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NFL New Year’s Resolutions heading into 2021

Mike Tanier still has holiday spirit with a team-by-team look at 2021 New Year’s resolutions — what should each NFL team be mindful of?

NFL New Year's Resolutions heading into 2021
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - SEPTEMBER 27: Darius Leonard #53 of the Indianapolis Colts walks off the field after the game against the New York Jets at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 27, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

It’s time for NFL teams, players, owners, and coaches to make some New Year’s resolutions! And just what do Andy Reid, Aaron Rodgers, Bill Belichick, Derrick Henry, and others hope to change as the ball drops on 2021? A little bit of everything, of course! After all, who doesn’t want things to get better after 2020? Some NFL personalities are making New Year’s resolutions for the 2021 season, some for the playoffs, and a few are just trying to get through Week 17.

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Like most New Year’s resolutions, most of the NFL’s won’t last long either in 2021. But give them the benefit of the doubt. We’re all doing our part to make things a little bit better. 

NFL New Year’s Resolutions 2021

Arizona Cardinals

I, Kliff Kingsbury, resolve to be cool again. Remember when my game plans were cool, full of wacky screens and funky option packages for Kyler Murray? Remember when my Cinemax-at-midnight draft war room/crash pad was cool?

Well, all of that is coming back in 2021. Murray will rebound from his hot-and-cold second half of the season, and I’ll lead the Cardinals back to the Birmingham Bowl. Oops, I mean the playoffs.

Atlanta Falcons

I, team owner Arthur Blank, want to apologize for everything. All of it: 28-3, the onside kick, the 273 fourth-quarter collapses over the last four years, all the times we lost badly but backdoor covered with a meaningless late touchdown to ruin your parlay, all the times three years ago that you needed a Julio Jones touchdown for your fantasy league but Steve Sarkisian drew up a play for Levine Toilolo instead, Steve Sarkisian himself, the whole ballgame.

I don’t know who will be running or coaching the team in 2021, but I promise that things will be different. Well, except for Matt Ryan, of course. And Julio. And there are some other veterans we cannot afford to cut. Wait, we paid Dante Fowler how much

Baltimore Ravens

I, Lamar Jackson, resolve to fasten two tire swings to trees on the left and right sides of my back yard, and do nothing else this winter but stand in the middle of my yard and throw footballs through those tire swings until I am the greatest sideline passer the NFL has ever seen. Then we’ll see who got “figured out” in 2020.

Buffalo Bills

I, offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, resolve to pass along all of my quarterback development secrets to my successors, so Josh Allen does not turn back into Wile E. Coyote the moment I get a head coaching gig elsewhere. 

Carolina Panthers

I, kicker Joey Slye, resolve to turn to Matt Rhule the next time he orders a 22-yard field goal on 4th-and-inches and say, “Golly coach, we keep losing games by less than four points, maybe we should try scoring some f*****g touchdowns!”

Chicago Bears

I, general manager Ryan Pace, plan to prove I made the right decision in the 2017 NFL Draft by signing Mitch Trubisky to a $100 million contract. After all, Trubisky looked good against the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings, AND Detroit Lions at the end of the season. No way that could be a mirage! And once someone is making franchise quarterback money, they magically transform into a franchise quarterback. That’s how it works! (OK, this 2021 NFL New Year’s resolution probably isn’t going to happen!)

Cincinnati Bengals

I, Duke Tobin, resolve to improve the roster. 

What? My name is Duke Tobin. “Duke,” as in a king’s cousin or something. Yes, I’m on the list. I’m the Bengals Director of Player Personnel. You didn’t think the Bengals had a Director of Player Personnel? No, silly, you’re thinking of a general manager. I’m an actual football executive. My office has the internet and everything. We have just about everything the other NFL franchises have. We even have a defensive coordinator! His name is … um … well, we have one. 

Anyway, I resolve to improve the roster. Just as soon as we get all the ethernet cables and dial-up modem hooked up. 

Cleveland Browns

I, Myles Garrett, resolve not to rip Mason Rudolph’s shoulder pads off and disembowel him with them on Sunday. Unless he really has it coming. 

Dallas Cowboys

I, Mike McCarthy, resolve to watch every single play of the 2020 season searching for new ideas. Of course, I am currently enjoying a mud bath as I say this, which will be followed by a deep tissue massage and then maybe a shvitz in the sauna. So I may not get around to doing any of the things I claim I will do. But hey, the important thing is that Dak Prescott is coming back. So the Cowboys will improve next year, and I can take credit for it. 

Denver Broncos

I, John Elway, resolve to waste another year watching Drew Lock develop into Weak Tea Trubisky, then overspend on Matthew Stafford when the Lions release him in 2022. Then I’ll come up with several other bad quarterback ideas until I can finally draft Arch Manning, who is both a Manning and a famous quarterback’s nephew, the two things I simply cannot resist.

Detroit Lions

I, Matthew Stafford, resolve to keep playing until I am 40. Even if I have to limp onto the field and crawl off of it every week, because I know Lions fans gave up hope of the playoffs long ago, and shouting about how underrated and underappreciated I am is now all they have. 

NFL New Year’s Resolutions 2021, continued

Green Bay Packers

I, Aaron Rodgers, resolve not to signal my dissatisfaction with the organization to the media anymore. Even though the thought of how much better we would have been with Justin Jefferson at wide receiver this year makes me want to reach for the Clase Azul Ultra.

Houston Texans

I, mysterious team executive Jack Easterby, resolve to do whatever I want: install yes-men in the front office, coach the team myself, drop Deshaun Watson in the middle of the ocean in a rowboat during hurricane season, tell J.J. Watt to pound sand, anything.

That’s right, I’m an actual supervillain. No one’s gonna show up with a golden lasso and make me “renounce my wish.” Muahahahahahahaha! (Note: the Texans remain in slightly better hands than they were with Bill O’Brien. And Pro Football Network does not apologize for the NFL New Year’s spoiler).

Indianapolis Colts

I, linebacker Darius Leonard, resolve to take offense at this article and use it as motivation, even though it’s not saying anything bad about me at all. Including me among the NFL’s best players and most famous personalities is actually a little bit of a compliment. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

I, Gardner Minshew, resolve to become Ryan Fitzpatrick, which means you will spend the next 15 years watching me bounce from team to team, charm the local media with my awesome facial hair, rack up impressive stats in 24-point losses, and “mentor” rookie quarterbacks by not-so-subtly lobbying to take their jobs. 

Kansas City Chiefs

I, Andy Reid, resolve throughout the playoffs to not call Diamond Formation Quarterback Motion Triple Reverse Gonzo Jamaican Indica Sunrise Option Pass in any situation when a routine off-tackle run would get the job done. 

Los Angeles Chargers

“…”

(Taps microphone) We said, announce your 2021 NFL New Year’s resolutions: Los Angeles Chargers

Whoops! Lost track of time. I, Anthony Lynn, resolve to improve my clock management, so I don’t make inexcusable mistakes that result in time running out before Justin Herbert gets an opportunity to win. 

Los Angeles Rams

I, Aaron Donald, resolve to become a better run defender. While I am a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate, the league’s most feared interior pass rusher, and enter Week 16 tied for fourth in the NFL with 19 tackles for a loss on running plays (per Sports Info Solutions), someone out there on the internet has a homebrewed metric that says I am a below-average run defender.

I will not rest until every analytics try-hard who pours tackle totals, GPS data, and decade-old combine results in a blender and makes a Run Defense Analysis Daiquiri that can agree that I am good at the things I am obviously good at. 

Las Vegas Raiders

OK, m*********ers. I, Jon Gruden, resolve to bring in some guys. My guys. Football guys. Guys who can tackle. Guys who can get after the quarterback. And I’m not gonna take any more of the owner’s money until I find those guys. Any more of the owner’s money than the $100-million he already agreed to pay me, that is. I’m keeping that no matter how many times we miss the playoffs. 

Miami Dolphins

I, Brian Flores, resolve to have patience with Tua Tagovailoa. A rookie quarterback’s development is a slow and delicate process, and I…hang on one second. 

(Shouting out an open window). “That’s not how you parallel park, Tua! You’re supposed to start by lining up mirror to mirror! You’re gonna scratch up Xavien’s detailing! I can’t watch this anymore. Hey Fitz, go park Tua’s car for him.” 

Where was I? Oh yes, it’s imperative that a young quarterback gets to make his own mistakes and learn from them.

Minnesota Vikings

I, Kirk Cousins, resolve to continue earning ridiculous amounts of money to be a top-25 NFL starter. You read that number right. I didn’t get to where I am now by overpromising. 

New England Patriots

I, Bill Belichick, resolve to draft the next Tom Brady next year. And if I can’t find the next Tom Brady lying around in the sixth round or whenever, I’ll sign Marcus Mariota, fart around for another year, and get snippy and hold up my Infinity Gauntlet of Super Bowl rings if anyone dares to question my performance. 

New Orleans Saints

I, Taysom Hill, resolve to do even more to colonize the brains of television commentators. Maybe I will kick an extra point. Or shag a few ground balls at some team’s spring training. Maybe I’ll bring an adorable puppy with me everywhere I go, even onto the sideline. Whatever it takes.

I vow that whenever Alvin Kamara catches a screen from Drew Brees and weaves through the defense for a 30-yard game-saving touchdown, Troy Aikman will be yammering about me for some reason. 

New York Giants

I, Dave Gettleman, resolve to draft another Hog Molly next year. Then, when questioned about it by the Giants media, I will say, “Guys. Guys. C’mon. What’s going on here? We almost won the division last year! We’re playoff contendahhs! My system is working!” (OK, this 2021 NFL New Year’s resolution probably isn’t going to happen!)

New York Jets

I, Quinnen Williams, am not sure why I am here. I guess I’m now a veteran leader and one of the few people likely to still be with the Jets next year. The nitwit who wrote this finally ran out of Adam Gase material and couldn’t come up with a Joe Douglas joke.

So yeah, I resolve to do my best still, keep improving, help the new coaching staff forge a winning tradition and such. Unless I get traded to a contender for two first-round picks the way Jamal Adams was last offseason. Is that a possibility? Does anyone know how we can make that happen?

Philadelphia Eagles

I, Carson Wentz, resolve to deal with it. No behind-the-scenes pouting. No leaked trade demands. I will just work hard to get better, compete with Jalen Hurts if given the chance, support him if I must, or welcome a new opportunity if a trade does materialize.

And maybe the local and national media will meet me halfway on this and turn the volume down on the drama just a bit. Right? That’s a thing that happens, isn’t it? Or is at least possible? Pretty please? Nope, nope — I resolved to deal with it. That means dealing with everything.

Pittsburgh Steelers

I, Ben Roethlisberger, resolve to donate my arm to medical science when it falls off sometime in the next three weeks. If science doesn’t want it, I will send it to an Italian culinary school so students can see a perfect example of what happens when you overcook pasta. 

San Francisco 49ers

We, the San Francisco 49ers medical staff, resolve to take a month-long vacation once the season is over. Do not try to contact us. 

Seattle Seahawks

I, Russell Wilson, resolve to cook even if Brian Schottenheimer resolves to stop me. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I, Tom Brady, resolve to have patience with all of you mere mortals who are unworthy to bask in my reflected glory.

Tennessee Titans

I, Derrick Henry, resolve to try harder in the playoffs. Somehow. I mean, I’m already carrying a team with no defense whose improvement plans always boil down to “MOAR DERRICK,” but I will figure something out. Super soldier serum, maybe, or the heart-shaped herb, or just those Adrian Peterson workouts where he rolls airplane tires up hills. Heck, maybe I will even learn how to catch! 

Washington Football Team

I, Alex Smith, resolve to replace all of my injured body parts one-by-one with robot parts so I can play football forever, inspiring millions and finally solving Washington’s quarterback problem. Yet, I still somehow won’t have the arm strength to throw 20 yards downfield. 

Don’t worry, it’ll be OK

Sigh: things will be somewhat different in 2021, NFL New Year’s resolutions included. And after a year like 2020, “somewhat different” sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

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