Time for the kids to see some action! Norv loved to lean on his vets. Youngsters struggled to develop and struggled to even see the field. They had to fight to see action or the depth at the position had to be so terrible, that Norv had no other choice but to play the kid. It was much easier for players on the defensive side of the ball to get a chance, but there still seemed to be a struggle.
Ryan Mathews had been in the dog house since he joined the team. He deserved it to a point, but last season when he was healthy, Norv still would rely on Ronnie Brown to split playing time. Ladarius Green was needed for some action at tight end last year and he made plays in his little opportunity, but as soon as players were healthy again, he was at the back burner. Countless draft picks on runningbacks just wasted away while Norv placed them on inactive lists. Wide receiver Mike Willie showed promise in the preseason, but when the depth at the position was thin, Willie just sat on the practice squad.
Hopefully Mike McCoy is dedicated to grooming the young guys on the roster. Ladarius Green has a ton of speed at the tight end position and could be a mismatch problem for defenses. Give the kid some reps and use him in situations that he can exploit the defense.
Ryan Mathews has shown that he has Pro Bowl abilities if he is not fumbling the football or injured. He just needs opportunities. Why did he have to split time behind Ronnie Brown and Jackie Battle? Why couldn’t we just feed him that rock over and over again.
Mike Willie is a big receiver that could develop into a good option for the team. Sitting on the sideline in meaningless games was not helping him develop. He basically spent a whole year on the practice squad. Give the kid a shot.
There are even guys on the offensive line that could have been groomed into starters. C/G David Molk could be used more and groomed into a future starter. Steve Schilling was drafted a couple of seasons ago and could help protect Philip. Johnnie Troutman should see some action this year and he might not even sniff the field if Norv was still running the ship.
On defense, there was a little more opportunity for the youngsters to get on the field, but some players were still in the dog house and slotted into different roles. People hate on Larry English a ton, mainly because he hasn’t done anything on the field because of his injuries. Last season, he wasn’t even injured and he still had to ride the bench. Why didn’t he get a shot? Let him get some frickin reps. He was a first round pick and he was sitting as the 5th option.
Melvin Ingram was stuck behind Jarret Johnson and Shaun Phillips. He should be a starting linebacker this season. He could have been fighting for rookie of the year consideration, but he was fighting for playing time instead.
Maybe Darrell Stuckey could actually see some playing time on defense. When Brandon Taylor actually was given an opportunity to play, he got injured. There are safeties that were brought in to take over the position, but we would rather give the playing time to the vets. Things better have changed.
The drafts may have been bad, but the coaching staff didn’t help develop the youngsters on the field. Time to see what these guys can do. Time to let the kids play! We might actually have a future rookie of the year candidate again.