NFL Notes: MVP, HC Vacancies, Mike Smith, Bills, & Colts


Tom Pelissero of USA Today spoke to six NFL GMs regarding who they feel should win the 2015 NFL MVP award.

Five of the six GMs voted for Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and one for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

“In my opinion, it’s not even close,” one GM said. “It’s Cam for sure.”

Mike Smith

Former Falcons HC Mike Smith is hoping to return to the NFL as a head coach in 2016.

“I think the second time you do something you have the opportunity to learn from your mistakes,” said Smith, via Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. “The first time you go through something as a head coach, you’re relying on the experience of others but not your own experiences.

“I know I learned a lot from the success we had in our first five years in Atlanta and the struggles in the last two. I know I will be a much better coach and prepared to lead a team if given another opportunity.

Head Coaching Vacancies

Tom Pelissero points out that there could be a number of head coaching vacancies longer than in recent years.

Several top coaching candidates such as Panthers DC Sean McDermott, Panthers OC Mike Shula, Bengals OC Hue Jackson, Bengals DC Paul Guenther, Patriots OC Josh McDaniels, and Patriots DC Matt Patricia could all be coaching deep into the postseason.


Hall of Fame GM Bill Polian explained that he’s willing to help the Bills, but not in a czar role that had been proposed to him.

“That isn’t me,” Polian said of the position, via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News.

According to Polian, the team can win with QB Tyrod Taylor, but he isn’t a long-term option.

“You can win with Tyrod if the other pieces are good,” Polian said. “If there are six or seven Pro Bowlers at other positions, you can win with Tyrod. But he’s not the quarterback of the future. He’s not Jim Kelly, and, although he doesn’t have the same track record, he’s probably comparable to Frank Reich. But he’s not 6-feet-4 like Frank Reich. He’s small and he’s going to get hurt, and he did.

“Now, you have to find his backup and the quarterback of the future.”

Polian also pointed out that the Bills have too many players over 30 years old.

“There are nine players on this team that are 30 years or older,” Polian said. “That may be the most in the league. If it’s not the most, it’s right up there. That’s not a good sign.”

One other issue for the team has been the complexity of Rex Ryan’s system.

“You need veterans to make that defense work,” Polian said. “First of all, the players thrived in another system – in a simple, straight forward, very easy to understand, very easy to communicate system where there was constant repetition of the same thing, over and over again, taught in a very straight-forward way. And the techniques were geared toward what the players could do, what their skill sets were, and the plans were constructed around the players and what they could do.

“Rex’s defense is just the opposite. It is not straight forward. It’s exceedingly complex. There is no carry over learning from one week to the next. There’s exceedingly complex language. There are exceedingly complex checks that have to be made at the line of scrimmage. There is a guy designated to make those checks. It was” linebacker “Ray Lewis in Baltimore and it was” safety “Jimmy Leonard with the Jets, who literally could not put one foot in front of the other at the end of his career.

“I remember asking one of the Jets’ coaches during the offseason, ‘How in God’s name can you put Jimmy Leonard on the field?’ He said, ‘No one else can translate the defense, no one else can get everybody lined up.’”


  • Colts QB Matt Hasselbeck expects to start Week 16’s game against Miami, despite dropping weight because he’s on a liquid diet after injuring his jaw against Houston. (Mike Wells)

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