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Oldcolt 10-17-2018 11:33 AM

The build
 
Thru six games I see hope in several areas on this team. First we are set with the most important and hardest piece to get-quarterback. To me the offensive line looks like they have the players to jell into a dominant force (with what we have invested in this line it needs to become dominant in the next 1-2 years and I think they are on the way) given time and health. Marlon Mack, if he can stay healthy, may be the answer at running back. The second half Sunday was the first time in ages our running game looked like a real running game. Tight ends seem to be good enough for us to compete. The defensive line has some talent. I really think its a good start for the line. Need a stud to elevate everyone's game in my opinion. Hopefully our #1 will be that. We have one linebacker that we can run with, need more. One safety is set, the other (Geathers) I love but injuries. And thankfully corner back is supposed to be a good position in the next draft. The challenge for the coaching staff is to not lose the culture amidst all this losing. Judging the early season as a rebuild, not by wins and losses, I'm pretty satisfied. I'm not saying we are going to make it to the promised land (and after all not knowing is what makes rooting so much fun) but if you look at where we are I don't know how you could honestly say we are on the wrong track. I'm trying to enjoy the rebuild. Honestly cannot do it on Sundays, but later in the week it doesn't look so horrible to me.

DrSpaceman 10-17-2018 11:54 AM

I think the two biggest areas of need still are secondary and WR.

sherck 10-17-2018 12:46 PM

In 2019 and beyond:

QB - Luck/Brissett. Set and no changes needed. In an era where there are not enough solid QBs to go around, we have both a solid backup and an good/extra good/elite starter, we are in good shape.

RB - Mack/Hines/Wilkins. Not highly drafted and not flashy but could end up being a pretty good committee if the O-line gels.

TE - Doyle/Ebron. A great #1/#2 punch if both can stay heathly. Good at very different things but reminds me a lot of the Kenny Dilger/Marcus Pollard years at TE. Depth needs to develop below them.

WR - Hilton. Perhaps Cain and Fountain. Ugh, T.Y. and then no one for certain. One of two weakest position groups on the roster. Yeah, I know Rogers is going to be back in 2019 as cheap depth as an RFA but he has had ample opportunity to step up and he has failed to do so time and again. Stop gap for next year but need to move on afterwards. Grant? See ya.

O-Line - Castonzo/Nelson/Kelly/???/Smith/Clark/Haeg/Good. OTs are harder to find than OGs so if Smith can fulfill ROT in 2018 and grow into the role in the future, then that needs to be the position he fills. We can draft a new starting OG in 2019 in the 3rd or 4th round to challenge Clark/Haeg/Good for the spot. The team will have to decide if they are re-signing Good in 2019 but his potential as a starter would lead me to offer him a journeymen contract even if he only ever ends up being depth for us going forward. With a 2019 draft pick, this is a good 8 man group to go into 2019 and beyond with.

D-Line - Hunt/Sheard/Steward/Autry/Turay/Lewis/Ridgeway/Ward/Muhammad. Lots of guys who, at times, have played well. Ward with 3.0 sacks on the year. Muhammad with 10 tackles in 5 games. Turay with 3.0 sacks. Hunt with his monster first couple of games. Autry with a couple of good games. Woods will be 32 and I don't expect him to be re-signed. Sure, we could use a top end stud to put greater pressure on opposing O-lines and make everyone else around them better but there are a lot of nice pieces to the D-Line right now.

LBs- Leonard/Walker/Adams/Franklin. I am very happy with the play of Leonard and Walker as starters and especially Franklin as depth. Adams has had his moments as a 7th round pick as well. A very nice young core of players to build the LBs corps around. Could use another stud but what a find in Leonard?

S - Hooker/Farley. Solid pairing going forward but we need more quality bodies. Perhaps Geathers is one of those but Ballard will have to decide if paying for his trending health is worth re-signing him.

CB - Moore/Hairston/Wilson. Not enough talent there for a core. Need to add a HUGE influx of talent if we are going to play more man coverage.

Postions Groups Upgrades Needed (in priority order):

#1 = Cornerback
#2 = Wide Receiver
#3 = Safety
#4 = Linebacker
#5 = Defensive Line
#6 = Offensive Line
#7 = Running Back
#8 = Tight End
#9 = Quarterback

If we don't touch #7/#8/#9 in 2019, add one quality body to each #4/#5/#6 and flood bodies into groups #1/#2/#3, then I think we will be on the right track.

Walk Worthy,

omahacolt 10-17-2018 01:03 PM

This dline needs more help than I think people realize.

JesusChrist 10-17-2018 01:11 PM

Sherck,

You list RB at #7 and say we shouldn't touch that position, I definitely disagree. Mack hasn't shown to be able to stay healthy. With him out, the running game is non-existant. You definitely take a flier on a RB somewhere in this next draft, or pick up a vet in free agency.

With a high pick, you have to get a elite pass rusher if you can. They are too rare to find otherwise.

Then after that: CB, WR, LB, Safety, RB. OL, DL

I actually expect Ballard to get more agressive with free agency this offseason, because with a few key free agents and another solid draft, we should be a pretty good team.

JAFF 10-17-2018 01:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by omahacolt (Post 86674)
This dline needs more help than I think people realize.

They need a freeney

FatDT 10-17-2018 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAFF (Post 86680)
They need a freeney

I agree in that they need a #1 pass rusher. We have a bunch of guys that can contribute to a pass rush. The kinds of guys that can win one-on-one matchups and take advantage of blockers being occupied elsewhere. And we have a defensive scheme that gets those types of players open lanes to the passer. But we don't have a blue chip that wins battles regardless of who is blocking or how many.

It doesn't have to be a DE, it could be Ed Oliver playing an Aaron Donald-type role. I also think NT could use an upgrade since Woods is getting older and Stewart seems like a depth player.

Chromeburn 10-17-2018 02:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JAFF (Post 86680)
They need a freeney

I would say a Simeon Rice or a Bosa. As much as Freeney was a terror on passing downs, he was a huge liability in the run game.

A dominate 3-tech would do wonders for the line. We saw what one could do with Hunt kicking butt out there.

FatDT 10-17-2018 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chromeburn (Post 86686)
I would say a Simeon Rice or a Bosa. As much as Freeney was a terror on passing downs, he was a huge liability in the run game.

That was more due to scheme IMO. Teerlinck coached him (all of them really) to shoot upfield. Freeney proved he could play the run during the 2006 playoffs. They adjusted and did great, Freeney included.

Chromeburn 10-17-2018 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FatDT (Post 86687)
That was more due to scheme IMO. Teerlinck coached him (all of them really) to shoot upfield. Freeney proved he could play the run during the 2006 playoffs. They adjusted and did great, Freeney included.

Scheme, player, they didn't do it enough. And there is shooting gaps and then there is creating gaps which they did the latter. Should have done it all the time. Teams would have 3rd and long and run a draw at their gap and get the first so many times.


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