After reading and agreeing with the fanshot posted by tomcs... I felt a need to do the same. It really helped me to accept that this team has many holes still, and has a long way to go. It has also shown me that my suspicions were valid; as fun as winning early was, it was likely just a product of the lockout. We were fortunate enough to begin the season with the same system, some key pieces, and a will to get out there and prove ourselves. Now, we have some key players injured, some feeling lost, or feeling defeated, and the people they look to for answers, don't seem to have any. What was a great and optimistic start to the season, is much more of a reality check at this point. By no means has this team "arrived" as a true playoff contender; rather we have arrived in the form that we expected earlier in the season, and were duped into thinking was a team that would break our long playoff drought, as well as a team that we thought could continue to be effective throughout a whole NFL season. Neither of these things are true, but that doesn't mean there is nothing to find positive about our strides. After some of the comments in the post-Miami massacre thread imply... some of you have already written EVERY FACET of this organization off. Not only is this folly, it is somewhat ignorant and pathetic. I would expect more from my fellow Rumblers. Sure, our team is playing like garbage right now. But not in comparison to the 0-8 start of last season. This is YEAR 2 of our rebuild, (even though many of you would lump the failures of former staffs into the current, which I find unfair) and it isn't even completed. Hopefully those of you throwing your hands up in despair and hurling your random insults and negative perspectives can be a little more supportive of the positives moving forward. I too have been guilty of bashing some of our players, some of our current and former coaches, and the organization on the whole. We are all likely guilty of this to some degree. That is part of being passionate fans, that truly invest in our team, because they are WORTHY of that investment. These guys work hard, they play hard, and they most certainly aren't simply quitters. After the jump, you can see my take on the current state of our roster, and maybe find that there are some silver linings, and some obvious pit-falls. However, I feel it is just ignorant, and remiss to simply write this entire team and regime off at this point. Only fair weather fans would do that, and Rumblers don't qualify as fair weather fans; of this, I am most certain.
This is how I see our roster, and how it shakes out comparative to next year. Some of you may have read this on tomcs' post. feel free to offer comments still.
LT: set. Hairston starts, bell is a backup.
LG: set. Levitre starts, Rinehart is a backup
C: Wood starts, we have no depth. Should Urbik prove effective… Set.
RG: Urbik. We have Rinehart for depth, but as already illustrated, 1 guy doesn’t make an entire line. See: Levitre.
RT: Pears has been a pleasant surprise. Though I don’t agree Young will develop into either a starter, or a late round pick (?) but i believe we can select OTs next year at nearly any point of the draft, and we will have not only upgraded, but we will have added depth.
RB: set. FredEx delivers, even on sundays. Give him his touches, Gailey you fool. Spiller will be fine, if nothing else, think of him as a luxury pick, in a year we could have used a number of things: including every single position on the roster.
QB: Fitz is our starter. We won’t get another guy for at least 2 years, as Chan (mistakenly) thinks he has 3 QBs. This is the type of need I can only hope Nix recognizes should be addressed, sooner than later. Ask Aaron Rodgers whether or not it helped him to sit for 4 years before he had to be the guy. He already said it did.
WR: We might only have a single possession receiver that can be considered a starter, in Steve Johnson. He hasn’t necessarily proven to be a true #1 receiver at any point in this season. I believe that with the attention the defense has gotten the last two years, we may use our #1 on an offensive weapon again, much to the chagrin of many Rumblers. Nelson and Roosevelt, and perhaps even Easley and Aiken have all demonstrated potential. I have not wrote any of them off yet. Sorry Donald, but if you are done for the year (as I suspect you are) then you have a tough camp to make a spot next year. Best of luck.
NT: set. Kyle Williams and Troup is what we have had 2 seasons… dareus has proven capable.
LE: Dareus. Spencer Johnson to backup… non issue.
RE: Dwan Edwards… probably gone. Carrington will start… we need at least 1 more RE.
LOLB: Kelsay starts (face it, he has been much better this year, and since we have no other LOLB, he is the guy) and Moats backs up even though he is a MLB at best in a 3-4 system, due to size.
MLB: Barnett and shepp start. Andra becomes LB coach. Wannstedt promoted to DC. Edwards gone. Moats/Chris White (hopefully) continue to develop and with Morrison, this is our deepest position with some solid and proven talent. add batten to this list, as he isn’t an edge rusher by any means or definition.
ROLB: Draft one early. we have NO edge rusher. Move Batten inside as mentioned above. he isn’t a rusher like we need. Merriman will be hard pressed to make the roster, even with NIx’s ties. If he can’t stay healthy, he isn’t an asset.
CB: We have 1 man corner. Aaron Williams. We have a dime in McKelvin, we have a POTENTIAL starter in Rogers maybe. McGee/Flo can split time in the slot for all i care (McGee when he is healthy, and Flo as depth… though he is little more than a penalty machine to me at this point) but i think we draft 1 or 2 more corners/DBs next year, as we have each year.
FS: Jairus is the man. he will start. he has NO backup. This is an issue that needs addressing.
SS: George Wilson will start. Searcy will back him up. I have no issue with this. Bryan Scott continues to be used in a hybrid role, though, he may be listed as a LOLB, as we have more room here, affording the addition of another FS/SS as we like to use our guys as both (george plays some free, byrd plays some strong, Searcy is basically a backup to both)
K: Rayner is worth keeping. Lindell may be on his way out.
P: Brian Moorman better retire a Buffalo Bills Pro Bowler… at the age of 47. haahaha. seriously though… non issue here. let him stay til he is done, and find a replacement. it doesn’t matter who.. they won’t measure up.