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BillyCarpenter1 08-18-2003 11:01 AM

Defensive Anwsers/Questions
One of my biggest concerns about this year's defense was the defensive line. More specificially the defensive tackle position. While I'm not ready to say these positions are going to be dominate, I do feel much better. Not only do I think this is going to be a strong unit, but if someone goes down with an injury, we have enough depth that we won't lose much production.

Linebacker was also a big area for concern going into this season. Looking at the 2-preseson games, this is still a major concerns in my mind. I do believe we have ugraded the position over last year with Derick Rodgers but Orlando Ruff hasn't shown me much. Darrin Smith looked good against the Jets, but I still have major questions on his abilty to be the answer for 16-games.

Cornerback was another major area of concern and the corners so far have not been able to stop anything. Ambrose has answered one question though, he's not the answer to our cornerback worries. We have yet to see Dale Carter and I only hope he's as good as advertised. I will say this about the play of our cornerbacks. In both preseason games they have played without the benefit of any pass rush because of the vanilla defense that we have used and I think they will be better once the regular season starts.

Mel Mitchell and Tebucky Jones may not have answered many questions so far, but I like both players very much and I think this is the least area of concern.

Preseason doesn't mean much but this is how I see it so far. Once the game starts in Seattle all the speculation will be over and we will see, but right now I think the defense is much improved over last year.

WhoDat 08-18-2003 04:22 PM

Defensive Anwsers/Questions
Let me tell you what I\'ve seen -

The DTs seem to be more talented, but that hasn\'t translated into much production on the field yet.

Rodgers is a major upgrade, but otherwise our linebackers don\'t seem to be any better than last year.

Billy is right about our cornerbacks. So far they look pretty bad. Hopefully the addition of Carter and a pass rush (if there is one) emds up making this group average. Honestly, I wouldn\'t be surprised to see Craver crack the starting lineup by year end. He doesn\'t have Thomas\' or Ambrose\'s experience, but he\'s bigger, faster, and stronger - so why not give him the experience he needs? He\'s not going to be any worse than those two and unlike them he\'s on his way up, not down.

So far I think our safeties, right now today, are worse. I have not been at all impressed by either Mitchell or Tebucky, and I personally miss Knight already.

I also agree with Billy that it\'s just preseason and we won\'t really know until the season starts. However, as of right now, I don\'t think our defense is much improved. We allowed two starting QBs to go something like 13-13 for 150 yards and a score in two quarters of play in preseason weeks 1 and 2. We\'ll have to wait and see, but if things don\'t change this new look D will not look very new to me.

nocloning 08-18-2003 04:53 PM

Defensive Anwsers/Questions
Here\'s another doubter (surprise).
It\'s only preseason blabla - alright, I know. But I haven\'t really seen anything that makes me believe the defenset will be vastly improved. The two people I\'m willing to give the benefit of the doubt are Mitchell and Jones. They both looked terrible at times (TBuc more so), but let\'s hope they just need time to get comfortable with each other and the system.
At CB we need a season-long healthy Carter, otherwise it will get ugly. Ambrose is a disappointment, he\'ll be a weak spot even as nickle back.
LBs - Rogers was a nice late pickup, the other two positions will be sub-par. I need to see more of Ruff before I give up on him. Still want to see a run stopper at MLB.
DEs - can\'t really tell, probably marginally better than last year with one more year of experience.
DTs - looked terrible against Philly, looked quite good against the Jets. But the Jets have a weak offensive line. And how will Grady play in the fourth quarter? Sullivan or Smith lining up at his side need to win individual battles. Can they do that against quality linemen? I simply don\'t know, but doubts remain.
On the plus side we have the most imaginative coordinator in the league.

Overall they will probably be marginally better, but so far a defense ranked 15th or better would be a pleasant surprise for me.

lumm0x 08-18-2003 05:34 PM

Defensive Anwsers/Questions

On the plus side we have the most imaginative coordinator in the league.
Is this a compliment or an insult? Where do you get this from?

osama_bin_ditka 08-19-2003 12:27 AM

Defensive Anwsers/Questions
Id like to know where the hell our #1 draft pick is at during the games? I never heard his name mentioned in the game vs. the Eagles and to be honest I dont remember him vs the Jets...did he play?

SaintNik 08-19-2003 01:02 AM

Defensive Anwsers/Questions
Yes! He spends most of his time playing count the eleven million dollar signing bonus. Watch the games a bit closer. He has been in on more snaps at DT than any other player as the coaching staff is trying to get him as much experience as fast as possible.

osama_bin_ditka 08-19-2003 01:08 AM

Defensive Anwsers/Questions
just because hes been on the field dosent mean that hes been making any plays or tackles

lumm0x 08-19-2003 08:46 AM

Defensive Anwsers/Questions
The fact that the score sheet doesn\'t show him as making tackles means.....he isn\'t making tackles. Without eyeing him solely on film it would be hard to see if he is indeed making plays. Alot of times, the work of one makes a play possible for another. This may be the case. The simple fact that Haslett kinda glossed over his achievements in the game by saying he is showing the signs of strength and speed they say in his college play, generally says that they have little to be impressed with yet.
Sullivan may well be filling gaps or penetrating to the pocket yet have nothing to statistically show for it. DT should be one of the easiest positions to slide into as a rookie since the positional learning is minimal. His athleticism should allow his production to escalate once he gets over the rookie jitters. I heard he was hyperventalating before the Eagles game?

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