AJ, if we had drafted an offensive tackle instead of Spaeth would the draft be less disappointing? Because isn't that really what Spaeth is - i.e. an offensive tackle?
Had we taken Doug Free in Rd. 3, that would have been good for me.
Seriously, Spaeth should be a good blocking TE. An OT, he is not. So far as what I believe others are talking about....the five man OL.
Spaeth isn't a candidate to replace Max Starks if let go. Nor is he a candidate to move to LT if Marvel is deemed too expensive.
Sure, they can draft a tackle next year or figure out whether one of their projects can handle Starks' RT position. None of the current options give me much hope and/or confidence.
A guy like Doug Free, who went sometime in Rd. 4 or 5, would have given us a guy who is front a smaller program but a program that has produced some very good running backs over the past 4+ years. Free isn't as much a project as Essex or Colon (who is too short to play RT well IMO).
And he is probably a better receiving option than Kreider ever was.
I'm sure he is.
But there has to be a sizeable shift in philosophy to make the difference noticeable. Heath Miller isn't seeing the football often enough. Caught a couple balls less than Ced Wilson and only 3-4 more than Willie Parker. I doubt Spaeth sees more than Tuman did last year.
Not at all a knock on Spaeth. But for him to be effective in the passing game, there has to be a major shift in philosophy and game planning.
I want to buy into the Arians' talk of using the TE more. But we've heard it since Miller was drafted. We heard it before that with Riemersma, though he wasn't healthy enough to blame it all on the coaches.
Just remember that this is a NEW coaching staff and a NEW offensive coordinator. Unlike what everyone has been saying, I envision the offense changing much more than the defense.
When Whiz became OC, it was assumed that because he had been a TE in the NFL, he'd use the TE more often in the passing game. Took Miller in the late first round in 2005. I don't think many would say that Miller has been used consistently and effectively in the passing game. Certainly not on par with a guy like Todd Heap or Alge Crumpler.
So I''ll wait to see if changes occur with a new regime. A new OC didn't change things. Maybe it was Cowher with his foot on the brake. We'll see.
I like Spaeth enough. His success depends on a paradigm shift in offensive philosophy. He isn't an OT, or at least not in the true sense of the word and how it might project and protect next year if Max Starks leaves. As it stands, we have numerous IOL projects and precious little on the outside. Cause for concern IMO as we move forward.