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Area of Improvement: Defense Edition

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  • Area of Improvement: Defense Edition

    I was looking through in depth statistics on our squad, which doesn't have any glaring holes, and I noticed one area we could improve on; interior pass rush.

    We have arguably the two best pass rushers on our side, yet we do not lead the NFL in sacks (though some teams have played 1 more game, the Bills have 5 more sacks). Given our top two guys, we haven't been getting much production out of the others.

    Malik Jackson has been solid, but I expected him to surge towards an 8+ sack season. He has been a very good player, but not yet at that next level.

    Derek Wolfe has a whole half of a sack. His job description isn't "pass rusher," but if we're being real, we should be seeing progress towards at least 5 sacks after an 8 sack rookie season.

    Sylvester Williams has been a disappointment in this department. We have the league's top run defense, so we can't say he has been a disappointment overall, but we need more out of him on passing plays.
    Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o '16

  • #2
    Yep, I would have loved to sign someone like Clinton McDonald in FA, great interior rusher.

    Wolfe and Malik are close to getting sacks but not much.

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    • #3
      That is indeed an area we can improve on.

      However, for the D I would rather us improve on covering the TE. That has been a real sore spot for us for a long time.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        I feel that the lack of interior line sacks is a product of scheme. Solid and controlled rush up the middle with the outside rushers taking their shots. Wild D-line play leaves you open to big scrambles and draws. IMO.
        res ipsa loquitur

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        • #5
          Originally posted by CoronaCalBronco View Post
          I feel that the lack of interior line sacks is a product of scheme. Solid and controlled rush up the middle with the outside rushers taking their shots. Wild D-line play leaves you open to big scrambles and draws. IMO.
          I am no expert, but that sounds right.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CoronaCalBronco View Post
            I feel that the lack of interior line sacks is a product of scheme. Solid and controlled rush up the middle with the outside rushers taking their shots. Wild D-line play leaves you open to big scrambles and draws. IMO.
            And your opinion is indeed a good one.

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            • #7
              I think Malik has been doing good but I agree, not as good as expected. Wolfe has actually shown improvement each week getting more and more consistent.

              They're barely using Williams to rush the passer. It seems they are strictly using him and Knighton kinda like their old school setup with Buckner and Jenkins.
              A healthy Kenneth Dixon is a top 5 NFL RB.

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              • #8
                Draw responsibility is either Mike or a DT. No Mike in nickel package.
                "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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                • #9
                  I agree with this completely the Broncos have played 3 00 4 really mobile quater backs this year and over penetration wold have let Them out..

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CoronaCalBronco View Post
                    I feel that the lack of interior line sacks is a product of scheme. Solid and controlled rush up the middle with the outside rushers taking their shots. Wild D-line play leaves you open to big scrambles and draws. IMO.
                    Solid and controlled can still lead to pressure up the middle. We are great at getting into third downs, and more often than not they aren't short yardage. In situations like that it's a front four race to the QB with most teams we play, and the guys in the middle never win.
                    Fightin' Texas Aggie c/o '16

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CoronaCalBronco View Post
                      I feel that the lack of interior line sacks is a product of scheme. Solid and controlled rush up the middle with the outside rushers taking their shots. Wild D-line play leaves you open to big scrambles and draws. IMO.
                      I concur; think of the teams that we have played thus far and how much we wanted to "contain" them: Andrew Luck, Russel Wilson, Geno Smith, and Colin Kaepernick. As you said, if we let the D-Line run wild and NOT CONTAIN, those QB's would be running wild as well causing the LB's or DB's to get off their mark/zone/man and attempt to cover down, opening someone up. Plus on running situations, why overshoot whent he RB has to pass by you anyways...keep him in front of you.

                      Just let the Defense keep doign what it does and things will start happening.
                      50 Stars and 13 Bars

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CoronaCalBronco View Post
                        I feel that the lack of interior line sacks is a product of scheme. Solid and controlled rush up the middle with the outside rushers taking their shots. Wild D-line play leaves you open to big scrambles and draws. IMO.
                        This is also what I herd about JDR's scheme.

                        Some things to look at

                        Knighton 228 snaps, 1 sack, 2 hits, 5 hurries
                        Sly Williams 193 snaps, 0 sacks, 1 hit, 6 hurries
                        M Austin 135 snaps, 0 sacks, 0 hits, 5 hurries

                        Also Wolfe and Malik play sometimes in the DT and dunno how PFF does their grading on DL who play both DE and DT but right now at 25% of plays or more Malik is ranked as 8th best DE and Wolfe at 9th. Ware is 10th.

                        Malik Jackson 261 snaps, 3 sacks, 4 hits, 16 hurries
                        Wolfe 326 snaps, 2 sacks, 1 hit 16 hurries
                        Ware 343 snaps, 8 sacks, 6 hits, 14 hurries.

                        There are times when I see Von or Ware (or both) get a sack that I think another player could have gotten but I hope the Hurry stat covers that....tho who knows.


                        PFF grades Wolfe out as the 2nd best DE against the run behind JPP. I wonder how much does his run responsability effect his pass rush?


                        I do agree with the general statement that I would like to see more pressure from our interior I am just not sure if it is an easy subject to evaluate.

                        Overall on the defense I worry more about asking our two elite pass rushers to cover passing routes on obvious passing situations as well as our DBs giving WRs too much space sometimes to make easy short yardage (4-8 yards) catches on 1st and 2nd down with 10 or less yards to go. Those are my biggest concerns with the defense so far.

                        While we have improved against the TE I do worry we do not shut them down as good as we need to but I think we are much improved vs recent years.
                        Last edited by Hadez; 10-30-2014, 08:19 AM.
                        Let's Ride!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ajm60 View Post
                          I agree with this completely the Broncos have played 3 00 4 really mobile quater backs this year and over penetration wold have let Them out..
                          Originally posted by BroncoooJohnson View Post
                          Solid and controlled can still lead to pressure up the middle. We are great at getting into third downs, and more often than not they aren't short yardage. In situations like that it's a front four race to the QB with most teams we play, and the guys in the middle never win.
                          Originally posted by ciege View Post
                          I concur; think of the teams that we have played thus far and how much we wanted to "contain" them: Andrew Luck, Russel Wilson, Geno Smith, and Colin Kaepernick. As you said, if we let the D-Line run wild and NOT CONTAIN, those QB's would be running wild as well causing the LB's or DB's to get off their mark/zone/man and attempt to cover down, opening someone up. Plus on running situations, why overshoot whent he RB has to pass by you anyways...keep him in front of you.

                          Just let the Defense keep doign what it does and things will start happening.
                          Originally posted by Hadez View Post
                          This is also what I herd about JDR's scheme.

                          Some things to look at

                          Knighton 228 snaps, 1 sack, 2 hits, 5 hurries
                          Sly Williams 193 snaps, 0 sacks, 1 hit, 6 hurries
                          M Austin 135 snaps, 0 sacks, 0 hits, 5 hurries

                          Also Wolfe and Malik play sometimes in the DT and dunno how PFF does their grading on DL who play both DE and DT but right now at 25% of plays or more Malik is ranked as 8th best DE and Wolfe at 9th. Ware is 10th.

                          Malik Jackson 261 snaps, 3 sacks, 4 hits, 16 hurries
                          Wolfe 326 snaps, 2 sacks, 1 hit 16 hurries
                          Ware 343 snaps, 8 sacks, 6 hits, 14 hurries.

                          There are times when I see Von or Ware (or both) get a sack that I think another player could have gotten but I hope the Hurry stat covers that....tho who knows.


                          PFF grades Wolfe out as the 2nd best DE against the run behind JPP. I wonder how much does his run responsability effect his pass rush?


                          I do agree with the general statement that I would like to see more pressure from our interior I am just not sure if it is an easy subject to evaluate.

                          Overall on the defense I worry more about asking our two elite pass rushers to cover passing routes on obvious passing situations as well as our DBs giving WRs too much space sometimes to make easy short yardage (4-8 yards) catches on 1st and 2nd down with 10 or less yards to go. Those are my biggest concerns with the defense so far.

                          While we have improved against the TE I do worry we do not shut them down as good as we need to but I think we are much improved vs recent years.
                          I am more than satisfied with our sack total this year so far... I would however like to see a few more turnovers forced by the defense. I hope that starts this weekend!
                          res ipsa loquitur

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by CoronaCalBronco View Post
                            I am more than satisfied with our sack total this year so far... I would however like to see a few more turnovers forced by the defense. I hope that starts this weekend!
                            Oddly to me of sacks, ints and fumbles the one we are the worst on, forced fumbles (3) is where I have seen the most improvement.

                            I see allot more effort on guys trying to get the ball free then I have in recent years.

                            Tells me the fumbles will come in time
                            Let's Ride!

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                            • #15
                              I don't think that with the smaller linebackers that we use at WILL and MIKE, that we have the luxury of having one of the leagues most formidable run defenses AND an impressive interior pass rush.

                              Jackson, Wolfe & Williams make up in run defense what they lack in the pass rush department. And that's not acknowledging that all 3 are quite regularly collapsing the pocket and making it more difficult. I'm not sure what in-depth stats you're looking at, but it seems to me that half of our sacks are cleanups resulting from interior pressure. Do you have a link by chance?

                              I could make a more educated assessment if I had the hurries and hits in front of me. And it would still be with the caveat that I think it's difficult to have that big scrum in the middle that no one can run on AND a good interior pass rush at the same time. It's possible, but I feel like it's a bit of a zero game sometimes in that regard.

                              I'm not trying to discredit your post, I just don't get the sense that we're struggling there all things considered.

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