Okay, I am so frustrated by this team right now. I told my stepson before the Jets game started that Maybin would have at least two sacks against us. I could just tell the way our season was going that the ultimate insult was going to happen in that game. Every bone in my body wants to write a doom and gloom, pessimistic post right now. But, for the first time in many, many years, I feel like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel (and I don't think it is an oncoming train).
So, I was trying to figure out why I am not more frustrated with this team right now. Here is what I can come up with.
1. I think we might finally have a solid offensive line to build on. Hairston seems to be holding up quite well at LT which is a huge suprise. Levitre, Wood and Urbik have been quite solid up the middle. Pears is still shaky, but I can live with his overall production. Rinhart provides very nice depth up the middle. Offensive line is no longer a huge, gaping hole!
2. While Scott Chandler needs to improve on his blocking, I think we've finally found a long term answer at tight end. The guy catches everything thrown his way and seems to have a good knack for getting open on 3rd down and in the red zone. Finally, a tight end that is somewhat of a reliable weapon.
3. I have really liked what I've seen from Brad Smith the last two weeks. He had a great game against the Jets and could have easily had a MONSTER day yesterday had Fitz hit him on one or both of those long passes where he was wide open. Smith is big and fast. If he can turn into a consistent weapon opposite Stevie, then that significantly upgrades our WR corps and fills another huge hole.
4. Our young defensive players have me very optimistic. While they have been a little inconsistent, Dareus, Carrington, Aaron Williams, Searcy, Sheppard and Rogers have all shown flashes of being quality players. With some experience added to each of them, plus getting Kyle Williams and George Wilson back, we could have a really good corps of young defensive players to build around. Not to mention that Byrd and Barnett are both playing fantastic football too.
5. Finally, one thing that I really liked in the loss to the Jets is that we finally 'manned up' against them. Even with all of our injuries on the offensive and defensive line, we did not let them push us around. I think their manhood was called out in the first Jets game, and they realized that they have to play tougher. And even being undermanned, they came out and played much tougher in the second game.
Fitz is Fitz, he's only going to take us so far. If he could ever develop some consistency, then we'd really be dangerous. But at least our offense is somewhat entertaining to watch (at least compared to the last 10 years of crappy offense). And I really believe we are 2 solid, pass rushing OLBs away from fielding a very good defense. I think for the first time in many years, we are only a few key pieces away from fielding a playoff team.
So, I guess those are my reasons for being optimistic even after 5 straight losses. Tell me if I am crazy!