Lets just take a step back and look at what this defense is. Which isn't to say its in shambles but its getting closer and closer to combusting into ashes. This team is teetering on the brink. On a knife's edge and could fall in either direction. Will it devolve further and become a humiliation or will it rebound back to its 2010 form? My honest answer - I don't know.
What I do know is that the coaches need to step up. This is when Guenther and Carrier and Lewis and Zimmer and Hayes make their living. By doing what is the best option. Not the safe option, necessarily, but the BEST option. For example - Burfict is a rookie - but is Maualuga that much of a better option right now? The man is slow, take bad angles, can't cover to save his life, and can't tackle. This aren't superhero type achievements we are expecting of him - we are just expecting him to be passable. He isn't. He is way below average.
Maualuga was but one example. There are numerous fires on this defense that need to be put out. I think Hayes put out one fire last week by finally getting rid of Jamaal Anderson and that other DE that we signed in FA and cut. We were lucky to pick up Gilberry and we also got Dunlap back. If anything, it at least gave Michael Johnson and Geathers a breather to catch their breath. One fire put out.
The fire at safety. This is a fire that doesn't seem to be able to be put out. We cut Crocker and went with Mays. Fire still raging because Mays never learned the position and actually became a liability to his poor decision making hits. Then we tried Miles. Fire still raging and not even affected by the ineptitude of Miles. Then we tried Clements and again the fire kept burning with some unholy energy. Maybe it was because Clements was hurt that he didn't do well but when has Clements not been hurt on this team? Crocker and he would ALWAYS take off the first 2 days of practice to "rest up". It was only going to be inevitable that even those weekly rests for grandpa Clements wouldn't be able to keep him healthy enough to play.
I think its obvious the coaches have decided to go with Crocker at safety. Which I think is the right solution. Who knows - maybe Crocker will be different this time around? One can hope. If not - try out Allen. If he doesn't work - we are all out of bullets. Mays, Miles, Clements, Crocker, and Allen. We would have tried 5 guys and if none of them work out - we have to go with whichever one of those 5 is the best option at SS.
What about the fire at CB? I don't think we even have options for this fire. We only have 2 healthy options - Newman and Jones. Who knows whats really wrong with Hall, Clements, and Allen. All we can do is go with those 2 and hope the other 3 can come back from injury at some point.
What about WLB? Thomas Howard is out - and we are trying out Burfict and Skuta. Why not try out Mays here? Mays is bad at coverage for a safety but probably has excellent coverage skills for a LB. It seems like a diamond in the rough. Only problem is Mays inability to learn quickly. He sat on the bench for a YEAR learning the SS spot. How long to learn the WLB spot? Might it even confuse him to try to learn something new?
But these are all besides the point. What about the biggest fire of them all - MLB. I think its abundantly clear right now that Maualuga isn't the answer. So why not try out other options? Muckelroy or Burfict? Since we have Crocker back now - maybe he is all we need to get lined up properly? Why not at least try it out?
Also - who goes to make room for Sims and Moch? Its looking like Whalen and Scott seem the most logical choices. Both haven't contributed much if at all and their absence won't be missed.
So what are your solutions to SS, CB, and MLB? Who would you start and why? Who would you cut to marke room for Moch and Sims?