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Old 01-15-2013   #1
Tailgate
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Default Prioritizing Our Off-Season Needs

Schaub and Kubiak are not going anywhere. They will lead the charge in 2013. End of story. That being said, what are our top 5 realistic offseason needs moving forward, ranking from most to least and what to expect this offseason.

1). Linebackers - Cushing comes back, but will he be the same player as before? We must improve depth at the ILB position. Adding Cush and another playmaker next to him would have a big time impact on the D in 2013. The fastest way to getting this D back to 2012 level imo is with this unit. We also will need to obtain a legit pass rushing OLB after we are at risk at losing Barwin. Solution - draft draft draft. I do not see us being able to sign anyone above the level of player we already have behind Cush, Reed, and Mercilus.

Free agents: Connor Barwin, Tim Dobbins, Kayaron Fox, Bradie James, Jesse Nading, Barrett Ruud.

2). Offensive line - Specifically the right side. We invested 3rd and 4th round picks here in 2012 to help with the losses of Breisel and Winston. How can we improve? Looks like we will have to stick with status quo at Guard, and hopefully Brooks or Jones emerge as the man at RG, thus leaving RT to be desired. We may do nothing and hope we continue to improve, but would not doubt if we go after a RT in the draft. We need a dominant running game again in the worst way to open up everything else again circa 2011 season. Big key in 2012 is how this unit evolves.

Free agents: ir-Rashad Butler, Antoine Caldwell, Ryan Harris.

3a). Secondary - This team is somewhere between the Bengals and the Pats in the AFC hierarchy. When facing the elite teams we were absolutely shredded in the passing game. Getting the ILB back in line will help tremendously in coverage and in blitz packages, but we definitely need help in our nickle and dime packages to get over that hump, and force more turnovers. Relying on Harris (while he is still a work in progress), Ball, and McCain does not bode well in 2013 imo. Was McCain really coming on enough for us to be fine in 13? Imo, we must upgrade our 3rd CB option. FA may be the quickest solution here. Will it be that expensive to upgrade talent here? We have too many needs now imo to try and upgrade the safety position, so expect Quin to return and go with current safety crop.

Free agents: Alan Ball, Roc Carmichael, Quintin Demps, Glover Quin, Brice McCain, Stanford Routt.

3b). Wide Reciever - We have needed to find a true #2 WR for years now. Now the #1 WR is something we will have to start thinking about as AJ is not getting any younger. Now with Posey a huge question mark, we will have to find a FA #2 for immediate impact (most drafted WRs take time to become an impact in this league) and use another top 3 pick on WR.

Free agents: None. Side note: POSEY on IR.

5). Nose Tackle - DE will have to be addressed next offseason with the aging Smith in the fold. But for this year, Cody is most likely gone. The Texans loved Hunter at NT before he went down with injury. We need to find a NT to spell Mitchell who will be moving into starter/full time role. We will hope to land a sleeper later in draft, unless Phillips sees a cant miss prospect avail in the early rounds.

Free agent: Shaun Cody.


Honorable Mention:

-TE - We found out this year how important Dreesseen was to this team and why depth here is so important. Dont be surprised if we draft another TE or two this year.

-FB - Casey is a free agent and maybe its time we committed to a true FB to lead the way for Foster again in 2013. Again, this team needs a dominant running game in the worst way. A bulldozer talent first, with a pass catching ability not a priority.

-QB - If a cant miss prospect falls to us, we take him. We all know why.


Thoughts? What would you prioritize as our needs this offseason.

Last edited by Tailgate; 01-15-2013 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 01-15-2013   #2
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

Safety is a huge need. That much became obvious in the 3 games against NE & GB. We need a playmaking Safety in the back end. We always have.

I wouldn't reach for one. But if we're on the clock and round 1 and the BPA is a Safety, you take him.
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Old 01-15-2013   #3
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

QB, safetys, LBs and CBs, O-line, WR in that order.
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Old 01-15-2013   #4
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Originally Posted by WolverineFan View Post
Safety is a huge need. That much became obvious in the 3 games against NE & GB. We need a playmaking Safety in the back end. We always have.

I wouldn't reach for one. But if we're on the clock and round 1 and the BPA is a Safety, you take him.
I can agree with that actually. How nice would it be to land a Harrison Smith in the draft? However, its seems to me that drafting a safety is one big crap shoot (which could be said for any position I guess) and there are usually more reaches than not, and I am in the if you improve the front 7... the secondary will ultimately fall in line thinking. So when comparing needs and being realistic as far as solutions to be avail and the likeliness of improving the safety position... I feel and Manning and Quin can suffice for now and will have to after we invest more in Quin. But a great point none the less, especially with our emphasis on man coverage.
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Old 01-15-2013   #5
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Originally Posted by ckhouston View Post
I like it, but would swap the priority of OL and Secondary.

I agree with this mainly because of how players from the secondary will be FA's that were contributors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WolverineFan View Post
Safety is a huge need. That much became obvious in the 3 games against NE & GB. We need a playmaking Safety in the back end. We always have.

I wouldn't reach for one. But if we're on the clock and round 1 and the BPA is a Safety, you take him.
I think the LBers were exposed Vs those teams .... and the personel packages they went with in some situations. Asking Ruud to cover a fly pattern in man coverage against a RB is asking for trouble.

Quin and Manning were pretty solid for the most part , the real issues were LBers in coverage of any kind. That was a problem this season and in past seasons be it covering RB's or TE's.
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Old 01-15-2013   #6
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Originally Posted by Corrosion View Post
I agree with this mainly because of how players from the secondary will be FA's that were contributors.
Added Free Agents to original post....and yes, I would probably switch OL with Secondary after further review.
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Old 01-15-2013   #7
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Originally Posted by Corrosion View Post
I think the LBers were exposed Vs those teams .... and the personel packages they went with in some situations. Asking Ruud to cover a fly pattern in man coverage against a RB is asking for trouble.

Quin and Manning were pretty solid for the most part , the real issues were LBers in coverage of any kind. That was a problem this season and in past seasons be it covering RB's or TE's.
A lot of that had to do with Cushing being out and the injuries we accumulated at LB. I think we need to upgrade at the other ILB spot but DB's were a big problem. I do agree that LB's playing man is an issue but that is a schematic issue.

Our starting 4 is pretty good and you saw that early in the season. But when we starting accumulating injuries (Joseph, McCain) and playing high octane offenses (GB, DET, NE(x2), IND) you saw us have problems. We need more depth at DB especially since our depth players get on the field in Wade's Nickel & Dime packages.

If you recall, Demps was awful in just about all of those games and he saw a lot of snaps because Wade favors the 3 Safety packages. Harris was mostly bad when replacing McCain in the nickel.
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Old 01-15-2013   #8
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Originally Posted by WolverineFan View Post
A lot of that had to do with Cushing being out and the injuries we accumulated at LB. I think we need to upgrade at the other ILB spot but DB's were a big problem. I do agree that LB's playing man is an issue but that is a schematic issue.

Our starting 4 is pretty good and you saw that early in the season. But when we starting accumulating injuries (Joseph, McCain) and playing high octane offenses (GB, DET, NE(x2), IND) you saw us have problems. We need more depth at DB especially since our depth players get on the field in Wade's Nickel & Dime packages.

If you recall, Demps was awful in just about all of those games and he saw a lot of snaps because Wade favors the 3 Safety packages. Harris was mostly bad when replacing McCain in the nickel.
I dont really disagree accept with the fact that even with Cushing in the lineup they still had trouble defending TE's (and to some extent RB's) - He didnt often cover.

That 3rd safety spot is really important in the attacking / man coverage defense Wade employed.

I have secondary as a significantly higher need than ILB .... but would like to see an upgrade next to Cushing. Maybe a hybrid SS/ILB type there. Dont ask me to name one ..... just a thought that crossed my mind as the league is more and more pass oriented.


An observation related to the lack of cover ability from the ILB's - As the season went on , we saw Barwin in coverage quite a bit on both RB's and TE's.
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Old 01-15-2013   #9
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

Wide Receiver should be the number one priority. You guys always complain, as I do, about the passing offense being dormant for half the year. Shaub cannot and will not be able to make plays with Kevin Walter as the #2 in 2013
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Old 01-15-2013   #10
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Originally Posted by Corrosion View Post
I dont really disagree accept with the fact that even with Cushing in the lineup they still had trouble defending TE's (and to some extent RB's) - He didnt often cover.

That 3rd safety spot is really important in the attacking / man coverage defense Wade employed.

I have secondary as a significantly higher need than ILB .... but would like to see an upgrade next to Cushing. Maybe a hybrid SS/ILB type there. Dont ask me to name one ..... just a thought that crossed my mind as the league is more and more pass oriented.


An observation related to the lack of cover ability from the ILB's - As the season went on , we saw Barwin in coverage quite a bit on both RB's and TE's.
If, to start the draft, we went...

1 - Matt Elam - S, Florida
2 - DeAndre Hopkins - WR, Clemson
3 - Gerald Hodges - ILB, Penn State
3a - Kyle Long - OT, Oregon

I'd be a happy man.
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Old 01-15-2013   #11
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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If, to start the draft, we went...

1 - Matt Elam - S, Florida
2 - DeAndre Hopkins - WR, Clemson
3 - Gerald Hodges - ILB, Penn State
3a - Kyle Long - OT, Oregon

I'd be a happy man.
You and me both .... that would be a hell of a haul for the first three rounds.

I just have to wonder if Hopkins is taken at the tail end of round 1. He's by far my favorite WR in this draft class.


Long .... Could go as early as the mid second , might fall all the way to the 4th .... he's got so much potential but not a whole lot of experience. Many see him as a RT in the NFL while he played G in college. Its painfully obvious to me that RT needs an upgrade.
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Old 01-15-2013   #12
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

In 2011... Cushing had 4 sacks, 8 QB hits, and 23 QB hurries and a 3.6 rating in coverage according to PFF

In 2012... our entire ILB unit (minus Cushings 5 games) had 1 sack, 10 QB hits, and 14 QB hurries and an average of .5 rating in coverage according to PFF.

We MUST get a playmaker along side Cush in 2013. Not only in case one or the other goes down, but it would have even more of an impact to the entire D if both were to be on the field at the same time for the season. Biggest impact position we can address this offseason imo. OLB will need to be addressed as well as Barwin very likely will be gone. We may just have to hope Whitney turns out to be worth the #1 pick and make a big jump in year 2. All the reasons as to why I put this unit as need at #1 above all else.
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Old 01-15-2013   #13
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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-TE - We found out this year how important Dreesseen was to this team and why depth here is so important. Dont be surprised if we draft another TE or two this year.
Not that ProFootballFocus ranked Dreessen as the top rated pass blocking TE in 2012, by a significant margin.
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Old 01-15-2013   #14
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Originally Posted by Corrosion View Post
You and me both .... that would be a hell of a haul for the first three rounds.

I just have to wonder if Hopkins is taken at the tail end of round 1. He's by far my favorite WR in this draft class.


Long .... Could go as early as the mid second , might fall all the way to the 4th .... he's got so much potential but not a whole lot of experience. Many see him as a RT in the NFL while he played G in college. Its painfully obvious to me that RT needs an upgrade.
I wouldn't be surprised if Hopkins was gone. Robert Woods would be my replacement pick in the 2nd round. Long could easily be gone way before the end of the 3rd round. He has the bloodlines and the measureables. Depends on how he shows out for scouts.
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Old 01-15-2013   #15
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

Qb
wr
ot
s
lb
cb
nt

I would try to tade into the 2nd rd

1.Bray
2. Long
2. Hopkins I would be very happy if these guys were available

Then get S, LB's with the supplemental picks. This is a deep draft for S/LB so there should be good talent available late in the draft.
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Old 01-15-2013   #16
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Not that ProFootballFocus ranked Dreessen as the top rated pass blocking TE in 2012, by a significant margin.

Owen Daniels was HORRIBLE in both pass and run blocking as we would expect to see. And Daniels was rated FAR down the list as a pass catching TE. Overall, a CRAP year from "Open Daniels". Graham was at least positive in the run blocking department. Interesting to see what we do with this unit in the off season.
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Old 01-15-2013   #17
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

Pointless talk about taking a quarterback in the 2-3 rounds. Shaub is under contract for 4 more years. Plus we have so many other needs.

Robert Woods, USC, WR.

Nico Johnson, Bama, ILB

DJ Swearinger, South Carolina, S
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Old 01-15-2013   #18
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Originally Posted by steelbtexan View Post
Qb
wr
ot
s
lb
cb
nt

I would try to tade into the 2nd rd

1.Bray
2. Long
2. Hopkins I would be very happy if these guys were available

Then get S, LB's with the supplemental picks. This is a deep draft for S/LB so there should be good talent available late in the draft.
I would love to see an upgrade at QB .... but I just dont see it happening , maybe next offseason but not this one , at least not in the draft.

(Someone tell me you would take Schaub over Alex Smith now - Thought I was crazy when I mentioned Smith before , he's basically Schaub pre-lisfranc)


There might be a couple QB's available .... Michael Vick ?! Alex Smith ?!
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Old 01-15-2013   #19
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

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Pointless talk about taking a quarterback in the 2-3 rounds. Shaub is under contract for 4 more years. Plus we have so many other needs.
Schaub's contract wouldnt be too tough a pill to swallow after next offseason should the team decide to part ways.

I think we are stuck with him for at least one more year tho.
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Old 01-15-2013   #20
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Default Re: Prioritizing our off season needs

New GM, new HC. We need a new strategy. Giving these guys another turn at finding assets for both sides of the ball will hurt us more than help us.

However, McNair is going to expect another big year out of the Marketing department.
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