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View Full Version : our LB's in pass coverage


mwill07
08-15-2009, 10:06 PM
I'm not convinced that any of our OLB's can cover in space. Someone please convince me other wise. All of our OLB's are really converted DE - Moss, Crowder, Doom, Ayers - these guys are DE's being shoe-horned into playing OLB. They have probably never been asked to drop back and cover TE's or RB's until this year.

I'm mostly concerned when we match up with teams w/ dynamic TE's - Vernon Davis killed us on a couple of plays yesterday. As I recall, the plays where he came up big, the OLB over the TE blitzed and Andra Davis tried to stay with Vernon - terrible mis-match and a resulting big play.

How can Nolan possibly adjust to this? Seems to me that any time we play a team with a dynamic TE, we are in for trouble. Gates will be trouble in particular. I think DJ could run with Gates, but DJ plays on the weak side. The only thing I can think of is to go to some sort of big nickel formation and/or drop a SS over Gates, but that hurts us in the running game. Thank God Gonzo is out of the division.

I think the TE will be this D's Achilles heel this year.

rovolution
08-15-2009, 10:14 PM
you mean pass coverage?

Popps
08-15-2009, 10:20 PM
Davis really isn't a cover guy. He'll struggle there from time to time. Williams is supposed to be, but I think he's a real problem at MLB. I think some of this can be corrected by working in Larson and Woodyard in the right situations.

BroncoMan4ever
08-15-2009, 10:21 PM
I'm not convinced that any of our OLB's can cover in space. Someone please convince me other wise. All of our OLB's are really converted DE - Moss, Crowder, Doom, Ayers - these guys are DE's being shoe-horned into playing OLB. They have probably never been asked to drop back and cover TE's or RB's until this year.

I'm mostly concerned when we match up with teams w/ dynamic TE's - Vernon Davis killed us on a couple of plays yesterday. As I recall, the plays where he came up big, the OLB over the TE blitzed and Andra Davis tried to stay with Vernon - terrible mis-match and a resulting big play.

How can Nolan possibly adjust to this? Seems to me that any time we play a team with a dynamic TE, we are in for trouble. Gates will be trouble in particular. I think DJ could run with Gates, but DJ plays on the weak side. The only thing I can think of is to go to some sort of big nickel formation and/or drop a SS over Gates, but that hurts us in the running game. Thank God Gonzo is out of the division.

I think the TE will be this D's Achilles heel this year.

i am betting on Hill getting the responsibilty of covering the TE. i seriously doubt they are going to expect any of our former DEs to be capable of holding up against the TEs in our division.

Mogulseeker
08-15-2009, 11:32 PM
Didn't DJ start out at LOLB, and actually was pretty good in TE coverage?

Woodyard is pretty good in coverage, too.

Doggcow
08-16-2009, 01:03 AM
They suck in Madden for what its worth.

DivineLegion
08-16-2009, 01:06 AM
Brian Dawkins will help in the way of TEs

meangene
08-16-2009, 04:20 AM
When we go to the nickel and get Woodyard in and another corner, we will be ok putting either Woodyard or a safety on the TE. But, you are right - in our base defense it is an issue. Hopefully our OLB's become better with time but, really, they are not expected to be great cover guys. It's more about creating confusion with the blitzes and mixing the coverages. Williams is the guy who is supposed to have those cover skills in our base defense but he has zero instincts for it. Larsen is supposed to be too slow but he is much better in coverage than Williams. The real answer IMO is to put our two best guys in at ILB regardless of money or size concerns - start Larsen and Woodyard.

elsid13
08-16-2009, 06:11 AM
Brian Dawkins will help in the way of TEs

maybe 10 years ago, but now he in the box player and deep safety net at best. He doesn't have the speed to stay with the TE.

cmhargrove
08-16-2009, 06:50 AM
Well, it depends on what the down and distance is, but thay have already experimented with Josh Barrett as a backup LB in the Nickel. He looked pretty promising last year.

However, you can't judge everything from the one preseason game.

Let's see what they have in mind when we play Chicago - because we know they will use TE's against us.

Spider
08-16-2009, 07:16 AM
Davis really isn't a cover guy. He'll struggle there from time to time. Williams is supposed to be, but I think he's a real problem at MLB. I think some of this can be corrected by working in Larson and Woodyard in the right situations.

get used to it , though I disagree with you about DJ Williams , DJ is no al Wilson ( I once saw Wilson cover Randy Moss deep down field ) But I feel DJ will grow in that position .........switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 will take time

mwill07
08-16-2009, 08:36 AM
you mean pass coverage?

yes.

Pls give me some props for writing a mostly coherent post and that being my only foible, given the # of beers I had last night.. I think that was actually pretty good.

Gcver2ver3
08-16-2009, 08:45 AM
i think good receiving TEs will give us fits this year...

lex
08-16-2009, 09:55 AM
When we go to the nickel and get Woodyard in and another corner, we will be ok putting either Woodyard or a safety on the TE. But, you are right - in our base defense it is an issue. Hopefully our OLB's become better with time but, really, they are not expected to be great cover guys. It's more about creating confusion with the blitzes and mixing the coverages. Williams is the guy who is supposed to have those cover skills in our base defense but he has zero instincts for it. Larsen is supposed to be too slow but he is much better in coverage than Williams. The real answer IMO is to put our two best guys in at ILB regardless of money or size concerns - start Larsen and Woodyard.


Speed/athleticism dont mean much if you make the wrong reads. If youre fast and make the wrong reads, it means youre further out of position, if anything.

TheReverend
08-16-2009, 10:03 AM
This is one of the reasons I wanted DJ at an OLB spot.

TheReverend
08-16-2009, 10:04 AM
Williams is supposed to be, but I think he's a real problem at MLB.

This is the other.

mwill07
08-16-2009, 11:06 AM
ow do other 3-4's handle this? do they all just have natural OLB's?

tsiguy96
08-16-2009, 11:08 AM
i think now that nolan has actual tape on these guys playing another team whos going full speed, he can make the necessary adjustments, be it scheme or roster...

Spider
08-16-2009, 11:57 AM
ow do other 3-4's handle this? do they all just have natural OLB's?

tweeners , DE that can be Outside Line backers ...we took a huge gamble this year on em ......Problem is alot of college teams run a base 4-3 , so it is hard to get a defined talent ......
I am a fan of the 3-4 when Joe Collier ran it here in Denver , but without a monster NT ..... we will see if it works

broncosteven
08-16-2009, 12:04 PM
tweeners , DE that can be Outside Line backers ...we took a huge gamble this year on em ......Problem is alot of college teams run a base 4-3 , so it is hard to get a defined talent ......
I am a fan of the 3-4 when Joe Collier ran it here in Denver , but without a monster NT ..... we will see if it works

We have some beef on the DL. It looked like they moved the pocket and were pushing some guys around.

I found it interesting that they stunted the DL then had the DE drop in to the underneath zone on a ZB. It worked until the Starter saw it 3 times in a row and run up the middle on a draw.

I don't like our LB's. They are fine in run support but Ayers was a non factor and didn't show any flashes of explosion and like the thread starter said we don't have outside guys that can cover.

I think Dawkins helps in the roles Elsid stated it remains to be seen if he can push the unit into respectablity.

Spider
08-16-2009, 12:09 PM
We have some beef on the DL. It looked like they moved the pocket and were pushing some guys around. I want ot believe that , I really do , I love a smothering defense and power running team , but Niners were running vanillia we was flat out game planned , I would have like to have seen more

I found it interesting that they stunted the DL then had the DE drop in to the underneath zone on a ZB. It worked until the Starter saw it 3 times in a row and run up the middle on a draw. Yeah , but that was just practice , run it now prefect it get it down pat then use it in the reg season ....

I don't like our LB's. They are fine in run support but Ayers was a non factor and didn't show any flashes of explosion and like the thread starter said we don't have outside guys that can cover. well thats where our safeties have to be on the ball ..Literally ..... we will have to stuff the run early and often , or we will become bend over Billies for the Play action ....

I think Dawkins helps in the roles Elsid stated it remains to be seen if he can push the unit into respectablity.
I think he can , another thing is Champ is excellent in run support also ....

lex
08-16-2009, 12:12 PM
We have some beef on the DL. It looked like they moved the pocket and were pushing some guys around.

I found it interesting that they stunted the DL then had the DE drop in to the underneath zone on a ZB. It worked until the Starter saw it 3 times in a row and run up the middle on a draw.

I don't like our LB's. They are fine in run support but Ayers was a non factor and didn't show any flashes of explosion and like the thread starter said we don't have outside guys that can cover.

I think Dawkins helps in the roles Elsid stated it remains to be seen if he can push the unit into respectablity.

Thats why Im not overly alarmed at the stats. We were caught more than once because of what youre saying regarding doing the same thing a lot. Their 2nd touchdown was a result of this.

watermock
08-16-2009, 07:01 PM
Kragen was hardly monster. Ha!

mwill07
08-16-2009, 07:22 PM
someone mentioned in another thread that it looked like we are playing a 5-2...based on what I saw Friday and the background of the guys we have now, I'd have to say I agree.

Popps
08-16-2009, 07:25 PM
get used to it , though I disagree with you about DJ Williams , DJ is no al Wilson ( I once saw Wilson cover Randy Moss deep down field ) But I feel DJ will grow in that position .........switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 will take time

Yea, Williams is a real issue. He's not the least talented guy on our defense, but he's playing at a key position. He just has no idea how to diagnose a simple running play from the middle.

Honestly, I don't know where it ends with him. I wish there were some team out there in need of a solid 4-3 WLB, but his salary is so big, that's unlikely.

Honestly, I think Larsen learning on the job would wind up a better decision by mid-season, if not sooner.

meangene
08-16-2009, 08:15 PM
Yea, Williams is a real issue. He's not the least talented guy on our defense, but he's playing at a key position. He just has no idea how to diagnose a simple running play from the middle.

Honestly, I don't know where it ends with him. I wish there were some team out there in need of a solid 4-3 WLB, but his salary is so big, that's unlikely.

Honestly, I think Larsen learning on the job would wind up a better decision by mid-season, if not sooner.

I think it is a better decision now. I also think it is inevitable as DJ becomes more and more of a liability.

mwill07
08-24-2009, 02:38 PM
so it seems to me that our 5-2 D has coverage with backs in addition to dynamic TE's. Seattle's TD drive at the end of the first:

1-10-SEA20 (2:57) T.Duckett left tackle to SEA 20 for no gain (R.Fields, A.Davis).
2-10-SEA20 (2:31) M.Hasselbeck pass short right to T.Houshmandzadeh to SEA 27 for 7 yards (C.Bailey).
3-3-SEA27 (2:00) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass short right to J.Forsett pushed ob at DEN 43 for 30 yards (W.Woodyard). Penalty on DEN-R.Ayers, Defensive Holding, declined.
1-10-DEN43 (1:52) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass short right to J.Forsett to DEN 40 for 3 yards (D.McBath; C.Bailey).
2-7-DEN40 (1:29) (No Huddle, Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck sacked at DEN 48 for -8 yards (K.Peterson).
3-15-DEN48 (1:20) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass short middle to T.Houshmandzadeh to DEN 35 for 13 yards (D.Williams).
4-2-DEN35 (:59) (No Huddle, Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass short right to C.Taylor pushed ob at DEN 27 for 8 yards (C.Bailey).
1-10-DEN27 (:54) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass short left to J.Forsett to DEN 23 for 4 yards (R.Hill).
2-6-DEN23 (:44) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete deep middle to D.Branch.
3-6-DEN23 (:40) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass short middle to J.Carlson to DEN 13 for 10 yards (D.Williams).
1-10-DEN13 (:26) M.Hasselbeck spiked the ball to stop the clock.
2-10-DEN13 (:26) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to T.Houshmandzadeh.
3-10-DEN13 (:23) (Shotgun) M.Hasselbeck pass short right to J.Forsett to DEN 2 for 11 yards (C.Bailey).
1-2-DEN2 (:14) M.Hasselbeck pass short left to T.Houshmandzadeh for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

the two killer plays were basically screens to Forsett - a guy who didn't even log a catch or a carry in 2008 - and this was against our first string. Forsett led SEA w/ 7 catches for 58 yards.

It's gonna be a long season if we can't figure a way to contain TE's and RB's. As is, the flats will be wide open for RB's/TE's all day. Woodyard would help, but IMO we need more speed to make this work. Our OLB's simply don't have it.

cutthemdown
08-24-2009, 02:43 PM
Broncos may have to go with a safety to cover TE. You can always use the big OLB like Ayers to Jam the guy, but really be playing a zone where once he goes a certain distance he is now into the zones of other players, namely safety's and dback, maybe the MLB dropping in a deeper zone whatever.

The point is I don't really think Broncos will playing a lot of man to man. I think Nolan is going to try and mix in a lot of zone defenses. Probably because like you say he knows at this point he doesn't have the players to just man up on people.

I doubt Broncos do that well in terms of stopping people from moving the ball. I think we will give up the yards. But maybe we can be a bit better at making teams work for it, getting some turnovers and sacks here and there to end drives etc. In the redzone though sometimes zone teams that give up yrds between the 20's can buckle down. Things are more compacted, you can't go deep, a disciplined zone type team will try to not give up big plays, make teams beat you in the redzone.

cutthemdown
08-24-2009, 02:46 PM
I think Broncos will be the type of team that uses creative blitzes but tries to keep everything in front of them. Avoiding big plays is key when your defenders might not be as talented as the offensive players.

Last yr I saw slowik trying that, but the guys just couldn't tackle. Broncos need to hit and tackle this yr because if they don't it will look a lot like last yr.

I know everyone wants the cornerbacks to come up in the WR face but I just don't see that happening. Not with these safety's.

Even Dawkins back there you don't want having to deal with a sprinting chad jackson when he burns bailey off the line and gets deep on him.

cutthemdown
08-24-2009, 02:49 PM
Broncos IMO should be playing a 4-3 but transitions are tough. If they think 3-4 better then might as well take the lumps this yr, see who can play in it, then get rid of the ones who cant and upgrade again. It could take 2 full yrs of a 3-4 before Broncos get good at it.

The good news is the 4-3 broncos stunk also so you should be used to it.

cutthemdown
08-24-2009, 02:50 PM
someone mentioned in another thread that it looked like we are playing a 5-2...based on what I saw Friday and the background of the guys we have now, I'd have to say I agree.

what makes you say that?

DivineLegion
08-24-2009, 02:52 PM
Brian Dawkins should help.

Beantown Bronco
08-24-2009, 02:55 PM
The LBs?

Try everyone.

Opposing QBs so far this preseason are completing 67% of their passes for about 400 yards, with 5 TDs and 0 INTs. And most of that's coming against the starters, because neither team really even threw the ball against us in the 4th quarter.

TheReverend
08-24-2009, 02:55 PM
Brian Dawkins should help give up easy completions.

Agreed

hambone13
08-24-2009, 03:03 PM
yes.

Pls give me some props for writing a mostly coherent post and that being my only foible, given the # of beers I had last night.. I think that was actually pretty good.

No kidding...I agree it was obvious what you meant...

ghwk
08-24-2009, 03:45 PM
Opposing QB's will bust off 2K in our system. Every game.

DivineLegion
08-24-2009, 04:12 PM
We have an attacking Defense, teams are going to get big plays on us when Nolan attacks at the wrong time. This needs to be accepted until our secondary really gels. Brian Dawkins out there is going to change a lot, simply because the mans intensity and knowledge. The biggest thing is we are getting pressure, if the defense can keep up the intensity we wont be as most of the Haters on this board think.

Prime example of our defense doing its job when it counted most was the Defensive series before Orton threw the pick in the endzone. The Sehags got the ball on the 50 yard line after they stopped us on the 11. They came out there with drive and forced a three and out that our offense marched 80+ yards down field with 5 min left in the half. Last season that would have been a guaranteed 6 points for the opposing offense. I think this was the first time all preseason that it was apparent our defense was going to be light years better than the shi tstorm we put on the field last season.

The biggest thing will be getting Andre Goodman in the Groove that propeled him to a big paycheck last season with the Dolphins, or working Alphonso Smith into a starting role opposite of Champ.

The reason I keep bringing up Dawkins, is his parterner on the Left side of the defense, Champ Bailey. Granted Champ hasent played to his full potential (which is juvinile to think he will in preseason) in the past two games, he is still very much the all pro corner we brought into town. Brian Dawkins is going to be the X factor on our defense...all 95 years of it. Walker in hand, Brian Dawkins is going to be free to roam. Making plays against the run and helping our sluggish linebackers keep up with the shiesty AFCW TEs. On top of his savvy and freedom Mr.X as like to call him is going be the emotional leader on this defense that this team hasn't had since Rhino Al was playing shut down corner on one of the best deep ball WRs in NFL history. Dawkins is a leader, there's no other way to put it. Where DJ and Champ are quiet and try and lead by example Dawkins takes a less violent approach to the Ray Lewis school of leadership. He might take your head off but not in such a literal sense.

For those who follow and enjoy defense as much as I do, this is an exiting time...
After Three years of complete garbage we are actually putting an effort into revitalizing our defense, and the results are starting to show. I dont expect a top 10 defense right away but we will definitely be in the top 20 by seasons end.

Casual side note...Who was impressed with Mathias Askew getting the backfield like it was his job in the second half, he and Jarvis really made an impact. Good to see not all of our backups took the night off huh?

want2bAbronco2
08-24-2009, 05:16 PM
It's gonna be a long season if we can't figure a way to contain TE's and RB's. As is, the flats will be wide open for RB's/TE's all day. Woodyard would help, but IMO we need more speed to make this work. Our OLB's simply don't have it.

We haven't stopped a TE or RB in the last 4 yrs or so, nothing new there. I would like to just see SOME improvement each week in this area.