First and foremost, lets recap what has happened thus far, my thoughts and predictions for the future based on those moves. I'm going to go through every aspect of the team that I can possibly think of to break down so I'm sure this should get interesting
Damon Huard - No need for him. No disrespect, it was great what he did for us when he filled in for trent green but come on..hes done.
Will Franklin - I'm a bit disappointed here. Franklin has a good mix of Size, Speed and Athletic ability. He could have developed into a great deep threat. He has a minor learning disorder that makes him a bit slower in learning plays, and tends to take his eyes off the ball to scan the field before securing the catch, but those are things that can be worked with. I was very surprised in his release.
Tony Gonzalez - I'm really not too upset. Tony deserves to have a chance at a superbowl. I just dont think that could happen with us. It would be great to have him, and he would set a great example for our young guys but I think we'll be okay. Atleast Cottam had 1 season to learn from the best.
Adrian Jones, Jason Bain, Rocky Boiman, Pat Thomas, David Macklin, Oliver Celestin - these guys did nothing for us last year. Jones as no good at RG, Boiman was a fill in at LB along with Thomas. Neither of them played well. Boiman did show a few flashes though, but I think any player in the NFL can have a good play here n there.
Brian Johnston - He wont fit the 3-4. We already have DJ, Thomas, Vrabel, Beisel, Demarrio, at LB with Tamba and Turk trying to make the switch to LB, that leaves us with 7 LB's, not counting other fill in's. Hes too small for DE in the 3-4 and too slow for OLB.
Matt Cassel - I was a huge Thigpen fan. I hated that we traded for Cassel. But the more I look at his film last year (even though it was with 1 of the best potential teams) he started slow but learned fast. I like that. He adjusted quickly. I want to see what he can do and I think hes going to be okay.
Bobby Engram - I believe hes going to be more of a mentor than anything. I hope the Engram move isnt what caused us to drop Franklin.
Mike Goff - A solid upgrade over Adrian Jones. He should help anchor a suspect rightside of the line.
Mike Vrabel - Excellent addition. Should help progress DJ to the next level. Its now or never for DJ. Vrabel can play inside or out, and can pass on blitzing knowledge. Hes getting old but again will be a great mentor.
Zach Thomas - I like this addition as well because we need a tackling machine and we need someone to teach how to play that way. Thomas may not be at that level of talent anymore, but he still has the knowledge. I think hes going to help DJ more than Vrabel will.
Monty Beisel - I love the fact that hes back. Hes a great "6th man" as he can come off the bench into any LB position and know what to do.
Mike Brown - Comes from a successful defense. I really like our secondary the way it is though. Maybe sub him in on 2nd or 3rd and long situations.
Tyson Jackson - I LOVE this pick. Everyone wanted Aaron Curry but I wanted to trade down and take TJ. Im sure Pioli tried to trade down and couldnt. Jackson is the PERFECT fit for the 3-4. Him and Dorsey used to DOMINATE at LSU and if Jackson can play 3-4, I know Dorsey can too. They are young guys who have 2 different styles and can learn from each other, as well as compete to push each other. I'm very excited about this pick.
Alex Magee - I was a bit stunned on this pick, I felt we could have grabbed a quality C or RT with this pick. he should add some depth behind Dorsey and Tyson though.
Donald Washington - I'm like this guy. I dont have much to say because I think our secondary is great the way it is and he will only be a 4th CB unless he beats out leggett which may or may not happen.
Colin Brown - I'd love to see him come in and take McIntosh's place. Just please upgrade McIntosh. Please Please PLEASE.
Quinten Lawrence - This is the player to watch. Hes a great replacement to Franklin.
Williams, OConnell and Succop I dont know. Succop may beat out Barth but who knows.
Quarterbacks - Cassel will hopefully continue to build on his improvement from last year. He wont have the luxeries of Moss and Welker or a line to protect him but thats only going to help him make faster decisions. Thigpen will be a confident backup and if all else fails, Tin Foil Croyle is ready to get injured again.
Runningbacks - LJ, Charles, Smith, what more could you ask for? You got LJ to power between the tackles, Charles to take it around the corner, and smith to bounce it ouside off the counter. Great combo of Power, Speed and Agility between those 3 players.
Offensive Line - Albert, Waters, Niswanger, Goff, McIntosh is what I think it will be. But, Albert and Waters are the only two i think are locked in as starters. Niswanger and Goff could switch places (I hope they do) and McIntosh could get beat out by Herb Taylor or Colin Brown.
Wide Receivers - Dwayne Bowe is ready to make the jump to stardom. The sophomore slump is out of the way. No more dropped passes! Mark Bradley is ready to break out as well. The loss of Gonzo means more DT's on Bowe. Engram and Lawerence might be in there streaking across the middle somehwere, or even Charles who sees plenty of passes out of the backfield.
Defensive Line - Young. very young. That could be a problem. I see Dorsey, Tank and Jackson with Magee Edwards and Boone (i think we still have boone..) subbing in. Tank will be in his 3rd, Dorseys 2nd, and Jacksons 1st season. I'm a bit concerned but these guys are huge and should command doubleteams. Tank is STRONG and can take on 2 guys. Dorsey and Jackson could each take 2 if needed. This should free up space for the LB's to make tackles. The size and talent is great, the experience and fact that its tough for defensive players to make the jump leaves me worried
Linebackers - I think we'll be okay. Between DJ, and Demarrio we should have speed. Vrabel and Hali should give us a rushing LB option and Thomas and Beisel would be our ball hawks along with DJ. Again, I dont know how this will play out.
Defensive Backs - I'm very excited about these guys. Last year we had no line, no pressure on the QB and it could have been MUCH worse if it wasnt for the play of our Dbacks. These guys are going to become something special.
Special Teams - whos our KR/PR? Is Barth or Succop our FG kicker? Whos the place kicker? I like the fact that Haley is actually looking for guys who are great in coverage in special teams.
Offensively - Our O-Line is the group to watch. If they succeed, we should see a great improvement in the offense. Bowe is in his 3rd year and ready to break out. Bradley is ready for his chance and Engram is going to lead these guys mentally. Cassel must prove hes the leader to command the offense.
Defensively - Again, it depends on the D line. If our young guys up front can do their job, our Linebackers and safties should be able to stuff the run. If our rushers can put some pressure on the QB, our Dbacks are going to have the heyday we wanted to have last year. We have some fast guys who can make plays but we gotta have some pressure on the QB to seal the deal.
Ravens - L
Raiders - W
Eagles - L
Giants - L
Cowboys - L
Redskins - L
Chargers - W
Jaguars - W
Raiders - W
Steelers - L
Chargers - L
Broncos - W
Bills - W
Browns - W
Bengals - W
Broncos - L
8-8 final record. No playoffs.
What do you think?