We need a more consistent pass rush. Ours is all or nothing in games, we get 5-8 sacks or we get nothing. We have to find an identity defensively & we need some Safeties. Scott's missed tackle changed the complexion of the entire game on the 30+ yard run by Foster early. Yes, that was Scott who made initial contact about 3 yards from the line. I know, big surprise. Anyhow, we could possibly let Scott play our Centerfielder & bring in a sure tackling, big hitting Safety to play the 8th man in the box.
Thomas Davis pretty much did what I though, shadowing Vick most of the day. It seems like a lot of teams are spying Vick with quick Safeties this year, which is working. We also need a couple of pure pass rushers. There are far too many times where the other team's non-mobile QB has all day because he either rolls out or their line just owns ours, or both. The simple truth is that we need an identity for our D; either we are a speed based D that will give up a fair amount of run yards (like the Bucs or Colts), or we are an aggressive run stopping D that risks our DB's getting smoked (like the old Ravens team). I felt like Hall did a terrific job overall against the best WR in the NFL for this season. He only had about 50 or 60 yards and the TD he got was a missed tackle by Hall & Carpenter, and could have easily been picked by Hall.
Offensively I thought Roddy & Jenks did a decent job considering the refs wouldn't call anything on the Panthers DB's. I think they will be a very good duo for the next few years. Crumpler got mugged on a couple of plays and it wasn't called, but he played pretty well. All in all we are set at the skill positions but we are hurting for a good line. McClure, Lehr, & Shaffer all need a bus ticket out of town at this point, because we play in a division that will expose your weaknesses. These teams all have mammoth D-lines with all-world ability and we're putting a below average O-line in front of them. We have to try to bring in some linemen from somewhere or we are setting up our terrific skill players to lose.
The coaches deserve a lot of the blame in this loss, as well as for this season. The playcalling has been good against terrible team and terrible against good teams, almost as if the coaches think we can't execute against the good teams. I put the lack of performance for this season on the coaches honestly, because you have to win with what you have. I think they are holding Vick back by getting into his head that short passes will keep him playing longer. I think they are holding our D back by calling that cover 3 constantly & not taking risks. I think they are holding back Crumpler by not getting him into favorable matchups and forcing him to be our go to guy in the passing game, going as far as lining him up at wideout & throwing deep to him.
As you can see I have a lot of criticisms of the team & this isn't just because of this loss. It is because of the overall play of the team throughout this season that I write this down. I want us to be a consumate Super Bowl contender and, ideally, the winners. The team we had last year wouldn't get that done. This team will not get it done. The guys we need to build around are as follows:
Defense: Williams, Hall, Brooking, Coleman
Offense: Vick, White, Crumpler, Jenkins, Duckett, Weiner, Forney
Special Teams: McAdam, Torrence, Rossum (he will
I am so disappointed that we have gone from a NFC Championship team to a might miss the playoffs team in one year. I am hoping we try to really make some moves to put a solid team around Vick & Hall as they deserve to be champions, and so does Atlanta.