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Early Outlook On Our Defense In 2008

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  • Early Outlook On Our Defense In 2008

    Quite long, quite in depth, but worth it!!

    Enjoy!

    http://www.milehighreport.com/story/.../4/82354/22241


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  • #2
    Nice article. Thanks for the link.

    Comment


    • #3
      I didn't want to judge, and I know he was only a rookie, but I wasn't that impressed with Thomas, and with the benefit of hindsight, I'm even moreso rolling my eyes now at the trade up for him.

      So many advocates here proclaimed how he was "first round talent", but he certainly didn't play like it, and he rarely showed even glimpses as far as I'm concerned.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by silkamilkamonic View Post
        I didn't want to judge, and I know he was only a rookie, but I wasn't that impressed with Thomas, and with the benefit of hindsight, I'm even moreso rolling my eyes now at the trade up for him.

        So many advocates here proclaimed how he was "first round talent", but he certainly didn't play like it, and he rarely showed even glimpses as far as I'm concerned.
        and thats considering he didnt play in 06, was out of football for a year.. and was a back up or situational player for most of the year, and when he did play he had the immoveable object that easily moved, adams, or gordon or any of the other fodder that couldnt contribute on the other side

        or in fact a 255 pound mallard next to him in the latter part...wow who ya thinks gonna command the dteam,,a big strong force like thomas or a 255 end playing tackle

        your dislike is biased
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        when do native Americans become human and not mascots

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        • #5
          Originally posted by arapaho View Post
          and thats considering he didnt play in 06, was out of football for a year.. and was a back up or situational player for most of the year, and when he did play he had the immoveable object that easily moved, adams, or gordon or any of the other fodder that couldnt contribute on the other side

          or in fact a 255 pound mallard next to him in the latter part...wow who ya thinks gonna command the dteam,,a big strong force like thomas or a 255 end playing tackle

          your dislike is biased

          Every opinion on this guy, like or disliked, is biased.

          If I didn't know any better, I would say he didn't even play in half the games.

          First round talent? Not this year.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by arapaho View Post
            and thats considering he didnt play in 06, was out of football for a year.. and was a back up or situational player for most of the year, and when he did play he had the immoveable object that easily moved, adams, or gordon or any of the other fodder that couldnt contribute on the other side

            or in fact a 255 pound mallard next to him in the latter part...wow who ya thinks gonna command the dteam,,a big strong force like thomas or a 255 end playing tackle

            your dislike is biased
            Thomas didn't play that badly, but he wasn't terribly effective either. He was part of the problem in 2007.

            But, no way should a rookie DT be forced into the lineup at all. At most he should be in the rotation later in the year, but not starting.

            Especially since Thomas missed virtually his entire senior season due to suspension.

            So, we have NO IDEA how well he'll do. He made some plays and was invisible on others. He was sometimes handled by one OL and pushed out of the way and at other times he managed to penetrate and harass the QB.

            Overall, I think the high expectations for Thomas are simply premature. It might take another season or two for him to become the impact player he can be based on his college play.

            Anybody who saw him play in his senior year saw a flat dominating DL who could take over a game and disrupt the opposing offense. That's why he was considered a first round prospect simply based on potential.

            Because of his drug suspension most teams wouldn't have touched him if they were sure he was the second coming of Reggie White. The Broncos took a chance and it appears it's paying off. We'll know for sure next season.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by silkamilkamonic View Post
              I didn't want to judge, and I know he was only a rookie, but I wasn't that impressed with Thomas, and with the benefit of hindsight, I'm even moreso rolling my eyes now at the trade up for him.

              So many advocates here proclaimed how he was "first round talent", but he certainly didn't play like it, and he rarely showed even glimpses as far as I'm concerned.
              Look who he had to play next to him.

              He is a UT, to be effecitve he needs a true NT to eat up blockers next to him. With better linemates next year he should be fine, he will be a starter or a major player in our rotation next year. It is hard to judge a rookie DT as none of them should be forced into playing.

              Great analyis on why to keep D.J at MIKE, some of the people on this board need to read that.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rockies24 View Post
                Great analyis on why to keep D.J at MIKE, some of the people on this board need to read that.
                No one is questioning DJ's ability to swarm the ball carrier and make tackles - he's been able to do that since his rookie year.

                But there's more to being a MLB than just being able to tackle. That's the QB of the defense. He's got to be able to read plays and communicate what's going on to the rest of the 6 guys up front. Too many times this season - even up to the last game - the Broncos looked confused and disorganized on defense. Someone stated it best just a few days ago - you need a cerebral leader in that position, and DJ is an instinctive tackle machine. It's like having a Brian Griese as our MLB - he's solid and consistent, but not a game breaker, which is what you need from the MLB.

                DJ is a natural weakside linebacker. That's where he excels. Moving him after Gold's return was our first mistake, and then putting him in the middle was an even bigger one, IMO. He may have the capability to turn it around at some point, but I just don't see it. If he stays in the middle beyond this season, I bet he lasts two more seasons in Denver before he's let go or otherwise gone. I could be wrong - and I'll eat crow if I am - but DJ to me was a big problem with the defense this season.
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                • #9
                  Commenting on the article now...

                  I admit I'm somewhat biased when it comes to Bates. I don't think he's as great as his proponents claim. He's great when he's around great players who can work his scheme. He's VASTLY overrated, in my opinion.

                  The article, however, appears to be very biased in favor of Bates, and in my opinion, almost completely lets him off the hook. It says that the players he brought in 'let him down', and that he was versitle enough to make changes to the defense after week 5 and make them somewhat better. I read several articles and listened to every meida outlet regarding the change of scheme during the bye week, and by all accounts, the scheme was dropped with Bates 'kicking and screaming' (to paraphrase Sand Clough), so much so that the playcalling duty was then turned over to Slowick.

                  Furthermore, any good coach would have been able to tell during training camp and definitely during preseason that the scheme was not working with the personel we had. Yet, WE STILL CARRIED IT OVER 5 WEEKS INTO THE SEASON! That means it took Bates nearly 4 months of camps, practices, exhibition games, and the real deal to see that he didn't have the right players, and even then - it took Shanahan to pull the plug on it.

                  If fans - and Shanahan - want to give Bates one more season to turn this around, then fine. But don't sugarcoat his performance this season or let him off the hook. I don't care what his reputation was or what he's done in the past - this season, he utterly failed with this team, and the majority of that failure falls on him.
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                  • #10
                    It was a very good article on the defense as a whole. Thanks for the link!

                    I don't see it as being biased, if anything the fans that want Bates our of here are way more biased. They're basing his performance as defensive coordinator on a year where he wasn't the actual coordinator for 11 games.

                    I think scrapping the scheme so early is really going to impede our defense if infact Bates is allowed to stay through his contract. The only reason for it being scrapped is the front office thinking we could somehow save this season. Even though the defensive players played poorly as a whole, during Bates scheme, and when Slowik was making the calls.

                    As mojo has pointed out before, the team is going to have to start from square one the beginning of next season. Anyway you slice any defense we run is going to struggle just as badly next year as it did next year, if we do actually asses our greatest needs on defense.
                    Careful what you wish for, Darth , cause here comes the worst DC in the league...... -stnzd
                    What's that? Need proof? http://dack.com/archive/bob-slowik-must-be-fired.html


                    Goodbye social life...




                    My Mojo!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
                      No one is questioning DJ's ability to swarm the ball carrier and make tackles - he's been able to do that since his rookie year.

                      But there's more to being a MLB than just being able to tackle. That's the QB of the defense. He's got to be able to read plays and communicate what's going on to the rest of the 6 guys up front. Too many times this season - even up to the last game - the Broncos looked confused and disorganized on defense. Someone stated it best just a few days ago - you need a cerebral leader in that position, and DJ is an instinctive tackle machine. It's like having a Brian Griese as our MLB - he's solid and consistent, but not a game breaker, which is what you need from the MLB.

                      DJ is a natural weakside linebacker. That's where he excels. Moving him after Gold's return was our first mistake, and then putting him in the middle was an even bigger one, IMO. He may have the capability to turn it around at some point, but I just don't see it. If he stays in the middle beyond this season, I bet he lasts two more seasons in Denver before he's let go or otherwise gone. I could be wrong - and I'll eat crow if I am - but DJ to me was a big problem with the defense this season.
                      You have made these assertions time and again that D.J. is not a Mike backer and that he was a big problem with the defense based upon some hazy statement that the defense looked confused. Please give us some concrete evidence that he is not making the correct formation calls or that he is making incorrect calls.

                      I have coached high school football since the early 70's with most of that time being spent on the defensive side of the ball. I haven't been able to see what you report. In the defensive huddle a defenseve alignment is called along with stunts and coverage. When the offense comes out of the huddle a D-back usually the safety makes any necessary changes in coverage. A LB usually the Mike calls any required changes in the defensive alignment. Whoever sees motion calls it out. Everything after that is the responsibility of the individual player(s).

                      The easiest way to tell if the LB is making erroneous adjustments is to watch the coaching staff. Are they agitated, yelling, and wildly hand signaling information to the defense? Do they substitute a player so they can talk to the defender? When he comes off the field do they get in his face or show him pictures of the offense?

                      Did you see these things involving D.J. after the first 3-4 games? I didn't.

                      Please clarify that the confusion you saw was linked to William and that it was the result of him calling the defense. I looked for it the last few games because you have mentioned it previous to this but I didn't see it.

                      Oh. . . being able to make tackles is the primary job of the MLB.
                      Last edited by Dean; 01-05-2008, 05:08 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dean View Post
                        You have made these assertions time and again that D.J. is not a Mike backer and that he was a big problem with the defense based upon some hazy statement that the defense looked confused. Please give us some concrete evidence that he is not making the correct formation calls or that he is making incorrect calls.

                        I have coached high school football since the early 70's with most of that time being spent on the defensive side of the ball. I haven't been able to see what you report. In the defensive huddle a defenseve alignment is called along with stunts and coverage. When the offense comes out of the huddle a D-back usually the safety makes any necessary changes in coverage. A LB usually the Mike calls any required changes in the defensive alignment. Whoever sees motion calls it out. Everything after that is the responsibility of the individual player(s).

                        The easiest way to tell if the LB is making erroneous adjustments is to watch the coaching staff. Are they agitated, yelling, and wildly hand signaling information to the defense? Do they substitute a player so they can talk to the defender? When he comes off the field do they get in his face or show him pictures of the offense?

                        Did you see these things involving D.J. after the first 3-4 games? I didn't.

                        Please clarify that the confusion you saw was linked to William and that it was the result of him calling the defense. I looked for it the last few games because you have mentioned it previous to this but I didn't see it.

                        Oh. . . being able to make tackles is the primary job of the MLB.
                        I love how when, someone disagrees with a statement or opinion regarding football around here, they mention their 'credentials' to try and make them superior to all others' opinions. In this case, you allegedly coach high school football, therefore you are a bigger expert than me when it comes to the MLB position.

                        Being able to make tackles is the primary job of ANY defensive player - especially the front 7. For a person who allegedly coaches high school football, you certainly are reading way too much into his tackles statistic. There were a few seasons Al Wilson didn't even crack the top five in tackles. Does that make him less of a MLB than DJ Williams?

                        And you want proof that the defense looked confused at various points during the season, knowing full well I can't provide that. It's my assessment based on what I saw during the course of the season, whether it was too many guys on the field, or the defense scrambling around and yelling at one another prior and even during the snap to get in position. Even the commentators remarked in numerous games that the defense appeared 'lost' or 'confused' on various plays. In fact, there was one instance in during the Chicago game that the defense was so confused and weren't even lined up (they were standing up, looking around and yelling at one another), that had it not been for Champ Bailey making a fantastic play, Chicago would have scored (as it happens, they wound up scoring on the very next play anyway). You apparently didn't see all that, so you'll either have to take my word on it or believe (as you do now) that I just don't have any idea what I'm talking about. Given you're predetermined stance, I would say you're simply going to think I'm dense when it comes to evaluating his performance as the MLB, making all this a waste of time on my part.

                        I think DJ is a talented and athletic linebacker. And I think he would excel moving back to his weakside position. But you have to have so many intangibles as a MLB and I simply do not feel DJ posesses those intangibles. Maybe he develops them the more time he spends at the position - I don't know. I just think he's been in the league for 3 years now, has been asked to switch positions, not once but twice, and so far, the only position I've seen him excel at was the weakside position his rookie year, and with the possibility of cutting Ian Gold loose, it's a perfect opportunity to move him back to his natural position.
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                        • #13
                          learning alot

                          I have been a Broncos fan for years and I also coach youth football. Reading these message boards Im seeing alot of intelligence and experience I would love to access. If it were possible to "plug into" the data pool and knowledge base that im seeing in the posts and comments on the posts to use in my youth program I would be elated. I will post a thread at some point today stating the rules of our youth program, the age group im dealing with, and the schemes we as coaches are allowed to employ. Any comments or ideas would be welcomed and I will also try to answer any questions also. Thanks guys

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
                            I love how when, someone disagrees with a statement or opinion regarding football around here, they mention their 'credentials' to try and make them superior to all others' opinions. In this case, you allegedly coach high school football, therefore you are a bigger expert than me when it comes to the MLB position.

                            Being able to make tackles is the primary job of ANY defensive player - especially the front 7. For a person who allegedly coaches high school football, you certainly are reading way too much into his tackles statistic. There were a few seasons Al Wilson didn't even crack the top five in tackles. Does that make him less of a MLB than DJ Williams?

                            And you want proof that the defense looked confused at various points during the season, knowing full well I can't provide that. It's my assessment based on what I saw during the course of the season, whether it was too many guys on the field, or the defense scrambling around and yelling at one another prior and even during the snap to get in position. Even the commentators remarked in numerous games that the defense appeared 'lost' or 'confused' on various plays. In fact, there was one instance in during the Chicago game that the defense was so confused and weren't even lined up (they were standing up, looking around and yelling at one another), that had it not been for Champ Bailey making a fantastic play, Chicago would have scored (as it happens, they wound up scoring on the very next play anyway). You apparently didn't see all that, so you'll either have to take my word on it or believe (as you do now) that I just don't have any idea what I'm talking about. Given you're predetermined stance, I would say you're simply going to think I'm dense when it comes to evaluating his performance as the MLB, making all this a waste of time on my part.

                            I think DJ is a talented and athletic linebacker. And I think he would excel moving back to his weakside position. But you have to have so many intangibles as a MLB and I simply do not feel DJ posesses those intangibles. Maybe he develops them the more time he spends at the position - I don't know. I just think he's been in the league for 3 years now, has been asked to switch positions, not once but twice, and so far, the only position I've seen him excel at was the weakside position his rookie year, and with the possibility of cutting Ian Gold loose, it's a perfect opportunity to move him back to his natural position.
                            I state my level of knowledge and implied my age to avoid the normal defensive accusations that I am a teenager or that I have no idea what I am talking about simply because I don't share your point of view as to the cause of our defense appearing unorganized.

                            Secondly, the primary job of the corners and free safety is not in making tackles. For that matter the primary job of a 2 gap D-tackle is to tie up blockers not to make tackles. That of course does not mean that they try to avoid tackles but it is not first priority.

                            Third, I have no disagreement as to the fact that the defense several times looked confused or more aptly put they looked outright lost. My disagreement is that you chose to link those occurances with D.J. as being the cause. I was asking for your evidence because I saw none. Do you have any?

                            As far as D.J.'s natural position. . . his measurables are ideal for a Mike LB while his coverage skills, when he was a rookie, were at the lower end for a weakside LB. All through 2005 he was taken out on passing downs replaced by a safety.

                            In my original post I tried not to leave the impression that I was saying that you are wrong and don't know what you are talking about. If you feel that I did then I am sorry.

                            I told you how I would and did judge whether D.J. was making incorrect calls or not. I gave you something to refute. I asked for whatever evidence you had. I did not intend to be argumenative but I do disagree with you and I will continue to until I have evidence to the contrary.
                            Last edited by Dean; 01-05-2008, 06:18 PM. Reason: spelling/typos

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mojo0730 View Post
                              No one is questioning DJ's ability to swarm the ball carrier and make tackles - he's been able to do that since his rookie year.

                              But there's more to being a MLB than just being able to tackle. That's the QB of the defense. He's got to be able to read plays and communicate what's going on to the rest of the 6 guys up front. Too many times this season - even up to the last game - the Broncos looked confused and disorganized on defense. Someone stated it best just a few days ago - you need a cerebral leader in that position, and DJ is an instinctive tackle machine. It's like having a Brian Griese as our MLB - he's solid and consistent, but not a game breaker, which is what you need from the MLB.

                              DJ is a natural weakside linebacker. That's where he excels. Moving him after Gold's return was our first mistake, and then putting him in the middle was an even bigger one, IMO. He may have the capability to turn it around at some point, but I just don't see it. If he stays in the middle beyond this season, I bet he lasts two more seasons in Denver before he's let go or otherwise gone. I could be wrong - and I'll eat crow if I am - but DJ to me was a big problem with the defense this season.
                              This just shows that you don't know what you're talking about.

                              You don't just find starting quality DTs lying around on the street, any more than you do starting franchise QBs. Teams just don't let their franchise QB get away via FA and they don't let their star DTs get away either.

                              I've posted this over and over again these past two years:

                              Here's the draft chart for QBs over the years (from Football Outsiders):



                              Notice how top heavy the chart is? The really promising QBs get taken in the first round, and usually in the top 1/2 of the first round. It's accepted that it's tough to win the SB without a franchise QB and everybody who doesn't already have one is looking for one in the draft.

                              And now, here's the draft chart for DTs:



                              Notice the similarity? http://www.footballoutsiders.com/200...fl-draft/3828/

                              The defensive tackle position is heavily weighted toward the first round, but fairly flat thereafter. This seems consistent with the [Bill Parcells'] "Planet Theory" explanation [i.e. there are only so many men on the planet big enough and talented enough to be elite DTs]. The DTs with truly freakish abilities aren’t plentiful enough to occupy most of the 57 starting DT positions in the NFL (there are not two per team because of the many 3-4 alignments in use), so . . .the elite guys are taken at the top of the draft . . .The lesson here appears to be that you’re not going to have many opportunities to find a two dimensional DT, so don’t pass on a guy like that lightly.
                              That's the draft philosophy used by virtually ALL NFL GMs. They are all fighting over the maybe 2 or 3 DTs to enter the draft each year who can be considered elite, or potentially elite. The rest of the DTs might be average, but not great.

                              Thus, it's extremely hard to find really good DTs via FA. You pretty much have to draft and groom them, just like starting QBs.

                              Now people blame Bates, but HE wasn't failing to draft a DT in the first or 2nd round (not counting the Paul Toviesi fiasco) between 2000 and 2007! That was Mike Shanahan ignoring the D-line.

                              The Broncos brought in just about every available FA DT on the market and tried their best to get a decent group together, but it just didn't work out. It turns out there WERE no really good DTs available via FA that year.

                              They tried Kennedy and Adams and a bunch of others, and none of them worked.

                              Now, where in all this is it Bates' fault? You can't really fault him for failing to succeed when the Broncos switched to a NORMAL defensive scheme. What more could he do? If you have no really good D-linemen (outside Elvis Dumervil) and have to use a bunch of rookies and undrafted FAs your defense is going to suck. The Broncos couldn't even stop the run consistently with 8 men in the box because their DTs were getting pushed around (and Nate Webster didn't help -- he's really a ST player forced into the lineup due to injury). And being forced to have so many defenders close to the line meant that teams were passing for LOTS of yardage underneath the CBs. End result: the defense sucked.

                              If the defense sucks, you're going to lose a lot of games. That's not rocket science.
                              Last edited by Cugel; 01-05-2008, 12:14 PM.
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