5 Things I See Going Down in 2010
1- Henne becoming a solid QB
Without a doubt Henne had a very impressive season as a "rookie". However, he is not an extremely solid Qb by any stretch of the imagination just yet. He´s accuracy is so so, he has to work a lot on those short passes - both with accuracy and touch-, force the ball into tight windows a little bit less and work on the overall mental aspect of the game. Like knowing when to ask for that extremely valuable 4th time out. However, in my opinion, the thing that will make him or break him in the long run will be leadership. He absolutely needs to become more vocal. Forgive me but there is no such thing as a silent leader. Not in football anyways. While its true that this season he was merely a rookie, next season the team wil be depending on him, both on the field and off of it. After all, the NFL is a quarterbacks league. Everyday of the week and twice on Sunday, right Matty? =0
2- The start of a Sanchez vs Henne rivalry
Sanchez had a strange season. He started off really well and then absolutely failed. Till the end of the season that is. When the playoffs came he was asked to do exactly what Flacco was asked to do the year before; throw two or three clutch passes and not make mistakes. Well, he did just that. Specifically against Indy he had a nice game. Having the poise, accuracy and arm to make that long throw to Edwards that put them ahead in the game. He had another couple of nice throws too. But what really impressed me was the poise he had in a such a vital game. As a rookie. Playing in front of the New York media machine. Just like Henne, he will work and finally get off the map all those little mistakes that take a big toll on a first year QB. If this year´s MNF game agains the Jets in Miami was epic, wait till next year when these two young QBs are ready to rumble like grown men.
3- Channing Crowder being a playmaker
All of us know Channing is not a playmaker. Plain and simple. Sure, he plays the run nicely and has a tight grip on the play calling and overall dicsipline of the defense. But he is still not a playmaker.
However, this past preseason I really saw something out of Channing that got me really excited. He was going after the quarterback from the ILB postion a whole bunch, getting pressures, sacks and batting passes down. Then the season came and those glimpses dissapeared. The thing, though, is that it might have had more to do with Pasqualoni´s conservative play calling than anything else.
This brings us to the arrival of Mike Nolan. Nolan loves bringing the heat (insert Miami pro basketball team joke) from every single position on the field. I think this will not only benefit Channing on his ability to get to the QB, but it will also add to his interception numbers.
You could also add to this that there is a 99% chance that Channing will be playing with a much more talented companion at ILB that on past years. Thus giving him more of a chance to take risks every now and then.
4- More love for Wilson because of aclimating and blitzing
I dont really get what the story on Wilson is. After all the guy won a Super Bowl with the Giants playing the same position he played last season with the Dolphins. Sure, later on came his stint with the Raiders where he played SS and might have lost the grip on the FS position. Either because of that or because Tom Cable punched the crap out of him on a meeting.
However, whatever the case it might be, Wilson flat out stunk last year.
I do see some reasons why he could have a much better season in 2010.
First, he wil have a whole year of experience with this team under his belt and playing in his natural position. Then, Nolan will probably find a way to put much more pressure on the QB that last year, thus making Wilson´s job a bit easier. And finally, both Sean Smith and Vontae Davis will have a better grip on the corner position that they did as rookies, which should provide Wilson with a little bit less open space to cover.
Not likely, but Wilson could finally come around in 10´. After all he is making a huge amount of money.
5-- A new star on our backfield-
Both Ronnie and Ricky are magnificent runners. However, they are power runners. Both of them go extremely hard up the middle and gain solid chunks of yards every time they carry the ball. But in my opinion, neither Ricky -because of age- or Ronnie are the kind of running backs that will get down the field consistently enough. In less words, without the wildcat, neither Ronnie, much less Ricky are home run hitters. Not to mention Hilliard isnt the answer or Ronnie´s ability to come back from another season ending injury as big question marks?
The answer could be waiting for us at #12 in a guy named CJ Spiller.
This guy is basically the next Chris Johnson and will 99% be there when we pick in the first round.
I agree we have more pressing needs than RB, like ILB and WR. However, we are not going to go with a problem child like Dez Bryant and I believe this FO will wait till the second round to get their ILB. Maybe in Brandon Spikes or someone else. I just dont see McClain as being the next Patrick Willis. Plus, I think there is a reason why in the last decade there have only been 4 ILBs selected in the first round.
All of us our looking for our big offensive threat on a #1 receiver, but it wouldnt surprise me if we found that on CJ Spiller.