As the offseason really begins to get going in the coming days and weeks, I started to think about how this team really can best address the needs that they have. As I thought about it, I came to two realizations.
A)This team does not have as many positions needing addressing as I originally thought:
- While I originally though it, I realized that OG does not really need addressing. On the roster right now are young guys like Will Rackley, Drew Nowak, Austin Pasztor, and even Mark Asper. This team needs a starting LG, and with Rackley having been hurt last year, and Nowak getting hurt early into his seemingly impressive start as an OG, I am not really sure that Caldwell/Bradley should discount the possibility that one of those two guys can be a good LG in the NFL. My money would be on Rackley, and given the supposed emphasis on zone-blocking in the new scheme, I really think that it is possible Rackley could run away with the job in an open competition. As for depth, those remaining guys really are not bad depth for OG. Pasztor was pretty good in his limited playing time last year, and as previously mentioned, Nowak was seemingly impressive following his switch to OG last year.
- While the position does need to be addressed, I would not say it is absolutely imperative to bring in a QB in FA or through the earlier rounds in the draft. That is not to say that the team won't, but I really feel like it is not absolutely needed. As it stands, Gabbert is going to get one more year to show his ability as a starting QB in the NFL. Obviously, competition would be really nice, and spending an early round pick on a QB or getting a guy like A. Smith or M. Flynn could be really great for an open competition, but in truth, is it really necessary? I think it is safe to say that if Gabbert bombs, this team goes to the 2014 NFL Draft and takes one of the numerous excellent QB prospects likely to be in the draft. I am not sure that an open competition and a guy like Alex Smith or Matt Flynn will actually make Gabbert any better; after all, what good did having Henne do for Gabbert?!(I hope you saw the faulty logic in that question/statement)
B) This team might not be best addressing some positions (actually one position) the way that I originally thought:
- Is this team really best off addressing the Right Tackle position through free agency? I am not so sure the answer is yes, as I originally thought. Now, while I am far from an expert of blocking schemes, and what team uses what around the league, I can only assume that the "big name" free agents like Vollmer and Loadholt are "big names" because they have shown proficiency and excellence in the seemingly more challenging power-blocking schemes. So, when I think of addressing the RT position, I am not so sure that these "big names" make a whole lot of sense when considering the economics of signing these guys; they will cost a lot, and might not even be ideal candidates, in terms of skillset, for this offensive line. As I think more about it, it might be so that there would be a mid-to-late round OT who possesses the skillset for this scheme and would cost a whole lot less than a guy on the open market. Having said that, two things that I would suggest is that given my understanding of the situation, this team might still do some power-blocking, and so perhaps everything considered, one of these "big names" or a "smaller name" FA (Britton?!! No I am not serious) might actually make the most sense for this team.