It's pretty clear that all of us agree that OL is our biggest priority. But I can't help thinking that I'm sort of being hypocritical in this sense:
I'm willing to believe that Feeley can be a great starter for us next season in large part because of the improvement he showed over this year, particularly in his last couple games. Yet, the OL improved dramatically over the last few games as well...heck, we put up a lot of rushing yards on the Ravens!!
I think we may be too quick to dismiss some of the talent on our roster at OL because it wasn't showcased very well this season. I'm mainly talking about McIntosh. Obviously I don't have the coaches tapes, but it seemed to me that as he recovered from his injury throughout the season, he steadily progressed and was still not at his full potential. I think if we can land a top-flight LT in FA at a REASONABLE price, then by all means do it. But maybe this guy deserves another shot.
McKinney, at the beginning of the season, was proclaimed to be ready for the starting role after grooming him for 2 years. Did all of his progress and talent disappear in one year? I don't think so...I think Tony Wise and all of Wanny's offensive goons just had no idea how to coach and run a proper blocking scheme.
We need to look no further in providing evidence for coaching deficiencies than Jeno James. This guy was a beast in Carolina and helped Stephen Davis tremendously...did he lose all of his talent all of a sudden too when he came to the Fins?
Bottom line is that Saban's got a VERY VERY DIFFICULT job of evaluating the talent on this team, particularly the O-line, because of the horrible coaching they were under last season. And that includes Vernon Carey, who hardly even played and so will be even tougher to evaluate!! I will be very interested to see what Saban does...and if he decides to stick with one or two of these guys that we are automatically dismissing as a lack of talent (which could easily be bad coaching), I wouldn't be surprised.