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GumboBC 03-27-2005 10:25 AM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
Recently some of us here at B&G discussed if the offense was responsible for the poor defensive performance or if the defense let the team down. Of course - not everyone agreed on this subject.

Some believe that the offense kept the defense on the field too long and thus made the defense worse than what it was. While I believe there’s “some� truth to this, I really don’t buy into this theory. I support my opinion with this evidence:

1. Saints’ offensive time of possession was 28:18 per game.
2. Saints’ defense finished 32nd in the NFL.

While the Saints’ offense finished 29th in TOP (time of possession) that’s still no reason for the poor defensive performance.

Not when you consider this:

1. Dolphins’ offensive TOP was 28:20 per game.
2. Dolphins’ defense finished 8th in NFL.

Now, you might say that’s just one example and it really doesn’t prove anything. Okay … you might also want to consider the following:

Tampa, Baltimore, Atlanta and the Eagles all finished in the bottom half of the league in time of possession:

Tampa: 29:43 – Rank 18th
Baltimore: 29:36 – Rank 19th
Atlanta: 29:00 – Rank 21st
Philadelphia: 28:26 – Rank 26th
New Orleans: 28:18 – Rank 29th

How did that time of possession affect their total defensive ranking?

Tampa: 5th in total defense.
Baltimore: 6th in total defense.
Miami: 8th in total defense.
Philadelphia: 10th in total defense.
Atlanta: 14th in total defense.
Saints: 32nd in total defense.

As you can see, TOP really had very little affect on any of the defenses. What’s quite apparent to me is that the Saints defense earned their 32nd ranking and Tampa, Baltimore, Miami, Philly, and the Falcons simply had much better defenses.

Of course we can always point to our 27th ranked rushing attack and say it kept our defense on the field too long. And you would be correct. However, that still doesn’t change the fact that our defense couldn’t stop anyone. Where as … that certainly wasn’t the case for the other teams I listed.

In short … No one should be blaming the offense for our defensive troubles. They were bad. Real bad.

As I posted in another thread … if this defense is to improve, most of the improvement must come from within the current group of players.

JKool 03-27-2005 12:05 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
Well, my feeling on this matter is that you are right Billy. I\'ve heard some good argument on both sides when this came up the first time, but it was never really clear to me which side I should believe was right.

That said, there are three to six guys who have improved our defense immensely who had little to nothing to do with our 32nd ranking in yards allowed. There names are these: Mike McKenzie, Dwight Smith, Colby Bockwoldt, James Allen, and debateably Courtney Watson. Finally, I will make an argument for Will Smith as well.

Mike didn\'t join the team until mid-way through the season. By then most of the damage was done. In his case, it would be most interesting to look at the last six or seven games and compare them to the rest.

Dwight Smith clearly takes no blame in our defensive ranking last year, and he will be an improvement over T-Buck, provided he isn\'t required to cover Bellamy\'s deep zone too.

These two hardly count as guys who must improve who are already on our roster.

Colby didn\'t start until the last four games, so clearly he had nothing to do with most of the damage. Furthermore, having started only four games, he had nearly as many tackles as Watson. Unless he got a huge chunck of these on special teams, he made a pretty big splash when he finally hit the field. He could be a key in our improvement, and he is on our roster - so here we definitely agree. How much does he have to improve though to improve our defensive ranking?

James Allen, like Bockwoldt, didn\'t hit the field as a starter until the second half of the season. While I think he is a pylon, there is some reason to think he is an upgrade over Hodge. On the other hand, Hodge\'s coverage skills are far superior to Allen\'s in my opinion. If he improved dramatically, that would help us a lot - so here your thesis is obviously correct.

Watson, did start, but only some games. Here your thesis that improvement will largely have to come from within is surely right. However, it is not clear that we got to see what Watson could do with our \"best\" D- line in front of him. He got yanked early on while Sully was still the starter. Watson my improve merely by the addition of a good DT (or even just Green being in regularly) and with no change on his part.

Finally, Will Smith did start some games, but not that many. If Howard departs, we\'ll get to see what the Fresh Prince can do off the edge on a more regular basis. I\'m not sure that there is evidence that he needs to improve much (or at all) to help our defense out, since he didn\'t see as much playing time during the campaign that ranked our defense 32nd. Of course, it is hard to believe that no matter how good he is that without improvement he would be much of an upgrade over Howard. Jury is out here, I think.

At any rate, depending on what you meant by improve, I more or less agree. It looks to me, like merely letting these guys play more may improve our defense dramatically without they themselves becoming better players - but maybe that is all you meant? Either way, the listed stats only apply partially to these guys named.

saintswhodi 03-27-2005 12:42 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.

A) The offense could not score in the 1st quarter and for a good deal of the first half, spent plenty of time going three and out and add to that turned the ball over as well.

B) The defense in the first quarter average giving up 7 point for the first quarter, and this included a stretch of double digit games against the NFC West. For the MOST PART, they gave up less than 7 points and more like 0, and 3. I posted this as well. This is still while the O is doing NOTHING.

C) Number three, any team you point to at the top of the defensive list with an offense with low TOP has more talent on defense than us. I dare you to say they don\'t. More talent and better coachign on D allows for a defense to be stronger statistically wouldn\'t you say?

D) Number 4, Atlanta was one of the top rushing teams in the league. It\'s their passing game that was sub-par. Good rushing game = rested defense. That\'s simple football. But of course, I have to look at who I am talking to. Half stats and mis-information are the norm.

E) The defense was TOP TEN in takeaways. Gave the offense 33 extra possessions. Think that helped the TOP number for the offense? Hell, in the Seattle game the D gave them the ball THREE TIMES in the first halk. They managed a whopping 7 points to Seattle\'s 14. Give me a break.

[Edited on 27/3/2005 by JOESAM2002]

shadowdrinker 03-27-2005 01:12 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
I remember this argument well....

If we try to do it again, we will end up at the same place, but , It still brings up questions...and..that\'s what we\'re here answer and ask questions...

I understand that each side of the team is responsib;e for thier own production...but, maybe it\'s not a full 100% responsibility..more like an 80% and the opposite side is responsible for know what I mean?

Because , like it or not, one side affects the others..I think 80-20 may be close to accurate...I\'m not sure..but, let\'s look at this a different way..maybe we can clear this up...

Noone really expected the Defense to dominate...I think we can all agree there...but, why was it so poor...even with boasting 10th in takeaway\'s,,we still ultimatley, fell short, and ranked dead last overall..

The Offense on the other hand, was suppose to be our \'\'Bread and Butter\'\'...But, much like the Defense, the Offense ranked high in certain catagories..yet, still only managed a meager 15th overall ranking...and at seemed like the Offense was going to be a flop...Raraely could they sieze any opportunity that presented itself..and at times, they just looked ...stupid..for lack of a better word...

Was it Coaching?...Was Mccarthy\'s lack of vision helping land the Defense in poor situatons too often, and actually hurting the D\'s production?

Maybe the Defense put the Offense in unwinnable situations, due to lack of proper fundamental play..because, the Defense was quite frankly...stupid..and played that way every bit as much as the Offense...

Was it a Coaching problem?...was each side so focused on getting just one more chance, that they left our necks out just a little too far to pull back in time, and the opposite side suffered from lack of conservatism?

Somehow, Someway...I still feel like we DO have one of the better talented teams in the entire League...on paper, We match up against most teams...just out of potential alone...Is there any sliver of a chance that these same core group of players can yeild better results than last year?..and if so...Why?

jnormand 03-27-2005 01:23 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
Lets just hope the \"Bread and Butter\" = Deuce this year. I think the offense has plenty of potential. Look, the D didn\'t play that well, but the offense had much more talent and \"potential\". The offense should have played better, but it didn\'t help that the running game was hurting, the o-line under-achieving. But when you place the ball in the O\'s hands that often, we should be scoring more points.

JOESAM2002 03-27-2005 02:51 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
Ok children, that\'s enough bickering!

shadowdrinker 03-27-2005 03:29 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
Why would you refer to them as \'\'Children\'\'...???

[Edited on 27/3/2005 by shadowdrinker]

[Edited on 27/3/2005 by shadowdrinker]

saintswhodi 03-27-2005 04:23 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
Joe, why would you delete the 4 other threads I posted links to for this very same discussion?

WhoDat 03-27-2005 04:26 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
I don\'t get the purpose of this thread.

Was the defense bad on it\'s own? Yes.

Did the offense contribute to it with lots of 3 and outs and whatnot? Yes.

Neither is the cause of the other, but both affected one another.

saintswhodi 03-27-2005 04:34 PM

Defense was bad. Real Bad.
Joe, what\'s the deal man? Besides Danno\'s normal PMSing I hadn\'t though any rules were broken, even then. Is there a rule against posting links to threads that discuss the exact same thing as the current one? And then you deleted the rest of my post and edited it down. What\'s up with that man?

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