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Graziano says Defense the key

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by jobberone, Jun 29, 2013.

  1. CoCo

    CoCo Well-Known Member

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    I think its interesting to note that in the one week we had Costa at Center we blew the top off the run game. Now I'm sure some of that was Baltimore's struggles stopping the run. But I also wonder how much was Dallas geetting some run blocking inside that opened a whole new set of possibilities. Ryan Cook, our primary Center last year, is ahorrible run-blocker.

    That is part of why I think we'll have a better run game - the upgrade at Center.
  2. Alexander

    Alexander What's it going to be then, eh?

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    Do not forget about Frederick's ability to make the line calls, something we missed since Kosier.
  3. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    Right, I was implying it is one thing to tell Romo not to turn over the ball but then you have to make it possible for him to make plays under more controlled circumstances. That mostly means avoiding negative plays, staying out of 3rd and longs and giving him adequate protection when attempting to throw the ball downfield. It also means making sure WRs know how to make the proper route adjustments before getting on the field with Romo or limiting what they have him do so he understands a more limited set of responsibilities. It also means the whole team playing well enough so that he isn't constantly trying to pull us back into games where we've fallen far behind. It means getting some short fields to work with so that he can get some shorter scores.

    I agree there are a lot of good pieces in the secondary but much of it has little experience. The top 3 CBs really is probably amongst the best in the league and none is older than 27. None is a superstar yet but Mo could become one if he starts snagging passes. I really don't think many teams have as good a set of #4 and #5 CBs as we do. Back in 2011 our #4 CB was Allan Ball and #5 was Frank Walker - now that was lack of depth

    I think we are doing the right thing at Safety. We used to be too much focused on bringing in "athletes" at Safety like Sensy and AOA and even Allan Ball. All those guys were very fast and could jump but none were very good football players. They had low football IQs and struggled to deflect passes, come up aggressively against the run and generate turnovers. This new crop are all ballplayers who seem to be a physical and instinctive bunch with acceptable measurables. I I agree about the inexperience of Johnson and Wilcox but Allen is here to fill in as a stopgap until they are ready to take over. One of the big strengths of the new system is it is apparently built to make the Safeties job easier and Kiffin and Marinelli seem to have had good play wherever they have been. I also think the inexperience we are talking about (esp. for Johnson) is not like it was for AOA who basically was playing just a notch up from high school football in some kind of a rover position and for Ball who was basically a fringe CB with questionable tackling skills and horrible angles. The inexperience of Johnson in purely just not having put on the pads against NFL players and competing full-speed. He has been around the league now for over a year so he understands everything but just needs reps to adjust to the speed of the game.

    Now the other thing that gets me excited is the ball skills of the new group. Johnson had 17 INTs in college and looked like he had an idea of how to play the ball in his highlight reel. The players have said in practice that he has great ball skills so the skill has translated at least at the practice level. We don't know as much about Wilcox here but he was a former RB and WR so he understands how to go after the ball and take it away from the other guy.
  4. Eskimo

    Eskimo Well-Known Member

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    The thing is that we were much better in 2011 with Kosier and Holland at OG and Costa at Center with the same OTs. I don't see us being weaker on the interior this year with Frederick being one of the cogs. I think Leary will probably steal one of the two OG jobs and he will be a good run blocker. I also have hopes that Bernadeau will pick up where he left off in the second half of the season and play better. We all have to remember that Bern came from a Div 3 school and didn't have much experience playing pro ball before he came here. He was impaired with the two leg surgeries and it took a few months to really get his legs back. I also think he was really hampered by trouble getting off on the snap and hopefully they correct that this offseason.

    I really think our best set of 3 interior players for this year is Costa, Frederick and Leary/Bernadeau. I am very worried that Livings knee issues are chronic (we have the darndest luck with OL) and that he will not make the final roster. I am still not 100% convinced why Costa can't play OG even though he could go up against NTs fine.

    I suspect we may hope to develop another from what we have on the roster in Kowalski and Arkin but have my doubts about Arkin and think Kowalski is more of a Center. I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't dip into the draft again next year for a premium OL to add to our group.

    Having said that our #1 area that we need to improve upon is pass defense on the back end. I would say #2 concern would be pass blocking. I would put pass rush #3. I would probably put run blocking at #4. I do see it as a concern but am not convinced we can't go far with what we have. We just need to get back to the 2011 level which I think is a definite possibility. We won't be an elite running team but that isn't worth much anymore anyways. I prefer to spend resources to create a dominant passing attack over a dominant running attack. The combination in the increased size and strength of DL over the years and the liberalization of the passing rules has made the NFL a passing league more than it ever was before.
    gmoney112 likes this.
  5. footballnflstyle

    footballnflstyle Benched

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    just my two cents..this team on offense has to run the ball better as we all know,and execute the passing game as designed and not rely on tony buying time so much.this works ok alot of times but at crunch defenses zero in on tony and dont give him the wiggle room which stalls alot drives in big moments.plus lets face it tony is getting less and less elusive as each seasons passes..oh and the defense stays fairly healthy this team has a shot!!
  6. Carharris2

    Carharris2 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent post.

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