Working off the first part in this mini-series that makes "The Thorn Birds" look serious, we're going to take a look at my guesses for the 53-man roster, with those on the defense gettin' their turns in this episode. If you missed it, here's The Offense. In the next installment, and somewhat by popular request (if one person inquires about it, that makes it popular, right? RIGHT????), we'll do an additional installment on Special Teams along with a PaRappa Rapper wrap-up. Let's look at my opinations at who makes the 53-man roster on defense after the jiggidy jump!
DE: Connor Barwin, Tim Bulman,
Pannel Egboh, Tim Jamison, Jesse Nading, Antonio Smith, Mitch Unrein, Mario Williams
DE Thoughts: Yes, I think we'll carry six DEs, primarily because our DTs make me want to cry. In addition, both Smith and Bulman can play inside, especially under Frank Bush where any player under
290 190 is a legit threat at DT.
DT: Shaun Cody, Earl Mitchell, Frank Okam, Amobi Okoye, DelJuan Robinson,
DT Thoughts: What, no Jeff Zgonina? No Cankles? No, the only guy who makes me look fast? Well, no, now that you mention it. Until he's under contract - and it almost seems inevitable in a zombie kind of way - Zgonina won't be on the team. This leaves an absolutely underwhelming crew to man DT for us. As solid as DE looks, DT is a glaring weakness, Earl Mitchell or not.
LB: Kevin Bentley,
Darnell Bing (really???), Danny Clark, Brian Cushing, Zac Diles, Isaiah Greenhouse, DeMeco Ryans, Darryl Sharpton, Xavier Adibi
LB Thoughts: Historically, we've carried six LBs, but I'm leaving a seventh on here for now. With Cushing's suspension over the first four games, I believe we'll see a battle over the last spot once Cushing returns between Danny Clark and Xavier Adibi. Adibi has firmly established himself as leader of the Kubiak Doghouse (Alpha division), and unless he has compromising pictures of at least two coaches, I think Clark survives when Cushing returns. I do not agree with this, however, as I would love to see Adibi get a real opportunity to win a job. Especially at Will. *cough*
S: Dominique Barber,
Troy Nolan, Nicholas Polk, Aaron Webster, Torri Williams, Eugene Wilson, Bernard Pollard
S Thoughts: As I've heard many times after sex: you mean that's it? I continue to be awed, simply dumbfounded, by our lack of desire to address our obvious yet gaping hole at FS. This isn't necessarily a jab at Wilson, but the fact is we won't get 16 games out of him. Or 12, really. Six?
Fact is, leaving even Nolan on the roster is a stretch. We normally carry about five safeties, and aside from Barber, Wilson, and Pollard, we don't have another safety who screams keeper. I don't know if we believe a FS along the lines of Pollard will magically be cut, but Texans management must do more to address this problem. Or, possibly, we believe that playing with 10 guys and leaving John Busing and Brian Russell off the field is a legitimate improvement. I, for one, can buy that logic.
Fred Bennett, Brice McCain, Sherrick McManis, Antwaun Molden, Mark Parson, Glover Quin, Jacques Reeves, Kareem Jackson
CB Thoughts: In my "primary" fantasy baseball league, we have a theory about trades. Ya see, when one team offers the other team a whole stream of crap for a single player (like a 4-for-1 deal), we call it a "Conglomeration of Shit" deal. I get that feeling when looking at our CBs. Except, I actually, and oddly, see hope.
McCain, Quin, Reeves, and Jackson are a really intriguing bunch. Sadly, Reeves excels in man coverage, and we utilize some zone type thingy stuff I've never really been able to de-code. Mostly, because it sucks. McCain had flashes last year, and I am a total Glover Quin fan-boy. Jackson might be ready to step in and start immediately, which is nice considering how we're counting on him to step in and start immediately. We normally carry four or five CBs, depending on the situation and depth. I'm already up to four keepers.
This leaves Bennett, McManis, and Molden. I know I'm not the only one who would like to see Molden given a real, legitimate shot to start, even at nickel or dime. McManis, "they" claim, will stick at CB. And then there's the
Ballhawk Gamecock Toasty Munchins Fred Bennett. With a fairly clear four-deep at CB, and a frightening dearth of talent at S, McManis and Bennett are legitimate shots to move there.
There's going to be a true battle royale with cheese in the secondary this year. It should make for some fine entertainment, and as long as Petey and Dunta are gone...well, we should be better off. For now, my money is on McManis making the team at S, bringing our total number of defensive backs to nine.
Summary: On offense, I filled 26 slots. So far, of defense, I've got 26. Wow, that's 52! We don't need a punter or kicker or anything! Or else, I address this issue in our next installment. Stay tuned!
(Waits for applause. Bows. Waves. Oh yes, you people love me. LOVE ME!!!!!)