Nfl Fan wrote:Clearly LT is our biggest need and I agree with your most optomistic hopes and dreams. I would almost want to get another O-lineman as well with Denver's pick but my hope is that, not unlike Aaron Rodgers falling to 20 back when Green Bay got him... my hope is that we get Matt's heir with #14. I think we're actually in decent shape at D if we had an O-line to take care of business for the skill positions and keep the D off the field.
Any idea if there are any younger hogs in free agency to help shape up our line?
Well, one guy who should certainly be on our radar is Logan Mankins (NE) who is a UFA after this year. He would be an immediate fit for us (depending on whether we're still trying to do this zone blocking scheme) and as a highly athletic LG (was a T in college) could easily round out our O-line if we are lucky enough to get Okung and slide Sean Locklear back to the right side. (And retain Chris Spencer also; he'll be a RFA if the CBA doesn't get in place before March). Then again, if the CBA isn't there I'm pretty sure Mankins was drafted in 2005 meaning he would also be a RFA and I would imagine that the Patriots would put the highest tender on him.
No other LGs really popped out at me, but I would need to see the whole list.
On the D-line side, it's really tough to say what will happen. The new GM (and possibly HC/DC) will really need to decide whether we wish to move to a 3-4 or not. We have the LBs to pull this off, and we *might* be able to move Brandon Mebane into a NT role, but we're almost certainly going to need DE help if we move to this. Besides, it is often said that the NT and two ILBs are the most important roles in a 3-4 so I don't know if we want to make a big gamble like this on switching out someone's current role (Mebane did play 1 tech for us in 2008 but switched to 3 tech for 2009) for one they haven't played.
If we stay in a 4-3 (and really even if we move to a 3-4) we really need to do something about our DEs. I'm not sure if it was the scheme or not, but we just didn't get any pressure and a lot of this should fall onto Kerney. He's paid to be a high end DE and performed much worse than an average one. But I really think more than anything we just didn't trot out anything exotic enough and often had 3 man rushes. I think Gus Bradley was overly concerned with zone protection in passing situations when we are more suited to man coverage while we try to hurry the QB. That Tampa 2 just doesn't work with our personnel.
As a matter of fact, the coaching staff in general didn't adapt one bit to our personnel and just tried to force the team into their scheme. It's part of the reason I'm so upset at this staff and why I've been cursing their names in my sleep.