How to build an NFL Super Bowl contending team
You have to start somewhere
Who's it going to be?
Which team will win this years Super Bowl?
Where will your team end up
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You have to start somewhere
Welcome all aspiring GM’s to a crash course on how to build a professional football team. While many teams struggle to make the playoffs season after season, there are a couple of franchises that seem to be in the thick of things year after year. For the past three seasons there have only been three teams to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. This means that to get to the Super Bowl the road must go through these teams. Two of these three teams are very similar. The Ravens and the Steelers both pride themselves on defense, running the ball, and quarterbacks who can move the chains. The New England Patriots however use a strong offense lead by Tom Brady to simply out score teams. But don’t get ahead of yourselves, we first need to put together a team that can even make it to the playoffs. So where do we start first? Despite what you may think, the most important part is a good coaching staff.
When we examined the differences between the top teams in the AFC we also left out what glaring factor makes them similar, the coaches. Mike Tomlin, John Harbaugh, and have great minds for the game. They preach defense, and understand how to take advantage of a teams weakness. A good coaching staff has their teams prepared each and every Sunday. A good coach understands every aspect of the game as well as the teams strengths and weaknesses. Defensive minded coaches often last longer in the league. Given the state of things my pick would be an experienced head coach to help mold the young talent that will be brought in. Bill Belichick
Building through the draft vs free agency
Building an NFL roster should involve the coaches as well as the GM. Drafting young talent should be the preferred method when building an NFL roster. Young players are easier to coach and have a higher upside compared to free agents. Signing free agents cost two to three times the cost of drafting and should be used to fix immediate holes that a normal draft can not. A look at the 2010 Chicago Bears shows the impact of free agency. In 2010 the Chicago Bears sign Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor, and Brandon Manumaleuna. Chester Taylor and Brandon Manumaleuna only played one season with the Bears after signing multi-year contracts with the team. In most cases even though you release a player the team may still have to play the released player a certain amount of money depending on the contract. The Green Bay Packers are a product of great drafting. Many of their top players are draft picks including quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Established running game
As much as people want to consider the NFL as a passing league, having a good running game still means more wins. Running the ball is much like the jab in boxing. It sets up the rest of your offense, and also helps win close games. Looking back as last years Super Bowl, the two teams in it both had great running games lead by great backs. A versatile back who can run as well as catch out of the backfield can make all of the difference. Keep in mind that along with a good back you need a good offensive line. If your quarterback is all ways injured chances are you are lacking in one of those two areas.
Pocket vs Scrambling
Many say that running backs are a dime a dozen, well that’s not the case with quarterbacks. Every team wishes that they could be in the shoes of a Green Bay Packers or the Colts, able to get rid of hall of fame quarterbacks for younger versions. The read option style of QB may be the fad now, but it’s proven that a pocket QB will championships. Scrambling quarterbacks are less accurate, less patient, and more likely to get injured. RG3 as a rookie suffered a serious knee injury because of his style of play, but there is still hope. Russell Wilson plays a similar style, but with a smarter presence. If you were to compare his style of play to another it would have to be Big Ben with their ability to keep plays alive. Pocket passers make smart decisions, are typically more accurate, and win championships. One of my favorite quarterbacks of all time had to be Steve Young who had a mix of both styles. He could deliver an accurate ball anywhere on the field, or take off for a first down.
Most of all you need luck
The biggest season ender has to be injuries. Injuries can crush a season before it gets started depending on the position. Most teams can not recover from losing it’s franchise quarterback. Having a good back up just in case can keep your team alive, just ask the Colts about this. A team which had one of the durable QB’s found themselves with out him and nearly went on lose every game that year.