One wonders what the crew complement of a 24th century Excelsior
would be like. One such ship was lost with something like 1,200 hands in "Field of Fire", but since that was a wartime event, there might have been a large number of troops aboard. We don't know if this "Battle of Ricktor Prime" involved ground action, but we might argue it did, as it apparently is named after an individual planet...
Riker would be intimately familiar with the Excelsiors
of the era, having served as XO on one just before the E-D. So, agreed that he could well see the problems in Jellico's thinking.