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Out of the ones on that list, the one player that I would go after without hesitation would be DE Terrell Suggs. Going back to the 4-3, he would play DE and give us an instant pass rusher and play opposite run stuffing Justin Smith. Suggs just turned 26 and is in his prime. He'll be our franchise DE that we havent had since ??????. Other than him, I probably wouldnt go after anyone else.
QB J.T. O'Sullivan
QB Jamie Martin
RB DeShaun Foster
FB Zak Keasey
WR Isaac Bruce
WR Bryant Johnson (UFA)
OT Jonas Jennings (BYE BYE)
DT Aubrayo Franklin
OLB Tully Banta Cain
FS Mark Roman
C Eric Heitmann
QB Alex Smith
If I can get Mike Holmgren, I would keep Smith around because if there's anyone who can develop him and make him a franchise QB, it would be him. If not, then im 50/50 at best on bringing him back. You can ask him to take a paycut but what would his incentive be to do so? Nolan and Martz would both have to be gone. After all, Nolan screwed him up last injury when he was injured and Martz favored Sullivan the entire way. Think about it - if you were Smith, would you take a paycut and stay with the team that screwed up your arm? I wouldnt especially if Nolan and/or Martz are back in 2009. I dont want to be an asshole but you can see why, I wouldnt have exercised that option on Smith. We'll take a cap hit either way but letting him walk as an UFA would have been $9m or so which is a lot better than $20m something.
FB David Kirtman. On one hand, he was drafted by Holmgren but on the other, he was let go by Holmgren. He's 50-50. I really want a pure FB who can be a great lead blocker. I dont really know if Kirtman is that kind of FB or not. Either way, we need a pure FB.
WR - Morgan, Battle and Hill would return. I would keep Zeiger. All we need is another WR but I have no clue as to who that would be.
OL - If I cant get Michael Oher in the first round, I move Snyder to RT and start Baas and Rachal at OG. Heitmann returns as the C. Our OL hasnt played well but also remember that OL will play bad on purpose at times if they dont like or get along with the QB and/or coaching staff. With a new HC, it would remain to be seen if they would still play bad.
Go back to the 4-3 with FA signee Suggs playing DE opposite Smith. Sopoaga and Balmer start at DT with Fields as the backup. McDonald and Haralson add depth at DE.
LB wise, Lawson and Willis would be set while we just need that other OLB. I would most likely keep Spikes for another year unless Brooks can somehow prove himself to be a full time starter. I keep Ulbrich for special teams and depth as well as Green who I would definitely use as a pass rusher when possible. Add in Lawson as someone who I would blitz on passing situations.
CB - Clements is a stud and set at one CB. Harris has declined and Spencer is still 50/50 at best. See now guys why I would have went after Samuel seven months ago??? Oh well. If I cant get Oher in the first round, I would most likely draft the top cover corner available.
SS is set wth Michael Lewis as he's been damn good for us thus far. He's basically what Parrish was for us when we signed him in 2002 to replace Schulters.
FS - It would be Goldson or Reggie Smith. I'm not sure which. Of course, this wouldnt be an issue since I would have had FS Kenny Phillips (instead of Balmer) from the draft but again, oh well.
Anyway, that's pretty much it as of right now. I'm sure things will change between now and the off-season for us but that's my opinion.
I dont know why I didnt think of this before but I hope that the organization gives it a try (this is assuming that Martz stays with the team):
1) Re-negotiate the contract with Alex to keep him at least to training camp and see if, when he's healthy and knows the offense, can he perform well and be the starter for this franchise (after spending this year learning Martz's system).
haha i brought the same thing up to my dad. i said that alex smith couldn't be any worse so why don't we bring him back if we can restructure his deal
personally, i prefer the 3-4 for our defense as the defense is has been getting geared towards it for 3 years now. although it isn't all that effective, i believe that we are only a NT away from a good 3-4 because we are set at other positions. if we switched back tot he 4-3 then many players, that can play, wouldn't get a chance as they aren't as suited/trained for the 4-3. here is my breakdown of our defensive front 7
Ray McDonald-has really been turning it up lately and i believe will end up being a great 3-4 end. if we switch to a 4-3 then he gets lost in the shuffle of DE's
Aubrayo Franklin-sucks and is the weakspot of the D
Isaac Sopoaga-has flashes with crazy good strength. isn't as big of a liability as he was before, and could be effective in the 4-3 at DT
Kentwan Balmer-drafted to be a 3-4 end. i am not sure what he played in college, but so far all of his pro coaching has been geared towards the 3-4. would get playing time in the 4-3 most likely because of his high draft spot
Parys Haralson-a good edge rusher, probably the best on the team. above average against the run as well, would get lost in the shuffle of the 4-3 at DE along with Ray McDonald
Justin Smith-beast. does great in the 3-4 as he plays all positions and has shown he would play well in the 4-3
Patrick Willis-a stud in either defense
Takeo Spikes-would most likely be a backup to willis in the 4-3 but he is a solid player and i like him on the field
Manny Lawson-is still underutilized as a rusher like he was drafted to be, but he is a better LB overall because of it. if we switched to the 4-3, that aspect to him would be gone completely
Overall-for the 3-4 we are basically lacking at NT but that is the only huge hole. i like the defense as it is now, with the hybrid and justin smith playing everywhere. in the 4-3, we don't have an outside LB, and a lot of the talent drafted for the 3-4 would be going to waste in players such as haralson, mcdonald, sopoaga, balmer, etc
He was playing fine as a 4-3 DE, in fact, we have been running a 4-3 for the whole season. That "big sub" package was just a nickel package with 4 down lineman.
then there you go, my bad. i personally have really liked him ever since he was coming out of college and was just excited to see him thrive in the 3-4
i think right now the biggest guy on the draft board, both literally and figuratively, should be terrence cody, DT from Alabama. dudes a monster and would dominate at NT in the 3-4. is being compared to casey hampton and jamaal williams, two of the best 3-4 NTs in the league. and for proof, see the bama/clemson game and the rushing stats of two of the best RBs in the country
without a doubt, i think overall the team will be less conservative both on offense and defense, and like someone else said, i will be stoked to see what manusky does on his own
in the draft though, i am really liking orakpo from texas, although he would have to be our pick int he first round if we were to get him. he alone could probably provide a passrush though, he is a monster
I think if enough of the young edge rushers go pro, there is a good chance we could get Cushing.
i like cushing as well, but he is more polished as a linebacker than a pass rusher, which would normally be good, but thats what we spent the last 3 years doing with manny lawson. i think we just need a straight up pass rusher than can get to the qb
believe me, i know. i live in southern california where the only games that are even shown on tv are usc games. he is a beast, clay matthews rivals him though and he could be gotten in a later round, and brian orakpo is a bigger beast. i mean, cushing hasn't gone toe-to-toe with some of the best LTs in the nation and completely dominated on them compared to the way that orakpo has.