We finished the year as the 4th overall defense which is measured by yards. We were 16th in passing yards on defense, 1st against the run, and 2nd in points given up. I think we were the #1 defense... to me yards is a bad way to measure defenses. Anyways, so 16th in pass defense at 230.9 per game. I'm pretty happy with that. I know most of us thought CB would be a huge area of concern even after we signed Carlos. Overall, though he did well, Brown improved tremendously and Culliver played very well especially for a rookie. We can use this thread to discuss the secondary and your thoughts on it relating to the draft, off season/free agency and anything else. My thoughts are below.
Here's a few questions to get the discussion going:
1. Who's gone, who stays?
2. Are you comfortable giving Goldson a long term big money deal?
3. Would you be comfortable going into next year with Brown, Culliver and Brock as 1, 2 and 3 if Rogers leaves? Or would you use a high draft pick to get our 3rd corner?
4. Are you comfortable with our safety depth if Williams and Reggie Smith leave? Should we sign an outside free agent? Jones and Spillman suitable backups or just special teams guys?
5. Is Culliver a future #1 or 2?
6. Is there a quick replacement in free agency or the draft that you think could fill the gap of Goldson if he left?
7. Do you like our bend don't break style? More press coverage? Do you want more or less CB/S blitzes next year?
8. If we do re-sign Rogers leaving him, Brown, Culliver and Brock do you still want to draft a CB because of Rogers age? High or low pick?
Tarell Brown - He will be back for sure and is signed through the 2013 season. He really rejuvenated his career this year. He played well in the past but really fell off last year. This year he started off rough, gave up some long plays but played solid most of the season. His big problem though is he gives up a few big plays. He's really solid on underneath stuff. I see him as a possible #1 or #2 next year. He was put on the other team's quicker guys this year. He's faster than Rogers who was put on the bigger WRs.
Chris Culliver - Played really well but can afford to grow up a bit on and off the field. He got beat at times this year but usually was right there with the WR. He seemed over confident at times. He has the potential to be a #1 though. I see him eventually being a 1 or 2 and could even be #2 this year if Rogers leaves. So he's back and at worst is #3 next year just like he was this year.
Tramaine Brock - He hurt his hand and was out a good chunk of time. Played special teams a lot and we usually don't use 4 CBs so he didn't get much work. He looked pretty good when he was in there but what makes him look worse is he gave up two huge plays this season. One where he slipped and Austin scored right before halftime after Brooks' offside call. Two the 3rd and 15 against the Giants for a Manningham TD. Game could have been different if he didn't give that up. He was right there and kind of went for the tackle instead of the breakup. I like him as anywhere from a 3-4 moving forward... preferably 4 for now.
Carlos Rogers - I'm surprised at how many people think Carlos is looking for big money. He's been on a bad team and played for a bad organization. He wants to win, he was a #9 pick so he should have plenty of money. He loves the organization and we love him. I would give him a 2-4 year deal as I think that's about all he has left. He is slowing a bit and will be more so as the years go by. Anyone worried about the 1st half with him on Cruz I can tell you that matchup shouldn't have happened. We adjusted it at half time and fixed it. He's covered the bigger Wrs all year where Brown has covered the faster (cruz type) guys. I think more than anything though he was playing really careful and to not lose his footing. He looked worried about that... and didn't want to give anything big up. He fell once and Whitner saved a TD. I don't expect him to be getting 6 ints every year though. People will crucify him if we way over pay him and he gives up yardage without getting the pics. I would say 2-4 years at 5-7 a year. At most I'd give him about 20-22 million.
Starters: Carlos Rogers, Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, Tramaine Brock
Starters: Tarell Brown, Chris Culliver, High Draft Pick/Vet FA, Tramaine Brock
Gone: Shawntae Spencer
We hardly used 4 CBs this year so not much need for a 5th CB. If we do have a 5th we have Curtis Holcomb coming back or possibly a draft pick/FA.
Dashon Goldson - Very small chance he isn't back next year. Worst case scenario we franchise tag him at 6.5 million. I'd like to get a long term deal out. I don't think there are any safeties out there in free agency that we could sign that would instantly make up for losing Goldson. Same with the draft. This is a pretty weak class for FS's.
CJ Spillman - He should be back for at least a 1 year deal worth 420,000 or so. Do we sign him to that or do what we did with Boone and re-up him for 4 years (or at least more than 1)? He's also done a good job at FS the few plays he has played. Not sure I would want him starting but I think he is good enough to back up Goldson. Might have to get one vet safety if Williams leaves.
Donte Whitner - Played really well his 1st season and is signed for 2 more years. Was great against the run, pretty solid against the pass. Gave up a few plays but is light years better than Roman and a bit better than Michael Lewis in his prime with us and much better than when Lewis fell off.
Colin Jones - Great special teamer but I don't think he got any reps at SS all year.
Starters: Goldson, Whitner
Depth: CJ Spillman, Colin Jones
Possibly Gone: Reggie Smith, Madieu Williams
I'm a little worried about the safety depth. I doubt Reggie Smith is back and if he isn't I'm not sure I trust Jones (who's been great on ST) to backup Whitner. I think we need to draft or sign a vet who can play SS mainly and possibly even FS. Not sure if we bring back Madieu Williams but he wouldn't cost much and is a good vet presence although I wouldn't want him playing other than ST.
[ Edited by Gore_21 on Feb 2, 2012 at 6:46 AM ]