I agree that the OL is unique in that they need more time to work as a unit than most positions but there were a lot of positions that needed to be upgraded this offseason. There was no way to do it all. They played the hand that they were dealt between the salary cap, available free agents, and the way the draft fell. I struggle to find any big screwups in the way they approached it.
there were things that they could have done, but they chose not to. they saw other things as being more important than securing the OL and protecting cam. the biggest one was franchising hardy. whether doing that was the best idea or not is debateable.
it's more regretable than anything that so much of the OL is up for grabs. that is something that i hope is changed in the future and i think that after this year the interior of the OL is set for the next 5+ years. chandler might be the ideal LT to replace gross and could be that guy for the next 5+ years as well.
bell's role as a starter? meh....he needs to be upgraded as soon as possible. it's pretty well known and understood that he has been struggling at RT. he's had enough time to get better and it's quite possible that we've seen as good as it's going to get with him, and it's not good. we need more than "serviceable" which is pretty much what you get with him and that's being nice.
contrary to the way it sounds, i've accepted that we didn't do more and i've accepted the reasons that we didn't. i don't like it, but i accept it. what i don't accept is the lack of competition we've brought in. i know there's still a couple months left, but i have a hard time believing that we are set on those two guys being the starters as raw and unproven as they are, esp. at the pro LT level.
i need to accept, that, tho. i think that gettleman and rivera are set in their minds that the starting OTs will be bell and chandler and now it's just a matter of who plays which side. if that's the case, i hope that they settle that decision sooner rather than later so that they can spend the rest of the offseason getting reps as a unit because chemistry together might be the only shot that corps has at performing at a solid level, esp. coming out of the gate.
my hope is that this is the corps that works well enough together that we don't need to rebuild any part of it next year and that we can go from one season to the next with the continuity on the OL that we need for prolonged success. if this isn't the corps for the future, then hopefully that corps is upgraded in the next offseason so we have that unit that works together for the next 5-10 years. i think we're close to having that, but it's the OTs that will be the deciding factor.