1. Our coaching sucks.
Hey, so I was thinking about where we have really been getting beat this year, and I finally figured it out. Below are the top 3 needs of this team.
We need to make some sweeping changes by firing Dan Henning and possibly even firing Sparano. Henning sucks and we all know it. If you want proof go to any of the 1,000 posts on the subject... I am not going to get into any more detail on that. Not sure if we absolutely need to dump Sparano ... but he does need to change the way he does some things, because they aren't working.
2. On offense our problems start with the Center, LG, RG and move out to RT.
I actually think John Jerry is better suited to take over Vernon Carey's job. I think he is big and has trouble playing in those tight spaces and being effective. Dump Carey, then move him out to Carey's spot and draft interior line or go after some good ones in free agency. Berger was definitely not an upgrade to Grove and Incognito was not an upgrade to Smiley except maybe from a durability standpoint. I actually am not really that upset about Incognito, but he is a slight drop off from the 2nd best offensive lineman on our team last year. If we keep him it wouldn't be bad because I have not heard anything about any injuries he has had to this point. I am still a little bit bitter though about Smiley, because I still don't understand it.
I know people really really want us to take a RB next year with our first pick, but we have to be really really honest with where we are offensively. If we came into this season with the same offensive line we had last year and John Jerry it would be really easy. You move Jerry to RT and dump Carey, then draft a RB. But the problem is we created big holes in the offensive line this year for no apparent reason. We somehow forgot that our line suffered when guys went down and somehow accepted that their replacements were OK for those games even though we didn't win that many of them. The problem with having a O-line coach as a head coach is he thinks he can make a heaping pile of cow dung into the Great Wall of China with a little bit of coaching.
I really want a RB.. I do.... But I also know that whoever we pick at this point will not last through a whole season with our current offensive line. 2 QBs in one week???? really? Think about the impact that CJ Spiller has had this year behind a crappy offensive line and just think we could have picked him.... he would have done just as poorly here. Just to give you an idea ... there are 5 QBs ahead of Spiller in rushing yards this year, Michael Vick(duh), Josh Freeman, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers. Spiller is currently ranked 59th in yards rushing this season, with 164 yards rushing. I am not one to blame it on him by any means... I am simply making the point that it is pointless to draft a RB when you have no line and can't even protect your QBs from getting beaten into a pulp. Do you really believe it is Ronnie or Ricky's fault when they get handed the ball and immediately get a D-lineman in their face?? We need to fix that problem first. I mean, its a pass first league anyway ... right???
3. We need a real NT desperately.
I think that is still our biggest position of need on defense... still.... I was fooled for a bit because we have all seen Soliai in there making plays and we have all praised him for it. The problem is I don't really think he has been doubled teamed for most of the season. A NT that commands a double team is essential to play in a 3-4. He is the reason that everything else doesn't work because he is singled and our LBs can't stay clean. We need that guy in the middle that demands a double team on every play and fights through it and gets some push anyway.
That would even help our pass rush as it would mean there is one less body to pass block on passing downs and Wake and Misi would both benefit from having one less guy to block one of them.
That will also mean our ILBs stay clean and can fly around to the ball on running plays instead of being caught in the mess and letting big plays happen right in the middle of our defense. I think our DEs are doing ok and if we had that NT it would all work up front. We have enough young talent in the back end to not really need to worry about that in the draft. If Clemons can learn to catch the ball he is more than capable and Reshad Jones looks good back there also. I think Bell is getting old ... and fast... He is a liability in coverage, and if we can get any value for him we should do the deal now.
Also ... If you pick either of the "something else" choices for the poll... please at least comment what you think the "something else" should be...