Please excuse the rhyme with an old Rare Earth tune, 'You Wanna Celebrate", but I really enjoy that early seventies music. Winning is the name of the game. We are discussing strategy on about the "how" of winning. For most of us, as outsiders, we can only glean bits and pieces of how an organization attempts to put the pieces together. After watching this team and listening to it's GM, maybe I have seen a glimpse of a piece.
Watching and listening this past season it appears the plan by Romeo was to try and shut down one area of an opponents game. The largest percentage was to try and stop the run. Face it, if you can make a team one dimensional it will give your team a great advantage. If you can shut down an entire facet of a team, like it's offense, it would be hard to lose. Think not? Just look at the last game we played against the Ravens who effectively shut down our offense.
Another way that is almost as good is to plan on winning your division. Doing this may appear simpler as you only have in our division 3 teams for six games. Sometimes you have just one team that really needs concentrated on as they dominate year after year like the Colt's used to. So you plan your draft accordingly. With out team, full of young talented stars, you have to evaluate the opponents in your division and try to add pieces to attack our rivals weaknesses. That could be either with defense or our offense.
Which way is Pioli leaning? Most believe he wants to dominate on the defensive side of the ball. Why would we think this? Looking at his history in New England it looks like that was the strategy he used on the problem. Listening to his recent interview it would appear, if he is not prevaricating, that defense is what he is focused on to dominate with. So if this is the strategy then we should focus on using the first pick in this upcoming draft on defense, like the last two drafts.
While I am for drafting a tackle to replace BRich that allows to open up the pass offense and protect Cassel, I would not be to disappointed to see an OLB or NT in the first. Having a dominating defense would let us attend to all teams on our schedule instead of focusing on our division rivals. This makes sense as two of those rivals rely on passing attacks predominately, Dago and Denver, with the raiders beIng the team that showed a solid run game this last year. McNabb in silver and black would change that I think.
So with several needs, pretty much equally divided for both sides of the ball, I leaning to thinking Pioli goes ahead and drafts defense with the first pick. Build the defense to dominate and try to improve the offense as much as possible along the way.Haley as an offensive mind could be the monkey wrench in this scenario. Or Pioli could just throw the wrench in himself and go with the best player available strategy.
Depending on how this draft falls we should be able to pick a pretty good player who works into the starting lineup quickly , if not start from the outset. That could be Taylor at the NT or a OLB like Houston or Ayers. Not a bad choice there if they stay put after the combine. So are we going to build to dominate with defense? Kinda looks that way from here. I think without question we will have a much better understanding of what Pioli's strategy is after this draft. Whatever happens, I am a Chief's fanatic, so Go Chief's!!!