I know we're in the start of free agency, but the release of the great DeMarcus Ware got me thinking about who else we have. What's Tyrone Crawford's status after his Achilles injury last offseason?
Nick: He should be in good shape to return for the offseason. That's a tough injury to rehab from but don't forget Barry Church did it and had no visible setbacks. Crawford's versatility is valuable because he could play DT or DE, just depending on the personnel around him. I think he's a defensive tackle, but he could move out to end.
David: Going back to the tail end of last season, it seems like every time I'm near the team's gym, I see Crawford working out. The guy has come a long way from when he was crutching around the facility at the end of the summer, and he looks highly motivated. Like Nick said, what they do with him is up for some debate. But I've got little doubt he's going to factor heavily in this defensive line rotation going forward.
With all the big names of past years now apparently gone, how long will it take to rebuild a formidable defensive?
Nick:I wouldn't call those big names gone until they are. Obviously Ware is gone and that's the main guy you're referring to. I still think Anthony Spencer has a chance to re-sign. Sean Lee is still around and we'll see about Jason Hatcher. And I would imagine they make some sort of splash signing here in the next few days. It shouldn't take long to rebuild a formidable [embedded_ad] defense, but a defense that is dominating usually takes a few years of good drafts. We know how inconsistent that process has been here lately.
David: The beginnings of a good defense – or at least a better defense – appear to be in the works. Of course, guys like George Selvie and the new signings – Jeremy Mincey and Terrell McClain – probably aren't Pro Bowlers, but they're necessary parts to a deep defense. Combine those parts with some of the better starters like Lee, add another good free agent signing, and don't mess up the draft, and things might not be so bad. I can't tell if this is a bleak viewpoint or an optimistic one, but if you think about it, there's nowhere this defense can go but up.