The lack of playmakers in the defensive backfield is whats really hurting us (1 Viewer)

Numbskull

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Above all other things, I believe that the complete inability of our defensive backfield to turn the ball over via interception is hurting this team the most. A defensive scheme which relies heavily on player discipline is Gibbs' way of disguising the lack of talent he has behind the defensive line. We have a defense which is disciplined, that plays hard, and is capable of having good stretchs of play during a given game, but the completely lack of playmaking ability in the linebacking core and in the secondary is KILLING us!!

I don't think we have a player behind the line who can actually "force" a turnover via good play; what I mean is that the ball must be thrown right into our team's hands for us to get an INT and even the majority of those are dropped. The only exception that I could possibly see is Fujita, but I haven't seen "evidance" from him in recent games.

Without a lot of talent, our defense is top 15 and has through most of our 9 games this year, minus the Pittsburgh game, done good enough to keep the other team's offense from scoring more points than our offense has the ability to score; hence the 6-3 record. We will lose most games in which our offense turns the ball over multiple times, because the defense simply lacks the talent to make plays which can offset the offense's mistakes. They are solid enough not to lose us the game by themselves, but when our offense starts helping the other team we are in trouble.

The offseason should be the furthest thing from our minds right now during what has truly been a magical season this year, but it is a MUST for Loomis to go out and find a defensive playmaker or two behind the line of scrimmage after the season. Beyond the most obvious need for a playmaker at the middle linebacker position, upgrading the free safety position would be next on my list. Bullocks is a kid who was drafted on reputation of being a ballhawk and he has not panned out at all in that respect. He still makes rookie mistakes and is not outstanding in any aspect. He is depth calibur in this league. Adding another starting calibur corner next to McKenzie (w/ Fred at nickle), getting Harper back playing at SS, and acquiring a playmaking FS would be a nice shot in the arm for the secondary.

On a more positive note, we have a young offense which can outscore most any team in the league. With Payton calling the plays and a young offensive core, we will be a hard team to beat for a long time, even with a defense that is only "capable of solid play." There isn't a team in the league outside of Indianapolis that overmatches us; we will win most every game in which we take care of the ball; and we have as good an A game as anyone in the NFC.

We are contenders this year, lack of interceptions be damned. GEAUX SAINTS!!
 
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Great Dane

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I agree. Not much we can do about it now. The only turnovers we get are on sacks (fumbles). I think we only have 2 INT's for the year. And Harper is out.

This said stopping teams on 3rd down is probably more important than INT's.
 

Trey W.

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while i too have been critical of Bullocks this year, i'm not ready to replace him yet. He played extremely well last year for a rookie, and if not for a lot of penalties would have probably led the league in INT's. One thing people forget before they start blaming players for bad play is what the scheme is on that play and what their assignment is on that play wether they are playing zone or man. I agree there have been to many plays deep where the safety has been beaten, we don't know if the coaches are asking them to stay up longer since our run support needs a little help.
 

BoNcHiE

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Its not our secondary. Its our D line. Very very few INT's occur from DB's jumping routes. Most of them come from bad throws brought on by pressure. We haven't gotten enough. It showed again thsi week as Ben "the int machine" picked us apart.
 

kfran

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There isn't a team in the league outside of Indianapolis that overmatches us; we will win most every game in which we take care of the ball; and we have as good an A game as anyone in the NFC.

We are contenders this year, lack of interceptions be damned. GEAUX SAINTS!!


On point, Numbskull! Could not have said it any better. :goodpost:
 

geauxboy

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Its not our secondary. Its our D line. Very very few INT's occur from DB's jumping routes. Most of them come from bad throws brought on by pressure. We haven't gotten enough. It showed again thsi week as Ben "the int machine" picked us apart.
That is very true. Most INT's are generated from pressure starting with the DL. They have, IMO, done a pretty good job getting pressure, but maybe it's not enough in turn to cause bad throws.
 

SaintJ

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Great post. IMO, most of the lack of turnovers comes from the general lack of athleticism from the back seven. We've generally been very disciplined this year in the secondary: one great example is McKenzie, who's game has totally changed from "gambling playmaker" to "just make sure my guy stays covered all over the field." I think he's done a nice job of adjusting his game to what the coaches seem to want, and he's having a fine year, based if nothing else than I haven't really heard his name called, except in occasional run support, since the Packers game.

But none of our LBs are exceptionally fast or strong (relatively speaking, mind you), and Omar Stoutmire wasn't even that good in his prime. Without his running mate Harper, IMO Bullocks is staying a little more conservative as well.

But I have zero complaints about the scheme or the players, as the scheme has kept us in the top half of the league in both points allowed and yards allowed, and given the relative lack of physical talent in the back seven, I don't think any of us could realistically have asked for much more around Labor Day.
 

MJ in Calif

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I've brought this up before. It's not just INTs but turnovers in general and the Saints are just not generating any period. It caught up with them Sunday. I"m not a coach or coordinator, but it did seem tio me this past Sunday that when the Saints brought pressure in the 1st half it rattled old Ben into some errant throws and in the 2nd half, it seemed the Saints stopped doing it, or perhaps Pitt was picking up the blitzes. I don't know but it did appear that they stopped coming with the blitz packages.

Aside from that, I think we saw a lot of breakdowns with respect to the defense that were irrespective of the lack of playmakers on that side of the ball. On Parkers 2nd big run, McKenzie totally took himself out of the play when he went crashing inside, leaving no containment on the outside,which is where Parker took it. The CB has to stay home on running plays and for whatever reason, he bit inside. And Pitts tying TD pass, that was a complete breakdown between Craft and Bullocks. Finally, there was some very poor tackling on the part of the Saints DBs.
 

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What's bothering me the most is that there is nothing that can be done about it at this time. It's not like there are any good CBs or Safeties sitting at home waiting for a call. For you guys with great football knowledge - is there anyway for the team to make adjustments to eliminate a lot of the big passing plays we give up? Different schemes, maybe?
 

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Its not our secondary. Its our D line. Very very few INT's occur from DB's jumping routes. Most of them come from bad throws brought on by pressure. We haven't gotten enough. It showed again thsi week as Ben "the int machine" picked us apart.

i agree with you. we try to pressure to much with just a 4 man rush and when we blitz LB's they just don't seem to be able to get off the blocks. Simoneau always seems to run right at a OL instead of making a pass rush move.
 
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Numbskull

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But I have zero complaints about the scheme or the players, as the scheme has kept us in the top half of the league in both points allowed and yards allowed, and given the relative lack of physical talent in the back seven, I don't think any of us could realistically have asked for much more around Labor Day.
At this point, I have zero complaints on the scheme in general. I think Gibbs is getting the most out of these guys and we're having our best statistical year in atleast the last 5 years without a ton of talent. Just pointing out what we really are missing on this team. Besides Bailey, there are no shutdown corners in this league, but there are a handful of good corners that are able to make plays on the football when its in the air and we don't have them. Its just really hard to swallow that this team has is -6 in turnover margin when are leading in most of their games and are getting a solid pass rush most of the time. I do not believe that the D-line is as big a part of lack of INTs as are the players who play behind them. At most times, even when someone in the secondary has the ball thrown right to them, they still drop it.
 
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Rugger

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I am laid up in a cast for the next couple of weeks (seven year of waiting to have knee surgery...thank gawd for insurance) and I have been honestly thinking of this same topic. I think it is a chain reaction. I will make it in bullets because I think it will be a bit clearer.

Starting at the front:

D-Line: Coming into the season I thought our d-line would be our mantel on defense. So far our DTs have been wearing that crown. They have been playing lights out. Our DEs on the other hand...is Grant really the answer. I like him. I think he is solid, but is he the playmaker we thought he would be? Is he going to be worth top money? I do not think so. Still I thought Smith would be top five in sacks this season. I thought he was ready for a break out season. So far he has been a bit of a disappointment.

LBers: I think they too are solid. I think they react well to the ball and give good effort, but I am not sure we are getting everything we can from the position. I am not sure if it their limited ability or the scheme...I will get to that a bit later.

Secondary: We need help here, but if we can not get the QB we are going to struggle. Still a int or two would be nice. A big time turnover in a key point of the game seems to be lacking. I have been disappointed in Bullocks the last couple of games, but he is young. Whoever is playing the other saftey sopt has not been very effective against the run. We need better production here.

Overall I think the D is solid, but we need a playmaker on the edge and in the backfield. Solid guys are fine, but we lack a game changer. I do not think teams are scheming around any of our players on D that needs to change.

I am not unhappy with the scheme, but I think last week Gibbs dropped the ball a bit. On play that stands out is when the Steelers were third and long inside their ten and they completed a twenty yard pass. Whenh you are not getting consistent pressure with your front four and you have the other teams O pinned back send some freaking pressure. Send a LB or two. Give your secondary a chance to make a big play. There were many times in that game when I keyed the LBers on pass downs. All three o them dropped straight back and played zone. Is that being effective? I don't think so, but our D has played better than I ever thought they would, but what do I know?

Still the point is if you do not have a dominate playmaker on your team you have to scheme to make big plays. It happened when we player the Panthers and it happened again against the Steelers. We need to get more pressure on the QB in key points of the game. I mean which is worse: Getting burned from trying to get pressure or getting burned from playing conservative? Then ask yourself when is more likely to generate a turnover.
 

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