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  1. #1
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Tackling the problem.

    A very frustrating post-patch database fallover in another one of my online pursuits has left me with a little time to kill before a visit to the public house. So I thought I'd share a thought that I had regarding the potential root of our defensive demise.

    Our franchise has struggled to establish itself as a defensive powerhouse since the days of the fearsome foursome. We have never managed to establish our credentials as a defensive ball club for anything over a season or two since the late 70's.

    We've had our moments. Fritz Shurmurs 'Eagle defense' which was a base 3-4 which put down a 2-5 on obvious passing downs and catapulted Kevin Greene to stardom was one. Lovie Smith and his Tampa cover 2 is arguably another but we've never managed to establish an identity which ranks alongside those halcyon days of the 70's where our defence was what made our franchise competitive.

    Long overdue in my opinion is a defence which strikes fear into the hearts of opposing offences and is responsible for the lions share of the teams success.

    Recently we've handicapped by what has turned out to be an insurmountable problem.

    We drafted three duds at DT in the first round.

    Yes, I've finally bailed on Jimmy. As much as it hurts me to do so and as much as it pains me to spell it out in this way I feel that it's necessary to add Jimmy Kennedy to the list of first round disappointing draft decisions.

    I remember being thrilled with the choice at first on the basis that Jimmy was a human story as well as a player of seeming talent. He seemed to be a nice kid who'd over-achieved as the result of the care and attention of his high school football coach. Now however, his inability to command the attention of blockers and make a decent impact on the oppositions running game is hampering the play of his linemates and the overall effectiveness of the blitzing scheme of Jim Haslett and has led me to question his place at the centre of our defensive scheme.

    I don't exclude Glover from his share of the blame either, or for that matter Little who to me is a great pass-rusher but a liability against the run. Neither do I absolve the overall paucity of defensive talent. I do think though, that it's central to the future of this franchise that we address the defensive front before any other section of the team in both free-agency and the draft. It is vital that we improve this area if we are to see a return on our investment in other areas, most noticeably Will Witherspoon.

    You can almost trace our present defensive travails to the fateful draft day decisions that led to Pickett, Kennedy and Lewis, all of whom have had undistinguished careers (and yes, I do include Pickett in that list). The inability of such liberal investment to pay off is more than incidental to our current problems. In fact, it is so central to our issues in terms of team specifics and the larger rules of the NFL, that it has highlighted our need to address it before we consider any other area of our team.

    In order to tackle the problem as it were we must concentrate on the tackle position.

    Sooner rather than later.

    I'd welcome some potential solutions as a footnote to this thread.


  2. #2
    BIG-BLUE's Avatar
    BIG-BLUE is online now Registered User
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    Re: Tackling the problem.

    Agreed, the majority of our problems come from the front lines. The war will always begin in the trenches & until we can start overpowering opposing offenses we will continue to get butchered by bigger & stronger offensive linemen. IMO we need to switch to a 3/4 defense next year. To do this we need a nose tackle that is a beast, he must be BIG, 325 plus, He must poses massive power in his legs & upper body, be quick on his feet, & be intelligent. This is a must in the off season along with another stud linebacker.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Tackling the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by BIG-BLUE View Post
    Agreed, the majority of our problems come from the front lines. The war will always begin in the trenches & until we can start overpowering opposing offenses we will continue to get butchered by bigger & stronger offensive linemen. IMO we need to switch to a 3/4 defense next year. To do this we need a nose tackle that is a beast, he must be BIG, 325 plus, He must poses massive power in his legs & upper body, be quick on his feet, & be intelligent. This is a must in the off season along with another stud linebacker.
    I agree 100%. I saw Ngata as a potential candidate for that role in the last draft, he was even there when we picked but apparently the coaching staff felt either that Tye Hill was too good to pass up or that we could get by with Glover and Kennedy. To me the jury is still out on the first, while the answer for the second can only be a clear "No" at this point with our horrible run defense. So again this year I'll be looking for a player to fit that description you gave in the 1st round, hopefully this year we'll finally hit a jackpot in terms of drafting a DT.

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Tackling the problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Pang View Post
    AOur franchise has struggled to establish itself as a defensive powerhouse since the days of the fearsome foursome. We have never managed to establish our credentials as a defensive ball club for anything over a season or two since the late 70's.
    You've got your dates wrong. The "Fearsome Foursome" ended in the early 70s. The mid-late 70s defenses, which were anchored by non-Foursome members Jack Youngblood, Fred Dryer, Larry Brooks, Hacksaw Reynolds, Isiah Robertson and Nolan Cromwell were great.

  5. #5
    Fat Pang's Avatar
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    Re: Tackling the problem.

    I'm aware that the fearsome foursome were late 60's early 70's. I then said in a seperate sentence that we had not established ourselves as a defensive ballclub "...for anything over a season or two since the late 70's."

    There should perhaps have been a sentence in between that made the distinction between those two era's very clear and gave full accreditation to "Hunter" and company. Alternatively, I could have made the dates of the fearsome foursome's rampage across the NFL clear.

    My appreciation of the history of our ballclub, whilst incomplete, isn't as fogged as to make such a faux pas.

    Apologies for any confusion that may have been caused.

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