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  • My early wish list for '07

    I want the Broncos to do several things to give me Super hopes for next year:

    1) Improve the defensive line. Kind of goes without saying... but then again, it doesn't. I like Shanahan but he seems to neglect getting top talent on our D-line. I'd like to see him focus on this area this year both in the draft and in free agency.

    In free agency (or trade) I want us to land one top player. We probably can't afford more than that. Jason Taylor has apparently hinted at retirement which seems odd, plus his cap figure for '07 is just shy of $10 million and he could be in a situation like Pryce was with us last year; he might become available. Simeon Rice is coming off an injury, is in the final year of his contract, and is also scheduled to count huge on Tampa's cap. I keep expecting Michael Strahan to part ways with the Giants, although I have no idea what will happen if Coughlin gets fired. Jared Allen is also an interesting possibility but is a RFA and I doubt the Chiefs will let him get away. I doubt we can afford Freeney, and he might not be worth it. But there's bound to be somebody worthwhile come available as a veteran DE.

    Of course this doesn't even touch on DT which could also stand a huge improvement to go alongside Warren.

    2) Running back. Some people are content with the Bells. I'm not. I think both guys are well suited to come off the bench but I don't like either one as our full-time starter.

    If we could nab a good free agent like Fred Taylor (maybe gone from Jax) or Michael Turner, then I'd be fine going with our typical late round running back in the draft to try to find that hidden gem. Otherwise, if there isn't good value on the DL by the time our first pick comes around, I wouldn't mind taking a running back if a good one is still hanging around.

    Barring that, maybe we could find a reasonable trade for someone like Cedric Benson or Thomas Jones (whichever the Bears would part with) or even a solid back like Ladell Betts who might be the odd man out in Washington.

    3) Tight end. Stephen Alexander is okay but I think we could improve. I'd rather not rely on another rookie so I was thinking someone like Daniel Graham or maybe even Eric Johnson (although I'd like a guy who can block well). I doubt we'd be able to snag Tony Gonzalez.

    4) Safety. I actually like Nick Ferguson but we need another really good safety for depth and to eventually take over for Lynch, preferably a safety that can play well in coverage. I think a 2nd or 3rd rounder would be reasonable considering safeties are often undervalued. I haven't really looked to see if anybody good will be available as a free agent.

    5) Defensive coordinator. I know that's been quite a controversial topic but I feel Coyer just wasn't meant to be a DC but he was a great linebacker coach. Unfortunately, I feel that Shanny thinks highly of Coyer and so this is probably the least likely to happen of all my wishes.

    Anyway, we could use depth in other areas but overall I feel fine with everything else... except maybe special teams. But we'll see if Hixon can be the guy next year to return our kicks. And we might want to look at other punters, too. But the coverage guys are usually comprised of our backups so we'll see.

    What do you think, did I miss anything?
    "You can't take the sky from me..."
    ------
    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

  • #2
    Originally posted by Javalon
    I want the Broncos to do several things to give me Super hopes for next year:

    1) Improve the defensive line. Kind of goes without saying... but then again, it doesn't. I like Shanahan but he seems to neglect getting top talent on our D-line. I'd like to see him focus on this area this year both in the draft and in free agency.

    In free agency (or trade) I want us to land one top player. We probably can't afford more than that. Jason Taylor has apparently hinted at retirement which seems odd, plus his cap figure for '07 is just shy of $10 million and he could be in a situation like Pryce was with us last year; he might become available. Simeon Rice is coming off an injury, is in the final year of his contract, and is also scheduled to count huge on Tampa's cap. I keep expecting Michael Strahan to part ways with the Giants, although I have no idea what will happen if Coughlin gets fired. Jared Allen is also an interesting possibility but is a RFA and I doubt the Chiefs will let him get away. I doubt we can afford Freeney, and he might not be worth it. But there's bound to be somebody worthwhile come available as a veteran DE.
    A more affordable, less-huge-name-but-still-really-good option would be Charles Grant from New Orleans. A double digit sacker a few years ago, and is still a decent force. Receiving all the double teams, his opposite, Will Smith, went to the NFC pro-bowl. He's not half bad against the run either. He might not cost as much, nor be as risky as Strahan or Rice.

    If we could get Jason Taylor, more likely he gets dealt with Saban leaving the Dolphins high and dry, I would love that.

    Of course this doesn't even touch on DT which could also stand a huge improvement to go alongside Warren.
    To take another Dolphin, maybe Vonnie Holliday would be a good addition. Former Chief, might want to come here at DT next to Warren. Disrupting, plays with effort (he does have Taylor opening plays up for him though), and I think would be a good old Dinosaur to help groom a first round pick into a rotation, or some sort of DT draft pick in a 2nd-3rd round such as Kareem Brown or Marcus Thomas. Get them worked into a rotation, and as holliday gets older, he can take a more rotational role as we work our drafted DT into more of a starter role.

    There's always "stompy" too: Albert Haynesworth.

    2) Running back. Some people are content with the Bells. I'm not. I think both guys are well suited to come off the bench but I don't like either one as our full-time starter.

    If we could nab a good free agent like Fred Taylor (maybe gone from Jax) or Michael Turner, then I'd be fine going with our typical late round running back in the draft to try to find that hidden gem. Otherwise, if there isn't good value on the DL by the time our first pick comes around, I wouldn't mind taking a running back if a good one is still hanging around.

    Barring that, maybe we could find a reasonable trade for someone like Cedric Benson or Thomas Jones (whichever the Bears would part with) or even a solid back like Ladell Betts who might be the odd man out in Washington.
    I'm content with the Bells in the terms that I don't want to put a first-second round pick on them, whether by compensation (to get Michael Turner) or selecting a high-round back.

    I could see Fred being released, with the emergence of Jones-Drew and the return of Greg Jones next season. Also with Toefield and Pearman in the backfield, that's good enough depth to keep the Jags content enough to let Taylor test the market, IMO.

    The Redskin fans near me see the Skins keeping both Betts and Portis, or trading Portis for D-help, considering his inability to stay healthy in Washington. Either Portis is out, or both stay, they say.

    I could see Jones being out more or so than Benson, seeing as they invested more in Benson than Jones. Jones could see the market in some sort of trade.

    I see Taylor and then Jones as the 2 most likely possibilities. If we wanted Jones, we could help trade tatum and a pick to the bears for Jones. T Bell would be a great compliment to benson and Mike Bell would be a decent compliment to Jones if he came.

    3) Tight end. Stephen Alexander is okay but I think we could improve. I'd rather not rely on another rookie so I was thinking someone like Daniel Graham or maybe even Eric Johnson (although I'd like a guy who can block well). I doubt we'd be able to snag Tony Gonzalez.
    I'd like Daniel Graham because he adds more balance between receiver and blocking, or the most out of any of the FA TEs.

    Graham would be the perfect mentor and compliment to Scheffler, and would add a comparable and reliable blocker for goaline situations, as well as be a decent receiver as well.

    I see Tony G going to Green Bay, as a prominent target to Farve to help explode the offense there, provided Farve returns.

    4) Safety. I actually like Nick Ferguson but we need another really good safety for depth and to eventually take over for Lynch, preferably a safety that can play well in coverage. I think a 2nd or 3rd rounder would be reasonable considering safeties are often undervalued. I haven't really looked to see if anybody good will be available as a free agent.
    Some FA safeties will be:
    Michael Lewis [SS Philadelphia]
    Gibril Wilson [SS New York Giants]
    Deon Grant [FS Jacksonville Jaguars]
    Ken Hamlin [FS Seattle Seahawks]

    Charlie Brown also tells me that Brian Russel (think a younger Lynch with better coverage ability) might be let walking from Cleveland, in which case... GET HIM!

    I'd want Hamlin, then Wilson, then Grant, than Lewis, in order of who I'd value most. Lewis got benched this season for poor play and inconsistancy in coverage, so I'd pass on him.

    In the draft, as an heir to Lynch, I'd hope we can trade into the second round, higher up and get Michael Griffin [Safety Texas] if he drops.

    5) Defensive coordinator. I know that's been quite a controversial topic but I feel Coyer just wasn't meant to be a DC but he was a great linebacker coach. Unfortunately, I feel that Shanny thinks highly of Coyer and so this is probably the least likely to happen of all my wishes.

    Anyway, we could use depth in other areas but overall I feel fine with everything else... except maybe special teams. But we'll see if Hixon can be the guy next year to return our kicks. And we might want to look at other punters, too. But the coverage guys are usually comprised of our backups so we'll see.

    What do you think, did I miss anything?
    I hope Coyer gets the boot, but like you, I've had my doubts he'll get a pink slip. We can all pray though.

    I see Hixon and Morgan battling it out over camp and the preseason for the Returner job, and Hixon will battle it out with Kircus at PR.
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    • #3
      Graham's one of the best blocking TEs around, also has great hands although NE didn't use him as a receiver much. If we could get him at all I'd be ecstatic.

      Hmm...who'd be more pricey (and Prycey :p during his good years at least) out of Charles Grant and Justin Smith?
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      • #4
        That's a good wish list Javalon.

        I would also add beefing up that offensive line with good personnel.
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        • #5
          Lorcust and I share the same opinion; but I had to comment on getting another DT next to Warren. Sure, that's a priority; but the biggest slouch on the line all year long was Warren. He had one of the WORST seasons out of any player on our defensive front. Michael Myers on the other hand had an excellent year for a player who just hit 30. He'll be re-signed. Veal's contract was extended until 2008. With Myers likely to get a "salty" veteran contract; the Broncos will have quite a penny summed up at the position.

          Warren takes on blockers and that's it. He's lazy, and hardly gets a pus upfield in the pass-rush. When news broke we re-signed him for his gargantuan contract over 30 million dollars; I was the first to criticize. His play does not merit that much money. His job in this defense is to control two gaps. Pardon my cursin' Javalon; but he's a fatass and that's really all he does. Do you know how many other DT's there are out there like him who are MILLIONS cheaper?

          I do think we need a more explosive one-gap guy; but I don't think defensive tackle's going to be be a very early priority. Too much money already invested into the position; (if Myers gets re-signed) in my mind to believe that we could put a first-round salary in there as well. (Picking 21st; it might not be that high; I'd expect a move up though.)

          Otherwise we have similar thoughts and ideas. Good work.

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          • #6
            Offensive Line

            The only thing of importance that i think you missed that is critical to giving us all "super" hopes would be the offensive line. Do not count me among the critics who think the line is overrated, its not, it is still very good! Even without Alex Gibbs who we all dearly miss. But looking at the performance, the guards were terrific, the tackles were terrible. It wasnt so bad when lepsis was in, but after that injury it all went downhill. Granted, if he comes back we dont need a starter there on the left side, but he wont be around much longer and i dont know if pears will be able to fill that very well. But even if he can, the whole foster / meadows right tackler duo is disgusting. Maybe meadows will be a bit better next year, the guy came out of retirement and looked a little rusty. But he is a good backup at best. Then there is the Foster bust. The guy just isnt worth that 1st rounder spent a few years ago. He is a decent run blocker, horrible pass protecter. There needs to be a replacement there soon. Mebe that can be done in FA or Trade, or even if Shannahan finds a good OT, thats fallen to the early part of the second day in the draft. I dont know, but i do know shannahan wants a good pass protecting line in front of his star qb. Anyway the rest is dead on.

            I think we can address these many issues. There are a lot of options availible through the Fa and trades. Not everything has to be dont in the Draft. I also dont think we are looking for a overhall, just a shoreup and rebuildign on a few critical positions. Anyway, thats my take!
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            • #7
              Thanks for the responses.

              Some of you mentioned the offensive line. I didn't mention it because I have faith we'll be back on track next year.

              I know there are no guarantees with Lepsis recovering but I feel that he'll be back. Medical science has progressed even in past few years to a point where blowing out the ACL is an injury a player is likely to recover from. I know he also had microfracture surgery but he successfully recovered from the same procedure on his other knee.

              If he does not come back, then I'll start to get worried. But I won't worry until then.

              As for the other positions on the line, I think we have a lot of young and talented players that fit the Broncos' mold that will soon be integrated into the line. Kuper, Myers, and Esliner (if he hits the weight room hard this offseason) should shore up the unit.

              I actually think Meadows was a good pickup. Unfortunately, it was a bit much to expect a lot out of him after being off for two years. Give him this offseason and training camp to get in shape and learn our offense and I think he'll be a good RT while we develop a younger guy.

              Anyway, this is one area that I'm cautiously optimistic about returning to form in '07. But I'd be surprised if Foster starts next year, and may not even be on the team. I don't buy into the idea that he'll be switched to guard, either. I've never heard a hint of that from the team and the idea got started here in these forums. I think he's likely a goner.
              "You can't take the sky from me..."
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              "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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              • #8
                Originally posted by muse
                Graham's one of the best blocking TEs around, also has great hands although NE didn't use him as a receiver much. If we could get him at all I'd be ecstatic.
                That would be my ideal acquisition at TE this offseason. There were rumors we were trying to trade for him last year at it got me hopeful. Now he's a free agent...
                "You can't take the sky from me..."
                ------
                "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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                • #9
                  Nalen had a Pro Bowl year after the exact same injury as Matt. Still...I want to get a franchise LT this year to mold for when he does retire. I have a lot of faith in Myers, Kuper and Eslinger...Eslinger is particularly exciting considering his credentials. I also would be reasonably comfy with Pears at RT. He did a great job considering he didn't have that much time learning the system (we signed him in 2005, cut him and then we signed him again this time last year).

                  but i do know shannahan wants a good pass protecting line in front of his star qb
                  Not strictly. I mean, yes, he wants to protect Jay but the run game will always come first as long as Shanny coaches us.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Lorcust
                    A more affordable, less-huge-name-but-still-really-good option would be Charles Grant from New Orleans. A double digit sacker a few years ago, and is still a decent force. Receiving all the double teams, his opposite, Will Smith, went to the NFC pro-bowl. He's not half bad against the run either. He might not cost as much, nor be as risky as Strahan or Rice.

                    If we could get Jason Taylor, more likely he gets dealt with Saban leaving the Dolphins high and dry, I would love that.
                    I'd squeal like a little girl if we got Taylor But we'd probably blow our entire free agent allotment in one shot. But I think it would probably be worth it.

                    I don't know much about Grant other than his stats. That's right, I admit to not watching much of the Saints. So sue me!

                    To take another Dolphin, maybe Vonnie Holliday would be a good addition. Former Chief, might want to come here at DT next to Warren. Disrupting, plays with effort (he does have Taylor opening plays up for him though), and I think would be a good old Dinosaur to help groom a first round pick into a rotation, or some sort of DT draft pick in a 2nd-3rd round such as Kareem Brown or Marcus Thomas. Get them worked into a rotation, and as holliday gets older, he can take a more rotational role as we work our drafted DT into more of a starter role.

                    There's always "stompy" too: Albert Haynesworth.
                    Whoever we get at DT I want someone who can collapse the pocket. We'd get a lot more sacks even with our current DEs if the opposing QB couldn't always step up into the pocket to avoid the rush around the tackles.

                    I see Hixon and Morgan battling it out over camp and the preseason for the Returner job, and Hixon will battle it out with Kircus at PR.
                    If Hixon can handle both return duties, both Morgan and Kircus might not be back. I wonder if he'll be a decent enough receiver to come in on passing downs.
                    "You can't take the sky from me..."
                    ------
                    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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                    • #11
                      I've heard people say that Kircus is a very sharp route runner, surprisingly so in fact. But I've not seen it myself (having watched all one game live this season)...I think he may be quite useful.
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                      Elvon Millervil eat grues for breakfast.

                      Pey-Pey to Bey-Bey for the Tey-Dey.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Javalon
                        I want the Broncos to do several things to give me Super hopes for next year:

                        1) Improve the defensive line. Kind of goes without saying... but then again, it doesn't. I like Shanahan but he seems to neglect getting top talent on our D-line. I'd like to see him focus on this area this year both in the draft and in free agency.

                        In free agency (or trade) I want us to land one top player. We probably can't afford more than that. Jason Taylor has apparently hinted at retirement which seems odd, plus his cap figure for '07 is just shy of $10 million and he could be in a situation like Pryce was with us last year; he might become available. Simeon Rice is coming off an injury, is in the final year of his contract, and is also scheduled to count huge on Tampa's cap. I keep expecting Michael Strahan to part ways with the Giants, although I have no idea what will happen if Coughlin gets fired. Jared Allen is also an interesting possibility but is a RFA and I doubt the Chiefs will let him get away. I doubt we can afford Freeney, and he might not be worth it. But there's bound to be somebody worthwhile come available as a veteran DE.

                        Of course this doesn't even touch on DT which could also stand a huge improvement to go alongside Warren.

                        2) Running back. Some people are content with the Bells. I'm not. I think both guys are well suited to come off the bench but I don't like either one as our full-time starter.

                        If we could nab a good free agent like Fred Taylor (maybe gone from Jax) or Michael Turner, then I'd be fine going with our typical late round running back in the draft to try to find that hidden gem. Otherwise, if there isn't good value on the DL by the time our first pick comes around, I wouldn't mind taking a running back if a good one is still hanging around.

                        Barring that, maybe we could find a reasonable trade for someone like Cedric Benson or Thomas Jones (whichever the Bears would part with) or even a solid back like Ladell Betts who might be the odd man out in Washington.

                        3) Tight end. Stephen Alexander is okay but I think we could improve. I'd rather not rely on another rookie so I was thinking someone like Daniel Graham or maybe even Eric Johnson (although I'd like a guy who can block well). I doubt we'd be able to snag Tony Gonzalez.

                        4) Safety. I actually like Nick Ferguson but we need another really good safety for depth and to eventually take over for Lynch, preferably a safety that can play well in coverage. I think a 2nd or 3rd rounder would be reasonable considering safeties are often undervalued. I haven't really looked to see if anybody good will be available as a free agent.

                        5) Defensive coordinator. I know that's been quite a controversial topic but I feel Coyer just wasn't meant to be a DC but he was a great linebacker coach. Unfortunately, I feel that Shanny thinks highly of Coyer and so this is probably the least likely to happen of all my wishes.

                        Anyway, we could use depth in other areas but overall I feel fine with everything else... except maybe special teams. But we'll see if Hixon can be the guy next year to return our kicks. And we might want to look at other punters, too. But the coverage guys are usually comprised of our backups so we'll see.

                        What do you think, did I miss anything?
                        The only I would really change is number three. You're right about Alexander, but we do Scheffler and from what I have seen of him over the past five weeks gives me hope we have a player with tremendous potential at that position. I know we've heard he a light weight we it comes to blocking but I've got to tell during this final stretch of games I saw him make some nice blocks.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TXBRONC
                          The only I would really change is number three. You're right about Alexander, but we do Scheffler and from what I have seen of him over the past five weeks gives me hope we have a player with tremendous potential at that position. I know we've heard he a light weight we it comes to blocking but I've got to tell during this final stretch of games I saw him make some nice blocks.
                          Okay, miscommunication. I am really pleased with Scheffler coming on. But we run so many two tight end sets than I want an upgrade over Alexander to play go along with Scheffler.

                          I think Scheff and Graham would be a great combo. I'm just so-so on Alexander, even though he seems like a decent guy when interviewed.
                          "You can't take the sky from me..."
                          ------
                          "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Javalon
                            I want the Broncos to do several things to give me Super hopes for next year:

                            1) Improve the defensive line. Kind of goes without saying... but then again, it doesn't. I like Shanahan but he seems to neglect getting top talent on our D-line. I'd like to see him focus on this area this year both in the draft and in free agency.

                            In free agency (or trade) I want us to land one top player. We probably can't afford more than that. Jason Taylor has apparently hinted at retirement which seems odd, plus his cap figure for '07 is just shy of $10 million and he could be in a situation like Pryce was with us last year; he might become available. Simeon Rice is coming off an injury, is in the final year of his contract, and is also scheduled to count huge on Tampa's cap. I keep expecting Michael Strahan to part ways with the Giants, although I have no idea what will happen if Coughlin gets fired. Jared Allen is also an interesting possibility but is a RFA and I doubt the Chiefs will let him get away. I doubt we can afford Freeney, and he might not be worth it. But there's bound to be somebody worthwhile come available as a veteran DE.

                            Of course this doesn't even touch on DT which could also stand a huge improvement to go alongside Warren.

                            2) Running back. Some people are content with the Bells. I'm not. I think both guys are well suited to come off the bench but I don't like either one as our full-time starter.

                            If we could nab a good free agent like Fred Taylor (maybe gone from Jax) or Michael Turner, then I'd be fine going with our typical late round running back in the draft to try to find that hidden gem. Otherwise, if there isn't good value on the DL by the time our first pick comes around, I wouldn't mind taking a running back if a good one is still hanging around.

                            Barring that, maybe we could find a reasonable trade for someone like Cedric Benson or Thomas Jones (whichever the Bears would part with) or even a solid back like Ladell Betts who might be the odd man out in Washington.

                            3) Tight end. Stephen Alexander is okay but I think we could improve. I'd rather not rely on another rookie so I was thinking someone like Daniel Graham or maybe even Eric Johnson (although I'd like a guy who can block well). I doubt we'd be able to snag Tony Gonzalez.

                            4) Safety. I actually like Nick Ferguson but we need another really good safety for depth and to eventually take over for Lynch, preferably a safety that can play well in coverage. I think a 2nd or 3rd rounder would be reasonable considering safeties are often undervalued. I haven't really looked to see if anybody good will be available as a free agent.

                            5) Defensive coordinator. I know that's been quite a controversial topic but I feel Coyer just wasn't meant to be a DC but he was a great linebacker coach. Unfortunately, I feel that Shanny thinks highly of Coyer and so this is probably the least likely to happen of all my wishes.

                            Anyway, we could use depth in other areas but overall I feel fine with everything else... except maybe special teams. But we'll see if Hixon can be the guy next year to return our kicks. And we might want to look at other punters, too. But the coverage guys are usually comprised of our backups so we'll see.

                            What do you think, did I miss anything?
                            1.) I think the Broncos will grab a DE and a DT in the Draft...I think...but you never know what the Mastermind has in mind...the Free Agents you mentioned are probably a long shot (particularly Taylor), but Simeon Rice is a distinct possibility.

                            2.) I think Mike Bell really played well down the stretch. I still view him as part of a RB combo, not 'The Man'....I also am a big fan of Chris Brown here for a year. He is not a long term solution because he just takes too much punishment with his runing style...but for year, he could really be something. I would be in favor of the Broncos doing a two year contract with him. He doesn't have much leverage, and took virtually no punishment this year, so I think he could go off in '07....so if you have Brown and Miek Bell, and Cecil Sapp moves back to tailback, that's not a bad threesome.

                            3.) One name: Daniel Graham. This would be my No. 1 targeted player in Free Agency. I think he would be absolutley perfect for our team with a young Tony Scheffler.

                            4.) We have some interesting young guys, but yes, we need a body or two. I am already on record as a proponnt of drafting Wyoming's John Wendling and Utah's Eric Weddle. Arizona's Michael Johnson could figure in as well, but I do think we will Draft a player there.

                            5.) I hope Coyer is seriously considering retirement, because he is terrible.

                            My replacement? Former Miami/Green Bay D Coordinator Jim Bates.

                            Beyond that, we also need a kick returner in the wake of losing Darrent.

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