I am as frustrated as anyone. This defense makes me angry like no other year. We were supposed to contend for a division title in 2019 and this is what we get? 3-8-1? Yet I see things that make me think a better team is lurking still. One that can win big in 2020 if we get the talent and locker room right including:
This offense is legit. Injuries all over yet we are moving the ball and scoring points without Stafford, Ragnow K. Johnson and others. Bo Scar. looks like a really solid player I expect to be around playing a key role in 2020. 23 year old Bo (Sept. Bday) has a solid average of 4.5 YPC trough three games playing with two back up QBs. Marvin Hall looked great and McKissic looks like a really good 3rd RB. Ty Johnson is a fine #4 RB too.
This front office has attracted free agent talent here, we have drafted talent and we have found off the street talent. I know the media plays the “no one wants to play here” card but Marvin Jones, Tre Flowers, Mike Daniels and others disagree. Perfect? No far from it but that is never an appropriate standard. Have we found viable NFL players in each round of the NFL draft? Yes they have. Late round talents? Yes they have. Have they also busted out a few picks and reached? Yes they have. But overall I like the talent on this club which is why I am concerned but I want to see another season here too.
I don’t support firing a staff after two seasons as a general rule. I think a staff deserve three full seasons to evaluate their work. We are two seasons in now and one more will help complete the picture for Quinn with Patricia.
I think this club has led in every game this season. That means there IS talent here but we cannot finish this job. Most of this falls on defense. Overall I think this is a good sign, not a bad sign. It means we are closer to competitive than further away.
Last point…The defense looked good to close the season last year. Easy schedule? Maybe. But lookin’ good is lookin’ good. This season I don’t even recognize this defense. But at least we have looked good in 2018 so that says we don’t know what is really going on.
Closing thoughts…if this team can get this defense figured out this team will be ready to make a serious run in 2020. Look…we finally have solid back up QBs! We have a solid RB crew now and our TE and WR crew also look solid. Yes free agent decisions need to be made. But this offense doesn’t have any serious decisions overall. Dealing with Decker? Yep. But Golladay and Marvin Jones each are in contract seasons (in 2020) the RBs are locked down. Stafford is locked down, the QBs will be locked down, we need to re-sign Glasgow and sop on but none of that is crazy hard. This offense will come back mostly ready to roll in 2020.
It is the defense that needs work. Harrison is locked down and maybe he comes back focused and ready to roll in 2020? This DL needs help too. Flowers has been solid here. Not puttin’ up his numbers for his $ but a really fine player for us. We need more DL talent at this point. And the draft can help with that. This LBer crew needs help too. Jarrad Davis looks like he is miscast here. That will require hard decisions I think.
Past those decisions I think Slay has become a real problem. Talented? Yes. A guy that erodes the staff with effort? Possibly. On the field through my TV I can see a guy putting in shitty effort, esp. with tackles. I have seen him make a ton of business decisions. My guess is Slay is traded and anyone who eroded the defensive message also needs to be traded. Another guy who seems detached and not his himself is A’Shawn Robinson who might also have to go as long as we can get those shoes filled by someone else. But the combination of Slay, Harrison and Robinson has been bad in 2019. Add to the poor LBer fits and this defense just stinks.
I hope this isn’t a DT Shaun Rodgers situation where he is a locker room problem but we actually were worse for trading him. But this defense is just off. Wrong. Not on the same page at all. I support this staff coming back but we need changes on defense. Not just players.
With the offensive work Patricia put into this club in 2019 I do in fact have faith Patricia can figure out what is wrong on defense. I support building around Flowers, Harrison and Hand. Austin Bryant might also have real game. I also like Okwara. But we are lacking a pressure guy and Harrison depth. Harrison, Hand, Flowers, Bryant and Okwara is a solid five guy rotation but it isn’t enough. Mike Daniels can come back but at a much lower price and we STILL need talent upgrades.
I think this club will go after a pressure guy in the draft. I look at how hard we went after LBer Barr and I think we want a guy like that here. Add a top rookie to play that role and spell Kennard and that might help as long as we get another real player at DT too even if we retain Daniels.
If this club can get the defense on solid footing this offense is ready to put up points in 2020. I am fine with one more season as I see this season as just lost. But I also see enough positive signs to believe this staff can get this job done. Thoughts?