1. I do not, and will not, agree with this point. I think the value of adding a pass rusher to the defense would be far more help to the team than adding a WR to the already-excellent pass catching crew under contract. Exempting Tom & Vince, there isn't a defensive player on the roster with the value of Gronkowski and it's arguable if there's a defensive player with the value of Hernandez.
Ok. We're at an impasse, then.
My point continues to be that with pass catching options already in house, expending big money or draft pick(s) on a WR is wasteful.
Again, we will have to agree to disagree - I don't see the diminishing returns of an upgrade at WR. The concern over allocating too much salary to the spot is a fair one, however. I would say that the pending twilight years of Welker's career diminish that concern, as he probably won't be around at a large salary in 2 seasons.
I'm not saying they don't need a new WR or two...but they don't need a STAR. They have two. They need options. Wallace, for the $ & the pick, would need to be pretty fucking awesome to be "value".
If he is himself, namely a guy who averages 18.7 YPC while catching 65+ balls, then he is 'pretty fucking awesome'. The balls are there for him (after all, Deion Branch caught 51 passes in 2011).
I don't understand the 'need' paradigm you've set up, since I'd argue outside receiver is a 'need' (and WR is a long-term need period given Welker's age), and that Welker is probably not hogging 115-20 balls for much longer. That luxury may not be there going forward, and, if that is the case, you are stuck with an aging WR corps that can't pick up the slack, and Gronk and Hernandez having to own the middle of the field 24/7/365 (since neither are guys who will stretch the field).
And given Brady's tempestuous history with WR, we'd all better pray that Wallace doesn't fuck up an out route in his first practice or the expensive guy who also cost a first round pick becomes the latest to get frozen out.
This is really overstating this factor, but, yes, it is a concern. I personally think Wallace is so good that it won't be a problem, but I could certainly be wrong.
Let's not pretend that Brady can work with ANYONE - he can't. He's a bit of a bitch about his WRs and no one can guarantee me that Mike Wallace won't be 3/10ths of a second late reading the safety and turning to the wrong shoulder when Brady throws his hands up and then - well, we've all seen it.
Again, no argument here.
The offense will not be "bad" if they don't get a big name, big contract WR. It won't be "bad" if they let Welker walk. They've got a the best TE and another top 5 TE and they've got Brady (and his binkie, Branch will be back). It could be worse. Like the defense.
I don't get what you're saying here. In any case, the fact it wouldn't be 'bad' absent XYZ is irrelevant - they should look to maintain or improve the overall talent level/quality of the team, and that may require that they plan for a post-Welker world (and the drop from great WR/Gronk/Leaf to Gronk/Leaf/? may be bigger than you think) by nabbing an great WR. Saying 'it won't be bad, so what is the problem, allocate more resources to the D' strikes me as specious reasoning because it assumes a world in which a vast range of offensive outcomes (and dangerously assumes their place at the top of that world) are acceptable, because they can improve the D by a greater factor than they would suffer on O 1, 2, 3, etc., years down the road. I'm not sure I buy into that, since I'd argue maintaining a great offense is more difficult - and more important, given the landscape of the NFL - than building a D that can win a title. Their best hope of competing in today's NFL may be maintaining an elite passing attack while doing what they can defensively. Improvement on D will be easier to get, IMO, given the JAGs they have been running out there that can be readily improved on (safety is the glaring area), and I think the slip in the passing offense could be precipitous if you put too much faith in Gronk/Hernandez to carry you. You could find yourself leaving the firstworld pretty fast, in other words, whereas you can hope to improve the D to league average (this will not be a top defense anytime soon, sorry) with tweaks and development. That's the model they have, and it is arguable their best path to success going forward.
2. I would argue the best way to help the defense, via the offense, is to focus more on possession, TOP and grinding out drives when in possession of a lead. A change in play calling strategy would help the defense immensely. A running game that rips off a few 20+ yard plays would help the passing game. An improved play action game would help keep the ball, improve field position and THAT would help the defense
I think what would help the defense is getting off the field, which didn't happen as much as it needs to this year with or without TOP supremacy. And, yeah, all things being equal, you would rather eat more clock on touchdown drives, that is obvious. But I see their problem with TOP being a problem later in games, when they can't run the ball well enough, consistently enough, to finish games that way.
There's lots of ways to help the defense, via the offense, and almost all of them are not dependent on getting a big money "#1 WR".
You're being uncharitable to the opposing view, IMO. We don't just want a new toy - we see Wallace as a great receiver who fits in beautifully, in theory, on the outside, and limits the defense's ability to flood the middle and man up on the outside (well, the better defenses anyway), and also provides a post-Welker focal point for the group (why this investment wouldn't be seen in light of the fact Welker has a few more years as a top WR is unclear to me). If scoring more points and diversifying the offense doesn't help the defense, I don't know what to say other than that we won't ever agree on anything w/r/t team-building.
3. OK, the second option. Happier? The #1 option on this team, now and for the forseeable future, is GRONK. It's a proven fact - get him the ball and he makes big plays. If he were a free agent, we would covet him as a "#1 option", especially in the red zone. So let's can the talk of needing a "#1". Is Hernandez good enough to be a #2? I think he is - YMMV. So if you need an "upgrade" at #2, you bump Hernandez to #3, where he's indisputably the best #3 pass catching threat on any team in the NFL.
I look at it as a matter of skill sets - Wallace brings something to the table neither of those two do, namely a vertical threat. I don't see pass-catching options as fungible in that sense.
Replacing Deion Branch was replacing the #4 option in the passing game. It's a firstworldproblem. Unlike the pass rush, which is a thirdworldproblem.
But, again, we're back to square one. I look at the pass rush options, and I see question marks as well (Mario Williams coming off of a pec injury, and a Texans D that didn't skip a beat when he went down), and then I consider the difficulty of finding one in the draft. I think they need help at S and OLB/DE, and I'd be thrilled if they addressed either or both areas, but I think Wallace is a great fit in terms of skillset/productivity/age. We clearly disagree on the first premise, namely whether an upgrade at DEF = an upgrade at OFF. I don't accept that an upgrade at DEF > upgrade at OFF, and I'm weighing the same factors you are (just differently).
Edited by Mystic Merlin, 22 February 2012 - 07:24 PM.