Did some of you watch a different game than me? Hey, I'm not a huge Matt Light or Dan Koppen fan but Brady had time to throw. He had hours to throw on some plays. Our receivers weren't getting open. Other than 1-2 plays, Branch was completely taken out of the game by Revis (which he does to everyone) so it was a 10 on 10 game. The slot was extremely well covered, it didn't matter if it was Welker, Hernandez or Edelman in there. Gronkowski was our best match up and we didn't exploit it enough. The real problem out there was Tate. He is not a #2 quality WR. He's a kick returner only and after a couple early season TD returns, he was pretty quiet doing that.
Tate wasn't a featured WR in college, why should we expect him to be now? Going back to the line, it is built with smallish, fast guys that can get out on the screens and block down field. They are too small to stand up long against big DLs. The Steelers are built to run the football first, pass second. If the Steelers win the SB they would have won 3 of the last 6 with their formula.
We all love Brady but he is one dimensional, he's a pure pocket passer. Defenses know they don't have to keep an extra player near the LOS because Brady isn't going anywhere. We need to start transitioning our OL, IMO, to a run first line. Brady won't be around forever so we need to be able to run to set up the pass, not the other way around. The Jets never bit on Brady's play action, they'd rather see us run it and pick up 2-3 yards.
If we look at our offense, it was the best in the league at putting points on the board. Retaining Mankins is key, but if we don't, I don't care who we draft, we will have a weaker OL next year. We all like our TEs, RBs and QB. We can improve our OL if we tag and/or sign Mankins, draft Wisniewski to take over for either Koppen or Connolly as he is the best C/OG in the draft and could be the next Mankins. I think we should say goodbye to Light and move Vollmer over and draft a new RT at the 60 or 74 spot. The other improvement to the O is at WR, a ligit #2 threat. If we plan to get another year out of Branch, then I would prefer a tall, physical threat who can block downfield and out muscle for the ball. Did you all see Revis out muscle Branch and take the ball away from him? We also need to add a pair of RBs for depth. I'd like one big SOB that just comes in on short yardage, maybe a John Clay in the 5th or Keith Payne as an UDFA.
In short, we have to keep Mankins.
Then draft Wisniewski at 28 or 33 (if we miss out on him), I wouldn't take Pouncey, I'd hold off at OG until 74 or 90 and get Schilling, Moffitt or draft an OT that we move to guard, DeMarcus Love, Danny Watkins, Marcus Cannon or Marcus Gilbert. All of these guys are 6-4 to 6-5, 310 to 350 and can move for their size.
There's a Center I like in the 5th, Jake Kirkpatrick.
For RT, I'd look at Chris Hairston in the 4th. Or, we use our 17 and draft a pure LT, either Solder, Carimi or Castonzo. They are the only 3 I'd want and the action on them could be high once we get to Dallas at #9. Dallas at #9, and Washington at #10 are both very needy OT teams. If they address other needs, then the next OT needy team is us at #17. But the Giants at 19, Chiefs at 21 and Colts at 22 all have OT as their biggest need so trading down won't work. Thinking we can address LT at 28, is a dream because Seattle at 25 and Baltimore at 26 also have OT as their highest need. If we thrown Sherrod and Tyron Smith into the mix, maybe one is there at 28, but I don't like either, both are too short and undersized IMO.