It sucks to be talking about next year, but it is what it is. So, my question is whether we're really that far away. To start the year, most folks thought if things broke right, we might contend for a playoff spot, but if not this year, definitely next year. Well, nobody could have foreseen the trainwreck that is our QB turnover situation. If you cut that down to an average number, were probably talking about a 6-6 or 7-5 record, which gives the rest of this season a totally different feel. Back to my question I dont think were that far away. I mean really, worse teams have been fixed. Fixes on Offense Our key problems are (i) QB turnovers and (ii) red zone efficiency. Both of these problems are fixed by running the ball effectively. Id commit specific resources to deal with these very fixable problems. First, I get a big boy RB to run with Slaton. I use a 3rd RD pick or sign a FA. Im not talking about a half measure like Green/Brown/Taylor. I also use a mid round pick or FA signing to supplant or push Myers for the C job. The ZBS is looking better and better, particularly with the talents of Slaton. Lets finish the damn job. There are two questions that will be answered next year. 1. Can Kubiak really be a run first coach. I think he knows in his head to run the ball. The question is whether his hearts in it. This could ultimately make or break Kubiak. 2. Is Schaub the guy? He has played 1 full season's worth of games, and the jury is still out. Next year is his make or break year. Give him a running game and see what he produces. Stay healthy, limit turnovers, make plays. I think he can be the guy. If he can't do it with a running game, then we don't make the playoffs next year, we don't pay Schaub his $10MM bonus in March 2010, he's gone as a FA, Kubiak is gone and likely Smith too. We start over. Should we draft a QB this year? No - fix the running game. It helps us in the present and the future. It will benefit whatever GM/HC/QB we bring in in 2010. Fixes on Defense We basically suck and have no identity or scheme. Coaching it looks like we may be auditioning Bush to be the new DC. If so, the early returns may be promising. We will learn much more in the next 2 weeks about whether our horrific defense is more about piss poor coaching or inadequate talent. In any event, it starts here and a strong DC would go a long way. We have to get the DC right. Personnel I basically devote the entire draft to the Defense. The composite results of the last 3 years have been good enough with hits (Mario, Demeco, Winson, OD, DA, Diles, Slaton, Adibi, Spencer (what could have been)), misses (TJ, Okoye, Okam) and jurys-still-outs (okoye?, Brown, Bennett, Moulden, Jacoby Jones). I give Smith another draft to handle. With picks in RD 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 (3rd rounder used as a RB), the measuring stick is get 2 players that are good enough to start right away, and quality of depth everywhere else. Given my druthers, Id take (i) starting pass rushing DE, (ii) starting FS, (iii) depth/possible starting space eating DT; (iv) depth/possible starting OLB to push Adibi, Diles and Bentley, and (v) depth everywhere else. I bring back Dunta, Reeves, Bennett and Molden. With Duntas leadership, a cohesive scheme and an improved pass rush, theres enough at CB to be functional, and possibly a plus. Fortunately, our special teams is very good and needs no fixes. We can very easily have a top 10 offense (in scoring, not just yards) that can run the ball. With the right scheme/coaching and personnel upgrades, we can have a mid level defense next year. Weaker teams have made the playoffs. I dont post much here, so let me know what you think.