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Williams and Spagnuolo: Similar, yet different

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; After reading 11 billion artiles about Spags and Williams I'm noticing something I think is huge. They both employ agressive attack defenses that blitz a lot. But the main difference is timing. Spags comes from the Jimmy Johnson (RIP) coaching ...

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Old 01-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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Williams and Spagnuolo: Similar, yet different

After reading 11 billion artiles about Spags and Williams I'm noticing something I think is huge.

They both employ agressive attack defenses that blitz a lot. But the main difference is timing. Spags comes from the Jimmy Johnson (RIP) coaching tree and Jimmy Johnson was known for his timing of the blitz moreso than an abundant assortment of extravagant and often complicated blitz packages.

Gregg's blitzes became predictable. Predictable blitzes will get toasted by even mediocre QB's in this league, as we have seen the last few seasons.

I've heard several experts comment that JJ's blitzes weren't all that complicated, but his timing was flawless. His blitz instinct was second to none. He always caught the opposing QB off guard.

I'm hearing a lot of the same things about Spagnuolo and I think Sgagnuolo may bring that instinct with him.

At least thats my hope.
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
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The thing I'm the most happy about his defensive mentality is that he first and foremost tries to create pressure with just the front 4, and that has been a huge problem for the Saints.

Therefore, if he can improve the efficiency of the Saints' front 4 - be it with largely the guys they have already or by bringing in new guys who can do it better - I'll be ecstatic next season.


...oh, and bring in Karl Dunbar!
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
The thing I'm the most happy about his defensive mentality is that he first and foremost tries to create pressure with just the front 4, and that has been a huge problem for the Saints.

Therefore, if he can improve the efficiency of the Saints' front 4 - be it with largely the guys they have already or by bringing in new guys who can do it better - I'll be ecstatic next season.


...oh, and bring in Karl Dunbar!
I keep hearing that name pop up. I know very little about him. Is he really that good? It sure helps to have the front 4 he had in Minny. Hell, Rick Venturi could succeed with what Dunbar had to work with.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Danno View Post
It sure helps to have the front 4 he had in Minny. Hell, Rick Venturi could succeed with what Dunbar had to work with.
LOL..that's the truth. Must make life a lot easier with an all pro DE and at one point, 2 all pro DT's.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Danno View Post
I keep hearing that name pop up. I know very little about him. Is he really that good? It sure helps to have the front 4 he had in Minny. Hell, Rick Venturi could succeed with what Dunbar had to work with.

Well, he is a LSU graduate and he played for the Saints in 1993... doesn't that cover the important facts about him?!
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
Well, he is a LSU graduate and he played for the Saints in 1993... doesn't that cover the important facts about him?!
I'm sold.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:13 PM   #7
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Here is his wiki page: Karl Dunbar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Playing career

Dunbar played three seasons in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals. A second-team All-SEC defensive tackle as a senior at Louisiana State, Dunbar was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the eighth round, 209th overall, of the 1990 NFL Draft.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:15 PM   #8
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Oklahoma states' DL coach
Bears' DL coach
LSU's DL coach
Vikes' DL coach

That's pretty solid in my opinion...
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Danno View Post

I've heard several experts comment that JJ's blitzes weren't all that complicated, but his timing was flawless. His blitz instinct was second to none. He always caught the opposing QB off guard.

I'm hearing a lot of the same things about Spagnuolo and I think Sgagnuolo may bring that instinct with him.

At least thats my hope.
My hope, too. I grew up a Steelers Fan and really got into football in the early 90's with Dom Capers calling defensive plays for guys like Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd, and Rod Woodson.

Opposing offenses had to keep extra guys in to block all the time because they never knew when the blitz was coming. But since it DIDN'T come all the time, it was pretty tough to burn them on long pass-plays or even big runs.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:21 PM   #10
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This is kind of long, but it is his bio from the Vikes' site:

Traditionally a strength of the Vikings defense, the defensive lines of the past 5 seasons under Karl Dunbar have earned a place in team lore for being equally as tough against the run as they are at rushing the passer. The foundation of the Vikings defense has been recognized annually with All-Pros and Pro Bowlers.

One of the keys to a successful defense is stopping the run, and the Vikings have been very good at that over the past 5 seasons. They led the NFL in rushing defense from 2006-08, ranked 2nd in 2009 and 9th in 2010. The Vikings finished 8th in total defense in 2010, the 3rd year in a row finishing in the NFL’s top 10 after finishing 6th in both 2008 and 2009, marking the first time since 1992-94 that the Vikings ranked in the NFL’s top 10 for three-straight seasons.

Under Dunbar’s direction, the Vikings have had 3 different linemen, Pat Williams, Kevin Williams and Jared Allen, earn Pro Bowl honors. Kevin Williams and Allen were both named Associated Press All-Pros in 2009.

Dunbar’s tenure with the Vikings is his 2nd as a coach in the NFL after he worked as a defensive line coach for the Chicago Bears in 2004. An 8th-round draft choice by the Pittsburgh Steelers and legendary head coach Chuck Noll in 1990, Dunbar went on to play with New Orleans (1992-93) and Arizona (1994-95). He also spent a season each with Orlando and Rhein in the World League.

The Vikings defensive line flexed its muscle in 2009, leading the NFL in sacks with 48 and ranking #2 against the run. The Vikings allowed only 5 rushing TDs, tied for the best total in the NFL. The line benefitted from the emergence of DE Ray Edwards, who ranked 2nd on the team with 8.5 sacks and set a Vikings playoff record with 3.0 sacks against Dallas in the NFC Divisional Playoff win. Allen became only the 2nd player in NFL history, joining Hall of Famer Reggie White, to post at least 14.0 sacks in 3 straight seasons.

The 2008 Vikings became the 1st NFL club since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to rank #1 in rushing defense for 3 straight seasons. By acquiring Allen via trade, the standout DT tandem of Kevin Williams and Pat Williams became even more effective. The trio all earned Pro Bowl honors in 2008, the 1st trio of Vikings defensive linemen to be recognized since 1969 and the days of the Purple People Eaters.

The Vikings pass rush in 2008 was keyed by Allen’s 14.5 sacks, the most by a Viking since 1997. Kevin Williams tied for the sack lead among NFL DTs with 8.5, his best total since 2004. The benefit was seen in the Vikings total defense ranking #6 in the NFL, the highest mark for the club since the 1994 season.

In 2007, the Vikings held opponents to 1,185 yards on the ground, or an average of 74.1 yards per game. The Vikings’ tough interior was anchored by DTs Kevin Williams and Pat Williams, who both earned Pro Bowl honors for the 2nd-consecutive season. Kevin Williams notched his 4th career interception, setting a team record for the most career INTs by a defensive lineman.

The outstanding 2007 performance came on the heels of a record-setting 2006 season when the Vikings defense allowed just 985 rushing yards, or 61.6 yards per game. That total set a team record and ranked 2nd in the NFL since the 1970 merger behind only the Baltimore Ravens’ 970 yards allowed in 2000.

As the assistant head coach/defensive line coach in 2005 for his alma mater, LSU, Dunbar was reunited with head coach Les Miles, whom he worked under at Oklahoma State in 2002-03. The Tigers won the SEC West in 2005 and upset Miami in the Peach Bowl to end the season.

The 2005 season was Dunbar’s 2nd tour of duty at LSU, as he had previously worked with the Tigers’ strength and conditioning program in 2000-01. He returned to the Tigers in 2000 under head coach Nick Saban and helped kick-start the team to an 8-4 finish and a win in the Peach Bowl. The following season the squad went 10-3, won the SEC title for the 1st time since 1986 when Dunbar was a freshman defensive lineman, and won the Sugar Bowl. In 7 seasons as a player and coach with LSU, Dunbar helped amass a 60-24-1 record, win a pair of SEC titles and play in 6 bowl games.

During Dunbar’s 1st stint in the NFL with the Bears in 2004, he helped tutor a young and talented line that included rookie 1st-round pick Tommie Harris and 2nd-rounder Tank Johnson. Harris started all 16 games, the first Bears DT to accomplish the feat since 1975. The Bears’ ranked #2 in the NFL in total defense in 2005 and saw Harris earn a Pro Bowl berth.

Dunbar tutored Vikings’ All-Pro DT Kevin Williams at Oklahoma State during his senior season and helped him become the 1st OSU defensive lineman to be a 1st-round draft pick (9th in 2003) since Leslie O’Neal (8th in 1986).

A standout player at LSU, Dunbar was a starter for his final 3 seasons and earned 2nd-Team All-SEC acclaim as a senior in 1989. Dunbar was part of Tiger teams that won or shared a pair of SEC titles in 1986 and 1988, posted a 31-15-1 record and played in the Sugar, Gator and Hall of Fame bowls. As a senior in 1989, Dunbar was LSU’s co-captain with QB Tommy Hodson. He was also a linemate at LSU with former Vikings Pro Bowler Henry Thomas.

Dunbar (5/18/67) graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He and wife, Pamela, have 3 children – Karmichael MacKenzie II, Mickel Angelle and Nickolette Alyse.

From what I've heard on the Vikes' side of things... Dunbar didn't get along with Frazier and, therefore, wanted out and was given that opportunity.

He was brought in by Childress, and there might have been some bad blood between him and Frazier, who inherited Childress' job.

He is a Lousiana native, so he might be interested in coming back to the state.
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