Wish list: What eliminated NFL teams need in 2013
- By Gregg Rosenthal
- Updated: Dec. 28, 2012 at 10:26 p.m.
Ten teams have made the NFL playoffs. Five more teams are fighting for the final two spots in the NFC.
That leaves 17 teams already looking to next year. Many of them will be looking for new coaches, but coaching only can do so much. All of the eliminated teams have major roster holes they need to fill this offseason.
Here's a look at the most pressing need for each squad heading into the new year.
Miami Dolphins: They need skill players who can win one-on-one matchups. There just aren't any difference makers in Ryan Tannehill's receiver group. Two of the better offensive players -- Brian Hartline and Reggie Bush -- are free agents. Coach Joe Philbin needs to find some explosive players to help Tannehill.
Pittsburgh Steelers: It sounds crazy, but they need pass rushers most of all. No one on the team has topped five sacks. James Harrison has declined rapidly, and LaMarr Woodley is coming off a very poor season.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers needs better protection. There's no reason to believe Rivers will be off the team in 2013, but he's a true pocket quarterback who can't succeed with pressure in his face all the time. There is enough talent on this roster to quickly contend again.
New York Jets: Where to start? There are so many problems with the Jets' offense, and coach Rex Ryan clearly doesn't know how to fix them himself. A strong personnel voice with a true long-term vision is needed because there are no quick fixes.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns need another option at quarterback via free agency, trade or the draft. Brandon Weeden is going to have to learn another system, and he hasn't shown enough to take the job next year without competition.Tennessee Titans: This was a tough one. There is a lot wrong with the Titans, but they have promise sprinkled throughout their roster. More than anything, they need a new direction on defense. They have way too much talent to be last in the NFL in points allowed.
Buffalo Bills: We could pick on the vanilla defensive scheme, but the talent is sufficient for a new coach to win with on defense. That's not true at quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a system guy who will look very out of place if Chan Gailey is let go. GM Buddy Nix already waited a year too long to get competition for Fitzpatrick.
Oakland Raiders: The secondary is so far below acceptable NFL standards that it makes it tough to evaluate the rest of the defense. GM Reggie McKenzie needs a number of good drafts to upgrade this roster, but the secondary should come first.
Jacksonville Jaguars: They need a decision maker who recognizes that even an improved Blaine Gabbert is not a solution at quarterback, then will go out and find a solution (not to mention a pass rush). Much easier said than done.
Kansas City Chiefs: The franchise will have to start over nearly from scratch on offense. The team truly has no viable quarterback options who are likely to be on the roster next year.
New Orleans Saints: Now that the Saints worked out their
t. Louis Rams: The offense needs time and patience. We'd focus on the defense, where the Rams have the makings of a really special group. Adding some help at outside linebacker and safety virtually would complete the unit.
situation with coach Sean Payton, the most pressing need is finding a pass rusher who can win one-one-one matchups. The team relies on Steve Spagnuolo to out-scheme opponents too much.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: You can't buy what the Bucs need. They need Josh Freeman's accuracy, consistency and decision-making to improve. Barring that, they need another draft like they had in 2012. Another upgrade in talent like that would give this roster a real chance.
Carolina Panthers: It's hard to overstate how much their interior defensive linemen have struggled since Ron Rivera took over the team.
Arizona Cardinals: The quarterback position is so obvious that we'll skip over it for now. The team's awful long-term situation at offensive tackle will make it difficult for any quarterback to succeed.
Detroit Lions: We could go in a lot of directions here, but let's go back to the same problem we saw for this team before the season. Jim Schwartz never will have the defense he wants until he seriously upgrades the secondary.
Philadelphia Eagles: The biggest challenge for the next coach: There are a lot of disparate parts that were signed to play in since-discarded schemes. The offensive line will need a new direction with Howard Mudd likely out of the picture. (Michael Vick approves. Not that he'll be on the team).