So we missed on Manning, which is not necessarily a bad thing, what really matters is what our front office missed while they were creating post-football jobs for Peyton.
That being said, the next time I will write about Manning will be when we face the Broncos at some point in the playoffs.
What really matters is to see how the offseason has gone so far. A couple of visits are scheduled for this week and we may get a lot better.
Are we a better team now?
I know some of you are upset, but let me tell you something; We are a better team now than we were at the end of last season.
Positives: At 6-5 and 313, Hutchinson is the best interior lineman in the roster since Kevin Mawae, no doubt about it. His run block ability is as good as any guard in the league, just look at Adrian Peterson’s stats. He is smart, strong and teammates know him as a good lockerroom guy. His pass block skills are at the top of the league. Also let’s consider that any guard will benefit from having Michael Roos by his side.
Negatives: The obvious one, he is 34 years old. Your strength can’t be the same when you are in your middle 30’s compared to your 20’s. Still he can be fast and powerful. In my opinion he still has two good years left in the tank, enough time to develop a rookie or find a replacement the next offseason.
Is he an upgrade?
LeRoy Harris is a backup at best in this league. He committed too many holding penalties in crucial situations last year. He tends to quit early sometimes and blew some key blocks. Sure, LeRoy is younger than Hutchinson, but he never showed glimpses of potentially become a starter for years. Hutchinson will immediately upgrade the running game.
Happiest Titan? CJ2K.
Positives: At 6-4 and 255, Wimbley has notable pass rush ability. His combination of size and speed may be the key to an instant upgrade for the defensive line. He is a gym freak that may help solving our sacks problem. When you watch him on tape you can tell that his arm strength is just amazing.
Negative: He had 7 sacks last season but 4 of them were in the same game against San Diego. That means he had just 3 sacks the remaining 15 games. This may improve now that he will be used as a full time DE.
Is he an upgrade?
He is replacing Jason Jones, and we all know how that DE experiment went. Jones has had a career full of injuries and had just 3 sacks in 14 games last season. I still think Jones could be a great player in this league but he just doesn’t fit Titan’s scheme.
Based on production and looking at Titan’s needs, I will say this is an upgrade. Wimbley will bring pass rush help right away and we won’t miss Jones at all.
I know, he was already a Titan, but he just played 2 and a half games last season. It’s almost like we just signed him. He is a Top 10 WR in this league when he is at his best. He was in beast mode last season and we expect him to get back to that shape by season opener.
Positives: Fast, strong, quick, secure, great size for a WR. He is all you need from a wide out to be. He has the potential to be a Probowler for the next 5 or 6 years.
Negatives: Injuries can kill any player’s career. It’s not the first time he missed playing time as a consequence of an injury. He has some off-field issues; he is constantly getting in trouble. It looks like he is more committed to the team now.
Is he an upgrade?
For me there is no doubt that if Britt would have played all of last season, we would have been a playoff team. Our passing game will just get better and that will open things up for CJ to go back to CJ2K.
Overall we are a better team now, we are going to miss Cortalnd Finnegan, but we won’t feel his absence that much if we are able to upgrade significantly our pass rush. I am confident that Verner and McCourty will do a good job as starters.
If we are able to sign Jeff Saturday, Tracy Porter and we have half the success in this year’s draft compared to last year, we are in great shape for 2012 season.