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A Pep in our step
Good morning ☀️
Now that was a good game of football. I’m not going to spoil it just in case some people were unable to watch last night and are catching up today.
However, that game made me realize three things:
I want a mobile quarterback who can pick up first downs with their legs.
Offensive line play is more important than ever.
Speed on defense is the winner.
The Jets have a way to go on all three counts there, but we have a start. It also showed me how desperate I am for the Jets to get to the big dance, not just the playoffs but the Super Bowl. I don’t think our complete roster is a QB away from a Super Bowl, which I’ve said numerous times, but we’re going in the right direction.
Being more than a year away is also a reason I don’t think we should prioritize getting Aaron Rodgers, but we’ve already spoken about that and we’re going to touch on it in the Quick Throws.
🚨 Former Jets head coach Rex Ryan is a surprise candidate for Sean Payton’s staff in Denver. There were multiple reports this weekend that Rex has already interviewed for the defensive coordinator position for the Broncos. Ryan hasn't coached in the NFL since being fired by the Buffalo Bills in 2016.
🧀 We all knew they would be making an inquiry. It'll be interesting to hear the price being discussed for the trade.
⚜️ Derek Carr advised the Saints that he would not be accepting a trade to them or any other team and instead will become a free agent on Tuesday when the Raiders will release him. As we've said before, it never made sense for him to accept a trade at this point.
Count former Jet Brandon Marshall as another one who doesn’t believe in bringing in Aaron Rodgers: “It’s his age, but also the fit in the locker room,” Marshall said. “Guys are definitely going to respect him, but I just feel like Derek Carr can get you there. Derek Carr is the first one in, last one out. Derek Carr, he meets people where they’re at. Chemistry and continuity is everything. Remember, we tried this before with Brett Favre. We did this, Woody. We did it. We tried this before with Brett Favre. Derek Carr, that’s all we need. We don’t need the best quarterback. We need the right quarterback.”
When the Jets announced the hiring of Nathaniel Hackett, Saleh expressed a commitment to signing a senior offensive mind to support the new staff.
On Friday it was revealed that the Houston Texans were not retaining Pep Hamilton for the 2023 season. That really wasn't a surprise, a new head coach often means a new coordinator.
But that got me thinking, wouldn't Pep Hamilton be the perfect hire?
He's had his ups and downs as a coordinator but we’re not hiring him to call plays There are three things that I want from the Jet’s offensive assistant:
Plenty of experience working in the NFL.
Experience working under respected coaches and different systems.
Proven track record working with successful QBs.
Pep ticks all of those boxes for me. But let's just look at them one at a time.
Plenty of experience working in the NFL & Experience with different coaches and different systems.
After starting his coaching career at Howard, Pep interned with the Chiefs, Redskins, and Ravens before being hired by the Jets as their offensive quality control coach under Herm Edwards and offensive coordinators Paul Hackett and Mike Heimerdinger.
He stayed with the Jets until moving west with the 49ers in 2006, working under offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Turner’s system was based on principles from coaches Ernie Zampese and Don Coryell, and had some similar concepts to the west coast offense. That was something that was well documented with Norv took over from Mike McCarthy.
In 2007 he moved to Chicago to become the QB coach under Lovie Smith working with Jay Cutler in 2009 before moving on to Stanford to work under Jim Harbaugh. He would later work with Harbaugh again at Michigan. Not technically NFL experience, but working under a respected coach like Harbaugh is always notable, especially when you work with Andrew Luck.
That Stanford system was predicated on strong offensive line play and a power-running game. It was at the same time as college programs were going spread, so it was pretty unique. We saw something similar at Michigan as well.
In 2013 he headed back to the NFL to coach Luck professionally with the Indianapolis Colts, working with head coach Chuck Pagano.
Later he worked with Hue Jackson in Cleveland, Anthony Lynn in Las Angeles, and then Lovie Smith (again) in Houston.
Basically, he's spent 20 years gaining a lot of experience under a lot of different coaches who have their own styles and systems. For me, that's a huge positive for anyone who is being brought in as a senior advisor. As much as I want them to have experienced success, I also want them to have experienced failure. Failure can be a good thing if used correctly.
Proven track record working with successful QBs
Anyone who's worked with Andrew Luck is worth a lot in my book. Then you add in the fact he's worked with Justin Herbert as a rookie and to a lesser extent Jay Cutler as a rookie, and you start to build a positive picture.
Whether you believe Zach Wilson can be developed or not, or if you're in the camp of drafting a new QB to develop over the next year or two like a Hendon Hooker, having someone like Pep is a big ✅
Remember, you’re not bringing him in to call plays or run the offense. But you are bringing in him to be a sounding board for Nathaniel Hackett and with the issues we’ve had at QB, I want to have a guy who’s seen success close up. Pep has definitely done that with Luck and he was Herbert’s QB coach when he won the offensive rookie of the year award.
Although the Texans won’t be retaining Hamilton next year, he’s still under contract and according to multiple reports in Houston, the Texans are not pressuring him to take another coaching role.
There’s a chance that Hamilton just sits out the 2023 season considering Houston will still be playing him. His son Jackson Hamilton plays quarterback at Pearland High School in Houston, so he may not want to uproot his family just yet.
Name: DJ Dale
Position: Defensive Tackle
Team: Alabama Crimson Tide
Projection: 4th-5th round
2022 Stats: 17 tackles, 3.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 13 Defensive Stops
Height/Weight: 6’3, 300lbs
Strengths: Has a really good anchor against the run and a very quick first step to penetrate gaps and get into the backfield. Good hands to disrupt and shows the ability to hand fight with the best of them. Shows the ability to shed linemen and attack the ball carrier. He’s a high IQ and high-motor player who never runs cold. Perfectly suited to playing on even fronts.
Weaknesses: Battled injuries throughout his time at Alabama, only playing a full season once in 2020, but it was always niggles and he did play in 40 games in college. Often got asked to play as an NT in the Alabama odd front and handling doubles limited his ability to make plays, but it did show unselfishness.
Dale played in multiple fronts at Alabama but sitting at 300lbs his future is as a gap-penetrating 4-3 defensive lineman. If you’re looking for a 3-tech with a quick first step then you’re going to like Dale a fair bit. I think Dale turns out to be a better professional player than a college one.
“My ability to use my hands, get my hands inside, play the run,” Dale said at the Senior Bowl. “I play with good effort, good toughness. I would say that’s the main thing I’ve been hearing so far.”
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