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Why Aren't The Falcons Playing A More Aggressive/attacking Type Of Defense?

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#1 theProf

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:39 PM

I've heard it said in the past that Smitty and Van Gorder have not quite had the defensive personnel to play the kind of defense that they would like: tough, aggressive, attacking, good hard-tackling, ie the type of defenses that offenses do not really want to face.

It appears to me that Atlanta now has the personnel for that brand of defense. Once Babs returns, we should have a very good aggressive/attacking type of DL, especially if Jerry keeps progressing as a penetrating disruptive player.  I think Edwards is just what was needed to play opposite of Abe. He is beginning to get his game legs back, and already racking-up TFLs. QB pressures and sacks should be forthcoming from Edwards fairly soon. The Beerman, Sid, Walker, and Peters all provide quality rotational depth and needed rest for the starters, so that they can stay aggressive throughout the entire game.

Lofton, Spoon, and NIck are all young LBs with good game speed. They can be disruptive playmakers in their own right. I really liked the move of Spoon to the WLB, and starting Nickolas at SLB. This plays to the players strengths much better than starting Spoon at SLB and Peterson at WLB. I think Peterson can still be effective on a more limited rotational type basis, as he can back-up all three LB positions. Not exactly sure what we have with Dent and Adkins at this point though.

I believe that Hayden and Sanders will be good additions to our secondary. Grimes is turning into a consistent pro-bowl type of CB. Moore should get better with more experience, and he is a good hard hitter, if he gets the proper angle on a ball carrier. DeCoud has good potential as exemplified by his 2009 season. I don't know why he regressed, but the added competition from Sanders might help get him back in the right direction.

Dunta is a physical big-hitter type of CB, who can be disruptive if allowed to play his brand of tough football. I'm not so sure about Owens and Franks, but Walls may have some potential. I think Owens got his confidence shattered last season, and may or may not turn into a player. He did show some promise in his rookie season though. Hopefully, Schillinger will only have to play on special teams, and not any at Safety.

For the life of me, I don't understand how defense-oriented coaches can play a soft zone, bend but don't break, type of defensive scheme with our existing personnel. Why do teams keep converting third and long and racking-up so many total yards on our defense? Why do we keep using a soft zone scheme, and 3-3-5 formations, and expect to get different results on third and long? I think in virtually all passing situations you should have your 4 best defensive linemen rushing the passer, at a Minimum. I think a 4-2-5 nickle package is much better than the more passive 3-3-5, especially with our personnel.

Why not play a little more aggressive tight zone scheme or mix in some man-to man coverages? Why not let Dunta jam receivers at the line of scrimmage sometimes?  Why not use more creative and aggressive blitz packages? Sometimes its better to all-out rush 5 or 6 or even 7 at the passer, rather than dropping pass rushing defensive linemen back into coverage in most zone blitz packages. Why in the world is our best pass-rusher Abe dropping back in coverage so often anyway?  Add an extra LB and/or DB to the pass rush, in addition to the 4 best pass-rushing linemen.  Why not go after them more aggressively, rather than sit back passively waiting on them to come to you?

Even though these guys are pros, better tackling techniques need to be constantly taught and reinforced. If you are afraid to get offensive players hurt in more tackling drills, then let the defensive players tackle one another. I'd like to see better form tackling: where the defensive player sticks his helmet head-up into the midsection of the runner, wraps both arms and hands around his waist, and drives the runner forcibly into the ground. What ever happened to good old classic form tackling?

#2 Carl927

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:57 PM

I think it's a mixture of soft and aggressive defense.

Sure, we play a lot of zone, but we bring the blitz often.  Many would describe us as aggressive.   I agree we need to try something different on third and long, tho.  The nickel is a good option on passing downs - we just happen to have a few personnel who don't execute it very well.

Hopefully Hayden will make the difference.

#3 blkbigdog35

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 03:59 PM

Personally I would like to see us play more man coverage!!

#4 FalconFanSince1970

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:07 PM

I would like to see a more blitz heavy approach but not with these players. We blized like crazy Sunday night and got a few hits but a grand total of zero sacks. I can't recall the last time one of our LBs or DBs got a sack. Our players get stoned almost every time. Sanders and Hayden looked better blitzing on Sunday but neither of them got the QB down either.

#5 Lee LongŠ

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:13 PM

Wouldn't Jerry's FF be considered a sack fumble? (jus sayin ;) )

#6 Psychic Gibbon

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:18 PM

I would like to see less blown coverages personally.

#7 theProf

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:38 PM

View PostFalconFanSince1970, on 22 September 2011 - 04:07 PM, said:

I would like to see a more blitz heavy approach but not with these players. We blized like crazy Sunday night and got a few hits but a grand total of zero sacks. I can't recall the last time one of our LBs or DBs got a sack. Our players get stoned almost every time. Sanders and Hayden looked better blitzing on Sunday but neither of them got the QB down either.
How many players were typically involved in rushing the passer in our blitz packages Sunday night? Were there ever 6 or 7 rushing the passer? Perhaps Atlanta does not have the right LB and DB personnel to effectively blitz, but sometimes I think it is the lack of creativity. In most of our blitz packages it seems to me that the opposing team knows exactly where the pressure is going to come from.  If the blitz problem is with our LBs or DBs, then why not blitz with 5 defensive linemen? Occasionally Atlanta might could use a 5-2-4 or a 5-1-5 defensive formation on passing downs. Be creative, but don't do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. I think the standard nickle formation should be the 4-2-5, but I can't stand Atlanta's 3-3-5 nickle package.

#8 Knight of God

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:43 PM

View PostFalconFanSince1970, on 22 September 2011 - 04:07 PM, said:

I would like to see a more blitz heavy approach but not with these players. We blized like crazy Sunday night and got a few hits but a grand total of zero sacks. I can't recall the last time one of our LBs or DBs got a sack. Our players get stoned almost every time. Sanders and Hayden looked better blitzing on Sunday but neither of them got the QB down either.
If we do that, we may start really complaining about not picking Clay Matthews! LOL!!!

#9 kiwifalcon

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 04:54 PM

View PosttheProf, on 22 September 2011 - 03:39 PM, said:

I've heard it said in the past that Smitty and Van Gorder have not quite had the defensive personnel to play the kind of defense that they would like: tough, aggressive, attacking, good hard-tackling, ie the type of defenses that offenses do not really want to face.

It appears to me that Atlanta now has the personnel for that brand of defense. Once Babs returns, we should have a very good aggressive/attacking type of DL, especially if Jerry keeps progressing as a penetrating disruptive player.  I think Edwards is just what was needed to play opposite of Abe. He is beginning to get his game legs back, and already racking-up TFLs. QB pressures and sacks should be forthcoming from Edwards fairly soon. The Beerman, Sid, Walker, and Peters all provide quality rotational depth and needed rest for the starters, so that they can stay aggressive throughout the entire game.

Lofton, Spoon, and NIck are all young LBs with good game speed. They can be disruptive playmakers in their own right. I really liked the move of Spoon to the WLB, and starting Nickolas at SLB. This plays to the players strengths much better than starting Spoon at SLB and Peterson at WLB. I think Peterson can still be effective on a more limited rotational type basis, as he can back-up all three LB positions. Not exactly sure what we have with Dent and Adkins at this point though.

I believe that Hayden and Sanders will be good additions to our secondary. Grimes is turning into a consistent pro-bowl type of CB. Moore should get better with more experience, and he is a good hard hitter, if he gets the proper angle on a ball carrier. DeCoud has good potential as exemplified by his 2009 season. I don't know why he regressed, but the added competition from Sanders might help get him back in the right direction.

Dunta is a physical big-hitter type of CB, who can be disruptive if allowed to play his brand of tough football. I'm not so sure about Owens and Franks, but Walls may have some potential. I think Owens got his confidence shattered last season, and may or may not turn into a player. He did show some promise in his rookie season though. Hopefully, Schillinger will only have to play on special teams, and not any at Safety.

For the life of me, I don't understand how defense-oriented coaches can play a soft zone, bend but don't break, type of defensive scheme with our existing personnel. Why do teams keep converting third and long and racking-up so many total yards on our defense? Why do we keep using a soft zone scheme, and 3-3-5 formations, and expect to get different results on third and long? I think in virtually all passing situations you should have your 4 best defensive linemen rushing the passer, at a Minimum. I think a 4-2-5 nickle package is much better than the more passive 3-3-5, especially with our personnel.

Why not play a little more aggressive tight zone scheme or mix in some man-to man coverages? Why not let Dunta jam receivers at the line of scrimmage sometimes?  Why not use more creative and aggressive blitz packages? Sometimes its better to all-out rush 5 or 6 or even 7 at the passer, rather than dropping pass rushing defensive linemen back into coverage in most zone blitz packages. Why in the world is our best pass-rusher Abe dropping back in coverage so often anyway?  Add an extra LB and/or DB to the pass rush, in addition to the 4 best pass-rushing linemen.  Why not go after them more aggressively, rather than sit back passively waiting on them to come to you?

Even though these guys are pros, better tackling techniques need to be constantly taught and reinforced. If you are afraid to get offensive players hurt in more tackling drills, then let the defensive players tackle one another. I'd like to see better form tackling: where the defensive player sticks his helmet head-up into the midsection of the runner, wraps both arms and hands around his waist, and drives the runner forcibly into the ground. What ever happened to good old classic form tackling?

Prof nice post..

The thing that gets me is the tackling we whiff far to much in my view and the Weatherspoon Whiff against the Bears was a shocker.

To me they should look to other sports like Rugby Union and Rugby League for tackling help.In these sports its intergral to have your technique correct and taking correct angles and things like using the sideline as another defender are things we were taught at a very young age when it comes to tackling.

#10 theProf

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:24 PM

View PostKnight of God, on 22 September 2011 - 04:43 PM, said:

If we do that, we may start really complaining about not picking Clay Matthews! LOL!!!
Well I have to admit that I was one who was really wanting the Falcons to select Clay Matthews in the 2009 draft. I had the Falcons selecting Matthews in almost all of my mock drafts that year. Atlanta selected Peria Jerry instead, even though Matthews was still on the board at that time. Most said that Matthews couldn't play effectively in a base 4-3-4, and really needed to be in a 3-4-4 base defense. I'm not so sure about that though, as I think he could be a very effective player in any defensive scheme.

I was especially lamenting the failure to draft Matthews after watching the Falcons/Packers playoff game, and considering Jerry's lack of contribution during the 2010 season. However, Peria Jery is beginning to play much better now, and will hopefully turn into a playmaking force. One day, I hope I'm extremely glad that the Falcons drafted Jerry over Matthews

#11 atlshocker

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:34 PM

Grimes is not a man corner. Thats the only reason I can think of that is to why we play what we do.

#12 theProf

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:14 PM

View PosttheProf, on 22 September 2011 - 03:39 PM, said:

It appears to me that Atlanta now has the personnel for that brand of defense. Once Babs returns, we should have a very good aggressive/attacking type of DL, especially if Jerry keeps progressing as a penetrating disruptive player.  I think Edwards is just what was needed to play opposite of Abe. He is beginning to get his game legs back, and already racking-up TFLs. QB pressures and sacks should be forthcoming from Edwards fairly soon. The Beerman, Sid, Walker, and Peters all provide quality rotational depth and needed rest for the starters, so that they can stay aggressive throughout the entire game.
From Smitty's interview with Jay Adams today:

"On defensive lineman wearing down as the game goes on, allowing offensive lines to protect better:

“You want to play effectively and efficiently in the fourth quarter in this league because the majority of the games, over 55 percent of them last year, came down to one score, 27 percent of them came down to three points and that’s really when you want to be playing your best football and your most efficient football. It is tough rushing the passer. You’re pushing big bodies back towards the quarterback and I believe that’s why you see across this league that everybody is into the rotation and keeping defensive lineman fresh because it’s not an easy job.”

#13 theProf

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 06:25 PM

View Postatlshocker, on 22 September 2011 - 05:34 PM, said:

Grimes is not a man corner. Thats the only reason I can think of that is to why we play what we do.
Grimes is an exceptional athlete: I certainly don't see why he can't effectively play man coverage. He won't be able to jam the receiver at the line, but he is certainly capable of keeping up with him all over the field IMO.

#14 Knight of God

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:21 PM

View PosttheProf, on 22 September 2011 - 05:24 PM, said:

Well I have to admit that I was one who was really wanting the Falcons to select Clay Matthews in the 2009 draft. I had the Falcons selecting Matthews in almost all of my mock drafts that year. Atlanta selected Peria Jerry instead, even though Matthews was still on the board at that time. Most said that Matthews couldn't play effectively in a base 4-3-4, and really needed to be in a 3-4-4 base defense. I'm not so sure about that though, as I think he could be a very effective player in any defensive scheme.

I was especially lamenting the failure to draft Matthews after watching the Falcons/Packers playoff game, and considering Jerry's lack of contribution during the 2010 season. However, Peria Jery is beginning to play much better now, and will hopefully turn into a playmaking force. One day, I hope I'm extremely glad that the Falcons drafted Jerry over Matthews
I agree with EVERYTHING you said there. I have tried to explain it this well, but you are spot on.

#15 madman88

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:29 PM

View Postatlshocker, on 22 September 2011 - 05:34 PM, said:

Grimes is not a man corner. Thats the only reason I can think of that is to why we play what we do.
:blink: :blink:  a lot of grimes INTs are when he is playing man... might want to recheck that statement..

#16 madman88

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:32 PM

View PosttheProf, on 22 September 2011 - 06:25 PM, said:

Grimes is an exceptional athlete: I certainly don't see why he can't effectively play man coverage. He won't be able to jam the receiver at the line, but he is certainly capable of keeping up with him all over the field IMO.
it doesnt matter, he likes to play off, dnt you see how the eagles use their CBs, namdi presses his guy, asunte ALWAYS play off, and so does DRC. we play the same way, dunta is closer to his guy but doesnt press, why i dnt kno... grimes is always 5-7 yards off, and he does press, but depending on the call, he will  wait till the 5yd line to get his hands on you.  both can play man, we actually played a little man against the eagles.

#17 vel

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:47 PM

View Postmadman88, on 22 September 2011 - 08:32 PM, said:

it doesnt matter, he likes to play off, dnt you see how the eagles use their CBs, namdi presses his guy, asunte ALWAYS play off, and so does DRC. we play the same way, dunta is closer to his guy but doesnt press, why i dnt kno... grimes is always 5-7 yards off, and he does press, but depending on the call, he will  wait till the 5yd line to get his hands on you.  both can play man, we actually played a little man against the eagles.
BVG likes to run a man under when he goes man. This allows DRob to play "man" and Grimes to cut underneath routes. The problem with that is that DRob is not a man under type of corner. Let him play bump and run. 1v1 him and the WR. He doesn't have to think about the rest of the scheme and where his help is. Kind of like Revis when he goes full man.

Also, BVG likes to send the nickel and drop the DE and try and bait the QB into throwing that pass. Well if you thought Owens was bad in coverage, just look at how lost our DEs look in coverage. I am still confused as to why he drops one of the best DEs in the league on a crucial third down. When did Cole drop into coverage Sunday? Never. Abe is a weapon on third down that isn't properly utilized. When we blitz, the nickel is easily picked up with which ever LB we send. But if Abe rushed the passer, he either gets a 1v1 or double teamed opening holes for the blitz.

#18 vel

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:48 PM

View Postvel, on 22 September 2011 - 08:47 PM, said:

BVG likes to run a man under when he goes man. This allows DRob to play "man" and Grimes to cut underneath routes. The problem with that is that DRob is not a man under type of corner. Let him play bump and run. 1v1 him and the WR. He doesn't have to think about the rest of the scheme and where his help is. Kind of like Revis when he goes full man. DRob likes to be physical and bump and run allows him to be in WR's hip pocket and feeling the WR. In man under, he is playing chase.

Also, BVG likes to send the nickel and drop the DE and try and bait the QB into throwing that pass. Well if you thought Owens was bad in coverage, just look at how lost our DEs look in coverage. I am still confused as to why he drops one of the best DEs in the league on a crucial third down. When did Cole drop into coverage Sunday? Never. Abe is a weapon on third down that isn't properly utilized. When we blitz, the nickel is easily picked up with which ever LB we send. But if Abe rushed the passer, he either gets a 1v1 or double teamed opening holes for the blitz.


#19 madman88

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:05 PM

View Postvel, on 22 September 2011 - 08:47 PM, said:

BVG likes to run a man under when he goes man. This allows DRob to play "man" and Grimes to cut underneath routes. The problem with that is that DRob is not a man under type of corner. Let him play bump and run. 1v1 him and the WR. He doesn't have to think about the rest of the scheme and where his help is. Kind of like Revis when he goes full man.

Also, BVG likes to send the nickel and drop the DE and try and bait the QB into throwing that pass. Well if you thought Owens was bad in coverage, just look at how lost our DEs look in coverage. I am still confused as to why he drops one of the best DEs in the league on a crucial third down. When did Cole drop into coverage Sunday? Never. Abe is a weapon on third down that isn't properly utilized. When we blitz, the nickel is easily picked up with which ever LB we send. But if Abe rushed the passer, he either gets a 1v1 or double teamed opening holes for the blitz.
we do play press at times, but not a whole lot of it, your right we do play a underneath man scheme(cover2) but you can still play straight up man in cover 2. i think this is more of a ``technique`` issue then anything else. like ive said before, we gotta at least TRY to attack a offense and put the pressure on our secondary tohave some pride and man up with wrs... the d-line went through it, they had their fair share of games were they was a big reason why we lost games, including our LBs, but since they have gotten better, you can really see the problem in the pass defense..

its going to be a fun few weeks, somebody is either going to lose there job, or job duty if you get my drift :lol:  BVG cnt blame it on the players forever...

#20 Peyton

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 09:09 PM

The Falcons are playing plenty aggressive on defense.  On Sunday night, they had plays where they were blitzing LB, safety, and CB all on the same play.  You can't do that every play, it turns into disaster.

Besides, if the defensive line is getting it done, that's when you want to blitz less, not more.  So if Jerry continues to progress, and Abe and Edwards are playing well, I wouldn't expect to see a blitz heavy defense.