“We’re getting some clarity on the Frank Pollack situation.
Apparently, it was not the Bengals who didn’t want Pollack back.
Instead, it was Pollack who didn’t want to remain in Cincinnati.
It’s still unfortunate news, but at least the Bengals didn’t make
the mistake of firing one of the NFL’s best offensive line coaches.
Frank Pollack was among the current Bengals coaches expected to remain
on staff for 2019. However, something has changed, and now Pollack is
heading elsewhere, according to WLWT reporter Elise Jesse.
Pollack was brought on to replace Paul Alexander in 2018. While
the offensive line left a lot to be desired, Pollack did an admirable
job with a group that included band-aids like Alex Redmond and Bobby Hart
in the starting lineup, as well as a rookie center in Billy Price.
The Bengals also had issues throughout the year at left tackle with
Cordy Glenn battling several injuries. Pollack deserved another chance
to get this unit right with what will hopefully be a better group in 2019,
but for whatever reason, he won’t get it.”
From an article last year (1/18) by Todd Archer of ESPN when the Cowboys let go of Pollack:
“Offensive line coach Frank Pollack will not be back with the Dallas Cowboys
in 2018, as he joined the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday. It is the sixth
change on Jason Garrett's staff since the season ended and perhaps the most
significant, because of the resources the Cowboys have put in their offensive
line and their desire to be a run-first team……Pollack took over for Bill Callahan
after the 2014 season. Dallas was in the top 10 in rushing -- including second
in both 2016 and 2017 -- in each of Pollack's three seasons as the line coach.
During Pollack's tenure, left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and
right guard Zack Martin made the Pro Bowl each season and all three were first-team
All-Pro picks in 2016. Pollack also oversaw the move of La'el Collins from left guard
to right tackle in 2017. Pass protection, however, was an issue in 2017. Dak Prescott
was sacked 32 times after he was sacked 25 times as a rookie.”
One year after Frank Pollack was let go by the Cowboys, they let up 56 sacks in 2018, the second most in the league behind the Texans 62 sacks. In his only season as the Bengal offensive line coach, they let up 37 sacks which coincidently is the same number the Jets let up. The Indianapolis Colts let up the least amount of sacks 18 in the league and the Patriots let up the second least, 21. Pro Football Talk recognized Pollack’s coaching ability and stated, “ The Bengals line was much improved under his (Frank Pollack) guidance this season.” Pollack is known as a detailed type of coach who holds each player accountable for each play. He is hard nosed, tough and the players respect him. Slowly it seems that Adam Gase is putting together a pretty good staff of assistant coaches. Obviously if Gase was not thought of highly, both Williams and Pollack would have chosen other teams. The remaining staff appointees should happen the week after the Super Bowl. I expect Frank Pollack to do a good job and hold the Jets offensive line accountable. You will see Pollack being very vocal and talking technique to his line. He will be an improvement over Rick Dennison. What I like about Pollack more than Dennison is that he is more of a pure offensive line coach. Dennison was basically an offensive line coach waiting for his next coordinator job offer. This is an excellent move by the Jets.
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Jet Roster Sleepers
No one gets on Jet GM Mike Maccagnan more than me. But let’s give him credit on some of his moves. Here are some players that may end up sticking in 2019.
Darryl Roberts, DB and Safety, Marshall
Roberts played in 13 games and started 10 in 2018. He played mostly defensive back but the Jets tried him at safety toward the end of the year. Though he was benched in the last game against the Patriots for disciplinary reasons, this 7th round draft pick of the Pats in 2015, may have full time starting potential. Pro Football Focus has given him an above average ranking for the year. Let’s see if he can build on this.
Ben Braden, G, Michigan
Last year’s Jet staff thought so highly of this un-drafted free agent they found a place for him on the 53-man roster so no team would snag him from the practice squad. If this coaching regime keeps him, the Jets have something there.
Deontay Burnett, WR, USC
Sam Darnold’s college teammate. Another un-drafted player who played well when he was on the field. Four catches against the Bears and five against the Patriots.
Derrick Jones, CB, Mississippi
He was all we heard about in training camp. He disappeared and came back to play against the Pats and did a good job.
Neville Hewitt, LB, Marshall,
Played for Adam Gase in Miami for 2 years. Should be interesting to see if he keeps this over achiever.
Brandon Bryant, S, Mississippi
This is a reach. An un-drafted free agent Bryant entered the supplemental draft but had no takers. He is raw but is incredibly quick. I like him and hope he makes the roster and can contribute to special teams.
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…..Shawn Jefferson will serve as the wide receivers coach for the Jets according to Brian Costello. Jefferson will be the second member of Gase’s Miami coaching staff to join him with the Jets. The team officially announced the hiring of Dowell Loggains as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach yesterday. Jefferson worked as the position coach for Gase’s full three year tenure in Miami. Prior to that, he had a three year tenure as Tennessee Titans wide receiver coach. He served with the Detroit Lions in the same position in the five previous years. He was also with the Lions two years before that in different roles…..Roster option coming up in February and Jets have to decide on Spencer Long. I would keep him. He is 1-year removed from surgery. He struggled at center with his dislocated finger but held his own at guard. Pro Football Focus rates him “below average.” I still bring him back for another try…..It has been a moment he has looked forward to since entering the league, so it makes sense that S is having the time of his life down at the Pro Bowl in Orlando this week.....Jets quarterback has said nothing but glowing things about his new head coach Adam Gase. The 21-year-old expanded on some of those thoughts again on Saturday, as well as the coaching staff Gase has built around him in an interview with SNY's Jeane Coakley. "The cool thing about him is he brings so much passion and energy toward the game," Darnold said. "Gregg Williams does the same thing on defense. So I think that will be very contagious for a lot of our guys and it will be good for them to see that.".....
What The Jets Scribes Are Saying
Brian Costello, New York Post
It is the Florham Park chemistry experiment people around the NFL are watching: What will combining one part Adam Gase and one part Gregg Williams yield? We’ll soon find out how this new Jets coaching staff meshes, but it is a source of curiosity in the league and was a topic people were discussing this week at the Senior Bowl in bars, restaurants and hotel lobbies. The new Jets head coach and defensive coordinator are both known as alpha males, the type not to take any crap and always have their intensity dialed up to 11. The main question from NFL people this week was: Can two people like that coexist on the same coaching staff? Will it lead to in-fighting? Will the offense and defense be pitted against each other? Gase chose Williams, so he knows what he is getting into. Gase said on Day 1 on the job that he wanted to find a “head coach of the defense,” indicating he is going to turn that side of the ball over to Williams and stay out of his way. That could create an interesting situation. Williams, a 20-year veteran as a defensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL, is known as a divisive personality. Last year as the Browns defensive coordinator, he was featured on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” fighting with offensive coordinator Todd Haley during one practice. After a defender hit quarterback Baker Mayfield, Haley yelled at the defense, “Don’t touch the [bleeping] quarterback in practice! Good teams don’t do it!” Williams responded, “somebody’s gotta [bleeping] block ’em.” Inside the Jets, they are not afraid of this situation. They are embracing it. The word you hear from most people around the Jets is “energy.” There is a feeling Gase and Williams will both bring a new energy to the organization. Former coach Todd Bowles was laid back, too laid back in the eyes of some. The Jets are hoping spirited practices and competition between the offense and defense in practices will push both sides to be better. There is also a feeling inside the Jets that an infusion of alpha was needed and players like Leonard Williams and Darron Lee could benefit from a kick in the butt.
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Manish Mehta, NY Daily News
Here’s the reality of the new-look Jets: Adam Gase is the head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The Jets have entrusted Gase to cultivate Darnold’s skills. He’s the play-caller and the quarterback’s primary teacher.Gase is comfortable with Loggains, who worked with him in Chicago and Miami. Reduced to simplest terms, Gase trusts Loggains. Gase’s most important job will be to get the best out of this team by getting the best out of Darnold. The better Darnold plays, the better the offense performs. Gregg Williams will handle the defense.
This isn’t astrophysics. Gase will spend the bulk of his time making sure that Darnold has every opportunity to become the player that everyone at One Jets Drive believes he will be. Loggains will be a sounding board and provide assistance with the overall plan…..The Jets will be rooting for Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ stock to skyrocket in the coming months. Nothing would make Mike Maccagnan happier than for a quarterback-needy team to give him a ring to see if he’d be willing move down in the first round. In essence, Maccagnan would love to channel their inner Chris Ballard and parlay the No. 3 overall pick into extra premium draft capital. The Colts GM turned last year’s No. 3 pick into the No. 6 overall pick and three additional second-rounders. Ballard turned the No. 6 pick into All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson.Maccagnan might give up coffee for life if he can replicate that plan. Haskins is the only quarterback in this draft class that might prompt a team to aggressively move into the Top 3. The Giants (No. 6), Jaguars (No. 7), Broncos (No. 10), Bengals (No. 11), Dolphins (No. 13) and Washington (No. 15) could all use quarterbacks. The Jets could conceivably trade down with a team looking for a non-quarterback, but the home run deal would almost certainly require some team to fall in love with a signal caller like Haskins. Unless you live on the Moon – and I don’t know how you can given the Moon’s atmospheric conditions – you know that the Jets’ top two areas of need are pass rusher and offensive line. If Maccagnan, who doesn’t have a second-round pick as a result of last year’s trade with the Colts, feels like he can get an instant difference maker AND valuable additional second/third-round picks this year and/or next year, by trading down, bet the farm that he’s going to do it.
Rich Cimini, ESPN
More on how Sam Darnold did in his rookie season:
Stat line: 13 games (13 starts), 239-for-414 (57.7 percent) for 2,865 yards, 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions; 44 rushes for 189 yards and one touchdown; 77.6 passer rating; 48.4 Total QBR Season-defining play: Darnold’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Robby Anderson in Week 14 showed the entirety of his skill set. Under pressure, he escaped the pocket to his right, changed direction with a spin move, scrambled across the field and fired a tight-window pass to Anderson in the end zone. All told, he scrambled 48 yards, according to NFL NextGen Stats. The play demonstrated Darnold’s athleticism, field awareness and accuracy on the run -- his strongest traits.They said it: “I truly believe that this kid is going to be a star. He just keeps getting better. Big picture, this organization and this fan base have a lot to look forward to with this guy.” -- Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse
What’s ahead: Darnold’s first priority is to learn coach Adam Gase’s system. To accelerate the process, he’s planning to study Dolphins video from the 2018 season. Once he gets on the field, Darnold needs to cut down on his interceptions -- 15 is too many for 13 starts. The good news is he had no interceptions in the final 13 quarters, which should make for a good springboard into 2019. Darnold's field vision improved considerably over the final four games, which allowed him to lead the NFL in Total QBR (80.7) in that span
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Duke's Daniel Jones threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score in the third quarter to lead the North to a 34-24 victory over the South on Saturday in the Senior Bowl. Projected as a likely first-round pick, Jones capped the weeklong audition for NFL teams with an efficient 8-of-11, 115-yard passing performance. Then, North Carolina State's Ryan Finley took over in the fourth quarter with similar results. Jones, one of 11 junior graduates in the game, and Finley ignited a North team that trailed 12-3 at halftime only to score on its first five drives of the second half.Jones led the North on an 84-yard touchdown drive to start the second half. He finished it with a 1-yard touchdown run but completed mid-range passes to four different receivers, totaling 57 yards. After Texas defensive end Charles Omenihu stripped the ball from Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham, Jones delivered a quick score to take a 17-12 lead. He completed a 25-yarder to Ohio State's Terry McLaurin on a flea flicker. Then UMass receiver Andy Isabella, a Biletnikoff Award finalist, scored on a 19-yard catch after breaking a tackle on his way to the end zone. Finley then delivered a 23-yarder down the right sideline to Isabella on fourth and 2 on the way to another North touchdown. McLaurin ran 23 yards on an end around to set up a 4-yard touchdown run by Notre Dame's Dexter Williams. Memphis' Tony Pollard, whose biggest claim to fame was as a kick returner, finished off the North scoring with a 21-yard touchdown run. Pollard tied the NCAA record for most career kickoff return touchdowns with his seventh against Wake Forest at the Birmingham Bowl.The quarterbacks weren’t quite as heralded as last year's group that included Baker Mayfield (No. 1 overall) and Josh Allen (No. 7). But Missouri's Drew Lock and Jones are two of the top quarterback prospects in the draft, a group that also includes underclassmen Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State and Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray. Lock was solid in playing the first quarter for the North, going 9 of 14 for 57 yards. Finley was 7 of 11 for 83 yards. Buffalo's Tyree Jackson delivered two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter for the South. The 6-foot-7, 245-pounder was 13-of-21 passing for 165 yards but was also intercepted by Delaware's Nasir Adderley, one of the top small college prospects in the game. Adderley is trying to follow in the steps of a famous relative, Pro Football Hall of Famer Herb Adderley.
Senior Bowl Practice Week
For those of your who love the whole draft process and follow it closely, here is an update by Walter Football of players who impressed or helped themselves during the week of practice for the Senior Bowl.
- Mississippi State edge defender Montez Sweat
- Louisiana Tech edge defender Jaylon Ferguson
- Wyoming edge defender Carl Granderson
- Maryland defensive end Byron Cowart
- Delaware safety Nasir Adderley
- Temple cornerback Rock Ya-Sin
- Miami cornerback Sheldrick Redwine
- Kentucky cornerback Lonnie Johnson
- Duke quarterback Daniel Jones
- Missouri quarterback Drew Lock
- Slippery Rock running back Wes Hills
- West Virginia wide receiver Gary Jennings
- Ohio State wide receiver Terry McLaurin
- South Carolina wide receiver Deebo Samuel
- Northern Colorado wide receiver Alex Wesley
NFL News and Rumors
In Carolina, Cam Newton underwent shoulder surgery while the Panthers could look to change defensive schemes or at least run more 3-4 looks….2019 NFL Free Agency will be here soon and Le’Veon Bell reportedly has one team high on his wishlist. It’s the Miami Dolphins, a team that hasn’t won much, but it’s where Bell spent much of this season while away from the Steelers …..NFL.com Bucky Brooks first mock draft has in the first 10 picks: Cards/Nick Bosa, 49ers/Josh Allen, Jets/Quinnen Williams, Radiers/Rashad Gary, Bucs/Devin White, Giants/Dwayne Haskins, Jaguars/Drew Lock, Lions/Clelin Ferrell, Bills/Jawaan Taylor, Broncos/Greedy Williams….Colts re-signed K Adam Vinatieri to a one-year contract……Bears signed K Redford Jones. He was among several kickers to try out for the Bears this week including Nick Folk, Josh Gable, Ernesto Lacayo, Austin MacGinnis and Blair Walsh…..The Green Bay Press-Gazette believes the Packers could release Jimmy Graham this offseason. Graham signed a three-year, $30 million deal last offseason. He disappointed his first year in Green Bay, scoring just two touchdowns despite playing all 16 games. Releasing Graham would save $5.3 million…..NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports Cowboys QBs coach Kellen Moore is "expected" to be promoted to offensive coordinator. Moore has always been the leading candidate for the OC gig, but reports were coach Jason Garrett was going to take over play-calling duties. That's apparently not the case anymore, as Moore seems to be the favorite for that role, though TEs coach Doug Nussmeier is being talked about for those duties. It will leave Garrett in an "overseeing" position. Jon Kitna is the new QBs coach…..49ers coach Kyle Shanahan expects Jimmy Garoppolo (ACL) to be throwing by OTAs. Garoppolo has already resumed throwing on the side, so Shanahan believes he will be ready for 7-on-7 drills by the time spring practice rolls around…..Ravens signed coach John Harbaugh to a three-year extension through 2022. The deal had been in the works for some time. The Ravens' coach since 2008, Harbaugh had been heading into the final year of his contract. Although one of the more successful coaches of the 21st century, Harbaugh had gone three-straight seasons without a playoff berth until 2018…..Lions linebacker Trevor Bates was arrested Saturday morning in New York City and accused of punching a police officer. Bates was initially arrested after a cab driver said he refused to pay his fare. At the police station, police say, he flew into a rage and punched a sergeant, according to the New York Post. The officer suffered a concussion and needed three stitches…..Bears tackle Bobby Massie was due to become a free agent in March. Now? Not. The Bears have announced that Massie has signed a four-year extension, putting him under contract through 2022…..