Defensive woes

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Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:59 pm
  • I have some theories regarding our recent defensive woes.

    1. Hawthorne made more of a difference than we may think.

    I certainly don't dislike Wagner, and I think he'll be a good MLB over the next few years, but starting a rook at MLB seems risky. And teams seem to be running up the middle against us more lately. Our LB play overall is definitely a bit suspect, and while perhaps Hill is over the, uh, hill, I've heard the MLB position compared to the "QB of the defense" often enough to wonder if maybe Wagner is in over his head a bit at this point. Again, I am optimistic about his future, but he may be a weakness at this point.

    2. Clever defensive schemes only work for so long.

    Remember the Bandit? Where we'd put 6 or 7 DBs in (or 8?). It was wildly effective ... for a while. We haven't seen much of it recently. I wonder if our somewhat unorthodox 4-3 / 3-4 LEO defensive schemes -- as well as our penchant for press man coverage -- are being exploited by opposing offensive coordinators. I wonder if Bradley has all his great ideas in the offseason and fizzles making adjustments in midseason. The NFL is a chess match, and maybe our staff just can't quite make those midseason defensive adjustments when weaknesses are exposed.

    3. Our D is simply wearing out.

    No, not like permanently. But we saw this last year as well. Over the first half of the season, our run D especially was "lights out". Then, over the second half of the season, we got gashed a number of times. It's true that we lost Big Red last season, but what if that wasn't the primary problem? Isn't this year's run D having the same problems as last year's run D in the second half of the season? What if Big Red just isn't built for a 16-game season?

    Feel free to bash away. I'm not an Xs and Os guy by any means ... these are just things that occur to me.
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Re: Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:09 pm
  • LB is one of the positions I hope we upgrade in the draft, or perhaps we can develop Smith and Morgan who seem to have potential. I love LeRoy, but we need to get more athletic.

    The problem we are having is the middle of our defense is getting abused. And teams are not attacking us on the outside, they are finding favorable match-ups by formation or play design for the Titus Young's and Chris Clay's of the world so they steer clear of Browner and Sherman. Tight ends and slot receivers are winning against Marcus Trufant and Kam Chancellor in coverage.

    The defense is not as aggressive this season, and I don't know why. We have only forced 10 interceptions this season, which stuns me. The biggest factor there is the lack of consistent pass rush (stop me if you have heard this before). We are doing something different with our safeties. To me, we should expect that teams will not pick on Browner and Sherman and we should scheme accordingly to help out elsewhere.

    Really not that impressed with what Carroll and/or Bradley are doing with the defense, regardless of where the stats say we end up. What we need from our defense is to force turnovers, get a consistent pass rush, win the game when we need them to (see Arizona, Detroit and Miami), and not get gashed in the run.

    That's not happening.
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Re: Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:12 pm
  • Red Bryant played all year last year not missing any games that I'm aware of.
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Re: Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:19 pm
  • 1. No Effin way. With all due respect, No Effin Way. Hawthorne was turrible. Wagner, for all his rookie issues, is already better than Hawthorne. We have weaknesses up the middle, that is true. We were even weaker up the middle last year.

    2. Our problems on Sunday had nothing to do with clever schemes. We got straight up beat on the d-line, and we had terrible coverage in the under zones. It was not schematic, we lost individual matchups on defense. Leroy could not cover, Trufant could not cover, Wagner was slow to hit his gaps, and our D-Ends wide nined Tannehill into several good scrambles. It isn't schematic, it is personnel not doing their job, combined with Miami personnel doing their job better. Physically, we got beat. Our corners had great games, and not many other members of our D can say that.

    3. Off a bye, wearing out? Big Red has a foot thing right now, but overall our health going into that game was good. Very, very good. No excuses, our defense got beat on most fronts, pure and simple.

    One thing you are right about, teams have gotten a bead on our weaknesses. The short passing areas in the underneath zones were a problem area at the beginning of the season, and teams are finally getting it. Our linebackers are struggling to cover, and teams are using those matchups against us.
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Re: Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:27 pm
  • I don't agree with anything said in the OP.
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Re: Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:38 pm
  • We need to bring Earl up to the line of scrimmage more. He is a playmaker and hits like a truck. Having him playing deep coverage a lot while important for our press coverage means he isn't able to make the big plays like he can. Sherman can be left on an island for the most part and Browner doesn't seem to get beat over the top much since he is punching them at the LOS. I don't think we have even seen a team throw it deep on our starting CB's in a month. Everything is short and in the middle, hence why we give up massive plays to no names and slot receivers. Addressing the nickel in the draft will be very important. It would be nice for our FO to make changes to fix the thing that constantly is beating us.

    Wagner has gotten a lot of tackles and I would say is playing better than Hawthorne, but teams seem to be gashing us up the middle with cut backs and counters. For the most part they seem to be in his lanes and for whatever reason he isn't filling them. Maybe that's just cause he is a rookie and it will come with time or he just isn't being patient enough. Leroy also needs to be replaced. He hits hard and is pretty solid in the running game, but is such a huge liability in pass coverage and teams notice it. There were a few big third downs that he gave up as well as the wheel route where he got beat by 20 yards. Maybe if we started playing more zone with Sherm and Browner closer to the line of scrimmage we wouldn't have this issue, but who knows, they do shut down #1 and #2 WR.

    And both our lines got man handled by good Miami lines. Long is a monster in the running game even if he has become a little suspect in the passing game. I'd say scheme wise our running defense is getting a little abused, but minor tweaks should get us back to stuffing the run.
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Re: Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:13 pm
  • Our defense isn't hitting as hard as it did last year. It was earlier this season. I heard on KJR that the Adderal was detected back in Sept. and the players and coaches have known since October. Right about the time our defense started playing softer.
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Re: Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:43 pm
  • SalishHawkFan wrote:Our defense isn't hitting as hard as it did last year. It was earlier this season. I heard on KJR that the Adderal was detected back in Sept. and the players and coaches have known since October. Right about the time our defense started playing softer.


    Yeah, that was my fourth point I was going to bring up. Seriously. :D Is there a psychological issue here, knowing that guys are going to get busted? I used to work for Microsoft (go ahead, flame away) and I know that when we were having legal issues that we spent way more time and effort documenting decisions and other BS than we would have normally. I'm not saying this is a great analogy -- just that those dark clouds can have an impact on an organization's behavior in all sorts of ways.
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Re: Defensive woes
Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:44 pm
  • Tech Worlds wrote:Red Bryant played all year last year not missing any games that I'm aware of.


    Bad recall on my part? Was it two years ago? I just remember our D going downhill, and at the time everyone was blaming it on Big Red's injury.
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Re: Defensive woes
Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:27 am
  • We had 2...TWO,,,,,,T W O 1st downs in the first half. Want to talk about being worn down?

    By the time the 4th quarter came around they we completely gassed.
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