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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The 49'ers completed 22 or 25 passes last night. This is totally unacceptable but there are reasons why the secondary has looked poor during the preseason. Before I address the secondary let's look at the defense in general. One of ...

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Old 08-24-2003, 09:12 AM   #1
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The 49'ers completed 22 or 25 passes last night. This is totally unacceptable but there are reasons why the secondary has looked poor during the preseason.

Before I address the secondary let's look at the defense in general. One of the biggest areas of concern heading into this season was run defense.To me, the defense has played more to stop the run and hasn't concentrated on putting pressure on the QB.

Looking at all the preseason games the defense has not blitzed much and the linemen have just stayed in their run lanes to shut the run down, which they have done a fine job of.

Now, by having the defense play the run so much, they are allowing the QB time to wait for the receiver to come open. Give any NFL QB enough time and they will look like Joe Montana.

Also you have to factor in the fact that there are seven new starters on defense(most of em' in the secondary) and you would expect the secondary to be the weakest unit on the team.

Let's recap what we have here. We have a defense playing the run, allowing the QB an extraordinary amout of time to sit in the pocket and 7 new starters on defense in their 3rd preseason game together.

While there are no excuses for the poor play of the secondary last night, there are reasons why they have looked bad so far.

I guess it's possible they could continue to allow 22 of 25 passes to be completed but it's more likely they will continue to improve.

I know everyone get's tired of hearing about we're playing a vanilla defense but that's what we have done in all 3 preseaon games.

I do have big concerns about our cornerbacks but I also feel that they have been put in some bad situations during preseason.

Am I making excuses?

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Old 08-24-2003, 10:51 AM   #2
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I think you left out the main reason for some of our problems at corner and the most disturbing.Yes we are not scheming our defense, keeping it vanilla and forceing our lineman to just beat there men to generate a rush. Yes the linebackers and the safties are not helping in pass support much. Yes there is still confusion in the unit as a whole. But there are times when the game becomes a one on one battle, the corner has a clear cut responsibility of coverage on a man. At these times you either win that battle and stop the play or make one for a turnover or you get beat and it\'s a completion. We are getting just flat out beat often, not every time, but enough to be concerned. I hear reports of Ambroses\' good play but have seen little of it in preseason games.He has missed several picks in the last two games by failing to break on the ball after it is thrown despite being in good position to do so, or just dropping the ball once as well. His tackling has been poor and his recovery is slow. Fred Thomas made one nice third down cover and stop last night, but got roasted too many other times. In a goal line push for the niners they went right at him twice and he lost both times. The first time the ball was caught out of bounds the second he was just beat. A couple times his play could be excused on being out of position, I don\'t know whose responsibility was blown so no blame, but when he engages the reciver and the catch is made thats just him not doing his job. Some of our coverages were too soft and our corners could not react swiftly enough to the quick pass. This is not a scheming problem just our guy\'s lining up too far off the ball. The whole blame cannot be laid on one position or a few names,but certainly some could and should be doing there jobs better.
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Old 08-24-2003, 10:58 AM   #3
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saints5221- Agreed. I think we will be in trouble if we play man-to-man with our corners. But, very few teams have those type of corners. You\'re right though. They lost the battles individually more times than they should have.

I don\'t think they are as bad as they have looked in the preseason and I think they will be Ok once they get the \"real defense\" on the field. At least I hope so.
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:07 PM   #4
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Yes you are making excuses.

Our defense is playing vanilla - BUT SO ARE OTHER TEAM\'S OFFENSES. If our vanilla defense gets beat this bad by other vanilla offenses, and our ability to run our complex defensive schemes is hampered by the fact that we have so many new starters and young players, then how much worse will it be when teams start throwing all their shifts and motions and disguised plays at us? We are screwed.
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:13 PM   #5
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Dear saint5221:
Every quarterback in the NFL looks for single coverage. There aren\'t a whole lot of Deions and Champ Baileys out there. Like it or not, we\'ve only seen the base defense and while it would be nice to see Fred Thomas stop every pass, most QB\'s can complete passes against single man coverage. That\'s reality.
What else is reality is this: We\'ve haven\'t seen any zone dog blitzes, no robber defenses, nothing except base vanilla defense. When an opposing QB sees nothing but four down lineman rushing him, he\'s likely to be successful. He won\'t last long in the NFL if he isn\'t. \"BillyCarpenter1\" is correct...the Saints have decided to concentrate on stopping the run this preseason and why not? If your defense can\'t stop the other guys from rushing the ball, stopping the pass is irrelevant. Run defense is relatively straight forward, literally, and while it may be disconcerting to see the Saints\' pass defense look shoddy, pro football is a game of tendencies. The Saints have shown no tendencies on defense this preseason, including no tendency to stop the passing game. But I think you worry too much.
However, there is a certain cause for alarm. The Saints defense shut down SF\'s first drive. But following an almost eight minute drive by the offense, the defense (which should have been well-rested) looked sluggish and downright slow. They didn\'t react well and were less than the speedy unit we\'ve been expecting. Perhaps the defense became cocky after stopping Garcia and Co. so easily but after the 49ers next possession those thoughts should have gone by the wayside. For whatever reason, they either ran out of gas (not likely) or motivation (more likely). In my view, the only thing the Saints defense is lacking is a true leader. Until one emerges, they will continue to look somewhat ragtag and without direction. Someone needs to step up and lead by example. That means not missing tackles and questioning those who do. Bryan Cox was brought in last year to serve in that capacity. I see no one this year doing it. The Saints have no Warren Sapp or Brian Urlacher who not only does his job but expects others to do theirs and gets pissed when they don\'t. Hopefully someone will rise to the occasion. If not, the Saints run the risk of being a \"who\'s on first\" defense.
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Old 08-24-2003, 12:28 PM   #6
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I\'m going to side with WhoDat with his evaluation of our preseason defense. They look downright distgusting to watch. We are probably the only team in the NFL that hasn\'t schemed any blitzing our disguised coverage into our preseason. Many other teams have new starters and even run it with their reserves. Preseason is an evaluation time, and granted you don\'t always want to show your cards, but you want players to show their abilities. So far they have shown that they don\'t match up well one on one with anyone. We can\'t individually compete on defense.
Whether Venturi or Haslett think they are keeping it simple to not let opponents get a glimpse of our defense package, they are putting these seven new starters in a position to have never run our true defensive plan against an opponent until it matters most. Until then they can only say that we can\'t cover, we can\'t anticipate plays, we can\'t tackle and we can\'t generate a decent pass rush.
I\'m not too optimistic for Seattle at this point. I think we can score on them, but if they get a ball control offense established against us we may not get the chance to beat them. Our defense scares me alot right now and my lack of confidence in Venturi is at an all time high. I agree the Haslett needs to exert himself in this area fast.
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Old 08-24-2003, 01:48 PM   #7
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All this off-season all i\'ve been hearing is how much better our defense is gonna be....i\'m still looking for the defense the coaches have been talking about. Can anyone tell me if the corner backs play soft in the preseason or is our defense still this bad. I hope not, i\'ve been looking forward to this season since that horrible day last december against carolina
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