DL: a position I viewed as a weakness or at the very least, unpredictable, before the season, played better than I expected, but far from dominant. There are no elite players, as of yet, although some of the young guys, could be........in time. Johnson, added weight and played in the middle, Moala and Redding were the primary ends, Mathews got lots of reps and the rest were mainly, guys off the street
next year-there is hope, most of the talent didn't play much or at all, Nevis had a very good rookie season, but injuries kept him from really making strides in year #2....McKinney was signed in the off season and Chapman was a good looking draft pick, they should all help going forward, Redding will be entering season #11, the lines are suppossed to be the key to winning and both of the lines were far from great, there is decent depth and versatility, but an elite player ( or 2 ) sure wouldn't hurt, Johnson and Moala are both free agents and don't see them as locks to be back, I think there is better chance to see Moala back, then Johnson
LB: I felt this was the strength of the team.........inside, with Freemen-who was a great find and Angerer, who was never really at 100%, but looked better the last few games are are both top quality players, Conner is a quality player,Fokou, would be starting for many teams. Outside, Freeney and Mathis handled the new defense well, Hughes may never be elite, but looked alot better in this defense, several other players looked good, at times.
next year: should be even better, many players should improve, just based on having a year of experience with the new schemes, Angerer will be back to 100% and is a sideline to sideline tacking machine, Freemen should only get better, Freeney is a force, just not sure this new defense fits him and he is a free agent, not real confident he will be returning, with all the talent in this group (inside), maybe some of them can be moved outside, don't see this unit as a area of need