News: Bob Sturm: Mailbag: Is Rob Ryan's scheme much to do about nothing?

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Jan 8, 2012.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl U.N.I.T.Y Staff Member

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    From: Shawn Curran
    Subject: Rob Ryan's Defense Did Not Increase QB Sacks
    Date: January 4, 2012 9:45:52 AM CST
    To: Bob Sturm

    Hi Bob,

    Is Rob Ryan's scheme much to do about nothing? A big smoke and mirrors routine that wows fans and bores NFL offenses? I submit the following data:

    Player, 2010 sacks, 2011 sacks

    Terrence Newman, 0,0
    Mike Jenkins, 0,0
    Orlando Scandrick, 2.5,2
    Sean Lee, 0,0
    Keith Brooking, 0,0
    Bradie James, 0,0
    Alan Ball, 0.5,0
    Abram Elam, N/A,0
    Gerald Sensabaugh, 2.0,0
    Jay Ratliff, 3.5,2
    Anthony Spencer, 5,6

    The result in sacks of all this talk about how Rob Ryan would bring guys from all over the field is no different than Wade's defense. Everyone got about the same number of sacks as they did last year while Sensabaugh and Ratliff actually seemed to do worse.

    The only player whose sack numbers changed at all was DeMarcus Ware who had a truly great year. But we already know he's capable of 20-sack seasons because he did it under Wade Phillips.

    So at the end of the day is this scheme a bunch of hype? I guess you can blame it on the players but it's tough to imagine all the players are so useless that not a single one benefited from a supposedly pressure-packed scheme.

    What is your reaction to this data?

    - Shawn

    Thanks, Shawn, for the well-thought out feedback. I guess this is the point of the blog where I dust of my defenses of Rob Ryan. I have a great admiration for the Ryan's family approach to defense. I know he is his own man, but I think they all believe in similar tactics and have similar personalities, so there is some spill over from Ryan to Ryan. And what is quite true about the Ryan family is that they are so brash that when there is a failure or perceived failure amongst their work, the public loves to examine it and ask the "what is so great about Rob, Rex, and Buddy Ryan after all?"

    I believe coaching matters. I believe it matters a lot. And I believe Rob Ryan is a heck of a coach.

    But, I also believe that no man has ever won the Kentucky Derby on a donkey. With that in mind, it is tough to measure the impact of a defensive coordinator against another without weighing the personnel. Bill Walsh is a genius. Is he a genius if he is working with Joe Montana and Jerry Rice? Did he make them legends? Or did they make him a legend? If Bill Walsh takes the Cardinals or Packers job when he was hired by the 49ers in 1979, is he just another coach in the encyclopedia?

    This is where the question becomes murky.

    The Cowboys were a disgrace in 2010. More than a few places have accused the team of the ultimate sin of quitting. They won 6 games all year and gave up the most points in the history of the franchise, 436. They allowed a team as sterile as Jacksonville to come into Arlington and run up the score on the Cowboys. They were an abomination.

    Then, the Cowboys offered almost no personnel changes. The marginal swap of Kenyon Coleman for Igor Olshansky at DE (which is one veteran replacement level DE for another) and Abram Elam for Alan Ball which appeared to be an upgrade, albeit a incremental upgrade rather than the big dollar upgrades that were available last summer at safety.

    In the draft, they offered little to know defensive support. The one potential impact addition would have been in the 2nd round, but the Cowboys took LB Bruce Carter who was returning from a major knee surgery, and he wouldn't be ready until mid November. Essentially, there was no support at all from the 2011 draft, despite the issues the Cowboys faced in 2010 defensively.

    So, everyone was invited back. No free agency strikes. No draft support. No dollar investment in the team aside from discount purchases of players of the Cleveland defense who were not heavily sought after in the league.

    Then, no off-season program for Ryan to install his most complex of defensive schemes. If you believe Wade Phillips was vanilla and Ryan was the polar opposite, then surely installation time is imperative to the personnel so that they may get familiar and that it might enter some sort of "second nature" feel for each player.

    Instead, it was a rushed camp to figure out where everyone was to go and what to do.

    Bottom line: Did the Cowboys turn into the 1985 Bears with just a few of Rob Ryan's magic potions? Of course not. But, did we see substantial improvement in certain metrics - with the most important being points allowed? Yes, we did.

    In 2010, the team allowed 436 points, or roughly 27.3 points per game. This season, despite no additions of note, the team dropped nearly a touchdown per game to 347 points, 21.7 points per game.

    So, yes, I expected more. And yes, we should consider a weak schedule. But, in the end, I think Rob Ryan did as much with the same defense that he was left with as anyone could reasonably be expected to do with no offseason.

    What we need to recognize is that he was not given enough to work with. He still had mediocre secondary personnel and one legit pass rusher. Until that changes, bring in any coordinator you want. They may not be as brash as Rob Ryan, but I don't anticipate that they will be able to make this defense elite, either, until some elite players are brought in.
  2. Prossman

    Prossman Active Member

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    You cant run the sceme without a shutdown corner. im so tired of trying to find pieces for the 3-4 im about to scream. Prossman
  3. FLcowboy

    FLcowboy 2016 was a gift, 2017 is a mission Zone Supporter

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    I attribute the reduction in points scored this year more to the fact the Cowboys were playing a last place schedule in non-Division games. Further, the Cowboys were swept by the Giants and Eagles. Say what you want, but Ryan still has to prove himself.
  4. Double Trouble

    Double Trouble Well-Known Member

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    I recall when Parcells switched to the 3-4, he said that one big advantage of the 3-4 was that there were only 5 or so other teams running it at the time, so you were in competition for fewer players when it came to the draft.

    Now, nearly half the league is running it, so that advantage is gone.
  5. kmp77

    kmp77 Active Member

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    It seems the defense shifted sometime during the season and went conservative. At first, the defense was shifting and changing...then seemed like it went totally vanilla. Players weren't shifting around or making offenses guess. The one thing that made Ryan's defense stand out is how the defensive players would jump up to the line, then bounce out. I don't remember the last game where the players even did this. They just lined up like last year and just got beat.
  6. pjtoadie

    pjtoadie Cleveland's #1 Cowboys fan

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    Calvin Watkins @calvinwatkins
    I was told Rob Ryan wants his own staff on defense so expect change at DB coach.
  7. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    fingers crossed that watkins is right
  8. pjtoadie

    pjtoadie Cleveland's #1 Cowboys fan

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    Yeah I hope!!
  9. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye.

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    That's right, Rob. Throw that weight around.

    If Jerry makes Garrett capitulate, Garrett looks weak. However, if Rob stands up to Garrett and successfully argues his case, Rob looks strong.
  10. mldardy

    mldardy Well-Known Member

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    So sick of hearing this. The schedule wasn't any weaker than it was in 2010 and we didn't play a last schedule either. Playing non-division games only affected 2 games on our schedule. Those games were against Detroit and Tampa Bay. That non-division schedule wasn't a factor. We got better on defense early in the year but we still lack playmakers up front to put pressure on the qb and playmakers in the defensive back field. Until we get those players this is as good as our defense will get.It has nothing to do with the opponents we faced.
  11. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Active Member

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    The second mailbag response for "Jeff the Pool Guy" sounds like where I'm at mentally with this team. I'll always love the Cowboys but this feels like a nightmare that will never end. Jerry is well on his way to making this team a mediocre to horrible team. I know a lot of people scoff at the idea but I will be voting with my wallet and won't purchase anything Cowboy related unless I see this team really trying to upgrade itself with new players and coaches this offseason.

    At the very least it makes me feel better and I grasp for any little thing to make me feel better about this train wreck.

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