Originally posted by oldman9er:
Originally posted by Oscar:
And right now J. Smith and others are declining.
... How is Justin declining? From what I see and read, he is at the very top of his game and in terrific physical condition. I understand that Justin is 32 yrs old, and that many DL wear down and decline in their 30's. Justin may or may not in the near future, but it seems to me that with his work ethic, he can be a productive starter for another 3 years. Maybe more... Bryant Young played till he was 35, and he had a steel rod inserted in his leg from a brutal injury. Reggie White played while 39 yrs old.
Saying that Justin is declining as of now... I'm not understanding why you think that. Thinking that our coaches are not good enough to find a youngster to develop for 2-4 yrs as his successor. ( I know you aren't outright saying that, but you do rather suggest it ) Good players get old and decline... but good coaches find and develop young replacements that can step in and keep the position strong. Exactly what kinds of breakdowns do you envision for us down the road? Do you doubt that we will win our division more than twice in the next 5 years? Think we will fall back to a below .500 team for a couple of years straight?
Justin Smith is, by far, them most dominant 3-4 DL in the NFL. He had a remarkable year last year, his best ever. In fact, it was one of the best years ever for a DL. He will continue to play at a high level, but not at the heights he played this year. Hence, a decline. It's like what happened to Peyton and Brady when they broke the single season TD record. Yes, they continued to play at a high level, but throwing THAT many TDs again? Not likely, and in fact, it didn't happen.
And I do not think the team will be able to replace Smith with a comparable player. He's too good. You don't get many Justin Smith's. Sure, someone might play the position well, but they won't dominate like Smith does.
As for the window, I'm saying we have a window, barring injury or something catastrophic, for maybe two more years. We have the division next year, but the year after things get hazier. For people to say that the window is just opening or that we have a good 5 years, well I think that's wishful thinking. I WANT the window to be open that long because that would be awesome. I just don't think that's the case.
Further supporting my claim is Bill Barnwell of Grantland: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8096893/the-insanity-crowning-team-next-great-thing-nfl-top-100-players-list
Both the 2010 Falcons and 2011 49ers were 13-3, a record that's too good to consistently keep up. During the era of the 16-game season, 32 teams have gone 13-3. In the year after their 13-3 record, those teams have averaged 9.3 wins.2 Not one has won 14 games the following year, and while three managed to hold on to their 13-3 record, nine weren't even able to produce a .500 season. Every single one of those teams had Super Bowl aspirations after their big year, but only two (the 1993 Cowboys and 1997 Broncos) followed their 13-3 seasons with a Super Bowl win. You can bet that plenty of them thought they were one piece away from clinching a Super Bowl title, but that wasn't the case. A lot of things have to go right for a team to finish 13-3. Too many things, in fact, to repeat the feat very often.