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buda 12-26-2002 02:26 PM

The defense suffers from many problems but most of all a lack of good
defensive schemes - COACHING is the #1 problem on defense. See below.

2. Start up front. Has anyone else noticed that we NEVER run stunts? It's
ALWAYS a straight up rush with the front guys. Sure, at 350 lbs., they can
push the O line back, but the O line just gives way and stays in their faces
while the QB moves to his right or left. We simply don't put pressure on
the QB. This is a COACHING problem!! We should be finding unique ways to
get guys with speed (Clemmons, Howard, Hodge, Grant) in the QB's face.
Also, the decision to go with two Big Uglies (any two of Hand, Jackson, or
Chase) at the same time is poor. Too little speed on the field. One big
guy in the middle complemented by speed everywhere else is the way to stop
the run. Somehow our COACHES haven't figured that out.

a. William Whitehead is a good pass rusher. Why isn't he in there
more on passing situations? Ask the COACHES.

b. Why doesn't Kenny Smith get more downs? The decision to go big
most of the time is a bad one in my opinion.

c. All the big guys are too big. The COACHES have not forced them to
keep the weight down. They tire in the 4th quarter and we get ZERO pressure
on the QB late. No secondary on earth can cover receivers that long!

3. LBs. Biggest disappointment all year. Smith is still good but has lost
a step. Not really a starter any more IMO. Clemmons is OK, but we need to
use him more as a pass rusher from the outside. Hodge has great speed, but
ZERO instinct and couldn't tackle my grandmother. It's nice to have Brian
COX as a leader, but hey, make him a coach and get someone who can really
help our defense in there as a number two MLB. A good backup MLB could let
us use Clemmons more on the outside. Hello, COACHES, are you listening????

4. While on the subject of tackling, we have been pitiful all year - even
guys like Sammy Knight!!! It's either poor technique (read coaching) or too
many people with minor injuries - which coaches must recognize and deal
with. We have been absolutely miserable in coaching late in games - that's
conditioning. COACHES, am I getting through??

5. Now for DBs. OK Carter is the real deal, but he did just let Moss go
for that winning score. Sometimes his head doesn't seem to be in it. Sammy
Knight is not playing well - actually missingtackles!! He used to be the
best tackler in the league. Bellamy supports the run well, but can't cover
and misses tackles. I actuallythink we're OK at CB wit Carter and probably
Craver when he's healthy. And both Irvin and Thomas are able if not great.
More speed at safety is my biggest concern. If we pressured QBs more our
secondary would look much better!!!!

6. Finally, as for defensive schemes. I already mentioned that we NEVER
stunt. Either the COACHES assume our Big Uglies can just overpower O line
or they look at these 350 guys and determine that they just can't stunt
because they're too slow. Whose fault is that??? Either way, there's no
creativity in getting to the QB - the NUMBER ONE PROBLEM ALL YEAR!!!!!

a. Also, on run plays, with the big guys demanding doubleteams, our
linebackers should be having a field day. They don't because the schemes
are not designed to have the LBs plug holes. Our LBs sit off the line of
scrimmage. We need to be more aggressive there. LBs plug holes. That's
basic football. As a defensive COACH, you need to create schemes to have
your LBS fill gaps on run plays. Why are Knight and Bellamy the first to
contact so many runners?

b. Why do our linebackers drop so deep on pass plays. The middle is
always open. Our corners do an OK job on cross routes, but they need help
from LBs and NEVER get it. Maybe the COACHES drop our LBs so deep because
they think Knight and Bellamy need help on deep middle routes - that's
probably true. If that's not the reason, then why? COACHES, can you

c. Why late in the game do we lay off the pass rush? Are our guys
tired or is that a COACHING decision? Sure Michael Vick may kill you on the
run, but any QB WILL kill you if you give him 5 seconds in the pocket. Late
in the game we should be teeing off on the QB. Instead, our rushers are
standing up at the line and holding up their blocks. This (especially in
Vick's case) is the most eggregious lack of COACHING I've seen from the
Saints staff. Getting to the QB is the most basic thing on defense.
Sometimes it looks like we don't even try!!!!!

Well, those are my thoughts. As you can see, I think Venturi and Haslett
have some questions to answer on why we've done what we've done. I welcome

Merry Christmas,

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