I'll start off by saying I'm a massive pessimist, but I don't think these things are without merit. I'll try not to ramble but I probably will.
The worst part of the defence last year was NOT THE PASS RUSH. Yes that was terrible, but our inability to stop the run was what really sucked. Look at the 100 yard rushers we gave up MJD 97 yards week 1, Johnathon Dwyer week 5, Ben Tate and Arian Foster week 7, Michael Turner week 11, Lagarette Blount week 12, Donald Brown week 15, MJD week 16 and Ben Tate 97 yards week 17. Thats 9 100 yard rushers and given the lack of teams that use a single back thats pretty terrible. We gave up 4.5 yards a carry over the course of the season at 128 yards per game, thats in the bottom 10 in the league. Our rushing d did get a bit better when McCarthy took over, but it still wasn't very good. Given to win the division we will need to beat the Texans and they ran the ball against us with ease in both games and the second time round without Foster and with Jake Delhomme as quarterback, we stuffed 8 in the box and they still ran it through us and almost beat us with their backups.
This brings me onto this years draft and I'll point out at this point that Munchak has already said we are going defence in the first round so I'm not going to bother thinking offence here, unless someone awesome falls to us I don't see us going offence anyway. I'm all for Mark Barron I think he comes in and starts right away but he sounds a lot like Mike Griffin 2.0 great in the run game and athletic enough to make plays against tight ends when its in front of him, that's what Wes Bunting said on MCM radio just now anyway, so I'd be wary of him. I'm all for taking a DT,DE or OLB, it will come down to BPA but I think that might be Zack Brown, he's got bags of potential should our or linebackers woeful ability to cover the middle of the field and will be good in the run game. I wouldn't be against a DE or a DT its just difficult to predict who will be there when we pick but Zack Brown always seems to be going between 18-35 so its a realistic option. I think we will address the run game in the draft early because I remember Jerry Gray's first press conference he came out and said our defence was going to be built around stopping the run.
The pass rush was terrible, but I imagine we will do what we always seem to do and that's sign a veteran free agent and get solid but not spectacular play out of him, Babin being the exception. I massively think we need to resign Dave Ball, if only for the one game a year when he becomes unblockable. We have a young D line that our FO will probably allow to develop and won't want to make too many changes, apart from at DT where I think we will be looking for someone to replace Shaun Smith and do what he was supposed to do, eat up blocks and stuff the run. I appreciate thats what Casey did but I'm guessing they'd like two Caseys. On a side note Klug is probably my favourite titan and I couldn't tell you why but he is awesome.
Why this has me worried in particular is because I worry we are focusing too much on the lack of pass rush and next year I could be watching the Texans run all over us and thinking this was obviously going to happen because it happened twice last year and I hate saying I told you so but I will if I have to. Depending on how free agency goes and lets face it we are the titans and Bud is our owner and we are not getting anyone special, we are not getting a star free agent. We will get serviceable veterans like always.
On offence (I appreciate this has been long and I commend you for sticking with me) I will be short. I like where our offence is heading. I fully trust our FO to pick lineman given the Matthews/Munchak partnership, and the fact they have come out and said it needs improving says to me to expect changes. The only interesting thing for me on Offence that hasn't really been said is that the quarterback we play should determine the receiver we pick up or draft. I got so angry watching our receivers and quarterback being on the wrong page, the nfl isnt like madden in the sense that your receiver has a route that he runs and no matter what he runs it. The receivers in the nfl frequently have to run their route and see what the coverage the defence is in and react to it and this is why our receivers and Hass weren't on the same page it wasnt the receivers not knowing the plays it was them not reading the coverage the same way he did. Thats why football IQ is so important to a WR and IMO its why there are so many busts at WR coming out of college, its enough just to be fast/strong/tall/good hands, in college where the competition isnt nearly as high as in the pro's. Anyway rambling... onto why the Quarterback matters to the receiver, it became clear to me watching each of our QBs play that they do different things, for Matt I think we should bring in a receiver who has that intelligence and ability to read the coverages and react much like a Wes Welker/Victor Cruz/Davone Bess(trying to think of a non superstar version). But if Jake is the guy from now on I think we want an athlete I think Jakes would run a much more aggressive vertical style of offence and someone big strong and fast would be much more suited for him.
Right I'm going to reread this before I post it, probably going to bed after I post it because its 6am here (superbowl messed my sleep pattern up). This was my first FanPost so I thought I'd cover everything! If there are any comments I'm up for talking about any of these points when I wake up, I expect there will be a lot of Griffin hate. On a personal note I can't wait to go to America next September (or maybe the one after) and see us at LP field.