When you look at our roster and think about some of the personnel groupings that we can put together (on both offense & defense), you can't help but salivate at the possibilities of what might be this season. We have the ability of putting opponents in very precarious positions just by lining up. Below I'm going to describe a group on offense and defense that I'd like to see this season.
2 TE (Keller, Cumberland); 2 WR (Holmes, Burress); 1 RB (Joe McKnight)
Just by seeing this group huddle up, the opposing defense is in an immediate quandary. Do they stay base, go big, or play small (nickel/dime)? If they go big (i.e. extra DL to load up against the run), the LBs are in a very tough spot in trying to handle Keller and Cumberland in the passing game. Basically the same holds true if they stay in their base D. If they go small, both Keller and Cumberland can easily control the point of attack against the much smaller DBs in the running game. And Joe McKnight has improved his ability to run inside enough that he can bang it up the gut if a team goes nickel; but he's also a real pain the ass for a LB to handle out in space in the passing game with no help.
With this personnel group we can easily isolate an attack massive mismatches. And we can go no-huddle and keep attacking it until they burn a time-out to stop the bleeding. We can line up our TEs tight or split them out or put them in the slot. We can put both our TEs tight to one side and split our receivers out wide on the other. We can put both our TEs in the slot to one side while isolating a WR on the other. Every single one of our offensive weapons requires help to contain and control them. And you can provide help to 5 guys.
The formation I'd like to see is Burress, Cumberland and Keller to the strong side and Holmes to the weak side. Plax out wide, Keller in standard TE position on the line, and Cumberland in a wide slot. This most likely will force the SS into the slot with Cumberland and force the FS to give help for Keller. As a result, Holmes will be iso'd on the weakside, with a TON of real estate to work with. Good luck dealing with that. And we can always leak out Joe Mac into the weakside flat or run him on a wheel-route since he's iso'd with a LB.
Unstoppable? I think so.
[This grouping is specific for obvious passing downs.]
I'd like to go with the 2 rooks (Wilkerson and Kendrick) at DT, with Maybin and Pace as hybrid DE/OLB (they can either stand or put their hand in the dirt), and have Westerman as a Joker blitzer roving around the line and keeping the OL confused and highly stressed. This is the benefit of having very large, very athletic and very fresh DLs. We can either shoot our DLs in the gaps or, as I prefer to do, stunt them. The opposing OL will be under a lot of duress with our hybrids threatening on the edges with Westerman roving. It will be extremely difficult to also handle Kendrick and Wilkerson stunting in the middle. And it will be damn near impossible to pick up a DB should Rex decide to bring one. We can bring all 5, we can bring 5 plus a DB, or we can bring only 2 and drop 8 into passing lanes.
Unstoppable? Pretty damn tough game of cat & mouse to solve, I'll tell you that. I'll hedge my bets with Rex though.