Ok, it's preseason jitters but....here goes -
With the season about 2 weeks away I feel its time to get back to the question of our 2013 defense.
I never felt any problem with our offense going into 2013. Yes, Percy wont be there at the start. Some other injuries here and there but I never felt that the offense is questionable.
We are basically a tough defense first team. That was our identity and that is the anvil that the offensive hammer counts on.
There have not been that many changes on the Defense. Some of those are minor – Trufant and Hill are gone. Some a bit more meaningful – Branch and Jones are gone, so is Gus.
We got Avril, Bennet and McDaniel for the Dline and Winfield, Schofield for the backfield in FA. We also have Dan as the new coordinator. We also added Hill and Williams with our 3rd and 5th round picks and a few others along the way.
On the face of it, it seems this group has improved and should be fine to start the New Year big and strong.
And yet, a mild unease keeps nagging me when I follow some of steps taken about the defense. I wrote it a month ago without being specific and I come back to it now so I can put it on the table for you fellow 12s to read and speak your mind.
The things that I find a bit unsettling are:
The new buzzword – Versatility. I can understand the value of having a player capable of playing a few positions. However, this is football, not Basketball or Baseball. This is not a sport that one has to do it all. This is a sport were each player has to do his job only and do it perfectly. Isn't the time wasted on training to play other positions reduces a player's effectiveness playing his position? Is the mix and change on the line really more effective then having players play thier spot? If so, how come a "twinner" was always regarded as a dirty word about a player?
That is even truer when talking about newcomers to the team. Those guys didn't play with us in past years and need to learn to play in our system.
With Red and Mebane healthy I'd like to see a fitting 3tech practicing 3tech and playing 3tech before we explore more exotic combinations.
And in case I'm wrong and those switching positions in training etc. are an indication to a new form of system based on shifting players and positions than let me say that I love the Quinn signing because he provides continuity and familiarity. No sure that I love a revolution on the Dline play.
The revolving door – We let 2 players go. 1 was injured. We got 3 in FA pre draft, we got 2 in the draft and we got about 3 or more UDFA's. We have about 18 in the big roster now. We keep hearing good stuff about McDaniel and Bennet, about Hill and Williams, about Mayowa and Parker and Brooks. Jay Howard is stronger, Avril is faster etc.etc. etc.
It looks and sounds like we can build 2 good defensive lines from this wealth of talent. Then, 2 weeks before the season stats, when it looks like it's going to be so hard to decide who to keep and who to lose, we go and trade/sign 2 additional Dline players?
And not some great high profile players that will obviously enhance this team. We get 2 unknown players that we need to bring in, test and evaluate in 10 days before we need to let go of half of the guys we already have. Does that sound like a prudent step?
We need every rep to decide who to keep already so what are those guys going to show us in 1-2 training sessions before we make the first roster cuts. It makes less then zero sense to me.
I hate when things like the above make no basic sense to me. I know I am just a dumb fan who doesn't understand anything but when things look strange to me I feel like there is either some huge problem I don't know about and they try to fix it or that they are taking a good thing(our defense) and fuck around with it.
It wasn't broken, it was ranked first in points allowed, it doesn't need a major overhaul - just a little twik here and there. What are they doing?
We have a great secondary, we have great LBs, I just hope we are not fucking up the Dline.