I am glad we got our *ss kicked. I am because we needed a gut check and I believe that this team will bounce back very strong if we focus on the following objectives over the next 2 weeks.
1. Take out the trash. It's time to cut the roster back as much as we can so we can focus on getting the guys that are going to be playing as much time as they need to get ready for game 1. I am not talking about just 5 cuts, I am talking about 20 cuts this week. We should just keep those young guys that do have some fighting chance for the 4th preseason game. For example, it's time to take out the following trash:
Cordle, Hall, Hill, Brown (Courtney), Collins, Hendricks, Johnson, Landolt, Bender, Moss (yes – Moss is trash and a waste of our time), Boateng, Calhoun, Greco, Michael, Johnson (Gartrel), etc.
2. Declare a starting lineup. We need to stop messing around with all of these different lineups and declare our starters so the expectations can be set. The next 2 weeks give us enough time to evaluate whether or not our declared starters are playing like starters. I understand there may be a couple of backup fights over the next 2 weeks, and those should still be allowed to happen, but get our darn starters building some cohesiveness together. The 2 areas that we need to focus on especially is the Offensive Line and Linebackers. Diod anyone see Andrews last night? Reese has pulled off another under-the-radar move that will further cement him as tone of he best GM’s in football. Andrews was blowing guys off the line and looked like the 3x pro bowler that he is. We must get him into the starting rotation now. Our Linebackers are a mess, but it can only get better if we can help the players we know are going to be playing most of the time over the next 2 weeks. More on this below.
3. Reese needs to pull off a miracle. I am a realist and lean more on the side of being a pessimist vs. an optimist on many decision making opportunities, but when it comes to our LB’s, we need Reese to pull off a miracle and do something in the trade market. I know the odds of making a decent trade in the NFL are as good Rex Ryan not using the F-bomb every other word he says, but we do have some really good young players in positions where we have great depth. I am not talking about a guy that has no name or has arthritis on every bone in his body either, I am talking about a stallion. In order to get a stallion, we need to be willing to part with real players. Here are some suggestions to chew on Jerry:
I would trade any one or a combination of some of the following players to get a strong, fast, angry Linebacker that can play in this league: Tollefson, Cofield, Bernard, Kiwi, Osi, Alford, Blackburn (solid special teams guy), DJ Ware, Bomar, Jacobs, Beckum (good be highly valued in another offensive scheme)…those are just a few that I would put on the table.
We must be willing to give something up to get something in return and there are young teams out there that may be willing to give up a guy who is soon to require a hefty contract or has a hefty contract. Young, bad teams tams that are in a rebuilding process may be open to unloading a solid A rated starter for 2 B/B+ up and coming players/soon to be starters. If we can just get a really solid LB, it could change the whole dynamic of our defense…starting with teams actually being afraid to lineup against us. Example teams/players are:
Seatle (Lofa Tatupu), Tampa (Rudd) San Diego (Merriman – high risk though), (KC (Hali)…you get the idea.
It may sound crazy, but I am sure a couple of our players and/or future draft picks for a rebuilding team is possible. I am willing to make a so called bad deal for a solid player.
4. Get healthy or stop getting hurt – either one is fine with me. I am not going to rant and rave about how I think our players get hurt sol easily during the preseason because it is just mind boggling when we don’t even hit each other in practice. We don’t even hit each other and we have more injuries than those teams that beat each other up for 5 weeks straight? I’ll allow one of you to figure that one out, but we do need to get a few guys back very quickly if we are going to have nay shot at looking like a professional time come September 12. Personally, I think we should start hitting in practice, at least for the next week or so just to toughen up a bit even though there is further risk of injury. We need to get Thomas and O’Hare back asap. Those are the 2 main ingredients for me at least until TC introduces another key injury.
I am no coach or GM, but I do think a lot of good decisions are made using just basic common sense and logic. You don’t even need common sense or even logic for that matter to know we are carrying too much garbage on the team right now and need to cut it back. It’s pretty obvious that we need a real hardnosed Linebacker that will at the very least put some fear into the opposing RB. Make sure you keep an eye on Andrews as I believe he will and needs to be on our starting lineup today, not in week 6. If our players start drinking more milk and stop drinking all of that venomous Kool-Aid then maybe our starters will be ready for week 1.