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He has very little to do with how bad the defense has been. If anything, out of all of our 3 major coordinators, Manuel is the one you need to keep the most. Sarkisian and Armstrong can get outta here, I hope everyone understands that. Anyways. Let me get to my point. The poor defensive play has been on DAN QUINN the past 4 seasons. Our defense was problematic in 2015 and 2016 too. The least worst defense or the best defense statistically in the Quinn era, happened last season with Manuel (guess who) as our DC. Manuel comes from the Quinn tree and has been with Quinn going back to Seattle. Our defense won’t change even if we get rid of Manuel. Manuel was the coordinator who dealt with the most injuries from the beginning of this disappointing season, NOT Sark or Armstrong. I believe we have some personnel issues when it comes to cornerback position. Alford and Trufant are at the peak of their careers and have been unimpressive, and they were drafted in 2013 when Mike Smith was still here. Maybe they don't belong in this system anymore. If I choose between the 2, I'd keep Alford over Trufant based on what I've seen from 2016-present, but some might disagree though. If it was up to me. I'd cut at least one of them, draft Deandre Baker from UGA and have Oliver develop and I bet them two would end up being WAY better corners for us in the long run. Here's another Quinn issue and NOT Manuel. We have size issues up the middle and keep getting run over by big physical lines and big backs. Multiple ESPN/NFL analysts and former players have said it. When it comes to the linebackers and D-linemen, I've only seen Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones (for the short time this season) perform at an exceptional level on a consistent basis. Takk McKinley has had a disappointing, sophomore slump season, but I believe he'll bounce back defensively next season like Hooper had to do this year on the offensive side. Vic Beasley must be cut, and if he stays, we better not overpay him.
I am glad that Mularkey and BVG are no longer with us -- not that they weren't good coordinators -- but we were not going to go any farther than we've been going with them. We need change, but the kind of change we bring in will go a long way to helping our team stay on our feet in January and not on their behinds watching the rest of the playoffs. Offensive Coordinator: It's tough to just name a name, but we need someone who will use our talent to the fullest. Whether you are a Michael Turner fan or not, you must acknowledge that he is no longer a feature back of a Super Bowl contender -- he looks old and slow and quite frankly a little fat. Without his Earl Campbell-ish running abilities, he really limits our offense because he can't catch. That's why our offense became so vanilla, if Turner was on the field we were much easier to stop. He wasn't a threat if we were going to pass so one less person to worry about, and since he took 3 seconds to reach the line of scrimmage he was no longer much of a threat running the ball. Whether you love, like, or hate Matt Ryan now is the time to see what we have at the quarterback position. We need to move to a passing offense that supplements it with some runs and not the other way around. We have Roddy White (who is slowing down), Tony Gonzalez (who has slowed down tremendously), and Julio Jones (whether you like the trade or not we have him now and he's going to be a star). We need a pass-first coordinator and a creative one at that. I'd like to see what Philbin from Green Bay could do with Matt Ryan and these weapons, particularly if he could lure Jermichael Finley over as Gonzalez's replacement. Bill O'Brien would have been a good hire but he's now the head coach at Penn State. Charlie Weis is an interesting name because he's certainly an offensive whiz and made Cassel look worth the investment in Kansas City. A coordinator from Detroit would make sense as well. To really get the most out of this coordinator we'd need to bring in a great slot receiver in free agency or the draft (I am working on an offseason and will post it in the NFL Draft/Free Agency forum) and move to a 3 WR set as our base offense. Defensive Coordinator: We are slightly hamstrung on who we can hire at DC because our defense cannot be converted to a 3-4 without creating even more needs. Yes, Lofton and Weatherspoon inside a 3-4 D would be excellent and similar to Willis and Bowman and San Fran, but we have no edge rushers (Abraham couldn't handle 3-4 OLB in NY, Edwards isn't a 3-4 OLB) and no 3-4 linemen. Looking strictly at 4-3 defensive coordinators, we need someone who can conjure up a pass rush because Abraham cannot do it alone and Ray Edwards cannot beat a decent right tackle one-on-one. Adding more to our problems is that Babineaux is beginning to slow down and we have been unsuccessful finding a partner at DT or an heir (Peria Jerry was a miserable bust and Corey Peters is average). All of our safeties with the exception of William Moore are average. Thomas DeCoud is what he is now and will not continue developing -- people that say he'll keep getting better don't realize he's going to be 27 in 2 months and this is his prime right now. Maybe our lack of pass rush prevented his further development, but either way we are where we are. Spagnuolo is an interesting name and wouldn't be a bad hire, but he was successful in NY with the best 4-3 DE rotation in the NFL. That pass rush won them the Super Bowl, and it wasn't creativity on his part getting the sacks. He then went to the Rams, tried to run the same defense and it was amongst the absolute worst in the league with Chris Long as the lone pass rusher at DE (similar to our D-Line). It's possible he could get something out of Ray Edwards and that would make a difference, but I'm not entirely sold. We need someone who is comfortable using blitzes to create pressure, unlike BVG who played zone and let our front 4 (not) get to the passer. Weatherspoon and Nicholas are good blitzers and they should be used. We also need more man coverage because Dunta looks lost in zone sometimes and Brent should be able to run with anyone. Tight man coverage with some creativity in blitzing could really help our pass defense. Jack Del Rio is an interesting idea, until you realize that's like asking your proud former boss to come work for you after he's been fired and you have the better gig. Tricky chemistry question, and I'd rather bypass it.