You can't fix a defense with trades in midseason. The vast majority of the time, you can't even marginally improve a defense via trade midseason. Why? Because no team with a player with a modicum of talent is looking to deal said talent unless the player is unworthy of their contract or injured. There are no stud defensive tackles just sitting on some team's bench. We're not going to sign a game-changing cornerback off of waivers. Teams that suck bad enough to want to deal players are only going to look to shed expensive, over the hill veterans, and are more interested in getting high draft picks than acquiring players from losing squads.
So stop with the whining about trades: it shows your utter incomprehension of the way the NFL operates and just makes you look like the idiot you are.
2.) Sports involves tremendous amounts of luck. Many times, the better and more talented team loses, particularly in the "any given Sunday" NFL. The 2007 Patriots were a better team, hands down, than the 2007 NY Giants, and had the late season win to prove it. If they had played a seven game series, the Patriots would have won the Super Bowl going away. But in a single game, all bets are off, no matter who the opponents are, because of the element of luck (the Giants luck, in this case, was having smashed the Patriots in the mouth enough to take them entirely out of their gameplan. In a multiple game series, they would have been solved.)
Averaged over a season, the "50/50" plays tend to even out and delineate the truly talented teams from the posers, but it is very easy to be burned in a single game like the Panthers were today. If Cam's endzone pass hadn't gotten an unlucky tip, we would have led going into halftime. If his screen pass would have been a little higher, Atlanta wouldn't have had a red zone chance handed to them. **** happens, but making assessments about the capabilities of the coach or the front office based on random bounces of the ball is both ignorant and childish.
3.) One player doesn't turn a 2-14 team into an immediate contender. No offense to Cam, who continues to be an extremely bright prospect for us at QB, but this is the NFL, not the NBA. He does't play offense and defense. He doesn't block for punts. He has solved one of biggest problems this team has had at the most pivotal position, and shown that we still have a lot of good pieces on our offense to work with, but our defense is not talented enough to thrive without Beason, Davis, and a veteran presence at DT. And blaming the FO for not having depth behind those players is again, moronic, because NO TEAM has depth of any kind behind their starters if their starters are more than marginal talents. There's simply not enough talent to go around in the league, and quality players either get a place in the starting lineup or are shipped off for picks to fill other holes on the team (and every team has holes.)
It's easy to criticize front offices and GMs, and imagine that coaches are not doing enough with the talent they have, but the NFL is by far the most parity-driven league on the planet. For fug's sake, the Green Bay Packers are the best team in the NFL, and they play in the smallest market in all of pro sports. Most teams that win the Super Bowl do so despite their flaws, not because they have an overwhelming collection of talent. Coaches and GMs spend every offseason trying to fill the holes in their teams, while retaining the quality players they have at reasonable prices, and pray that they can fill those holes before their "strengths" fall apart to injuries or decline. I fully trust that Hurney and Rivera will build this team into a contender, and than it's on the players to perform, but for now I recognize that it's a growth process because we are missing pieces that can't be magically fixed overnight.
By the way, for everyone slamming Hurney, imbibe this particular factoid:
The New England Patriots (long considered one of the best drafting teams in the NFL) have only three players left of the 26 from their 2006-2008 drafts, and not a single one from their 2007 draft. Their defense is also about as bad as ours now, but they have one of the greatest QBs in his prime plus a shoddy schedule to make up for it.
The Panthers? Ten, including four in a row from 2008.
4.) Finally, the number one reason I am glad the lot of you have no say in the front office is because some of you take a ridiculous short-term view of the team and it's future. I think Rivera has been an outstanding coach, despite some questionable calls that show he is a rookie as well, because of a few brilliant decisions he has made:
A.) He started Cam as a full-throttle QB, not a game manager. Ron recognized that this is a passing league built around the quarterback position, and that the best way to get Cam acclimated to the demands of the position was to have him start out running a full show. There will be growing pains like today, and it is a lot of pressure for a rookie, but the rewards of going this route will put Cam far, far ahead of not just other rookies, but even most veteran QBs. Cam's decision making has accelerated so much over the last few weeks, that in today's game I can honestly say he only made one or two really "bad" throws (the short screen INT, and maybe the one to Shockey near the end that hit off a defender's hand.) His first INT was a fluke tip that would have been a beautiful TD otherwise, and the third was the meaningless one at the end. By my count, this was his fewest "bad" throw game of the year, and many of them were fantastic.
B.) Ron will not coddle his players. He'll punt to Hester and expect his punt team to contain him, and punish those who fail to do their jobs (bye, Considine.) He will let the rookie DTs take their lumps and expect them to grow into their roles. He'll put the onus on Cam to make good decisions and make high-risk/high-reward plays. This is where teams learn how to win, rather than how to "not lose." It sucks when they fail at it, but if they meet the expectations being made of them, they will be far better prepared for succeeding over a long period of time rather than hoping a million 50/50 plays break their way before ultimately being exposed as a fraud contender.
This team will improve. This team will take some lumps. This team will lose, sometimes big. This team WILL WIN, and when it learns how to win, it will do so convincingly, repeatedly, and will contend for a very long time.
Edited by fieryprophet, 17 October 2011 - 12:32 AM.