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This is why I want a top CB next year


hawkeye
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I think we can all accept the fact that the NFL is a passing league. In the Super Bowl last year there were 84 pass attempts for 621 yards and just 37 rushing plays for 150 yards. Despite all of those passing attempts, the game featured only one sack. The smart teams are building up their secondary even when they already have a solid unit. The Jets had a top-flight secondary last year, and still traded for Antonio Cromartie and drafted Kyle Wilson in the first round.

Defensive backs are tricky to evaluate. There are only four on the field during the early downs in the base defense, but the defense can shift to the nickel, featuring five defensive backs, at any time. In fact, the nickel back is a primary starter more than you would think in the modern game. When an offense goes to four wide receivers or employs its hurry-up offense, the secondary can even go to six players on the field.

Given the importance of the defensive backfield, I thought I would try to rank the top five secondaries for 2010 based on the following criteria:

1. Prerformance in 2009. This was based on how opposing passers performed against them in terms of yards per pass attempt, completion percentage, passes attempted, number of 20-plus yard pass plays, 40-plus yard pass plays, sacks and passer rating.

2. Additions and subtractions in the offseason.

3. Production of the starting cornerbacks.

4. Are the safeties interchangeable?

5. The quality of the nickel back.

6. The depth to build a dime defense.

7. The presence of a lockdown corner.

8. The presence of an elite safety.

Based on the above criteria, here are the top eight secondaries from last season: Jets, Bills, Bengals, Packers, Saints, Eagles, Panthers, and Broncos.

As for additions and subtractions, the Jets brought in Cromartie and Wilson at cornerback, but lost safety Kerry Rhodes. The Bills have maintained the same personnel as last year. The Bengals added cornerback Brandon Ghee in the draft. Green Bay added depth with safety Morgan Burnett in the draft, and veteran corner Al Harris is expected to return. New Orleans drafted CB Patrick Robinson and may have the most secondary depth in the league. The Eagles drafted safety Nate Allen, and he's already penciled in to start because of an injury to Marlon Jackson. They also traded starting corner Sheldon Brown. The Panthers traded away safety Chris Harris and really didn't help themselves in the draft until the late rounds. The Broncos didn't add anyone to the mix until the fifth round, so they are essentially going with what they had in 2009.

Taking a look at the starting tandem of cornerbacks, three teams jumped out right away. The Eagles got 14 interceptions, 33 passes defended and two forced fumbles from the tandem of Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown (now in Cleveland). The Packers got 14 interceptions, 33 passes defended and four forced fumbles between Charles Woodson, Al Harris and Tramon Williams. Harris started the first 10 games opposite Woodson, before getting hurt and Williams taking over. Green Bay also started three corners at times. The Bengals got 12 interceptions, 44 passes defended and three forced fumbles from starters Jonathan Joseph and Leon Hall.

The best safeties in the league are Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed, but they both play for teams with questions at corner. The Colts get Bob Sanders back and have two quality starters in Antoine Bethea and Melvin Bullitt. The Packers got 10 interceptions from their starting safeties last year. The Bills discovered rookie Jairus Byrd and his nine interceptions. Darren Sharper may be long in the tooth, but his nine interceptions and three touchdowns put him in an elite group.

When it comes to that all important third corner, Drayton Florence of the Bills, Dwight Lowery of the Jets, the Packers' Williams, Orlando Scandrick of the Cowboys, Aaron Ross of the Giants, Brent Grimes of the Falcons, and Malcolm Jenkins (who might move to safety) of the Saints are a cut above the rest.

As for which teams have a lockdown corner, that rare player who can eliminate the opposition's go-to receiver, there just aren't many available. The Packers' Woodson, the Jets' Darrelle Revis and maybe still the Broncos' Champ Bailey fit the bill.

From all of the above factors, I have compiled a list of the top five secondaries entering next season:

1. Packers -- They have three excellent corners in Woodson, Williams and Harris. They had outstanding production from their safeties last year and added one in the draft. They got 24 interceptions from their starters last year, despite ranking only 11th in sacks.

2. Jets -- They might have been No. 1 if they had kept Rhodes. They are great at corner with Revis and Cromartie, and in the nickel with Lowery or rookie Wilson. They will be a top dime defense. They had the fewest sacks of the five teams that made this list with 31, but they were tops in completion percentage defense and yards per pass attempt allowed.

3. Saints -- Depth makes their secondary very attractive. They score fast on offense and most teams are playing catch-up against them, so nickel and dime defenses are critical. Tracey Porter, Jabari Greer, rookie Patrick Robinson, and Jenkins make their corner depth excellent. Sharper is joined by Roman Harper and Usama Young at safety. The Saints saw 73 more passes than the Jets did in 2009 and 34 more than the Packers, which affected the stats.

4. Bengals -- A terrific pair of starting corners (Hall and Joseph), a solid corner pickup in the draft (Ghee), and underrated safeties Chris Crocker and Chinedum Ndukwe make up a solid secondary. Roy Williams has a place in the secondary, but they may be better off without him. The Bengals generated only 34 sacks last year and that number should improve this season, thus helping the secondary.

5. Bills -- I can't believe they let defensive coordinator Perry Fewell go this offseason. They had the second-ranked pass defense, nabbed 28 interceptions, which was second to Green Bay's 30, and only allowed 14 touchdown passes.

I'm sure some other team will make its way into the top five by season's end, and here is my honorable mention list of teams I expect have a chance: Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Minnesota and Philadelphia. It's tough to make the Super Bowl without an elite secondary, so these teams should have a leg up.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story?id=09000d5d818c4908&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

I like Grimes but like Hakim24 mentioned in another thread, imagine a secondary like this.

D. Robinson

A. Williams(rookie)

T. DeCoud

W. Moore

C. Owens NB

B. Grimes Dime Back

Edited by hawkeye
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The Packers secondary baffles me. It's always considered top 2 or 3 in the NFL, BUT..they let Ben Roethlesberger throw for 500 yards on them, Schaub has 392, and then we all remember their playoff game against the Cardinals.

They're a good unit, don't get me wrong, but I don't think they're that good, they benefited from some cupcake passing offenses.

Bengals, Lions x2, Browns, etc. I mean, the 2 games against the Vikings, Favre had 520+ yards, 7 TD's, and 0 interceptions. The Packers secondary is HIGHLY overrated.

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We just bought ourselves a fancy new DB. We also have a good bit of young-guns who may turn out to be unstoppable. Let's assess the squad we have this year before thinking about what we want next year. I think one of our young guys will step it up big-time this year.

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NO need to draft a CB in the 1st next year. WE have Robinson, Owens, Grimes, Franks, Jackson, we have some very young corners who can play all of the positions, we have our #1, and #2 in Robinson and Grimes/Owens, we have our Nickel and Dime with Franks and Jackson, and Franks has potential to be a #1/#2 CB, no need to spend a 1st on another CB unless a top 10 talent falls all the way to 32 and no other prospects are better fits.

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NO need to draft a CB in the 1st next year. WE have Robinson, Owens, Grimes, Franks, Jackson, we have some very young corners who can play all of the positions, we have our #1, and #2 in Robinson and Grimes/Owens, we have our Nickel and Dime with Franks and Jackson, and Franks has potential to be a #1/#2 CB, no need to spend a 1st on another CB unless a top 10 talent falls all the way to 32 and no other prospects are better fits.

Cool! I like the way you think.

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NO need to draft a CB in the 1st next year. WE have Robinson, Owens, Grimes, Franks, Jackson, we have some very young corners who can play all of the positions, we have our #1, and #2 in Robinson and Grimes/Owens, we have our Nickel and Dime with Franks and Jackson, and Franks has potential to be a #1/#2 CB, no need to spend a 1st on another CB unless a top 10 talent falls all the way to 32 and no other prospects are better fits.

X2... I think we'll be drafting OL in the first next year.

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X2... I think we'll be drafting OL in the first next year.

I think that depends on how Baker plays this year, if he plays like he is capable of and stays healthy, then I think he will be ok, but the darkhorse is Garrett Reynolds and whether he can be the RT that we need to step in for Clabo

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D. Robinson

A. Williams(rookie)

T. DeCoud

W. Moore

C. Owens

B. Grimes

That looks a lot like:

D. Robinson

D. Franks(rookie)

T. DeCoud

W. Moore

C. Owens

B. Grimes

B. Williams

What's the big difference? Williams vs Williams/Franks? Rookies? Elite secondary? I don't see it. Hope you're right though.

Edited by FalconFanSince1970
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I'm old school but I think a team that has a strong running game can keep the opposing offense with a great passing attack on the sidelines for a lot of the game. I say this after watching the replay of the Falcons/Rams game on NFL TV last week. The falcons had over 300 yards rushing with Dunn, Vick, and Duckett (DVD).

Our D-line was better then but we didn't have a great secondary ... unless you know something about Deangelo Hall that I don't know. But I agree with the OT, this has become a pass happy league.

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I'm old school but I think a team that has a strong running game can keep the opposing offense with a great passing attack on the sidelines for a lot of the game. I say this after watching the replay of the Falcons/Rams game on NFL TV last week. The falcons had over 300 yards rushing with Dunn, Vick, and Duckett (DVD).

Our D-line was better then but we didn't have a great secondary ... unless you know something about Deangelo Hall that I don't know. But I agree with the OT, this has become a pass happy league.

while I agree that a great running game can still do damage in this league, you need a better defense to win with a great defense. because QBs are always going to put up more TDs than RBs, and if it's Peyton vs. Chris Johnson in a shoot-out, playing the Rams D, Peyton is going to win everytime.

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NO need to draft a CB in the 1st next year. WE have Robinson, Owens, Grimes, Franks, Jackson, we have some very young corners who can play all of the positions, we have our #1, and #2 in Robinson and Grimes/Owens, we have our Nickel and Dime with Franks and Jackson, and Franks has potential to be a #1/#2 CB, no need to spend a 1st on another CB unless a top 10 talent falls all the way to 32 and no other prospects are better fits.

+1)

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That looks a lot like:

D. Robinson

D. Franks(rookie)

T. DeCoud

W. Moore

C. Owens

B. Grimes

B. Williams

What's the big difference? Williams vs Williams/Franks? Rookies? Elite secondary? I don't see it. Hope you're right though.

I like our secondary right now but it can be even better with A. Williams. The biggest knock on Franks is he gives up big plays b/c of mental lasps. He also misses on open field tackles more than he should. Williams has

size(6-1 192), speed, tackles extremely good, and doesn't have the mental lasps. He can also blitz well and

return kicks. He's just more complete and polished. I don't wanna just settle for good, I want great. But one thing we do know is that TD doesn't do smokescreens when it comes to working out and visiting players right around draft time. Whoever he shows a lot of interest in stands a good chance of being the 1st pick.

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I like our secondary right now but it can be even better with A. Williams. The biggest knock on Franks is he gives up big plays b/c of mental lasps. He also misses on open field tackles more than he should. Williams has

size(6-1 192), speed, tackles extremely good, and doesn't have the mental lasps. He can also blitz well and

return kicks. He's just more complete and polished. I don't wanna just settle for good, I want great. But one thing we do know is that TD doesn't do smokescreens when it comes to working out and visiting players right around draft time. Whoever he shows a lot of interest in stands a good chance of being the 1st pick.

1 year in the NFL >>>> 4 years in college

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while I agree that a great running game can still do damage in this league, you need a better defense to win with a great defense. because QBs are always going to put up more TDs than RBs, and if it's Peyton vs. Chris Johnson in a shoot-out, playing the Rams D, Peyton is going to win everytime.

Right. When we go up against teams that are good at stopping the run we have to have more chances with the ball. Our continuing weakness has been that our defense can get the ball back fast enough. The problem with a bend don't break defense is that if we are facing a good defense we have no hope of winning the time of possession battle. We are also giving the opposing offense plenty of time to get into rhythm. Remember the Pats game? Brady was rusty but we let him have so much time with the ball he got into his groove.

If we can keep the injury bulldozer away this year perhaps we have seen the last of the BDB defense.

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You know I have your back on this. I think we all can agree that our #2 CB spot is completely up in the air between three different players.

What happens when we add a top flight CB? It basically has a trickle down effect on our entire defense. Our Nickel/Dime defense will get much better. Our Defense could be MUCH more aggressive when it comes to blitzing and mixing up looks.

People forget that we play the Saints twice a year. If we want to take that next step, we have to get through them first. They don't send out 2 WRs. They put 3-5 out there almost every play and simply pick teams apart. Adding a top CB would put Owens/Grimes as our 3rd & 4th guys. That is a quality group with great depth.

I mean just look at what they did in the draft. They have a pretty good tandem with Greer and Porter, but they have drafted two CBs in the first round in the past two drafts.

The Jets when out and got Cromartie, but still drafted a CB with their 1st round pick. This should show you how important the position is.

This is not to even mention a rising player in Thomas DeCoud. Throw in a healthy William Moore (reaching his potential) and you could have one of the most talented secondaries in the league.

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You know I have your back on this. I think we all can agree that our #2 CB spot is completely up in the air between three different players.

What happens when we add a top flight CB? It basically has a trickle down effect on our entire defense. Our Nickel/Dime defense will get much better. Our Defense could be MUCH more aggressive when it comes to blitzing and mixing up looks.

People forget that we play the Saints twice a year. If we want to take that next step, we have to get through them first. They don't send out 2 WRs. They put 3-5 out there almost every play and simply pick teams apart. Adding a top CB would put Owens/Grimes as our 3rd & 4th guys. That is a quality group with great depth.

I mean just look at what they did in the draft. They have a pretty good tandem with Greer and Porter, but they have drafted two CBs in the first round in the past two drafts.

The Jets when out and got Cromartie, but still drafted a CB with their 1st round pick. This should show you how important the position is.

This is not to even mention a rising player in Thomas DeCoud. Throw in a healthy William Moore (reaching his potential) and you could have one of the most talented secondaries in the league.

I think you sleeping on Owens potential, We have players that have shown promise at the NFL. Yall keep talking about the Jets which happen to be one team and the Saints which happen to be one team who we almost beat twice with Chris Houston, and the Jets success stemmed on the effectivness of the pressure they got. I think that yall are putting to much to having this secondary of all #1 CB LOL.

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NO need to draft a CB in the 1st next year. WE have Robinson, Owens, Grimes, Franks, Jackson, we have some very young corners who can play all of the positions, we have our #1, and #2 in Robinson and Grimes/Owens, we have our Nickel and Dime with Franks and Jackson, and Franks has potential to be a #1/#2 CB, no need to spend a 1st on another CB unless a top 10 talent falls all the way to 32 and no other prospects are better fits.

I would counter with it's way too early to determine what we need to draft in the first next year. Injuries, retirement, free agency, existing player performance...they'll all be factors before we can come up with any kind of reasonable determination.

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I think you sleeping on Owens potential, We have players that have shown promise at the NFL. Yall keep talking about the Jets which happen to be one team and the Saints which happen to be one team who we almost beat twice with Chris Houston, and the Jets success stemmed on the effectivness of the pressure they got. I think that yall are putting to much to having this secondary of all #1 CB LOL.

I didn't say Owens doesn't have potential to be a good CB. I just think his ceiling is as a NB/Swing Starter. As a full-time guy on the outside, I feel his potential is limited. Him and Grimes are in that same boat imo. I could be wrong. We will see, but at this point, I don't think Owens is equipped to handle all the attention he is going to get now that we have a legitimate CB across from him.

But let me say that I am content with what we have now. We have some quality guys, but my point is that adding a top CB would take it to another level.

In in the Jets case, Revis allowed them to blitz because he could handle #1 WRs one-on-one. He was the piece that made their defense go.

Edited by hakim24
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The only way i would draft a CB in the 1st round is if it is a complete steal... I dont see it happening tho... I see us drafting a OT in the 1st round (as of now) ... If we did that .. Garrett Reynolds would be a good swing tackle (good depth) .

I could also see us drafting TE Kyle Rudolph if he is on the board.

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I didn't say Owens doesn't have potential to be a good CB. I just think his ceiling is as a NB/Swing Starter. As a full-time guy on the outside, I feel his potential is limited. Him and Grimes are in that same boat imo. I could be wrong. We will see, but at this point, I don't think Owens is equipped to handle all the attention he is going to get now that we have a legitimate CB across from him.

But let me say that I am content with what we have now. We have some quality guys, but my point is that adding a top CB would take it to another level.

In in the Jets case, Revis allowed them to blitz because he could handle #1 WRs one-on-one. He was the piece that made their defense go.

Revis is a special talent, Cromartie doesnt even come close, so those other CB will still get picked on, and I think that REvis helped the defense take it over the top not make the defense. The Ravens have had a good defense with REx Ryan without having a REvis type of talent, so I doubt that Revis is the reason why they blitzed, Rex Ryans defense emphasis blitzing and using complex blitzes to get pressure and having Revis probably allowed Ryan to use different and more complex blitzes but bottom line is with or without Revis the Jets would have blitzed

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I didn't say Owens doesn't have potential to be a good CB. I just think his ceiling is as a NB/Swing Starter. As a full-time guy on the outside, I feel his potential is limited.

I disagree... I think Owens can be a good #2 CB.... The guy showed nothing but promise last year.... He has to show me he cant be a starter CB before i think that.

IDK... I just dont see the limits you see in his game... It cant be the height thing because dude plays bigger then most 6 ft CB's... It cant be his ball skills... He was a ball hawk in college and the guy started 6 games and produced 2 ints in those 6 games... IDK.... Could Owens be a good NB... Yes.... I also think he can be a good starting CB also.

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I would love to add another CB, but I think we drafted a stud in Franks. That guy went so far under the radar it's not even funny. Is he as good as Kyle Wilson? No, but no one else in the draft was either. But go look at his game tape, the kid is a baller, but his agent didn't know how to create a buzz around him without a Senior Bowl or any sort of offseason game like that for him to be a part of. But watch the Oklahoma tape, that's the kid I want playing CB for us, I like a bit of a risk taker at one CB position, why? Because it creates turnovers, with Decoud over top of Franks I'm not worried about getting beat deep. So, am I saying Franks is the 2nd best CB on the team? No, right now he isn't, but he has the potential to be, and actually has the potential to be the BEST corner on our team. Will he ever live up to it? I'm not sure, that'll depend on work ethic and our coaches. I love the way this kid plays the game, I also like how Owens plays it. Having a 1-2-3 CB set like that could be awesome. Is Grimes the answer? Nope, maybe as a Dime back, is Chevis the answer? I don't think so, But between Franks, Robinson, and Owens we have a great setup.

I would love to see us add a top flight CB/WR next year in the draft, but lets see how the season plays out first.

I like Franks also... I think he will need a couple of years to develop but the guy was a steal where we got him... Franks biggest problem was he had mental lapses... That can be fixed with good coaching... I dont see Franks playing allot unless an injury happens this year... But i do think he can develop into a starter.

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I disagree... I think Owens can be a good #2 CB.... The guy showed nothing but promise last year.... He has to show me he cant be a starter CB before i think that.

IDK... I just dont see the limits you see in his game... It cant be the height thing because dude plays bigger then most 6 ft CB's... It cant be his ball skills... He was a ball hawk in college and the guy started 6 games and produced 2 ints in those 6 games... IDK.... Could Owens be a good NB... Yes.... I also think he can be a good starting CB also.

I think it is a height thing to with Hakim, because other than that Owens showed alot of potential as a rookie.

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