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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Sarsippius – As far as I’m aware, there are no stats for the information you are looking for. And I’ve looked !! I think when referring to “shut-down� cornerbacks, people aren’t suggesting that they will take a receiver completely out ...

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Old 07-01-2004, 06:40 PM   #11
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

Sarsippius –

As far as I’m aware, there are no stats for the information you are looking for. And I’ve looked !!

I think when referring to “shut-downâ€? cornerbacks, people aren’t suggesting that they will take a receiver completely out of the game, but they will “limitââ ‚¬? the degree of success they have. Or, something along those lines. In any event, they aren’t saying they will shut every receiver down.

I agree with you that there are better receivers today. Or, at least there are a LOT more of them.

My whole point is that “shut-down� cornerbacks aren’t needed to win a championship and average cornerbacks CAN and HAVE gotten the job done.

I think the cornerback position is ONE of the least important positions on defense. I’m not saying you can put just anyone back there, just saying a great D-line helps them out so much.

And it’s true that CB’s help the pass rush out. But, CB’s don’t help the D-line out nearly as much as the opposite.

I’d love to have pro-bowl players at every position, and that includes CB. However, that’s not possible. Defense has and always will be about stopping the run and rushing the passer.

Teams are always going to be lacking in some areas. And I don’t think CB is a bad place to be lacking when compared to other positions. The CB’s get all the glamour. But the front four makes or breaks a defense. I have yet to see a great defense with “shut-down� CB’s and an average D-line?
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Old 07-01-2004, 07:43 PM   #12
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

An evaluation of the importance of any position on the defense is going to depend a whole lot on where your superstars are playing (e.g. a great SS is going to make a great MLB a little less necessary, a great backside corner is going to make a great WLB less necessary, and so on).

However, in a complete vaccuum, here is how I would pick:

1. DE (pass rush would be what I\'d look for here)
2. DT (run stopper - not fat, but takes two blockers)
3. WLB
4. MLB
5. DE
6. CB (cover corner)
(5 and 6 are pretty well equivalent for me, so it is hard to say which would be higher)
7. SS
8. SLB
9. CB
10. FS
(as far as 9 and 10 go here, they are pretty well equal in my eyes)
11. DT (or ILB for a 3-4)

Of course, as noted above, these rankings depend entirely on who is going to be next to each other and their range of abilities.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 07-01-2004, 07:50 PM   #13
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

The further you get away from the ball, the less important you are, IMO.

1. DT
2. DT
3. DE
4. DE
5. MLB
6. SLB
7. WLB
8. CB
9. CB
10. SS
11. FS
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:24 PM   #14
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

I bet you can find many very successful teams with at least one \"no name\" DT. I would bet that even a fair number of the best run stopping teams have one \"no name\" on the line.

Also, given the amount of rotation at D-line, it is safe to say that on several plays it is thought that the next best guy will do just fine. Whereas, few coaches would be yanking their best CB to give him a breather (because the drop off in talent is usually more significant, IMO).

I\'m also going to say that your SLB is less important that your SS, since in nickel and dime packages, your SLB will not be on the field. Thus, your SS will be on the field for about 1/3 more plays than your SLB.

I think it is too simple to think of distance from the ball as the main criteria here. I agree having talent at FS is probably not that important. I also agree that the DL is where it is at, but it is my opinion that you really only need 3 of the 4 to truly be good to have a very successful line (I\'m sure we can find evidence of this by looking to the great run stuffing teams).

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 07-01-2004, 09:36 PM   #15
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

Jkool –

There are many different scenarios to building a great defense. You’ve introduced several different ways of doing just that.

But, I’m speaking in terms of building the BEST DEFENSE POSSIBLE.

Also I’m saying you can only take into account the 11 individual positions and not take into account any substitutions.

Following that criteria, how would you rank the positions in order of importance?


[Edited on 2/7/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 07-02-2004, 04:14 AM   #16
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

Billy,

I think we agree that D-line is of critical importance, so I wasn\'t disputing that. I was merely trying to point out that I don\'t think CB is as far down the list as you seemed to be suggesting.

As far as building the BEST DEFENSE POSSIBLE, I think there are three plausible answers to your question:

(1) Rank all positions as the most important. Look if I\'m going to build the best defense possible, then I want the best guy at EVERY position - especially if there are no subs.

OR

(2) The rankings I gave above. I think that is the formula for the best balance to your D. The rankings I gave keep it open to run a bunch of different schemes and allows for a solid pass rush (with a super stud DE) and great run coverage (with a stud DT, MLB, and WLB - who can also read and react against the passing game). Combine that with a stud CB and second DE and you\'re pretty well set.

OR

(3) The rankings will depend greatly depending on who is in your division. In a division with Vick, you\'d better have some speed rushers or it won\'t matter who is in coverage. In a division with solid but not speedy QBs, you\'ll need that corner and the two ends. In a division with solid running games, you\'d better get those linebackers right away.

If your point was that I ranked some positions lower because they would see the field less often, then you were correct. I don\'t think that your second DT or your SLB are as important because in most nickel and dime packages, they won\'t even be on the field.

I guess it is my view that the best way to build a defense is not from the ball out, but thrather up one side and down the other (roughly). This will give you the most options for blitzes, coverages, and general schemes. Thus, your second DT is less important than a CB who can control a WR or one side of the zone (especially on the backside for rolling coverages).

Also, I guess if you think the DL are going to get pressure every play (or a sack), then it is hard to argue with your ranking. It is just not the case that that will happen against a well oiled offense, unless your secondary can make the QB check down. Furthermore, your LBs won\'t be able to stick the line to make tackles when your studs up front command the double teams if they are forced to help out in the flats and the hook zones.

In the end, you need a combination of skills at the different positions to control today\'s offenses, not merely an ability to control the line of scrimidge - that is why sweeps, screens, shallow outs, and fades are so effective against teams with both good run stuffing and good pass rushing lines but without the secondary to help them out.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 07-02-2004, 07:55 AM   #17
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

Obviously a great pass rushing line is going to skew the stats of the DB\'s. However, a great pass rushing line makes the DB\'s better. They cause the QB to hurry which creates mistakes and causes less accuracy. I love a line that can penetrate and get to the QB.
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Old 07-02-2004, 09:39 AM   #18
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

This happens every year on this board.... We know we have problems on one side of the ball or the other, and we spend weeks trying to say our strengths are so overpowering they cover our weakness. Most of the time, the \"strengths\" we argue with are mostly unproven and are simply a reflection of our hopes for what they will do.

I would hope that everyone would agree that our corners are a problem. FT is scrappy but short and slow, AA is savvy but aging (lost a step or three) and slow, FB is inexperienced, KC plays too much playstation , JC was the #4 guy where he came from, the rest are virtual unknowns. At best, we can say we are average (if you are on optimist). Add an injury in the mix and all of a sudden, we plummet to abyssmal.

Our D-Line appears to have tons of talent - though I venture to say that Darren Howard is the only proven producer of the bunch. Sullivan still hasn\'t grown to his \"potential\", Grant shows flashes but is inconsistent, Young has a great motor but is brand new to the system, Leisle is a rookie, Smith is a rookie, Whitehead is a solid #2 type, I could go on but what\'s the point. We have a ton of \"potential\" not proof.

So here we are again... with an identified weakness unaddressed in FA or the draft. Here we are again talking about how our \"strength\" will compensate for our weakness... but our strength hasn\'t materialized yet.

All I have this season are hopes and nothing that suggests my hopes are realistic. Thus far, nothing suggests to me that our D-Line will be able to compensate for our DBs. I hope they can help, but I haven\'t seen anything yet that makes me believe they will be so overpowering that enemy QBs will just fall over dead in the mere face of our pass rush.

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Old 07-02-2004, 10:14 AM   #19
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

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Posted By: FrenzyFan:
I would hope that everyone would agree that our corners are a problem
Can\'t agree with that. They could be better, but I see absolutely no reason to think they will be a problem. They weren\'t much of a problem last year and you can say that\'s because they didn\'t get tested enough last year, but I disagree.

Posted By: FrenzyFan:
Add an injury in the mix and all of a sudden, we plummet to abyssmal
This is based on what? Fred Thomas goes down and we put Jason Craft in. That means we are abyssmal? Again, based on what? I\'m not trying to be rude here, but have you ever seen Jason Craft play? Seems like you are taking the most negative approach possible. You are entitled to that though.

Posted By: FrenzyFan:
I could go on but what\'s the point. We have a ton of \"potential\" not proof.
Nothing can be proven until the first game. We\'re not here trying to say anyone is proven. I\'m trying to look at the positives and the negatives the best way I can. I\'m not looking for absolutes.

Posted By: FrenzyFan:
All I have this season are hopes and nothing that suggests my hopes are realistic.
What do you need to be hopeful for this season? Hey, we could have signed Ray Lewis and Ty Law, but just because we didn\'t doesn\'t mean there isn\'t GOOD reason to be hopeful.

FrenzyFan -- I\'m just joking around with you, but I really don\'t see why you can\'t find more reasons to be a little more hopeful. Peace... :P

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Old 07-02-2004, 11:22 AM   #20
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Cornerbacks vs. Defensive Line. Who Wins?

Technically, you can say that there are no \"true\" shut-down corners in the league, and would be correct in this, because the league will not allow it. They are constantly changing the rules in favor of the receivers, because you\'re common JoeSchmoe fan loves the touchdown.
Because of this, I judge the talent of the corner based on the rules of the era that they play in and how they perform, instead of comparing them to Deion Sanders, Michael Haynes, or any of the other corners from the past that would be considered a \"true\" shutdown corner.
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