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Rethinking the Triplets


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In the 90s, there was a lot of talk about "Triplets."  Obviously, a team wants strength at every position.  But given the reality of the salary cap, that isn't possible.  So, in the 90s, GMs seemed to focus on these three positions: QB, RB, and WR.  If you were strong there, you'd score a lot of points and win a lot of games.  

 

All the great teams from the 90s had strong triplets:

 

Bills:                      Kelly/Thomas/Reed

Cowboys:             Aikman/Smith/Irvin

49ers:                   Young/Waters/Rice

Rams:                   Warner/Faulk/Bruce

Broncos:              Elway/Davis/Smith

 

All five of these legendary triplets got to the Super Bowl.  Four of five hoisted the Lombardi.  Sadly, we all know which one didn't.

 

But football has evolved since then.  Passing is seen as the key and the importance of the running game has diminished.  So now you want your stars at positions that impact the passing game:  QB and WR on the offensive side and DE (Edge) and CB on the defensive side.  Call it quadruplets or double-twins or whatever you want, but clearly a lot of GMs clearly see the need to do better than JAGs at those four key positions.  

 

And with the acquisition of Von Miller, the Bills have stars at all four.  It's not coincidental the Quadruplets are our four highest paid players.  And maybe with the fourth Quadruplet now on the roster, it's time for the Bills to earned what they missed in the 90s.  

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s an interesting thought for sure but I’d suggest that great teams have always had defensive stars along with offensive fire power. The recent evolution has been to replace the RB with a dominant TE and then employ running back by Committee. 

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Left Tackles and Interior Defensive Linemen are both generally higher paid than Corner... and probably affect the passing game as much.

 

Personally, I'm not a big fan of saying "these 3 positions matter" or "these 4 positions matter."

 

The one position that matters more than the rest is QB. Debating WR/LT/DT/DE/CB importance is far secondary and probably has little bearing on who actually wins the Super Bowl. I'm thinking specifically about the 20 years the Patriots competed for the SB, or KC, or GB.

 

 

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1 minute ago, SoCal Deek said:

It’s an interesting thought for sure but I’d suggest that great teams have always had defensive stars along with offensive fire power. The recent evolution has been to replace the RB with a dominant TE and then employ running back by Committee. 

 

Sure.  Offense and defense have always been equally important.  But I think GMs decades ago just collected defensive talent wherever they could find it. 

 

I think the salary cap has forced GMs to start prioritizing positions more than they used to. 

 

And I think contemporary GMs, well versed in today's game, might content themselves with jags at other positions but will be hot to get a capable quadruplet.  

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5 minutes ago, Rigotz said:

Left Tackles and Interior Defensive Linemen are both generally higher paid than Corner... and probably affect the passing game as much.

 

Personally, I'm not a big fan of saying "these 3 positions matter" or "these 4 positions matter."

 

The one position that matters more than the rest is QB. Debating WR/LT/DT/DE/CB importance is far secondary and probably has little bearing on who actually wins the Super Bowl. I'm thinking specifically about the 20 years the Patriots competed for the SB, or KC, or GB.


QB still has to have pieces around him to succeed, and a defense.  Look at guys like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, absolutely great QB who won (1) SB in part because they had no defense and not enough of the other pieces.

 

Don't think it's true that DTs are paid higher than corner.  About the same maybe.

With the exception of Aaron Donald (a unicorn) who is signed for $1M more aav, the pay range is the same, and DT salaries tail off more quickly

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/contracts/sort-value/defensive-tackle/limit-100/  - sort by AAV - 5th highest gets $17.75M, 12th highest gets $10M

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/contracts/sort-value/cornerback/limit-100/   - 5th highest $19.5M, 12th highest $14M

 

LT top 3 get paid more than CB, but then it tails off to "about the same"
https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/contracts/sort-value/left-tackle/limit-100/  -  - 5th highest $18M, 12th highest $14.5M

 

So while the top DT and top LT get paid more than the top CB at present, I don't think it's true "both generally higher paid than corner.  DT in general get a bit less, LT about the same.

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21 minutes ago, BillsPride12 said:

Sure the skills positions are fun and flashy but I think it's also important to keep in mind all of those teams mentioned above had GREAT offensive lines as well.

 

Preaching to the choir actually.  I love the trenches.   And I don't think any GM isn't thinking about the totality of the team.


But I do think QB first - and then the rest of the quadruplet - is the priority.

 

Let's say you're a GM and inherited a team with jags at every position.  Which positions would you try to upgrade first? 

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1 minute ago, hondo in seattle said:

 

Preaching to the choir actually.  I love the trenches.   And I don't think any GM isn't thinking about the totality of the team.


But I do think QB first - and then the rest of the quadruplet - is the priority.

 

Let's say you're a GM and inherited a team with jags at every position.  Which positions would you try to upgrade first? 

QB, LT, WR seems like the modern day Trifecta 

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17 minutes ago, hondo in seattle said:

 

Preaching to the choir actually.  I love the trenches.   And I don't think any GM isn't thinking about the totality of the team.


But I do think QB first - and then the rest of the quadruplet - is the priority.

 

Let's say you're a GM and inherited a team with jags at every position.  Which positions would you try to upgrade first? 

 

1. QB

2. DE

3. LT

4. DE (again)

5. DT 

6. RT

7. WR

8. CB

 

A lockdown CB doesn't matter if they have all day to throw.

A great WR will never get the ball if the QB doesn't have time to pass.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, hondo in seattle said:

In the 90s, there was a lot of talk about "Triplets."  Obviously, a team wants strength at every position.  But given the reality of the salary cap, that isn't possible.  So, in the 90s, GMs seemed to focus on these three positions: QB, RB, and WR.  If you were strong there, you'd score a lot of points and win a lot of games.  

 

All the great teams from the 90s had strong triplets:

 

Bills:                      Kelly/Thomas/Reed

Cowboys:             Aikman/Smith/Irvin

49ers:                   Young/Waters/Rice

Rams:                   Warner/Faulk/Bruce

Broncos:              Elway/Davis/Smith

 

All five of these legendary triplets got to the Super Bowl.  Four of five hoisted the Lombardi.  Sadly, we all know which one didn't.

 

But football has evolved since then.  Passing is seen as the key and the importance of the running game has diminished.  So now you want your stars at positions that impact the passing game:  QB and WR on the offensive side and DE (Edge) and CB on the defensive side.  Call it quadruplets or double-twins or whatever you want, but clearly a lot of GMs clearly see the need to do better than JAGs at those four key positions.  

 

And with the acquisition of Von Miller, the Bills have stars at all four.  It's not coincidental the Quadruplets are our four highest paid players.  And maybe with the fourth Quadruplet now on the roster, it's time for the Bills to earned what they missed in the 90s.  

 

 

 

 

 

The Bills had stars at all 4 then too.  Remember Bruce?

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Triplets did not refer to the overall roster formula to win a super bowl. It was just a nickname for a diverse offense in its day. It had nothing to do with defensive side of the line of scrimmage. 

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2 hours ago, Rigotz said:

Left Tackles and Interior Defensive Linemen are both generally higher paid than Corner... and probably affect the passing game as much.

 

Personally, I'm not a big fan of saying "these 3 positions matter" or "these 4 positions matter."

 

The one position that matters more than the rest is QB. Debating WR/LT/DT/DE/CB importance is far secondary and probably has little bearing on who actually wins the Super Bowl. I'm thinking specifically about the 20 years the Patriots competed for the SB, or KC, or GB.

 

 

 

Agreed.  QB.  Then get impact players wherever you can.  A stud CB can impact the game, same for a stud DT, safety, RB, WR.  The more "studs" you have, followed by solid players like T. Johnson, the better your odds of winning, IMO.  

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I give the same answer to every question. We know our Offense is one of the top offenses and barring injuries will remain so.

It’s BALANCE that wins Super Bowls though….

Beane completely rebuilt the DEfensive Line. Did he do a great job? It features four things: The young DEs. Groot, Boogie and AJ. Three high picks from the 2020 & 2021 drafts are our three young ends and they must play very well. Plus we have the four new free-agents. Three of them are Defensive Tackles: DaQuon Jones, Tim Settle, and Jordan Philips. All three of these guys are going to have to have a big impact for us. Then there’s Shaq Lawson who is our fifth DT and brings both size and veteran experience. He has to help too. #3 is Ed Oliver. The three other DTs job is to take that double team off of Ed  Oliver. Once the double is off can Ed make huge plays for us?

#4 is Von Miller. I left him all by himself as he is our highest paid defender now. But make no mistake, he is no longer good enough to effect a defense all on his own. The rest of the DL HAS to make the offense address the DL as a dangerous whole.

Then…..

Then, if all that works we need to watch the return of our other impact defender, Tre White. We need his return badly and we need it to be 100%. That moment will be huge for us when we see Tre be Tre. But this year is very different. The Bills went out and got their choice at CB, Kaiir Elam. He’s big, strong and fast. He hits, he intercepts, he can lockdown a WR probably even as a rookie once he adjusts to the pro game. 
Once we put this all together and with any luck we have a shot at being a top defense in the NFL. If we can do that we stand a way better shot at hoisting the Lombardi but there is is a third part to playing football; Special Teams….

No one really mentioned this yet but much of the Bills 2022 draft focused on putting the Bills Special Teams on a whole nuther level.

We got the Punt God!!! Yes, he has tons to learn. But he may be the perfect lump of clay to create the best punter in the NFL. Nuff said.

Then, we drafted not one, but two young, smallish LBs that bleed process. Under McD the Bills always rank very high at coverage, maybe we make it to #1 this year? Maybe we have the guys to set up the blocks for these guys to return.

The guy who is probably going to return both kicks and punts for us Khalil Shakir. He was made for this. Just a tremendous fifth round pick we got a WR that should have been long gone. He is the new Gabriel Davis but he returns too….If the Bills want to lessen the load for the rook they might not look farther than James Cook. He has no experience returning but he looks the part. I think he could definitely do it as he is very fast natural receiver .

Mix all this up and add the Bass-o-matic, add brand new STs coach Mathew Smiley who may bring some dynamic calls to the STs and we have the makings of a Super Bowl quality Special Teams Unit.

Add a crack STs unit to our offense and possible defense and we have ourselves a possible Super Bowl Team. Make no mistake fans, we are going to need all three. We are going to need all three plus our coaches to take the next step in becoming Super Bowl worthy coaches. It’s balance. You need the whole enchilada. I’m super happy though as we have a very real shot at this, winning a Super Bowl….

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3 hours ago, hondo in seattle said:

In the 90s, there was a lot of talk about "Triplets."  Obviously, a team wants strength at every position.  But given the reality of the salary cap, that isn't possible.  So, in the 90s, GMs seemed to focus on these three positions: QB, RB, and WR.  If you were strong there, you'd score a lot of points and win a lot of games.  

 

All the great teams from the 90s had strong triplets:

 

Bills:                      Kelly/Thomas/Reed

Cowboys:             Aikman/Smith/Irvin

49ers:                   Young/Waters/Rice

Rams:                   Warner/Faulk/Bruce

Broncos:              Elway/Davis/Smith

 

All five of these legendary triplets got to the Super Bowl.  Four of five hoisted the Lombardi.  Sadly, we all know which one didn't.

 

But football has evolved since then.  Passing is seen as the key and the importance of the running game has diminished.  So now you want your stars at positions that impact the passing game:  QB and WR on the offensive side and DE (Edge) and CB on the defensive side.  Call it quadruplets or double-twins or whatever you want, but clearly a lot of GMs clearly see the need to do better than JAGs at those four key positions.  

 

And with the acquisition of Von Miller, the Bills have stars at all four.  It's not coincidental the Quadruplets are our four highest paid players.  And maybe with the fourth Quadruplet now on the roster, it's time for the Bills to earned what they missed in the 90s.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since RB's for the most part are much more specialized these days and very few teams have a "lead back", it is hard to have triplets anymore in the traditional sense.  I'd argue the only teams with true lead backs are teams that are lacking at the WR and QB position and are trying to make up for it that way.  The lone exception to that might be Dallas, but Zeke is clearly in a downtrend the last few years and likely isn't even the best back on his own team anymore(Pollard)

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1 hour ago, Rigotz said:

 

1. QB

2. DE

3. LT

4. DE (again)

5. DT 

6. RT

7. WR

8. CB

 

A lockdown CB doesn't matter if they have all day to throw.

A great WR will never get the ball if the QB doesn't have time to pass.

Yeah, I hope Beane drafted well in 202p and 2021 with his premium picks. Rousseau is a player that might not of been there at all if it wasn’t for Covid. We took him young and I hope he explodes onto the scene this year. AJ and Boogie were both premium picks and you have to get something from your premium picks if you want to win a Super Bowl. None of the three are rookies anymore they have Von Miller to lead them, now they have to make plays vs. one on one blocking.

Just wanted to add that things are never black and white. A defensive tackle like Aaron Donal, Cameron Hayward or DeForest Buckner are even better than a 2nd end. 
For the Bills many teams doubled Ed Oliver last year, mostly because our DL was so poor, but maybe with Von, DaQuon Jones and Tim Settle bracketing Ed Oliver we might be able to take most of those doubles off of Ed. Maybe this is the year Ed Oliver gets press to call him a poor man’s Aaron Donald once again? I sure would love to hear the comparisons again.Maybe Ed gets ten sacks this year? It’s possible. IThink both DaQuon and Settle need to be real solid for this to happen (along with Von).

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