help the Patriots out? They have had injury after injury that has seriously affected the team. Jerod Mayo. Vince Wilfork. Rob Gronkowski. Tommy Kelly. Aqib Talib. They were a top ten defense when healthy and a top two offense with Gronk. If these guys were not on the IR, Lewis and his deer antler spray could make this team healthy again and put the Patriots back in the Super Bowl this year.
New Orleans Saints – The ability to play outside the SuperDome
It is amazing to see a team so bad away from home. Not only can they not play outside, they even have trouble in other domes! They lost to the Rams last week and had trouble with the Falcons earlier in the year. They are a good team, but will never win anything if they cannot win on the road (specifically Seattle.)
New York Giants – The horseshoe that was up Eli’s ass in the 2011 Super Bowl
Giants fans, be honest, Eli is not elite. And it was the defense that won the Super Bowls for the Giants, not Eli. If they could find that luck again, they could be a decent team. Not great, but decent. I for one thoroughly enjoy the fact that Eli leads the league in interceptions.
New York Jets – Consistency
The Jets alternated the outcome of their game each week for the first 11 weeks. No back-to-back wins. No back-to-back loses. They beat the Patriots, then get smoked by the Bengals. They beat the Saints, then lose to the Bills. This team is so messed up and they need a new coach. I do not understand their infatuation with Rex Ryan.
Oakland Raiders – Johnny Football
Bring some excitement to Oakland, eh? (Yes, I know Oakland is not Canada.)
Philadelphia Eagles – Winning more than just the offseason
The Eagles have had some killer offseasons recently. They have added great talent or an exciting new coach. While Chip Kelly has done a good job with a four win team from 2012, they still need to take the next step to win a championship.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Youth
The Steelers defense used to be full of studs. Now, they are all old. Troy Polamalu is 32, Ike Taylor is 33, and Ryan Clark is 34. The need to rebuild the defense to get back to the winning ways.
Saint Louis Rams – Tavon Austin to develop
Austin when he hits open field is possibly already the best in the league. That is based off just speed, however. If he can become a bigger part of the receiving game, he will be one of the most dynamic players in the league. He can return kicks, bring end-arounds for touchdowns, he just needs to work on his drops. He is 12th in the league with seven drops. However, his 69 targets are by far the fewest of any wide receiver on the list. Fix this and he is a game changer. Actually, he already is a game changer; he just becomes more dangerous in all aspects of the game.
It is starting to look like last year was just a bad year for Rivers. He is still a very good quarterback. A big part of his success is Danny Woodhead. Pass catching backs can really transform an offense, which is why I believe the Bengals need to use Gio Bernard more. The Chargers can hopefully get this elite play out of Rivers for a few more years and, while they are in a tough division, can still be at the very least a thorn in the side of the Broncos and Chiefs.
San Francisco 49ers – Marcus Lattimore to bounce back from injury
Lattimore was a stud at South Carolina. He could have been a first round pick if he did not have two bad knees. Give Lattimore some carries as Gore’s backup until Gore is no longer productive, and then turn the running back duties over to Lattimore.
Seattle Seahawks – DARE instructors
Just like we were told its mean to bully, we were told drugs are bad. The Seahawks cannot comprehend such a concept. They constantly have players getting suspended for performance enhancing drugs. The latest, Brandon Browner, plans to sue the NFL if the ban is not lifted.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – A coach
At least I think that is what they need. Schiano has not been very good in Tampa Bay. They have decent talent. So yes, I guess it is the coach that needs to be changed. A better quarterback would help and Doug Martin of last year would not be bad, but a new coach could turn this team around.
Tennessee Titans – Chris Johnson of 2009
They need CJ2K back. Johnson is very inconsistent and actually having his worst year as a professional, rushing for under four yards per carry. When you have an elite guy like Johnson (or the possibility at elite), you need them to perform at what you know they can do. 3.7 yards per carry and five touchdowns is not that.
Washington Redskins – An offensive line
It is so tough to see RG3 on the ground as much as he is. I know he is a running quarterback; however, he does not get any time even when he is just in the pocket, forcing him to run. Unfortunately, they do not have any first round picks to fix this problem.