This team this year could have easily ended up a 6 win team or an 11 win team. Yes, some games the defense didnt step up but that was at rondom times this season, the offense is the side of the ball that needed to step up. With us all knowing this by now, it's pointless to speak of it. What really hurt this team in my opinion this year was the inability to stay healthy....
You can blame the "conditioning" coach all you want, but when you have offensive linemen rolling up upon one another how can that be the conditioning coaches issue? The concussions this team has had this season are not on the conditioning coach, niether was Bens/Keisels/Heath/Harrisons/Ikes/Lewis etc. Ill let people rant on about the conditioning coach though..
Pretty much this team has had shit for luck for staying healthy. Im not sure who is in charge, but I will say, the veteran days off need to stop. Probably my boy Tomlin. That needs to change. But realitstically this team was banged up all season long. First it was Spence/DeCastro. Then we lost Gilbert, Adams stepped in nicely only to get hurt himself. Pouncey getting banged up never helped us out either and we had Legs start at center twice I believe and put Pouncey at guard when Colon was out and banged up(Which I think Legs plays well at center and Pouncey would be a better guard than center, I jsut think pouncey is that good)
Truth is I believe the offense sputtered this season due to the lack of protection Ben got this whole season. I think Adams being injured was a bigger impact than what some thought, the kid was coming around nicely, added a big frame to the line and the run game was improving. Beachum held his own, but also looked horrible at time in pass protection and with DD not getting a lot of reps looked beyond vulnerable when the defense ran blitz packages he had never seen. Im not at all saying DD is a bust, just not a lot of game time.
In a way I am blaming the Oline for the season, but is it really blaming? No, I just think this team had a shit luck season with injuries. After thinking about it, 8-8 is just about right for this team. The "next man up" thing is ok to listen to, but when you lose Ben for three weeks, Brown for 3 weeks, your starting center, #1 corner, a pretty special safety still inho in Troy. This team could have been way worse than 8-8.
I'd like to see what this offense can do next season when Ben has protection, you cant stretch the field when your QB half the time only get 2 seconds to throw the ball, but ill stop the rant there. I just hope whoever comes in and takes over the oline coaching position utilizes these guys abilities and give them some blocking schemes to really give Ben time and help the running backs stay around the 4ypc mark. Then we can really judge Haley after next season.
8-8 record indicates a team, well...We didnt cash in this season, maybe next year.