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Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; poor guy just can not catch the ball. last thing you want to see is Harper in deep coverage. other than that he is one of the best SS in the NFL. To bad he was not playing 20 years ...

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Old 02-27-2013, 01:30 PM   #31
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poor guy just can not catch the ball. last thing you want to see is Harper in deep coverage. other than that he is one of the best SS in the NFL.

To bad he was not playing 20 years ago he might be a hall fame type of SS. Today SS are nothing more than FS that can tackle.

I just think he is stuck in the wrong era
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:53 PM   #32
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

Originally Posted by papz View Post
No glasses needed... just apply some common sense.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:04 PM   #33
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

Originally Posted by hagan714 View Post
poor guy just can not catch the ball. last thing you want to see is Harper in deep coverage. other than that he is one of the best SS in the NFL.

To bad he was not playing 20 years ago he might be a hall fame type of SS. Today SS are nothing more than FS that can tackle.

I just think he is stuck in the wrong era
Good point. He probably would have feasted back in the day. With all spread offenses and how the league has changed into a passing league, he would need to be in a specific type of defense.

The old Cowboys SS, Roy Williams, compares to Harper a little bit. Both were pretty good in the box, but neither is someone you'd like to see covering downfield. Definitely not a pretty sight.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:12 PM   #34
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

Originally Posted by papz View Post
Good point. He probably would have feasted back in the day. With all spread offenses and how the league has changed into a passing league, he would need to be in a specific type of defense.

The old Cowboys SS, Roy Williams, compares to Harper a little bit. Both were pretty good in the box, but neither is someone you'd like to see covering downfield. Definitely not a pretty sight.
Troy Polamalu is probably the best example of that dying breed. When asked to play deep centerfield or 2-high, he frigging sucks!

But in the box (within 10 -15 yards of the LOS) he may be the best SS to ever play the game and a 1st ballot HOF'er.

Thats why I get disappointed with the Harper hate.

I don't think our posters understand the difference between a traditional Strong Safety and a damn CB.

Harper is a good SS, but a lousy CB and deep safety.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:17 PM   #35
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

I agree completely. The traditional SS is a dying breed. With the way the game has evolved, guys like Harper are getting weeded out. It's probably better these days to have two FS's back there in the secondary... as SS will pretty much be by name only.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:21 PM   #36
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

The good news is that as far as I've understood Ryan's preferences within his scheme; he tends to place the SS in a more traditional role and closer to the LOS than, for example, Spags did.

Maybe Harper will be an impact player with Ryan as the DC like he was back when GW was the DC - GW's bromance for him was probably the biggest reason why he was given such a big contract after the lockout ended.
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:24 PM   #37
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
The good news is that as far as I've understood Ryan's preferences within his scheme; he tends to place the SS in a more traditional role and closer to the LOS than, for example, Spags did.

Maybe Harper will be an impact player with Ryan as the DC like he was back when GW was the DC - GW's bromance for him was probably the biggest reason why he was given such a big contract after the lockout ended.
I've heard the opposite a few times too. Either way, I think the 7 million for a team that doesn't feature an in the box safety is way too much.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:21 PM   #38
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
I've heard the opposite a few times too. Either way, I think the 7 million for a team that doesn't feature an in the box safety is way too much.

Well, very few players really are worth $7M a year even if they get paid that and more.

Harper at around $3-3.5M would probably work for the Saints if there's a place for him in Ryan's defense, but I don't know if he would be willing take such a pay cut.
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Old 02-27-2013, 03:45 PM   #39
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

Originally Posted by FinSaint View Post
Would you care to back that up with actual evidence, because someone here posted stats a year ago - maybe Danno - according to which Harper had performed pretty well in situations where he had to drop back.

The stats were from a site that requires a membership, so I can't look them up for you unfortunately.
Pay attention to the second paragraph and keep in mind this was in GW schemed defense which apparently some of the posters claim he was the 3rd best cover safety. We all saw the results this year and can agree he sucked in 2012, but read bellow to examine just how 'good' he was in GWs defense.

"Roman Harper will be highly ranked as an IDP going into the 2012 season, and upon first glance that may seem legitimate considering he led his team in both tackles and sacks in 2011. However, you may want to think twice before drafting him early. Remember, Spagnuolo isnít going to use him like Williams did. Before 2009 when Gregg Williams joined New Orleans and started using Harper like a linebacker, his stats were less impressive. In the two years Harper started pre-Greg Williams, he averaged 89.5 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1.5 interceptions per season. In his three years starting under Williams, he averaged 98.3 tackles, 3.67 sacks (7.5 last year) and 0.33 interceptions per season. Moreover, Harper went without a single interception in three of his five years as a starting safety (last year included) and has recorded only one interception over the past four seasons.

Pass coverage is by no means Harperís strong point, as rushing the QB clearly is. In fact, Harper achieved the lowest pass coverage rating among all Saintís defensive backs (-8.4) , according to PFFís defensive ratings, and was just 0.3 points away from being worse than all their linebackers too. Additionally, he received the 3rd worst pass coverage rating among all starting safeties in the league, complementing his overall rating that was also good for 3rd worst among all starters (-14.9). For comparisonís sake, Harper had an inferior pass coverage rating to three of the four patriots starting defensive backs, beating James Ihedigbo by just 0.2. Considering how terrible the Patriotís pass defense was all season, thatís an accomplishment."


https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...-isnt-sharper/

Pretty tough evaluation of his cover abilities. Not only was he the worst coverage DB for the saints, he was worse than all but one of our LBs... lol

Ranked by PFF to be the 75th best safety... not worth a dime in my book.
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Old 02-27-2013, 04:55 PM   #40
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Re: Breaking Down Saints Defensive Talent

Sure, those are convincing stats presented in a way that makes him seem as valuable as dirt, but the evaluation is for fantasy football and therefore it places too much of an emphasis on certain parts of a strong safety's job.

If used in the traditional way, the SS plays close to the LOS with a heavy emphasis on run support and covers the TE in man coverage schemes. The SS is not supposed to be a cover corner running step for step with receivers towards the end zone, but almost a pseudo LB who covers shallow routes and potentially funnels passing plays towards the FS's effective field of play.

In that traditional role Harper is a good fit, since he is well above average in run support - as a SS - is good at providing pressure on the QB, and can cover TEs on the shallow routes more than adequately as stated by those stats Papz referenced. I think more important than the number of INTs a SS has in determining his covering skills is for example the "passes defended" stats. In that regard Harper does pretty well when compared to for example William Moore from the Failclowns, who I have heard has been talked about as a SS with well above average coverage skills. During the last three seasons Harper has had 26 passes defended (8-7-11) while Moore has had 25 (8-9-8), so in that light Harper's stats aren't so bad.

What I'm trying to say is that Harper isn't as bad in coverage - when asked to cover like a traditional strong safety's job description states - but he is no cover CB nor a FS in the likes of Sharper, and never will be. There are many strong safeties with better coverage skills in the league, not to mention DBs in general, but that doesn't take away anything from the parts Harper does better than many other strong safeties in the league.

No player is perfect, but placing them in the ideal position to succeed will go a long way into masking the weaknesses that player may have, and that is what Ryan needs to do with Harper if he remains a Saint.
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