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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; There has been some very good discussion regarding the connection between pass rush and the defensive backfield. The vast array of these discussions have focused on whether or not our backfield really does need help; it looks like there stats ...

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Old 06-10-2004, 03:34 PM   #1
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

There has been some very good discussion regarding the connection between pass rush and the defensive backfield. The vast array of these discussions have focused on whether or not our backfield really does need help; it looks like there stats are pretty solid given the number of passes thrown against them, and so on.

It is a relatively general view that there is a connection between the success of the defensive backfield and the pass rush, but isn't there also a connection between the success of the pass rush and the defensive backfield. Corners (shut down corners) and sometimes Safeties and Linebackers play a critical roll in forcing QBs to "check down" - thus, coverage sacks. This can happen very quickly - if a QB has to hesitate, then a End can get an extra second to get to him!

Thus, I was interested in thoughts on this symbiotic relationship. We're excited that our pass rush (which should be improved - though I hear scary things about Whitehead's health - with the additions of Will Smith) will benefit our secondary. Of course, that SHOULD happen, but without some improvement in our secondary, our pass rush could be asked to do too much (get to the QB, hurry the QB, and so on) with little help from the guys behind them! This could lead to the DL tiring more quickly. If our front four get too frustrated, then the secondary may look shaky again - espc with our lack of depth there.

Anyway, I just thought it might be fun to chew on this debate from a slightly different angle (apologies if someone has already made this point, but I thought it could get some time of its own).
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Old 06-10-2004, 07:16 PM   #2
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

Dome Patrol didn\'t have shut-down stud CB\'s. when you have a pass rush from hell all you need is average CB\'s... I think we have better than average CB\'s as it is, just not 2 capable shut down corners. I think as long as we add more pressure than last year we will create more turnovers, lesss our D will be on the field. But on the down side of it is that our offense is going to be high octane all the way so our D won\'t have much rest.
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Old 06-10-2004, 07:37 PM   #3
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

An interesting point Euphoria! I\'ll have to give it some consideration.

The Dome Patrol relied a lot on the use of blitzing linebackers with speed (Swilling most noteably) in a 3-4 package (which increase the number of options for blitzes and short-range pass coverage). Our 4-3 which relies more on our DL beating opposing linemen (to allow LBs to participate more frequently in \"reads\" and in pass defense) may require a bit more time to get to the QB (which would, in turn, require stronger CBs). What do you think? I\'m not sure what to say about the Dome Patrol - were they an annomally or do teams regularly have great pass rushes with average to below average CBs?

I am of the view that we have exactly average CBs (not that I don\'t love them - Freddie plays way above his size and speed!). Ambrose may be a better than average Nickle Back, but I think Craft is a question mark. Depth remains a conern.

Either way, my point here is this: while, perhaps, we don\'t need a better CB crew than we have, an improvement will make what promises to be a sick pass rush even sicker (kick azz!).

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 06-11-2004, 09:52 AM   #4
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

The dome patrol could also stop the run....IE Vaughan Johnson. We ended last year with 2 of our DB\'s, Jay Bellamy and Fred THomas respectively, leading the team in tackles. THis tells me that our D-Line and Linebackers are getting beat off the ball badly and can\'t tackle worth a flip.
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Old 06-11-2004, 02:57 PM   #5
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

I\'m a little concerned about this topic.

For starters, I agree with JKool about the relationship b/w DBs and Dline - btw, why you using such big words?

Most frustrating is the assumption that we will have a great pass rush - period. Was our pass rush that good last season? No. What did we add??? One rookie who is a specialist... but he\'s a rookie people. Who knows how effective Smith will be. Even if he helps a lot, we have three guys capable of getting after it - Howard, Grant, and Smith. Sully isn\'t a rusher. Young is classified as \'disruptive\', but... none of our linebackers are known for their ability to rush.

With the Dome patrol we could definitely stop the run. We don\'t know that this team can do that. Plus, at least six of the seven frontmen could get after the passer in the DP days - take your pick of players that came in and out: Wilks, Warren, Martin, Turnbull, Jackson, Swilling, Mills, Johnson, all of these guys were capable of creating pressure and getting sacks. Currently, the only guys we KNOW are capable of getting in the backfield are Grant and Howard.

Finally, teams can game-plan for pressure. How do you think we beat the Bucs? If teams know that they\'ll have 2-3 seconds to get the ball out, they\'ll figure out a way to do that. If our corners can\'t hang tough and play tight even in short patterns, teams can move the ball down the field.


I\'ll tell you what, this assumption that we will stop the run, that we will pressure the QB, and then when we do those things everything will be OK is making me nervous. The more sure I hear people get the less confident I feel about this.

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Old 06-11-2004, 05:23 PM   #6
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

I\'m a little concerned about this topic.
As you have written before.

For starters, I agree with JKool about the relationship b/w DBs and Dline - btw, why you using such big words?

Most frustrating is the assumption that we will have a great pass rush - period.
Not an assumption. A declaration. I know that you hear

\"We will have a great pass rush.\"

but what\'s really being said is...

\"For the Saints defense to be effective in the 2004 season, an effective pass rush must be implemented with the personnel that we have on staff.\"

It\'s a delcaration of what needs to be done, not an assumption that it will happen.

Was our pass rush that good last season? No. What did we add??? One rookie who is a specialist... but he\'s a rookie people. Who knows how effective Smith will be. Even if he helps a lot, we have three guys capable of getting after it - Howard, Grant, and Smith.
A healthy Darren Howard is the biggest addition.

The data point I look back to as for Smith\'s effectiveness is two seasons ago when Clemons was implemented as the \"buck rusher\" IIRC coming off the edge. The guy had 13 sacks I believe coming off the edge. Smith is bigger and faster than Clemons. Even as a rookie he can do some damage.

Sully isn\'t a rusher. Young is classified as \'disruptive\', but... none of our linebackers are known for their ability to rush.
Tackles jobs in the pass rush isn\'t necessarily to get sacks. Their job is to occupy enough of the interior offensive line so that the outside rush can be effective. If Sully and Young can consistently occupy 3 linemen in the interior, then that\'s one less lineman that can double on the outside. Then you have your three speed guys essentially one on one with the offensive tackles and the tight end (if left in) and of course the back in the backfield. I\'ll take my chances with that.

Now the interior defensive line has to do its job though. If they cannot generate a double team, or generate some push up the middle, or allow for a break in containment in the pocket up front, then the QB may get a free shot downfield. So while having the ability to sack the QB from the interior (i.e. LeRoi Glover) would be nice, it isn\'t an absolute job requirement.

BTW wasn\'t Glover listed as a \"high motor\" guy too?

With the Dome patrol we could definitely stop the run. We don\'t know that this team can do that.
I agree. I don\'t know either. But what I do know is that if the defense cannot stop the run effectively on a consistent basis that they are doomed to failure this season. Just like the articles that Gumbo posted on the Jags, stopping the run has to be a priority.

Another point. This defense doesn\'t have to be the Dome Patrol. I agree with you that we probably don\'t have the personnel to build that type of defense. The point is though that the hand for the 2004 season is pretty much dealt and now we fans have to devise a scheme to make the people we have successful. We don\'t have All Pro corners. And frankly I don\'t think we can afford All Pro corners. The two potential All Pro corners that we in the April draft were gone by 18 (as were the potential All Pro linebackers). So we\'re going to have to make salad with the ingredients we have. Everyone has been saying that we don\'t havee to corners to hang with tall fast receivers that everyone seems to carry nowadays. So that leads towads the conclusions that have been layed out here:

1. The defense will have to be disruptive to the QB so that the ball cannot be thrown down the field consistently.
2. In order to accomplish that the defense needs to consistently create passing downs. The means to that end is to stop the run.

Now those are the goals. Will the personnel and the scheme be able to meet those goals consistently? I don\'t know. And I\'m certainly open to other approaches. But I can tell you that the Saints passive \"let\'s not give up the big play\" defense last year did exactly the opposite: it gave up big plays right and left.

So be aggressive. If we get burnt then so what? But letting an opposing offense dictate the game to the defense is a recipe for disaster..

Plus, at least six of the seven frontmen could get after the passer in the DP days - take your pick of players that came in and out: Wilks, Warren, Martin, Turnbull, Jackson, Swilling, Mills, Johnson, all of these guys were capable of creating pressure and getting sacks. Currently, the only guys we KNOW are capable of getting in the backfield are Grant and Howard.
So build the scheme around that. Force the offense in positions where Grant, Howard, and I\'ll say for now Smith can be put into position to be successful. Blitz from every angle. Force double teams elsewhere. Bring linebackers, corners, safeties, and even coaches from off the edge. Be disruptive. Be aggressive. Make the offense uncomfortable. That was the problem last year. Every offense we played except for the Cowboys had the opportunity to get into a rhythm. Stop that this year.

If the guys we have in the front 7 cannot generate that pressure then sit their butts on the bench and bring in guys who will.

Finally, teams can game-plan for pressure. How do you think we beat the Bucs? If teams know that they\'ll have 2-3 seconds to get the ball out,
BucBall also depended on the blanket cover 2 in the back. No one thinks that Barber et. al. are all world corners.

Also there was mean attitute of Bentley that he wasn\'t going to let Sapp beat him. That helped to disrupt the Bucs usual pattern of Sapp occupying 2 linemen on pass downs. Our defense needs to adopt the same attitute.

they\'ll figure out a way to do that. If our corners can\'t hang tough and play tight even in short patterns, teams can move the ball down the field.
Short is fine as long as one condition is met: no first down on the play. If the secondary can keep receivers in front of them and prevent them from making first downs, then the scheme works. I\'ll take 50 short attempts a game averaging a couple of yards per atttempt.

You can\'t stop everything. What your defense has to do is make enough stops to get off the field. Last year we were really poor at that.

I\'ll tell you what, this assumption that we will stop the run, that we will pressure the QB, and then when we do those things everything will be OK is making me nervous. The more sure I hear people get the less confident I feel about this.
Suggest an alternative. Blow out $11 mil cap and a high draft pick on a #1 corner? What about the other side? If we think that Craft and Thomas is too small and too slow to keep up with receivers, then what make anyone think that it\'ll get better if we replace only one of them?

The original theme is intact: the DL and the secondary are symbiotic. If the front 7.5 (Smith will be situational this season unless he gets moved to an OLB spot) isn\'t agressive and disruptive by whatever means, then the secondary will get toasted no matter whos back there.

SFIAH

The Saints have been to playoffs 4 of the last 5 years and a own a SB championship.

I can hardly believe this happened in my lifetime.
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Old 06-11-2004, 05:29 PM   #7
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

exactly how we beat the bucs... PRESSURE... pressure and patence creates turnovers. Turnovers can win games. I think what is being overlooked and I have been saying it all off-season is that you have to put your best players in a position to make plays. That is not what was happening. You can\'t have your defense first and goal inside the 5 waiting for the play to develop, you have to attack. LB\'s can\'t be 5-10 yards back. You put a LB in the face of the QB in less than 3 seconds its a sack, fumble or interception.

E U P H O R I A
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Old 06-11-2004, 05:46 PM   #8
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

it all starts up front........
pease will find a way.........
linebackers need to take up the slack if it is happening up front and then it will all fall in place.........
as a saintsfan, we all have taken that silent oath.............
live and die with em........................
this yr is no different.............
but then again, is it?
hee, hee, hee, is it?
i will agree with haslett and wait til the pads come off.............
i am very anxious to see what\'s gonna happen, and who will stand out...........
what\'s really bothering me at this point is the continued rumors that horn may be traded if the price is right........he is the only proven playmaker we have at reciever, although we have many ifs...................
hope it just a rumor........................................swame e
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Old 06-12-2004, 05:41 PM   #9
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

Wow SFINAL that was a mouthful. I would like to say that I really want to agree with you, and I see where you\'re coming from.

I think though I will cavil with a couple of points (since I think I may be with WhoDat - at least some - on this concern):

(1) You say: \"So be aggressive. If we get burnt then so what? But letting an opposing offense dictate the game to the defense is a recipe for disaster.. \" But, you can\'t quite mean that. If we get burnt a couple of times, the offense will dictate the game to the defense - once the score is up, we will have to play aggressive, so I\'m not sure I see your point. I agree we should be agressive, but I think the defensive backfield is key to how aggressive you can be! With middling corners, we will have trouble blitzing (though I do like the idea of bringing the coaches off the edge ).

(2) You say: \"You can\'t stop everything. What your defense has to do is make enough stops to get off the field. Last year we were really poor at that.\" Of course, I agree. However, it is because we couldn\'t stop the run last year. This year it will be because other teams can throw fades, outs, and hot slants and curls to big receivers against our tiny corners. I think that is a step in the right direction. The reason for wanting even ONE first rate corner is that he could challenge those plays at least every now and give our pass rush an extra second or two. It would also allow us to roll our safeties one way to prevent deep passes while our tiny corner takes away the shorts and flats.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 06-12-2004, 05:45 PM   #10
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Symbiosis - DL and DBs

Euphoria,

I think what is being overlooked and I have been saying it all off-season is that you have to put your best players in a position to make plays.
I agree! However, wouldn\'t it be nice if one of those players were a defensive back! Then we could leave him on the island, and that would make our front seven even stronger, since we wouldn\'t have to drop into coverage on that side - giving us more options up front. No doubt, the key to winning is getting your good players in the right places, but it is even easier when those players are backed up by even more good players. I think the point I was trying to stress is this: a good d-line can only pressure so much without the guys behind them doing their jobs (and I think that starts with corners for the passing game).

Thus, it isn\'t that bad. We have great reason for optimism, but the \"we don\'t need better corners camp\" needs to remember that corners help the pass rush just as the pass rush helps the corners.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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