Typically speaking, sports fans tend to worry about two things – the past and the future. They’ll debate who was the greatest player of all-time, while also spending hours discussing whether or not a rookie is going to be develop into an All-Pro.
Both are fun exercises, things that keep fans engaged and the beer flowing at the local tavern. But they miss out on what is most important – the present.
Forget about yesterday. Never mind tomorrow. Let’s talk about today.
Who are the best players in the NFL right now? Who can help a team win the Super Bowl this season? Who is writing a legacy with each passing week?
Those are the questions the editors at cover32 seek to answer in this series, “Top 10 in 2014.” In the coming weeks, every position – as well as head coach, general manager and other off-field areas – will be graded, evaluated and ranked.
The series continues with the men who assemble the rosters – general managers. They are in charge of establishing a team’s philosophy on talent evaluation, coordinating scouts and personnel people to seek players that fit those ideas, and then maneuvering through the draft and free agency in order to get those kinds of parts and pieces. In Bill Parcells’ vernacular, they are responsible for buying the groceries.
Let the debate begin!
10. Bill Belichick
Plenty of people are critical of the way Belichick runs the personnel side of the Patriots, especially in recent seasons, but it’s difficult to ignore the results. Does he trade down too much in the draft? Perhaps. Does he leave glaring holes in certain positions, such as wide receiver in 2013? Maybe. But at the end of the day, he builds a roster that almost always wins at least 11 games and is atop the AFC East. That’s ultimately the measuring stick.
9. Rick Smith
Given the lack of playoff success in Houston, it may surprise some people that the guy who has been running the show on the personnel side since 2006 is on this list. But the Texans haven’t fallen short of the ultimate goal because of a lack of talent, except for perhaps at quarterback. Look at the roster Smith has built; it’s loaded with greatness on both sides of the ball, something new head coach Bill O’Brien can work with in year one.