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Problems with Defensive Tackles

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Originally Posted by TreyThomas So after a little research into this, it seems we just have not had much luck with our defensive tackles producing for us. This is not from lack of bringing in help at the position, correct? ...

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:21 AM   #21
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by TreyThomas View Post
So after a little research into this, it seems we just have not had much luck with our defensive tackles producing for us. This is not from lack of bringing in help at the position, correct? Anyone remember bringing in Aubrayo Franklin and Shawn Rogers? Drafting Ellis? Bringing in Bunkley this past free agency?

I know for a fact that when we brought Bunkley and Franklin here, they were the each graded out as the best run stuffing defensive tackle for their respective years.

Well, take a guess who grades out as the best this year??? One year after we have released him, Aubrayo Franklin tops the list once again. Twice in three years. Coincidence??? It just seems like all defensive tackles are brought to failure here.

But the one lone bright spot at the position that we have had this year, Akiem Hicks, grades out at the #12 run stopping defensive tackle. He has not seen nearly enough playing time, in my opinion. Hopefully he can keep this up for years to come, but the odds are not in his favor. Thoughts?
Nice post. What site do you find these grades on?
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:29 AM   #22
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by jcp026 View Post
Nice post. What site do you find these grades on?
Originally Posted by TreyThomas View Post
this one...
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:36 AM   #23
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by burningmetal View Post
Again, it's not about how good the players are. Everyone wants good players, everyone needs good players. But how do you get the most out of whatever you have? We've tried 4-3 for a million years in a row.

And of the top 10 defenses, how many 3-4's were in the top 5? Top 10 isn't dominant. When I say the best, I mean the best.

We have a couple pretty decent linebackers in Lofton and Hawthorne, and I think Martez Wilson would do well as one of those hybrid DE/OLB's that you see in a 3-4. How many good defensive linemen do we have?
Actually only two 3-4 defenses were in the top 5. Pittsburg and 49ers.
Denver, Seattle and Bears run 4-3.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #24
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by Budsdrinker View Post
Actually only two 3-4 defenses were in the top 5. Pittsburg and 49ers.
Denver, Seattle and Bears run 4-3.

And Denver was in their first year of converting from a 3-4 to a 4-3, so I guess that would support the argument that you can successfully change schemes from one year to another and not lose a step in the process?!
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:32 PM   #25
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Depends... not every team has a Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:02 PM   #26
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
I think that with Franklin it was a case of playing out of position, since his natural position is a 3-4 NT and not a 4-3 DT. A 3-4 NT - which is what Bunkley was also in Denver - is a position that almost solely concentrates on anchoring the defensive front and disrupting the off-center/guard running plays. Therefore, it doesn't surprise me at all that Franklin is doing much better now that he is once again playing in his natural position, a position which is primed to produce good numbers against the run.

In my opinion the three biggest problems the Saints had this past season and have had for some years now on their defensive front are Sedrick Ellis, Bill Johnson, and the scouting/drafting department.

I think that they should make changes in each of those three problem areas. Ellis will be gone, which is already an improvement. But I do think that they should really think about replacing Johnson with another D-line coach, because even though he is considered by his peers to be one of the better D-line coaches in the league - he hasn't been able to get these guys to play at an elevated level. Let Spags choose who he wants to be the D-line coach, and we could see an instant improvement in the way the front 4 guys play next season, even without any significant personnel changes. And they should look at the way they evaluate new talent and who they pick in drafts. Hicks was a no-brainer, even thought I still think they could've gotten him a round or two later, but lets hope that picking him was a sign of a future trend of picking actual talent who fit the system the team has, and not just picking guys based on their schools and/or their collegiate careers without any regard as to whether they can actually be successful in the environment the Saints can offer them.

Bunkley, Hicks and Johnson should stay and the FO should add one more DT in to that rotation - maybe a hybrid DT/DE guy, since the drafts nowadays seem to be full of those type of tweeners. This along with better edge rushing and better D-line coaching should be a recipe for better front 4 pass rush and run defense.
Great post. Agree with virtually all of it.

There were only 2 starters that graded in the top 100 in the league at their position, Bunkley (28th DT) and Jordan (66th DE).

Hicks (29th DT) and Johnson (42ndDT), Casillas (59th OLB), Quddus (42nd S), Galette (19th DE), Wilson (33rd DE) graded out OK as reserves though.

Every other starter was worse than the 100th ranked player at their position.

Lofton (104th MLB),
Vilma (100th OLB),
Ellis (118th DT),
Hawthorne (102nd OLB),
Greer (118th CB),
Robinson (193rd CB),
Harper (167th S),
Jenkins (168th S)

I put that directly on Spags.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:45 PM   #27
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

wow. the totality of the suckitude is spendiferatious.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:47 PM   #28
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by xan View Post
wow. the totality of the suckitude is spendiferatious.
Elementary my dear Watson...
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:54 PM   #29
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

I think what we need is new scouts on the defensive side.

Scouts who can draft good players, it just aint happening here, our best defensive guys were bought in through FA.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:00 PM   #30
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by Vrillon82 View Post
I think what we need is new scouts on the defensive side.

Scouts who can draft good players, it just aint happening here, our best defensive guys were bought in through FA.
We certainly hit on more offense than defense in the draft. Our defensive players aren't that bad, but none are elite, or even great.

We have a roster full of average and a few below average, but no difference makers. Jordan and Hicks look like they may turn out to be better than average though.
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