First, I'll speak my bias and say that I'm pretty pleased with how the offseason is shaping up.
1.) Lets talk about the players we cut and or released. Zibby, Olsen, Powers, and Avery are gone. Easily the 4 most frustrating and under performing players from last year. Even the fact that the FO is clearly seeing what we are seeing and doing the right thing just really gives me such hope for the future. The prior FO would never have gone this far this fast.
2.) Our defensive FA picks have been in sum to one purpose, become a more physical run stopping team. Granted at first, it strikes me as such an antiquated football mantra but then I said what's the background here. To get to the playoffs and to win a superbowl which I believe our first window of the Luck era is over the next 3 years, we have to win our division. Our division is not studded with quality QB's. The best QB apart from Luck is B or B- at best. However, we face an "A" running back in everyone of those teams and historically, if a good running team runs on you they win. Cough...Kansas City. So to me as a division wining strategy on defense, stopping the run is key.
3.) Signing Hasselbeck is huge. Luck spent last year being the best QB mind on the team. He can now share that burden while installing a system he is very comfortable in.
4.) I love the offensive line signings. Two big guys, who have played and played well who are looking to take a step up. Cherulus is an average run blocker but a great pass blocker which we will need dearly so Luck doesn't end up in a body bag. Fixing the RG position by far was in my opinion the biggest issue of the offseason. I think Thomas was under recognized on a STACKED and very well coached Patriots line. I'm hopeful that Satele will play better with better players around him. If not, please please please let Shipley take his spot.
5.) Landry, RJF and Franklin completely transform the defense. Last year, I'd still call the defense mostly soft. I do not think you'll be able to say this come August. Manusky and Pags have to show their coaching chops given that they now have real talent to work with. Franklin has graded positively on PFF every year he has played NT. I hope he schools Chapman on how to be a war daddy. Landry is hitter. He's exactly the kind of player that Pags wants his defense to be like. RJF has show diversity in his ability and frankly, I think he will shine across from Redding or when Redding gets hurt (which he will often) he will anchor that line.
6.) Likely everybody else, I don't love the Walden signing. His tape is mediocre at best. I would preferred almost any other OLB on the market but I do see that he has a real motor. He doesn't give up on plays but his skills are limited.
7.) I wish Irsay would be quiet. You never want to build a fan base up so much and then suck all the air out of room by not delivering.
8.) I'm about 90% sure, there will still be a run on QB's or linemen in the first round of the draft and thus some quality players will fall down to us. Specifically I'm thinking about Mingo or Moore. Both of which we should not even blink for a second to pick. I'd even support strongly Margus Hunt who would make a great developmental DE or even OLB if he can play in space. I don't see us taking a corner first. However, if a quality guard fell to us, I think we should take them unless there is a quality pass rushing OLB available.
9.) Don't be surprised if Hughes IS starting a lot of game this year......just saying.
And I'm spent...