What a surprise!
By Jake Cohn (Varg6)

I was right. I told you all that this was a transition year, and sure enough…it was. The team’s offense has been finding out who they were and what they were up until (I believe) last Sunday. I think we found the answer…give Jackson the ball, attack vertically with ridiculously accurate Marc Bulger, and there we go. We have one hell of an offense. Now…since this is Linehan’s era, I am really hoping that he does keep getting a better defense, I think the off-season we had was a dramatic difference from what we’ve been doing. Although the D didn’t look so hot I honestly think our draft has been the best in recent years, and the signing(s) of the free agents showed that Linehan is ready to make this team an elite one.

Defense and special teams have been our problems for a long time, yes. But I strongly believe that this staff we have now is really willing to work on the problems we have. We tried hard to address it this year, and yes it would’ve been lovely if the D became better just like that, but unfortunately it doesn’t work like that. With all the troubles we had, this team has shown a lot of promise and progression. I was very happy with the style of offense we played with last Sunday. The great thing about the offense is that we can do that just about every weekend against anyone. Like we all know, they’re way too talented to have a stale offense. Jackson has figured out his way of running and look at him now, he’s a pro bowl player.

Now all of this talk about our offense finding out what to do is certainly wishful thinking. But our coaches know the plays, the players know the plays, they all know what works now. Washington has a good defense and to score on them that much is definitely something worth talking about. They had a few injuries, true, but I still think the team has finally found its knack of running the ball, and setting up play-action. The other good news (in my opinion) is the line. There are a few things that need to be tweaked with the players ala false starts from Mr. Barron. But other than few minor errors, the line has looked a lot better.

So what do we do now? Do we just leave everything the way it is? No, of course not, we must make a lot of adjustments in the off-season. We need to sign the right players via free-agency and the draft and settle in a new defense and special teams to instill a better mindset of…well just being tough. One thing I’ve seen all season with the defense that has bothered me a lot is the lack of motivation and the lack of breath they have during the end of the 3rd quarter. We cannot be showing weakness that early in the game, it just seems like they are always so worn out. Granted, they’re on the field a lot because teams drive down the field every time our defense is on the field. Ironically you’d think that would want to make the defense work harder against offenses so they could get off the field and rest, but whatever.

Now assuming that our offense is now here and here to stay; I’d give the offense for the year, a grade A. They’ve had to adjust to an entirely new offensive system and that can usually take about a year to get used to. The defense looked bland as usual, but both special teams and defense have shown improvement and at least shown that they want to do well (Some players do at least!). I think with a few more draft picks and free-agent signings, if we can get a solid defensive line, I honestly believe we’re playoff contenders. I didn’t think I’d be saying this, but after Washington’s game of stellar offense, I think we can truly focus on just the defense and special teams situation. And yes I know it is never easy to just do that but I really think that we can rely on the coaching staff (For once…It’s a nice change!). Overall year would’ve been a D+, but considering that it is a transition year with a totally new coaching staff, I say C+ to B- range. Look out for this team in 07 (I hope!).