What the hell happened? Last year we had one of the better linebacker units in the NFC. Hawk was a growing boy, Poppinga was coming into his own as the “swarmin mormon,” and Barnett was the consistent rock of the group, who while not perfect, played the game at a high level.
Hawk is average at best. Poppinga gets replaced by Chillar half the time for coverage purposes. Barnett is the king of overplaying and non-tackling when he’s not out for the year.. I don’t like specialists on defense. I like guys who can and will play every down.
Winston Moss, the linebackers coach, needs to do something here. It’s an athletic group that played well last year and suddenly can’t run or tackle. I don’t think these linebackers “suck” even though they’re playing like it. If these guys were on other teams I have no doubt they’d do well. Winston, step it up. Teach them to tackle. Or is that Sanders', McCarthy’s, or Thompson’s fault too?
We have so many talented players on defense and people like to say the defense sucks. It would be funny if it wasn't so sad. You go tell Al Harris, Charles Woodson, Aaron Kampman, Tramon Williams, Hawk, Barnett, Bigby(if he's not in the hospital) that they suck.
Bob Sanders needs to go. His work just isn't consistent enough. It's almost there, but then it's not. We just can't allow that any longer. I am officially on the Fire Bob Sanders bandwagon.
The good news is replacing him with someone more consistent can turn this defense around instantly. We don't need to rebuild much or change things up too drastically. We'll still be a man to man team, but we need someone who can work with players to generate a pass rush. And stop the run. Yelling "gap assignments!" only gets you so far. Let's cross our fingers we get someone competent!
I've talked about this before. The answer to this is Fire Mike Stock.
Now people say this one a lot : OUR OFFENSIVE LINE SUCKS!
Not every person on our offensive line sucks. As a unit they don’t do well. The 96 Chicago Bulls wouldn’t have been as good of a unit if I was out there playing point guard. Every player on the unit has to be able to do their job, if they can’t, the unit as a whole struggles as others try to overcompensate.
Scott Wells is a talented, versatile player. – KEEP
Jason Spitz is a talented, versatile player. – KEEP
Chad Clifton is an aging, declining player. – DISCARD
Mark Tauscher is still somehow getting it done. – KEEP
Daryn Colledge is young and athletic, but not good – DISCARD
Now that’s not too bad if you ask me. We don’t have to revamp the entire damn offensive line. We have to get rid of an aging star and replace a bad draft pick. It happens. Let’s do it.
Also keep in mind we have Tony Moll and Allen Barbre, who are quality backups and just might GROW into starters, seeing as they’re very young.
Losing Juice Coston for the year didn’t help matters either.
Our defensive line does not suck. Our QB pressure and run stopping has struggled, this can be attributed to KGB’s final demise and Cullen Jenkins getting hurt for the year. This couldn’t have been worse. We could have dealt with ONE of these things, but when KGB decided to finally all out suck and we lost Cullen for the year, that spelled disaster, and things haven’t been the same since. Johnny Jolly and Pickett are good in the middle, but that doesn’t mean crap when teams don’t run up the middle on us and just double team them because their outside guys can go solo on Mike Montgomery or just dominate Just Harrell.
People will point out getting rid of Corey as being a part of this, but like I said, if the KGB\Jenkins combo of disaster didn’t happen, that wouldn’t be a discussion. But some people need talking points, I guess.
Can we get a new strength and conditioning coach? If you haven’t noticed, we’ve suffered a ridiculous amount of injuries, and it only seems to be getting worse. This guy’s main job, besides making players big and strong, is keeping them flexible and healthy. Whatever he’s doing is not working. Hamstring injuries are an epidemic on this team. Cramping happens to our players more than others as well.
Five out of our Nine losses were by 4 points or less. This is usually when someone chimes in and says “Good teams win those close games.” I’d agree and add this to it: “Healthy teams win those close games.”
I’ve said before that the injuries are not an excuse. We still should have won a lot of these games, but you can not deny that things would be a lot different if we didn’t get hit with so many injuries.
I didn’t even blink when Tauscher and Collins got hurt in the Texans game. Usually I would freak out. We just lost our starting tackle and safety! Things have been like that all year, so I was used to it. Just another Packers game.
I believe that if we address these problems, and there aren’t MANY there, we will be THE best team in the NFC.
We need to replace a few bricks, not knock the building down, but the building definitely has its problems.
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