Can’t Hackett

Just read that DJ Hackett is off to greener pastures. I’m sorry to see him go as he had grown into one of the most reliable on-field performers in the offense. I was hoping his injury issues would allow us to resign him on the cheap, but the Panthers wisely saw through the noise and added a guy who has Pro Bowl potential. I doubt he’ll be a Pro Bowler for the Panthers with a guy like Steve Smith around, but it is not for lack of talent or production.

It is amazing to see our WR group evaporate. Branch is injured and can’t be counted on to return as a real contributor. As much as I love Burleson, he’s not a go-to guy. Bobby can’t be counted on for 90 catches each year. Courtney Taylor, Ben Obamanu, Logan Payne, Jordan Kent and whoever else comes along will have to make major strides to allow us to even consider 5 WR sets next year. Imagine what last year would have been if we didn’t have the WRs we did.

We couldn’t run. If we couldn’t pass prolifically, we’d have been meat. We now have reason to doubt whether we can pass at that same level again, and have only modestly raised expectations for the running game.

Ruskell is making a big bet that our young WRs are good enough to make that big step forward. If the do not, we will have a difficult time maintaining our offensive performance last year, let alone improving on it.