View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently November 23rd, 2014, 12:26 pm



Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
 Defense - Positions that need the biggest upgrades... 
Author Message
Pop Warner Vet
User avatar

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 12:28 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Grand Rapids
Post Defense - Positions that need the biggest upgrades...
It's been truthfully said a thousand times that we have needs all over the place on our Defense (I'll leave Offense for another thread to keep things simple).

We have the league's worst rush defense in yards-per-attempt, yards-per-game, and touchdowns.

We have the league's worst pass defense in yards-per-atttempt and opposing QB rating. Our sacks-per-attempt are actually not that bad, at 7.46% (ninth best in the league), and our passing-yards-allowed per game are middle-of-the-road (17th best). This is probably more a product of our terrible run defense though ("why pass against the Lions when you're never behind and you can run all day?"), as many bad teams often tend to have some not-so-bad pass defense statistics (I wouldn't give credit to the "stellar" performance of our secondary, anyway).

I'll stop ranting because we all know the situation...my question is, based on our current roster's performance what are our biggest priority positions to upgrade on Defense going into next year? I mean actual players to replace through draft or FA. Some positions may be underperforming because of the scheme when the players seemed talented enough in another scheme with another team (e.g. Bodden was pretty good in Cleveland).

Specifically, how would you order them?

Personally, I would start with...

1. Nose Tackle
Our run defense starts up front. Shaun Cody (310) is our only DT over 300 lbs. We have a lot of fast, aggressive guys who project to be better 3-technique tackles, led by Cory Redding (who I'm fine with keeping. He may not be a Pro-Bowler but I think he brings enough fire & leadership). If there was one single starter on our D I want replaced more than anyone else, it's Chuck Darby. I want a guy who's 320+ lbs and eats up regular-double teams. This will open up everything around him and allow the LB's to make plays in the run game. Not that all of the many missed tackles aren't their fault (and I still want an upgrade from Paris Lenon!), but it's a lot harder for a LB to make plays on his heels when the D-Line is getting pushed around.

2. Middle Linebacker
The other most critical position in stopping the run. Whenever I see the Bears play, I always find myself noticing, more than anything, Urlacher make tackles. I shouldn't be this surprised to see a linebacker, who, when he gets to the running back, actually (voila!) makes a square tackle, and the RB usually doesn't go any farther! It is, after all, his job to do so.
With Detroit though, I never feel any genuine expectation that the first guy there is actually going to make the tackle, and I'm praying for just a few more undersized guys to pile onto the runner, until, finally, they manage to bring him down, as he falls (forward a few more yards) through a sea of Honolulu Blue.
The new guy would probably be an upgrade over Lenon in pass-protection too, as he's blown a few coverages (the first that comes to mind was a Jeff Garcia TD pass a few weeks ago) too.

3. Safety
Our Defense is allowing the third-most TD's per pass attempt and the most TD's per rush attempt in the league. I know pressure has to come from the D-Line, and coverage can break down anywhere, but because he is typically the last guy to have a chance to stop the runner/receiver over the top, and we've allowed so many big plays, I think these guys deserve plenty of consideration for upgrades too.
The biggest thing I want is a guy who defenses are actually afraid of. A hard-hitter over the middle, who consistently makes plays. We don't have someone that other teams have to work to game-plan around.

4. Cornerback
I'd put this one after safety because we actually have one guy who was a legitimate starting corner on another team (Bodden), unlike our Safety position (which is all Millen draftees & Marinelli's former Bucs). We still need playmakers here though.

5. Outside Linebacker
Ernie Simms is the bright spot here, not that his play has been perfect this season, but behind a better D-Line, next to a better ILB, he certainly has the potential at WLB. At SLB, maybe Dizon could improve and fill the role, maybe not, he's a rookie this year so we won't know for a while what the need will be there. Unless they want to put him at MLB, we'll see...

6. Defensive End
I'd love to have a Freeney or a Peppers here, but I think we have more pressing needs to address, so I wouldn't put DE up as high to the "to fix" list. This unit looks more "okay" than "good" or "awful". We have got .0746 sacks per pass-attempt, which is ninth in the NFL. Avril looks like a promising speed-rusher, and deserves a chance to develop. I honestly don't know about IAF, what do you think? still potential there? Hopefully between White, Smith and DeVries, there's enough veteran experience to give us depth that we can address other positions this year, although any improvement at DE is obviously welcome.

7. UT/3-technique
Redding is the established starter and we just drafted two under-300 lb DT's this year, so we're okay at this position while we see how they'll pan out.


...thoughts?


December 9th, 2008, 5:38 pm
Profile
Post 
First and foremost I think this team is in despirate need of a passrushing DE.

Secondly, I think we have to upgrade our LB corps. I don't care if it is a SSLB or a MLB but we need a playmaker in our 2nd level.

After that it's all a blurr. IMO in some ways we can't even fully evaluate our defense until we make significant upgrades in those two areas. How do you evaluate Fulellen or Redding when the DE's aren't doing their job? If it's always 3 on 2 in the middle, how do you expect them to make plays?

IMO The potential needs after the first two that I listed are (in most likely order) MLB/SSLB (whichever isn't upgraded), SS (we need someone back there that can hit hard, tackel well and perhaps assist in stopping the run), FS (we despirately need someone that can assist in covering TEs, doubling WRs, play the ball, tackel well AND has some damn speed back there... Our 2ndary and our entire defense lacks SPEED and it shows!). CB (I think Bodden is fine, but he needs some help... Keith Smith could probably be a serviceable nickle, but we need someone opposite him badly).


December 9th, 2008, 5:54 pm
Player of the Year - Defense

Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Posts: 2743
Post 
I'll wait to see who they bring in as DC and what kind of scheme he runs first.

MLB is a definite need anyway you cut it. But my opinion on our next most important need (DT/DE/S/CB) will depend on what scheme is brought to town.


December 9th, 2008, 6:06 pm
Profile
Pop Warner Vet
User avatar

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 12:28 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Grand Rapids
Post 
Quote:
First and foremost I think this team is in despirate need of a passrushing DE.


Is a pass-rushing DE more important than a run-plugging DT? My thought was that a sack artist wouldn't be of as much value when the opponent can just run up the middle on us all day.

Plus, I think Avril shows more promise filling the passrusher role than any of our DT's show filling the run-plugger NT role, as they seem clearly undersized (or maybe I'm just used to having Shaun Rogers there, he was a beast--sometimes), and I'm just not a fan of Darby, at all!

As you said, though, a DE taking up double-teams would help the tackles though.


December 9th, 2008, 6:39 pm
Profile
Heisman Winner

Joined: December 8th, 2008, 3:16 pm
Posts: 785
Post 
I agree w/ the Avril comment. He has probably been the lone bright spot on the defense.


December 9th, 2008, 6:42 pm
Profile
Peanut and Beer Salesman
User avatar

Joined: December 9th, 2008, 6:29 pm
Posts: 24
Post 
v1ly4 wrote:
Quote:
First and foremost I think this team is in despirate need of a passrushing DE.


Plus, I think Avril shows more promise filling the passrusher role than any of our DT's show filling the run-plugger NT role.
As you said, though, a DE taking up double-teams would help the tackles though.


I agree, Avril has been doing well the second half of the season. While White has been hurt, Avril has been a more than sufficient backup. White had 5.5 Sacks through 9 games, which still leads the team. But Avril has 4 sacks in the past 4 games he has started. I think he has a bright future ahead of him.

_________________
Barry Sanders = Greatest RB of All Time


December 9th, 2008, 6:47 pm
Profile
Hall of Fame Player
User avatar

Joined: April 5th, 2005, 7:03 am
Posts: 7411
Location: Ford Field - 35 yard line / Row 32
Post 
markdh92 wrote:
v1ly4 wrote:
wjb wrote:
First and foremost I think this team is in despirate need of a passrushing DE.


Plus, I think Avril shows more promise filling the passrusher role than any of our DT's show filling the run-plugger NT role.
As you said, though, a DE taking up double-teams would help the tackles though.


I agree, Avril has been doing well the second half of the season. While White has been hurt, Avril has been a more than sufficient backup. White had 5.5 Sacks through 9 games, which still leads the team. But Avril has 4 sacks in the past 4 games he has started. I think he has a bright future ahead of him.


I have to agree Avril is one of the few bright spots this season. I'm not sold yet, but very interested to see how he does in the next 3 games - 2 of which are against top notch offenses.

I'm convinced a better coaching staff will improve the performance of a number of players but having said that every position is upgradable especialy MLB & CB.

_________________
Image


December 9th, 2008, 7:10 pm
Profile WWW
5th Round Pick - Traded

Joined: March 21st, 2005, 2:11 pm
Posts: 1066
Location: Wolverine, Mi.
Post 
MLB first then DT then SSLB then CB then S.


December 9th, 2008, 7:53 pm
Profile
Pop Warner Vet
User avatar

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 12:28 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Grand Rapids
Post 
liontrax wrote:
MLB first then DT then SSLB then CB then S.


I like it.


December 9th, 2008, 7:54 pm
Profile
Peanut and Beer Salesman
User avatar

Joined: December 9th, 2008, 6:29 pm
Posts: 24
Post 
Is there a MLB worthy of picking with the 1st pick of the draft? I would much rather go with an OL, unless we can somehow trade down. The thing is, there really aren't many stand out players that are worthy of going #1, no matter what position you look at.

_________________
Barry Sanders = Greatest RB of All Time


December 9th, 2008, 8:53 pm
Profile
5th Round Pick - Traded

Joined: March 21st, 2005, 2:11 pm
Posts: 1066
Location: Wolverine, Mi.
Post 
markdh92 wrote:
Is there a MLB worthy of picking with the 1st pick of the draft? I would much rather go with an OL, unless we can somehow trade down. The thing is, there really aren't many stand out players that are worthy of going #1, no matter what position you look at.


The topic was what are the priority positions to upgrade on defense wether it be through the draft or free agency. I agree there is no MLB worthy of the first overall, but many possible replacements to be had later. With number 1 it will probably be LT or QB.


December 9th, 2008, 11:24 pm
Profile
Post 
v1ly4 wrote:
Quote:
First and foremost I think this team is in despirate need of a passrushing DE.


Is a pass-rushing DE more important than a run-plugging DT? My thought was that a sack artist wouldn't be of as much value when the opponent can just run up the middle on us all day.

Plus, I think Avril shows more promise filling the passrusher role than any of our DT's show filling the run-plugger NT role, as they seem clearly undersized (or maybe I'm just used to having Shaun Rogers there, he was a beast--sometimes), and I'm just not a fan of Darby, at all!

As you said, though, a DE taking up double-teams would help the tackles though.


V1ly4 - You kind of answered your own question with my words for me. If the OG had to double (or at least pay attention to) a top notch DE I think it would take the pressure off of the middle. IMO Fluellen and Redding would be fine if they weren't always doubled. I think Redding could be a good if not great DT if he had the right people around him. I really don't think he lacks heart or effort, or just played to get his contract. It is true that he benefitted greatly from playing next to Rogers, who pretty much always drew the double team, but it doesn't take a S. Rogers to take the pressure off of him.

I agree that Avril has looked good rushing the passer, and, IMO IAF is looking better too. That is the ONLY reason that I didn't have DE listed as our 1st and 3rd or 4th need.

Also, IMO a BIG part of our problem stopping the run is not having LBs to fill the gaps. I don't know what our LBs are doing on running plays but they look tentative, lost, and SMALL. They get taken out of plays WAY too easily, and can't tackle anyone one on one.


And to edit my post a little bit... I do think it is wise to say that we have to wait and see who comes in, but I'll stand by my order regardless of system unless it's a 3-4, which I wouldn't mind seeing us run. I would love to see us switch to a 3-4 and I think we have the personnel to do it... In fact, I think we have right now a better 3-4 team than a 4-3 team...


December 10th, 2008, 1:25 am
Player of the Year - Defense

Joined: September 13th, 2007, 12:43 pm
Posts: 2743
Post 
Quote:
In fact, I think we have right now a better 3-4 team than a 4-3 team...


If we ran a 3-4 we'd have an OLB in Avril, an ILB in Sims (maybe?), and two DEs in Redding/Fluellen. Depth in IAF and Cody (I'd resign him in this instance...I always thought he'd be a better 3-4 DE...)

But we'd still be lacking a NT and two or three linebackers, plus depth. (Interesting side note: I honestly believe that if we had kept Rogers and Kalimba and brought in a decent 3-4 coach we could've run a pretty wicked 3-4 defense)

Right now we lack a DT(maybe?), a DE (maybe?), and two linebackers, plus depth. I guess it's about the same. However, White would be completely useless in a 3-4 system and would have to be traded or cut for sure. It's also questionable as to whether Sims could play ILB in the 3-4. Some have speculated that he could, but I have my doubts. In the 3-4 the ILBs often have to take on offensive guards, and sims at 225 will get manhandled by a 290lb OG.

To quote Ray Lewis:

"We're in the 46 defense now, and finally, finally again, I get to play football," said Lewis. "My job is not to take on offensive linemen, but to make running backs not want to play against me"

Also, if you look at it, most teams with good 3-4 defenses have one really talented safety--the Lions don't have that.


December 10th, 2008, 2:32 am
Profile
Post 
Blueskies wrote:
Quote:
In fact, I think we have right now a better 3-4 team than a 4-3 team...


Let's ignore secondary since its pretty much the same either way...

If we ran a 3-4 we'd have an OLB in Avril, an ILB in Sims (maybe?), and two DEs in Redding/Fluellen. Depth in IAF and Cody (I'd resign him in this instance...I always thought he'd be a better 3-4 DE...)

But we'd still be lacking a NT and two or three linebackers, plus depth. (Interesting side note: I honestly believe that if we had kept Rogers and Kalimba and brought in a decent 3-4 coach we could've run a pretty wicked 3-4 defense)

Right now we lack a DT(maybe?), a DE (maybe?), and two linebackers, plus depth. I guess it's about the same. However, White would be completely useless in a 3-4 system and would have to be traded or cut for sure.


Blueskies...

You can't just base it on number of positions though, IMO. I think Redding would be a better 3-4 DE than he is a 4-3 DT. I think that Avril would be a better 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 DE, and I think Sims would be a better 3-4 ILB than a 4-3 WLB.

Also, I think IAF, with his size, is better suited to play DE in a 3-4 scheme. In the 3-4 I think we make better use of our current talent. It's not that I think we could fill more holes with our current squad, I just think that we would be better off with our same talent if we altered our scheme.

That said, I don't think we're worse off positionally if we switched schemes. Either way I think we're two LB's, a DE and a DT short of having our front 7, and that doesn't even get into our issues at secondary!... Our defense is a mess!


December 10th, 2008, 2:44 am
Pop Warner Vet
User avatar

Joined: November 11th, 2008, 12:28 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Grand Rapids
Post 
Blueskies wrote:
It's also questionable as to whether Sims could play ILB in the 3-4. Some have speculated that he could, but I have my doubts. In the 3-4 the ILBs often have to take on offensive guards, and sims at 225 will get manhandled by a 290lb OG.
...
Also, if you look at it, most teams with good 3-4 defenses have one really talented safety--the Lions don't have that.


Here's a question...think Ernie Simms could be our Safety?

On the size/speed gradient, he's probably closer to a typical SS than a MLB.

and when he's not getting blocked & overpowered, he hits hard.

...or would he get exploited in coverage too much?


December 10th, 2008, 10:40 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by STSoftware.