Don't expect miracles from a DC or scheme change (1 Viewer)


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Jul 16, 2005
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Jackson, ms
Don't expect miracles from just a DC or scheme change

We've now seen three different defensive coordinators in the Payton era. The success has varied but for the most part we've been subpar on the defensive side of the ball.

I fully expect our defense next season to be better than this season regardless because when you finish worst ever there really is only one place to go. I also expect that the scheme change will get several specific players on the field that we've all seen the talent from over the past couple seasons. Guys that simply didn't get a chance to really shine getting limited snaps. I also expect our defense to get better by the release of several players who were terrible and pretty much anyone we bring in will be an upgrade.

What I don't expect is players that have been around for a while to suddenly look like a star. We may see some improvement from a few players and might have one that goes from below average to above average but overall it is unrealistic to expect a player to suddenly emerge as the player we want them to be.

Here are some examples.
In 2009 we hired Greg Williams. We also brought in a future hall of fame FS in Sharper. In 2008 we traded for Vilma. In both cases these guys were quality players when they came here and had terrific seasons for us. In 2009 Will Smith made the pro bowl but he had been there before and while he had the best season of his career he was in a contract year, we played a lot of young QBs and he was at what is considered by most to be the prime age. Since then his play declined with the same coordinato and a new one. Scott Fujita was a great defender for us in 2006-2009, there wasn't a significant increase or decrease in performance under Williams and the same can be said for just about every player on the roster.

In 2012 we hired Spags.
Many had high expectations for Jenkins, Will Smith, Junior, Martez and even Cam in his defense. We were expecting break out seasons for different players based on nothing more than a scheme change. What we witnessed more than anything was blown coverage, missed assignments, poor fundamentals and players aging. Jenkins play actually dropped off despite the big expectations, Will Smith didn't do much of anything and while there were some bright spots from Junior and Martez Spags failure to recognize their talent and failure to get them on the field they weren't allowed to really shine. We brought Lofton in and he had a solid season but he was solid player before getting here.

In other words, defensive coordinators and schemes don't really make players more talented with few exceptions. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed have had 4 defensive coordinators with the Ravens and they were for the most part equally great under each.

Now there are some exceptions but usually limited to one or two positions that are designated as playmaking positions in different schemes. In the 3-4 it is the ROLB or rush backer. In the 4-3 it tends to be the MLB or RDE but in all cases the player has to be good to see good results.

In other words, next season Malcolm Jenkins will still be Malcolm Jenkins, he isn't going to go in beast mode suddenly at FS because of a scheme change. Will Smith will still be an aging, out of shape player.

Here is what we should be excited about:

1) A good defensive coordinator will put the best players on the field, bring the best players to the team, spread confidence and a certain type of physical attitude to our players. A good defensive coordinator still wont make bad players good, but he can make every player a little bit better by putting them in the best position to succeed.

2) A scheme change will give us a chance to put our best players on the field. We have those physical freaks on the team with guys like Martez Wilson and Braylon Broughton.

3) Going to a 3-4 instantly increases our odds of success because it has proven to be a better defense in general over the past 5-10 years.

4) We will be dumping several players that aren't very good and upgrading them with hungry young and talented players. We also take a position of weakness off the field all together (DT).

5) Teams will not have the advantage of being familiar with our defense. Everything they've come to expect the last few seasons is different. This is even more true within our division where teams know each other well. Nobody else in the NFC South runs a 34 defense and it will be a challenge for them each time we play.

6) The availability of players increases in the 34. The players deemed not good fits for a 43 and your tweener type players that can still fit in a 34 are available to fill in at a low price or mid round pick.

7) The 34 defense allows for more flexibility to hide individual players weaknesses. It is also slightly more difficult for offensive lineman to protect and QBs to call protections and read coverages.

8) A good defensive coordinator may call the perfect defensive play a 1-2 times more a game than a bad coordinator. A good coordinator will not call a terrible defensive play a 1-2 times more a game than bad coordinator. The difference is very small but the difference in calling two plays a game that result in a sack or turnover instead of a big play for the offense is huge in the NFL. It is the difference between being the worst defense in the NFL and a above average defense.

If we are going to see a significantly better defenses we are going to have to see a lot of things change. We have to see an upgrade in talent, big performances from the young players on the team that have shown flashes and slightly better play at each remaining player.
Very few DC's are capable of coming in and making serious improvement in the first season. I'm sure the Saints situation gives the candidates pause.

If I was a DC with a good resume, I would ask Payton 2 things:

1. Whether he has plans to stop scoring so quickly.
2. What Spags did wrong that got him fired.

If I was Payton, I would ask the candidates to give me several examples their talent evaluation skill.
The parade just got rolling and your already predicting rain ? :idunno:

Did you read the post or are you making assumptions?

I'm not predicting rain. If we kept Spags and stayed in a 4-3 then I'd predict a typhoon. I've been screaming for his head since October along with a switch to a 34. Instead I'm predicting a solid but not great defense next season which is all we need with our offense. I'm not expecting to go from worst to first but that is kind of unrealistic expectations even though it is possible. I'm simply stating that expecting bad players to become good is unrealistic and that we have to make a lot of changes then need to do a lot of little things to become a lot better overall.
we've had the worst season a fan base has ever gone through
we get a glimmer of hope in coach being reinstated and the news that we are moving in a direction many of the fan base has been yelling for
and this is how you want to handle this news?
nobody is "expecting" miracles - but what's the harm in even considering the possibility of a miracle?
plus we had one going from '05 to '06

let us have our moment
we've had the worst season a fan base has ever gone through
we get a glimmer of hope in coach being reinstated and the news that we are moving in a direction many of the fan base has been yelling for
and this is how you want to handle this news?
nobody is "expecting" miracles - but what's the harm in even considering the possibility of a miracle?
plus we had one going from '05 to '06

let us have our moment

If you think last season was the worst season a fan base has gone through then you must be forgetting 2005.

There is no harm considering the possibility of a miracle, it is possible.

I've been one yelling louder than anyone. I've gotten many red thumbs for wanting Spags fired since mid season.

I'm not sure how you guys are taking negativity from my post unless you just aren't reading it.
Wade Phillips disagrees.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Tapatalk 2
I am banking on galette having at least a sack a game in the 3-4. The dude can get up and go and is just relentless. Quarterbacks will fear galette only a few games into next season. I realize these are somewhat unrealistic expectations but I'm guessing we will be playing with a lead a lot next year and galette on the field full time as rush backer gives me wood.
I'm just glad we're going to a 3-4

I've been wanting a 3-4 for a while (must be harkening back to the 80's or something I think).

I already consider it a miracle that my home team is switching to a defense I enjoy. The increase in performance is just gravy that I hope I'll get.
We've had DC here win a sb their first year inheriting nothing....we've also had DC coach the worst D in history their first year inheriting I don't think saint fans are thinking about miracles at this time.

Do your job...if you can't..don't expect to hang around here for long. The window is closing fast and we don't have time to bleed things out.

Glad Sean got to see this **** from the outside. He's probably kicked in a few tv's. Get it done.
Sometimes it's just perception. A lot of folks here were comparing Dick Nolan and Spags throughout the season, but the Falcons final numbers didn't differ much at all from previous seasons. It does help to have a little bit of an attitude though and again, not having *worst ever* numbers will be an improvement.

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