Great article? Not sure about that.
The guy says Ryan was unorganized and it showed on the field. Like all the meticulous attention to detail on behalf of the offense has made them look like a well oiled machine. At least in Ryan's case he had to work guys in who were sitting at home on Monday and lining up later that week on Sunday. Expecting flawlessness from a defense that was pulling guys off the street to replace the guys they had previously pulled off the street is a bit much. Was there more than anyone would want to see? Probably. But all things considered, I'm not sure this is a real reason why he should have been fired or could even be counted as a significant component.
On top of the undisciplined talk, he goes on to talk about the defense being too complex and lists the times where Dallas couldn't substitute as an example of such complexity. Like getting onto the field is akin to climbing Everest. The personel problems were likely due to Ryan trying too hard to keep the remaining players he had left as fresh as possible. Or perhaps just too much confidence in his ability to sneak substitutions in. Complexity of the defense is not the issue. If substituting is too complex for the players to pull off successfully, maybe Dallas should start getting smarter players who can actually manage to substitute. I don't think that's too much to ask. Not asking you to do anything or even know anything once you are out there but just asking that you know when
to get there. If these guys can't handle that because of "complexity", the problems are much deeper than the scheme's complexity.
And then there's this:
In 2012, Ware played 896 snaps against passes and was asked to drop into coverage 64 times (seven percent of the time). Spencer went into coverage almost 20 percent of the time (172 out of 872 passing plays). 4-3 defensive ends, on the other hand, almost never drop into coverage (Ware was in coverage once all season from a 4-3 DE position). In other words, in a passing league in which defensive priority one must be to put pressure on a quarterback, a scheme in which the players who are most likely to do that can't be in position to do so is, frankly, suicide.
Dallas faced 900 pass attempts this season, huh? Wow, that must be some type of record. That's 56 pass attempts per week.
Numbers are actually:
- Ware played 454 passing snaps and dropped 64 times for 12.4%
- Spencer played 490 passing snaps and dropped 171 times for 35.1%
Perhaps taking a look at the average amount a 3-4 OLB drops into coverage would help the guy out a bit. Only 1 player rushed more, as a percentage of pass snaps, than Ware did for players who played 50% of their teams snaps. It was Dwight Freeney, I guess.
And while you might point to Spencer as being a little low, Lamar Woodley rushed 65% of the time (Coverage 35%). James Harrison rushed 61.6% of the time (Coverage 38.4%). If we go by PFF, which this guy is, Neither Harrison nor Woodley has broken 70% in any season since at least 2009.
Another combo, and a pretty good one at that, KC. Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
- Hali rushed 83.8% of the time, leaving 16.2% in coverage.
- Houston rushed 66.7% of the time, leaving 33.3% in coverage.
I wonder if SF's scheme is "doomed" from the start, lets take a look.
- Aldon Smith rushed 85.4% of the time, leaving 14.6% to coverage.
- Ahmad Brooks, 81.2% of the time, leaving 18.8% to coverage.
Lastly, his argument about a "passing league" is completely nonsensical.
Also, he talks about Ware and Spencer dropping into coverage and then compares it to a 4-3 where DEs never drop into coverage? Unless he is advocating for a 5 man rush on every single down I don't see what other option there realistically is but to drop one of the OLBs into coverage.
First off, comparing to the 4-3 is ridiculous. If you can't understand why both DEs rush every down while both OLBs don't, and why DEs never drop into coverage at all, I'm not sure what you are doing writing an article about why a DC deserved to be fired.
Dallas didn't generate turnovers: In 2012, as noted above, Ryan rarely blitzed and chose to play conservatively. The result? Opponents averaged 355.4 yards per game, the most in team history. To make matters worse, they tallied a paltry 34 sacks and an embarrassingly low seven interceptions and nine forced fumbles. The 1.3 turnovers per game ranked the Cowboys 26th in the NFL. In his two years in Dallas, Ryan's charges registered the same number of defensive scores that they had in the disastrous 2010 season under Wade Phillips and Paul Pasqualoni.
This is probably the most reasonable argument of the bunch. Well the "not getting enough turnovers" part is.
I don't know what significance can be pulled from a defense that doesn't score a lot itself. It's not like defenses are regularly scoring like the Bears did this year. Couple scores a season from the defense is kind of the norm.
Here's defenses ranked according to defensive TDs (INTs and Fumbles).
1 Bears ...........9
That's a league average of 3. Dallas had 3 and Brandon Carr took that OT INT back to the 1 yard line. Also, Spencer had a defensive score nullified by a penalty. Carr gets 1 more yard and Dallas is 8th best in the NFL in this stat?
Also, I'd like to point out that 1 for Pittsburgh
. Same Pittsburgh that drops both of their OLBs into coverage more than 30% of the time. That's the same Pittsburgh team that finished 6th in points allowed and 1st in yards allowed.
I'm not sure what the point of comparing Ryan's two years to 2010 is. In 2009 Dallas had 1 defensive score. They had 1 defensive score in 2008. You have to go back to 2006 to find a season where they matched or beat 2010 and before that you have to go to 1999.
Last time the Steelers had more than 3 was in 2004.
Rex Ryan and all his coaching wisdom hasn't produced more than 3 during his tenure in New York yet. I guess those defenses that carried the Jets to back-to-back AFC championship games weren't getting it done in the scoring department.
The Giants last did it in their 2007 Superbowl year.
Monte Kiffin averaged 2.6 over his 13 seasons in Tampa. Broke the 3 barrier 4 times. But, I'll cut him some slack on his first 3 seasons where the team had a combined 1 defensive score. New place and new players and all that comes with it. Over those 10 years, still averaging 3.3 per season. That will get Dallas just about 1 extra defensive TD than they had this year, every three seasons. Is that enough or are we needing to best 2010 in order to say that the defense is scoring enough?
The argument is just ridiculous. You're going to point out the lack of defensive scoring between 2010 and subsequent years as some indicator or Rob not doing his job well enough when he took almost the same team from 2010 and improved the defense's points per game allowed in 2011 by almost a TD while coming off of a lockout shortened offseason?
And then to top if off, he says that's why the points have been coming up short compared to yardage? Like we haven't seen this type of relationship between yards and scoring for multiple seasons now through varying degrees of turnovers.
The article is pretty awful really. The only two points that have some legitimacy about them are disorganized and turnovers and those could easily be applied to the other side of the ball. Saying the defense doesn't score enough is a weak attempt at piling on by comparing the one decent looking stat from an overall trash season.