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Three healthy starting safeties?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; lummOx -- Any success we might have on defense is dependent on a strong pass rush from our front four. Defenses blitz, not because they want to, but because they have to. At least in most cases. If teams could ...

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Old 06-18-2004, 03:29 PM   #11
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Three healthy starting safeties?

lummOx --

Any success we might have on defense is dependent on a strong pass rush from our front four. Defenses blitz, not because they want to, but because they have to. At least in most cases.

If teams could rush the passer effectively with their front four, then why gamble rushing linebackers or any of the other 7-players? All you do when you blitz is create mis-matches in favor of the offense.

I\'m trying to find a way to make my point without making it sound too complicated.

First, all defensive schemes have their pros and cons. Defensive coordinators always want to play a defesive scheme that is the least risky.

What defense is that?

The one where you only rush 4 guys and let the other guys diagnose the play and play either the run or pass. But, the only way you can do that is have a dominant front 4.

So, who are the most important guys on a defense? The front 4, of course.

How important are cornerbacks? Important to be sure. But, they are way down the list in order of importance.

As I said, all defensive shemes have their pros and cons. It\'s not likely you will have a dominant front four and shut-down cornerbacks. You will probably have one or the other if you\'re lucky.

If you have shut-down corners and a weak D-line then your defensive scheme is very limited. You have to bring your safties up in the box and hope you cornerbacks can get the job done. The Redskins are a perfect example. We see how they did.

On the flip side, you had the Panthers. They had a weak secondary and a dominant front four. They were able to be much more creative in their defensive schemes. Worked well for them.

Ya\'ll will have to decide what\'s the best route to go. It\'s a no brainer for me.

If we have a dominant front 4.....Our secondary will be fine. If not, it won\'t be pretty to watch.

JKool - I wouldn\'t be too concerned about stopping the short passes if our front 4 and linebackers play well. You don\'t need world class speed at the CB position to stop short passess. That\'s more to do with the deep passes. The key to stopping the short pass is having enough guys in position to stop the play.
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Old 06-19-2004, 03:02 AM   #12
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Three healthy starting safeties?

Billy,

I agree that stopping the short pass doesn\'t require world class speed, but it does require savy and quickness AND SIZE in in many cases (things that dominant - regardless of this BS idea of being \"shut down\" - CBs have!). While I agree with you that a dominant front four is key, it isn\'t all there is to the deal, and here is why:

\"Dominant\" is ambiguous - sadly, there are few DLs who are good for both pass rush and run stopping. This is largely because the physical skills and attributes for these needs are different. Thus, a dominant front four is a mix of both kinds of players (and occasionally a freak who can do both). When this is the case, it is not obvious that smart offensive schemes can exploit weaknesses - this is why defenses \"gamble\" and offenses \"execute\". Thus, in \"gambles\" you need guys who can perform solo (espc. your immediate pass protection - CBs and LBs). Also, you need to be able to disguise your gambles, because if they become obvious there is always an execution that will deal them a painful blow.

If I were going to rank the importance of defensive players, I\'d have to say that I wouldn\'t do it by position so much as role. Here is my ranking:
1. DL who can get after the passer.
2. DL who can stop the run.
3. LB who can tackle and make plays in space
4. CB who can take away one of the WRs.
5. DL or LB who can stop the run.
6. S or LB who can cover a LARGE amount of space and make plays in space.
After those six it drops off quickly (so long as they don\'t suck).

The reason I\'d but a CB at #4 in terms of importance is the number of options that this creates with respect to stopping the run and rushing the passer. When one of the targets is gone, that leaves extra players to take away other options (or blanket better options).

I never lobbied for a top speed CB; what I want is a guy who can legitimately take away the #2 WR of any team we face (at least on 6/10 plays).

Of course, as you pointed out to LummOx (who I\'m sure knew this), each scheme has its pros and cons, but what is important is the NUMBER OF SCHEMES YOU HAVE AVAILABLE to you - which is limited in a great extent by (1) your DL and (2) your CBs.

Anyway, I hope that made some sense.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 06-19-2004, 04:01 AM   #13
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Three healthy starting safeties?

JKool --

Let me first say I\'m not trying to suggest that a dominant front 4 is the answer to everything. Because it isn\'t.

Let\'s face it. Our CB\'s are going to get beat some. But, I have no reason to believe they are going to be a big liability. Sure, I am concerned. But, we can\'t have play makers at every position on defense. Which is what some seem to want before they are satisfied.

Name me one team that doesn\'t have some weaknesses on their team? The Pats are the closest thing to not having any weaknesses. But, up until this year they didn\'t have much of a running game.

Carolina had weak CB\'s. Tampa had a weak secondary and running game in their super bowl year. The Ravens had major weaknessess during their super bowl year. So did the Rams.

Point is, we have enough talent across the board to make a super bowl run, IMHO. We just need everything to come together. If we don\'t make the playoffs, it won\'t be because of our CB\'s. I\'ll bet anything on that.

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Old 06-19-2004, 10:26 AM   #14
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Three healthy starting safeties?

I would really like to see this \"Delta\" package they have concieved in action. I believe that was a front 4 of Smith, Grant, Howard and Rodgers.
I think that delta package sounds awesome also. I too forget who the last player is. I know Will Smith, Charles Grant, and Darren Howard are in it. Who\'s last? For some reason I thought it was Whitehead. That\'s who I would want. Got that just sounds absolutely nasty. Now THAT has me excited.
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Old 06-19-2004, 11:51 AM   #15
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Three healthy starting safeties?

Billy, I thinkwe are largely agreeing.

Of course, this made me chuckle, espc. in a discussiong between you and I: \"If we don\'t make the playoffs, it won\'t be because of our CB\'s. I\'ll bet anything on that.\" That is a pretty safe bet, isn\'t it? No one position could possibly be the cause of enough losses to keep us from the playoffs (unless you believe all this stuff about the QB...).

Also, I agree that being weak at CB isn\'t the end of a team, it just makes some things much harder than people seem to be thinking.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 06-19-2004, 04:40 PM   #16
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Three healthy starting safeties?

The \"Delta\" indeed includes Smith, Grant, Howard and Rodgers. lumm0x got it right the first time.

I agree with most posters that we should use our CBs first in nickle and dime packages.
JKool: Jones - if a third safety is in the game - shouldn\'t be playing near the line. He is most effective as the deepest man on the field.
Billy: You are implying that there is a trade-off between a good D-Line and a good secondary. With the salary cap and in theory this is true, but what rubs me the wrong way is that the Saints have money under the cap (and probably will have money left when the season starts) and the coaching staff apparently thinks our CBs are alright. I\'m okay with building a good D-Line first, but why not at least try to get a decent to good secondary at the same time?
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Old 06-19-2004, 04:52 PM   #17
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Three healthy starting safeties?

Billy: You are implying that there is a trade-off between a good D-Line and a good secondary. With the salary cap and in theory this is true, but what rubs me the wrong way is that the Saints have money under the cap (and probably will have money left when the season starts) and the coaching staff apparently thinks our CBs are alright. I\'m okay with building a good D-Line first, but why not at least try to get a decent to good secondary at the same time?
That\'s a good point and a good question. I don\'t know why they weren\'t more aggressive in signing a free-agent CB. No one can make me believe they couldn\'t have signed one if they really wanted to.

You\'ve got to think they thought they would get one in the draft or they were pretty comfortable with who they have. Of course, that\'s what they said about our linebackers last year too. I\'m not happy they didn\'t address the CB positon properly. But, at the same time, I\'m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. At least until I see they screwed up.

What I really believe is Loomis and co. are \"bargin\" free-agent shoppers. Sometimes you have to overpay though. Especially when your team is so close to being a complete team.
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Old 06-20-2004, 11:08 AM   #18
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Three healthy starting safeties?

I think the two weakest positions in terms of depth is the safety positions and LB. I don\'t see us employing the 3 safey formation until we improve depth, or consistently prove we can get to the QB. As for as Tebucky Jones goes, I expected a lot more big plays from him. But in retrospect his presence did limit the deep ball thrown down field, and the secondary had a respectable rank in Pass D last year. Hopefully he can wrap up this year and make more plays around the ball.
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Old 06-20-2004, 11:21 AM   #19
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Three healthy starting safeties?

I think this point about T-buck\'s inability to tackle needs to be put in perspective. I have to admit that Bellamy is a stud tackler, but that is actually fairly rare at the FS position (though Bellamy played SS last year). The thing is Safeties have to make plays in space - where tackling is harder, there is little help, big plays follow misses, and offensive players have the upper hand (as opposed to close to the line where LBs make most of their tackles). Thus, when T-buck misses there are two problems: (1) it was a much harder tackle to make, and (2) when he does miss, we are more likely to remember it, since he is the last line of defense. As has been pointed out several times, our DBs had a lot of tackles last year - this means that LBs are not making the \"easy\" tackles and leaving the harder ones to the Ss (noteably, it is easier to make a tackle on the corner, where you have a sideling to help - so CBs don\'t get as much credit in my book). Thus, complaints about T-buck\'s tackling are blown out of proportion AND our LBs are more to blame than he is.

I think our depth at S is a problem too. However, in the dime package - unless Brown is all that, I think we will use one of our S (probably not in the nickle though) in place of a CB - our starters would just be better - Bellamy, Mitchell, Thomas, Craft, Ambrose, Jones - that sounds like a fine cover package to me. Slip out Bellamy and insert Brown - sounds less strong to me (at least for zone and mixed coverages).

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 06-20-2004, 11:28 AM   #20
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Three healthy starting safeties?

Orginally posted by JKool:
Thus, complaints about T-buck\'s tackling are blown out of proportion AND our LBs are more to blame than he is.
I rarely disagree with you, JKool. But, I do this time. I don\'t think Tebuckys lack of tackling skills have been overblown at all. Jim Haslett doesn\'t either, since he sent Tebucky to tackling school.

I also disagree that most safties aren\'t good tacklers. I think tackling is a lost art in general but I don\'t think you can single out the safety position.

Tebucky needs to make the tackles he needs to make. Which he did not do last year.
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