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Author Topic: Why will we be better next year?  (Read 2286 times)
Steelerdipwad
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« on: Feb 02, 2009 at 10:18 »

Enough living in the past.

So, Mendenhall will be back, and should help the running game. We HAVE to look at linemen in free agency and in the draft. Where else do you upgrade?
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« Reply #1 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 10:22 »

Offensive coaching staff.  Can you guess who I mean?
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« Reply #2 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 10:30 »

Enough living in the past.

So, Mendenhall will be back, and should help the running game. We HAVE to look at linemen in free agency and in the draft. Where else do you upgrade?

I think we go into this offseason in very good shape. Mendenhall coming back next year will be huge -- we're essentially going to have two first-round picks join the team next year, given that we won the Super Bowl this year without him.

Reasons the team may be better next year:

1.) Mendenhall --if he is a star back, he could make our offense great. Our offense was weird this year - overall, I think a pretty average unit. BUT - a big but - it was exceptional at making big plays and playing in the clutch. Mendenhall could add some consistent chain-moving next year.

2.) Youth on defense -- Woodley is a star. Timmons is a star role player already and next year he may become a bona fide playmaker every down. I have high hopes for William Gay, too.

3.) Ben -- I think he'll be even better next year, and, if we find a way to fix the running game, he'll be crazy-good.

4.) O-line -- this unit can't get worse. And this offseason, we will not be able to ignore this unit simply because so many of the guys are at the end of their contracts.

5.) The schedule -- looking ahead at the schedule is usually pointless. A good dozen teams suprise you every year. But next year it is going to be a much easier schedule than this year; it just has to be. We play the AFC WEST and the NFC NORTH. There are very few good QBs among those teams.

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Big Virgil
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« Reply #3 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 10:30 »

Enough living in the past.

So, Mendenhall will be back, and should help the running game. We HAVE to look at linemen in free agency and in the draft. Where else do you upgrade?

LOL - we get 24 hours don't we?
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« Reply #4 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 10:37 »

There are potential problems this team has, too, looking at next year.

Reasons we might decline:

1.) Age on the D-Line. This is my big fear. The starting 3 are in their 30s and the depth, Hoke aside, is minimal. If these guys can't dominate the run, we'll lose some of the  effectiveness that made our pass coverage so amazing.

2.) Wide receiver. Hines could well slip considerably next year. Not likely, but could happen. Nate Washington could easily leave as a free agent. Even if he didn't, he's far from a complete player. Sweed may not be ready. That leaves us with Holmes. I don't think this will be a position we neglect in the offseason, though.

3.) O-Line. The team faces some tough choices. Three starters are free agents - four if you count Marvel Smith. Colon is an RFA and he'll be back. The team could let Kemoteau, Starks, and Smith all walk. None of them are impressive. Replacing them all in one offseason may not show results right away, though. The free agent pool isn't great, and rookies would be rookies.

4.) Defensive backs. Will we be able to re-sign McFadden. I'm not sure he'd be worth what he can get on the open market. Will Townsend return, and, if so, will he be effective? We'll need to add another corner or two in the offseason, is my guess.

5.) Backup QB. Can we count on another full season from Ben? If we can't, do we have a backup who can guide the offense? Leftwich will be gone. Batch played really well in '05 and '06, but much less so in '07 and he was out this entire year. If called upon for, say, a 5-game stretch, I'm not that confident that Batch could lead us through it.
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« Reply #5 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 10:57 »

Yeah, getting Mendenhall back should be a plus.  But do they lose Moore?  He was a huge contributor.

You gotta think the OL will be better.  How could they be worse?  But it looks to be a unit in flux and thus, a ?

Yup, that DL is getting older.  They'll have to address that, better sooner than later (see:  OL).  But they should be OK for another year.  In general, the defense should be fine.  Wm. Gay should take a step forward.  The secondary and LB corps are still young wte of Farrior who can still play.

Hopefully Sweed will be better in his second year.  The WRs need to be upgraded.  Either that and/or the OC needs to change.  Something has to give there.  It's idiotic to count on Ben scrambling around as a way to get a WR open.  And these guys don't get open that much other than short stuff or on a blown coverage where they just run by a guy.  More consistency is needed.

But if the OL doesn't improve there's not much hope for a more consistent offense.  Maybe if the running game were better Arians wouldn't look like such a dipshit and the passing game would be that much more successful.  And then they'd be able to score on those goal-to-go situations that far too often turned into 20 yard FGs or nothing.

But even with the easier schedule (caveats accepted) the division should be tougher next season.  The Ravens look to improve with a young QB who should have a better command of his offense.  Even if their D drops off a bit it should be good enough to keep them in most games.

The Bungholes and Brownstains can't be worse. 

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« Reply #6 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 11:34 »


But even with the easier schedule (caveats accepted) the division should be tougher next season.  The Ravens look to improve with a young QB who should have a better command of his offense.  Even if their D drops off a bit it should be good enough to keep them in most games.

The Bungholes and Brownstains can't be worse. 

Great points, all of 'em.

I forgot to even think about the division. Yes, the Ravens could be beastly next year if: they keep their LB corps togther, they find another WR, and Flacco develops. I'm not yet convinced that Flacco is going to be anything more than a Drew Bledsoe-type, but he should in any case be more productive next year than he was this year.

I actully think the Bengals might be a big threat next year. Their defense was impressive down the stretch -- if they can get rid of the selfishness on offense and get Palmer back healthy, they could win 10 games.

As for the Browns, I was very confident they'd implode this year. We see teams like them every year -- a bad team shows some improvement, and then, desperate to win and break through after years of losing, throw money at free agents. More often than not, expensive free agents like that big payday and stop showing up for work. That, plus the fact that Anderson is clearly nothing special -- in 2007 he just benefitted from outstanding receiver and line play, two things which didn't show up so much this year.
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« Reply #7 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 11:35 »

Quote
We play the AFC WEST and the NFC NORTH.

I thought we played the NFC South?  If it's the north then I'm very disappointed.  Was looking forward to seeing them play either in Charlotte or Atlanta.

Honestly, everything mentioned here may be a concern, but I don't think anything takes precedent over OL.  We HAVE to start keeping the Franchise in one piece, and our oline is just flat awful.  Hartwig wasn't holding in the EZ, he was getting run over in the EZ.  Pretty sure the ref was saying, "That couldn't happen unless he was holding."  But, oh yes, it could and it did.  Embarrassing.
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« Reply #8 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 12:36 »

There are potential problems this team has, too, looking at next year.

Reasons we might decline:

1.) Age on the D-Line. This is my big fear. The starting 3 are in their 30s and the depth, Hoke aside, is minimal. If these guys can't dominate the run, we'll lose some of the  effectiveness that made our pass coverage so amazing.

We can address this in the draft.  I think they can hold on for another year, may just need to add some guys to the rotation.

2.) Wide receiver. Hines could well slip considerably next year. Not likely, but could happen. Nate Washington could easily leave as a free agent. Even if he didn't, he's far from a complete player. Sweed may not be ready. That leaves us with Holmes. I don't think this will be a position we neglect in the offseason, though.

I will not count Hines Ward out...period.  Secondly Sweed will be a great player...I look at his as this years Timmons.  A freak of nature who took a little longer to adjust to the pro game, because they never had to be a student of the game, simply excelled based on athletic ability.  Holmes boarders on elite, and Washington is a decent player, but all he has is speed. 

3.) O-Line. The team faces some tough choices. Three starters are free agents - four if you count Marvel Smith. Colon is an RFA and he'll be back. The team could let Kemoteau, Starks, and Smith all walk. None of them are impressive. Replacing them all in one offseason may not show results right away, though. The free agent pool isn't great, and rookies would be rookies.

Now this worries me.  I think we need to sign Jordan Gross...this would be expensive, but it is not time to get Ben an elite o-lineman. Other than that we will probably be a little patchwork.  We MUST draft 2 o-lineman in the first 3 rounds of the draft.

4.) Defensive backs. Will we be able to re-sign McFadden. I'm not sure he'd be worth what he can get on the open market. Will Townsend return, and, if so, will he be effective? We'll need to add another corner or two in the offseason, is my guess.

Resigning McFadden is a must.  Townsend is the wily veteran, he will come back but may not start.  A corner via FA and a corner via the draft is necessary. 

5.) Backup QB. Can we count on another full season from Ben? If we can't, do we have a backup who can guide the offense? Leftwich will be gone. Batch played really well in '05 and '06, but much less so in '07 and he was out this entire year. If called upon for, say, a 5-game stretch, I'm not that confident that Batch could lead us through it.

Batch will be fine, and do not sleep on Dixon... do I trust him to be a frachise QB, hell no.  Could he step in and win a few games...certainly.


Brinker
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Steelerdipwad
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« Reply #9 on: Feb 02, 2009 at 13:33 »

4.) Defensive backs. Will we be able to re-sign McFadden. I'm not sure he'd be worth what he can get on the open market. Will Townsend return, and, if so, will he be effective? We'll need to add another corner or two in the offseason, is my guess.

Resigning McFadden is a must.  Townsend is the wily veteran, he will come back but may not start.  A corner via FA and a corner via the draft is necessary. 
Brinker

If we re-sign McFadden, then IMO, we can take a flyer on a corner in the later rounds. If we don't re-sing him, then we have to draft a corner in the first or second, at the latest. The prospect of Deshea and Fernando Bryant next year is not appealing.
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