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Three healthy starting safeties?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; If Mel Mitchell has recovered fully by the beginning of the season, could we incorporate our three safeties into our nickle and dime packages? Would this be an improvement? Would it disguise or make up for the fact that we ...

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Old 06-17-2004, 07:53 AM   #1
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Three healthy starting safeties?

If Mel Mitchell has recovered fully by the beginning of the season, could we incorporate our three safeties into our nickle and dime packages? Would this be an improvement? Would it disguise or make up for the fact that we have no depth at corner?

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Old 06-17-2004, 08:53 AM   #2
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Three healthy starting safeties?

The Patriots have employed a 3 Safety package for many years now and Tebucky would be very familiar with the concept. I still have high hopes for Mel Mitchell. As good a Jay Bellamy elevated his game last year, he is an exposed weakness in the secondary. Mitchell\'s athleticism and ability to stay with a man if required is a bonus over Jay. If Mel has an \"in-the-box\" presence similar to Bellamy of last year we are way ahead in coverage options given he can develop the ability to recognize play development.
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Old 06-17-2004, 09:21 AM   #3
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Three healthy starting safeties?

As I recall, our boys in B&G have used a third S in the dime package several times before - Chris Oldham was a S, and he played frequently in the dime package (and the nickle package on occassion). There is no mystery to using 3rd S in coverage - you do the samething you would with a CB there (perhaps you have fewer man or mixed coverage options, but usually not - depending on the Ss speed and coverage ability).

I think Bellamy was great last season, but I\'d be happy to have a starter who isn\'t a dinosaur. I have high hopes for Mitchell; it sounds like he has the heart of a competitor. Certainly having a Safety who can fly will help reduce depth worries at the Nickle and Dime positions, but I don\'t see how it can help if one of our \"starters\" (Craft and Thomas?) gets hurt. I suppose T-buck has played some CB...

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Old 06-17-2004, 03:35 PM   #4
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Three healthy starting safeties?

Hope Tebuckno can cover perfectly, because he can\'t make the tackle if the receiver catches anything......
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Old 06-17-2004, 08:50 PM   #5
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Three healthy starting safeties?

i wouldnt mind seeing the saints use a nickel strong package. put bellamy and jones at safety and put mitchell at a 3rd corner who lines up almost like a olb but outside the dline with a reciever or tight end. on passing plays he would be marginal but better than an old and on running plays he is better than playing a nickel back. what do ya think?
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:16 AM   #6
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Three healthy starting safeties?

You know, that\'s an interesting idea. If we assume that Thomas and Craft will be the starters at corner, then what it comes down to is would Bellamy or Mitchell be better in man-on-man pass coverage than Brown or Ambrose. I can\'t answer that question but my guess is probably not. Maybe in a dime package you might look at it, but in a nickel I think you run Brown on the field and let him do what he is paid to do - cover.

To me the problem with our corners becomes and issue if we have injuries. Additionally, I don\'t think we have any one guy who is really capable of sticking the true number 1 receivers one on one. Many people here contend that you don\'t need that. I won\'t get into that right now - my point is simply would you feel confident having any of our CBs sticking Horn man-to-man out on an island? What about our second CB sticking a healthy Stallworth? Or our nickel sticking Crowell or Henderson? Now take Thomas or Craft out of the equation and ask those same questions. To me, that\'s what\'s really scary.

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Old 06-18-2004, 10:10 AM   #7
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Three healthy starting safeties?

then what it comes down to is would Bellamy or Mitchell be better in man-on-man pass coverage than Brown or Ambrose.
That\'s pretty much the crux of what I was asking. I don\'t know the answer either. My hope is that all of the warmandfuzzies coming out of camp about Brown are true, and he would be able to step into the starting lineup if Thomas or Craft went down.

How much do any of you know about Mitchell\'s ability? Can he play either safety position? How much of a liability would it be for Jones to play the nickle or dime in some situations and have Bellamy and Mitchell deep?

What about the Harper kid? He\'s listed as a safety/corner. Could he be quality depth at corner? He\'s got decent size (5\'11\", 187).

Also, (last questions) what about that Ahmad Brooks guy (NFLE) or the Montgomery kid (from the Voodoo)? Either of them stand a chance of making the team?

I\'m starting to think we won\'t bring any new cbs to the team. If I\'m right, I\'m just curious about how we can best utilize what we have right now.

**All of these thoughts are made with the assumption that we\'ve seen the last of Craver.

.02
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Old 06-18-2004, 12:39 PM   #8
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Three healthy starting safeties?

Good discussion.

I think ya\'ll are overlooking something though. And that\'s how and when to use to the proper defensive scheme.

I keep harping on how stopping the run makes it much tougher to pass the ball. Some seem to have just the opposite opionion. But, they are wrong.

Ever wonder how the dome patrol allowed the fewest points in the NFL with the less than stellar CB\'s they had? Well, that\'s because teams couldn\'t run the ball and they became predictable. When they became predictable, they were put in known passing downs. Then the proper defensive scheme would be called and more guys would drop back in coverage making it difficult for QB\'s to complete passes.

When you have 6 guys drop back in coverage and a good pass rush, then it\'s tough on a QB, brother.

Defenses aren\'t that complicated. Basically, you either play man-to-man or you give your CB\'s some help. If we have to man up our CB\'s, then we are in trouble. But, that\'s hardly going to be the case.

What everyone better be concerned about is whether we can stop the run and rush the QB. Cause, if we can\'t, we are screwed and I don\'t care if we had Deion Sanders and Champ Baily, we would still be screwed!!
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Old 06-18-2004, 01:53 PM   #9
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Three healthy starting safeties?

Billy, I think that it is equally correct either way you slice it. But you have the point that predictability in either rush or pass is bad news for an offense. If a defense knows you have to run the ball on first a second because passing is a bigger risk (insert the factor of your choice) your run game should be less effective as well.

I think the big key to improving our coverage with the personnel we have is not just generating a strong pass rush and pocket pressure, but doing so without incorporating players from the back 7. If we can get consistent pressure from our front 4 it will do wonders for our entire defensive effectiveness. The moment you are forced to add 1 or 2 bodies to the attack you will have exposed areas to an offense.

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. A name that intrigues me is still Cie Grant. He has experience as a safety and could be a very effective nickle or dime LB.

Gotta agree with WhoDat in that our LBers in general are the biggest area of concern. There\'s a ton of hope with not much to base it on.
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Old 06-18-2004, 01:56 PM   #10
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Three healthy starting safeties?

Everyone agrees tha stopping the run is a priority.

I also agree that if you can stop the run it is much easier to cover the pass (because it is predictable) - this means that you can have fewer guys rushing? Not exactly. It really depends on the opposing QB and OL - it is not like dropping extra guys in pass defense makes impossible to pass. QB\'s like Johnson and Delhomme will be able to make short range strikes unless the rush is there (which may well require more than four guys). Of course, we\'re gonna slaughter Vick though. Making a team one dimensional helps, but you still need to be able to cover once they give in and start slinging the ball all over the place. That said, I don\'t think the situation is dire (barring injuries to our DBs):

(1) I think if we need to man up a third guy in the nickle (for blitzing purposes or for short yardage), T-buck will cover the 3rd or 2nd WR - this will leave Bellamy and Mitchell at the S spots (Bellamy can play both and if Mitchell is any good, this should be fine).

(2) In the nickle zone and zone-blitz, Ambrose of Brown will be fine with the rest of the regular starters (prediction: Craft, Thomas, Jones, and Mitchell)

(3) It is clear to me that we won\'t be playing a lot of man to man in our nickle and dime packages, exactly for the reason that WhoDat points out above. Thus, it is not like we have to match up - we may actually excell in a zone coverage with smart players like Ambrose and Bellamy being able to anticipate plays rather than run to them. This, however, makes us a bit more one dimensional on defense - which is a problem. Not having the personnel to man up means that teams with QBs who can identify the zone will be able to have A BIT more success against us.

(4) Mixed coverages (ones where you play man on one to three receivers and zone in another area and deep) are not as easy without good coverage corners (like Bailey or Deon); thus, even if we stop the run, we are limited by not having a guy who can match up with even another teams #2 WR. If we could do that, then we\'d be able to drop only a S or even just a LB on the backside and run a zone cover accross the strong side - now that would limit passing and get us some turn-overs.

In the end, it is my view that our lack of depth and lack of a top 20 cover CB will make two things harder than they would be otherwise: (1) pass rushing - since we\'ll have to drop other guys, and (2) stopping the run - since that requires extra men in the box and fewer to help out our corners.


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