login | Register

NFL Teams Draft Their Identity This Weekend

Posted: Apr 23, 2009

Well it's finally here-Xmas in April for football fans. The ultimate convergence of pro and college football happens today with the annual NFL Draft. This is a day of hope for every fan base, and it's also the day(s) that NFL executives decide on the identity of their respective clubs. They are not only putting together an on-the-field football machine, but GMs must realize they are choosing an identity to sell to their fans and community.

Some teams in our Footprint have gone the "offensive playmaker" route (Indy and Dallas) while others like the old-school running game and defense method (Tennessee and Carolina). It doesn't matter which strategy you choose as long as you have a plan and stick to it. As far as this year's Draft, the Lions went ahead and signed Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, a move that will be closely debated and scrutinized for years to come. As far as the teams in our area, the Playoff squads (Titans, Colts, Panthers, Falcons, and Dolphins) will be able to just select the ole "best player available" while the lesser clubs will have tough decisions as they try to fill multiple holes. I wanted to focus on two Swampland teams drafting in the middle of Round 1 who will make critical choices about their "identity".

First, the New Orleans Saints have an interesting choice at #14 as many believe they should take a top-notch defender to help at a unit that ranked 23rd in the league last season. However, the Saints also ranked 28th in rushing offense a year ago and could take a top runner like Beanie Wells or Knowshon Moreno to continue building an elite offense. When they made a run to the NFC Title game two seasons ago, it was the offense that was feared. Adding to Drew Brees’ arsenal, much like the way the Indianapolis Colts have been so successfully constructed, seems like the way to go for Sean Payton’s crew. You have to have a strength you can count on in the NFL, and that strength for the Saints would obviously be their high-octane offense. Additionally,
the Saints will need public support if they want to achieve their goal of getting a new stadium, and having a popular and exciting team will help immensely.

In what direction are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers headed? With no Jon Gruden, Monte Kiffin, or Derrick Brooks on the field, it’s hard to put a face on this changing franchise. It could be the aging Ronde Barber, the newly signed Kellen Winslow Jr. (were they serious with that contract?), or maybe even the recently inked Byron Leftwich. In other words, this is a huge draft for rookie coach Raheem Morris and the Bucs management to start forming a new identity. Most football experts have Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman, who left early, pegged for Tampa Bay at #19. Freeman could learn under Leftwich for a year or two, but you have to wonder if the Bucs would instead look for a perimeter playmaker like Moreno or Percy Harvin (too much risk?) to add another threat to a young, non-descript club.

Sit back and enjoy the weekend football fans. The Draft is the graduation of your favorite college ballers, and the most critcal non-Gameday of the year. Hopefully, your team's management will hold true to a quality plan and forge a positive identity for their club for years to come.





related tags

North Carolina,
South Carolina,
West Virginia,
Southern Pro Football,
Tribal Fever,

Wireless from AT&T


Please login or you can to leave a comment.

If you aren't registered, Register Now to start leaving comments.

Copyright 1998-2018 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.