If my campaign for Peyton Manning for Cardinals’ GM in 2019 is successful, here is a sneak peek at the rest of the ticket.
Head Coach: Matt LaFleur (currently the Titans’ OC)
Manning recognizes the need for a creative, modern-day play caller and LaFleur fits the bill, If you watched the Titans beat the Cowboys on MNF, the Titans’ offense adeptly managed to keep the Cowboys’ defense off-balance.
When you look at the job LaFleur is doing with QB Marcus Mariota, imagine what he can do with Josh Rosen. On Monday night, Mariota, on the road versus Dallas, passed for 21/29/240/2-0 TD-int/119.9 rating—-he spread the ball out to 9 different receivers.
LaFleur’s use of RB Dion Lewis was a significant factor in the game. Between rushes and receptions, Lewis combined for 122 yards on 23 touches and 1 TD. Imagine therefore what LaFleur can do with RB David Johnson.
LaFleur was the Rams’ OC last year but took the Titans’ OC job because in LA Sean McVay calls the plays. The common denominator is that LaFleur has built a very strong reputation as a very good QB coach for young QBs. He also helped to develop Kirk Cousins while he was QB coach of the Redskins and helped to develop Matt Ryan as QBC in Atlanta.
LaFleur is 38 years old and has 10 years of NFL coaching experience. He is in the Sean Payton, Sean McVay mold. This short video is very impressive:
The one wild card here might be if Manning could make a trade with the Dolphins to acquire HC Adam Gase. Manning has always been sky-high on Gase, who currently has the Dolphins (5-4) in the AFC playoff picture, despite the continued health issues for QB Ryan Tannehill.
Offensive Coordinator: Aaron Kromer (currently the Rams’ run game coordinator)
While Matt LaFleur will call most of the plays on offense, adding an experienced coordinator in Aaron Kromer would be commendable, particularly since Kromer is an offensive line guru and run game architect.
Watch Kromer teach blocking techniques to a rookie prospect:
Defensive Coordinator: Todd Bowles (currently the Jets’ HC)
It appears that Todd Bowles is on the way out as the Jets’ head coach. The Jets are likely going to hire an offensive minded head coach who can bring out the best in QB Sam Darnold.
Having Bowles available and knowing how popular he is in Arizona, Peyton Manning would be eager to bring Bowles on board—-and in doing so—-this will provide a swift and easy return of the Cardinals’ base 34 defense. Ah—the art of effective half-time adjustments returns to Glendale!
Here’s a short video of Bowles when he was with the Cardinals:
The wild cards here might be Rod Marinelli who may be the victim of a head coaching change in Dallas or Chuck Pagano who has Indy ties with Manning.
Special Teams Coordinator: Keith O’Quinn (currently the Cowboys’ STC)
O’Quinn has been impressive as the Cowboys’ special team’s coordinator. He is young and on the rise. Fast forward to the 3:30 mark of this video to see for yourself:
So there are the key components of the Manning for Cardinals’ GM ticket.
Now go and renew of purchase your tickets for next year, because it is going to be one heckuva ride. This ad was paid for and approved by the Manning for 2019 Cardinals GM campaign.
Future headline: “Manning the Deck of Cards, Peyton Draws Aces”