I don't know how many mediocre players we have to be honest
It's a troubling realization if you were to go through the exercise.
Just do a position by position tally in your head. An honest one. Ask yourself this question for each.
Mediocre, bad, or exceptional??
And I'm not referring to their body of work. I'm talking about the ability they bring to the field in the here and now. This week.
Casey Hampton is a good example. Hell of a player. Stud anchor of some GREAT run defenses. But is he anything more than a very mediocre player today?
There are several that it won't be difficult to answer at all.
Team needs an infusion of talent if we want to put another trophy or two in that case while Ben is around.
And I'd suggest going salary cap crazy to do it. Figure Ben has 4 really good years left. That puts him at 13. Does he get to 14,15, or sixteen?
Team needs to be in win now mode. When Ben is done blow it the fuck up, clear out payroll and then build it up again.
What we can't do is waste three years at this stage of his career.
Hamp, like others are towards the end of their careers. As with every team that has to make the transition from experienced, high level, steady vets to younger, uncertain, inexperienced players, it's a question. Rare is the team that routinely plugs in player after player who are consistently among the best at their position in the league on a roster wide basis.
We've been able to do that, but now people act like since we've been able to do that for a long time, it's now something that is easy to do. It isn't. Not every player chosen to uphold the standard of performance we demand is able or even capable of doing so. Sometimes there will be dropoffs, and sometimes those will be temporary as players who aren't used to playing, get their feet wet.
I'd say that the lack of giving playing time to the next generation to earlier in the process has been an example of the team being in win now mode for a long time. Riding Farrior, Ward, Smith, Hoke, Kirshke, and now it looks like Keisel plus others to the point of being non-functional are all examples of that.
It's been milked to death to get to this point, there is no pushing it off further until Ben is done. If we want to continue to compete for championships, the transition must take place now while those grizzled vets are still capable of bringing anything to the table at all.
Transitions are often painful and always uncertain. People do not like uncertainty and because of that they don't like change, even though it's inevitable. They do not go the way people expect, they do not happen on the timetable that people want. It's happening now, it's not an easy process to sit back and watch happen, but it is necessary.