contracts run out (both will be in their 30s at that

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acum 8 luni 2 săptămâni #25995 de elaine95
BEREA , Ohio (AP) — As John Dorsey prepares to make a critical decision he knows may shape Cleveland’s football fortunes, the Browns general manager spends a moment every day giving himself a pep talk.And a stern warning.“Just make sure you don’t mess it up, that’s what I tell myself,” Dorsey said. “Just don’t mess this thing up.”Dorsey is in the early stages of heading his first coaching search with the Browns, who have been in a futile pursuit of a competent leader for nearly as long as they’ve been looking for a quarterback.With the Browns (3-6-1) on their bye this week, Dorsey provided some insight into a quest that will accelerate once the season is completed and conclude with Cleveland’s ninth coach since 1999.As expected, Dorsey said interim coach Gregg Williams will be one of the candidates interviewed. Dorsey has been impressed with the job that Williams, the team’s fiery defensive coordinator, has done over the past two weeks since taking over for Hue Jackson, who was fired on Oct. 29 after going just 3-36-1 in two-plus seasons.The Browns beat Atlanta 28-16 on Sunday and have split their two games under the 60-year-old Williams, who Dorsey feels he has provided more than stability.“I’ve always been a believer of you play the game like you practice and I think these practices have been very competitive,” Dorsey said. “They’ve been very structured, they’ve been very disciplined, and guys have had some energy and that’s the difference I see. There’s been a focus on the little things which I think is important.”Williams has previous head coaching experience with Buffalo from 2001-2003. He was also the defensive coordinator in New Orleans from 2009-2011, when he guided a group that won the Super Bowl but was also embroiled in the “Bountygate” scandal that resulted in him being suspended by the NFL for one season.Besides Williams, Dorsey has been pleased with how Cleveland’s offense has played under running backs coach Freddie Kitchens, who took over play-calling duties when coordinator Todd Haley was fired the same day as Jackson. Dorsey would not speculate on Kitchens’ future with the team, but said he “has done a heck of a job.”Dorsey would not divulge who else in upper Cleveland’s management team will help him find a coach, but he was adamant the Browns will not hire an outside firm to assist Devin Singletary Jersey , which is something owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam have done in the past.“We don’t need that,” he snapped.Dorsey was tight-lipped on other aspects of the search, including whether he would be willing to hire a college coach with no pro experience. However, he did outline the traits he’s seeking in a new coach.“For me personally, I would like to see a man of character,” he said. “I would like to see a man who can lead young men. I would like a man who has high football acumen. Those are the three basic things there I’m looking for.”Dorsey promised to be as publicly quiet about the search as he was earlier this year when he kept Cleveland’s No. 1 draft pick a well-guarded secret before choosing quarterback Baker Mayfield.That selection is part of why Dorsey feels Cleveland’s coaching gig is so appealing. Mayfield is showing signs of growth and along with rookie running back Nick Chubb, defensive end Myles Garrett, wide receiver Jarvis Landry and others, the Browns have a talented core of young players. The Browns also have nearly $60 million in salary cap space, a rabid fan base, 11 draft picks in 2019 and committed owners fixated on winning.“Those are exciting things for this organization moving forward,” he said. “Anybody, once they understand that, you will see that, you know what? Cleveland is a good place to be.”NOTES: Dorsey had little to say about Jackson returning to Cincinnati as a special assistant to Bengals coach Marvin Lewis. “I wish him the best,” he said. “It was hard a couple of weeks ago.” … Dorsey would not say if he intends to interview former Arizona coach Bruce Arians, who is retired and doing TV analysis but has expressed interest in Cleveland’s opening. “I have a lot of respect for coach Arians,” Dorsey said. “Right now, we are in the process of beginning to finalize our plan. If it comes to the appropriate time and if he happens to be one of the people , you will find out.” Going in-depth and breaking down the Cincinnati Bengals safetyposition.The Cincinnati Bengals have seen immense talent at the safety position recently. However, with the departure of Reggie Nelson in 2016 free agency, there was uncertainty to some degree. So where do things stand now with the group?Though minicamp is ready to roll and OTAs are through, it’s still the offseason and time for overall evaluation and projection. Thus, we’ve been going through the Bengals one position group at a time. Thequarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends, offensive linemen,defensive linemen,linebackers, and cornerbackshave all been delved intoalready.Article continues below ...We move on to the safeties.SafetiesGeorge Iloka(74 tackles, 3 INTs, 7 passes defensed)Shawn Williams(81tackles, 1 sack, 3 INTs,5 passes defensed)Derron Smith(8 tackles, 1pass defensed)Clayton Fejedelem(10 tackles)Demetrious Cox(N/A)<em>* = expected starter | 2016 statistics in parenthesis</em>Last season saw a major change on the back end for the Bengals. From 2013-15, they had been starting the pair of Reggie Nelson and Iloka had been holding down the fort at safety.In that time Brian Burns Jersey , they were one of the better safety pairings in the league. According to Pro Football Focus’ metrics, the average combined overall grade for the two in that time was 81.3. Among recent safety pairings in their database, only Green Bay’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett (81.9) and Seattle’s Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas (84.5) seem to have put up better combined grades over a three year stretch.More from NFL Spin ZoneNFL 2017: Ranking the 30 best pass-catching tight ends16m agoNew York Giants: Odell Beckham silences critics by attending minicamp13h agoNew Orleans Saints: Ted Ginn Jr. highlights start of minicamp14h agoPittsburgh Steelers draw inspiration, motivation from Stanley Cup14h agoFantasy Football Rankings 2017, Top 101 PPR Players: No. 50-4815h agoWith Nelson moving on to Oakland in 2016, there was a clear possibility that the position would take a major step back. Replacing long-term starters with lesser-known talents may have its advantages (including youthfulathleticism and cheaper contracts), but it often brings at least a few short-term concerns (chemistry, playbook knowledge, understanding coverages/formations/plays shown by the other side) to the table.Fortunately, things mostly worked out for Cincinnati in this particular instance. Williams stepped into the starting role vacated by Nelson, and while there was a slight dip in overall safety production in 2016 (combined PFF grade: 79.4), that could be more attributable to Iloka’s play (78.1) than what Williams provided (80.6).Part of what may have helped: Williams had been with the team since 2013, and had begun picking up a more significant role in 2015. By being with the team for a handful of years before taking on the starter role beside Iloka, Williams had plenty of time to learn and understand the minute details of the Bengals defensive scheme. The increase of field time in 2015 (defensive snaps in 2013-14: 38; 2015: 473) gave him a chance to actually get involved in plays to a significant degree. Those elements combined with his talents prepared him to do well with a larger role.Oct 23, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals strong safety Shawn Williams (36) against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 31-17. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsWilliams will hopefully continue to improve up his 2016, but don’t overlook Iloka. With both him and Nelson up for free agency in 2015, the team went with him; that should speak volumes for what the team thinks he can provide them long-term.Let’s say he’s capped out as what we’ve already seen: that’s an above-average player. He’s physical and routinely finishes tackles quickly and forcefully; in three of the past four years , he’s had at least 66 tackles and been in the top five on the team in the statistic (and in the only one he didn’t, he missed four games). He doesn’t forcemany turnovers (2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 8 INTs in his career), buthe’s often still involved in breaking upplays (27 passes defensed in career).If his averages so far as a starter (65 tackles, 2 INTs, 7 passes defensed)are what the team gets going forward, that alone is good enough to be part of a quality safety pairing. If the current 27-year old can find a new level as he continues through his prime, he could be the crux of a strong secondary for years to come.Beyond the starting duo, there aren’t any proven contributors as of now. As we saw with Williams however, that doesn’t mean they can’t become quality pieces of the defensive equation.More from NFL Spin Zone6/14 – NFL 2017: Ranking the 30 best pass-catching tight ends6/13 – New York Giants: Odell Beckham silences critics by attending minicamp6/13 – New Orleans Saints: Ted Ginn Jr. highlights start of minicamp6/13 – Pittsburgh Steelers draw inspiration, motivation from Stanley Cup6/13 – Fantasy Football Rankings 2017, Top 101 PPR Players: No. 50-48Smith is entering his third season, while Fejedelem is entering his second. Neither has gotten much action as of yet: Smith has 115 defensive snaps in two years, while Smith picked up 40 last season. With Iloka and Williams locked up long term, there’s a real chance they never get to see much more than that before they reach free agency (Smith gets there in 2019; Fejedelem in 2020).The case of Williams should be revisited in regards to them.As mentioned before, Williams didn’t see much field time until his third season, and didn’t become a starter until his fourth. Being brought along slowly seems to haveprepared him well for his current role, and depending how things go we could see the same sort of thing happen with Smith and Fejedelem.The main difference between Williams’ and these two situationally is that there isn’t a clear starter path waiting for either of them as there was for Williams. Williams’ final year of his rookie contract lined up with the same time and Iloka and Nelson were set to be free agents; with him having shown positive signs in limited 2015 action Will Grier Jersey , there was a great chance — one which ultimately came to fruition — he would be able to take the place of one of them.That’s not the casethis time. Iloka and Williams both have signed extensions in the past couple offseasons to lock them in until 2021. Assuming health, the only thing which should force them out of action is poor play, and there isn’t much of that in their histories to suggest that’s on the horizon.Outside of special teams play, there really may not be much for these guys to do besides wait for an unlikely injury call-up. Iloka has missed only four games since becoming a starter, and injuries haven’t appeared to be a concern so far in Williams’ career. Also, unlike many teams league-wide, we haven’t seen major usage of three safety packages lately; after the combination of Iloka, Nelson, and Chris Crocker all went for 500+ snaps in 2013, the closest the team has gotten to that is 2015 (when again, Iloka missed four games).In fact, based on the contract timelines, it may be the rookie Cox who has a better chance of becoming an eventual safety starter here. It will be a good bet at least one of the Iloka/Williams pair is allowed to leave when their contracts run out (both will be in their 30s at that time).Cox meanwhile willbe a 26-year old restricted free agent in 2020, and should be able to return on a cheap multi-year deal that keeps him on the roster as a possible long-term replacement.At the least, he can act as a special teams player for years to come; hopefully his work as a gunner could assist in improving upon the league’s 28th-best unit by Football Outsider’s DVOA metrics in 2016.Next: NFL 2017: Ranking the top 30 pass-catching tight endsEven if he doesn’t, it’s not something to be concerned about. For the foreseeable future, Iloka and Williams are set to lead this safety group forward as a powerful duo. Any major changes are a long ways from even beginning to need much more discussion.This article originally appeared on

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