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All things defense


ThomasRoane
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9 hours ago, CousinsCowgirl84 said:

It doesn’t seem like in the first half the defense was all that bad when you consider they were on the field for basically 20 minutes straight because of our offenses woeful 3 and out **** fest to start the game. Third quarter was a bad quarter for them so maybe the “adjustments” they made didn’t go well with the adjustment the giants made, but in the clutch it seems like they were able to perform and get bale the offense out after a nasty turnover deep in our own territory. 
 

Defense has got room to improve and I’m sure it will, but it wasn’t necessarily as bad as I thought it was watching the game.

Didn't this vaunted defense give up a TD in each game on their opponent's opening drive? It's way more than TOP, which by the way, they are also largely culpable. 

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If we are going to beat Buffalo, the D really needs to step up. The secondary needs  to (1) not give up any big  plays and (2) get at least one int. The linebackers need to be solid against the run and good in pass defense. The D-line needs the edge rushers to (1) get a couple of sacks and a forced fumble and (2) contain. The DTs -- I'm not worried about. These are all straight forward and doable goals that the talent on this team should be able to manage. Just do it.

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6 minutes ago, ODU AGGIE said:

If we are going to beat Buffalo, the D really needs to step up. The secondary needs  to (1) not give up any big  plays and (2) get at least one int. The linebackers need to be solid against the run and good in pass defense. The D-line needs the edge rushers to (1) get a couple of sacks and a forced fumble and (2) contain. The DTs -- I'm not worried about. These are all straight forward and doable goals that the talent on this team should be able to manage. Just do it.


I actually partially disagree. I live in Bills Country. Their defense is good but not great. We can score on them. 
 

But it would be an ugly, high scoring game if the D doesn’t step up.

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15 hours ago, kingdaddy said:

I don't even know if this is really possible but is Chase the kind of player we can move inside to take advantage of a weak link? Can he play defensive tackle or is he too small? Maybe just on passing downs? I'd like to see him moved around so defenses can't plan on where he'll be...the NYG used to do this with Lawrence Taylor and the Eagles did so with Reggie White. If the offense doesn't know where Chase is gonna line up that's got to give them some cause for pause. 

I also am going way out of the box here and want to see Reeves play with Curl. I like Reeves and think we need to put him on the field...every time I've seen Reeves play he has done well.

 

It really is more on the back 7 than the front 4.  Ball is coming out so fast that the 4 guys up front can't get a shot.  It's gotta be frustrating for them.  

 

I like Reeves but really I think McCain has earned a shot to pair with Curl.  If he can't get it done bring in Forrest from IR for the Falcon's game.  

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13 hours ago, skinny21 said:

Philosophically, I think we can agree that Del Rio doesn’t want to run a vanilla scheme. 

 

I think Del Rio had a few goals/thoughts this offseason.  He thought his front 4 would bring adequate pressure (but liked Collins as an additional blitzer).  He wanted to incorporate more man coverage (press in particular) to help the front 4 get home/wreak havoc, maybe in part as a response to watching Brady pick apart our zone D.  He wanted an improved LB group.  He wanted to see the the D improve vs the run.

 

I could be way wrong, but IMO all of this - including the personnel changes trying to address those areas - have made Del Rio his own worst enemy.  It seems like he might be caught between man and zone, 1 gapping and 2 gapping, stacking the line vs dropping extra in coverage, etc.  If I happen to be right, it makes sense that the entire D is suffering - assignment issues, communication problems, coverage problems, questionable DL play, etc.  Fits that he’s keeping a vet LB in over Davis, that he’s experimenting with a 5 man front, and so on.

 

Maybe I’m way off base though…

 

 

 

Really good analysis.  I agree with you about JDR.  He wants to be aggressive but he probably feels like the guys he has can't be trusted with anything complicated (especially his "superstars") so he has to simplify. And even then, a few players decide to "do their own thing" and that's holding them back.  I'd imagine there may have been a few things thrown around in the film room.  Definitely a lot of F bombs.  It's inexcusable for Collins and Chase to get off script and hurt the defense.  They may mean well.  But they're causing more problems.  If they were making big plays then their sins would be forgiven.  But they're not.  It's like a coach watching a player in basketball lining up a three at the wrong moment.  If the player makes it then the coach will forgive that player.  If not? ...  que the buzzer.

 

Good write up.  I think this fanbase has some of the smartest fans in the league.  Even posters like @Renegade7 and @mistertim whom I spar with regularly are people I respect.  We're all snarky, irreverent, and sarcastic of course.  But I'm really impressed with the knowledge or the willingness to learn that this fanbase has.  Hell, after over 30 years of coaching I can honestly tell you that anyone who says they have everything figured out is a damn fool.  We're all having to learn new things and have to challenge our mental capacity.   Hence the reason that even an NFL draft will draw more viewers than an NBA playoff game! 

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10 minutes ago, ThomasRoane said:

 

Really good analysis.  I agree with you about JDR.  He wants to be aggressive but he probably feels like the guys he has can't be trusted with anything complicated (especially his "superstars") so he has to simplify. And even then, a few players decide to "do their own thing" and that's holding them back.  I'd imagine there may have been a few things thrown around in the film room.  Definitely a lot of F bombs.  It's inexcusable for Collins and Chase to get off script and hurt the defense.  They may mean well.  But they're causing more problems.  If they were making big plays then their sins would be forgiven.  But they're not.  It's like a coach watching a player in basketball lining up a three at the wrong moment.  If the player makes it then the coach will forgive that player.  If not? ...  que the buzzer.

 

Good write up.  I think this fanbase has some of the smartest fans in the league.  Even posters like @Renegade7 and @mistertim whom I spar with regularly are people I respect.  We're all snarky, irreverent, and sarcastic of course.  But I'm really impressed with the knowledge or the willingness to learn that this fanbase has.  Hell, after over 30 years of coaching I can honestly tell you that anyone who says they have everything figured out is a damn fool.  We're all having to learn new things and have to challenge our mental capacity.   Hence the reason that even an NFL draft will draw more viewers than an NBA playoff game! 

Nice post, and thanks for the kind words :)

 

I didn’t get into many specifics in my thoughts above, but some that stand out for me:

Fuller is struggling playing man vs slot receivers

Davis still has growing to do

Bostic understands the D and how to play the position more than Davis, but is far more limited

I wonder how often our DEs are having to play contain

We faced two qbs that are good at picking up yards with their legs.  Two good receiving groups too and fairly dangerous backs. 

St Juste has further to go to play zone ably and switching between man/zone has increased his learning curve

WJIII is better served playing man

McCain (and WJIII) is new to the D and is having to get accustomed to playing both man and zone coverage

Curl is new to the FS position and now is playing as many as 3 different positions at times

Collins and Bostic are struggling in man (not that they’re much better in zone)

Holcomb and Bostic aren’t thumpers/stack and shed backers - so do you 2 gap the dline to try to keep the LBs clean, or try to penetrate more and hope your backers can clean things up?

 

Added to all of that (I could be wrong on plenty and am probably missing many others), this D was going against our offense all summer.  They got a lot of turnovers off our qb inaccuracies, I’m sure our DEs were beating our tackles regularly, and so on.  Maybe not a great barometer and Del Rio is left trying to solve the puzzle on the fly.

On the bright side, I think some of the above can work itself out through the players gaining experience, adjustments by Del Rio, and he’ll likely be better able to put in disguises and wrinkles as the season goes on.  Going to be interesting to see where things go.

  

 

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Last year finally felt like the defense was on a string/connected with good team speed that forced QBs to throw in tight windows much more than in years past. 
 

My level of expectations for defense in general continues to decline with how the game is played today and rule changes, but consistently being in position to contest passes and stopping the run are critical. Washington isn’t making the opponent work for much or disrupting any timing or rhythm. 
 

Steelers got nearly 400 yards passing put up on them. Just how the game is these days. Not say that defenses can no longer dominate stretches or games, especially against inferior competition, but there will be 4-8 games that are shoot outs, even for the “top 5” in the league. 

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What's funny is after years of cursing the 3-4, this front seven's ideal scheme might actually be a 3-4. Young and Sweat at Edge. Davis and Holcomb at ILB. Payne, Allen, Ion at DL. We'd maximize our talent a lot more.

 

I'm not saying we should go back to it, its just something to think about.

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Our entire DL grades out pretty good on PFF and our secondary is atrocious. A bunch of players that are in the 40s and 50s. There's something schematically wrong going on with that unit right now and my theory is that buffalo nickel crap we are doing at safety is confusing the entire secondary. 

 

You can't trust Collins back there at safety, big plays just seem to happen around him all the time and it isn't a coincidence. 

Edited by Burgundy Yoda
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Thank you for this topic, it's great reading for those of us that aren't as knowledgeable about the game.

 

I did notice on Thursday night that the one time (the only one I can remember) we actually blitzed it was a sack for good yardage. I was expecting more for the rest of the game but don't remember any. Or else they didn't get home.

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There are several defenses who are supposed to be amongst the best in the league who are not playing well to start the season: WFT, TB, Steelers, KC, Cleve, Tenn....that's not an excuse but maybe some of these teams are still figuring out what they have? For us we have two rookies starting and a safety coming off an injury. Hopefully the growing pains of Davis and St. Juste will pay off moving forward. Maybe JDR is not blitzing as much just to protect the rookies? 

Let's hope we bring pressure to Josh Allen this week...we need to get off the field and force some turnovers.

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26 minutes ago, Warhead36 said:

What's funny is after years of cursing the 3-4, this front seven's ideal scheme might actually be a 3-4. Young and Sweat at Edge. Davis and Holcomb at ILB. Payne, Allen, Ion at DL. We'd maximize our talent a lot more.

 

I'm not saying we should go back to it, its just something to think about.

 

Forgive my ignorance, but how would we get Payne/Allen/Ion/Settle on the field if there's only one spot for them?

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49 minutes ago, NewCliche21 said:

 

Forgive my ignorance, but how would we get Payne/Allen/Ion/Settle on the field if there's only one spot for them?

I think he's suggesting we use sweat and chase as outside linebackers in the 3/4.

That would put those 4 players in a 3 position rotation on the defensive line.

Montez is so fast and athletic that maybe he could grow into a role that requires covering backs and tight ends but I'm not as confident that chase would.

 

Maybe not a crazy idea but I'm not an x's and o's guy so I have no idea.

 

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1 hour ago, Burgundy Yoda said:

Our entire DL grades out pretty good on PFF and our secondary is atrocious. A bunch of players that are in the 40s and 50s. There's something schematically wrong going on with that unit right now and my theory is that buffalo nickel crap we are doing at safety is confusing the entire secondary. 

 

You can't trust Collins back there at safety, big plays just seem to happen around him all the time and it isn't a coincidence. 

I said before that I think there is a disconnect between what the staff wants to do in terms of coverage. All offseason long we heard Del Rio talk about wanting to play more physical press man and that is validated by the signing of WJ3 and the drafting of St. Juste. But then I see us constantly reverting to zone for every big play which is why we keep giving up huge 3rd downs(but tend to be okay on most 1st/2nd downs). So who is deciding to switch to soft zones on 3rd downs?

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30 minutes ago, Malapropismic Depository said:

 

 

Key word in that, is Cosmi's RUN-block grade ;)

 

Didn't Sip post something about how he gave up zero pressures?

I know that's debatable based on what they consider a pressure but even if you fault cosmi for a few of them the combination of that excellent run block grade and a couple pressures has to make you excited as a fan.

I mean what more can you expect from a late second round rookie with 2 starts?

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1 minute ago, redskinss said:

Didn't Sip post something about how he gave up zero pressures?

I know that's debatable based on what they consider a pressure but even if you fault cosmi for a few of them the combination of that excellent run block grade and a couple pressures has to make you excited as a fan.

I mean what more can you expect from a late second round rookie with 2 starts?

 

I'm not faulting Cosmi. I'm faulting the decision to start him right away.

Also, it's not just the blocking that's a concern - it's the multiple penalties he's committed that have killed drives.

I'm not anti-Cosmi. I just think we may have been better off, slowly progressing him to Starter, while someone like Lucas mans that spot

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3 hours ago, Warhead36 said:

What's funny is after years of cursing the 3-4, this front seven's ideal scheme might actually be a 3-4. Young and Sweat at Edge. Davis and Holcomb at ILB. Payne, Allen, Ion at DL. We'd maximize our talent a lot more.

 

I'm not saying we should go back to it, its just something to think about.

The 5-1-5 we've been running utilizes that lineup. The only difference from your projection is that Jamin has been subbed out for an extra safety.

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27 minutes ago, IrepDC said:

The 5-1-5 we've been running utilizes that lineup. The only difference from your projection is that Jamin has been subbed out for an extra safety.

 

Personally, I don't want to see Davis come off the field at all.  We saw some hints of his 1st round athleticism in the giants game.  The sure tackle after a jerk route and then him just stonewalling Barkley.  That's all I need to see.  Keep him on the field.  Don't care if he occasionally has some brain cramps.  He'll figure it out.  He's an elite athlete and a defense can never get enough of those.  

4 hours ago, Skinsinparadise said:

 

 

 

Further proof that the back 7 are more of the problem than the front four.  

Edited by ThomasRoane
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41 minutes ago, Warhead36 said:

I said before that I think there is a disconnect between what the staff wants to do in terms of coverage. All offseason long we heard Del Rio talk about wanting to play more physical press man and that is validated by the signing of WJ3 and the drafting of St. Juste. But then I see us constantly reverting to zone for every big play which is why we keep giving up huge 3rd downs(but tend to be okay on most 1st/2nd downs). So who is deciding to switch to soft zones on 3rd downs?

I have to believe JDR is dealing with a trust issue and the back seven.  That ridiculous blown coverage and end-zone drop by Slayton is enough to keep any DC up at night.  Add Daniel Jones monster run and it's clear these guys are not in sync.  Those plays are back-breakers!

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