CANHawk wrote:RolandDeschain wrote:Our problem isn't really a lack of pass-rushing DEs. It's lack of a monster DT to eat double teams. Most of the teams that have a great pass rush have that in common. Plus, both of these guys will be 31 to start next season; I don't want to sign another aging vet who will under-perform for us.
I kinda disagree. I agree in spirit; pressure up the middle is the missing piece of the puzzle, but I don't think the answer is a monster like you've described.
I think we have plenty of big strong DT's who can command double teams from the 1-tech spot. Mebane does it with regularity but Red or Branch could likely do it too. No, what we lack is a pass rushing 3-tech to take advantage of the 1 on 1 with the guard that the combination of a big double team eating 1-tech and a speedy edge rushing DE provide. Branch tends to sit there and sumo-wrestle with the guard and Jones (who I love) gets blown right out of the play if he doesn't win the battle on the first step. We need someone who's big enough to play in the middle and plug up the running lanes with some serious pass rush moves to get in the backfield on passing downs. I'm really hoping Scruggs can develop into that guy, but he's not there yet.
We could probably take advantage of the gaps created by the double team on the 1-tech and the sumo fight with the 3-tech to blitz a LB or a safety, but that's not really Pete's MO. He wants pressure with the front 4 alone and we're not going to get that without a BIG upgrade at 3-tech.
Eh, I'm not sure I agree that we have anybody like that. The kind of DT I'm referring to gets pressure every time they're left 1-on-1, and sometimes even 2-on-1. You really need two D-linemen like that to get pressure like the Rams, because the 5 O-linemen vs. the 4 D-linemen still allows for a double team without giving up much pressure. We've got some guys that are good at staying in place, which is where the run defense strength we used to have came from, but we don't have any big D-lineman who will bust through to pressure the QB. We have some guys that are hard to move, but there's a big difference between that and the kind of athletic DT that can still bust in up the gut towards the QB, pushing his man in front of him.