After watching the game last night, I was left with an incredible feeling of frustration. I saw a game that was right there for the taking, and far more easily than I would have imagined. While our defense didn't play lights out like we have seen at times, it still played well and showed that it was a playoff caliber group. The offense, however, give me severe nausea.
I have decided to summarize my thoughts on a variety of debates in a single post. To summarize our season in one word, I would use disappointing.
Why am I so disappointed? After a 4-12 season, losing our so called elite QB, new OC from the arena league, and a rookie QB taken as what the 5th or so QB, we went 9-7 against such adversity and made it to the playoffs. Our rookie QB looked like the next Marino or Elway and in the offseason we seemed to draft well (although Im not sure we needed 2 DT) and add a couple of upgrades. One would imagine that with an improved team we and more experience for our incredible rookies, our team would be light years ahead.
Unfortunately that was simply not the case. We were better but for those paying attention to the last half of the season, our QB and our offense regressed. As such, I expected to lose in Pittsburg and I expected to lose last night. I think why last night was so disappointing was that if our offense had done just a little bit, and I mean just a little bit, we would have won. But alas it didn’t.
5 Reasons for Optimism:
1. Solid team to build on that is a couple of key pieces away from a team that could be truly elite
2. 3 draft picks in the first 2 rounds to get those key pieces with
3. A front office that has done well at drafting the past couple of years
4. A potential HOF receiver
5. A fan base that now demands a playoff win instead of being satisfied with just a winning season.
Head Coach: If I were a fan of any other franchise, I would be calling for Lewis to be replaced saying that he has taken us as far as he can and thanking him for his service. This franchise, however, is unique in its management and unfortunately, Marvin is vitally important for our future despite the fact that there are better HC candidates out there. Without Marv, we wouldn't have gotten many of the secessions from Brown that we have. I think that while a new HC would perhaps bring better on field coaching, we would, as a whole, take a step back as a franchise
If our QB gets it together, I think we can have a dominant offense with the addition of a stud RB and a few key pieces.
OC: At one time, I would have been devastated if we had lost Grudden. After the last half of the season, not so much. I’ve not written him off but I’m not sold either. At one time, he was masterful with trickery, innovation, and good game planning. Lately not as much.
QB: I think our fan base has vastly over reacted. That being said, I also laughed when I heard him called elite. He is an above average QB at best and there is nothing wrong with that. I must admit though, I do have my concerns about him. Mostly about accuracy in the deep passing game, not seeing open receivers, and most importantly, his fear of pressure and inability to look down field and throw. I like the mobility but if he can’t turn pressure into a big play, Im not sure that limiting a 6 yd sack to 2 yards is all that beneficial. I think you have to give him at least a year before you draft a replacement. I would, however, be interested in upgrading to a much better veteran backup. This would be both insurance in case of injury, or worse.
RB: I think we either draft one high or two low. I would like to see a stout back that can catch and do it all ala T.R. or Martin. Otherwise, I would keep BJGE to split carries with a speed back that can catch. Either way, it’s a priority in the draft.
WR: I am excited about the prospect of Jones at 2 and Sanu and Hawk sharing the slot. That being said, I would like to see a vet or mid round rookie drafted as a #2 for competition and depth.
TE: Gresham is deserving of the criticism. For all of the mouth dropping catches that make you drool, he drops as many catches that my son could make. Couple that with the false starts, holds, missed blocks, etc. and it is a position of concern. This was his third year, and if he doesn’t have ti by now (he doesn’t) Im not sure that he will. I think we can say that he is a “bust” That doesn’t mean he is a bad player, he isn’t, but not deserving of the 17th pick. I think we look for a replacement in the 2014 draft.
OL: Satisfied but only if Robinson starts with Cook backing him up and mentoring. We also need to be looking for an eventual replacement for Whit.
Improve a couple of key pieces and we are top 3 and even more dominant.
DC: I’m satisfied.
DL: If we re sign Johnson, I think we are strong but I wouldn’t be upset with a DE in the draft.
LB: I love Rey but he shouldn’t be on a NFL team. Move Burfict to MLB , let Lemmur and Howard and an early pick fight for the WLB and SLB spots.
CB: Let Allen walk, hope Dre was worth waiting for, and snag a mid to late round prospect for the future and depth.
S: We need a real replacement for Crocker. Someone with talent, football IQ, and who won’t stay on the injury list. Again, this is a position of need that needs to be addressed in the first 3 picks.