I am fine with keeping Patricia one more season and I would have been fine firing him. Playoffs in 2020 or bust to me.
I am also fine with this offense overall. Not many tough decisions on that side of the football. Decker will get paid and he is an okay player. Wagner has not been good but we have Crosby for two more years too so no reason to panic at tackle. Glasgow needs to be re-signed and that is an easy decision. Marvin Jones is signed for 2020 and so is Golladay. Bring back Danny A. if we want. He was pretty solid this season. Pick whatever QB you want as a #2. I just don’t see major issues on that side of the football.
On defense however there are real issues. Slay is an issue. Pay the man or trade him and make sure he is happy and playing hard. But there are more serious issues up front. First, what role did injuries play in the demise of this DL?
Was Harrison ever really ready to go in 2019? That is a serious question. Past that Hand missed pretty much the whole season and he is a good player. Rookie A. Bryant missed most of the season but he was a rookie. Mike Daniels was just not ready to go and ended up being a bust signing. Okwara was also beat up and then we get to A’Shawn Robinson. What is going on with him?
To me this defense doesn’t get better by getting rid of Robinson. But what role is he good at and can we use him effectively? Was he also banged up? This DL was so beat up and they also played so poorly that I cannot evaluate play due to maybe guys being that banged up.
But this team isn’t better without Robinson even if we draft his replacement. We need to find a way to keep this guy. And if he will not re-sign here…one has to really wonder about Patricia and that locker room.
Bob Quinn was brought in here to draft better, get the cap under control and to build a long term future for this club. That all goes out the window if we cannot re-sign guys like Graham Glasgow and A’Shawn Robinson. We need those solid but not amazing players too. I know I will be watching how Quinn deals with Robinson and Graham closely but Robinson even more closely.
With all that said…there are also serious issues with the LBers too. I expect Tavai to have a solid off-season improving his awareness and technique but what are we to do about Jarrad Davis? How bad was his high ankle sprain? Can he play in this defense and if so where? Kennard appears to maybe be a rotational player at best now and that is also important but without two really solid LBers and a great set of DTs I don’t think this defense works.
Pretend we bring back this DL:
Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, Flowers, Hand, Okwara and Austin Bryant. Then say we add DT Derrick Brown too as say Chase is gone in the draft. That is 7 guys and we likely keep 8 or 9 so there is room for more help there. Can this club win with that if those guys are all healthy in 2020?
To me the answer is NO…not if we don’t add one more quality LBer. I have my eye on one guy in particular that might make a nice pairing in Detroit:
the Chiefs Reggie Ragland.
I think Reggie may want to test the free market after his playoff streak ends as the Chiefs may not be able to pay him and he has been looking pretty good these past few weeks after not playing much at all to start the season. In fact, Reggie didn’t even dress for the Chiefs early. I don’t think we can rely on a rookie like we did in 2019 with Tavai. Reggie is listed at 6’2" and over 250 so maybe, just maybe that is what we need here with Jarrad Davis moving outside and Kennard playing more of a situational role?
Past that we have the Slay issue. We are also not better without him but he wants to get paid and it us possible he may not want to be here. If that is the case we MUST trade Slay but we need solid viable defensive starter in return.
This off-season is going to be one to watch as we have a lot of our own guys to lock down, we need at least one impact defensive free agent (NOT Reggie Ragland but he might be perfect here) AND we need to solve these defensive questions. Wow…that is a TON of work. Thoughts?