I understand this probably isn’t a popular sentiment. Especially sitting 0-3. Don’t get me wrong I’m not going to tell you to ignore your own eyes, or just take my word it will be ok. I will be honest I do think the "Eason shoulda started last year to develop", "fire Reich or Ballard", and hardened opinions on guys like Wentz or Paye 3 weeks in is too far. Beyond that I’m really just here to share why I’m not in a panic about what is going on. If you happen to think I make some sense so be it. I will be rooting the team in next week either way.
Facts may be a bit of a stretch technically, but here are some things that I will list that I basically accept as a fact, with some outright certain.
We had a very tough early schedule.
Our best player is probably Quenton Nelson who has been out, or playing hurt.
Essentially ditto with our 2nd best lineman Braden Smith.
Our new LT is returning from a major injury, and missed some time.
Our #1 WR is T.Y. Hilton who is also hurt. Must also add for the millionth time, it was him, John Brown, Sammy Watkins, or something like that. Easy to cast the stone at Ballard here, much harder to say what would have solved it better.
QB is a position aided by continuity, good OL play, explosive weapons, and in general typically takes time to completely jive even with these things.
Carson Wentz missed a lot of camp, and is just about to start his 4th game ever as a Colt. Still not taking a single snap with a in season form Nelson, Smith, Fischer, or T.Y.
While we could improve. We got games from our defense we could have won with all 3 weeks.
So for the extra optimistic of the group, this is your moment in the sun. Yea you had us 3-0 and were wrong. Yet think of this. We get a much needed matchup with the Dolphins, and can start to turn the ship around next week. Some of the massive holes we’ve shown through 3 weeks are going to get help, as guys like Q and Braden get right. No he’s not 25, but T.Y. won’t hurt this team by any means upon return. He can at least beat a guy in man occasionally which may be all we needed to win the last 2 weeks. This isn’t where I reside honestly. Although I am closer to this than the sky is falling. Idk if it equals playoffs, but I think we have good football ahead of us still coming this year, and will get back into it. I also didn’t start from a spot where I thought the playoffs were a certainty anyways.
Where I’m really at, and why I’m not ready to go nuts is here. I want to be 3-0 and better, but also can’t ignore that outside of our blinders most logical fans woulda had us 0-3 to start. That’s even before they’d know the OL is banged up, Wentz playing hurt, and Hilton out. So how can I start getting into the deep dark questions of firings, losing interest, and all the other really emotional responses, when we are what we were supposed to be? Losing to the 3 teams we did, doesn’t mean every move we’ve made has been or was bad. Even if I grant you the argument tool of taking injury and luck out of it. Letting you say we are for sure a far from complete product, worse than even I believe. Being incomplete is part of the game, and part of rebuilding.
There is no laundry list of critical errors I can point to. I’m sure some exist, and I’m not trying to be an over apologist either. Just saying personally I think we have made the right call or a good call in most situations under Ballard, and I still believe that will add up. While I wasn’t a fan of certain picks we made like Banogu or PC ever, I still recognize our hit rate is good under CB. Basically just saying incomplete here, doesn’t mean awful, misguided, or wrong to me. It literally just is what it is, and the only solution is more draft capitol which takes time to play out. Even if we find a way in on a big trade it takes that same capitol ala Buckner or Wentz. There is no big list of FAs we didn’t sign tI help us that solve our needs.
Specifically I think we lack a #1 receiver, not picky on the mold. Can be a Darren Waller, Cooper Kupp, or a Tyreek Hill. Just need a guy that beats man coverage like a drum. I think this is an absolute priority, and truly hope our front office sees it as such. Being super specific I think we should zero in on following the situations of Devante Adams, Allen Robinson, and Chris Godwin first. All either playing on the tag, or in the case of Adams a potential holdout situation if not traded. I feel like Godwin or Arob in a 2nd tag and trade is most likely. Otherwise we look to the draft and plan on trading up for our guy if need be Vs not hitting this need. I know there’s a few good ones coming up like Olave, or Justyn Ross assuming he’s healthy now. Additionally I’d like to target David Njoku, Evan Engram, and/or O.J. Howard. All athletic young, and so far somewhat disappointing TEs that will come cheap. Lastly a RG of the future in the 3rd or 4th round where that can be had makes a lot of sense. While Glow sorta fits, I’d rather keep working on the weakest link of the group vs accept it. Give me this and I think we are in great shape for the long haul.
We can improve/manage OL depth, CB in this scheme, and S depth through the latter rounds of the draft, UDFA, and mid level vets in in FA. Maybe I’m making it sound too simple. Yet I think it kind of is, due to the foundation we have now. If we can keep our drives going on offense it already creates issues. If we can convert more of Reich’s gambles major issues. Ultimately scoring more points which is the name of the game. Imagine you’re the opposing DC. I come out 3rd and 2 with Pittman, Doyle, and Pascal. That’s easy money. You send the house and man up with my #1 over Pittman. Now I say we come out 3rd and 2 with Chris Godwin, Pittman, and Njoku and it’s a much tougher call. #1CB is busy with Godwin and still may not win, and even the TE is a TD threat. Prob safer to at least go single high taking another man out of the box Vs the run changing the dynamic of everything. Comparing it to chess we are just flat our missing some pieces, partially to injury, but primarily to the reality of building a team. Luckily we have our roots already locked up, the cap is only rising again after this season, and we get more picks each year. You may hate that take, but we are set up for these next 2 offseasons to make the final difference in a SB window, if it ever does under Reich/CB/Wentz.
Imo nothing that’s happened through 3 weeks has changed that, as frustrating as it’s been. Here’s to hoping for better days ahead.