I'm always amazed at people who post with purple-colored glasses on...after downing an entire pitcher of purple-pride-punch...
We're not as deep/loaded/stacked as you like to project.
QB: We have Favre...who is playing with little heart lately. After that we have the craptacular play of Tarvaris Jackson to look forward too. Fortunately, he won't be with us next season. After that is "Project QB" Joe Webb...that's a comforting thought. Are we LOADED at QB? Not hardly.
And next year we only have Webb under contract and he is a longer term project than TJ. Not much depth here.
RB: We have Peterson. This is what we tell ourselves when we're feeling down...we have Peterson. Unless he fumbles...then we get all pissed off and scream about how bad his ball control is. But after him we have Gerhart and Young. And they've done what exactly to make anyone think we're "LOADED"? Oh....let's see.....hmmm..... how about NOTHING!!! So, if Peterson needs relief, we're not "LOADED"...we're SCREWED.
Yep. Pretty thin. If Peterson goes down who is the next guy in line slated to pick up the slack?
FB: Everyone hates Tahi...almost sounds like a sitcom. So I wouldn't call that position "Loaded"...
OT: McKinnie (Who almost everyone thinks is overpaid and lazy) and Loadholt (Who is picking up McKinnie's bad habits) are BIG...but not great. Will we burn a hig draft pick here? Not likely...unless a premier LT falls in our lap...but that doesn't qualify us as "LOADED" at this position.
Two guys that are too big and too slow for what we ask them to do.Loadholt does OK for a RT but there is also a huge dropoff if either of them go down. Who is the depth behing both of them? Snicker if you even try to say Cook.
OG: Herrera (Who is playing well) and Hutch (Who is playing...but not as well as he should be). Behind them we have DeGeare - whom we haven't seen. Loaded? Not hardly.
Yep, not much there if they can't play that is for sure.
C: Sullivan got blown past a couple of times in the past couple games. Behind him we ahve Cooper...who may, or may not, be a better player. But the fact is - despite your protests - Sullivan isn't playing to teh level of the departed Matt Birk yet. Everyone gave Sully a pass for last saeson -being his first - but as the starter, the excuse pool is now empty (Unless your name is Jackson, then you have a never ending supply). Loaded? Not hardly.
Nope, Not hardly.
O-Line as a UNIT: As individuals they are not the best at their respective positions, as a unit they are playing far below the sum of their parts. In ALL phases of their game.
TE: Shiancoe is turning into a darn good TE...but he needs to actually throw a block now and again. Kleinsasser is a tank, but he's not used as often as he once was. And Dugan is no one's idea of a starting TE. Loaded? Not really.
I actually think TE is one of the two strongest and deepest positions on the team.
WR: Here's where we REALLY differ. Rice has had ONE good season. IS he for real? Who knows. He's hurt...again....so we don't really get to make that determination, but you know that he - and his agent - will be pointing to his '09 numbers when the contract talks fire up. Sadly, one good season doesn't mean awesome receiver....it means one good year. Harvin is out again as well...hips and headaches...sounds like my wife. And playing out of position is killing his game anyway. Berrian has NEVER played to what we thought he'd be, and many are ready to cut ties with him - especially after he cried in the press about being picked on. Get open and catch some balls, dipwad!!! Greg Lewis....one good catch doesn't make a great receiver. Camarillo...Chiller never uses him. Who knows if he's actually worth a pooh. And now we have Hank Basket....HOORAY!!! Our SAVIOR has arrived!!!! Yeah...whatever. Is this group "LOADED"? Hell no!!! Even healthy it wouldn't be hard for a decently talented receiver to earn a spot here. This group is thin as hell...it just took an injury to Rice to prove it.
Yeah, this group is thin and most of the world sans a few rubes can see it plain as day
DE: Loaded? Well, maybe at the right side...but Edwards has disappeared this season. Of course, so has Allen, as I've watched to LT's in a row eat his lunch for him. Mitchel got a sack on one of his few plays, but Robison has been shut out. So, are we really "LOADED"? Not really. There are a LOT of better DE's out there.
This is the most stacked unit on the team but it has not produced any pressure so far this year. There is actually POTENTIAL depth here with Robison and Griffin. The problem is next year Edwards is gone which means either Robison or Griff are the starter and then we have one good backup on one side but not the other.
DT: Kevin Williams has made some noise this season, but Pat has almost disappeared. Not as a person - my lord no - that boy is bigger than ever. But as a player/playmaker, Pat hasn't been the immovable force ion the middle he used to be. Of course, we have Evans, Guion, or Kennedy behind those two...but none of them have excelled enough to earn more time in the rotation really, so "LOADED"? Not hardly.
Part of a DL that as a group might be the strongest on the team. But they need to get more pressure and stop letting teams run at will at bad times.Plus next year Pat will probably be gone and there isn't much behind him that I have seen to take his place.
FRONT 4 AS A WHOLE: They failed to apply pressure on Brees. They failed to apply pressure on Henne. Both QB's had plenty of time to do their damage to us...and did. And their renowned run stopping ability seems to be slipping away as we are currently 10th in rushing yards allowed. Like the O-Line, they are not playing to the sum of their parts...they are NOT playing as a unit.
LB's: Here we ARE stacked. Even though Henderson appears a bit slower than before the injury, and not as aggressive, between him, Leber, and Greenway, we have a great core group at this position. Brinkley played well last saeson in relief, and Farwell is a perennial ST stud, while Erin Henderson has done some nice things as well. This position would be truly hard to break into.
But what about next season? Isn't it a contract year for both Leber and Greenway? We won't keep both of them if that is the case so how will we be looking at that point without them?
CB: Loaded? Not hardly. Winfield has been getting beaten in coverage more and more. Griffin has played well the past season, but is hurt. Cook is hurt, but we don't really know how good he'll even be. Sheppard has been burned on several key long plays. Asher Allen - allegedly the best cover corner of the lot - has played alright, but he isn't making the field smaller for anyone. This group - injuries aside - is a big fat question mark. We don't know what we have because our 2 top guys are hurt. So, loaded? Maybe, but we don't know.
S: Arguably the weakest position on the field. Williams and Johnson haven't exactly torn it up, and Abdullah and Sanford aren't exactly giving us reason to promote them. We need a hard nosed, rip your face off Safety...and don't have one. We also need a ball hawking, "Don't you DARE throw it deep" Safety..and don't have one. We have a bunch of, "Oh shiite!! He threw to the other guy!!" Safeties. And this position has been a problem for a LOOONG time. So, loaded? Not hardly.
Well, they certainly make any opposing WR look good that is for sure.
ST's: I'm not even going there...
So, loaded? Not hardly. And productive? Not really. Of course, there's your assertion that it's all because of injury. But I dispute that on the basis that the term "LOADED" implies depth, and injuries should be weathered well...which they aren't.
Truth is, what made our team special last season was that we didn't have a bunch of individuals playing for stats, we had cohesive units working together, feeding into each other, and playing as a group. We no longer have that. And, until we do, we can continue to expect to struggle.