Originally posted by HearstFan:
#1 - Future DE and DL rotation help
#2 - WR - for god sakes please finally address this position with a real big-body WR - even if he is a project get someone on the roster - and NOT the Moss decoy.
#3 - C - I was really down on Goodwin at the beginning and middle of the season, but he really seemed to come on in the play-offs. Regardless, unless the coaches believe his replacement is in the current OL depth - draft a top flight Center -- and that may be just the thing at pick #31.
Lastly, I would sacrifice all the late round picks and even trade back at pick #31 to grab impact quality players in rounds 2-4.
You guys that say the DBs are crappy are NUTS! They were awesome when we had a pass rush.
#1 - The first issue is the lack of a rush - Smith injury and ASmith being injured AND wore down by year end killed us. WE NEED DL rotation and the coaches have to embrace that during the games. That is a coaching issue. RJF needs to be worked into the rotation early in the season - not just when there is an injury. A ton of injuries happen from fatigue - so keeping guys fresh not only let's them play better, it helps avoid injury.
#2 - Early in the season the defense seemed to come out flat. But in the last few games, they seemed to come out confused. There is something going on in the coverage schemes for each game that is causing confusion on the first few series. You can see it in the pre-snap communication scramble, the blown assignments, and then the conversations after plays where guys are asking each other questions.
Classic example of #2 - Culliver get's blamed for the first deep ball completion in the superbowl. But I am convinced there was scheme confusion -- Culliver appeared to be allowing the WR into his body and releasing the WR by him to play Boldin breaking on the underneath in route. But Whitner was also playing Boldin's underneath route. EVEN IF Culliver was making the mistake, Whitner should have had enough awareness with Culliver's drop to know that he should be staying back over the top. HORRIBLE. How can the defense fail to be prepared for that?? and be confused -- they had two weeks. What the Raven WR's ran there was super basic stuff.
Another classic example of a scheme problem -- In the red zone Boldin has run the seam route for TDs all season - it is his hallmark route. HOW IN THE WORLD can the defense be unprepared for that for the first TD pass from the Ravens??
Regardless, I think our DBs are fine - sure, try to draft for improvement. BUT, I would draft DL depth FIRST.
(sorry for the rant! Little SB frustration will be brewing for a year now).
While I disagree with you contention that the DB's are fine, I really agree with your other points. There are some serious scheme and coaching issues. In the Superbowl, Simms was talking about how the Raven's DB's handle their schemes which were designed to also keep an eye on the ball and break. This past year esp. we did not see a single undercut route from Rogers this year where he got almost all of his 6 INT's. The Ravens, by virtue almost had a pick-6 on the double-pump throw to Moss b/c of scheme and coaching. Conversely, Flacco drops back...being pursued by Aldon...Flacco sucks him in even more by backing up to buy his WR who's running an out towards the sideline. Just as Aldon gets there, Flacco throws ALL arm, across his body backing up towards the sideline. It was probably a 20-25 yard arm throw. Brown, in the meantime has no clue what is going on and like we saw with Rogers on Boldin or Culliver on anyone, never even tracks the play or the ball itself and, like we saw ALL year, the DB's only play the receiver AFTER he catches the ball. The ball was in the air so long that Brown had time to break DANCE before it got there and still get a pock-6. Instead, it goes for simple 10-15 yard catch along the sidelines and keeps the drive alive. THIS is coaching. It's also scheme. This could be fixed.
What I disagree with is that I have been watching Rogers all year and he's been half-assing it all year IMHO. I passed it off as trying to stay healthy and playing tournament ball and figured he'd turn it up in the playoffs. I was wrong. Brown is a baller esp. in the big games and he has heart. His issue I already highlighted. Culliver is a fierce competitor but clearly, lacks intelligence and his coaching/scheme (zero S help) really exposed him.
Whitner is done IMHO too. We need a true FS more than anything and if you can upgrade over Rogers, you better do it. Right now, Goldson, Whitner, Culliver & Rogers are all easy targets in the passing game esp. if you have a good slot receiver, some speed for double moves, have bigger guys and esp. weak in the RZ/EZ.