Pretty much with the exception of our DL our D is in shambles, so I decided to write a fanpost about this and I'm going to go through what we can do with our DL, LB's, CB then Safety's and then finally coaching decisions overall.
After the jump we'll begin...
Jim Washburn is the greatest Defensive line coach in the NFL, his units almost always rank near the top in Sacks and he's given life to players like Babin, Vaden Bosch and created monsters like Albert Haynesworth. He's without a doubt the only coach I have 100% faith in on the defensive side of the ball.
That wide 9 has produced 15 sacks with almost half (7.0) Going to Babin who followed Washburn to Philly, if you do the math if Babin keeps up his pace he'll have 28 sacks in the regular season which would shatter the 22.5 Strahan set in 2001.
Now if I were the coach the only change I would make is to tell the DT's to stay square to the line of scrimmage once getting past the offensive lineman, that way they can adjust if it's a run and attack if it's a run, also I do think we're missing one big thing on our Defensive line and that's the Haynesworth like player, we need somebody who'll demand double teams constantly along with Jenkins inside.
At this point I'm going to say fixing our LB's is going to be a rough rough job. Fokou's not getting the job done, Chaney's not getting the job done, Matthews has been benched, Rolle's about the only guy I have any faith in and I wasn't to high on him leading into the season due to his stature.. But at this point, I don't fucking care if you're 4'5 weighting in at 125, if you can get off a block and tackle a RB at the LOS or 3 yards down the field then I'd play you.
Step 1: (These are options out there I find interesting, there are more, there are some that may not fit.. Also going to assume we don't sign end up with ANY of these guys moving forward to step 2 etc)
I'd definitely take a look at those LB's who are out there.
- Aaron Curry is an intriguing athlete who could turn things around here with a change of scenery.
- Tatupu is out there and even if he had 2 bum knees could provide some veteran leadership .
- A guy like Will Witherspoon could potentially be aquired from the Titans for a pick or maybe a player, he'd provide some experience in the system and leadership
- Pisa Tinoisamoa is out there and he's a guy who's played a lot of football and while a journey man could help us a little.
- Keith Rivers is a guy who's been out due to injury for Cincy and may in returning could have stiff competition from Manny Lawson for his job, maybe for a quality pick the Eagles could add him, he's a good OLB who'd add some physicality to our defense.
Step 2 (Assuming we don't sign or trade for anybody):
At this point we have to take a look at what we have on our roster. We have Fokou, Chaney and Rolle starting. Matthew's is likely backing up both WILL and MIKE, with Jordan getting reps at all 3 spots.
I would say at this point when 1 LB begins struggling we just plug in the next guy, there can't be that much of a difference from Chaney to Jordan, Jordan to Matthews etc, so when one's not getting the job done give another an opportunity, it's the only way we're going to find 3 guys who can actually play the game how we need them too.
I'd say as of right now keep Rolle at WILL LB, but for some reason I feel like Fokou should get an opportunity in the middle, he was one of our better run stoppers last season and often had to take on blockers and shed them to make tackles so maybe he could transition that to the MIKE position. Then we'd move Chaney outside and let him play at SAM LB where I feel he did a little bit better when it came to the run.
This is very simple. Man coverage. Nnamdi man-to-man with a WR and Asante man-to-man with a WR. Don't completely leave Zone, but definitely only use it enough to keep the QB guessing. Let Nnamdi go back to shutting down an entire side of the field and let Asante do what he does best.
As far as Cromartie, let the dude come in and play, give him 20-25 snaps a game whether it's Nickel or whatever because he's actually been pretty good for us so far and I have high hopes for him.
The key is man-to-man. It takes only 2 of our players to eliminate 2 of theirs leaving 9 players to take on 9 players instead of 20 people in zone to cover 3 WR's just for them to dump it off to a RB to get 60 yards after the catch.
I'm definitely on board with Nate starting at FS, he did better than Coleman did early on, he's only going to get better, he seems like he's getting healthy again. We have our Free Safety set.
Now at Strong Safety I'm ify, it seems like Page makes some good plays, but then will miss an easy tackle or mess up in coverage and completely screw us. I'd like a little more consistancy at SS. I'd definitely take a look into give Jarrett some playing time, we need a hitter on defense, we need a guy who can give us consistency and I have this deep feeling that Jarrett's the guy for the job.
What I would do:
I'd keep Nate at FS and let him play center field, this way he can jump routes and make plays on the ball like he did last season and during his collegiate career. This will also help with Asante jumping routes because if he misses we'll often times have somebody behind to cover for his mistakes.
At SS I'd start to give Jarrett time. I'd mix him in with Page and see if he can take the job away from him, if Jarrett's even close to the hype everybody's given him then he could really help us in the run game and stuff like that.
There are a few things I wouldn't do:
- Put Nnamdi in zone more than 4-5 plays a half.
- Rely on the same LB's week in and week out if they weren't doing their jobs up to par
- Change the DL scheme.
- Blitz DB's, we don't need to do that.
- Just blow everything up and start over.
- Let my CB's hold WR's man to man and give our DL 3 seconds to make the sack, that's about what it's taking at the longest to get to the QB with our DL so we have to take advantage.
- I'd put my best Ballhawking Safety in coverage on obvious passing plays so when my DL gets pressure and a bad pass is thrown they can just play the ball and hopefully come up with a pick.
- I'd actually bring my LB's a few times a game, especially on first down.