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Problems with Defensive Tackles

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; 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 ...

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Old 01-01-2013, 10:44 PM   #1
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Problems with Defensive Tackles

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?
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Old 01-01-2013, 11:55 PM   #2
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Aubrayo franklin was bound to fail here because be was graded as the best run stopping DT in San Fran's defense, a 3-4 defense

Greg Williams D was a 4-3, it shouldn't really make a difference but i think it did

Akiem hicks has a bright future with us
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Old 01-02-2013, 12:24 AM   #3
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

I'll preface this by saying I say this in defense of Franklin, and Bunkley.I'll throw out a few names and you tell me if we have any body who resembles that person on our defense. A good DT does big things on his own, but also knows if he can't there are great guys who can help as well. .

Here goes: Elvis Dumervil, Von Miller, Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith......


Great DTs, also have good to if not great help!!!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Yep you have to have at least 2 good players up front. Take a look at Aldon Smith's stats since Justin Smith has been out. He hasn't had a sack. You need to have 2 players that really command a double team because you know offenses can't double team both of them so they gamble on which one gets the double which allows the other player the free rush. Since Justin Smith has been out offenses have been doubling Aldon and he can't get it done. I think with Hicks and Johnson next year we might have that.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:59 PM   #5
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

It just seems like all defensive tackles are brought to failure here.

Welcome to defensive Hell!!!
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by Rugby Saint II View Post

Welcome to defensive Hell!!!
One of these days! I think we already have one piece of the puzzle in Hicks, just need the other one... Johnson perhaps?
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Old 01-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #7
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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?
Just curious, which rankings are you referring to?
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Old 01-02-2013, 08:13 PM   #8
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Hicks will become a Dogggg !!!! But we need another guy that can stuff up the middle n give our linebackers a chance to make a play.. ! ! !
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by Utah_Saint View Post
Just curious, which rankings are you referring to?
https://www.profootballfocus.com/

And also, I get what everyone is saying about having help around the player to make them better. That's obvious. But Franklin is now on the Chargers and I can't even name one solid player on that defense outside of Shaun Phillips, and many of you are now asking yourselves, who is that?

So while I get that more talent around the individual makes them play better, in some cases like with Franklin this year, that doesn't seem to make a difference. Maybe I'm just over-thinking this whole thing, but it just makes me wonder why our defensive line is always so terrible.
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Old 01-03-2013, 02:51 AM   #10
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Re: Problems with Defensive Tackles

Originally Posted by TreyThomas View Post
https://www.profootballfocus.com/

And also, I get what everyone is saying about having help around the player to make them better. That's obvious. But Franklin is now on the Chargers and I can't even name one solid player on that defense outside of Shaun Phillips, and many of you are now asking yourselves, who is that?

So while I get that more talent around the individual makes them play better, in some cases like with Franklin this year, that doesn't seem to make a difference. Maybe I'm just over-thinking this whole thing, but it just makes me wonder why our defensive line is always so terrible.

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.

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