Once again, it's time to gear up for this week's slate of NFL games with analysis from the best in the business -- Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's "NFL Matchup." As he did so well last year, Greg will give you a sense of the week's upcoming games you won't get anywhere else, based on his conversations with players and coaches past and present, and his OCD-level evaluation of coach's tape. Since the podcast was recorded on Friday morning, we started by reviewing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Thursday night win over the Minnesota Vikings.
Here are the Sunday and Monday games, in order of discussion:
Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears
San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns
Seattle Seahawks at Detroit Lions
New England Patriots at St. Louis Rams (London)
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets
Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles
Washington Redskins at Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacksonville Jaguars at Green Bay Packers
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
New Orleans Saints at Denver Broncos
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals
And some words of wisdom from Mr. Cosell:
On Tampa Bay's defensive line: "They've played very well. I'll tell you, the most overlooked player on that front four is Roy Miller, who was a third-round pick out of Texas. If I'm not mistaken, he came out the same year as Brian Orakpo, and nobody talked about him. But I really like him on film for what he is, and he's really good against the run. He's a nice complement to Gerald McCoy, who is a quickness and movement player, and Miller is more of a player who will hold the point and stalemate blocks. He's essential to the way they defend the run. McCoy's obviously a phenomenal athlete, and Miller plays stronger than his size."
On the disappearance of Mark Ingram from the Saints' offense: "That's easy -- it's the offense they run. They don't need Mark Ingram, and they don't run an offense with a feature back. Mark Ingram plays 15 snaps a game. I think most people in the league would say that if you plug Mark Ingram into the Bucs' offense and say, 'He's the back,' he would be a wonderful foundation back. Darren Sproles plays the most of any back in their offense, and he only plays when they go three-wide. They don't have a base running game in a strict sense, and that's what Ingram is -- he's a foundation back. I don't think there's anything wrong with Mark Ingram, but when you only play 12 of 15 snaps a game, and you're a rhythm runner, you can't do anything."
On the current issues with Detroit's passing offense: "I think they're struggling a little for this reason: Based on last season, they probably expected that offense to advance even more. They had a young quarterback who was tremendous and could make every throw, a receiver corps that was ideally going to get better with the addition of Ryan Broyles, an offensive line that was solid, and they probably figured that the passing game would get better and better. So now, you start the season and go through a number of weeks, and this is what's difficult for coaches -- at what point do you say, 'Hey -- this isn't working the way we anticipated -- what are the adjustments we need to make?' People think it's easy to just go ahead and do something else. But you've built your whole team around doing something. I think they're in the process of trying to figure out when they dial down Matthew Stafford a bit, because he's not throwing the ball really well, and when do they transition somewhat to running the football?"
On the decision to start Brady Quinn in Kansas City: "I will say this, just to make one point about him. I don't know what Brady Quinn is as an NFL quarterback, but the only way to find out about that kind of quarterback -- because he's a somewhat robotic player who has to read everything out and get into a rhythm --he's not the kind of quarterback you can put in for one week or two weeks and make a decision. Now, you may put him in for eight straight weeks and decide that he's no good -- I can't answer that -- but I would just like to see him, as a point of principle and for my own intellectual curiosity, get a chance to play for six or seven or eight games in a row. At the end of that, he may be awful, but I would like to see that happen."
As with everything involving Greg Cosell, this podcast is a must-listen for those fans of advanced tape analysis. Subscribe to the Shutdown Corner iTunes link (in iTunes, go to "Advanced/Subscribe to Podcast," and paste this link in: http://ysportspods.podbean.com/category/shutdown/feed/). You can also use the link below to either left-click and listen, or right-click to save to your computer.