Roster Depth Key To Championships...............

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by soulman, Jun 23, 2014.

  1. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    [​IMG]
    Pat Kirwan

    NFL Insider

    Roster depth key to championships, so it's no surprise Seattle has it

    June 21, 2014 10:45 am ET

    [​IMG]
    Trading for backup QB T.J. Yates was a shrewd move by the Falcons. (USATSI)

    Minicamps are over and coaches are heading out on vacation. For most teams, though, the issue of roster depth is an ongoing battle.

    Some teams already recognize a deficiency at certain positions and are still searching the waiver wire and getting some minor trades done to plug holes in the roster. Roster depth can become an issue if players get injured or get in trouble and we all know both things are possible in this league.

    The question of which teams have the deepest rosters at this point in the year is an important one and I look at certain criteria to answer the question.

    In my opinion there are 13 categories that have to get a positive answer for a team to qualify as having solid roster depth. The first is the backup quarterback. A capable backup QB that can go at least 2-2 in a four-game stretch qualifies as a good backup.

    There's a reason the Falcons traded for QB T.J. Yates this week. In 2011 Yates came off the bench and went 4-4 for the Texans, including a playoff win. Atlanta is still trying to get a passing grade for this first question of my roster depth analysis and Yates could be the answer.

    After looking at all 32 teams, I felt 16 of the 32 teams had a decent enough answer at the backup QB question to move on to the other 11 categories. Keep in mind that rarely does any team have a great answer to all of these questions but after the QB here are the rest of the questions to be answered. Be careful not to just fill in names but ask yourself just how good the player is for each category.

    1. Does your team have a real swing offensive tackle, a guy that can play left or right tackle and has experience?

    2. Does your team have a solid inside offensive lineman that can play guard or center?

    3. Is there a quality second running back that can deliver a 100-yard rushing day if he had to start?

    4. Is there a good second tight end on the roster?

    5. Can the third wide receiver step up and start in the two-WR packages if a starter went down?

    6. Does your team have a designated pass-rush specialist who could play the early downs if need be?

    7. Is there a third defensive tackle that not only plays in a rotation but could play the whole game if need be?

    8. Is there a quality nickel corner on the roster, since most teams are at least 50 percent sub defenses?

    9. Is there a fourth corner for dime packages?

    10. Is there a third safety for big nickel defenses?

    11. Is there a return specialist that can either handle both punt and kick returns or contribute as a real position player?

    12. Does your team have a special-teams linebacker that leads the specials and can play inside linebacker in a pinch?

    We all know that football is a game of attrition and roster depth is the only real way to the playoffs and beyond. Last season, by the time the Seahawks got to the Super Bowl they had 11 players on injured reserve, PUP, NFI or suspended. Their starting offensive tackles, Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini, missed 15 starts between them because of injury and there were another 20 starts missed by other players during the season.

    So, as I combed through all the rosters looking for the teams with the best depth, which doesn't necessarily mean they are the best teams on paper if all the teams stay healthy (but we all know that is unlikely) I arrived at the top two teams and five honorable mention teams.

    The honorable mention teams are the Redskins, Buccaneers, Dolphins and a tossup between the Eagles and 49ers. I like Kirk Cousins (Washington), Mike Glennon (Tampa Bay) Matt Moore (Miami) and Mark Sanchez (Philadelphia) and not so sure about Blaine Gabbert, but at least he has 28 starts and the rest of the 49ers' depth is pretty good. As for Washington, Tampa Bay, Miami and Philly, they don't satisfy all the categories but they did better than most teams hitting on at least nine of the 13.

    The top two teams when it comes to depth are the Bengals and Seahawks almost in a dead heat. Cincinnati has Jason Campbell at QB, Marshall Newhouse or Will Svitek at OT, Mike Pollak inside at G-C, Jeremy Hill at RB, Tyler Eifert at TE, Mohamed Sanu at WR, Margus Hunt on the pass rush, Devon Still at DT, Darqueze Dennard as the third CB, Adam Jones as the fourth CB, Taylor Mays as the third safety, and Brandon Tate the returner.

    The Seahawks have Tarvaris Jackson at QB, Alvin Bailey at OT, Steve Shilling at inside linebacker, Robert Turbin or Christine Michael at RB, Luke Willson or Anthony McCoy at TE, Kevin Williams at DT, Bruce Irvin as the pass rusher, Jeremy Lane as the third CB, and Percy Harvin the returner. Tarvaris Jackson has a 33-23 record as a starting QB.

    Finally, what stands out about all these teams with good roster depth is they really haven't had to pay their starting quarterbacks big money yet but of course the 49ers are entering their first season with that issue now starting to emerge.
  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Interesting observation. So how do the Bears stack up at each of these key spots.

    1. Does your team have a real swing offensive tackle, a guy that can play left or right tackle and has experience?

    2. Does your team have a solid inside offensive lineman that can play guard or center?

    3. Is there a quality second running back that can deliver a 100-yard rushing day if he had to start?

    4. Is there a good second tight end on the roster?

    5. Can the third wide receiver step up and start in the two-WR packages if a starter went down?

    6. Does your team have a designated pass-rush specialist who could play the early downs if need be?

    7. Is there a third defensive tackle that not only plays in a rotation but could play the whole game if need be?

    8. Is there a quality nickel corner on the roster, since most teams are at least 50 percent sub defenses?

    9. Is there a fourth corner for dime packages?

    10. Is there a third safety for big nickel defenses?

    11. Is there a return specialist that can either handle both punt and kick returns or contribute as a real position player?

    12. Does your team have a special-teams linebacker that leads the specials and can play inside linebacker in a pinch?

    13. And last but most important do we or will we have a #2 QB capable of winning games if he has to start or salvaging a win if he comes in during a game?

    So how do we score on these points?
  3. butkus3595

    butkus3595 Pro-Bowler

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    Currently I'd say we look like this:

    1. Does your team have a real swing offensive tackle, a guy that can play left or right tackle and has experience? - Yes Britton can play tackle, and has experience. Not so sure at the left side...but he's a swing tackle.

    2. Does your team have a solid inside offensive lineman that can play guard or center? Yes--DeLapuente

    3. Is there a quality second running back that can deliver a 100-yard rushing day if he had to start?--Not Sure - We'll have to see what Carey can do for the team, but I like the draft pick.

    4. Is there a good second tight end on the roster?--Nope

    5. Can the third wide receiver step up and start in the two-WR packages if a starter went down?--I think Wilson can step up and play well if he had to, I liked the glimpses I saw last year. We'll know more this year.

    6. Does your team have a designated pass-rush specialist who could play the early downs if need be?--Yes, Jarad Allen

    7. Is there a third defensive tackle that not only plays in a rotation but could play the whole game if need be?--Yes, between Sutton, Ego, Ratliff, Paea, Collins..there is a guy there who can do that...maybe two.

    8. Is there a quality nickel corner on the roster, since most teams are at least 50 percent sub defenses?--Yes

    9. Is there a fourth corner for dime packages?--Yes, Frey

    10. Is there a third safety for big nickel defenses?---Not sure yet...we'll see how that shakes out.

    11. Is there a return specialist that can either handle both punt and kick returns or contribute as a real position player?---Not sure yet...we'll see if Williams is the real deal. Weems probably could if he had too.

    12. Does your team have a special-teams linebacker that leads the specials and can play inside linebacker in a pinch?---I'll say Yes. Greene will have to play specials this year, and so will Jones if he makes the team most likely.

    13. And last but most important do we or will we have a #2 QB capable of winning games if he has to start or salvaging a win if he comes in during a game?---We don't know the answer to this yet. I have faith we do, but we'll see how it shakes out in press-season.

    So out of the list I'd say I have 7 solid yes answers, 1 maybe that could become a solid yes, and 5 either no's or not sure gets. Not too bad.
  4. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    1. Does your team have a real swing offensive tackle, a guy that can play left or right tackle and has experience? - Maybe in Britton, I'll lean more towards yes

    2. Does your team have a solid inside offensive lineman that can play guard or center? Yes DeLapuente can play both G's and C, so can Boggs

    3. Is there a quality second running back that can deliver a 100-yard rushing day if he had to start? maybe in Carey, but as of now no.

    4. Is there a good second tight end on the roster? No not even close

    5. Can the third wide receiver step up and start in the two-WR packages if a starter went down? Yes Wilson should be able to step in.

    6. Does your team have a designated pass-rush specialist who could play the early downs if need be? I'm assuming they mean backup? Yes Shea or Young should be able to step in and do the work.

    7. Is there a third defensive tackle that not only plays in a rotation but could play the whole game if need be? YesCollins/Sutton should both be capable of playing time if Ratty cannot play all 16 games.

    8. Is there a quality nickel corner on the roster, since most teams are at least 50 percent sub defenses? Yes Frey and Fuller

    9. Is there a fourth corner for dime packages? Yes Frey

    10. Is there a third safety for big nickel defenses? No this team is going to be lucky if they have 2 w/the current crop of S's.

    11. Is there a return specialist that can either handle both punt and kick returns or contribute as a real position player? Yes Wilson can play KR/PR (done it in the CLF) and Weems could step in if needed and also play a role(albiet not well) in the O.

    12. Does your team have a special-teams linebacker that leads the specials and can play inside linebacker in a pinch? Yes, Sean, Greene and Jones(maybe) although i'm not sure if Sean can play ILB, but honestly none should have to, that will be Bostic and DJ OLB is really thinner right now b/c of Brigg's inj and Shea's ?'s.

    13. And last but most important do we or will we have a #2 QB capable of winning games if he has to start or salvaging a win if he comes in during a game? Yes Trestman showed last year he can take trash and turn it to treasure, Palmer or Clausen should be able to go .500 w/Marshal/Jeffery/Forte/Bennett and Wilson all in the mix to help take the load off.

    I got 8 to 10 of the answers as yes. Not to shabby for the team that 3 years ago the majority of the answers would have been no.
  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    1) Swing OT; Eben Britton is probably serviceable but we could use a true LT type and maybe Charles Leno Jr. can become that guy. Not the best but it could be worse. We could still be pretending that Ja'Marcus Webb could play LT.

    2) Swing OG; Here I think we're covered pretty well with de la Puente for now and another possible prospect in rookie Ryan Groy.

    3) RB; Well there's certainly enough competition to think that we'll come out of it with a #2 RB capable of ringing up a 100 yard day. Carey certainly has the college pedigree for that.

    4) TE; Here we may be a bit wanting as far as a true dual threat TE although I believe we can make better use of Dante Rosario as a receiver than we have so far.

    5) WR; Here I think we're far better off than most teams. I believe Marquess Wilson will step up big time as a #3 WR and could take over the #2 slot if we lose Marshall or Jeffery to an injury.

    6) Rush Specialist; Yeah I think we have several who can step into a 3 down role including McClellin and Young. Bass is also a possibility.

    7) DT; Yes again, we have plenty of depth at DT.

    8) Nickel/Slot CB; Between Jennings, Fuller, Hayden and Frey I'd say we're covered.

    9) Dime CB; Same as above

    10) Safety; A little up in the air but I believe we'll have 3 very good starting caliber guys by the time the season begins.

    11) Multi-Purpose Guy; Yes I believe Chris Williams will win the Returner spots and also contribute as a #5 WR.

    12) STeams Leader; I'm gonna say yes, several, but I'm not limiting if to a guy whose a backup MLB.

    13) #2 QB; Again the jury's out so far but I believe by September we'll have a guy who fits the description Kirwan calls for.
  6. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    QB, RB, and TE are unproven with the backups, so I can see where we did not make the cut. With the talent on offense though we should be able to run the ball for a game or two and hold are own even if the QB was terrible. My belief is Clausen will beat out Palmer and be a respectable #2 QB. In time I suspect he will be a younger version of McCown.

    I am onboard with K Carey at RB as well so believe we are ok here too.

    If Bennett goes down we have no proven backup , I believe this is one checkmark we can not get at the present time.
  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well we filled in two areas of deficiency with today's signings. Adrian Wilson is a monster SS wh0 can really put the fear of God into people who come into his neighborhood. He's a BMarsh sized SS and even if he comes on board just for vet depth he'll become a difference maker. There's our Kam Chancellor type if Wilson hasn't lost too much to that Achilles injury.

    Mastrud doesn't have huge career numbers but he's hung around for five years and has the size we were looking for in a dual threat TE. Even is he doesn't make the roster he'll up the ante in camp and push the others hard enough that we should get a decent #2 TE out of one of them.

    So maybe that's two less obvious holes and depending on what we get out of Clausen or Palmer and Carey, Ford and Lynch we may close off two more as well. I don't think we're that far away from having our bases covered.

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