We won't need big-time leadership on offense, so you don't need to worry about Smitty not stepping up there. Fiametta may not be as good as Hoover, but with a healthy Smitty and Williams, along with getting Gross and Otah back, Moore should be able to move the ball. He's going to have a great line and *probably* more targets than Jake did last year. I'm saying that based on an assumption that the Front Office gets some more WR talent in the offseason.
As a reminder, with a patchwork OL, no Williams, and with Smitty spending some time out injured, Moore completed 62% of his passes and posted a rating in the 90s. That was against some decent defenses as well.
But on Defense there's every reason to be concerned. I don't mind cutting Diggs or Kemo, I'm skeptical that they would have kept their starting jobs anyway. It sucks that we lost Peppers, we can't replace him. I think Lewis would have been a good influence to have. I liked Brayton too. But they're gone, so we have to look at what's left.
At DE we have two starters who should be able to contribute. They won't be feared, but neither should be easily exploited. Neither showed up as inadequate at any point in the season last year, and both get a decent press. At DT I have high hopes for Leonard (I think we disagree there), and the wild card is at the UT position. Fortunately, it's a LOT easier to find quality help at that position. I don't know what the answer is, but I have enough faith in our DL coach to believe that we'll get SOMETHING of a pass rush.
The Defensive Line is the weak link for sure. Linebackers get Davis back, and with him and Beason we could line up Jase on the strong side and still have one of the better units in the league. The Secondary is solid and deep for the first time in the Fox era. It's the line that's an issue, only the line. I wouldn't expect it to be a strength, but I don't think that we'll lay down and let teams move the ball at will against us either.
And really, even with Peppers and Lewis, has the line been considered a strength since Jenkins left?
Turnover like this isn't unprecedented in the NFL, turnover like this isn't common, but it's not unusual. And the results are not always bad, nor are they always good. You can go read your stories, I'll read mine (check out the Rams defensive changes in 2000--they cut NINE defensive starters and went from the 23rd ranked defense to the 3rd best--that's not a typo).
We've got a lot of turnover, and it's quite obvious that some of them were salary decisions (Peppers, Kemo). Some were not (Delhomme, Hoover). Some, you just don't know why yet. But there's no way that the team is being set up to lose. And there's no way that the team morale in August will suffer as a result of what happens in February. If it does, then the people who let it get to them will be in next years' rounds of cuts while those who outplayed them enjoy their starting positions. And give Fox some credit. He's not a bad coach all of the sudden, is he?
Really, the whole premise of this thread is worthy of ESPN.
only problem is meeks line cant afford to be average, like chris harris says(you know that guy that actually plays for the panthers) it is all about the dline in meeks defense. doesnt matter how good your linebackers and secondary are if you have a subpar dline. in this scheme there are not a lot of blitzes. meeks scheme cant afford a supbar dline.