About a month ago when I suggested that it might be in our team's best interests to trade Brandon Marshall and / or Elvis Dumervil because their trade-value will be at an all-time high after this season. This of course took into consideration the fact that both players will command monster dollars, neither is a complete player . . . . yada, yada. After I posted this thought, the good folk of MHR BBQ'd me like a 12 oz KC Strip. I now ask you all - after another monumental December collapse, leaving us right where we finished last year, .500 and out of the playoffs - are you all more open to my suggestion - to trade cosmetic fan-favorites for playoff-game winning building blocks?
IT'S ALL ABOUT DECEMBER
The way I see it, we are getting out-muscled in December on a yearly basis. We don't have the players along the front-seven on D or the front 5 on O to muscle-up and win December football games. Consider how we pushed the raiders around in the first meeting but couldn't run the ball on them two weeks ago. Consider how Philly man-handled us all day long on both sides of the ball. And yes, part of this is because of Ryan Harris who could be as good / valuable at his position as Ryan Clady. Playmakers are fun to watch; however, you win and lose football games in the trenches and, right now, we're losing them. Receivers and undersized situational pass-rushers look great in August and September, but in November and December, you need big nasties who can flat out beat people up at the point of attack.
Josh McD has said, "We want versatile, tough, smart, physical football players who are prepared to play under
On offense, we badly need O-line help - at least three interior lineman. Hochstein is a stop-gap, Hamilton sucks and KC is old. Olsen might play one of those positions, but we need serious help, size and bulk on the front wall - ESPECIALLY AS WE TRANSITION TO A POWER RUNNING GAME. Can we address this in free-agency? Possibly, but long-term answers need to come in the draft. This unit has been a weakness. How many dumb penalties have they committed when all we're trying to do is win a m*$#&*(%)*& game? Maybe trade Marshall, spend the first pick on a new play-maker like Dez Bryant and the second and or third pick on the O-line? Marshall is our best receiver, but he's not perfect. He's an average route-runner and his speed is limited. I'd rather have Dez Bryant and a top tear interior O-lineman or two than Brandon Marshall, his baggage, the constant threat of his impending suspension and his upcoming MONSTER contract.
On defense, I like what we did in the secondary, mixing experience and youth. I think McBath will be a stud. The jury's out on phonsy and bruton - but overall, I like the direction there with Goodman and Hill having a little tread left on the tires. I wouldn't mind adding one more young / athletic corner, and another fast, ball-hawking safety, but overall our secondary is definitely a strength. Where our weaknesses are on defense is along the defensive front. I like Peterson and Fields, but in rotational roles. McBean gets out of position sometimes and Vonnie Holiday, as awesome as he is, is getting old. We need at least two more big, dominant bodies up-front. We need at least one inside linebacker and one more stud to play outside backer who can rush the passer and stop the run. I think Ayers has improved by leaps and bounds. I believe he will be a stand-out player next year. I also like Haggan in a rotational role - but, honestly, if we could get Jared Allen-type compensation for Doom - a 1st, two 3rds and a 6th for Elvis - I'd do it and build a big, nasty, December-ready defense by turning one undersized situational passrusher whose trade-value will never be higher into four draft-picks.
Now, in retrospect, both of these players are good and my point is more about the value of these players as comodities than anything. However, I'm sick of our cosmetic crap - fast starts and falling apart late in the year. I'm sick of our pretty receivers and our little tiny fan-favorite players. I want big, nasty smart, savvy players who win us games in December because, whether you love Elvis and BMarsh or not - the cold, hard truth is - those games are won in the trenches, not at the pro bowl.
Some of you might make the old "bird in hand" argument by arguing that a player is worth more than a draft pick. I would caution you to remember that my argument assumes that we would get equal or better value as some teams would be willing to overpay for doom or bmarsh - yes there is a table for such things and, if you believe in McX's ability to evaluate talent, you have to at least consider that making at least one of these moves could make us a better team -- especially when you consider that we'd be turning two fourth round picks into AT LEAST 2 firsts, 2 thirds a second and a later round pick or two.