But I know just where we've been, and I didn't like it so much. After a 5-2 start to the season, we finished up a staggering 2-7. Some of it was due to injuries, some of it was due to Vick, and a lot was due to the coaching staff. The problem with having a talented team in a very weak NFC is that if you completely underachieve in almost every conceivable way, it's impossible to know what the next step is. Thanks to McKay and Blank, we know that step is fire your head coach. Maybe I can pick up Jim to be my play by play guy here at The Falcoholic, eh?
But it would be nice to know what we need to do next. I've compiled a short list of things I'd like to see done, and I'd love your input, of course.
#1: Find a completely new coaching staff. I'm a very big fan of Tim Lewis, and while I don't know what kind of head coach he'd be, you can't argue with him as a defensive coordinator. The defense is strong enough personnel wise for him to work his magic, and though I believe he's fallen off the radar a bit, I hope we chase him. Offensive coordinator is tougher to call. No offense to Greg Knapp, but a dog randomly touching its nose to a spinning wheel of plays would probably have a better success rate. I haven't really scoured the possible availables for offense, so I'll hold off on that for now. Which brings us to a coach. In this case, I'm looking college. A highly prized college guy who has never struck the pros is very much preferable to some set in his ways has been who had success at one point in the NFL, or none at all. In other words, Rich Rodriguez should come before Pete Carroll. What I'm specifically hoping for is a coach who has a flexible philosophy and the will to give Vick a hard time when he's doing poorly. Is Rodriguez that guy? Maybe not. But he has a good reputation as a player's coach and a guy who has worked well with running QBs in the past. I'd at least take a look at him. After the coaching staff is set, we turn to our next weakness.
#2: New receiving corps, por favor I'm not totally backing away from my assertion that this corps has the talent to succeed, but...it's time for a proven free agent. Jenkins started to put it together a little even though he's so damn inconsistent you just want to strangle him and then stash his body in his own locker, but behind him there's a big gaping void of unfufilled potential. Roddy White needs quite a bit of work, Adam Jennings is still a mystery receiver, and Finneran will be consistent when he comes back but isn't the big play guy we kinda sorta really need. I'm not looking for a T.O. or Randy Moss type, but even a second tier wide receiver could make a huge difference if Vick throws well to him. Alge Crumpler, of course, is going nowhere, Goodell bless him.
#3: Work with Vick extensively in the offseason I've sort of morphed into a Vick defender, a position that is still a little new and scary to me. Even Vickz Numbah One Fan Evah! would have to admit that he needs quite a bit of improvement. Taking him out of a system that requires him to drop back two miles and grab a cup of coffee certainly can't hurt. What really needs to be worked on is how he makes his reads, because he seems to only check two receivers before he bolts better than half the time. It may just be that he's never going to really improve in that area, but you keep working at it and try your best regardless.
#4: Remove ineffective starters This isn't a long list, but Jason Webster more or less has to go. Chris Crocker might be platooning at best next year. Warrick Dunn should also be platooning next year, especially late in the season. The offensive line should get a hard look aside from Weiner and Forney, who injuries aside were easily the most effective tandem on the line. I fully expect the bench to be remade, but there are some weak spots that need to be addressed.
#5: Win, damnit, win! A 9-7 season at minimum, please.
So that's my short list. Anything to add, Falcoholics?