I can't tell if we just shot our load last season and now we're fixing to begin our long, slow decline into mediocrity, or if there's actually a mindset behind all this, but I guess we'll find out this season. I guess we'll find out if our later-round wide receiver picks the last two years are ready to start playing like early-round wide receivers. I guess we'll find out whether last season was REALLY the line's fault, or the fault of sub-par coaching and an aging, injury-prone running back. I guess we'll find out whether or not Coach Holmgren has what it takes to insert Seneca Wallace into the slot-receiver position for more than two plays. And, I guess we'll find out if Hasselbeck's back has what it takes to carry this sorry-excuse for an offense for yet another year.
We were as healthy last season as we'd been since 2005, but the results didn't really pan out because being healthy with crappy players isn't really helping matters any. I like how a bunch of our free agents are highly coveted simply because we're "good," even though that's misleading. As a whole, we weren't really that good, but individually, lots of players had decent-to-great seasons. Ultimately, it added up to shedding 42 points in the snow in Green Bay. Happy trails Ellis Wyms, don't know what we'll do without ya.
I don't think we've been this good, yet this thin, in a long time. Our defense is littered with stars, this is true, but backing them up will be a slew of inexperienced guys from the last three drafts (including whoever we get this year). We're still soft in the middle of our line, though it was nice to see Mebane progress into a servicable DT. Still means we're dealing with the same Tubbs question (will he or won't he sustain, even one game?); still means we're going to have to draft one this year and most likely give him significant playing time. We're still thin at tight end, with one returning in Heller who's a blocker with okay hands and nothing more; which means we'll be drafting here too, probably in the first round. Our secondary was much improved last year, but any one of those guys go down and who are we turning to? Josh Wilson who was injured for like ten games? CJ Wallace, Mike Green? When did those guys make any bigtime plays last year?
Pretty much, we're another year older with the same problems as before. Signing Wahle on the O-line was a great start, but that'll just fill one hole if Gray retires. Rob Sims - with one full year under his belt - isn't looking like the animal we thought he'd be. Unless he's eating Wheaties by the crateful in the offseason, I can't possibly see him getting dramatically better. Signing T.J. Duckett reeks of Ruskell bringing in one of "his guys" who lacks in talent but makes up for that by not driving drunk into a church full of nuns. Now we've got TWO running backs who can't catch the ball out of the backfield!
The only saving grace lies in the fact that the NFC West is lining up pretty much the same way it did last year, which hopefully means we'll see another playoff game in our near future. But, an offseason like this surely doesn't inspire confidence in our reaching that next level required to push through into the Super Bowl.