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 How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It? 
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
Killwill25 wrote:
sweetd20 wrote:
That's not saying much for what might be the weakest division as far as S play is concerned. The Bears were fools for letting Manning leave and look what happened to their defense this season. As far as other players still in the division I might put Burnett pretty even with Delmas.

Did we lose any games because of Delmas this year, when he played?


IMO - we have.


February 4th, 2012, 2:00 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
Killwill25 wrote:
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OK...pressuring the passer is nice....but so what? What did it gain them against the Saints? Or the Packers? Or the 49ers, at the end of the game, on fourth down, when IT MATTERED? But our running game is somehow at fault for that?
Linebackers VASTLY improved? Wow...I guess we have different opinions on that. Yes, they were improved over last season, but vastly so? I wouldn't go that far. Levy was the second leading tackler on the defense, but only because he was able to play every game. His play from week to week was pretty inconsistent. Tulloch was supposed to VASTLY improve our Rushing Defense. Did he? I'd say no. Same thing with Durant. I don't think they vastly improved our rushing defense, because we gave up a bunch of yards on the ground, when it mattered. Your Saints reference above is a perfect example. Or the 49ers game. Both of them were able to do it against our DEFENSE that you say is vastly improved. And they were able to do it even when our defense knew they were going to be running.
Secondary? Well, look at Matt Flynn picking apart our secondary in Week 17, and tell me they are all acceptable and we just need depth. Watch Jordy Nelson basically own the middle of the defensive secondary, where our stud safety Louis Delmas is supposed to be king, and tell me that we can continue to win with that level of inadequate play. Nelson made Spievey and Delmas look like high schoolers. Then in the playoff game, it was the Saints using Jimmy Graham to abuse those two, or on some occasion Robert Meachem.
DELMAS DID'NT PLAY IN THAT GAME. I didn't even watch that game yet I know that simple fact. And if you honestly don't think the LB group is vastly improved than wow, I have nothing to say. It really sounds as if you are basing your staements on just the last 2 games of the season. I agree that the back 7 can use a couple tweaks but it still is a playoff caliber defense as it stands right now. We ran into a more complete and experienced team who recieves the friendliest home field advantages in the NFL. Let's accept that fact before we just start blaming individuals. Like the rest of the team, Delmas is a young player who is only going to get better. And again, with him out there we are a much better defense.

and sweetd20, I could care less about tackle stats. those are so inconsistent. I know when I watch the games that even though he misses some, he is in on alot of plays and makes alot of tackles. Other than Nick Collins he's the best S in our division


First, I made a mistake about Delmas with Jordy Nelson. Sorry, it was Chris Harris and Amari Spievey. I got my games mixed up.

But tell me this, how can you say we have a "playoff caliber" defense, after coming off a season where they were ranked 23rd overall in a 32 team league. That is playoff caliber to you?

And Legend, you didn't blame the loss on the offense, but you did blame the offense for not scoring at the end of the first half and basically stated that if the offense had scored the outcome could have been different. Well, that's fine, but I think you're reaching with a statement like that. In the second half the defense couldn't stop New Orleans in any way shape or form. And why? You say they were "gassed". Really? After JUST having come out of the locker room? Was the run back to the sidelines too much for them?

Killwill - stats don't tell the WHOLE story, but they do convey some realities. As a safety, Delmas is supposed to be one of the surest tacklers on the team. Being "in on plays" doesn't mean he's making plays. And it amazes me that you talk about how our linebackers are vastly improved, and then talk about how Delmas was always there to bail them out when they missed tackles. Well, which is it? Perhaps your and Legends definition of "vastly" is far different than mine. All I know is, with the addition of Durant and Levy, our defense against the run didn't improve all that much at all. That's my measuring stick. Our linebackers are supposed to have been the ones to shore up our ability to stop the run, is that not true? And where did we end up for the year? Bottom third of the league. Wow. VAST improvement.
2010 Lions - 21st in overall yardage, 19th in points allowed, 24th in rushing yards allowed,....
2011 Lions - 23rd in overall yardage, 23rd in points allowed, 22nd in rushing yards allowed....
Wow. VAST improvement.

Now, I didn't say Delmas sucks. What I have said all along is that his play is not as good as advertised by the coaching staff. He is NOT a Pro Bowl, All Pro....whatever the Hell you want to call it....level player. Being the best safety in the NFC North is like saying he's the best looking pile of crap in the fertilizer bag. Compare him against the entire league and get back to me.

And Legend, I do watch the games. But perhaps I watch them with a slightly more critical eye than some of you. I don't buy into the hype surrounding Delmas, and for very good reason. It is hype, not truth. Is the secondary better with him in there? Yes. But it doesn't mean he's that great, it just means everybody else just isn't that good.

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February 4th, 2012, 4:45 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
M2K, please find where I said that Delmas was "always there to bail out our LBs". I don't know the D rankings but I'd take our defense over the 2 in the superbowl. Yes Durant, Tulloch, and Levy played much better than Peterson, Levy, and Palmer last year.

Why are we blaming everyone except the unit that was supposed to be our bread and butter? The DL may have been the worst unit on the team this year. other than Avril, everyone played worse than last season. Chris Houston and Eric Wright had career years and you can even say Tulloch had a career year too but I think Delmas was better at S than Suh or KVB(or anyone not named Avril) was on the line. All I'm saying is maybe you should put some blame on the unit that was to be our most dominant unit and ended up being the most dominated before you start blaming individuals.

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And Legend, I do watch the games. But perhaps I watch them with a slightly more critical eye than some of you. I don't buy into the hype surrounding Delmas, and for very good reason.
probably because you think he's Chris Harris

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February 5th, 2012, 12:46 am
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
Killwill25 wrote:
M2K, please find where I said that Delmas was "always there to bail out our LBs". I don't know the D rankings but I'd take our defense over the 2 in the superbowl. Yes Durant, Tulloch, and Levy played much better than Peterson, Levy, and Palmer last year.

Why are we blaming everyone except the unit that was supposed to be our bread and butter? The DL may have been the worst unit on the team this year. other than Avril, everyone played worse than last season. Chris Houston and Eric Wright had career years and you can even say Tulloch had a career year too but I think Delmas was better at S than Suh or KVB(or anyone not named Avril) was on the line. All I'm saying is maybe you should put some blame on the unit that was to be our most dominant unit and ended up being the most dominated before you start blaming individuals.

Quote:
And Legend, I do watch the games. But perhaps I watch them with a slightly more critical eye than some of you. I don't buy into the hype surrounding Delmas, and for very good reason.
probably because you think he's Chris Harris


No, it's because I don't look at the plays he does make and think it's the act of a superstar. I see the plays he doesn't make, and understand that if he were as good as Gunner claims him to be, he'd make those plays. It goes without saying that passes will be dropped, blocks will be missed, and some tackles will be missed. But Delmas misses more than his share, he misses them because he tries to make a big hit, lowering his shoulder and not using his arms to wrap around the body of the ball carrier. He does this more often than people are willing to claim, because of the occasional time he does make a bone jarring hit. Those are nice, but they still amount to just one tackle. You can ignore the stat that sweetd20 posted, but it speaks volumes. Even if the analysis is off by some percentage points, it still shows that he's one of the worst tackling safeties in football.

As for the defensive line, I agree that they didn't have as good of a year as they did last season. But that doesn't change the fact that the Lions got worse in most defensive categories despite a "vastly improved" linebacking corps. Suh was held in check more due to teams focusing on him with double teams. Corey Williams didn't play nearly as well as he did last season. KVB still gave us 8 sacks for the season, which I'd say is respectable. The Lions got 41 sacks on the season. I'd say the defensive line was getting pressure, so pointing them out as being the problem is a bit misleading.

Let me state my points again, just so we can be clear.

I agree that the Lions would be a better team with an improved running game. But that's going to take more than yet another high round pick being spent on a running back. Plenty of other teams in the NFL have successful rushing offenses without the high priced back. The Lions will need to improve their offensive line to make that happen, as well as Scott Linehan doing a better job of playcalling. He's predictable, which is PART of the reason our running game isn't successful.

However, for the Lions to take the next step in becoming a real playoff threat and being able to possibly win the NFCN, their defense MUST be improved. Scheme wise, talent wise. The defensive line does have the talent. The linebacking corps isn't bad, but I don't think they are tremendous. Levy took a big step backwards, and I'm sorry, but Tulloch didn't play as well as many thought he would. He missed tackles that resulted in big plays, and there were times when he just flat missed the gap the back was going through. I can expect that from a rookie, or a linebacker playing in a different system for the first time, but Tulloch was signed because he knew this defense. In 2010 he made 160 tackles. This season he made 111. His play dropped off, and dropped off big. Is that because the DTs weren't attracting attention? No, they were pushing up field like they are taught to. I'd say it was more a combination of the scheme, and his missing plays he should have made.

One more time...I don't think Delmas sucks. Amari Spievey is the safety I want replaced. I had high hopes for him, but his play got worse as the season wore on. But, the same could be said of Delmas. I think Chris Houston was fine, but Eric Wright was a liability at times. However, he's better than any alternative currently on the roster. Berry isn't ready for that role, and we all know Alfonso Smith is a disaster against top wide outs. He's a nickel or dime corner, and will never be more than that.

Improving our rushing game won't stop opposing teams from victimizing our defense. It will only help when we A) have the lead late in the game, and B) our defense can make stops when they have to. Our defense wasn't doing that late in the season, particularly when playing on the road. Is that due to the scheme or the personnel? I can't say for certain. But the draft is where you add talent, and if the Lions have a chance to add talent on the defensive side of the ball then that's what I think they need to do. Not at all costs, but it simply can't be ignored because the front office thinks the talent is already there.

In regards to the draft, I have been a proponent of taking Peter Konz, Cordy Glenn or Mark Barron with our 23rd pick. Konz as the immediate replacement for Stephen Peterman, and eventually the replacement for Raiola. Glenn as the immediate replacement for Gosder Cherilus or Stephen Peterman. Barron as the replacement for Amari Spievey. I never said replace Tulloch, or Durant, or Delmas. Levy, on the other hand, I feel needs to be re-evaluated. I was not impressed by him this season, and I think an upgrade there would help in the running game. While he may have made 109 tackles, it was usually not when teams ran at him, but rather when he was coming from behind the play. I just don't know that there is any OLBs that will be there at #23 that will be of value and prove to me a significant upgrade over Levy.

So far the Lions have made good steps. Personnel improvements have been extraordinary. The attitude has shifted. But there needs to be some change in the playcalling and schemes run on both sides of the ball. Until the Lions can put a defense on the field that can come up big with the game on the line, they will continue to struggle as a playoff team. You can say you'd take the Lions defense over the defense of the Giants or the Patriots all you want. But the fact is those teams were able to do what it took to take them into the Super Bowl. Not just on offense, but on defense as well. Maybe they don't stack up to our guys on paper a well. But games aren't played on paper.

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February 5th, 2012, 4:04 am
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
Killwill25 wrote:
m2karateman wrote:
kdsberman wrote:
The Legend wrote:
he s got a good chance to make a pro bowl at some point


Though i see your point, unfortunately making the Pro Bowl nowadays means nothing as far as how good a player really is.


See Matt Stafford vs. Eli Manning....

3 true statements


Oops--not saying Eli had a better regular season than Staff, but his being in the Pro Bowl was not unreasonable. Now Cam Newton....

On a related note, remember when people were hoping we'd win the GB game so we could play the 'easier' Giants team? It's interesting to wonder what would've happened...

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February 6th, 2012, 11:32 am
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
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Personally, I didn't realize that we had so many football genius' in our presence. Heck, what are all these NFL team doing interviewing all those hacks out there trying to find someone to lead their franchise's to the promised land; all they need to do is interview the members of Lionbacker.com


didnt know that m2k was on the level of someone interviewing for an NFL front office position or are we not allowed to argue among other fans?


February 6th, 2012, 12:23 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
Quote:
Quote:

And Legend, I do watch the games. But perhaps I watch them with a slightly more critical eye than some of you. I don't buy into the hype surrounding Delmas, and for very good reason.
probably because you think he's Chris Harris


yes


February 6th, 2012, 12:25 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
The Legend wrote:
Quote:
Quote:

And Legend, I do watch the games. But perhaps I watch them with a slightly more critical eye than some of you. I don't buy into the hype surrounding Delmas, and for very good reason.
probably because you think he's Chris Harris


yes


Wow...wish I was as perfect as you two guys and never mixed up a couple games. Go ahead and keep thinking Delmas is a superstar. He'll continue to disappoint you...

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February 6th, 2012, 12:27 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
m2karateman wrote:
The Legend wrote:
Quote:
Quote:

And Legend, I do watch the games. But perhaps I watch them with a slightly more critical eye than some of you. I don't buy into the hype surrounding Delmas, and for very good reason.
probably because you think he's Chris Harris


yes


Wow...wish I was as perfect as you two guys and never mixed up a couple games. Go ahead and keep thinking Delmas is a superstar. He'll continue to disappoint you...

Agree

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February 6th, 2012, 2:34 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
who said he was a superstar?


February 6th, 2012, 3:04 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
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But tell me this, how can you say we have a "playoff caliber" defense, after coming off a season where they were ranked 23rd overall in a 32 team league. That is playoff caliber to you?


No 1 - the Lions made the playoffs and in their 1st 4 losses the Lions defense was significantly better than the offense. Its not until we saw some significant injuries that they started to really falter.

No 2 - the Giants won the Superbowl with the No 25 defense in the NFL. Patriots made the SuperBowl with the worst defense in the league.

Defense isnt as important as it used to be, thats the only point and focusing too much on it is probably futile - example being ur top defenses getting let down in crucial moments even in the playoffs. We already went through it and Im not going to do it again with the specific examples but the NFL is evolving to a system where offense beats defense. Im not saying ignore the defense, Im not saying the guys you are questioning are superstars and I never did but u are blaming players for things that didnt happen, evidence that ur opinion is being skewed by your own errors. Get a new starter at OLB for Levy and draft another safety to compete w Spievey make the other depth - that would be my strategy on defense. If I dont get one of those things Im okay with that bc the Lions current defense, in this league, the way things are called, is adequate without glaring deficiencies. Secondaries in particular are getting gashed open when their either hurt or the pass rush gets neutralized.

The offense on the other hand has the ability to be very productive with the pass but cannot do all the things that an offense needs to do. Namely - using the conventional running game on 1st down, pick up 3rd and short or goalline scores w a run, and use the run game to kill clock late in a game, minimize opponents possessions. If the Lions get this in order than they are more immune to bad days from Stafford and late game comebacks. Currently the offense goes as Stafford goes - his finger is a little dinged up or his confidence is down and we re turning it over and getting shredded. What happens if he goes out again? Shaun Hill is going to replace all of Stafford's production? Probably not. These are all reasons why building a run game is important - it stabilizes the team and makes the overall performance a little more consistent. Sure the current offense is ranked very high but its not a threat to run - if they can start to get some production out of the run they are unstoppable near the level of the Saints O (IMO the gold standard of offenses in the league). Now look at the offensive personnel and see ur top 2 runners with career threatening/altering injuries, the 3rd guy with an injury prone career and an offensive line that is rapidly aging and yes putting all that information together I think you focus more attention to the offense this offseason. Its in need of some maintenance despite its overall production. Youth on the OL and a healthy runner or 2 would be my priorities, maybe even a 4th wr (would have to be cheap investment though).

Besides the run game the only other area I see a glaring deficiency is at punter. If anyone really paid attention yesterday, the Giants punter weatherford had a great performance, and people dont always see it but field position especially when u can pin teams deep plays a big role in outcomes.


February 6th, 2012, 3:32 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
Interesting you say defense isn't important as evidenced by the ranking of teams in the SB yet point to our rushing attack. The Pats were 20th, the Giants dead last in rushing. The Lions (4.3) had a better YPC than either the Pats (4.0) or Giants (3.5).

I agree, defense isn't as important as it used to be - then again, neither is running the ball.

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February 6th, 2012, 3:45 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
thats a good point but the giants running attack is more effective than the ranking suggests. with jacobs they can pick up short yardage gains and bradshaw has showed in the past 1-2 seasons that he is a threat that must be respected. so even though they moved the ball primarily with the pass their run game can do things that for example the lions run offense hasnt been able to - you cant just ignore their run game if ur game planning for them. if leshoure isnt 100%, best doesnt come back and the OL stays the same there is no reason for anyone to respect the lions run game. DCs can just commit 5 players to pin there ears back and rush stafford every play. the patriots are similar and use Woodhead very effectively in the pass game, can use green ellis to get tough yards and will do unconventional things at any time such as using hernandez. who knows though if they were a little better at running late in that game they could have eaten the last 4 minutes and sealed the game - without that ability they couldnt protect there lead and lost. today, media is pointing out that brady either made a bad throw to welker or welker dropped the pass but if they had run the ball on that play and the next one and picked up a first they could have won the game. not having a capable run game did hurt them especially at that stage of the game.

u make a good point but i dont expect the lions to turn into a 3 yards and a cloud of dust - i want them to be able to pick up short yardage, use the run more with late leads, and mix it up on first down. i dont want them to become a run first team and i agree with you that it seems passing teams have more of an advantage or are at least more effective than primarily running teams but there are situations where ur better off running it. lions dont have to run it that much more but they need to be a little more capable.


February 6th, 2012, 5:37 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
The Legend wrote:
Quote:
But tell me this, how can you say we have a "playoff caliber" defense, after coming off a season where they were ranked 23rd overall in a 32 team league. That is playoff caliber to you?


No 1 - the Lions made the playoffs and in their 1st 4 losses the Lions defense was significantly better than the offense. Its not until we saw some significant injuries that they started to really falter.

No 2 - the Giants won the Superbowl with the No 25 defense in the NFL. Patriots made the SuperBowl with the worst defense in the league.

Defense isnt as important as it used to be, thats the only point and focusing too much on it is probably futile - example being ur top defenses getting let down in crucial moments even in the playoffs. We already went through it and Im not going to do it again with the specific examples but the NFL is evolving to a system where offense beats defense. Im not saying ignore the defense, Im not saying the guys you are questioning are superstars and I never did but u are blaming players for things that didnt happen, evidence that ur opinion is being skewed by your own errors. Get a new starter at OLB for Levy and draft another safety to compete w Spievey make the other depth - that would be my strategy on defense. If I dont get one of those things Im okay with that bc the Lions current defense, in this league, the way things are called, is adequate without glaring deficiencies. Secondaries in particular are getting gashed open when their either hurt or the pass rush gets neutralized.

The offense on the other hand has the ability to be very productive with the pass but cannot do all the things that an offense needs to do. Namely - using the conventional running game on 1st down, pick up 3rd and short or goalline scores w a run, and use the run game to kill clock late in a game, minimize opponents possessions. If the Lions get this in order than they are more immune to bad days from Stafford and late game comebacks. Currently the offense goes as Stafford goes - his finger is a little dinged up or his confidence is down and we re turning it over and getting shredded. What happens if he goes out again? Shaun Hill is going to replace all of Stafford's production? Probably not. These are all reasons why building a run game is important - it stabilizes the team and makes the overall performance a little more consistent. Sure the current offense is ranked very high but its not a threat to run - if they can start to get some production out of the run they are unstoppable near the level of the Saints O (IMO the gold standard of offenses in the league). Now look at the offensive personnel and see ur top 2 runners with career threatening/altering injuries, the 3rd guy with an injury prone career and an offensive line that is rapidly aging and yes putting all that information together I think you focus more attention to the offense this offseason. Its in need of some maintenance despite its overall production. Youth on the OL and a healthy runner or 2 would be my priorities, maybe even a 4th wr (would have to be cheap investment though).

Besides the run game the only other area I see a glaring deficiency is at punter. If anyone really paid attention yesterday, the Giants punter weatherford had a great performance, and people dont always see it but field position especially when u can pin teams deep plays a big role in outcomes.


Couple of corrections:

The Giants ranked 25th in points allowed for the season, but everybody knows that their defense struggled mightily due to injuries at the beginning of the season. Once they got healthy, their DEFENSE took them into the playoffs. They held one of the most prolific scoring offenses in the league to 17 points in the Super Bowl. But I guess their defense had no part in that.

The Patriots ranked 15th in the league in scoring defense. So your statement about having the worst defense in the league is dead wrong. I don't care if the Lions give up 500 yards passing and 200 yards rushing per game. That means nothing if they can't prevent the opposing team from getting into the end zone. And in my eyes, that's exactly what the problem was with this defense. With the game on the line, they failed more than they succeeded. I agree that the Lions were playing better defense at the beginning of the season. But what significant injuries are you talking about? Delmas? I agree, his loss did affect the Lions. But who else?

The only playoff teams ranked below the Lions in the scoring defense category that made it into the playoffs is the Giants and Broncos. Both of those teams got into the playoffs because they played in weak divisions dominated by nobody. Can you honestly sit there and tell me that you are fine with our defense and how they performed this season? Do you think the Lions get into the playoffs in the NFC North with a weaker defense? Guess again. The Bears are retooling their offense, the Vikings will improve and the Packers don't seem to be on the verge of collapsing. If Cutler doesn't go down to injury the Bears would have made the playoffs instead of the Lions.

And once again, for the record, I agree the Lions would be well suited to improve their rushing game. I think they need to do it on the line, not in the backfield. It's simply my contention that in doing so, they won't significantly help the defense stop other teams from scoring. Time of possession wasn't an issue for the Lions. They held the ball more than they didn't. The issue was that other teams were able to score at will when they needed to down the stretch. If that was because of Delmas' absence, so be it. Then they need to address the safety position....which is what I've said all along. Because for two seasons now Delmas has had injury problems. And it doesn't matter one iota if the guy is the second coming of Ronnie Lott. If he can't stay healthy he does the defense absolutely no good watching from the sidelines in street clothes.

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February 6th, 2012, 5:55 pm
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Post Re: How Broken is the Defense? How Do You Fix It?
It's garbage to say that the Giant's D "held one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL to 17 points." The Patriots were playing not to lose, which is the way Super Bowls have been played for at least the last few years. Last years game was a snoozer for the first half, as was this one. It started out with a bang, but quickly turned into a snoozer, and stayed that way until the 4th Q.

If NE wouldn't have had trouble with drops on their final drive this would have been a different discussion, but there in lies the problem with the passing game. It has so many parts and so many things need to happen perfectly to get it to run well enough to rely on it.


The bottom line is we still can't run the ball, our offense is one dimensional, and we CAN fix that with a draft pick or two. With a pick or two our Defense will still not be up to snuff.


February 6th, 2012, 6:30 pm
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