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TheDirtyWordII

A TDWII Observation: The Panthers & Falcons Rebuilds Will Occur Side-by-Side, But…

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On Sunday two division rivals played in a mostly empty football palace in as inconsequential an early December intra-division game can be.  Earlier in the week, the Panthers fired their long-time HC, Ron Rivera who had helmed them since 2011.  On Sunday, it was reported that the Panthers would look to trade their long-time franchise QB – face of the franchise QB, Cam Newton this off-season.  He too had been in that role since 2011.  The Falcons have been in a week-to-week evaluation mode for the better part of the last month and half...most assuming the inevitable sacking of GM & HC will occur at seasons end.

The difference in the Panthers approach to rebuilding during the 2020 off-season versus what the Falcons will be embarking on already seems incredibly different at a foundational level and it starts with David Tepper, the relatively new Owner of the Panthers.

For Tepper, the process of rebuilding the Panthers requires no tear down of any of his own decisions or organizational structure.  As much as he admired Rivera…he didn’t hire him.  As much as he may have loved Newton, he didn’t draft him.  After seeing Newton’s health issues ruin yet another season, there was no history for Tepper to fall back on with regard to previous glories Newton had helped the Panthers achieve; namely 2015 when the Panthers fell short in their own SB attempt on the back of Newton’s MVP season.

Even with his injuries, Cam will still be but 31 in 2020.  And while his shoulder surgeries should cause concern for his long-term prospects…he’s at the stage of his career where QB’s are felt to be entering their prime.  And given some of the contracts QB’s have signed since the Kirk Cousins’ contract, he’s relatively cheap.  It wouldn’t be illogical for the Panthers to hope that Newton could overcome two injury plagued seasons to return the form that made him their franchise QB in the first place.  But with news leaking like it has, it would be near impossible for Newton to play his style of game if he thought ownership wasn’t bought into him 100%.  At the same time, if Kyle Allen has shown the Panthers anything…it’s that he won’t be part of the rebuild process either, at least as a starter. 

For Tepper, this is what he bought (for $2B+)…the chance to own and build a football operation as he would have it.  He's bided his time...and that time is nigh.  If there is any word to describe Tepper’s involvement at this juncture with the moves and statements that he’s made in the last week, it would be eager.  And he should be; at the moment, he’s got $42M in 2020 cap room.  That’ll increase by $15-20M when Newton is traded, and he’ll likely gain an additional $18-20M by releasing veterans like Dontari Poe and Greg Olsen.  What’s clear in Carolina is that Tepper and the Panthers will truly start with a Blank slate…ironically enough.

Blank on the other hand has an old roster.  Contracts that can’t be easily moved on from, dedicated toward a core of football players that has led the Falcons to one fewer victory than Tepper’s Panthers the last two seasons.  While there most certainly will be a jettisoning of veterans this off-season, it will simply lead to a manageable cap situation rather than a powerful one.  Blank essentially will be saddled with having find a happy and slim medium between looking to the future and preserving the past.  He’ll see the Falcons as having the QB position settled, and the axiom has long been that having that position set is half the battle in the NFL.  But at cap hits that exceed $30M for the next 3 seasons…at what cost?  It’s not that they are exorbitant as a percentage of the salary cap.  But roster flexibility is something the Falcons won’t have until at least 2021 – perhaps 2022 since the Falcons have $108M+ in 2021 cap room tied up in 5 players (Ryan, the Jones boys, Matthews and Jarrett).  Can you replenish the talent necessary and change the culture to make a push with core franchise players that whether their fault or not, have been a part of a franchise collapse two years in the making?

So even on this bleakest of afternoons, where two franchises on the cusp of ultimate glory as recently as 4 years ago battled for insignificant stakes, it feels as if the Panthers are in a much better position to enter and embrace the unknown than the Falcons.

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As a finance guy I have followed Tepper for awhile as he ran one of the most successful value oriented Hedge Funds in the word, and I think he will do an excellent job with the Panthers, especially after watching his press conference. He’s getting young PHD math guys in the front office, as the Ravens have done to great success. 
 

BUT. 
 

We have Matt Ryan and they don’t. And it’s twice as easy to build a team as it is to find a franchise QB. Turnarounds can happy quickly like 2015/2016 by getting a few key pieces in place. 
 

I really hope Black follows suit and builds an organization dedicated to analytics or the Panthers my run circles around us in the future, but in the meantime our road ahead for the next 3-4 years with Ryan much more clear. 

Edited by TSprings

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The Falcons need to fix areas, but it is not a roster devoid of talent and they already have a franchise QB. A good draft puts this team back in the playoffs, imo.

I feel the Panthers might be starting at the beginning. I expect them to move on from Newton and who knows if the next QB will be any good.

 

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7 minutes ago, TSprings said:

As a finance guy I have followed Tepper for awhile as he ran one of the most successful value oriented Hedge Funds in the word, and I think he will do an excellent job with the Panthers, especially after watching his press conference. He’s getting young PHD math guys in the front office, as the Ravens have done to great success. 
 

BUT. 
 

We have Matt Ryan and they don’t. And it’s twice as easy to build a team as it is to find a franchise QB. Turnarounds can happy quickly like 2015/2016 by getting a few key pieces in place. 
 

I really hope Black follows suit and builds an organization dedicated to analytics or the Panthers my run circles around us in the future, but in the meantime our road ahead for the next 3-4 years with Ryan much more clear. 

 

1 minute ago, BlazerSlayer said:

The Falcons need to fix areas, but it is not a roster devoid of talent and they already have a franchise QB. A good draft puts this team back in the playoffs, imo.

I feel the Panthers might be starting at the beginning. I expect them to move on from Newton and who knows if the next QB will be any good.

 

So what's interesting about the first two replies as that you both point to a 35 year-old QB as an asset.  I'm not disparaging Matt Ryan at all, but the reality is that the proverbial clock has begin to tick on his time as a 'franchise QB'.  To the extent that the Panthers also have a franchise QB on the payroll...it's interesting that the Panthers have already stated their intentions here to move on from theirs

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2 minutes ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

When you have a top 5 QB, top 2 WR, top 5 TE, top 5 Center, top 3 DT, top 5 LB it’s never a rebuild.  Just need some new voices and a clear vision/identity on both sides of the ball

A few  lockeroom leaders would not hurt either 

Top 5 QB?  Really?

Mahomes
Rodgers
Lamar
Rodgers
Brees
Watson
Wilson

...the guys above are all IMO without question preferable.  In some cases also above, I think you're seriously overrating our talent (top 5 LB?).  I think this is the really interesting divide upcoming this off-season.  Rebuild v retool.

 

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6 minutes ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Top 5 QB?  Really?

Mahomes
Rodgers
Lamar
Rodgers
Brees
Watson
Wilson

...the guys above are all IMO without question preferable.  In some cases also above, I think you're seriously overrating our talent (top 5 LB?).  I think this is the really interesting divide upcoming this off-season.  Rebuild v retool.

 

Brees isn’t, Rodgers is a wash....Watson & Lamar need to prove it over another year or two

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12 minutes ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Top 5 QB?  Really?

Mahomes
Rodgers
Lamar
Rodgers
Brees
Watson
Wilson

...the guys above are all IMO without question preferable.  In some cases also above, I think you're seriously overrating our talent (top 5 LB?).  I think this is the really interesting divide upcoming this off-season.  Rebuild v retool.

 

Any any given week Ryan can play like a top-5 QB, and over the past 5 season on average has been a top 5 QB. 

In all honestly Aaron Rodgers has been straight up slightly above average the past 3 years.

I think Drew Brees is the best QB of all time, he's also 40 (which my your logic makes him no good).

Watson is all over the place, but id trade Ryan for him because hes younger, but I'd rather have Ryan under center for the next 3 years. 

Mahomes has all the talent in the world but has shown regression to the mean.

Wilson is the MVP of the league this year IMO.

Jackson on a small sample size has been fantastic.

 

But if you put any of those guys on our team today I don't necessarily think it results in maybe more than .5 to 1 more win. Mahomes and Jackson play in fantastic systems that we don't have.

 

 

Edited by TSprings

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10 minutes ago, FalconsIn2012 said:

Brees isn’t, Rodgers is a wash....Watson & Lamar need to prove it over another year or two

Brees just put up 6 TD's against a defense that was averaging giving up 135 passing YPG.  If you can't be objective here, you're not going to do well on this thread.

Rodgers is a wash...c'mon.

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8 minutes ago, TSprings said:

Any any given week Ryan can play like a top-5 QB, and over the past 5 season on average has been a top 5 QB. 

In all honestly Aaron Rodgers has been straight up slightly above average the past 3 years.

I think Drew Brees is the best QB of all time, he's also 40 (which my your logic makes him no good).

Watson is all over the place, but id trade Ryan for him because hes younger, but I'd rather have Ryan under center for the next 3 years. 

Mahomes has all the talent in the world but has shown regression to the mean.

Wilson is the MVP of the league this year IMO.

Jackson on a small sample size has been fantastic.

 

But if you put any of those guys on our team today I don't necessarily think it results in maybe more than .5 to 1 more win. Mahomes and Jackson play in fantastic systems that we don't have.

 

 

Ryan Tannehill played like a Top 5 QB this week.  Who cares if someone can show up in 'any given week'.  Lots of guys are capable of this...

As to some of your points (Rodgers) if you think a 12:1 TD/INT ratio over 2 seasons is 'slightly above average'...salut.

The thing about Brees is that you get the 1+1 = 3 effect because of Payton; same thing with Brady and McDaniels although I think even with those guys mind-melding over 10+ seasons, you've seen a definitive decline with Brady this year.  Not so with Brees.  His per game production is excellent.   But lastly on Brees, it's clear both parties are now taking a year-to-year approach.

And I'd disagree on Watson.  I'd take him over Ryan right now...and for the next 3 too.

The issue around Ryan isn't around what he 'has' been.  It's more about what he will be.  Even your assumption about taking Ryan over the next 3 seasons, takes for granted his skill level and production will stay at currently levels where we have more examples they do not when the QB/HC - OC relationship isn't established.

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5 minutes ago, TSprings said:

Image

So 2019 has been MR2's worst year, by far.. But compared to Aaron Rodgers, you can make the case he's had a better career. 

Good luck doing it outside of the friendly confines of AFMB for such a message.

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Image

This is a very ****ing chart for Rodgers, BARLEY preforming better than what he is expected to given his pass protection.

And Ryan? doing more with WAY LESS. 

This chart may show Ryan is the best light given his worst season ever so far. 

Edited by TSprings
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30 minutes ago, TSprings said:

Any any given week Ryan can play like a top-5 QB, and over the past 5 season on average has been a top 5 QB. 

In all honestly Aaron Rodgers has been straight up slightly above average the past 3 years.

I think Drew Brees is the best QB of all time, he's also 40 (which my your logic makes him no good).

Watson is all over the place, but id trade Ryan for him because hes younger, but I'd rather have Ryan under center for the next 3 years. 

Mahomes has all the talent in the world but has shown regression to the mean.

Wilson is the MVP of the league this year IMO.

Jackson on a small sample size has been fantastic.

 

But if you put any of those guys on our team today I don't necessarily think it results in maybe more than .5 to 1 more win. Mahomes and Jackson play in fantastic systems that we don't have.

 

 

What gives a couple of those other guys a slight edge of Ice right now (besides youth) is their ability to make plays with the legs in crucial situation when a play breaks down. But as far as reading defenses, game situations, overall football knowledge, it is hard to beat Ice and he's only missed 3 games in 12 seasons with is hard to say for scrambling QBs. 

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1 minute ago, TSprings said:

Image

This is a very ****ing chart for Rodgers, BARLEY preforming better than what he is expected to given his pass protection.

And Ryan? doing more with WAS LESS. 

This chart may show Ryan is the best light given his worst season ever so far. 

This is also why I think Wilson is MVP. 

Edited by TSprings

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2 minutes ago, TSprings said:

Image

This is a very ****ing chart for Rodgers, BARLEY preforming better than what he is expected to given his pass protection.

And Ryan? doing more with WAS LESS. 

This chart may show Ryan is the best light given his worst season ever so far. 

His worst seasons aren't half bad considering the protection he has to deal with. 

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49 minutes ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Top 5 QB?  Really?

Mahomes
Rodgers
Lamar
Rodgers
Brees
Watson
Wilson

...the guys above are all IMO without question preferable.  In some cases also above, I think you're seriously overrating our talent (top 5 LB?).  I think this is the really interesting divide upcoming this off-season.  Rebuild v retool.

 

What have lamar and Watson won? Yes, lamar is playing at an mvp level, but guess what? So has Ryan in the past. Lamar has done it one season. Ryan has done it for 12 years. 

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4 minutes ago, WhenFalconsWin said:

What gives a couple of those other guys a slight edge of Ice right now (besides youth) is their ability to make plays with the legs in crucial situation when a play breaks down. But as far as reading defenses, game situations, overall football knowledge, it is hard to beat Ice and he's only missed 3 games in 12 seasons with is hard to say for scrambling QBs. 

Experience matters of course....it's the edge older players need.  So the reading defenses, game situations, overall football knowledge...that counts.

But what do we hear about OL play in the NFL...?  It's harder and harder to find guys ready to come in and play in traditional NFL offenses because most are now playing in spread attacks.

So with Ryan's traditional skillset - the idea that all we have to do is block better is easier said than done.  The talent pool/pipeline simply isn't what it once was coming from the college ranks.  So the Watson's, Jackson's, Mahomes'...they are a product of the changing nature of the NFL because of how football is being taught/played at the lower levels.

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4 minutes ago, FalconFanSince1969 said:

What have lamar and Watson won? Yes, lamar is playing at an mvp level, but guess what? So has Ryan in the past. Lamar has done it one season. Ryan has done it for 12 years. 

Lamar 1 season, 1 likely MVP.  Ryan 12 seasons - 1 MVP.  If w'ere being honest, Ryan's MVP season is more outlier than baseline, no?

When we talk about what each has won...what has Ryan won?  An NFC Championship?  That's a dividing line here in rankings?

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1 minute ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Experience matters of course....it's the edge older players need.  So the reading defenses, game situations, overall football knowledge...that counts.

But what do we hear about OL play in the NFL...?  It's harder and harder to find guys ready to come in and play in traditional NFL offenses because most are now playing in spread attacks.

So with Ryan's traditional skillset - the idea that all we have to do is block better is easier said than done.  The talent pool/pipeline simply isn't what it once was coming from the college ranks.  So the Watson's, Jackson's, Mahomes'...they are a product of the changing nature of the NFL because of how football is being taught/played at the lower levels.

I've been hearing that the nfl is changing since we drafted Mike Vick. Pocket passers are still the kings and still the ones winning championships almost two decades later. Stop trying to be trendy. 

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4 minutes ago, TheDirtyWordII said:

Experience matters of course....it's the edge older players need.  So the reading defenses, game situations, overall football knowledge...that counts.

But what do we hear about OL play in the NFL...?  It's harder and harder to find guys ready to come in and play in traditional NFL offenses because most are now playing in spread attacks.

So with Ryan's traditional skillset - the idea that all we have to do is block better is easier said than done.  The talent pool/pipeline simply isn't what it once was coming from the college ranks.  So the Watson's, Jackson's, Mahomes'...they are a product of the changing nature of the NFL because of how football is being taught/played at the lower levels.

That is a myth and the data backs it up. I can accept that you can scheme your way into better pass pro. 

But the evidence shows that Ryan is doing more despite a bad o-line despite not being a running QB. 

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Just now, FalconFanSince1969 said:

I've been hearing that the nfl is changing since we drafted Mike Vick. Pocket passers are still the kings and still the ones winning championships almost two decades later. Stop trying to be trendy. 

Russell Wilson is a pocket QB?
Tom Brady/Bill Belichick is replicatable?

You bring up Vick...first off Vick would tell you that he didn't take his job seriously when he was with us.  Secondly, we are starting to see the impact of Vick's career in today's NFL.  All of these guys grew up watching Vick and now the pipeline of these types of QB's coming into the NFL is significantly greater than when he did.

So we can be trendy, maybe think outside the box - or stick with 50-59 since 2013.  Your call.

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This is nothing but your last thread about moving on from Ryan, covered in a comparison cloak. But I'll bite. 

The Falcons, like 2012 pointed out, aren't in a full rebuild. The offense is still legit. It's extremely hindered by poor coaching/playcalling. I'd be willing to bet the offense with a modern OC can average 28 points per game with the current talent. That's not unreasonable. The defense needs a complete overhaul. They currently have four picks in the top 100. They could easily use all four on the very best defensive players at those picks and be headed in the right direction. Get a coach who can call defensive schemes that match today's football and you should improve from bottom three. 

This isn't a team devoid of talent. This is a team with no legit identity and some of the worst coaching in the NFL. Koetter is not calling plays that win in the current NFL landscape. DQ is trying to win with a static scheme that was figured out years ago without the talent that made it legendary to begin with. 

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3 minutes ago, FalconFanSince1969 said:

I've been hearing that the nfl is changing since we drafted Mike Vick. Pocket passers are still the kings and still the ones winning championships almost two decades later. Stop trying to be trendy. 

I don't think pocket passers are kings, it helps to be mobile of course. But it is way more important to be a passer than a runner. And while some running QBs chose to run in some situations pocket passers end up making similar plays through the air. 

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Just now, TheDirtyWordII said:

Russell Wilson is a pocket QB?
Tom Brady/Bill Belichick is replicatable?

You bring up Vick...first off Vick would tell you that he didn't take his job seriously when he was with us.  Secondly, we are starting to see the impact of Vick's career in today's NFL.  All of these guys grew up watching Vick and now the pipeline of these types of QB's coming into the NFL is significantly greater than when he did.

So we can be trendy, maybe think outside the box - or stick with 50-59 since 2013.  Your call.

Being trendy is the exact opposite of thinking outside the box. 

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