Ok, so I have been reading everyone's thoughts on next year's draft, free agency, and coaching candidates and I want to share my two cents.
So i wont try and sound smart or act like I know anything outside of what i read like the rest of you. What I know is that from watching all season, there are several issues that we currently have with team. These are not rebuilding, or huge change issues, but simple plug and play solutions. These are in no specific order:
Priority --- sign Peyton Manning or another PROVEN QB. I know Peyton is not technically available, but don't be surprised, he may be available .
Priority --- Resign Marc Columbo at all costs! (So we can bench him every game and collectively laugh him out of Miami)
Priority---- We need a stud RT anchor. I dont care if we do this through FA or the draft, but it needs to be taken care of in order for this team to move forward.
Priority---- Safety. Something is very broken in our secondary. Our Cornerbacks seem solid, but that is where our secondary stops. We need consistent pass protection in the secondary. We have a tackling machine in Bell, but he is not a cover-type of safety any longer. I say move Bell to Nickel, have him cover the TEs, and let him run stop.
Priority -- Head Coach. I know, this should probably be at the top of the list, but I dont feel that it is that huge of a deal. We have good coordinators in Nolan and Daboll, so let them keep doing what they do and see if we can bring in Fischer or Chudomsky (i doubt that i spelled that right).
Priority --- Get Jimmy Wilson in the game as much as possible! The dude is a playmaker and will only get better the more he is on the field.
Priority --- dont change too much. This team is solid. We have a lot of talent and can be a contender with a few tweaks.
Draft---- I dont really know how to face this draft class. There are some fantastic options out there, arguably more later in the draft than up front. With some great scouting and smart picking, we could do real damage ont he back end of the draft. I dont want to go after RG3 or Luck. Not because of the players, but because of the cost. I also dont want to go after a second ttier QB. Maybe keeping our eyes on Kellen Moore in the 4th or 5th round may be worth a thought, but outside of that, too risky.
Draft continued --- I see the biggest needs in the draft being RT, FS, SS, TE, OLB, and of coarse QB. Since the QB thing is not likely to happen, I say focus our effort on the LB and RT positions. If possible, I would try and trade some people like Moore, Wake, Smith, and Jerry along with some draft picks to try and get a 1st rounder for next year. With two 1st round picks next year, it would be much easier to move up and grab Barkley (In my opinion the best QB out there including Luck and RG3).
If we find away to trade Moore, Wake, Smith, etc, and grab Manning, we could win now and begin building for the future with extra draft picks next year. I think it would be best case scenerio if we land Manning, trade Moore, Wake, and a second rounder for a first rounder next year and draft Barkley by trading our two 1st round picks to move up and grab him.
Basically, the moral of my shortsighted story is that we dont need to freak out and start over. I keep hearing people talk about moving to a 4-3, and that makes no sense to me. We were ranked 3rd against the run and 6th in scoring. Our secondary is what hurt us and I dont think changing our entire scheme would be benefitial. We just need better play from our safeties on picking up zones and assignments.
I hope we can get a coach that will come in and recognize the good we have to offer and not try and change up everything. Our defense is really good. Our offense has a buttload of potential! Better QB protection and we are in the playoffs. Better QB protection mixed with better QB play, we could be talking superbowl.
Look fellow Phin Phans, we went toe to toe with some of the best this year and came out on the losing end of some very close games. Dont let our record decieve you. We are considered a quality football team and no one wants to play us. We fill in a few holes here and there and get a coach who can hit the ground running, and 2012 wil be a season we can all be proud of.