1. The quality of the weapons. Brandon Marshall, Reggie Bush, and Anthony Fasano are all in their prime. Peyton has a history of maximizing role players – Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, Brandon Stokely, even Marcus Pollard – and there are plenty for this offense as well: Brian Hartline, Charles Clay, and Clyde Gates. One of the top two receivers for the Jets was Plaxico Burress, age 34. Burress will probably be gone, which puts the depth behind Holmes at “pretty slim”
2. The offensive braintrust. While Peyton Manning undoubtedly will call the plays from the line of scrimmage, with full audibling power, he’s always seemed to enjoy having another elite offensive football mind to game plan with. The Packers offense under Mike Sherman were 11th, 5th, 6th, 4th, 5th and 22nd in points scored. The Packers offense, with Joe Philbin’s help, were 4th, 5th, 3rd, 10th and 1st the last five seasons. The braintrust in New York might be appealing, because of Tom Moore, but Tony Sparano is not considered an elite playcaller. The Redskins’ Mike Shanahan seems less flexible to bringing in a player who would want to call his own plays.
3. The defense. This is maybe the easiest thing to evaluate. The Dolphins were 6th in points allowed, with no starters over 30. The Jets were 20th, with 4 starters over 30 (though Jim Leonhard missed considerable time and he’s 29). The Redskins were 21st, with 2 starters over 30 (and 2 more aged 29).
Why he wouldn’t want to go to the Redskins: The main reason would be the offensive line. It’s not like the Dolphins have the best in the world (and injuries and Rex’s immobility affected these numbers), but the Dolphins allowed sacks and the Redskins allowed. There isn’t a receiver of Brandon Marshall’s caliber on the roster.
Why he wouldn’t want to go to the Jets: Santonio Holmes has had a lack of discipline. Peyton can’t stand that. He wants you to shut your mouth, get in line, and be at the right place at the right time. Let’s not forget that he was pretty upset when Garçon wasn’t where he’s supposed to be. Also, it’s hard to point to the impact players – after Revis – on the Jets defense. Calvin Pace is good. Jim Leonhard is. Antonio Cromartie is, too. However, – starting with the 2010 AFC Championship meltdown on run defense – their defense is still behind that of the Dolphins.
Reasons it might not be the Dolphins.
1. If he’s not healed, Philbin’s former QB Matt Flynn can come in right away and knows the system. Of course, SINCE he knows the system, maybe Flynn would understand the Dolphins’ interest in Manning and would be willing to wait for the chance to reunite.
2. GM Jeff Ireland. Channing Crowder is making a comeback at age 28, but won’t consider the Dolphins. “I wouldn’t go on a team with Jeff Ireland. I’m not very confident in him. He doesn’t know what he’s doing in my opinion. He’s real disrespectful. He doesn’t know how to deal with people,” he said.
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