So the answer is simple. Make sure you're not in a position at the end of a game where a coach's decision or a player's mistake can lose the game for you. Because in every game last season where that was the case, from September to December, we lost.
This is a huge statement. I think there were 2 specific reasons for this:
1. The offensive line could not control the clock with a consistent run game. Silatolu was raw and getting abused and I thought Hangartner was our Hback he was in the backfield so much. Chud struggled in a ball control mode; he built the offense as if we would always be on the attack.
2. Poor talent/lack of depth/Fatigue on the defensive front. With the offense not being able to control the clock, the defense was on the field for a lotta snaps. Gettlemen seemed to recognize the fact that the DL was breaking down late in games. We, the fans, blamed the defensive backs--Gettlemen identified the problem. Instead of coming out of the game for breathers, for example, Hardy moves inside to the 3 tech to give Dwan a breather. Chandler is not solid depth, nor are Fua or Kearse.
Gettlemen brought in Colin Cole, a player the team thinks can become part of a rotation. We drafted Star. We are already 2 players better than we were at that position last season.Gettlemen re-signed Dwan. Why not? THis system suits him. 6.5 sacks for next to nothing per year? Not bad. He then brings in Kewann Short. Quite an upgrade over Chandler, who probably goes back to the PS. Now Hardy stays at DE and gets breathers instead of moving inside. Alexander and Addison/Keiser will keep Johnson and Hardy fresh late into games.
On the offensive line, I have to think Gettlemen has confidence that Silatolu will be better. We get Kalil back (injured for a good while in 2012) and Edmond "Kugo" at least gives us a run blocking option at RG. Bell is slowly getting better, and Gross can hold down the fort at LT for at least one more season. I still think we might bring in another guard on a one-year deal, like a Brandon Moore.
So if we stay fresh on Defense and manage to run the ball more on offense, we should win some of the close games. I think, based on observations and guesswork, that Gettlemen sees it that way.