Like many on here, I was shocked at how little we did to address our biggest needs during the off season. However, there are those who really seemed to think that secondary level FA signings and late round picks, UDFA's and rookies in general might make a big impact on this team.
Now that we know our roster, let's take a second look at our off season and see what moves we made that look like they will actually improve the team.
Damon Huard - Supposed to be the vet leader/backup we needed: CUT
Marvel Smith - Supposed to be the answer at RT because we knew something the Steelers didn't when they let him go: RETIRED
Brandon Jones - Has been hurt and has barely played. Obviously will not be in sync with the QBs and offense when/if he is healthy. May make some kind of impact by mid season if we are lucky. May be banged up all year if we are not.
Demetric Evans - Certainly has not provided any significant help with the pass rush. A backup player at best. Could sub him with pretty much any other backup DE in the league and you wouldn't know the difference.
Those where our "big" FA signings and two aren't on the team and the other two don't seem to matter much. As emergency signings Dre Bly and now Tony Pashos (if it's true we've signed him) will be our "big" FA signings. And they are guys from the scrap heap.
The Draft and UDFA:
Rd1 -Crabtree - Unsigned and now unlikely to make an impact this year even if he signs.
Rd2 - Traded
Rd3 - Coffee - Made the team and looks to be a great pickup. Perhaps the only addition to the team who will make a real impact this year.
Rd4 - No pick
Rd5 - McKillop - Made the team and looks ok, but unlikely to make a significant impact this year.
Rd5 - Davis - Made the team as the 3rd QB. Looks like he has some potential for the future and may even play some this year. But will not have compete for even the backup job until next year barring injuries.
Rd6 - Pascoe - CUT - Didn't even make the practice squad
Rd7 - Taylor - Made the team, but again, looks to be a backup player at best, and is unlikely to see much playing time barring injuries this year.
RD7 - RJF - See above.
Alex Boone, Kory Sheets - Like RJF were considered major steals by many (3rd/4th round values) who shouldn't have slipped and could be major factors this year. Reality? Like most UDFAs, they are practice squad bound even after fairly strong showings in the preseason.
So, after all the discussion and debate. How is our roster improved by our offseason moves?
A backup RB who although he looks good, Sing has already said will not see many carries as "21 GETS THE ROCK" is his motto. And of course, RB was our one position of strength already. So it looks like a nice pickup, but at the one place it was least necessary.
And a 3rd string QB, who may have some potential down the road, but right now can't beat out (and isn't being given the chance to), two of the weakest QBs in the NFL.
Other than that it's backups and guys who may mean something to the team in a year or two if we are lucky.
So, really, we are the exact same team as last year, with virtually no improvement coming from off season moves other than a better backup RB.
Throw in a "rookie" HC, who even though he does certain things well, still has a learning curve as a HC in the NFL and a new OC (AGAIN!), who will take some time to have the team gel to another new system, and it's hard to imagine how we will be a better team than last year coming out of the gate.
We can hope, and try to count on "another year of experience" for our younger players, but every team in the NFL has that. We really have done next to nothing to improve our team for this year. Every move we have made, is one that MIGHT pay off down the road, but nothing we have done is likely to make us any better right now.