‘23 - ‘24 Offense: Expectations.

There were several players who underperformed in 2022. Fortunately, those players [Wentz, Thomas, McKissic, and potentially Slye] will be likely be cut. The cap savings [$33.5M] will enable the team to address some gaping holes, primarily in the offensive line.

This strategy will necessitate a commitment to Sam Howell as QB1. Why? Because it does no good, to win 7-8 games and fail to make the playoffs. Wentz / Heinicke were good enough to beat the worst of teams, and of average strength to win against comparable teams, but with one lone exception (PHI), not nearly good enough to win the big games.

So, it comes down to devising a better plan. Sink or Swim. From now on the questions in order of importance, should be:

1) Are we good enough at QB to win 10 games? If not, do we have a candidate? If we don’t, then where can we draft / trade for an opportunity now? In two years? The QB issue has to be answered because you don’t know who you’re building around otherwise. Rather than trying to win with a subpar QB it makes more sense to do as the 49ers have done — sink and rise, sink and rise. Plan to be good for two years, average for two years, poor for two years — and then reverse it. Treat the roster accordingly. Enjoy the developmental years and every once in a while make the playoffs in a building year. If we look at it that way then it’s easier to look at a potential down year with Howell more objectively. If he exceeds his likelihood then we’re flirting with the playoffs. If he doesn’t, then we’re in a position to draft a top five QB in 2024 (Williams, Maye, etc.). And the key is to keep drafting until you hit a guy that you can run with, while keeping the roster strong enough to support that guy.

When we look around the offensive roster, RB, WR, TE there are good solid pieces, certainly not devoid of talent. But as we get to the OL we’ll see that there are holes both now and in the coming future. At RB B. Robinson and A. Gibson are a solid duo. Nothing needs to be done in the near term to increase production. At WR McL and Dotson are signed through 2025. We have achieved maximum flexibility here and should only sign a player that is likely to sway coverage away from McL and Dotson. If we can find a speed guy, or a redzone target (TE) then it may be worth targeting that player - but quality targets are not really an issue. With the developmental targets at TE I think we’re probably set unless a guy we really like falls a full round (Kincaid / Washington to the 3rd) But really, IMO it doesn’t make sense to invest in another quality target until Howell proves himself worthy.

Then we get down to the Hogs. The new version, big-ass, counter-trey, anti-space league, Hogs 2.0

Since only Leno, Roullier, Norwell, and Cosmi and Paul are under contract thru ‘24. We’re going to need to draft and sign another 5 Hogs to fill out the two deep. My suggestion would be to sign FAs are RT and OG, while drafting an athletic Swing Tackle and a C/OG. In 2024, we’d be looking at reloading again as Leno, Roullier, and Norwell will all be FAs. Matsko will be earning his pay during this period.

Summary: This league is HARD to win in. You have to do things 2-3% better than your opponent and get a little luck along the way. It makes no sense to tread water on either side of .500. Fail Faster. Die trying new ideas, new personnel. NFL contracts don’t give you a half decade to figure things out, so you better get creative from the get go and not take a whole season to determine if your third string QB is worthy of throwing a pass to your star WR. I’m done. I’m out of patience for ‘the process’ Too many other coaches (that we’ve passed on), have gone on to show promise.

So, Dan. Be done. Please. Move this along to someone else who lets their football staff do football things, and doesn’t have the ego to interject into things they hardly understand. Let us rebuild the Hogs and move back toward an ego-less offense.