Well, we pretty much have the players we are going to pick our team from. We may pick up a roster casualty here or there due to our 2nd place waiver wire placing but for the most part, what we got is what we got.
Well, what do we have?
I am going to keep out of the QB argument since there is merits to both sides of the Orton/Tebow viewpoints. For the coming season, what have we done to help whomever is the QB win? If QB play stays the same as last year, what can we expect?
Last year, we had two glaring issues that plummeted this team to 2nd worst in the NFL.
1. We could not run the ball. Not just sub-par, really horrible.
2. We could not stop the run which lead to pretty poor pass defense.
Last year our offense made yards but because it was one dimensional 3rd and 2 or 4th and goal were quite simply horrible. Because our offense made many quick yards between the twenties, our weak defense was exposed several times a quarter. I firmly believe we get a run game, our D is improved just based on time of possession alone.
EFX made some investment into our OLine with a 2nd round pick. Early indications is Franklin will be a starter and can move bodies but might not be NFL par in pass blocking. Walton and Beadles are now a year older but signs are that they are not advancing to average yet. We are moving back to our zone blocking system that served us so well in the past and we invested some at running back. So realistically, it would seem our run game might move from pitiful to below average. I wish my expectations would be higher but I think this is a realistic expectation.
So this alone will improve our awful, awful D, even with the same quarterback play as last year while giving 10 or more drives kept alive to improve our scoring.
Our Defense had a lot of investment and potential improvement this season but new concerns are added too.
We have Doom back, great pass rusher, average against the run. We have instant rookie starter Von Miller to boost pass rush and give us someone to defend TE's when asked to drop back. We picked up a few interior linemen who are weak at the pass rush but allegedly stout against the run. On the downside to this we may have a rookie MLB and lets be honest average at best other linebackers. Overall it seems we have taken our front seven from pitiful to below average. I put below average because we once again have a "new system" and two or three rookies will be picked on in the early stages of the year until they prove their worth. Having said that, I think there is a high ceiling there too where as a unit it could surprise and become a pocket collapsing machine.
Our secondary will have the mercurial Champ Bailey for the #1 WRs we will face and probably a lot of young talent scattered elsewhere and its success will be tied to how quickly that pocket collapses. Simple as that, even the best secondaries are dependent upon hurried QBs and redirected running backs.
I think we have an 8-8 season with a potential low of 6 wins and a possible high of 9 wins. I predict this seasons discussions will continue to emphasize concern over our running game and weakness in our linebackers ... plus the usual QB back and forth.
We will have a young team with all the good and bad that comes with that.
In a three year plan, i'll take that.