I just had a light bulb go off in my head. The 2012 season is a lost cause and there are a couple reasons why, but instead of blowing money left and right in free agency. The conspiracy theorist in me got thinking this....we already have our replacements but they needed time to season thus the hair-brained calls all around the place this year. It's almost believable in my book.
This all started with Aaron Berry being arrested and released. You take an emerging talent like him, after all that time being coached up, and throw it out the window only to have table scraps and rookies left behind him. Also add in the fact that Titus Young was being the fool that he is. It's clear now, but maybe this has been kept quiet due to the Belichick-like talk from the coach. That's reason number one.
Reason 2 is that Jim Schwartz after the offseason troubles and roster shortages, saw that this year was going to be a rough one due to everything that has happened, but looking forward to next year and all of our free agents, see that maybe playing to lose every now and then will land us a top pick. This means usually two to three starters from the three rounds due to the slot that we pick. Reason why I say this, no matter how far out it seems, I can explain last year's draft a bit more clearly, through the goggles of a conspiracy theory.
I will start with the cornerback position...it takes two to three years before you get a true evaluation on a cornerback in today's NFL. Bill Bentley was showing good progress before his injury, and as much as I have ragged Jonte Green, he has improved mightily from the preseason. These two will fill in the roles of our number 2 and 3 next year as long as Houston gets resigned decently. Chris Greenwood is the x-factor due to him missing this year physically at game speed. He will be a three year project like Berry. Houston has done well in most situations and he shut down Reggie Wayne. Not many people have this year. Yes you can argue its a contract year, but Houston has been progressing each year.
I see the third round pick either being traded to move back or being used to pick up a safety, and by that I mean picking up Thorpe finalist and underrated safety Philip Thomas out of Fresno St. Then you could almost force Delmas to come back on the cheap or go elsewhere in free agency to replace Spievey/Delmas.
Linebackers are where the bulk of my conspiracy theory lies, in that we will probably not re-sign either Levy or Durant, or both. Tahir Whitehead, albeit on Special Teams right now, was drafted to be our coverage LB, and Travis Lewis was drafted to potentially replace Levy. I have seen too much of Levy over-pursuing run plays to think this is a coincidence. Secondly, if Travis Lewis is not NFL ready, I bet that if Bjorn Werner is gone, we will trade back and acquire more picks. I could bet and say that the second round pick could be Jaime Collins out of Southern Miss. He has looked NFL ready all year. Thus why we drafted these guys a year ahead of time. Now, if you really want to go out on a limb, what about practice squad LB Carmen Messina....he had a pretty good preseason, and with a year or two tops to develop, we may have a hidden gem. It could happen given our situation with the salary cap.
Defensive ends are a clusterfuck on this team. No doubt about it. The wide nine is killing us. Avril will walk, mark my words. VandenBosch will retire or be cut. LoJack will walk too. I am betting that we spend what money we do have to bring in a mid level talent or an end with elite potential. Conspiracy theory on this is that Ronnell Lewis will take over for Avril in a base 43. He has strength and a good first step. Odds are if we can lose enough (seemingly Schwartz and Mayhew are together on this) we can slide up to around the fifth pick or so and take Werner from FSU. He is the answer for our defense. I feel that Gunny will be gone too, after this year. If we can get a strong DE or two, we can go back to the base 43 and really let Fairley and Suh earn their keep.
Now to the offense, and there is less conspiracy here, but then again maybe not. Cherilus will more than likely be gone, as he will ask too much, then, either Reiff or Fox will take over. I am leaning towards Fox, personally. Also, Reiff at some point will take over for Backus, as next year, it will be Jeff's last year. Bill Nagy or Rodney Austin will replace Peterman. My conspiracy here, is that we may take a flier late on a road grader guard or center. Also, Mayhew sees Peterman as a fault, and has Austin on the practice squad to develop. I see this team running the ball with a better O Line next year. Then again, it may just be wishful thinking.
The last spot on offense I have a conspiracy theory for is the WR position. Yes, what happened to Broyles is unfortunate, but that pick alone last year is to compensate for Titus Young's fucked up head. I say that we land a mid level vertical talent to take the top off the defense in free agency. Burleson will be back but how much does he have left? I still think it's an outside shot to draft a vertical threat in the third round. It's quite possible.
My point here, is that I feel that Jim Schwartz could really be throwing the year after what has happened after the first half of the year. Think about it. He called some sketchy things the last few weeks, and together with Mayhew, it's their master plan to get them over the hump. I also think that he has neutered both coordinator's jobs, that they will be replaced. Remember Suck for Luck? That could be the whole motive behind everything here. The telltale sign will be is if they start playing this year's draft picks more frequently in an attempt to see if they are starter worthy next year. Some will be, some won't be. Granted, I have been (and still am) on the fire Schwartz bandwagon, but what if he and Mayhew really did pull off some master scheme after this past offseason. I have to say, the odds of this are slim, but I still would not put it past someone like Schwartz and Mayhew, because they really do think they are smarter than everyone else. What do you guys think.