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NFL.com: Brian Billick on Cushing, Kerrigan, and others


Hitman21ST

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JJ Watt raises the bar for what you can ask of your DE in a 3-4. Kinda blows holes in the refrain I heard a lot around here in years past that 3-4 DE's aren't supposed to make plays and dominate, which was the excuse for why our DEs were invisible most of the time.

Different schemes require different things out of players at the same position. DEs that make plays and dominate are always desirable but in the scheme we run they have to be able to 2-gap and occupy blockers first and foremost.

Let's just be real, we're adults here, we all know the reason Kerrigan and Watt are compared with each other. The same reason Cam and RG3 are compared.

I would assume it was because we essentially passed on Watt by trading back and taking Kerrigan instead. The reason you seem to be hinting at is far more arbitrary and stupid than that one.

Houston doesn't play a 4-3. They play a different variation of the the 3-4 then we do though. It's a one-gapper which allows lighter DE's like Watt to excel. Kerrigan would still be an OLB in Houston.

If Watt came here, he'd still put up above average numbers, but nowhere near the elite numbers he's putting up in Houston. Different scheme.

Watt isn't a light DE even by 3-4 standards. He's not heavy, either, but he has near-prototype size.

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I think its a misconception that 34 DEs (even 2-gap DEs) that can't be disruptive or get sacks.

It just depends on the talent level of that player.

---------- Post added October-10th-2012 at 07:12 PM ----------

Would you rather have Watt or Kerrigan? Honest question.
I think Ryan is a stud, but I woudl take Watt, without a doubt back then(draft time) and now.
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even tougher one would you rather have Jenkins and Kerrigan or Reed and Watt?

I think this question ultimately depends on how Jenkins pans out. If Jenkins were playing the way he was in training camp last year, I'd take our current situation without a doubt. Now, we're not sure if Jenkins will ever be the same player he was coming into camp, but we know knee injuries like the one he had take a while to recover so he may need another off season to recover.

If Jenkins can be that same player, then our defense will become so much better.

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People do that all the time. You as a coach evolve, schemes evolve. You're not locked into whatever scheme you come up in. I mean, it's not completely foreign, a variation of a 3-4 is still a 3-4. I'm pretty sure he can coach it.

But even before Haslett got here, Shanny watched the league and was sold on Haslett's version of the 3-4. So it's as much Shanahan as it is Haslett.

Are you sure about that bolded part?

This.

I'm a big Shanahan fan and I love where we are headed, but he's pretty responsible for the defense because it is making Hazlett seem like he's awful when it's really just Shanahan putting him the position to fail. The scheme, plus the cap penalties, really ****ed us over.

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Houston runs a 3-4 like we do. So....I don't get this.

Well there is no chance that Kerrigan will ever play DE in our 3-4, so the only way he'd ever have a chance to play like Watt would be if we were in a 4-3. Even if Kerrigan was in Houston he's probably slightly to small to play DE even if he bulked up and Watt in DC would probably have been told to lose some pounds to play OLB. Anyway, not many guys on the DL block that many passes and not many block and return them for TD's like Kerrigan either, and they both can get to the QB as well. Houston's scheme seems to take advantage of that a lot more though.

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This.

I'm a big Shanahan fan and I love where we are headed, but he's pretty responsible for the defense because it is making Hazlett seem like he's awful when it's really just Shanahan putting him the position to fail. The scheme, plus the cap penalties, really ****ed us over.

Wait, so who exactly are you agreeing with?

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This.

I'm a big Shanahan fan and I love where we are headed, but he's pretty responsible for the defense because it is making Hazlett seem like he's awful when it's really just Shanahan putting him the position to fail. The scheme, plus the cap penalties, really ****ed us over.

This is bull.

Jim Haslett has been in the NFL for damn near 20 years. In 2011, we spent our first two draft picks on defensive players in Ryan Kerrigan and Jarvis Jenkins. We signed O.J Atogwe, a guy whom we only really signed because he was familiar with Jim Haslett. We signed Barry Cofield, we signed Stephen Bowen, we signed Josh Wilson, we have drafted 9 defensive players in the three years he's been here, we signed Merriweather. We traded for Carriker! Carriker, a guy who was drafted by---guess who---Jim Haslett when he was the St. Louis Rams.

Shanahan is not putting Haslett in a position to fail. The fact is Shanahan gave Haslett a chance when the only job he could get was as a head coach in the UFL. If Shanahan made a mistake, it was in hiring Jim Haslett when their were better options available.

It's not the scheme. Jim has had three-frakking-years, plus experience with the Steelers, PLUS twenty years of coaching behind him to know how to make a 3-4 work, and we've spent a lot more money and draft picks trying to give Haslett as many tools as possible to succeed. Haslett does a crappy job of preparing our players throughout the week, and then on Sunday's, his scheme is completely devoid of anything resembling creativity, and he sucks at adjusting, and he sucks at putting his talent in a position to succeed.

Haslett sucks. Period. We could have Reggie White on our defense and Haslett would still suck eggs.

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I just saw a quick 25 second clip of the Cushing injury and it appeared extremely dirty to me. Anyone have any insight on this? Also, Kerrigan is a beast. Look at what he did in week 1 against the giants his rookie year? We knew what he's capable of but it's good to see others taking notice.

The hit on Cushing was absolutely dirty. OG Slauson put his helmet right into the knee

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This.

I'm a big Shanahan fan and I love where we are headed, but he's pretty responsible for the defense because it is making Hazlett seem like he's awful when it's really just Shanahan putting him the position to fail. The scheme, plus the cap penalties, really ****ed us over.

Dude, I agree with you about 90% of the time, but I think you're a little off on this one.

In one respect, Shanahan is to blame for the D because he's the HC and has final say on player personnel. And he selected Haz.

However, He's not putting Jim H. in a position to fail. He hand selected him to come be the DC. They have spent some high draft picks on defensive players. And they have brought in some FAs. Some of which are pretty good.

But JH is not getting the job done on the coaching side right now. When a team like the bengals comes out, knows what your defensive check is going to be, and knows how to beat it, you've totally failed as a DC. That's the most obvious example. But teams know how to attack the defense. That's on Haz as much as it's on Shanny.

I really hope that they get a real proven DC in here next year. I'm hoping for a complete and total Jets flop and Rex Ryan come in as DC. All the Ryan boys are great DCs and terrible HCs. The D would be extremely well coached. And I'm willing to put up with a loud mouth coordinator for it. (It's not going to happen. I get it. But it's my hope.)

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The difference between Watt and Kerrigan is not as big as people are making it out to be (It's a big difference but people are acting Kerrigan isn't a stud rusher in his own right)

Scheme

Supporting cast

Coaching

Kerrigan IS the only guy on our team rushing the passer on a consistent basis. Yet he's top 15 in pressures. With a one-gap defensive scheme that forces the opposing OL to account for the down linemen on the rush, and/or more creative blitzing from whatever scheme we run, Kerrigan could easily be even more disruptive. Rak not being there doesn't help either.

Put this in perspective - Kerrigan already has 2 defensive scores in 21 games - Rod Woodson (all time leader) has 11 defensive scores in about 250 games.

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I love Ryan, but unless he develops more pass rushing moves he will never be able to touch a player like Watt because Watt is bigger and quicker.

As far as our defense.. it is Shanahahan's fault that its been bad the last three years because it was never built for the 3-4. We STILLL dont have a dominant NT which is the most important position in a 3-4.

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People do that all the time. You as a coach evolve, schemes evolve. You're not locked into whatever scheme you come up in. I mean, it's not completely foreign, a variation of a 3-4 is still a 3-4. I'm pretty sure he can coach it.

But even before Haslett got here, Shanny watched the league and was sold on Haslett's version of the 3-4. So it's as much Shanahan as it is Haslett.

This.

I'm a big Shanahan fan and I love where we are headed, but he's pretty responsible for the defense because it is making Hazlett seem like he's awful when it's really just Shanahan putting him the position to fail. The scheme, plus the cap penalties, really ****ed us over.

Wait, so who exactly are you agreeing with?
Dude, I agree with you about 90% of the time, but I think you're a little off on this one.

In one respect, Shanahan is to blame for the D because he's the HC and has final say on player personnel. And he selected Haz.

However, He's not putting Jim H. in a position to fail. He hand selected him to come be the DC. They have spent some high draft picks on defensive players. And they have brought in some FAs. Some of which are pretty good.

But JH is not getting the job done on the coaching side right now. When a team like the bengals comes out, knows what your defensive check is going to be, and knows how to beat it, you've totally failed as a DC. That's the most obvious example. But teams know how to attack the defense. That's on Haz as much as it's on Shanny.

I really hope that they get a real proven DC in here next year. I'm hoping for a complete and total Jets flop and Rex Ryan come in as DC. All the Ryan boys are great DCs and terrible HCs. The D would be extremely well coached. And I'm willing to put up with a loud mouth coordinator for it. (It's not going to happen. I get it. But it's my hope.)

Wow, embarrassing.

Came home last night after a 15-hour day and hit an ambien and was waiting for it to kick in before I hit the sack. Apparently it hit way before I thought it did. I apologize.

What I was trying to say was that people overlook that Shanahan kind of square peg/round hole-d Haslett into definitely doing a 3-4 no matter what. And I mean *KIND OF*. Haslett is still doing a really terrible job, but Shanahan does have a role in that. I'd give it maybe 95% to 5% or 90% to 10%.

I don't see how Haslett stays beyond this year. I remember when Shanahan said that he staked his career on Beckman, and I didn't buy it for a second. The guy will say whatever puts his team in the best chance to win, and I think that sticking with Haslett for a contract extension is just as genuine as McNabb's extension or standing up for Cundiff a couple of weeks ago.

I love me some loud-mouth coordinators. As much as it disgusts me, I'd love to see Phillips or a recently-fired Ryan come on board. They're not bad people, though I did say the same about Williams, and they'll get us where we need to be.

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I love me some loud-mouth coordinators. As much as it disgusts me, I'd love to see Phillips or a recently-fired Ryan come on board. They're not bad people, though I did say the same about Williams, and they'll get us where we need to be.

There is a decent chance Rex Ryan is going to be looking for employment next year - he would be a great hire as a DC here. Not a big fan of his personality or approach but he is a guy I would rather have coaching our defense than the team we are playing. I know the insiders are all saying that Morris is being looked at as an internal promotion and he may be a great DC but he is another guy with not much 3-4 experience while Rex Ryan IS a great 3-4 DC who would bring a lot of creativity and an attacking mentality to this defense.

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Not sure how this morphed into the Watt vs. Kerrigan thread.

I honestly think it is hard to compare different players head-to-head when they are in different situations. You have to take into account things like scheme and the quality of the people around the player too.

I also think it is a bit soon to declare winners among guys still in their sophomore season. Time will tell who has the better career.

I like Kerrigan a lot personally, and I think he is the perfect compliment to Orakpo on the other end in our 3-4. Without Orakpo, Kerrigan will really have to step up as he is so obviously the main threat as a rush linebacker. He is getting a lot of attention out there, but he is still making plays.

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I love Ryan, but unless he develops more pass rushing moves he will never be able to touch a player like Watt because Watt is bigger and quicker.

No no, this is about Ryan Kerrigan, not Brian Orakpo.

Or are we now criticizing Kerrigan too, because Orakpo is injured?

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