I believe with Clowney out, and attention focused on Watt, and to a lesser degree Reed because of his play in week 1, Mercilus will put up double digit sacks in place of Clowney. Mercilus I believe has a quiet chip on his shoulder about being benched. Your thoughts on his next man up productivity.
OK Tracey, don't call me Mr. It makes me feel old and I'm only &!^#$ years old. Whitney had 13 sacks in his first two years. That's not Pro Bowl worthy but it's certainly not bad at all. And I've always said that if the team had more leads last year, he probably would have had more. In this system, he appears to be making a jump in production. Clowney looks great but he's the only guy on the team you could lose and have a first round draft choice take his place. They're in good shape with the starters at OLB but can't afford to take another hit at that position.
You and John Harris did a subterranean player list. How about which coach is subterranean? We know about O'Brien, Vrabel, Kollar.
Which coach is unsung? Does it look like Paul Dunn, Ligashesky, or Butler?
Good question, Mike. For those who don't know, the subterranean players we were talking about weren't just 'under the radar,' they were underneath that. So it's tough to put a coach in that group. But I'll go here: Doug Colman is an assistant special teams coach under Bob Ligasheshky. Coach O'Brien told me last Friday that he thought special teams would play a big part in the game against Washington. He was obviously correct. Ligasheshky is a passionate, hard worker. Colman is helping and already they are getting great results. So I'll say Colman is a good guy to pick for now in the subterranean category. The others you mentioned are much better known, top line guys who all saw their position groups make key plays last week.
What's the biggest key to beating Oakland?
Jason, They will obviously need to win the turnover battle. But beyond that, you saw the formula on display last week; Run the ball and play good defense. Add the spice of a good special teams play here or there and you've got a winning recipe. I'm not sure I want to see them in too many must-throw stretches of games just yet. So let's see them get a lead of any kind or keep it to a one score game and win the 4th quarter. The offense will put up bigger numbers as the weeks go by and they blend together.
Michael is our winner. Have a great weekend and we'll talk to you from Oakland on Sunday.