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Is this the best Defensive Front we've had in years?

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Cooley confirmed another example that I had been thinking about of not playing players to their strengths on his podcast this week.

 

Fabian Moreau went into 2017 draft as a projected first round pick and fell to the third because he tore his pec at his pro day. He received this sort of rating as a prospect because of his ability to play outside corner vs as a nickel corner. He's looked very mediocre as a nickel corner this year. As Cooley mentioned, Jacksonville was the first game they put him at his natural position of outside corner and Cooley mentioned he looked so much more comfortable and fantastic in the role. Moncrief and Westbrook, while not exactly worldbeaters, are not bums either.

 

I hope they continue to keep him on the outside despite Holsey and Danny Johnson being on IR. Stroman, with his short area punt return quickness and lack of deep speed and lower body strength, is probably a better fit at slot corner vs outside corner (where they have played him all year) anyway but I digress

 

Also kind of makes you even sadder regarding letting Fuller go. Dunbar and Moreau on the outside and Fuller in the slot would've been one of the best corner trios in the league next year. 

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3 minutes ago, method man said:

Cooley confirmed another example that I had been thinking about of not playing players to their strengths on his podcast this week.

 

Fabian Moreau went into 2017 draft as a projected first round pick and fell to the third because he tore his pec at his pro day. He received this sort of rating as a prospect because of his ability to play outside corner vs as a nickel corner. He's looked very mediocre as a nickel corner this year. As Cooley mentioned, Jacksonville was the first game they put him at his natural position of outside corner and Cooley mentioned he looked so much more comfortable and fantastic in the role. Moncrief and Westbrook, while not exactly worldbeaters, are not bums either.

 

I hope they continue to keep him on the outside despite Holsey and Danny Johnson being on IR. Stroman, with his short area punt return quickness and lack of deep speed and lower body strength, is probably a better fit at slot corner vs outside corner (where they have played him all year) anyway but I digress

 

Also kind of makes you even sadder regarding letting Fuller go. Dunbar and Moreau on the outside and Fuller in the slot would've been one of the best corner trios in the league next year. 

Im pretty sure the coaching staff was aware of the Moreau ability to play outside but at the beginning of the season I would say that Both Dunbar and Norman were ahead of him.  Thus letting Moreau play in the slot was the easy option to get him on the field as often as possible.  I dont see a problem with it at all and if I was aware of Moreau's skill set then Im pretty sure the coaches were too.  I do agree about Fuller though and overall were not in a bad spot with the corner position so long as Dunbar comes back next year recovered. 

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1 hour ago, NeverSurrender said:

Im pretty sure the coaching staff was aware of the Moreau ability to play outside but at the beginning of the season I would say that Both Dunbar and Norman were ahead of him.  Thus letting Moreau play in the slot was the easy option to get him on the field as often as possible.  I dont see a problem with it at all and if I was aware of Moreau's skill set then Im pretty sure the coaches were too.  I do agree about Fuller though and overall were not in a bad spot with the corner position so long as Dunbar comes back next year recovered. 

 

Ok. Sure but why did Moreau keep playing in the slot when Dunbar went down? Stroman was the guy that took the outside

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30 minutes ago, method man said:

 

Ok. Sure but why did Moreau keep playing in the slot when Dunbar went down? Stroman was the guy that took the outside

Moreau was playing pretty good in the slot earlier in the season so why move him... 

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6 hours ago, method man said:

 

Ok. Sure but why did Moreau keep playing in the slot when Dunbar went down? Stroman was the guy that took the outside

Good to read the info you posted.  Thanks for that. :)

 

5 hours ago, NeverSurrender said:

Moreau was playing pretty good in the slot earlier in the season so why move him... 

It’s probably also a matter of it not being a straightforward change - leverages, angles, etc, change.  Of course, I’m basing this partially off the notion that I’m pretty sure he practiced all offseason in the slot.  

 

 

I like Dunbar at corner, but I don’t love him.  I do think he and Moreau could be a solid duo though on the outside.  I like Stroman and Holsey battling for the slot position (Johnson too, but I’m not impressed as of yet).  Looking forward to seeing Alexander as a backup on the outside too.  

 

It’s a young group, but there’s potential.  I think adding a good edge rusher (as well as an ILB) would really complement the corners and interior pass rush.  

It’s a shame the offense is such a mess...

 

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10 hours ago, skinny21 said:

Good to read the info you posted.  Thanks for that. :)

 

It’s probably also a matter of it not being a straightforward change - leverages, angles, etc, change.  Of course, I’m basing this partially off the notion that I’m pretty sure he practiced all offseason in the slot.  

 

 

I like Dunbar at corner, but I don’t love him.  I do think he and Moreau could be a solid duo though on the outside.  I like Stroman and Holsey battling for the slot position (Johnson too, but I’m not impressed as of yet).  Looking forward to seeing Alexander as a backup on the outside too.  

 

It’s a young group, but there’s potential.  I think adding a good edge rusher (as well as an ILB) would really complement the corners and interior pass rush.  

It’s a shame the offense is such a mess...

 

Well said.  I like Dunbar because he has in interesting skill set and I love his mentality.  He was really playing good before that injury.  I have also heard that Alexander could develop into a very good corner.  

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1 hour ago, NeverSurrender said:

Well said.  I like Dunbar because he has in interesting skill set and I love his mentality.  He was really playing good before that injury.  I have also heard that Alexander could develop into a very good corner.  

 

Yep very high upside guy. The major red flag in Adonis's game is his lack of recovery speed with his 4.6 40

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Let a couple of sacks slip away again....

 

However, got to say I think I like watching this group of playing on the DL more than any other group on this team.

 

Love Jon Allen. Said in another thread, he's going to be the Trent Williams of this D.

 

The combination on Allen/Payne/Matt is outstanding.

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Allen/Payne are going to be an elite duo. I'm afraid Ion might be one of those guys who just gets hurt too much.

 

Now we need to address the ILBs with the same zeal and aggressiveness of the DL. Complete overhaul with youth, speed, and athleticism.

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Someone posted in another thread about Leonard Williams potentially being available for a second round pic. Led me to look up Jonathan Allen's stats to compare them, and I have to say, I didn't realize how good Allen's stats were this year. He had 61 tackes, 8 sacks, 11 TFL. He's 23 years old. And he's mean. And mature. He seems like the antithesis of the type of guy that would ever get complacent after getting a second contract. That's a ridiculous stat line and a great player. 

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This is the only group I like watching. Remove Preston and add someone like Von Miller, Watt or Mack and the line would be damn near elite.

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They played well but watching the playoffs I’m seein a number of defensive lineman on these teams that make just as many plays if not more as our young super stars. I love watching OUR guys but I hope they all step their games up the next few years. 

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3 hours ago, EasternNCbywayofNOVA said:

They played well but watching the playoffs I’m seein a number of defensive lineman on these teams that make just as many plays if not more as our young super stars. I love watching OUR guys but I hope they all step their games up the next few years. 

 

Picture how many sacks our guys would have if we were able to put up points and the other team had to pass. Or, if we had a pass rusher opposite Kerrigan. 


I was just looking at our team pass rushing stats. Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Allen, Payne and Ioannidis put up 37.5 sacks and the rest of the team put up 8.5 sacks. That is barely more than half a sack a game for anyone outside our primary DL rotation and starting outside linebackers. That means we had no depth at OLB, and either almost didn't blitz at all, or were terrible at blitzing when we did blitz. 


We need a better secondary so we aren't afraid to blitz, but we also need a better DC. With Payne and Allen and Ioannidis, those delayed A gap blitzes or an occasional double A gap blitz should be consistently available. I agree with Swearinger. Where was the aggression?

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On 1/7/2019 at 11:32 PM, Anselmheifer said:

 

I was just looking at our team pass rushing stats. Kerrigan, Preston Smith, Allen, Payne and Ioannidis put up 37.5 sacks and the rest of the team put up 8.5 sacks. That is barely more than half a sack a game for anyone outside our primary DL rotation and starting outside linebackers. That means we had no depth at OLB, and either almost didn't blitz at all, or were terrible at blitzing when we did blitz. 

 

So, maybe I'm wrong, but is that horribly unusual? What I see is that our top-5 pass rushers accounted for 80% of our sacks. It would surprise me if this isn't pretty typical. 

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On ‎1‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 7:09 PM, dyst said:

This is the only group I like watching. Remove Preston and add someone like Von Miller, Watt or Mack and the line would be damn near elite.

 

That's what I'd like to see.  Maybe we can draft someone elite.  Maybe not a DPOY type player, but at least someone who is a game changer on the edge.

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1 hour ago, TD_washingtonredskins said:

 

So, maybe I'm wrong, but is that horribly unusual? What I see is that our top-5 pass rushers accounted for 80% of our sacks. It would surprise me if this isn't pretty typical. 

I think the bigger deal is 1) that’s factoring in Smith with only 4 sacks, and 2) that 3 interior linemen got 20.5. 

 

Also strange - Anderson had 2, and McGee 1, so our back 7 had 5.5 total.  Even stranger - SDH - playing less than half the season, in a limited role, as a rookie - had more than anyone else in the back 7 with 1.5, lol.  

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43 minutes ago, skinny21 said:

I think the bigger deal is 1) that’s factoring in Smith with only 4 sacks, and 2) that 3 interior linemen got 20.5. 

 

Also strange - Anderson had 2, and McGee 1, so our back 7 had 5.5 total.  Even stranger - SDH - playing less than half the season, in a limited role, as a rookie - had more than anyone else in the back 7 with 1.5, lol.  

 

The lack of sacks from the back 7 is what I was referencing. Redskins had 5.5 sacks from the back 7. Eagles had 8.5. Bears had 13, Cleveland had 13. For every sack, there are probably, what, 2 or 3 pressures? We are missing out on generating a lot of pressure. 


And, yes, obviously replacing Smith with someone that could post double digit sacks would make a huge difference. 

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3 hours ago, Anselmheifer said:

 

The lack of sacks from the back 7 is what I was referencing. Redskins had 5.5 sacks from the back 7. Eagles had 8.5. Bears had 13, Cleveland had 13. For every sack, there are probably, what, 2 or 3 pressures? We are missing out on generating a lot of pressure. 


And, yes, obviously replacing Smith with someone that could post double digit sacks would make a huge difference. 

I looked for the blitz numbers on the year a while ago and couldn’t find them... but, over the first half of the year, the Eagles blitzed less than any other team.  As of of November, we weren’t top 10 or bottom 5 (in blitz %) but I don’t know beyond that. 

 

Outdated, but here’s an interesting article from last June.  Redskins mention at the bottom.  

 

https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-how-speed-to-apply-pressure-affects-overall-pass-rushing

 

Edited by skinny21

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23 minutes ago, skinny21 said:

I looked for the blitz numbers on the year a while ago and couldn’t find them... but, over the first half of the year, the Eagles blitzed less than any other team.  As of of November, we weren’t top 10 or bottom 5 (in blitz %) but I don’t know beyond that. 

 

Outdated, but here’s an interesting article from last June.  Redskins mention at the bottom.  

 

https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-how-speed-to-apply-pressure-affects-overall-pass-rushing

 


Number of blitzes probably isn't a great way to measure things. The kind of blitzes. The timing of blitzes. The success rate. What I'd like to see is the number of blitzes and the number of pressures off blitzes. Also, the reason the eagles don't blitz much is that they get so much pressure with their front 4. Cox and Brandon Graham both get way more pressures than you might think based on sack numbers, although Cox obviously racks up the sacks. 

 

My argument against Manusky may also be unfair. It might be that we don't get a lot of sacks and pressures off blitzes because we don't have the athletes to get there and we don't have the athletes to cover while we blitz. Looking at the Bears, Roquan Smith put up 5 sacks. Derwin James put up 3.5. We don't have those kinds of athletes in the back 7. Maybe once Reuben Foster starts playing, if that ever happens. 

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39 minutes ago, Anselmheifer said:


Number of blitzes probably isn't a great way to measure things. The kind of blitzes. The timing of blitzes. The success rate. What I'd like to see is the number of blitzes and the number of pressures off blitzes. Also, the reason the eagles don't blitz much is that they get so much pressure with their front 4. Cox and Brandon Graham both get way more pressures than you might think based on sack numbers, although Cox obviously racks up the sacks. 

 

My argument against Manusky may also be unfair. It might be that we don't get a lot of sacks and pressures off blitzes because we don't have the athletes to get there and we don't have the athletes to cover while we blitz. Looking at the Bears, Roquan Smith put up 5 sacks. Derwin James put up 3.5. We don't have those kinds of athletes in the back 7. Maybe once Reuben Foster starts playing, if that ever happens. 

Good point about the athletes.  BTW, I was reading an article earlier this season about the upcoming Falcons game.  Talked about how the way to stop Ryan is to get pressure only rushing 4, because he’s good against the blitz (and you’re taking someone off coverage duties).  We had just come off 7 sacks against the Giants rushing 4 mostly.  Obviously things didn’t work out.  I do think that plays into the idea that maybe our personnel was a far bigger issue than Manusky’s schemes.  Not trying to hammer that point, but when I consider that point, I always think of the missed tackles on Amari Cooper when we played the Cowboys the second time...  Hard to blame Manusky for those and they were game changing, backbreaking plays.  

 

Point being, I’m not so worried that Manusky might stick around, but regardless, I really want to add pieces to the D.  Safety in FA, a corner and a speed rusher type OLB in the draft.  How we swing that, plus G, Wr, and Qb?  I have no idea.  

Edited by skinny21
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10 minutes ago, skinny21 said:

 

 

Point being, I’m not so worried that Manusky might stick around, but regardless, I really want to add pieces to the D.  Safety in FA, a corner and a speed rusher type OLB in the draft.  How we swing that, plus G, Wr, and Qb?  I have no idea.  

 

I think keeping Manusky would be a bad move.

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10 hours ago, Vanguard said:

 

I think keeping Manusky would be a bad move.

I know, and it’s pretty much the consensus on here.  I’m not sold though one way or the other.  

 

We beefed up the dline and our run D improved.  Smith had issues setting the edge (he would play the outside shoulder of the tackle, but he’d allow a big gap between the tackle and guard), and Foster (et al) struggled to get to the outside, so we still had issues with chunk runs there.  

 

Our pass D was solid, even good in 2017.  Took a significant step back after ‘losing’ Breeland/Fuller.  

 

Our 3rd down D was far better in 2017 than this year.  

 

Defensive DVOA was 11th last year.  Didn’t find the results for 2018, but it dropped.

 

Our pass rush was good both years under Manusky.   

 

I think the above points speaks more to personnel issues/changes.  

 

None of that means I think Manusky is a good DC, but I think it’s apparent  we need better personnel.  He’s the easiest target though.  

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31 minutes ago, skinny21 said:

I know, and it’s pretty much the consensus on here.  I’m not sold though one way or the other.  

 

We beefed up the dline and our run D improved.  Smith had issues setting the edge (he would play the outside shoulder of the tackle, but he’d allow a big gap between the tackle and guard), and Foster (et al) struggled to get to the outside, so we still had issues with chunk runs there.  

 

Our pass D was solid, even good in 2017.  Took a significant step back after ‘losing’ Breeland/Fuller.  

 

Our 3rd down D was far better in 2017 than this year.  

 

Defensive DVOA was 11th last year.  Didn’t find the results for 2018, but it dropped.

 

Our pass rush was good both years under Manusky.   

 

I think the above points speaks more to personnel issues/changes.  

 

None of that means I think Manusky is a good DC, but I think it’s apparent  we need better personnel.  He’s the easiest target though.  

 

I think Manusky can field a competent defense that plays just below the level of its talent. He is not an upper echelon DC that can get an average unit to perform like a good one, or a good one to perform like a great one. 

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37 minutes ago, Anselmheifer said:

 

I think Manusky can field a competent defense that plays just below the level of its talent. He is not an upper echelon DC that can get an average unit to perform like a good one, or a good one to perform like a great one. 

I agree.  He doesn't seem to do any scheme modifications that attack offenses or allow for our deficiencies to be masked.

 

Overall the team rarely seems to have a productive backup player who can fill in and not miss much.  That is a drafting/FA acquisition problem and coaching problem; which speaks to us not getting much more production than what is already there.  

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