I think the Harris trade is the only roster move that Fox disagreed with. Of the big ones, there are some obvious things that jump out:
Overall we're probably going to be a more talented team, but the leadership will be fragile. Fox is fairly good at game planning and strategy (what head coach isn't at this level?), but one of his big strengths is motivation and leadership. Or it's supposed to be anyway. This year will either set that impression in concrete or put the lie to it.
- Delhomme's season was horrible, and despite any practice issues there may be, Moore got it done in games. We are likely to have an upgrade in talent here, although the leadership will no doubt be missed.
- Hoover is 34, missed five games last year, and plays a physically demanding position. It was just time. Replacing him will be a crap shoot, it depends on if Fiametta can develop into a quality NFL starter.
- Moose is 36, and missed three games. He also had more drops this year than I remember seeing (and that's a purely personal observation, maybe official stats will tell a different story). We're bound to improve here, at the very least we can field more speed to maybe stretch the field a little.
- Vincent was the weak link on our offensive line, and with the talent of the other four it should be pretty easy to replace him with Schwartz, Bernadeau, Robinson or Davis. Based on Schwartz's play last year (what is it with Oregon guys looking better in games than in practice, anyway?), I think we'll be better off here, personally.
- Thomas was never intended to be here more than one year anyway. He's 35 also.
- Kemo had an injury that's difficult for a man his size to come back from, he's 31, and he never got the push that you would hope for from someone slated to make what he was going to in 2010. I think this is another position where the talent level will stay the same.
- Lewis is 31, had all of half a sack in 2009, and was clearly on the downside of his career. We have two draft picks that play his spot on the roster, and a free agent as well. We're going to miss his leadership, and there's no telling if his production can be replaced by those on the roster. But the question there is, could 2010 Lewis match 2009 Lewis production? Not likely.
- Diggs is 32, and has seen his production drop for the past two years. We also have some young talent on the roster at his position, and will probably improve here.
- Harris is young and vocal, and a great locker room guy. He also doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. His production has never matched his first year here, and he doesn't have great speed. I think Fox wanted him to stay for his on-the-field leadership, but Hurney is Fox's boss, and was probably pissed at one too many tweets that questioned management. The talent here will be as good or better, but the leadership will be missed.
I agree with you 100% on each of your assessments above.
The Harris trade was the only one that I have any questions about. I do think we will be better in pass coverage with Martin and Godfrey, but Harris was a baller in the run game.
The tweets were probably the last straw that got him moved out of town. Harris was adamently against the moves that were being made and was VERY vocal in his opinion....in the media. Even though his leadership will likely be missed on the field, he would have been a major issue in the locker room. He was bitter about what was going on...was outwardly vocal about it...he would have been a cancer with younger players.
This team will be fragile to start the season from the leadership perspective. If we struggle big time out of the gate, they may not be able to recover without the verteran leadership in the locker room. However, if they come out and play well, this could be a very dangerous team.
Losing Peppers will be a hit. However, I like the pressure by committee that I believe Brayton, Johnson, Brown, Hardy,etc.. can bring. I also agree that DT is still a big ??. I liked what I saw out of Tyler and Leonard, but they are still unproved. I am cautiously optimistic that we can stop the run. If not, we will come out and struggle early....thus hurling us into that downward spiral that I spoke of above.
One thing for sure.....it will be an interesting training camp (lots of jobs up for grabs) and an interesting season. It is definitely not the status-quo that we have been accumstomed to seeing.
Edited by MadHatter, 23 May 2010 - 09:44 AM.