Originally posted by Phoenix49ers:
The 49ers problems with defense were mainly with the DL, they need to acquire depth and improve that area, draft a cornerback and a safety as well and they'll be fine with better depth. They also need improved red-zone offense. None of the solutions require a high-priced free agent rental.
It's my opinion that you can build your defense in two ways: you can build with a great pass-rush, or you can build an outstanding secondary.
I think we're the type of team who has a great pass-rush, but our lack of depth after Justin Smith went down and our fatigue late in the year stifled that pass-rush. And as an example of a great secondary, the Seahawks are a team with a great secondary.
Personally, I think it's easier/wiser to build around a great pass-rush. Many, but not all, the throws against us in the playoffs were perfect throws by the quarterback. We just didn't have the pass-rush at the moment to disrupt the QB's rhythm and accuracy. I think the secondary was in the right position, save for a few plays, most of the time. It's just that the opposing quarterbacks were able to throw a good ball.
Another reason why I think it's easier to build around a good pass-rush is because I think sometimes if you have a good set of guys, you can rotate in and out and have a great rush, regardless of who's playing. I think the problem with building a strong secondary is that there's few high-level cover cornerbacks in the league. In my mind, there's Darrelle Revis and probably 3 or 4 other guys that you can really comfortably leave on an island.
With that said, I'm on the fence. Obviously, steadily improving our defensive line and secondary through the draft has been effective. We've gone deep into the playoffs two years in a row with a roster that was steadily built through the draft and a few free agent acquisitions here and there. But I can understand if Baalke aggressively goes after Revis.
Darrelle Revis WILL make the other guys around him better. As it stands now, we basically play two safeties back and allow the cornerbacks to play their man underneath. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. With someone like Revis, who CAN cover the opponent's best receiver one on one in certain situations, we can really mix up our coverages and probably even blitz a bit more.
It sounds great... but it's a gamble to trade for him. Who knows what happens in our one year, and if we retain him when his contract is up?