Joe Goodberry writes for Cincyjungle.com. A regular of the football Twitterverse, Goodberry is one of the diehard draftniks frequenting social networks during the offseason. His RSP Writers Project Team is quarterback-driven on offense and features a 4-3 defense with two well-known 3-4 outside linebackers as bookends in his front. Find out the thought process behind his team and the risks he took.
Describe your offensive system.
We’re going to be that new-aged West Coast based offense with a spread look. Much like the Packers run. With players like Hawkins, Orson Charles, and Charles Clay, we should create mismatches but also be able to best anybody with our world-class athletes in A.J. Green and Aaron Rodgers. When passing, Green is obviously the focal point. He and Rodgers would form an incredible duo at any point on the field. Our run game will be primarily a zone blocking with Kendall Hunter as our starter. He has good balance, quickness and a great feel. I think he’d be a great fit.
The coordinators and coach that you’d likely pick to run it.
Saints’ Pete Carmichael on offense and Bengals’ Mike Zimmer on defense.
Describe your defensive system.
We want to be flexible with our base defense. A 4-3 by definition, but I built the defense with the nickel package in mind. With Darrelle Revis and Jairus Byrd in the secondary, I feel like that is two of the best at their positions. Add Demarcus Ware and Lamarr Woodley as the defensive ends and we should lead the league in sacks. That kind of coverage and pressure will allow me the ability to keep my LBs in coverage instead of blitzing.
Sean Lee is going to be a star and he’s in the middle. Sean Spence (WLB) and Vontaze Burfict (SLB) are rookies but very talented. Expect to see a lot of Over/Under 4-3 formations. We can easily drop Ware or Woodley into coverage. With Cam Jordan, Drake Nevis, Corey Luiget and Red Bryant at DT, I feel we can get adequate pressure in the interior if drooping or DEs.
Where do you believe your offense is vulnerable in terms of system and personnel and what specifically have you done to minimize the impact of those vulnerabilities?
The offensive line could be vulnerable. They’re young and unproven. I tried to protect myself in case Will Rackley busts with backups such as Marcus Cannon, Brandon Washington and Clint Boling. One should be able to start one day. Every backup can play multiple positions just in case of injury of evaluation flaws.
Where do you believe your defense is vulnerable in terms of system and personnel and what specifically have you done to minimize the impact of those vulnerabilities?
I really don’t think there’s an obvious weakness but Burfict and Spence could be questioned. My response would be: The backups have loads of experience starting or playing big roles. Brandon Johnson was Cincinnati’s starting nickel linebacker and Skuta and Arthur Moats have starting strong side linebacker experience. If needed, they’ll step in.
Who are your stars and why did you invest so much in them?
Aaron Rodgers. He’s the best quarterback in the game. I would’ve paid $30M for him. He’s the only option in his prime. A.J. Green. Could become the best wide receiver in the NFL. Pairing him with Rodgers makes my brain explode.
Demarcus Ware. The best defensive player in football. He instantly adds 25 sacks (not all on his own, but what he opens for his teammates with the attention he creates) to the total defense. The there is Darrell Revis, the next best defensive player in football. He’s the only true shutdown cornerback in the league.
Name some of your offensive role players who might be role players now, but you believe could develop into much more as a starter or even star in your organization.
Orson Charles. He’s going to back up Moeaki for now, but I expect him to eventually take over. Charles is too talented, he could be a star.
Name some of your defensive role players who might be role players now, but you believe could develop into much more as a starter or even star in your organization.
Drake Nevis. He will play in nickel packages but he could easily overtake Cam Jordan at defensive tackle. Vontaze Burfict will probably only play 25-30 snaps a game as the strong side linebacker, but he CAN be a play maker. And Brandon Boykin has what it takes to develop into a star at cornerback. If he doesn’t, Boykin could still end up a Pro Bowl returner.
Which of your starters or significant situational contributors on your rosters do you believe would be on the roster bubble in 2013?
Brian Leonard is our third down back now, but Kendall Hunter and Bernard Pierce could overtake Leonard with experience in 2012. Pacman Jones is our nickel corner, but he could be overtaken by Ghee or Graham if he can’t play with more consistency.
What was the most difficult part of the selection process for you?
Besides staying under the cap, I had to refrain myself from selecting all rookies and Bengals players. I ended up with 11 rookies and 12 Bengals.
Based on your roster what type of playing facility would you want as your home stadium (describe the facility as outdoors, indoors, turf, grass, climate)?
I think we could play anywhere, anytime. But, I think we’d be better in sunny weather or in a dome.
Name three risky personnel selections on offense and explain why (talent, off-field, age, injury, fit, etc.).
Anthony Collins is my starting left tackle and some may question that, but I’ve seen him in college, as a rookie and in practices at left tackle in the NFL. He’ll be fine in this offense.
Tony Moeaki is coming off of a serious injury and he’s my only tight end with experience. And so far, his experience hasn’t great. That leads to another point, not having a proven receiver to take pressure off of Green. He’s going to get doubled and schemed against.
Name three risky personnel selections on defense and explain why (see above).
Pacman Jones for obvious reasons. He’s one bad night away from being kicked out of the NFL permanently. Vontaze Burfict is another character question. Burfict’s play style can actually hurt you on the field with his personal foul penalties. My linebacker fit is questionable because I’m moving 3-4 outside linebackers Ware and Woodley to defensive ends in a 4-3. They’ve been successful at linebacker and I just assume I can put their hands down and let them loose.
Name a few players you really wished to add, but couldn’t find the room due to the restrictions of the salary cap or the fit within your team’s system.
C.J. Spiller was my starting running back until I reached the cap and had to make cuts. Cornerback Stephon Gilmore was a target that I couldn’t afford. I think he’s going to be special.
Which players on your team would you have added even if they cost more than the listed price?
Demarcus Ware, because he is the best pass rusher in the NFL and a complete steal at $10M. Getting the best quarterback was my No.1 goal heading into this project and I did that with Aaron Rodgers.
How do you think the makeup of your roster and distribution of your resources illustrates where your philosophy breaks with NFL conventional wisdom?
I wouldn’t say it breaks it, but my offense is probably a look at future of the game. Chess pieces, good quarterback, spread offense, and an average running back. On defense, building to play nickel 60 percent of the game will probably start to happen more often. Pass rushing and throwing the ball is the current game.
Stay tuned for Jene Bramel’s Q&A and check out the rest of the RSP Writers Team’s here.