If IBP was GM: Part 1
Terrifying, I know. But what if? Everyone always says the guys in the NFL are far better at their job than us yutz's with a keyboard? Probably true, but I'm going to try anyway, comment with your changes!?
Goals for 2012:
Show improvement on both sides of the ball
Evaluate our youth to determine whether or not we can move forward with who we have, or need to look to replace them in the future.
Establish an effective offense and defense that we can build on for the next 5 years.
First thing I'm doing is pursuing at least one big-name coach. At least try, if they don't want to be here, then fine, but they definitely won't come here if we don't talk to them.
I like Spagnuolo at DC. Remember that guy who pressured the 18-0 Patriots into choking in the Superbowl? That one. He has a 4-3 scheme that allows us to keep our DL players in a position where they excel. Scrap the Cover-2 base and mix it up a bit. I'd love to see a multiple defense scheme, but start small to begin with. The great thing about Spag, is he's shown that he failed as a HC. Doesn't mean he can't be a good coordinator. What does this mean specifically for us? He's less likely to get poached as a HC replacement like a certain Mike Tomlin did.
OC: Musgrave has been hit or miss. He's had a few really good games in respect to playcalling. He's also had a lot of "wtf" moments. He's a guy that gets on a roll, but then kills a drive with some excessively cute playcalling. I'd like a guy who can do a few things, but do them right. IF nobody really good is available, then I'd be ok with giving Musgrave another shot. It's not like he had a ton to work with. However, if a guy like Gruden, Mooch or Billeck was willing to step back on the sideline, I'd take either in a heartbeat.
Assistants: Keep Singletary. I know some of you don't like him, but based on what? You have no idea what he does or does not do on our staff. I do know he didn't have a great run as HC, but was an adaquate assistant coach. He helped turn Vernon Davis into a good teammate instead of a selfish, whiny ass. I feel he'd be a good guy to have on a team that is struggling. Can help motivate the players to give it their all.
OL coach. Something needs to be fixed here. First thing is the talent. IF there's a replacement available, go for that. Tough for anybody to do well with the players we have. Out of position, hurt, aging. It's just not a recipe for success. Two starting quality players and a new scheme could be just what the doctor ordered.
QB coach. This guy was #1 on my list of guys to go, but after thinking about it, I'm not certain anymore. We saw with Ponder next to no improvement. However, with Webb we saw a ton of improvement. The guy is making some really good throws out there, and is starting to move through his progressions. Still not a guy I'd want every game leading the team just yet, but considering where he came from, the amount he's improved in two seasons is impressive. He's shown he can be a more than capable backup, and POSSIBLY a starter if necessary.
Secondary coach. Blame the scheme, blame the players, thing is, I'm a believer that it all starts at the top. The guy responsible for the secondary unit has not done his job in the past 5+ seasons. Not since Sharper was here. This to me is an obvious position that needs to change. I'm not familiar with exactly who's available, but the thing is, something should change here.
I feel with those changes to the coaching staff, we're on the right path to success. Create an environment where younger players can succeed, and vets can excel, and you'll find a team rather attractive to all sorts of players.
Players who go:
Hutchinson: Hutch may retire, he's been reportedly pondering that idea after taking longer than normal to recover from his concussion. At 35 or 36, he's had a long, impressive career, and I can't blame him one bit for wanting to step away while he's still relatively healthy. A great Viking and teammate, but I go into the season not expecting him to be back. If he returns, fantastic, if not, wish him the best.
Shiancoe: Shank is a UFA this offseason. After having two disappointing seasons since his great one in 2009, he has become expendable. Especially with the drafting of Rudolph. IF he's willing to take a pay cut and come in as our #2 option at TE, then I'd love to have him back, but he is playing so far below his pay grade. Tough to see one of our leaders on offense go, but best of luck elsewhere.
D'Imperio: Not sure exactly what the point of this LB-> FB experiment was, but he's been less than impressive. Not a threat as a consistant blocker, and not a threat as a check-down receiver. What exactly can he do for us? I'm not sure if he's under contract next season, but he can't be expensive if we do cut him.
Griffin: Cedric was looking real good prior to his injury, but unfortunately, he's not the player he was before. consistently slow, weak in tackling, just all-around unimpressive. Benched in one game for sub-par play and poor motivation. Hate to see it, but he's lost it.
Asher Allen: He's had more than enough time to work his way into the lineup as a legitimate #3 or better. Yes, he's started, but that doesn't mean anything. His play has been some of the worst on this team. Sherels is almost as good as him, and he's a mid-round rook. Despite the fact we are thin at this position, we need to at least try and upgrade this spot. Would be a #4/5 at best on most other teams. Not much upside, and a liability in coverage.
Tyrell Johnson: I like him early on, but he's not lived up to expectations. Athletic, but something just isn't there. Makes a great play one play, then gets toasted the next. Mostly mental mistakes on his part, but problem is, if he can't grasp the mental aspect of the game after this much time, I'm not sure he ever will. We can't afford to keep giving him opportunities to prove me wrong.
Fred Evans: Kept as what appears to be Pat WIlliams replacement. Problem with this, is he just isn't that good. Perhaps a change of scenery would be best for both us and him.
Hererra: at 34 years old, consistently injured and playing sub-par, Hererra's time here has come to an end. Look for something new here.
Booker: He's had two seasons here, and on offense, has not looked good. Fumble-prone, and small. Quick little SOB, but you need more than just that to stay on the team. He's looked pretty good returning kicks, but then again, so has Harvin and Sherels
Camarillo: After 3 seasons with us, he has done literally nothing that warrants an extension. With Jenkins on IR, Berrian cut and Harvin in and out of games, he has been practically invisible on the team. I like the guy as a teammate, plays hard, doesn't complain, but eventually you need the skill to match the attitude.