SNY's Erik Coleman is out in California for Super Bowl 50. In this Q&A, he talked about the Broncos vs. Panthers, playing while injured, what the Jets need to do with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Muhammad Wilkerson, the team's secondary and more...
On Super Bowl 50…
Everyone is talking about Peyton Manning -- is this going to be his last game? I think that Peyton is in a place where if he wins this Super Bowl, it's going to be his last game. But if he feels good, and loses, he's going to come back out again. One rumor is that the LA Rams want him, at least for one year. If they can have him start that franchise in Los Angeles, that would be huge for them.
They're also talking about Cam Newton, and a lot about the defenses. The two defenses have been playing very good football. How are they going to play? How are those matchups going to line up?
It's definitely going to be a defensive type of game. If Carolina's defense is able to stop the run of the Broncos, I think they'll have a lot of success against Denver. Peyton is not at the point in his career where he can dominate a game by throwing the ball 50 times. He needs the run game to help him out with the play-action game, with the roll-outs, to help him drive down the field.
Is Thomas Davis going to be able to stop the run with a broken arm? Is he going to be able to stop the run. He's playing tough and playing through the injury, but is going to be able to take on isolated coverage? Is he going to take on fullbacks? Lineman?
And when you look at Denver's defense? Are those two safeties healthy enough to stop Greg Olsen. He's a huge part of this offense. Olsen and cam Newton have a great bond. He's had an amazing year. There are some great matchups on defense.
On Davis and playing while injured…
I played though a broken hand. I had to play with a club on my hand. It's one thing to go out there and play, but there are a lot of times where you have to make arm tackles and guys just run through your tackles because you can't grab cloth. I see that being a problem for him. He's a great player, he's played through a lot of injuries and he's one of the toughest men in the league. If there's someone that can do it, it's Thomas Davis. I'm not going to say he's not going to preform well, but there may be instances where he struggles due to the cast.
Prediction for Super Bowl 50...
I'm leaning toward Carolina. They're hot right now, the confidence they're playing with, Cam Newton is throwing and running the ball wall. I think they have too many playmakers, and I think they're going to put up too many points for Denver, so I'm going with Carolina.
What should the Jets do with Ryan Fitzpatrick?
I think that the Jets should bring back Ryan Fitzpatrick. Give him another year or two, which will give Bryce Petty another year to watch. It comes down to how they feel about Petty, too. Do they see him as the quarterback of the future? If they do, sign Fitzpatrick back and let Petty develop a little bit. If not, I think they're going to need to make a move.
You hear about Colin Kaepernick talking about the possibility in going to the Jets. I don't know if the Jets are interested, but I know Colin is, and it doesn't really work out like that all the time.
I think the best move for the Jets would be to keep Fitzpatrick. He earned it. He had a great year, did a great job leading this team and he has the trust of all of his teammates. That's a big key to moving forward.
And Muhammad Wilkerson?
Obviously, both sides would probably like to get a long-term deal done. No player wants to be franchised, not because of the money, but because there's no security of longevity. God forbid something happens during that season while you're franchised. I think Muhammad would like to get a long-term deal done, and I think the Jets would, too, so they don't have to think about this anymore and it's not a distraction going forward.
At the same time, what are you going to do with Damon Harrison? He's arguable the best nose tackle in the game right now. He's playing great football and he's a free agent as well.
They're going to have some tough decisions to make. This is where Mike Maccagnan is going to be tested as a general manager.
How did the defensive backs fare in 2015? And how do they look going into 2016?
I think they did a great job in 2015. Darrelle Revis, he probably had one game where he gave up a couple plays, but other than that, he had a great season. Antonio Cromartie had an up-and-down season, but he played pretty good. Calvin Pryor was a bright spot, he played exceptionally well. He played well against the run, and was great in pass defense. He established himself as an enforcer out on the perimeter.
In the secondary, I think they're in good shape. They have some young guys who they're developing. Marcus Williams did a great job this year. He's a guy that's a bright spot. All these guys... they have a lot of talent in the secondary. It's going to be very competitive in the offseason and in training camp. The competition will breed success. You'll see the cream rise to the top. You're going to get the most out of all those guys in the secondary.