Okay, Nation - we are bleeding profusely on defense.
RM and DA are preaching patience and we really do have to have some: we just are not good and or deep.
I want us all to look at things from a perspective of probable status: This is going to be brutal in honesty. I am taking to account the coaches will all be back.
DL: While we have really made stride stopping the run (we do have run stoppers in Sims, Walker and McGee - we really struggle in getting any natural pass rush from any of these. This has really hurt us as the back end of our D was hurt by the loss of Branch and Hayden.
DE: This is obviously the worst of our positions from talent/production standpoint. Hunter is terrible in every way as a player - at best he is depth/rotational NFL material. Houston is not a pass rusher. He might make it on another team as a 3-4 end. He hustles better than others, but cannot produce in the pass attack. Crawford - would not make another team's roster.
LB: We lack depth in talent. Maiava's injuries, Burris' development and the collective tackling have really hurt us - especially in the screen game and WC offense passing game (See games vs. Philly, KC, and Denver for example). Sio Moore is often out of position and has a lot to prove still (grace as he is a rookie).
CB/S: Wow - this unit just imploded after Hayden went down. IMO this is due to the other teams adjustment to our lack of pass rush - thus putting tremendous pressure on our group - the tackling suffered as we wore down especially Woodson.
If I am RM, I look at the tape and let it tell the story - the unit just cannot play consistently and stay healthy as it is presently built. So what to do? This is the question.
One manner he may choose is from the line out. Here is a look at what I would do.
Draft young playmaker - Clowney or Barr would be my first preference.
Sign a young proven talent from the FA pool - Greg Hardy, Michael Johnson along with re-signing Houston would help us in the pass rush (though I would look to keep Houston in the rotation as a 5 technique in pass rush).
Sign a high profile CB like Verner, Tillmand or Shield to bring toughness and add to our talent pool - using a re-signed Porter as depth and nickel back. Having a healthy Hayden and Branch will obviously help as well. Still, we need help in the overall talent.
Draft or sign a FS/SS who is an upgrade to what we have backing Woodson (assuming he is re-signed) and Branch. Our depth was really exposed here at the end of the season. Moss just did not perform well. Woodson has really worn down over the course of the season. Major Wright, Jairus Bird and TJ Ward would updgrade, but may all be out of the price range.
On the D-line Alan Branch, Terrance Cody and others might get a second wind here and likely be affordable. Henry Melton will probably get re-signed or franchised by the Bears. I also like Randy Starks and the aging Shaun Rogers! Giants strength is their D-Line and over half are FA. A player like Tuitt from Notre Dame or Hagemann from Minnesota look enticing as they both effect the passing game while holding stout vs. the run. McDonald from Pitt is a bit undersized, but so was Geno Atkins.
I think our LB strategy is just to draft a tackling machine like Shane Skov (2-3 round talent) and if nothing else gives Roach the depth needed. Burris is who he is - average, and Burnett's tackling overshadows his positioning and rangy ball skills. We will have all these back - just need to get deeper talent wise.
Okay - I have stuck my neck out - I feel much better - just have to try fix that awful mess I witnessed yesterday. What do you think nation? What would you do - all things being equal?