There is a lot happening and a lot to be optimistic about, even though Luck will not be a Panther. Rivera will be a good coach much like Fox was, but Rivera's defenses have been dominant. The big question is who will be the OC and QB coach. Hopefully new means better. As we progress towards the CBA and the draft, I've been thinking abou some changes that can be made to make us better. First, Rivera makes everyone better because of better coaching. Let's look at his fortay, the defense. FIrst, the DL needs to be better. I'm not sure how he'll scheme our defense but let's consider some ideas. Johnson is a legitmate threat that we should be bringing back. Then on the other side we have Hardy and Brown competing for that job but the other provides some good rotation. I think Brayton should be released. I'll come back to DT later. Once TD comes back, who can argue that we don't have the best 4-3 LBs in the league. With the emergence of Anderson (we need to keep him too), we have a SOLID corps. Not to mention we have some good backups in connor and other guys who at least got some playing time.
Then we have the DBs andwe'll have to find a replacement in Marshall. Maybe the captain steps up but I'm think we need a young shut down corner and I hear that Asomugha is available. I think our safeties are manageable, plus I see big improvements with Martin. Back to the DT position. What if we decide to draft Fairly? Then we sign an actual starter along side him. This is the making of a great defense.
On to the offense...This is where it gets interesting. We trade Smith and Williams andwe get Indy's first round pick for Williams. With that pick, we get the best available guard. Otah gets healthy, and our line is back to its former glory, giving the running game better blocking and not getting our QBs killed. This moves makes our QBs automatically better. A new coach for Clausen, plus a second year and he is automatically better. With the Steve Smith trade, we get a second round pick as well as a fourth round pick. We take this 2nd rounder and get a legitimate TE. Now we have some offensive threat. We still have two great RBs in the backfield but we don't run quite as much. We change from a vertical passing game to a more intermediate passing game, which clausen should be much better at.
This is only one direction we can go in out of hundreds. The bottom line is, I think we still need to build for the future, which means trading some guys where we are deep andJR needs to spend some money on some young talent.