Patriots' Priorities for the 2023 Season

bsj

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Ok, the season is mercifully over. Such a painful season to watch on multiple levels. That being said, I don't think we are as far from being competitive playoff team as we looked in our worst moments.

Here are my priorities for 2023. Not necessarily in order.

1- Rebuild the coaching staff from the ground up. In particular the obvious of offensive coordinator and special teams coach. Both units were dreadful this season. Can't do anything else without starting there. And I am not sure BoB is necessarily the answer. I would love to see a fresh face with a new more modern offense calling the plays. But regardless, we need a major change as most know.
2- Continue to fortify the offensive line. Mac needs time.
3- We MUST give this kid a legit #1 stud WR. It will take the pressure of him and make every other receiver better. Nearly every other high level young QB in recent seasons has had a legit #1 guy to help him grow. Mac needs his.
4- Need to draft or sign a McCourty replacement. Love DMC but age is undefeated and he does appear to met the end of the line.
5- Draft a punter. I was out on Bailey even before the latest drama. Now, done deal. We need a leg for punting and kicking off again.

This is just a start, but I do believe these are all important as the franchise continues to, hopefully, build back towards contender status.
 

BaseballJones

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Yes, must do something about the coaching staff.

As far as on-field improvements, the OL is priority #1. Then just keep adding to the secondary and LB corps.

A true WR1 would be nice but the offense can work without that, I think.

Punter/kicker needs to be addressed.
 

YTF

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I've always been a BB guy and I'm not convinced that Jones is the QB of the future, but I feel that the team did itself and Jones a great disservice with regards to the OC position. I seriously feel that Jone's potential as an NFL QB and his ability to be the team's on field, offensive leader is no more clear (possibly less clear) than it was at the beginning of the season and that's an issue heading into the draft and the coming season.
 

Caspir

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Definitely an extreme viewpoint that is based mostly on emotion, but I’m all done with “In Bill we trust,” and ready for, “Justify your role with this organization,” at this point. I’m not willing to limp through a decade of mediocrity so he can get the wins record, and anyone not questioning his ability to build a team and, most importantly, a competent coaching staff, has blinders on.

Can’t wait to draft the right guard of the future this year though.
 

tims4wins

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Definitely an extreme viewpoint that is based mostly on emotion, but I’m all done with “In Bill we trust,” and ready for, “Justify your role with this organization,” at this point. I’m not willing to limp through a decade of mediocrity so he can get the wins record, and anyone not questioning his ability to build a team and, most importantly, a competent coaching staff, has blinders on.

Can’t wait to draft the right guard of the future this year though.
Same here. In Bill We Trusted, and he said blame him if there were issues with the offensive coaching. There were. There were also a ton of issues with ST. He earned our trust time and again for 20 years. He has now lost it. As the saying goes about building your reputation, it can take a long time to build it up but you can lose it in an instant. I still want Bill running the show but there needs to be more scrutiny and justification on everything.
 

bsj

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Yes, must do something about the coaching staff.

As far as on-field improvements, the OL is priority #1. Then just keep adding to the secondary and LB corps.

A true WR1 would be nice but the offense can work without that, I think.

Punter/kicker needs to be addressed.
I feel like the idea of the Patriots offense being a high level one without an elite WR has become a harder sell without Brady and McDaniels. I suppose a truly elite OL may help get there, but I do think the time has come to give him a binkie. Tough WR year in free agency though.
 

Dotrat

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Ok, the season is mercifully over. Such a painful season to watch on multiple levels. That being said, I don't think we are as far from being competitive playoff team as we looked in our worst moments.

Here are my priorities for 2023. Not necessarily in order.

1- Rebuild the coaching staff from the ground up. In particular the obvious of offensive coordinator and special teams coach. Both units were dreadful this season. Can't do anything else without starting there. And I am not sure BoB is necessarily the answer. I would love to see a fresh face with a new more modern offense calling the plays. But regardless, we need a major change as most know.
2- Continue to fortify the offensive line. Mac needs time.
3- We MUST give this kid a legit #1 stud WR. It will take the pressure of him and make every other receiver better. Nearly every other high level young QB in recent seasons has had a legit #1 guy to help him grow. Mac needs his.
4- Need to draft or sign a McCourty replacement. Love DMC but age is undefeated and he does appear to met the end of the line.
5- Draft a punter. I was out on Bailey even before the latest drama. Now, done deal. We need a leg for punting and kicking off again.

This is just a start, but I do believe these are all important as the franchise continues to, hopefully, build back towards contender status.
Can't say it better--except maybe add some more young speed at LB.
 

8slim

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I feel like the idea of the Patriots offense being a high level one without an elite WR has become a harder sell without Brady and McDaniels. I suppose a truly elite OL may help get there, but I do think the time has come to give him a binkie. Tough WR year in free agency though.
Agree. A team may not need a dynamic #1 WR when it has Brady (although he did have one of those most years post 2006), but anyone merely human needs one. We have a whole bunch of #3s who get #2-type numbers because we don’t have a #1.
 

Jungleland

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1) Coaching staff. Completely overhaul offense and special teams there. Name Mayo DC.
2) Offensive line. Brown is probably done here, Wynn was an epic bust, Andrews is nearer the end than not. Hopefully Strange's September is closer to what we can expect going forward, but they need 2 if not 3 starters here. Most costly unit on the team in terms of impact on results.
3) Re-sign Jon Jones and figure out the Jack Jones situation. IMO they have enough talent at corner when healthy, a true lockdown 1 would be great but is a luxury for 2023.
4) Re-sign Jakobi Meyers. The FA WR class is HORRIBLE. Jakobi is easily the best or second best and has improved every year. IMO they have enough talent at WR when healthy to compete and while we've seen what a true stud X receiver can do for a young QB, I think it also falls into the luxury for 2023 category unless the right one is there at 15/16.
5) Linebacker. Feels like the place on the defense where they're the furthest from elite.
6) QB competition. Mac isn't Zach Wilson level awful, but he doesn't look close to a difference maker. I think replacing him feels more like a 2024 move than 2023, but my confidence that he should be the starter into a second contract is extremely low.

Ultimately, I think better coaching and better o-line play and this team is getting ready to play Jacksonville or LAC. Without Jones taking a massive step forward they're unlikely to join the KC/BUF/CIN tier next year, but with the returning roster and significant cap space they should be an upper-middle tier AFC team if they don't completely blow the draft and coaching staff.
 

ZMart100

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I'm pretty much fine with the offensive coaching staff. Maybe replace Troy Brown. The offense got better as the year went on, talent was the problem. ST coaching needs upgrading.

Needs in rough order: OT, OT, C, S, WR, CB, LB

Roll the dice on another mid-late round QB.

I don't like the idea of putting all the eggs into one WR basket over a 17 game season, not that there are many that look available.
 

Salem's Lot

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They need actual talent. Both on the field, and on the coaching staff. Right now they have very little of it. Literally everyone that works for Bill Belichick right now is a JAG.
 

Ferm Sheller

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They need a LT, but I'd also like them to have the Steelers or any decent publicly available mock draft to pick them a WR in the draft.
 

OurF'ingCity

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Ok, the season is mercifully over. Such a painful season to watch on multiple levels. That being said, I don't think we are as far from being competitive playoff team as we looked in our worst moments.

Here are my priorities for 2023. Not necessarily in order.

1- Rebuild the coaching staff from the ground up. In particular the obvious of offensive coordinator and special teams coach. Both units were dreadful this season. Can't do anything else without starting there. And I am not sure BoB is necessarily the answer. I would love to see a fresh face with a new more modern offense calling the plays. But regardless, we need a major change as most know.
2- Continue to fortify the offensive line. Mac needs time.
3- We MUST give this kid a legit #1 stud WR. It will take the pressure of him and make every other receiver better. Nearly every other high level young QB in recent seasons has had a legit #1 guy to help him grow. Mac needs his.
4- Need to draft or sign a McCourty replacement. Love DMC but age is undefeated and he does appear to met the end of the line.
5- Draft a punter. I was out on Bailey even before the latest drama. Now, done deal. We need a leg for punting and kicking off again.

This is just a start, but I do believe these are all important as the franchise continues to, hopefully, build back towards contender status.
Hard to say it much better than this.

One thing I’ve realized in the post-Brady era is that defense can be coached, but offense in today’s NFL is really all about talent. Patricia is bad but I don’t think the offense would have been good this year under any coordinator or coach. You need high-end offensive talent to compete in the NFL - ideally at the QB position, but, if not, then you need a strong pass-blocking OL and 1 or 2 great receivers. They don’t have either.
 

Jinhocho

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I think they need at least one offensive tackle, with onwenu able to slide out on the right. Finding two tackles in an off season without throwing around massive amounts of money or draft capital seems unlikely.

I'm not sure I agree with people that they need a true number one receiver. If Mac is going to be the quarterback next year, I think the team will really benefit with two things, first, a nice pass sketching running back and second a very good slot receiver. I do not know if they can get rid of Smith and or Henry, but Smith looks harder to get rid of with very little upside for the team and Henry looks okay but still has some value. Tight end Definitely needs to be upgraded.

On defense they can definitely use help at safety and inside linebacker. I would kick the tires on bringing back Johnathan Jones.

I would really like to see an upgrade at the punter position. Bailey makes too much money to suck this badly.

I would also like to see perhaps sliding judge back to special teams. I'm ambivalent about the whole. Patricia as offensive coordinator thing. I saw enough this year to think they might bring him back in that position, but if so they definitely need a really good offensive line coach. If they are going to bring in an offensive coordinator, then Patricia can go back to offensive line and also do his Ernie Adams stuff.

Warts and all with this team, they were still in the running until the 4th quarter of the final game. If not for the bone-headed raiders game ending and some really costly fumbles They would have been right back at 10 and 7. It is not time to make drastic changes, but they are really going to have to make a decision about quarterback after next year. Someone said in the Mac Jones thread that you either take no risks and he has a high completion percentage and there is very little in the way of touchdowns or they push it down the field and there are multiple picks. Next year is a huge year for him and this team because it's really hard to find a top 12 quarterback in this league. Looks a lot less bright than it did after last year, regardless of who the coordinator is.
 

j44thor

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It is a shame DeVante Parker is made of glass because he gives the WR group a dimension they don't otherwise have as a strong point of attack downfield receiver but the evidence is clear that he can't be counted on for more than a handful of games over a season. Would be a lot easier to rebuild the WR group if he could be counted on.
 

jmcc5400

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Posting before I read the thoughts of others:

1. New Special teams coach. New kicker. New punter (assuming Bailey is gone). Folk has been fine enough, but we need a kicker who connect from 55 and out a kickoff into the end zone.

2. New offensive coordinator.

3. Fix O-line.

I’m not thrilled with Mac, but I’d see what we have if we can fix the OC/line issues.
 

DJnVa

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Fix the things we KNOW are issues—OL, coaching—before moving to things that may be issues.
 

SMU_Sox

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They need actual talent. Both on the field, and on the coaching staff. Right now they have very little of it. Literally everyone that works for Bill Belichick right now is a JAG.
After going 8-9 with a top 5 or so defense? Come on.

1) Offensive coaching staff overhaul. Bring in BOB or someone competent and take a hard look at the WR and TEs coaches as spacing was a clusterfuck this year.
2) Special teams overhaul. Ditch Raleigh Webb and coaching wise Cam Achord has been bad. Might need a new kick off person and punter.
3) Massive injection of starting caliber OTs as well as viable backups on the interior and OT.
4) number one outside corner with size.
5) DMC replacement if he retires
6) I think Mac can actually legit be ok to good. He’s hit a lot of deep throws this year but he’s had issues just executing the basic offense. It’s hard to know what we have in him. Take a long hard look at Anthony Richardson
7) Re-sign Meyers.
 

Bowser

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In addition to what's been mentioned, it'd be great if Tyquan Thornton, Marcus Jones, Jack Jones, Pierre Strong, and Cole Strange each took a big step forward. And if maybe one of Chasen Hines or Andrew Stueber turned into a useful player.
 

BaseballJones

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They need actual talent. Both on the field, and on the coaching staff. Right now they have very little of it. Literally everyone that works for Bill Belichick right now is a JAG.
This is unnecessary hyperbole. They have a lot of guys who aren't JAGs. Come on.
 

Salem's Lot

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This is unnecessary hyperbole. They have a lot of guys who aren't JAGs. Come on.
Like who? Other than maybe Matt Judon, who on this roster would start for the Buffalo Bills? What coaches under Belichick would Buffalo rather have than what they already have on staff? This entire organization is replaceable plugs.
 

BaseballJones

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Like who? Other than maybe Matt Judon, who on this roster would start for the Buffalo Bills? What coaches under Belichick would Buffalo rather have than what they already have on staff? This entire organization is replaceable plugs.
Wait a minute. You first said everyone in this organization that works for Belichick is a JAG. Now you're asking which players would start on one of the best teams in the league?

Those are two VERY different things.

I mean, I've been accused of moving the goalposts before, but I've never moved them like this.
 

Deathofthebambino

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The O Line and coaching staff are the 2 biggest issues. They need a LT, bad.

But after that, I don't see Bill going and getting a #1 WR, and I don't think I see him throwing 4/72mil at Jakobi either (and if folks don't think it's going to take that much, you're crazy).

He's going to have to find WR help, but I'm truly shocked that nobody is pointing at our TE's as a problem. Henry makes a couple of good plays a game, but the dude is a negative value blocker. If you're an unathletic big tight end in today's NFL, you better be a steamroller in the blocking game. He's neither. And Jonnu is just a waste of a roster spot at this point, and he can't block either.

Agholor needs to go, Damien Harris is gone, and while Stevenson has made strides in the passing game, he can't do it all. They need a third down, change of pace back, a la Woodhead, Vereen, White, etc.

Bottom line, if you don't fix the offensive line, you're fucked. But even if you fix the offensive line, we have almost nobody that can get open quickly on the roster. We don't have WR's that beat press coverage, we don't have tight ends that get open unless they get schemed open, and we don't have time to let things open up for a running back to get open, and we have nobody who gets open from the slot.

I'm way less worried about replacing DMC (he's done, BTW), or finding secondary help. BB is a wizard at finding guys at LB and in the defensive backfield, and the D Line is probably the best unit on the team.

Every draft pick should be on offense.
 

Bowhemian

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Depth all around. Not just football players, but actual good football players. Injuries absolutely killed this team this season, and lack of quality depth hurt them big time. I realize that the salary cap can be difficult, but this roster as was constructed was not good enough.
 

rodderick

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I've been concerned with their talent level at the front seven and secondary for years and they just keep pumping out top of the league defenses, so I wouldn't really invest much capital on that side of the ball, fully trust Bill and the staff to concoct something together there. Now, on offense they need a real OC, a real QB coach, at least one really talented receiver and one or two complimentary pieces (assuming everyone set to leave leaves), one TE and two tackles. That's the minimum necessary to have a good offense next year. Go grab those guys.
 

Salem's Lot

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Wait a minute. You first said everyone in this organization that works for Belichick is a JAG. Now you're asking which players would start on one of the best teams in the league?

Those are two VERY different things.

I mean, I've been accused of moving the goalposts before, but I've never moved them like this.
Ok so instead of Buffalo, insert KC, or Cincinnati, or one of the two or three teams in the NFC that actually have a shot.

Bottom line is this organization is in the worst possible spot, they have no elite talent, and yet they’re not bad enough to be in the position to draft elite talent.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Ok so instead of Buffalo, insert KC, or Cincinnati, or one of the two or three teams in the NFC that actually have a shot.

Bottom line is this organization is in the worst possible spot, they have no elite talent, and yet they’re not bad enough to be in the position to draft elite talent.
This isn’t the NBA.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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5- Draft a punter. I was out on Bailey even before the latest drama. Now, done deal. We need a leg for punting and kicking off again.
Bailey is very very expensive to cut. I think they need a kicker who can kick off and let Jake focus on punting.
 

DJnVa

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We need to have another good draft.

Right now we're at #15, can slide up to #14 if the Commanders win. The Lions/Packers game will knock someone to 8-9 as well.
 

BaseballJones

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Wait a minute. You first said everyone in this organization that works for Belichick is a JAG. Now you're asking which players would start on one of the best teams in the league?

Those are two VERY different things.

I mean, I've been accused of moving the goalposts before, but I've never moved them like this.
But to answer the original point, these guys aren't JAGs at all, off the top of my head:

Rhamondre, D Harris, Henry (he's a legit starting TE in the league), Onwenu, Andrews, Judon, Barmore, Guy, Godchaux, Wise (huge improvement this year), Dugger, Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones (elite return man), Slater.

Those guys, right off the top of my head, are either good or very good or, in some cases, excellent.
 

BaseballJones

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So here's the thing....

They went 8-9 with a positive point differential. A team bereft of talent, with crappy coaching, doesn't finish 8-9 with a positive point differential.

So if they have such poor talent, they must have AMAZING coaches in order to get a team of bums to 8-9 with a positive point differential. Or if their coaching was terrible, they must have better talent than people are giving them credit for.

Teams with little talent and bad coaching end up winning 3-4 games, not 8. People are going to have to make up their minds on this.
 

ragnarok725

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I'm a little surprised that there's so little appetite for a QB reset.

I know the rest of the offense had limitations and the coaching wasn't good. But even taking all that into account, I've seen enough from Mac. I think his absolute ceiling is a dead average QB, and that's not going to be good enough to build a regular contender. His physical talent is well below average and his mental skills took a step back. They need higher upside competition in camp, ideally via another high draft pick. And I'd keep investing that draft capital every 2-3 years until they hit.

This isn't a Brady entitlement post. I just think it's nearly impossible to build a team that's regularly competitive with anything other than a top 5-10 guy at QB. They're going to be in the wilderness until they find it.
 

ragnarok725

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So here's the thing....

They went 8-9 with a positive point differential. A team bereft of talent, with crappy coaching, doesn't finish 8-9 with a positive point differential.

So if they have such poor talent, they must have AMAZING coaches in order to get a team of bums to 8-9 with a positive point differential. Or if their coaching was terrible, they must have better talent than people are giving them credit for.

Teams with little talent and bad coaching end up winning 3-4 games, not 8. People are going to have to make up their minds on this.
I think the QB play and coaching dragged down an otherwise average offense. The defense was well coached and has above average, but not elite talent. The full picture is a slightly below average team.
 

rodderick

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So here's the thing....

They went 8-9 with a positive point differential. A team bereft of talent, with crappy coaching, doesn't finish 8-9 with a positive point differential.

So if they have such poor talent, they must have AMAZING coaches in order to get a team of bums to 8-9 with a positive point differential. Or if their coaching was terrible, they must have better talent than people are giving them credit for.

Teams with little talent and bad coaching end up winning 3-4 games, not 8. People are going to have to make up their minds on this.
Or they have adequate talent and incredible coaching on defense and meh talent and horrible coaching on offense, which brings them to 8-9. If the defense performed at the same level of the offense they would no doubt be a 3-4 win team.
 

BaseballJones

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I think the QB play and coaching dragged down an otherwise average offense. The defense was well coached and has above average, but not elite talent. The full picture is a slightly below average team.
I think the QB play and OL play dragged down the offense, but I think those are fixable things. Mac showed me a lot more late in the season so I have hope. The defense has a lot going for it and I think they'll continue to be good.

I have good hope for 2023.
 

BaseballJones

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Or they have adequate talent and incredible coaching on defense and meh talent and horrible coaching on offense, which brings them to 8-9. If the defense performed at the same level of the offense they would no doubt be a 3-4 win team.
I agree with that. But "adequate talent" is far from "little to no talent".
 

SMU_Sox

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Like who? Other than maybe Matt Judon, who on this roster would start for the Buffalo Bills? What coaches under Belichick would Buffalo rather have than what they already have on staff? This entire organization is replaceable plugs.
Yeah like BBJ said it’s A difference between being a JAG and starting on one of the most talented teams top to bottom.

But to answer the original point, these guys aren't JAGs at all, off the top of my head:

Rhamondre, D Harris, Henry (he's a legit starting TE in the league), Onwenu, Andrews, Judon, Barmore, Guy, Godchaux, Wise (huge improvement this year), Dugger, Jonathan Jones, Jack Jones, Marcus Jones (elite return man), Slater.

Those guys, right off the top of my head, are either good or very good or, in some cases, excellent.
Going to disagree on Harris, Henry, Andrews, Barmore, Guy, Godchaux, Jack and Marcus Jones.

Base offense for Bills is 11 and base defense is nickel.
My list would be: Rham, Onwenu, and Meyers on offense. Meyers is their slot in this scenario, Onwenu is their RG, and Rham their RB. They might want to start Trent Brown at RT over Spencer Brown but no way Andrews over Morse. So 3 guys and 4 if you count Brown going to RT which I’m not sure about.

Defense they are fine at DL but Judon would be a starter. That’s one. Jon Jones would start at either slot corner or outside, 2. Dugger and DMC would start at safety roles, 4. You could argue about Wise - he might start there but is he necessarily a scheme fit? Still that’s 3-4 guys on offense and 4-5 guys on defense and not all the other dudes on Buffalo are better. Some are equally talented but better scheme fits. Some are maybe a hair better but nothing super material.
 

OurF'ingCity

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So here's the thing....

They went 8-9 with a positive point differential. A team bereft of talent, with crappy coaching, doesn't finish 8-9 with a positive point differential.

So if they have such poor talent, they must have AMAZING coaches in order to get a team of bums to 8-9 with a positive point differential. Or if their coaching was terrible, they must have better talent than people are giving them credit for.

Teams with little talent and bad coaching end up winning 3-4 games, not 8. People are going to have to make up their minds on this.
They are 8-9 primarily due to their defense. I don’t see anyone here saying they had bad coaching on defense this year. Offense is where they lack both talent and coaching.
 

Dotrat

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Like who? Other than maybe Matt Judon, who on this roster would start for the Buffalo Bills? What coaches under Belichick would Buffalo rather have than what they already have on staff? This entire organization is replaceable plugs.
Barmore, Duggar, and Stevenson just off the top of my head.
 

Salem's Lot

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So here's the thing....

They went 8-9 with a positive point differential. A team bereft of talent, with crappy coaching, doesn't finish 8-9 with a positive point differential.

So if they have such poor talent, they must have AMAZING coaches in order to get a team of bums to 8-9 with a positive point differential. Or if their coaching was terrible, they must have better talent than people are giving them credit for.

Teams with little talent and bad coaching end up winning 3-4 games, not 8. People are going to have to make up their minds on this.
They have the best head coach in the history of football. His in game management was probably enough to make this team (that I believe has no elite talent, and awful offensive assistant coaches) a borderline playoff team. Any other coach and they are 4-13.
 

SMU_Sox

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Just an FYI 9/17 games next year vs playoff teams and a collective winning percentage of 54.4%. That is a brutally hard schedule even considering a lot changes in a year.
 

lexrageorge

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They do need a field bending WR, as such a player is more necessity than luxury in today’s NFL. But they will likely need to replace 2 starters on OL and possibly 3 if Andrews retires.
 

AB in DC

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Other than a coaching staff revamp:

1. RT
2. LT (Trent Brown is over the hill)
3. CB1 (depth is good, but they have no one who can match up with a top-flight receiver)
4. ILB

Those are the important spots. Beyond that, perhaps another interior OL, or another WR. Give Mac Jones one more year to improve. Try and trade one of the TEs for something useful. That should do it.