sabbath1981

4-3 Starting Lineup

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18 hours ago, KillBill26 said:

I was initially thinking we didn't have a WILL on the roster, but it looks like Holcomb is suited to play that role.  We may be looking to upgrade, but good to know we have someone who can be in the rotation.  Hopefully RR and JDR can coach him up, Cole definitely has the right attitude and work ethic.

 

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/cole-holcomb?id=3219484f-4c00-6318-dfc2-c03b54847fbe

 

Speedy run-and-chase linebacker with the eyes and instincts to diagnose and respond quickly, but lacking critical take-on skill at the point of attack. He has sideline-to-sideline range but he needs to play less reactively and with a more urgent play demeanor in attacking downhill. Holcomb's outstanding pro day numbers should push his draft value up the board as a three-down backup WILL linebacker and core special teamer.

 

 

 

To me, Reuben Foster (if healthy) is the ideal WILL on our roster. He's a super athletic playmaker type, which is more the WILL role generally. He probably could play MIKE but I don't think he'd be the ideal guy to have as the QB of the defense; he's never had those responsibilities before...I'd rather just have him out there flying around. He could play SAM but then he'd be more responsible for setting the edge vs runs, stacking and shedding, and would need to be more disciplined...none of which is his forte. 

 

29 minutes ago, HigSkin said:

 

 

Not positive why he'd need to put on 10-15 lbs. He's played with his hand in the dirt against OTs plenty at his current size. I mean, sure...perhaps another 10-15 lbs would make him closer to an "ideal" size for a LDE. I think Sweat would beat him out for that spot anyway. Really came on at the end of the season, and also a pretty damn good run defender (his PFF grade was higher than I expected...I think it was in the 70s). 

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34 minutes ago, stevemcqueen1 said:

 

The LBer play as a group was flat out bad, but SDH's play as an individual was decent.  Legitimately great in coverage no less, he got an 89.7 coverage grade from PFF this year which is just shy of elite. Problem is we only got 400 defensive snaps from him.  We played worse players ahead of him in Bostic and Holcomb.  I think he's a clear candidate to start and play a ton more snaps next season.  He's your WILL for next year, and he can probably play on the strong side too.

 

 

I'd agree that he is likely penciled as as an outside backer... And likely the WILL. Foster would be the SAM and Holcomb likely the MIKE. SDH is better in coverage, but that score doesn't make me feel better about him. He doesn't play downhill well, and as an outside edge defender that makes me nervous. I am hoping that the coaches were just so bad last year that they couldn't recognize talent and he's serviceable. But I have doubts.

 

I'm not going to be changing my mind as far as need at OLB being the highest of priorities. I think you need a solid player there to make this thing work. It's one of the more important position groups in a 4-3, in my opinion. Our coverage from the backers flat out has to be better. And I think that helps our defensive backs a ton.

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I'm hoping OLB Jordan Brailford makes the most of his chances if he gets them. He could be a sleeper for us on defense. He can play inside too. 

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2 minutes ago, Chump Bailey said:

I'm hoping OLB Jordan Brailford makes the most of his chances if he gets them. He could be a sleeper for us on defense. He can play inside too. 

 

Herein lies the issue at FS, CB AND LB. Heck, even TE. We have bodies. Guys who we think may be good. But they may not be. Very few bodies at any of those positions that we look at and say... "yup."

 

I don't like relying on sleepers to field a competent lineup. As depth/surprise guys that overtake a job? Hell yeah. I love that they get that chance. But to rely on them is the same as relying on Foster, Guice, Dunbar, Reed, Davis. 

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It's not going to take much to improve the defense drastically.  Edge is a need (really not sold on Kerrigan in run defense), but Chase Young fixes that.  CB is a need with Dunbar's injury history, Moreau is better in Zone than Man, and Outside than Inside.  Moreland is a wildcard.  So CB is a need.  Only real shot to fix that in 2020, is through Free Agency.  What about FS?  I'm not sure RIvera/Del Rio would want someone like Nicholson on the team.  Apke is an unknown.  That seems like a roll of the dice.

 

Given how often everybody is in Nickel.  Our likely most used defense makes positional issues between DE/SAM/etc a non-factor.  We have talent at IDL and Edge, we'll have great depth.  An embarrassment of riches isn't a bad thing to have.  What do we do about our Nickel D and our needing 3 starting CB's?

 

-We could sign Chris Harris and play him mostly Inside, with some occasional Outside work for the 20% of the time we're in Base 4-3.  That keeps Moreau on the Outside, and lets Moreland be depth for Dunbar and possibly surpass Moreau if he develops.  This seems like a solid route where every CB spot is average or much better.

-We could sign Bradberry or Byron Jones.  Put them Outside, and we'd have a good pairing with Dunbar.  Hopefully Moreland wins the Inside role, and Moreau is the backup for Dunbar, as we'll need someone decent there.

 

This safety free agent class is surprisingly high quality.  From a variety of price points, in order of probably most expensive to least:

- Justin Simmons, Anthony Harris, Demarious Randall, Adrian Phillips, Tre Boston, Karl Joseph, Eric Murray

 

I don't think it would take as much to noticeably improve/change the defense as we fear.  But it would have to involve Free Agency.  Which also means if we do that, we'd probably want to pay that premium to franchise Scherff, since we wouldn't get a 3rd Round Compensatory Pick for him walking, as any good CB we sign will cancel that out.

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of LB’s, I know many wanted Edmunds over Payne in the 2018 draft.  In hindsight, our defense probably looks a lot better with:

 

R Foster - Edmunds - SDH/Holcomb

Young - Allen - Ioannidis/Settle - Sweat

 

than what we currently have. 
 


Payne was still a good pick though. 

Edited by HTTRDynasty

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15 minutes ago, KDawg said:

 

Herein lies the issue at FS, CB AND LB. Heck, even TE. We have bodies. Guys who we think may be good. But they may not be. Very few bodies at any of those positions that we look at and say... "yup."

 

Yup.

 

15 minutes ago, KDawg said:

I don't like relying on sleepers to field a competent lineup.

 

Yup, and we shouldn't, unless we're focusing more on 2021 & 2022 as to when we'll be competing.  But given how crappy our division is, and that nobody has won the division in back to back years for 17 years (I think?).  it's not unreasonable to think 2020 could see us somehow in the playoffs.  If we were in the NFC West with San Fran and Seattle?  Nope, a surprising playoff appearance in 2020 would be out of the question.  But here in the NFC East, anything is possible.

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2 minutes ago, HTTRDynasty said:

Speaking of LB’s, I know many wanted Edmunds over Payne in the 2018 draft.  In hindsight, our defense probably looks a lot better with:

 

R Foster - Edmunds - SDH/Holcomb

Young - Allen - Ioannidis/Settle - Sweat

 

than what we currently have. 
 


Payne was still a good pick though. 

 

Payne is a very good player but we semi-blew it in that draft. We had a legit superstar sitting in our laps in James and we drafted for need over BPA. Edmunds was available too and he's been an excellent player as well, though not on the level of James. Oh well. 

 

@KDawgI've seen you put Foster at both SAM and MIKE as possibilities. Any particular reason you don't like him as a WILL? To me his instincts, speed, and playmaking makes it a good spot for him. 

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25 minutes ago, KDawg said:

 

Herein lies the issue at FS, CB AND LB. Heck, even TE. We have bodies. Guys who we think may be good. But they may not be. Very few bodies at any of those positions that we look at and say... "yup."

 

I don't like relying on sleepers to field a competent lineup. As depth/surprise guys that overtake a job? Hell yeah. I love that they get that chance. But to rely on them is the same as relying on Foster, Guice, Dunbar, Reed, Davis. 

 

 

But you could argue that puts us in about as good a position as you can be in.  A good number of positions can be upgraded, but are not gaping holes.  Young is a luxury.  If someone offers us a kings ransom, we can take it without saying we passed on something that kills our team.  

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1 minute ago, mistertim said:

 

Payne is a very good player but we semi-blew it in that draft. We had a legit superstar sitting in our laps in James and we drafted for need over BPA. Edmunds was available too and he's been an excellent player as well, though not on the level of James. Oh well. 

 

@KDawgI've seen you put Foster at both SAM and MIKE as possibilities. Any particular reason you don't like him as a WILL? To me his instincts, speed, and playmaking makes it a good spot for him. 

 

He could play SAM. He fits across the board.

 

But, he won't be in any of those places for a majority of the season. So it doesn't matter much :)

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I’d say our DL is more than set...add chase and it’s a wrap.  Finding lbs now becomes a champagne problem imo

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5 minutes ago, mistertim said:

 

Payne is a very good player but we semi-blew it in that draft. We had a legit superstar sitting in our laps in James and we drafted for need over BPA. Edmunds was available too and he's been an excellent player as well, though not on the level of James. Oh well. 


Yeah, I personally had it ranked:

James

Vea

Edmunds

Payne

 

They’ve all performed well so far in their NFL careers, but I definitely wish we had drafted James instead and avoided that Landon Collins contract. 

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1 minute ago, Stone Cold said:

I’d say our DL is more than set...add chase and it’s a wrap.  Finding lbs now becomes a champagne problem imo

 

I agree that our DL will be more than set, especially if we draft Chase. 

 

But I wouldn't downplay the need for good LBs for a 4-3. We have a couple guys who could be decent in their roles, but we still have holes to fill. When teams are killing us with TEs and slot guys because our LBs aren't very good in coverage we won't think it's a "champagne problem". 

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2 minutes ago, mistertim said:

 

I agree that our DL will be more than set, especially if we draft Chase. 

 

But I wouldn't downplay the need for good LBs for a 4-3. We have a couple guys who could be decent in their roles, but we still have holes to fill. When teams are killing us with TEs and slot guys because our LBs aren't very good in coverage we won't think it's a "champagne problem". 

perhaps.  I’m looking at the giants model that beat the pats.  A relentless front 4...which we will have, masks a ton of problems.  We have a dl that can win now in del Rios man up philosophy.  A front rotation of ion, Payne, Allen, settle with ends rotating of chase, sweat & Kerrigan is goin to be relentless.  I’d love to coach this def right now with what we have.  A real pro like del rio is gonna turn these guys into all stars.  I’m excited 

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1 hour ago, mistertim said:

 

Payne is a very good player but we semi-blew it in that draft. We had a legit superstar sitting in our laps in James and we drafted for need over BPA. Edmunds was available too and he's been an excellent player as well, though not on the level of James. Oh well.

 

Rumor has it, if it wasn't Payne, it would have been Edmunds, not James.  Let's also wait a little longer to evaluate the draft class.  As of right now, it's Edmunds > James/Payne.  Too early to tell, James has had 2 big injuries, is he injury prone?  We'll find out.  Is Payne going to be able to make plays with the new defensive scheme?  We'll find out.  I'd say both James (when healthy this year) and Payne have had subpar seasons given expectations.  Not sure what exactly is going on with the Chargers, but we know Manusky was not putting his Front 7 in positions to excel.

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12 minutes ago, Alcoholic Zebra said:

 

Rumor has it, if it wasn't Payne, it would have been Edmunds, not James.  Let's also wait a little longer to evaluate the draft class.  As of right now, it's Edmunds > James/Payne.  Too early to tell, James has had 2 big injuries, is he injury prone?  We'll find out.  Is Payne going to be able to make plays with the new defensive scheme?  We'll find out.  I'd say both James (when healthy this year) and Payne have had subpar seasons given expectations.  Not sure what exactly is going on with the Chargers, but we know Manusky was not putting his Front 7 in positions to excel.

 

I'd read that the big debate in the draft war room was between James and Payne. 

 

Either way, you simply can't overlook how damn good James was as a rookie. He was first team All-Pro. I'm not surprised that he hasn't immediately lit it up after coming back. He's played fine but I think they're easing him back in. I wouldn't put Edmunds or Payne on the same level as James. I'd say it's James >>> Edmunds > Payne.

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I have an unpopular theory.

 

D-line is going to be a problem next year. I think Young is going to be a superstar.

 

But I think the Young/Allen combo is actually going to be weir - especially with Payne and Sweat also in the mix. All these guys are big money stars. All are going to want the stats to justify the monster second contract. And you can't have a line of 4 guys whose only goal in life is to get upfield after the QB. Especially in a division with Elliot and Barkley.

 

I assume Del Rio is smart enough to know this.

 

But I see us rolling out this gold-plated D-line in pre-season and then trying to figure out in Week 4, why we are giving up 200 yards a game on the ground.

 

I really wish we had kept our powder dry on the Sweat pick in retrospect. He seems like someone bound to be an odd man out, and that high of a second round pick could easily have produced an 8-year starter on the offensive line or secondary.

 

 

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fact is, our linebackers may be suspect, but we have several of them who are going to be doing things they were not asked to do in previous defenses and they're going to be coached by two guys who were linebackers.  Right now, they're borderline blank slates

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5 minutes ago, Lombardi's_kid_brother said:

I assume Del Rio is smart enough to know this.

 

But I see us rolling out this gold-plated D-line in pre-season and then trying to figure out in Week 4, why we are giving up 200 yards a game on the ground

 

 

Well they were doing that darn well every game this season anyway.  If anything stood out to me watching the defense purely as a fan?  No Discipline.  That is where a guy like Jack Del Rio hopefully starts and Rivera eluded to it in his presser saying something along the lines, "If you play the way we coach you and you fail, that is on the coaches, but please, do not go out there and try to do your own thing"  That to me sums up that this nonsense is coming to an end and especially with both Rivera & Jack Del Rio being 1st year coaches looking to turn a franchise around, I imagine the leash for those kinds of things is going to be short.  Learn the scheme, study the scheme, play in the scheme.......or go play somewhere else. 

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2 minutes ago, NoCalMike said:

 

Well they were doing that darn well every game this season anyway.  If anything stood out to me watching the defense purely as a fan?  No Discipline.  That is where a guy like Jack Del Rio hopefully starts and Rivera eluded to it in his presser saying something along the lines, "If you play the way we coach you and you fail, that is on the coaches, but please, do not go out there and try to do your own thing"  That to me sums up that this nonsense is coming to an end and especially with both Rivera & Jack Del Rio being 1st year coaches looking to turn a franchise around, I imagine the leash for those kinds of things is going to be short.  Learn the scheme, study the scheme, play in the scheme.......or go play somewhere else. 

 

I think the go someplace else thing is going to have to be in play here. We are going to have something like seven big money edge rushers going into next season.  I don't quite see how that's going to work.

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11 minutes ago, Lombardi's_kid_brother said:

 

I think the go someplace else thing is going to have to be in play here. We are going to have something like seven big money edge rushers going into next season.  I don't quite see how that's going to work.

 

Well to be fair, it isn't even technically the offseason yet.  We don't know exactly for sure what players will be entering/exiting between now and Week 1.

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Posted (edited)
On 12/30/2019 at 11:36 AM, KDawg said:

 

One of the smart people can answer after my reply...

 

But typically:

 

RDE (vs. LT) is your best pass rusher.

LDE (vs. RT) is your best run stopper.

3-Tech - as to plug a gap, obviously, but a better pass rusher of the 2 DTs.

1-Tech - Nose Tackle type

MIKE - best downhill attacking linebacker. Can be good in coverage but it can work even if he's not great. 

SAM/WILL - Need to be versatile. Likely will come off the field in a lot of modern NFL sets (with our current set up, but ideally these are the guys who stay on the field in Nickel unless you have Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher). They are coverage responsible for a TE (SAM) or slot receiver (WILL, but this can be the FS or SS depending) in man , and hook to curl (or curl to flat in zone.

FS - Best pass defending safety.

SS - best run stopping safety that is ideally decent against TEs

 

EDIT: Ideally you want linebackers who can be sound at the point of attack and cover. The more of them you have the better you'll be. Foster (again, if he's healthy) will likely stay on the field in nickel situations to be one of the two inside guys. The other inside guy is a similar issue to the SAM/WILL issue.

 

And if Foster isn't healthy we're in a similar situation backer wise to this season.

 

nowadays you can't really say your best pass rusher needs to be up against the LT.  This used to be the case, but nowadays the best pass rusher can be lined up on either side of the line.   

 

I hate when teams tend stick with 4-3 or 3-4, which in the 3-4 is rarely the case anymore.  With all the passing, teams are in nickel most of the time and in base defense less than 20% of the time, in many cases.     The base defense for many 3-4, not all 3-4 teams, would be used when the opposing offense lines up an extra lineman.    I'd rather have a hybrid scheme.    

 

It's also nice to have interchangeable safeties for more disguised blitzes.   

 

Jack Del Rio has an excellent reputation and both times brought horrible defenses to top two defenses so I believe he should be able to do that in DC as well, especially if we draft Chase Young.  

Edited by SkinsFanMania

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1 hour ago, SkinsFanMania said:

It's also nice to have interchangeable safeties for more disguised blitzes.  

 

I mean, I would too, who wouldn't.  But finding two safeties with versatile overlapping skills is kind of hard.  Generally, the teams that use interchangeable safeties, play more Cover 2 schemes as that's more forgiving than playing Single High in Cover 1/3.

 

You can also have polar opposite safeties.  Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor had like no overlapping skillsets.  That's sort of more what we should be looking for.  Landon Collins is more in the Kam Chancellor mold, although he profiles as better in underzones, robber roles, etc.  But Landon Collins would be poorly used if we're trying to drop him into Single High to rotate the FS down to surprise the passing offense.

 

Landon Collins is someone, who while not being an interchangeable safety, he can "interchange" with a linebacker whose sent on a blitz, or he can blitz himself, or he can do normal strong safety-esque things.  That's still valuable.

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Posted (edited)

With all our returning front 7 at optimal weights and in optimal spots in a 4-3, does anyone care to quantify how much better Chase will make our front 7?  5% better, 10%, or

 

Someone good is going to have to sit to make him a full time player. My best guess is Kerrigan who if jettisoned also gives us some cap space.

 

Not long ago consensus here seemed to be that we had to draft a LT.  Now its Chase with little debate. Maybe a shrewd move is to trade down if someone offers a kings ransom if RR/JDR have figured out what seems to be a puzzle in that front 4.

Edited by RandyHolt

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