In the second chapter of his NFL Preview, Zac focusses on four teams who have added first time Head Coaches to the mix.

Miami Dolphins (6-10)

Coach: Adam Gase (2016) Gase is a first year head coach who has spent the last three years as John Fox’s offensive co-ordinator (in Denver then Chicago) and at 38 is currently the youngest head coach in the NFL
QB: Ryan Tannehill (2012) It’s time for Tannehill to start to deliver on his promise.

Key Rookies
Laremy Tunsil (13) LT, Ole Miss
Xavien Howard (38) CB, Baylor
Kenyan Drake (73) RB, Alabama

Key Gains
Byron Maxwell CB (trade)
Kiko Alonso LB (trade)
Mario Williams DE (FA)
Arian Foster RB (FA)
Jermon Bushrod T (FA)
Isa Abdul-Quddus S (FA)

Key Losses
Lamar Miller RB (FA)
Rishard Matthews WR (FA)
Olivier Vernon DE (FA)
Brent Grimes CB (FA)

The Dolphins have spent a lot of money in the offseason to not get much better. Losing Lamar Miller is going to hurt immensely, even with a rejuvenated Arian Foster and young stud Jay Ajayi in the backfield. Miller is a top 5 RB the others are not. Offensively the Dolphins look very exciting, Jarvis Landry has been a sensation and DeVante Parker is developing into a quality receiver. The offensive line looks much better with rookie Tunsil slotting into left guard between quality veterans Branden Albert and Mike Pouncey. Jordon Cameron is a quality pass catching Tight End, It may come down to whether they can find someone to replace Rishard Matthews’ crisp routes in the slot as to whether they can be consistent offensively.

The Dolphins defensive line is full of star power, Mario Williams joins a line that has sack machine Cameron Wake and possibly the best interior lineman in football Ndamukong Suh. But this is where it might end, the Dolphins have failed to improve the linebacking or secondary, it will hurt losing Brent Grimes so unless the line can create constant pressure the secondary is going to be exposed early and often. Miami are going to need to score a lot of points to win football games.

Buy Low – 4 wins
Buy High – 6 wins

New York Giants (6-10)

Coach: Ben McAdoo (2016) First Head Coaching job McAdoo has been Giants Offensive Co-ordinator the past 2 seasons improving the unit to 6th highest scoring in the league last year.
QB: Eli Manning (2004) High quality veteran playing in career best form.

Key Rookies.
Eli Apple (10) CB, Ohio State
Sterling Shepard (40 ) WR, Oklahoma
Darian Thompson (71) S, Boise State (2 x All- Mountain West)

Key Losses
Hakeem Nicks WR (released)
Rueben Randle WR (released)
Prince Amukamara CB (FA)
Jon Beason LB (retired)
Cullen Jenkins DE (FA)

Key Gains
Janoris Jenkins CB (FA)
Olivier Vernon DE (FA)
Damon Harrison DT (FA)
Brad Wing P (Trade) (Aussie!! Aussie!! Aussie!!)

The Giants subpar season led to the sacking of long time coach Tom Coughlin and the promotion of Ben McAdoo. This will be a challenging first year for McAdoo, while the offense looks solid with quality veteran Eli Manning and star wide out Odell Beckham Jnr leading the way. Rookie second rounder Sterling Shepard looks likely to start the season as the WR2 opposite OBJ and this gives the Giants a dynamic duo. The offensive line was solid last season. If they can continue to protect Manning and make room for Rashard Jennings offensively the Giants should be ok.

Where the Giants struggled last year and have spent all offseason trying to improve is the defense. High priced free agents Jenkins, Vernon and Harrison are all upgrades at their positions. The Giants drafted Apple and Thompson to bolster the secondary which was a huge weakness last year. Thompson looks like starting the year at Free Safety pairing with Landon Collins who is a solid run stopper, while Apple once healthy should see action as the slot corner in three WR sets and nickel.
In one of the tightest divisions in football the Giants will be hoping to improve on last years efforts, which may rely more on divisional rivals not improving rather than the Giants making huge leaps forward.

Buy Low – 6 wins
Buy High – 9 wins

Philadelpia Eagles (7-9)

Coach: Doug Pederson (2016) First time headcoach Pederson started as a quality control with Eagles under Andy Reid, following Reid to Kansas City to be the Chiefs Offensive Co-Ordinator the last two seasons.
QB: Sam Bradford (2015) Serviceable veteran but injury prone, just warming the chair.

Key Rookies.
Carson Wentz (2) QB, North Dakota State
Isaac Seumalo (79) G, Oregon State

Key Losses.
Byron Maxwell CB (trade)
Kiko Alonso LB (trade)
DeMarco Murray RB (trade)
Walter Thurmond S (released)
Mark Sanchez QB (trade)
Dennis Kelly T (trade)
Riley Cooper WR (released)

Key Gains.
Leodis McKelvin CB (FA)
Chase Daniel QB (FA)
Ron Brooks CB (FA)
Rueben Randle WR (FA)
Stefan Wisniewski C (FA)
Dorial Green-Beckham WR (trade)

It seems first year head coach Doug Pederson is in for a rough year, The Eagles spent the offseason trading out big money flops and then mortgaged the farm trading multiple draft picks to trade up and get Carson Wentz. Whilst Wentz has struggled to adjust in camp it would seem Pederson is happy to “red shirt” the young QB and let veteran Sam Bradford guide the team.

After all the roster movement during the offseason the Eagles are left very thin on talent at skill positions. Ryan Mathews is projected to start at RB and he was terrible last year, Darren Sproles will continue to be the 3rd down back but is almost exclusively used as a pass catcher these days and is getting towards the end of his career. The Wide Receiver group is terrible, challenging Kansas City for “worst in league” the projected starters Nelson Agholor and Josh Huff have combined for less than 60 receptions in their careers. If not for two quality Tight Ends in Brent Celek and Zach Ertz, Philly would be the worst offense skill wise in football.

Defensively they are not much better, offloading Alonso and Maxwell’s hefty contracts may have saved them money but only Leodis McKelvin has been added to help the team. Fletcher Cox and Connor Barwin give the Eagles some quality pressure but the linebackers and secondary are terrible I’m not sure a single guy would make another teams roster.
It’s going to be a VERY long year in Philadelphia.

Buy Low – 0 wins
Buy High – 3 Wins

Tampa Bay Bucaneers (6-10)

Coach: Dirk Koetter (2016) joined the Bucs in 2015 as offensive co-ordinator having spent the previous 8 seasons as OC in Jacksonville and Atlanta. Koetter gets a young team with room for growth.
QB: Jameis Winston (2015) 2015 Rookie of the Year

Key Rookies.
Vernon Hargreaves III (11) CB, Florida (2x 1st team All-American)
Noah Spence (39) DE, Eastern Kentucky
Roberto Aguayo (59) K, Florida State (3rd most accurate kicker in NCAA history) (3x 1st team All- American)

Key Gains
Brent Grimes CB (FA)

Key Losses
Logan Mankins G (retired)
Henry Melton DT (FA)
Mike Jenkins CB (FA)

After a disappointing season the Bucs have been very static during the offseason. The Bucs biggest “move” was trading up to grab Aguayo the kicker in the 2nd round. Brent Grimes was the only “big name” addition to a defense which is rising up the ranks. The Bucs focussed most of their draft attention on boosting the secondary with first rounder Vernon Hargreaves III a long lanky cover man and 4th rounder Ryan Smith to compete for a role in the secondary. Gerald McCoy is one of the best interior lineman in football and Noah Spence could challenge for a starting spot but in the least will be a quarterback hungry pass rusher.

The Bucs offense comes back unchanged except for Mankins retirement. Winston in his second year looks to have come on so hopefully can avoid the sophomore slump. Vincent Jackson and Mike Evans are tall, fast, sure handed receivers and Doug Martin is a high quality downhill runner. The Bucs look to be improving slowly but look a year or two from challenging the division Koetter has lots to work with here.

Buy Low – 7 wins
Buy High – 9 wins