The jury is still out on Ryan Tannehill. He completely disappeared during the 2019 playoffs:

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Photo credit: Will Newton

Author: Jon Kuzma

R.C. Willey

Last year the Tennessee Titans went on a deep playoff run. And the player who was solely responsible for that success was Derrick Henry. While Henry dominated by running all over every opponent the Titans faced. It became obvious that Ryan Tannehill was the weakest link for the Titans. Tannehill was so bad that he had less than 100 passing yards against the Patriots (AFC Wildcard) and the Ravens (AFC Divisional round). NFL fans once crucified Tim Tebow for putting up similar stats lines. And you have to be a little bit worried that history will repeat itself. The reason Tannehill struggled is because the competition in the postseason is on another level. Those are the 12 best teams in the league and everybody is a contender. What that does is expose the players who aren’t up to the task. And last year it became clear as day that Tannehill wasn’t cut out for it. So that’s the narrative that we have to take into this upcoming season. Because everything else seems to be going well for this team. Mike Vrabel is showing a lot of promise as a head coach. Henry is the best running back in the league. Tennessee just needs their quarterback to show up.

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Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs have to be on the same page if the Buffalo Bills wants to be at their best:

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Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson

Author: Jon Kuzma

R.C. Willey

The Buffalo Bills are taking their first step towards winning the AFC East. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs have been working out together down in Florida. Obviously that’s good news for the Bills because so much of their success is dependent on those two guys being in sync. Diggs was a member of the Minnesota Vikings last year so this is actually the first time that Allen and Diggs have worked together. And with the coronavirus creating obstacles for every single business in the world. Buffalo didn’t want to fall too far behind so they took matters into their own hands and got some of their players together to hold an unofficial practice. The goal is for Allen and Diggs to learn more about each other. There’s so many little details that go into the quarterback and receiver relationship. Everything is focused on the execution of the play. Because it’s tough to make those 30 and 40 yard passes happen in an NFL game. Eventually things will start to click for Allen and Diggs once they get familiar with each other’s playing styles. And then it almost becomes like muscle memory. If Allen and Diggs unlock their true potential then they’ll be able to anticipate how to react in certain situations. That’s when you’ll see Buffalo take the next step. This is just the beginning though. They’ll have to work hard every single day to perfect their craft.

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George Kittle has been better than just about any other tight end. He deserves to be paid top dollar:

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Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson

Author: Jon Kuzma

R.C. Willey

If you look at who’s the highest paid tight ends in the NFL. You’ll find Hunter Henry and Austin Hooper at the top of the list making about $10M per year. But it’s clear George Kittle has been better than those guys by a wide margin. And that means Kittle deserves to be paid at least $15M annually. Obviously the teams in this league don’t want to hand out that much money to a tight end. But you have to go off the impact that Kittle provides for the 49ers. This is someone who’s a complete player. He’s dominated as a receiver and he’s probably the best tight end in the league after the catch. Kittle is also a polished blocker and that’s huge for San Francisco’s running game. The only player at this position that should be paid higher than Kittle is Travis Kelce. But it’s up to Kittle to reset the market so that all of those other tight ends can earn more when it’s time to negotiate their next contract. And the other thing is Kittle owes it to himself. He puts his body on the line and there’s a lot of risk every time he steps on the field. God forbid anything happens to Kittle but he still needs to protect himself. The NFL is a business and it goes both ways. Teams can cut someone at anytime. So Kittle has to be conscious of that and cash in when he gets the chance.

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There’s no denying that DeAndre Hopkins was held back by poor quarterback play:

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Photo credit: Jonathan Bachman

Author: Jon Kuzma

R.C. Willey

For most of DeAndre Hopkins’ career he’s had to deal with poor quarterback play. Whether it was Tom Savage, T.J Yates, Brian Hoyer or any of the other guys who got onto the field. It’s obvious none of those players were good enough until Deshaun Watson arrived in Houston. Despite all of those challenges DeAndre Hopkins still dominated. So when Hopkins says that he’d be the best receiver in the league if he played with Drew Brees or Matt Ryan. There’s no denying those claims are true. Michael Thomas is a great player but he’s certainly benefited from playing with Brees. On the other hand Hopkins gave it his all and he still couldn’t uplift his quarterbacks from mediocrity. That’s how the NFL goes. Everyone doesn’t get the same opportunities. And the wide receiver position is dependent on the person that’s throwing them the ball. It also helps when you’re in a system like the New Orleans Saints have. Sean Payton gets the most out of his players and it makes everyone better. Hopkins wasn’t in the worst situation with the Texans. But it wasn’t anywhere near what the Saints have going for them. Luckily for Hopkins Arizona seems to be getting their act together and he’ll be a big addition for that team. If everything works out then this will be the support that Hopkins has been dreaming about for most of his career. If Kyler Murray also fills his potential then Hopkins will have the quarterback he’s been waiting for.

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Third times a charm. Eli Apple is hoping to find a home with the Carolina Panthers:

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Photo credit: Stephen Brashear

Author: Jon Kuzma

R.C. Willey

Eli Apple is on his third team after signing with the Carolina Panthers. Of course Apple was drafted by the New York Giants in the first round back in 2016. There were a lot of reports that Apple had some character issues with the Giants. And that eventually led to an early exit from New York. So Apple went down to New Orleans for a couple of seasons and for whatever reason the Saints decided to let him walk in free agency. You’d think that would be the end of it. But Apple actually agreed to a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders. However the coronavirus prevented Apple from taking a physical so that situation unraveled. Which leads us to Apple signing with the Panthers. This will be his sixth season and now he needs this one to stick. Because Apple is burning through opportunities at a fast rate. And that’s not sustainable in the NFL with how competitive everything is. In order for this job to work out in Carolina there’s two things that need to change. First off Apple needs to show up with a better attitude and do everything he can to be a team-player. He wasn’t as bad in New Orleans but it’s still an area that needs improvement. Apple also needs to force more turnovers. He’s only got 3 interceptions in his career and that’s not enough.

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