Hobson's Choice: Trading places

Hi Geoff--- With Delta the defensive player of the week and Chris Perry looking like the star he was at Michigan, how good does that draft day trading look now? Also, not signing Warren Sapp... Also, extending Chad's contract (granted we may have to hear about that next offseason)!

My question-- To date, what is your favorite Coach Lewis & exec's personel maneuver. What is your least favorite--- in respect to our great coach, this is all in the rear-view mirror... (my least may be permitting Takeo to leave--although Tory James has been excellent)Regards from Florida!

FLORIDA: Good call. No question. The trade for O'Neal is my favorite because it was so creative and pro-active, and, don't forget who they got with the fourth-round pick. Defensive end Robert Geathers is also starting for them, so it's hard to see it working out any better. If both go to the Pro Bowl (and isn't O'Neal well on his way this year?), it surpasses James Brooks for Pete Johnson.

Teamwork at its New England Patriot best. Lewis knew the Broncos had soured on O'Neal, a guy he coveted because of his special athleticism. The front office got it done by working out a five-year deal with O'Neal so the trade could get consummated.

Lewis and secondary coach Kevin Coyle, along with his assistant Louie Cioffi, have shown what coaches can do with second-chance players. O'Neal, once a notorious instinct player, is a perfect match for Coyle, an exhaustive detail guy. On Monday, O'Neal knew Coyle would find something to correct him despite the three picks, but he says the attention to technique has helped his career.

I'll defend Lewis on Spikes leaving, although I think they found it harder to replace him than they thought it would be. And it's only now, with Odell Thurman dropping into their laps in the second round that it's working out. You do wonder if Spikes had hung around how far the defense would be along, but he didn't want to be here and that's why Lewis made the right move.

Remember, Lewis had to fix just not a team, but a culture, and you have to realize that he wanted to spend the Spikes money on classy, productive pros who would have a big impact in the locker room. So, really, Spikes was traded for John Thornton, Kevin Hardy and Tory James and while Hardy is gone, the other two are huge parts of the defense that they needed. Fair to say it was good trade for both.

Before the season started, my least favorite maneuver was not bringing in a veteran linebacker here this summer, like a Jamie Sharper or a Peter Boulware. I agree with them that the price was too high for Sharper and the risk too high on Boulware. But I just thought it was tough to come into a season with one legit veteran backer in Brian Simmons.

But, they've held up, haven't they? Thurman has played well, and really, why should these kids sit the bench? They'll only get better by playing. So I was probably wrong on that one, but solid vets are nice. Look at Ifeanyi Ohalete at safety.

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