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Explain it to me...

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; WhoDat, I got it. So what you\'re saying now is that you don\'t know how the defense is going to do? Which is what I\'ve said all along. I\'m glad we got that cleared up.......

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Old 08-27-2003, 08:34 PM   #21
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Explain it to me...

WhoDat,

I got it. So what you\'re saying now is that you don\'t know how the defense is going to do? Which is what I\'ve said all along. I\'m glad we got that cleared up....
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Old 08-28-2003, 06:55 AM   #22
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Explain it to me...

One note...
Tweeky, I could be wrong but...
you said \"Darren Howard, Charles Grant, Fred Thomas (near league minimum), Johnathan Sullivan, Cie Grant... Hardly moves that have blown up in our face.\"

Howard and Thomas were here BEFORE Haslett....

Oh, and Clemons led the team in tackles and sacks two years ago. ...
Clemons played great on a very bad defense. He didn\'t ask to go inside, the coaches put him there. Then they were too small to admit they f-ed up and got rid of him rather than moving him back out where he belongs!!!! Stupid!!
Thomas and Bellamy came over as free agents from Seattle in Haslett\'s 1st year, they were both back-ups. Randy Meuller brought them in.

I\'ll give you Clemons was much better outside than inside, and they probably shouldn\'t have moved him inside. So yeah, bad move. But to say every move has blown up in their face is a bit overboard.

By the way, I hope that moving Cie Grant into the middle doesn\'t have the same result that the Clemons move did.
Although he\'d be perfect on the inside in a 3-4 defense. Hmmmm!!!!
I\'m curious, does anyone else think they may be going to a 3-4 next year? Perhaps deal Howard for a 3-4 type DL. Grant, Sullivan, and another 3-4 type DL with Kenny Smith backing up all 3?
All we need is a Vaughn Johnson type MLB, and damn, we gots us a 3-4!
Just a little suspicious. I know its a bit out there, but it did cross my mind.

Whether we agree or disagree; its all for Him.
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Old 08-28-2003, 07:39 AM   #23
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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/ins...lcons_defense/



I\'ve said in the past that players make a great denfense not schemes and this article supports that. That\'s why I think the Saints defense will be better this year. We have much more talent on defense.



FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- If Wade Phillips\' memory serves him correctly, once upon a time in the NFL, 26 of the league\'s then 28 teams employed the 3-4 defensive scheme. That was 20 years ago, in the early 1980s, when he was the New Orleans Saints\' up-and-coming defensive coordinator on his father\'s coaching staff.

But in football as on Wall Street, fads fade, trends reverse and almost everything falls prey to cyclical forces. Maybe that\'s why Phillips all but shrugs at the notion that the 3-4 is making a bit of a comeback this season, with appropriately enough, three or four teams (depending on Baltimore\'s level of long-term commitment) planning to employ the 3-4 -- up from last year\'s lone practitioner, Pittsburgh.

Phillips, in his first season as Atlanta\'s defensive coordinator, is in the midst of turning the Falcons on to the wonders of using three linemen and four linebackers in their base defense. Tough selling job, considering that 30 of 31 NFL teams didn\'t see fit to field such a formation a year ago?


\"Not hardly,\" Phillips said last week, taking a timeout from the Falcons\' two-day minicamp, their last dress rehearsal before the July 25 opening of training camp. \"Because this team was at the bottom with the 4-3. They were looking for something new. Players take to it pretty easy in that situation.

\"Sure, there were a lot of teams playing the 4-3 in recent years. But a lot of them were losing with it, and this team was one of them. You\'ve got to look at that. Most of the teams that have played the 3-4 recently, like Pittsburgh and us in Buffalo, have done pretty well with it.\"

It\'s not that Phillips fancies himself the game\'s great apostle of the 3-4, preaching its virtues far and wide. It\'s just that he puts his faith in the numbers, and the numbers support it in Atlanta. Add them all up, he says, and the bottom line spells 3-4.

\"They were 31st in pass defense, 30th against average per rush, and 30th overall in defense,\" Phillips said of the 2001 Falcons. \"So there was a lot that needed improving. And then we have more linebackers who can play than we do linemen. And that\'s a factor. To play a four-man line, you don\'t have to have four guys. You really have to find seven guys who can play and rotate them.

\"Well we\'ve got eight or nine linebackers on this team right now who can play. So it just makes sense for us to go to the 3-4.\"

Categorize the Falcons\' switch to the 3-4 anyway you want -- desperation or inspiration on the behalf of head coach Dan Reeves -- it\'s hard to quibble with Phillips\' track record in turnaround situations. In his most recent two defensive coordinator jobs, Phillips made an immediate impact. In 1989, he took over a Broncos defense that had slumped badly the year before and had it ranked No. 1 in the AFC in fewest points allowed that season. By 1991, Denver\'s 3-4 defense led the conference in 12 different categories.

Reeves, who hired Phillips in Denver 13 years ago, would take a repeat of that scenario in a heartbeat. Phillips worked roughly the same magic in Buffalo in 1995, coaching a unit that wound up with an NFL-high 49 sacks. The Bills that season also boasted the league\'s defensive most valuable player, converted outside rush linebacker Bryce Paup, who led the NFL in sacks with 17 1/2. Named Buffalo\'s head coach in 1998, Phillips\' defense ranked sixth, first and third overall in his three seasons on the job.

But the Falcons aren\'t guaranteed the same type of success just because Phillips has arrived with his favorite scheme in tow. Schemes are fine. But it remains to be seen whether Phillips has the right pieces to make the 3-4 work.

\" What I\'ve learned is that the defensive scheme doesn\'t make as much difference as the personnel,\" he said. \"And once you get the personnel, what do you do with it? If you lose, it\'s usually because you don\'t have enough great players. I\'d like to think it\'s coaching and that I can do this or that. And I think coaching makes a difference. I wouldn\'t be in it if I thought you just sponsored them.

\"But good players make the biggest difference. We need to get some more good players, and then maybe have some guys who are here flourish in the new system. Those kind of things can happen. They have in the past.\"


He didn\'t say so, but I got the feeling that Phillips, like the rest of us, still has more questions than answers when it comes to how the Falcons will take to their new 3-4 look.

Can team sack leader Patrick Kerney switch from left end -- where he had a career-best 12 sacks in 2001 -- to rush linebacker without turning one of the Falcons\' strengths into a potential weakness? Is 275-pound right end Brady Smith big enough to handle the a role that will be more physically taxing than that of an edge rusher? And can the undersized Ed Jasper, who isn\'t the beefy, 320-pound nose tackle that some 3-4 proponents crave, hold his own in the middle?

\"You have to have speed in this defense, and I think we\'re quick enough,\" Phillips said. \"In this defense, you\'re more mobile. You\'ve got one more guy who\'s going to run to the football. But you\'re not as physical up front and that\'s what you worry about.\"

Despite the unknowns, Phillips possesses an easy confidence in his system, and it shows. He believes that the 3-4 will free up the athletic Kerney and blossoming inside linebacker Keith Brooking to chase the ball and make big plays. He points out that he has won with both bulk (Ted Washington) and lighter, more mobile players in the nose tackle slot (Greg Kragen, Pat Williams), and can make do with either style. And repeatedly he lauds the combination of smart, hard-working, high-character players that Reeves has assembled in Atlanta.

\"This is probably the smartest group I\'ve been around,\" Phillips said. \"So there\'s a lot you can do with them. Those type of guys, they\'re going to improve.\"

If they do, thereby reversing a three-year downward trend in terms of Atlanta\'s defense (8th in the Super Bowl season of 1998, 16th in 1999, 25th in 2000 and 30th last year), Phillips and his trusty 3-4 formation will no doubt receive much of the credit. Who knows, it may even spawn another even bigger wave of that retro trend called the 3-4.

\"We\'re all copycats in this league,\" said Phillips with a smile. \"There\'s nothing new in the NFL.\"

Don Banks covers pro football for CNNSI.com.


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Old 08-28-2003, 06:57 PM   #24
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Explain it to me...

One note...

Tweeky, I could be wrong but...

you said \"Darren Howard, Charles Grant, Fred Thomas (near league minimum), Johnathan Sullivan, Cie Grant... Hardly moves that have blown up in our face.\"

Howard and Thomas were here BEFORE Haslett.
Oh I was wrong, For the record, Haslett drafted Howard in his 1st draft as HC for us.
Both Howard and Thomas were Haz\'s boys
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