Do we really need a DT?
Posted 27 December 2011 - 08:02 PM
The problem is there's not one anchor in the interior. Not at NT, not at UT. I would love for us to sign Campbell in FA, he's at the end of his contract and the Cardinals are notoriously awful at retaining their better players. I don't know if we have the budgeting for that though. If we can find someone willing to trade up from the 20s and acquire one or more picks and get Thompson or Ta'amu somewhere between the late first and early second, I'd feel like we worked our way around the first round pretty well. Besides that we could stay put and pick Kirkpatrick or the best OT available, although the Rams and Vikings might fug that up completely because of the way their QBs have been abused and just the fact that they have no current solution at LT, so 2 OTs might be taken just in the top 5.
with more penetration and better ability to keep linemen from getting to the second level, our DEs can get to the QB better and our linebackers will be more free to pursue ball carriers.
Posted 27 December 2011 - 10:25 PM
Well, we didn't get him from Buffalo. The last few years he had been with KC, and there he was a solid starter. And his injury was a bicep injury, not something that should linger. Is he a dominating DT? No, but he was good against the run and a solid space eater. Also, I don't think anyone is saying Edwards will come in and be all world, just that he has proven he is a solid DT that can get the job done...and in this defense, that's all we need in order to allow the LB's to make plays. And for the record, I think we need another DT, but not a run defender, we need someone that can get consistent pressure up the middle.
Don't get me wrong, I like having Edwards coming back but people are assuming the guy is a solid starter and will just come in and poosh! problem solved.
There was a reason he was a Buffalo Bills backup minus 02 (injury fill in) his first 5 years. He's not as solid as people are assuming and additionally is gonna be 33 coming off a season long injury. We are not set at this position in my view.
A lot of people have put a lot of blame on the rookie DT's, but the truth is that the real problem was at LB and the entire defense trying to learn and understand the new defense on the fly. I'll be the first to say in an ideal world both Fua and McClain should have only been rotational players this year, but things didn't work out that way. However, when they did play, both showed flashes while also making mistakes. So each of them clearly has a lot to work on this offseason.
I really what I've seen from Kearse & Shirley though. People will say McClain & Fua will take some time, which makes sense...but hell: Kearse, our UDFA rookie DT showed a crap ton of a lot more this season than either of 'em
With that said, there was no stability at LB behind them, and this defense is predicated on LB's making plays. I think it was what, 9 straight games that we had a new LB unit. The point is that it took most of the season for the injury situation to somewhat stabalize and allow some sort of continuity to occur.
Also, the entire defense struggled with the new scheme. The funny thing is that many people are saying it was when Fua and McClain went on IR that the defense started playing better (thus blaming them for the problems). And while it is true about the timing, it's not because of the DT's. If you pay attention, you'll notice that's when everyone on defense started to understand what McDermott and Rivera were trying to do. And while everyone is excited about what the young guys have done, they are making many of the same mistakes Fua and McClain were making. Having people know and actually play their assignments makes a huge difference.
Posted 27 December 2011 - 10:46 PM
I agree with much of what you're saying but wanted to make a couple of points. While CB and OLB are clearly our biggest needs, IMO, I could see the team going OL if they don't feel there is good value at one of those primary need positions (and I don't think we will find a partner to trade down with).
1. We have one of the best offenses in the league, our second 4k passer and the third ranked Run game in the league- why fix what clearly isn't broken? Wharton is a very good LG who can also play both OT spots if needed. It would be incredibly short sighted and stupid to cut him. Restructure or extend him to provide cap relief, you don't just cut a guy like that.
2. We'll be picking 9-13, Reiff is the only guy that has value there and I'd rather wait until after the combine to see where he grades out.
3. I love the moronic assumption that moving Otah inside is a solution to anything. A) you don't know if he can play inside there's a lot more traffic and a lot less space inside so he'd probably get injured even sooner. Bell is fine at RT, he was an undrafted rookie with no off season who was thrown to the wolves and has shown quite a bit of improvement. I like him as the starting RT if we don't draft someone like Reiff.
4. See number 1. Scwartz was playing very well at RG before the injury, let him and Hangartner fight it out since Wharton is firmly entrenched at LG.
5. Sign a DT? What about the guys we have that we won't be able to keep that are playing well right now? What about Ron Edwards? What about the fact that our back seven is a far bigger problem right now than our front four?
We need CB, OLB and S more than DE, DT, OT and OG.
I would consider OL outside of Reiff in the first due to needs and depth of talent at positions of need in the first two rounds. Several good CB's and OLB's to be had in the first two rounds. OL in the fourth or later wouldn't bother me.
If we do go that route, I like both Reiff and Martin at OT, but one guy that may be a bigger option than many think is DeCastro, the OG from Stanford. Yes, Schwartz played well at OG last year, but was nowhere near elite level, and that's what they are predicting for DeCastro. They project him as a Steve Huthinson level Guard. And while OG is usually not a position you take early, DeCastro is the type of guy to be an exception. Of course, as you said, we will need to see how he grades out in the pre-draft process. But I wouldn't totally be shocked to hear his name called on draft day.
With that said, it is obvious that we only go that route if there is nobody on defense the coaching staff feels is worthy of taking at that spot. But while the OL is at least adequate (especially if Otah comes back healthy, as Rivera seems to expect), they still do allow more pressure on Cam than we would prefer. Give him and the receivers an extra half second, and our explosivness becomes that much more frightening for defenses. Heck, look at NO. Does anyone think Brees would be nearly as dominating if he was running for his life half the game?