Re: Age Catching Up With Our Defense?
To me it's obvious, after the SB, that the old adage still holds true: defense wins championships!
We really need to get not only younger but better on defense. IMO, we really need help on the D-line and in the defensive backfield. We all saw what the losses of A. Smith and R. Clark did to our defense overall. Upgrades would also help on STs.
Just as important as O-line we need help on the D-line. Getting a dominant DE would allow Kiesel and Smith to take a blow. Getting another DT would be huge, not only to rotate with Casey, but would allow us to switch to a 4-3 on occasion if the matchups called for it.
We definetly need better cover safeties IMO, for when the matchups call for it. I look at the Pats as still the team to beat, and to beat them you need to be able to bring pressure with just 4 guys and your safeties need to be able to cover. In a game situation such as the Pats present with their passing offense, I would like to see Troy around the line of scrimmage more with a cover safety playing back.
I know this may sound sacrilegious but if we could get a DE to replace Kiesel in our base defense (Balmer, Langford, Dykes), he could drop a few pounds and go back to his role as a situational player and pass-rusher. I'm not saying Kiesel has not done a good job, but as an every down player he has not been effective on later downs pass-rushing. If you toss in a young DT (not necessarily a NT) it would give us a versatility along our defensive front that we don't have right now.