I can't help but think that headline is like fingernails on a chalkboard for some people - but it's something that I think we all need to have this year, possibly next year as well.
The release of Trent Edwards all but confirmed a few of my suspecisions for this year and I like the approach that they're taking. It's not going to be a pretty year - but they seem to have a plan right now.
First on Trent
Going into this year I was one of the few who thought that Trent had the raw end of the deal. He's smart, accurate, works hard and seems to have a lot of the tools you want in in a QB. Offensive coaching the past 4 years has been offensive to say the least.
How many of us were complaining about coaching? Inability to adjust schemes? Knowing plays before they were ran? I'd say the majority of us - which is why I wanted Trent to have another shot with some competent coaching.
This was the main reason I wanted him to get the nod at first. However, it was painfully obvious after the first 2 games that he will never be the guy that so inevitability took over and he was released.
I'll be one of the first to say - thanks Trent for your effort - good luck wherever you get picked up - but this franchise has to move on.
The Front Office
I feel that the front office gets blasted because of a few things:
1) Not picking Clausen
2) Keeping Trent as the starting QB
3) Not drafting a LT
4) Cornell Green (haha - how right we are to blast that guy)
We all knew of Trents weaknesses and his checkdown affinity and a lot of us were upset when he was giving the starting nod. Some of us viewed him as not having a shot with a good offensive mind - well that is true - but obviously the front office saw the same things we saw in Trent and was given a short leash. They had to find out though for themselves.
I'm one of the people that thinks this past years QB class will go down as maybe the worst ever, or at least in the conversation. I know Brian and others liked Clausen and I admit I was surprised we didn't take him in the 2nd - but i wasn't upset because i've never been on the Clausen bandwagon. (he did perform poorly yesterday, but it was his first start - tough to judge a guy on that)
I viewed the QB situation in the offseason as this:
1) Other than Bradford - was any of those guys a legitimate elite QB prospect? I said no
2) Free Agency QBs - well it should be painfully obvious that teams don't cut competent QBs - free agency is where you get your backups - not your starters.
3) Trades - Well, they tried (rumored) to get McNabb - but other than that - who is going to trade a competent QB? (don't say Vick, because after McNabb got traded, Vick and Kolb are both needed until they find out about both) Answer: no one
4) QBs on the team - Trent had the best skill set, Fitzy the most Moxy and Brohm the most unknown. It was obvious to me that Trent should have been given the nod then benched if he faultered terribly - and amazingly enough that came to pass - and more (released).
They had to see what they had in him - it should palacate the fanbase for 2 reasons:
1) For us of those that thought he could be something with competent offensive coaching we got to see that he wasn't.
2) We know that this regime is holding their players accountable. Think S.Johnson when he was demoted, now Trent gets cut - they are sending a clear message that if you don't perform you're not going to be playing. (cue Kelsay jokes)
Player accountability is what Billichick instills in his players, what Peyton Manning instills in his players (yes, I just said that) - be accountable or be gone, we're starting to instill that same mentality.
Nix and Whaley
I feel that Nix and Whaley know full well that this years QB class was subpar and we had some serious youth at critical positions that they need to find out about.
Think LT and Bell - many of us were clamoring for a LT - but you know what? Bell is not a turnstyle like Green is and is holding his own. What if he pans out and we don't have to draft a LT because he actually developes like we want him to? He clearly has talent - but he needs exerpience and games under his belt.
Think OLB and Maybin - we spent a 1st last year on a pass rusher - well why wouldn't we find out about him? So far it's not looking good - but if you don't play the guy you'll never know.
To me - it seemed like Nix and Whaley both knew that evaluting a lot of the young talent was the first step in the rebuilding process. Ellis, Wood, Levitre, Bell, S.Johnson, Nelson, Nelson, Maybin, Byrd, McKelvin - all of these guys are young and possible core players for our team but we dont' know about most of them downright and going out and replacing them before we've had a chance to evalute them is kind of insane.
Obviously they can't come out and say "we know we're evaluating and going to suck so bare with us" but their actions should be speaking for themselves. A lot of us are mad at this point because of the lack of need positions not being changed - first as I said - their actions kind of speak for what they are thinking and second - changing for the sake of changing kind of got us in the predicument that we're currently in, amongst lots of other things. Find out about the young guys and go from there. Trust me, if Okung, Williams, Bradord etc.. were available we would have taken them.
So ya, i'm going to scream patience for the time being. I feel this is a evaluating and developing year - when you think of it that way things start to make sense. If you take everything out - all your bias and all your opinions and think of it that way it makes sense. It's not fun and it sucks right now - but I can see the thought process (as long as we draft 1 of the 4 potential franchise QBs next year).
This team has talent throughout the roster that hasn't been developed, that hasn't been tested, and that hasn't had the opportunity to showcase what they can do. This is the year to find out about those guys and how they build from game to game, from week to week. Next year we get our QB and really start turning this ship around - but it's going to be painful and it's going to take patience.