Irsay is a thoughtful decision-maker and careful planner. He no doubt has someone in mind, and the likelihood of the process taking time suggests his candidate or candidates could be with playoff teams. The NFL's anti-tampering policy specifically defines rules protecting the rights of employer clubs while providing outside advancement opportunities for their employees.
His candidates could include promising personnel executives like John Dorsey, Green Bay's director of college scouting, or Reggie McKenzie, the Packers' director of football operations. Irsay could be looking at Eric DeCosta, Baltimore's director of player personnel, or Jason Licht, New England's director of pro personnel.
@flores_salicis Have their drafts been crappy? Might need to apply the Polian test here and examine all the pros and cons. I'm probably not the guy to do that, since I couldn't tell you every little thing about their drafts, but though they've had their Hughes-esque misses, their recent draftees also include Gronkowski and Hernandez from 2010 (and I think that was the round after they drafted McCourty, who was terrific last year and terrible this year so who knows). And this year they got Solder, who seems to have stepped in and done pretty well on the OL as a rookie, and the running back whose name escapes me but seems to have become a significant cog in the late going. I mean, off the top of my head (and I'm not even someone who follows these things that closely) that's four guys and one jury-still-out guy in just the last couple years who are fairly to extremely important on the roster of a 13-3, #1 seed. (And there's Mallet, who they got in the third round, and who knows how that'll look in say 5-7 years.)
None of which necessarily says anything about Licht, whose very existence I knew nothing about until this post. Just saying that our experience as Colts fans of dismissals of entire drafts should teach us to look at the full record of outside guys before saying yea or nay.
There's another Patriots guy who actually used to be on the coaching staff during their super bowls. I think his name starts with a C.
That said, the next former Pats underling/exec who goes somewhere on his own without Belichick and sets the world on fire will be the first. I'm opposed to hiring anyone from that organization unless it's some low-level super scout that can feed us state secrets.
Or Belichick. I'd hire him.
@coltsauth_todd@WillyDuer@TonyFishers Yeah, I had forgotten about Carter. But in general, I'd say Belichick did better with trades than he did with FA signings recently - of course, that might be a viable method if he can't get hits with draft picks, might as well spend them on trades!
I actually thought Polian didn't do FA signings (besides UDFA)? The Corey Simon curse allegedly. Besides this year.
I don't want to gloss over his failures in free agency either, but compared to the rest of the league, only Bill Polian has fared as well in free agency on a consistent basis. Not all of Bill's signings were great either.
@coltsauth_todd@WillyDuer@TonyFishers Branch was a trade, and I'm slightly skeptical of the value of that as well. He posted good DVOA, decent DYAR last year, but this year, he has fairly lackluster DYAR and DVOA. There was an actual FO article about the implications for the Patriots that they have no reliable outside WR threat. Banta-Cain was drafted by the Patriots, unless you're talking about his second stint with them, which actually wasn't very successful at all as he was benched after a few games and released. Crumpler by FO metrics had a pretty unremarkable year DVOA/DYAR-wise. I assume we're looking at his pass-catching ability as we're comparing him to Hernandez/Gronk rather than his blocking ability. I guess Carter wasn't bad, but considering that NE had virtually no pass rush even with him in the line-up, I'll have to wait until FO advanced metrics come out on his hurries, etc, before saying he's a success.
The other FA successes all came much earlier during their SB run days. I don't recall him having particularly notable success recently.
@flores_salicis@WillyDuer@TonyFishers I think he does well with free agents. Mike Vrabel and Rodney Harrison were free agents. Algae Crumpler was a nice pickup until they got Gronk and Hernandez. Banta-Cain, Branch (the second time), Bryan Cox, David Patten, and Andre Carter were all free agent acquisitions.
He's missed on his share too but he's fared pretty well in comparison to most teams in terms of free agents.
@coltsauth_todd@WillyDuer@TonyFishers Is he that good with free agents? He's managed some good trades (Randy Moss, Wes Welker), but actual FA acquisitions? And then, the Ochocinco trade definitely was a nonfactor and a waste of draft picks. Haynesworth was a worthless FA acquisition. Can't think who else was impactful for them that was an FA acquisition. I'd say the Colts probably did better this year than they did FA-wise.
@TonyFishers The Patriots fail at drafting has been pretty well documented. If you go to the 18to88 draft analyses, of which there are 3 or 4, they all wind up demonstrating the Patriots have been extremely subpar at drafting. FO member Aaron Schatz has gone on multiple rants about how bad the Patriots drafts have been, and he's a Patriots FAN.
@TonyFishers@coltsauth_todd I was asking Todd. I consider the FO's 2 most important jobs to be drafting, and appropriately handling cap space. So if we know NE can't draft to save its life, and I don't think cap space management "talent" is hard to find considering that most NFL teams manage it fine excluding a few truly comical organizations like Raiders or Redskins, I'm not sure what the value of anyone in the NE FO is just judging by their results.
As I mentioned, didn't even know this Licht person existed until today. Saw a previous mention about crappy drafts and cautioned against just assuming they were crappy. And your reply to that seemed logical enough to me.
@coltsauth_todd@TonyFishers So if their drafting is so bad, why would you want someone like that for an FO job, exactly? The most consistent way to build consistently competitive teams IS by building through the draft. Steelers, Ravens, Packers, Colts. The Chargers were relevant DESPITE their coaching when AJ Smith still knew how to draft and not pick fights with every good player he drafted.
So if the FO gives them terrible players, then what makes you think it's the FO that's managed a competitive team? How do you know it's not a combination of easy scheduling (NE had the 26th easiest schedule this year) and excellent coaching that's made them relevant (and I don't think anyone would argue that Belichick is a HOF coach)?
@flores_salicis@TonyFishers To be quite fair, the Patriots are not as reliant upon draft picks to build their team. Draft picks are much less likely to make the roster in New England than just about anywhere else.
What impresses me about New England's front office is their ability to successfully manage the cap with a very competitive team.
@flores_salicis Fair enough, since you're drawing from actual info. Was just guarding against a "don't like Belicek therefore don't like his team's drafts" mentality that often seemed to be a phenomenon with Polian and many Colts fans.