|04-24-2005, 01:09 PM||#1|
Some days it's not worth
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Portland, OR
What's New on Defense?
Hi, all --
I've been just as confused and frustrated by the Broncos' picks in the 2nd and 3rd round as anyone else here. By the conventional wisdom of the scouts and conventional standards of team needs, this draft is darned near a bust already. No receivers, no safeties, no guard, no D-linemen: just three more cornerbacks for a secondary that has already received heavy investments in cap dollars and draft picks the last two years. Something here doesn't make sense.
So I got to thinking this morning: when something doesn't appear to make sense from one perspective, maybe I'm looking at it from the wrong perspective. I assume that Shanahan and Coyer must have some plan, some reasoning or some logic behind their picks. I'm not ready to dismiss it all as egomania... so why would they choose these players?
I'm wondering if we're watching Shanahan & Coyer set the stage for some unconventional alignments and developments on defense next year. Hear me out, I think there are several points of circumstantial evidence that make this a possibility...
* I looked at the three cornerbacks, and one thing they all have in common is speed. According to the ESPN website, their times in the 40 were 4.29 for Williams, 4.35 for Paymah, and 4.4 for Foxworth. Speed kills in the NFL, always has. I've been looking for other common traits between the three CBs, but haven't found much to report so far. One thing I'm curious about, for instance: are all three good basketball players? Even if they weren't on their college teams, are they good streetballers? Williams says he is, but I haven't found much about Paymah and Foxworth yet.
* We all know that the rule changes about illegal contact have made pass coverage more difficult for defensive backs. One consequence is the new emphasis on pass rush, which they've tried to address with Trevor Pryce, Gerard Warren and Courtney Brown. We'll see how those moves work out. But what, on the other hand, could be done to directly help the cornerbacks do their jobs? With football turning even more into tackle basketball on turf, how to improve pass coverage?
* When conventional schemes don't work because rule changes shackle the players, maybe it's time to change the scheme. Maybe even change it dramatically. Coyer's on record saying that he's spent a lot of time studying Belichick's formations over the past couple years. What has Coyer learned from the Patriots?
This is just a hunch, but I think we may see Coyer unveil some new defensive schemes of his own to attack offenses like the Colts next year. I don't know what they might be, because I'm held back by my own "conventional wisdom" about how to play defense too. It's hard to think outside the box (no pun intended), but here are a couple thoughts on how it might all fit together. It might not be so much that the personnel are different from a conventional alignment, but their assignments might be. I don't expect a new scheme (if there is one) to be an every-down formation, but it might be something that shows up against certain opponents or in certain situations. Then again, it might be something as radically different as Buddy Ryan's 46 defense for the Bears. Remember how devastating that was back in '85?
* NFL rules require that defensive linemen hold their three-point positions before the snap. The refs have been tougher on D-liners trying to draw O-linemen into false starts. Belichick came up with at least the start of an answer last year and in the playoffs, when he used a minimum of down linemen and a maximum number of standing linebackers. Some rushed, some didn't, some dropped back into coverage.
* In a new scheme, we'd see even more emphasis on pure speed. I'll bet we'd also see more emphasis on pass rush from the edges of the formation. For instance, by NFL rules, we know that in any offensive pass formation, there are five guys who are ineligible to catch passes. If our objective is to get to the quarterback, cause turnovers and get the ball, why waste time butting heads with these behemoths who we know can't touch the football?
* Physical contact between defenders and receivers is illegal after five yards, and the refs have enforced that one hard. What if, instead of waiting to "cover" the receivers man-up or zone, receivers had a harder time getting past that five yard limit? What if, for instance, the top WR was doubled and knocked down at the line of scrimmage on every play? It's legal, so long as it's within five yards...
* Offenses would probably counter this by trying to stretch the defense with four and five WR sets. That actually doesn't trouble me in this scheme, because they'd be playing into the hands of the defense. If there's little or no "conventional" pass rush from down defensive linemen, it leaves the offensive line very little to do... and the offense is essentially playing 6-on-11 (or maybe 8-on-11, in practical terms) against the defense. That's not a bad position for the defense.
* Or, alternately, the offense may try to counter by falling back on a power running game (if they've got one). Again, it would be hard for a power formation to get their bulk on an "edge" defense simply because most of the defense is not lining up right in front of them. An edge defense would have to tackle quickly, aggressively, and in numbers to survive.
*Coming at it from this perspective, Ray Rhodes' experiments with a 2-9 defensive alignment a couple years ago were not really such a bad idea. He was taking baby steps toward a new defensive scheme to counter the current rules environment. Rhodes' problem may have been that he didn't take it far enough. He had the formation, but not the scheme.
Just some thoughts... I'll be watching with great curiosity to see if there's any substance to my hunch. Then again, I may be just another homer, grasping for any justification for stupid draft moves... We'll see.
|04-24-2005, 01:18 PM||#3|
Tatum Bell-the real deal
Join Date: Apr 2005
why not, we have to manpower now.
i cant believe this, but shanahan and coyer must have something up their sleeves...because so much depth in the secondary, will cuase us shortages in other areas of our team.
i hope its worth it
|04-24-2005, 01:25 PM||#4|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Orlando, Florida
Jack Del rio
Interesting take. Maybe a 3-3-5 or a version of the 4-6, Maybe we will be playing some 3-4 as well.
I will hold anymore comment until I see what the "Plan" is going to be once camp starts. Maybe you are onto something, maybe we are just doomed
|04-24-2005, 03:32 PM||#5|
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Hot Springs, Ouachitah
The problem playing press coverage is it's literally impossible to only touch within 5 yards. New England would consistently bump hard up to about 9 yards, got away with it till the film showed blatant non-calls. Thus the rule change and the continued p***Yfication of the NFL. Pretty soon they won't even allow zone coverage at this rate.
I think teams should be able to maintain contact to <10 yards and actually enforce it. It's rediculously arbitrary right now. The problem with releasing the WR so soon if your immediately chasing the WR with your back to the QB, totally vulnerable, like a cat chasing a wild mouse on the loose, and with your back to the QB, you can't read the play whatsoever. Billichick bent the rules to breaking, and now the game is suffering.
Just one more reason to hate New England.