I have read a lot of FPs and articles that talk about which players we should bring in once the f&%$ing CBA is resolved and there is an offseason.
I have been thinking about this and there is only 1 non-RCB addition that I think we should add to our defense.
Eagleterian had an article citing PFF's analysis and claims that T Cole was the best 4-3 DE the last 3 years. Yeah, the best. They even label him as criminally underrated.
We all know that PFF is a highly regarded football website, it's not like I am throwing up an article that I read on Cousin Billy's Fantastic Football Blog, so this statement is and should be considered legit.
I have always liked Cole and thought he was really good, but I am an Eagles fan and as such, always thought there was some homerism involved in my opinion. After digesting the information and thinking about it though, what blew me away is that Cole has had this success with average players at the other D Line spots. He has always been the best player on the line and as such, has always been the focus of the offense's blocking schemes, regularly having to beat double teams.
I came to the conclusion that if Cole had a beast DT playing inside, he could be that much better. With the change to Washburn and his wide 9 scheme, it is feasible that we have a beast DT on the roster. Bunk was a monster at FSU in a similar scheme, although he has yet to break out as an Eagle. Patterson is a great run stuffer, but doesn't have much pass rush in him. Dixon and Laws have potential, but they need to keep progressing. But, I don't want to hope we have a beast DT, I want to know that we do.
So, that brings me to the point of my FP; we need to bring in Big Al.
I have a few caveats: I don't want to trade for him, I want him to be signed to an incentive laden deal (preferably with a team option for year 2 & 3) and most importantly, I want AR and Washburn to sit down with him and get a commitment to playing hard on every snap.
If Big Al returns to a form that is close to what he was in TENN, then he would instantly be the best DT we have on the roster (and potentially since Jerome Brown, with all due respect to Simon who was good, but he wasn't as good as Big Al in their respective primes) and is arguably one of the best DTs in the game. It is possible that Big Al never reaches the level of play he produced in TENN, but I think his decline in WASH had everything to do with Shanny and the off the field BS, nothing to do with a decline in physical talent or ability.
Big Al would take away some of the OL's focus on Cole and be a disruptive force inside that would make it easier on the LBs to make plays. Imagine a happy, motivated Big Al playing next to Cole for 40-50 snaps a game. Who knows, maybe the whole DL could be the best, not just Cole.