Well...after that disgusting loss, time to start looking at the offseason. My wish list is included below.
1. Pat Shurmur = unemployed! Replacement = ANYONE with even a little charisma, personality, and creativity should be considered...experience be damned!
2. Brandon Weeden = replaced by yet another quarterback in our never ending carousel of QBs by the lake. He looks lost back there WAY too often! Unfortunately, free agency doesn't look like a good place to find one...maybe via trade, but most likely via the draft.
3. Either a veteran WR or a possession type receiver to help the youngsters continue their progression (Amendola, Hartline, Bowe, Jennings...all unrestricted thus far).
4. CB help...whether it be via free agency, trade, or the draft...whatever it takes to limit the time that Buster Skrine is on the field will help!
5. Phil Dawson = RESIGN...one of the best in the league at what he does
6. Safety help opposite TJ Ward.
7. A new Punter...nothing personal, Mr. Hodges, but you have been stealing money this year...one of the worst averages in the league, Don't let the door knob hit ya where the good lord split ya!!
8. Guards, Guards, Guards!!! We have every other O-Line position pretty well handled...now we need to fill in the gaps between Thomas, Mack, and Schwartz. This may not be a bad place to look via free agency.
9. Veteran LB depth. James Michael-Johnson, Kaluka Maiava, LJ Fort, Craig Robertson, and Tank Carder aren't terrible...but having someone there to push/groom them wouldn't be a bad idea.
10. Pass Rush consistency...someone that can put pressure on the QB from the outside with a little consistency (not that our pass rush has been terrible this year...but someone that opposing teams HAVE to double team would be a very nice thing to have).
I don't think that we are far from being VERY competitive in the division, especially with Baltimore and Pittsburgh getting older. The #1 thing that I see while watching this football team is an inability to finish. In several games this year we have gotten leads and been unable to finish them off...not to mention way too many field goals inside the Red Zone. We need someone with some imagination, creativity, and someone with a willingness to put MORE points on the board when they already have the lead. If they are able to find a coach that can do that, we don't necessarily NEED everything else mentioned above...their ability to keep the football away from the opposition will mask the less pressing needs.
Before today, I was very optimistic about this football team. Today's game definitely put a dent in that optimism, but it also has pretty much sealed Pat Shurmur's fate, which is a good thing.
I BADLY want to go into next season being able at least THINK my team is going to compete for a playoff spot. We won't be doing that with Shurmur at the helm!