To all...good thread, solid arguments with a noticable lack of "flame posts".
Ok, on to my 2 cents. I don't have a problem with the approach of strong D and solid running as the formula to win games, but I think that Capers and Palmer might have more in mind that just that. I do think that we would see more of a spread/play-action oriented offense if the O-line would consistently show up. Any offensive system is predicated on having the time to allow the plays to develop, either runs or passes. For every 10 or 15 yard burst that DD has in a game he has 2-3 negative runs because someone is making contact with him behind the line.
If you look at our offensive system it is not all that different than the Colts (lot of single back, and 3 wide sets...most big plays coming off play-action). The obviously Manning is a huge factor in their offense since he calls most of his own plays, but the system is not that different than what Palmer runs. You can make a good case that if you swapped the starting 5 O-lineman for our team with the colts we might have added a 2-3 wins and the Colts might have dropped 1-2 more. I think with the correct personnel, ie. better collective O-line, that our system will be fine. I am not a big Palmer fan and in fact I think if things are noticably improved next season he should probably go. That being said you are limited in your play calling by your personnel...I think he is in the position of sometimes calling play packages that will "hurt us the least" instead of "hurt them the most". Let's try and go a couple top O-line guys in the draft and free agency to bolster the offense then make a judgment on the playcalling.
Quickie on the defensive side of the ball...I read the recent articles on the 3-4 and why it works for some teams and not others as well as all the discussions on this board. I am a big fan of the 3-4 but the biggest issue with it is the significant committment to the type of personnel you need to have to make it work. I think we need no kidding scary guy in the front 7 that the other teams must account for week in and week out. I don't see anyone in the line up that is that guy or could even develop in to that guy. I think that Babin will be a quality player but hoping he turns into Kevin Greene is a big hope, I would actually like to see us pick up a high quality OLB in FA or the draft...not just try to find a good 'tweener guy. If Derrick Johnson falls to us in the draft (fat chance) we need to be all over him...if we insist on another 'tweener then Dan Cody is looking like a much better prospect than Babin was last year.
Who's the Man?... J-Man, that's WHO!
Eat 'em Up, KATS!