Bucky Brooks of SI.com seems to think DE Simeon Rice is due for even more of a decline in terms of production this season. His main argument is that Simeon through Eight Games last season only mustered up 2 sacks thus signaling his slip in skills.
My problem with this reasoning is that who else on the d-line did opposing offensive units have to worry about in terms of pressuring the Quarterback last season? Greg Spires and his 5 sacks arent striking fear in anybodies eyes, nor are Chris Hovans 2 sacks or Ellis Wyms' 5 sacks. Dewayne White was only able to secure 5 sacks as well, but he's moved on to greener pastures (is that possible in Detroit?). In essence, Simeon Rice got double teamed and triple teamed while rushing the passer. It's eerily similar to the coverages Warren Sapp saw while he was here in Tampa.
For the '07 season I would argue that Simeon Rice's production should increase. First of all, he will be 100% healthy. Second of all, its a contract year (we know how productive those can turn out to be i.e. McCardell). Lastly and probably more importantly, his teammates on the d-line this season should attract a little more of the double teams from time to time thus allowing Simeon to beat down the opposing teams Quarterback. The defensive line should look like this:
RE Simeon Rice
DT Chris Hovan
DT Kevin Carter (he said he's willing to play under tackle)
LE Gaines Adams (You don't Draft this guy 4th Overall and sit him)
The additions of Gaines and Kevin to the line-up (with no dis-respect to Spires and Wyms) will be HUGE. The main problem with this line-up could boil down to stopping the run, but with Garcia at Quarterback teams are gonna have to throw the ball to keep pace with our offense, HAHA. I'm just a fan, I'll leave the run defense up to Monte. Simeon, Gaines, and Kevin should be on the field at all times though, honestly.