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Half of the NFL season marks the right time to identify teams that must look to the future.
Eight or more games are of sufficient sample size to identify teams that are not performing well enough. The silver lining? Rebuild can beat being stuck in a purgatory near .500.
Franchises that need a redesign seem easier than ever to identify this year – the same is true when eight teams win two or fewer wins. The lack of parity is not just bad luck or hard times. Their performance against the rest of the league clearly shows that their projects went wrong.
Below, we will list the qualified teams and identify some shocking moves for the system that could help bring about an immediate turnaround as opposed to a long-term rebuild.
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It was obvious from the start that the Miami Dolphins would appear on rebuilding lists. The team recruited new head coach Brian Flores and then sold talents such as Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Good on the dolphin front office to have a plan, at least. Rather than accumulating talent, the home office has transferred it for long-term assets to fuel the rebuilding.
This is one of the longest reconstructions on paper. But there are some immediate moves that Miami can make to swing the pendulum in the other direction.
Objective 1: find a quarter
Nothing moves without a smuggler. The dolphins have discovered this the hard way. The team made the half-turn for Josh Rosen, but it seemed unconvincing from the start. He has appeared in five games, completing just 50% of his passes with one touchdown and five interceptions. Otherwise, the team has played with veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Solving this problem first and foremost means taking a rookie QB at the beginning of the project. Although it is a brutal situation for a rookie, the good player who can elevate his teammates could perhaps hide the many problems that surround him.
Objective # 2: Well Drilling
It sounds simple, but that's not it. Just ask the Dolphins, who record a questionable record in the first round since the seizure of Ryan Tannehill in 2012. The team has traded two of the four players retained in the first round since 2016. Miami enters the 2020 project with a double The number of selections of numbers, including three in the first round, thus reorganizing the talent base of the list with a good price-quality ratio can allow for a quick full rebuild.
Goal # 3: Evaluate Brian Flores
Brian Flores is he really the good guy? Were the dolphins aware of what he was embarking on? It's hard to say if the team can stay with a guy if he wins only one match, no matter what the circumstances. That the culture it inculcates is better than changing the operator is a task that the front office will have to examine closely.
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The New York Jets got off to a bad start in the 2019 campaign, when Sam Darnold fell ill, and the situation was out of control.
A year ago, the Jets probably appeared on similar lists with a bullet point "spend big". Players like LeVeon Bell and C.J. Mosley managed to stumble only at a score of 1-7, crowned by one of the worst defeats in franchise history against Miami.
Although the level of talent has increased, the Jets are not about to finish rebuilding.
Objective 1: Show Adam Gase the door
Adam Gase was a small recruit who had just taken a bad job in Miami. Now he has been fully exposed as being submerged, regardless of injuries and other factors. A change in the front office has not helped produce results around Gase and his underperforming team. The Jets need a head coach position, perhaps a rug with an offensive-minded coach to help Darnold.
Objective 2: reduce fat
The Jets shipped Leonard Williams by the deadline, but there was plenty of speculation that the team could do even more. Would the $ 50 million or more from Bell be displaced? What about some big upcoming extensions like Jamal Adams? If the plan is a long-term rebuilding, it makes sense to reverse the big-cap eaters for pressure milking.
Goal # 3: Repair the Offensive Line
In five games, Darnold has suffered 18 sacks. The queue is a mess because of the build approach to the list. The Jets drafted a lineman in the first round in 2006 and since 2010 they have selected three linemen in the first three rounds. It is time to solve this problem for the good of Darnold.
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David Zalubowski / Associated Press
Expectations collapsed in Cleveland for both wins of the Browns. Baker Mayfield has suffered a brutal regression and important additions like Odell Beckham Jr. have caused more headaches than are allowed due to lack of production.
Fortunately for the Browns, the reception desk has shown its willingness to be aggressive when it comes to improving the list. There is also a base of interesting talents.
All the Browns need are smart priorities.
Goal # 1: Fire Freddie Kitchens
It was a mistake. Those who arrive. Just throw in Freddie 's kitchens just because Mayfield looked good last year after Hue Jackson' s departure was a blunder. This is a correct question, but it's almost ridiculous, the Kitchens era has already seemed worse than the Jackson era. The game strategies, game strategies and performances suggest that this alignment needs a new head coach to take control, preferably a veteran who knows what he is doing.
Objective 2: rebuilding the offensive line
Mayfield's 23 bags are not all on him. Calling did not help, but the talent did not start either. Left tackle Greg Robinson was on the sidelines and the Browns were regularly mentioned in Trent Williams' rumors as the trade deadline approached. Cleveland became brilliant with guys like Beckham but did not focus enough on the trenches.
Objective 3: Strengthen Front Seven
The Browns rank among the top three teams, allowing most yards to oppose hasty attacks on average and to reach the North by 25 points per game. While some of these losses can be attributed to injuries, the next obvious step is to invest in more talent that stops the race in the heart of the defense and the linebacker to facilitate the life of high school.
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The Cincinnati Bengals have made a huge change for a conservative front-office this season, moving from Marvin Lewis to Zac Taylor to head the head coach.
The result was a 0-8 start, even ahead of Miami. The team reached the halfway mark and decided to replace long-time rookie Andy Dalton from rookie Ryan Finley. But with all these problems, from coaching staff to most of the team's players, it has become apparent that the Bengals are one of the biggest rebuilders in the NFL.
Objective 1: find the next franchisor
Dalton has practically disappeared, even though the executive office finds a way to justify his stay in town for the final year of his contract next season. Finley, a fourth-round pick, does not feel like he's showing enough to divert a franchise from the best passer with a possible top-two pick, even in Cincinnati. Its environment and its limitations of arms should allow the Bengals to look for their next franchisor at the top of the project.
Goal # 2: Start again in the trenches
The Bengals could use new starters in the offensive trenches in addition to the left tackle. The first-round draft Jonah Williams plans to embark on the left side as soon as next season once he's in good health. But the rest of the line was below average or worse. Cordy Glenn, a left tackle who was supposed to start on the left, had a pre-season concussion and is now in a feud with the team. The choice of first round 2018, Billy Price failed and can not win the position at the center. The right side is a backup material.
Frankly conservative or not, the situation calls for dramatic changes, regardless of the path chosen, or the career of a novice smuggler could be doomed to failure.
Objective 3: Reevaluate Zac Taylor
Can the Bengals justify keeping Taylor around if he can not win a match? What is the threshold? A victory? Two? Lewis was kept for 16 years by the front-office, a company too loyal, but has notably had a successful restart after Carson Palmer and many trips to the playoffs. Have some unfathomable moments for this training staff created an irretrievable situation?
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Adam Hunger / Associated Press
The New York Giants dragged their feet during the transition from Eli Manning to Daniel Jones. That cost them a two-win campaign where the victories (Tampa Bay and Washington) are not impressive.
Giants have interesting pieces like Jones and Saquon Barkley, but it is still largely a rebuild. Pat Shurmur has only won five games a year ago and could be lucky to hit that mark again.
Objective 1: Take the offensive line seriously
Giants do not have it. As in the rest of the line-up, the approach in the offensive trenches was filled with half-measures trying to walk the tightrope between wrestling and rebuilding. This produced intelligent gestures like the writing of Will Hernandez, but other odd ones like the signature of Nate Solder. The passers-by of the giants have suffered 28 bags and the line has largely stifled what should otherwise be a high-profile offense. It's time to spend big assets there.
Objective 2: bring back the key parts
The Giants decided to place Leonard Williams on schedule to keep him in town as part of a youth movement. Markus Golden is another free agent on standby who needs to stay put and help form the core of a defense that needs help at all levels.
Objective 3: Address all levels of defense
Remember that the playoffs of the Giants were stimulated in part by an unstoppable stalemate? Giants must rediscover this by any means necessary. In addition, the linebacker is injured and the secondary player has not recovered from Landon Collins' loss of safety.
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John Munson / Associated Press
The Washington Redskins took a step ahead of all other rebuilding players by sacking Jay Gruden and handing over to interim coach Bill Callahan.
Seen from another angle, the Redskins are slower than any other rebuilder because Gruden should not have entered the season as a coach.
Anyway, the direction is clear: rebuild. As the quarterback may not be a necessity, the Redskins can focus on other problems, which are numerous.
Goal 1: Ride Dwayne Haskins
Since Callahan took power, he flirted with the idea of starting the first round pick, Dwayne Haskins, until the end. Haskins seemed overwhelmed in places, scoring no points and four choices. But with another full season of work at the pro level, Haskins must be in full after spending assets to push the list around him.
Goal # 2: find the right coach
Are the first two goals interchangeable? Absolutely. The right coach has to come in and make sure that the big investment in Haskins is paying off. It seems that the old school Callahan is not the type, so the task is to decide if a risk like a Sean McVay liner or an established name is the right choice.
Goal # 3: Trent Williams Trade
The Trent Williams saga must end. Not only does this point an accusing finger against a Redskins team consistently among the most injured teams in the NFL, but it also deprives Haskins of one of the league's best left tackles. Why the Redskins did not ask Williams to recover fuel for reconstruction is a mystery, but it must happen.
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Mark Zaleski / Associated Press
The Bruce Ariens Era did not revive Jameis Winston or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In fact, the arrival of Arians could be a sign of a serious regression, which is probably not what the front office had in mind when it was a veteran coach.
The Buccaneers won two games, both unexpected. So, that goes for a team with some explosive players, but a lot of holes and a lack of production from a first round investment (linebacker Devin White) that only appeared in five games.
Goal # 1: End the Jameis Winston era
It's finally finished. Arians may be a quarterback guru, but Winston's long fallout and dubious decisions put an end to an era. Winston completed less than 60% of his passes with 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while taking 30 sacks. At this rate, buccaneers should be able to recruit a prominent smuggler, which must happen. With a little luck, they choose a guy who can raise the average list.
Goal # 2: Start again along the offensive line
The aforementioned bag number is a big problem. Besides Ali Marpet, the line is in ruins and the Buccaneers did not seem to think that it was wise to use only one draft pick in the offensive trenches in April. This has partially failed Winston, who will fail the next passer, whether offensive weapons or the head coach.
Goal # 3: Invest in Running
Yes, that sounds a little silly in the NFL today. But the Buccaneers have a pair of exceptional enthusiasts and could bring a novice smuggler. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin form an incredible duo, but the Tampa Bay floor game is only 3.8 yards per race on average. It's partly the fault of the O line, but Ronald Jones II also disappointed and the team struggled to find half a quality.
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John Bazemore / Associated Press
The regression continues dramatically for the Atlanta Falcons this year with head coach Dan Quinn.
The front office seemed to hope that the presence of offensive linemen at the beginning of the project would prompt a turnaround in the offensive led by Matt Ryan. Instead, the Falcons only won one game while Ryan completed more than 70% of his passes and the defense could not resist injury.
Ryan is not going anywhere, so it's clear that a redesign is the only option.
Goal 1: Fire Dan Quinn
The Super Bowl race was magical. The rest leaves something to be desired. Quinn won 21 victories in two seasons while the Falcons were considered contenders, but the wheels fell completely. A bandage in the form of adding more talent to the list does not seem to work. The results suggest that players do not accept and that the coaching approach, Quinn and coordinators, does not work.
Objective 2: add pass-rushers
The Falcons have seven bags. Seven. Keeping Grady Jarrett was a great decision considering his skills, but the rest is a shame. In theory, the Falcons should accumulate big numbers and then let a big push go to work while the teams scramble to keep pace. Instead, it is clear that the rush in the pass is the top priority.
Objective 3: innovate again
The trade of the Falcons of Mohamed Sanu unloaded the salary and brought back a choice of second round. Now, do it again. Maybe it means losing big contracts like Devonta Freeman. Maybe that means packaging choices and progress in the project. Something must yield because the Falcons have a lot of cap space invested in a small group of players.
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