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(long) Defensive worries gone overboard; for nfldraftblitz

Discussion in 'Draft Day Zone' started by jterrell, Jul 5, 2005.

  1. jterrell

    jterrell Penguinite

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    It is the deadest time of the football year. The “big” news is the supplemental draft where 1 guy may actually be worth a late 3rd round pick and another worth a 6th. That’s the most they are worth. So yea, its slow.

    This slow time causes a lot of white noise to hit keyboards and get published. That causes radio talk shows to pick up mantras and in general football drivel to hit full steam.

    If you’re in Dallas that drivel has been couched in 3-4 talk. The bad part of this is most Dallas fans are completely clueless about the 3-4. I don’t mean that as an insult to Dallas fans but rather as a testament to the fact Dallas has had such limited experience with any defenses other then the 4-3. Dallas has essentially run 3 base defenses. The 4-3 flex , the Miami 4-3, and the Cover 2 (4-3). So the fretting over the 3-4 is in full effect. Why oh why the fans want to know would you take LaRoi Glover off the field for a scrub LB? That’s a legit question at first glance. The truth is though you are not going to do that. LaRoi Glover is going to play 65% of the plays if you ask Bill Parcells. That’s probably exactly what you want from an undersized DT who is on the down side of a very good NFL career. Fresher DL make more plays. While Dallas fans can claim ignorance of the 3-4 it is hard to claim ignorance of how good guys can be on the DL if they get rest. Dallas won Super Bowls with guys like Charles Haley playing no more than 65% of the snaps. Fans weren’t clamoring for Charles on First down, so long as he was there on 3rd hitting QBs. It’s the same concept guys. Really it is. The kid playing on that first down will be either Marcus Spears or Demarcus Ware, not a scrub LB. Those are the 2 potential guys who will be on the field in the 3-4 where one would not in the 4-3. Scrub LB X was probably gonna be on the field anyway. Dallas has to field 3 of them and it is very unlikely Demarcus Ware is asked to play a 4-3 OLB. He was a defensive end in college and will likely be so in any 4-3 fronts in Dallas. I have seen some disagree with that but I would have to see Ware at a 4-3 LB to believe it.

    Dallas lost Dexter Coakley and Marcellus Wiley off of last year’s defense. Coakley while a good player was a small player whose playmaking had been reduced. He’s the kind of guy the eagles and Pats have been cutting lose for 3 or 4 years in an effort to keep their caps in great shape: I.E. highly paid aging guys on the downside. Other than that Dallas has all the talent of last season plus: Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, Jason Ferguson, Kevin Burnett, Anthony Henry, Aaron Glenn, Izell Reese.

    Gang, we are gonna be better no matter what defense we play. The talent infusion is what matters. Tuna knows the 3-4 and Zimmer the 4-3, but what is proven to matter is talent. These guys have talent and will perform. Sure there will be some mix of defenses though in all honesty I expect the 3-4 to be the primary defense and especially so early on as BP tests it out. The 4-3 will probably be used against teams we have already played as in the 2nd divisional games.

    Greg Ellis? Ellis is a good 4-3 DE who plays extremely hard. He is not going to play any less hard or face any less double teams in the 3-4. At least not compared with any of the previous talent bare 4-3’s Dallas has tossed out. Ellis was always double-teamed. Now teams will double Jason Ferguson. If you do that you can not double the DE’s and the pass rushing OLB. If by doubling Ellis you get Demarcus Ware blocked by a RB, then hello Pro Bowl for Demarcus. Greg Ellis is not going to run down QBs. He is an inside the tackle guy even if he doesn’t realize it yet. The 3-4 will fit him fine.

    I could be wrong but honestly there is little in the pure football logic of the situation to suggest that is the case. So relax and lets get excited about all that talent added instead of worrying over how it is used. Bill Parcells has a fondness for old guys but he does use and develop talent. There is very little reason to think he will not get the most out of this defense regardless of where they line up.
  2. THUMPER

    THUMPER Papa

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    Not a bad article. Nothing new really but at least it isn't the same old, same old.
  3. Zaxor

    Zaxor Virtus Mille Scuta

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    Couple of things jump off the page at me...

    One the writer is assuming that everyone will know there assignments plus all the players have to get a "feel" for the position...which is gonna take time which the writer does not allow for... He also is assuming that the Rookies are NFL ready or even if they can play in this league which may not be the case in either..He is also assuming that the Vets switching positions would have the same or near the same production which again may not be the case...he also assumes that there will be no injury to Fergy because if he gets injured we have no viable replacement that I see...We also will have no leader on the defense at the first of the season because those who would/could lead are switching/learning a new position...Plus most of these guys have never played with each other so they must build a coehsiveness and chemistry with each other...those are just a few of the many things that could go wrong for the writer to arbitrarly annoit the Cowboys defense as better is pie-in-the-sky hopes or shortsightedness

    now it does stand to reason if all those things and a few others get worked out that the defense could/would be better...but it is gonna take time which from my reading of this article is noteven concidered...I think the writer is hoping for a just add water miracle
  4. Qwickdraw

    Qwickdraw Benched

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    I think this scheme is a blessing in disguise for Ellis.

    While productive at DE 4-3, Ellis has never really been a major disruptor and relies more on his rangy build and strength than on speed and moves.

    He's an oversized DE who I think fits into the 3-4 very nicely with his size, strength and build. Leave the speed and moves to the far more agile OLBs like Ware.

    While Ellis has been a defensive leader for Da Boys from day one, I think he can contribute more than he ever has by learing and mastering the 3-4 DE position.
  5. billknows

    billknows New Member

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    Good , If we just stay 4-3 we are much closer to the # 1 defense of two yrs. ago, we have potentially better personel ...3-4 who knows it may be hard to break free from the 4-3 in crunch/winning sundays...Bill Knows
  6. Zaxor

    Zaxor Virtus Mille Scuta

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    I would like a good mixture but predominately 4-3
  7. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

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    Ellis is not bigg enough for a 3-4 player he will be less effective sorry no if and or butts about it. The 3-4 is not a blessing for Ellis. His sack total will drop to 4 if we go 3-4 full time. Ferguson is the only guy big enough out of the vets to play full time 3-4 the rest of the linemen are way undersized for a 3-4 line. We will be killed in the running game and the passing game. Better hope Spears is all Pro 3-4 de his 1st year.

    I seen lots of 3-4 in my live I grew up to southwest conference football and the wrecking crew. The Steelers over the years ran 3-4 Carloina and now the Texans.
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Nice Read JT...thanks for posting. :cool:
  9. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    And what would the total have been if we stayed in the 4-3? 7?

    Everyone talks of Glover being on the downside of his career, but Ellis will be 30 years old by the time trainig camp breaks. He's just 1 year younger than Glover, and unlike Glover he's had a major injury in his career. Neither Ellis nor Glover have upside left. They have no ceiling yet to reach. They are what they are, and its nothing spectacular. To just stick in this 4-3 because it best suits Ellis and Glover reminds me of people who hold at Blackjack at 15. Yeah, you're not going to bust, but you're not likely to beat the house either. These are not players we should build a franchise on.


    This move isn't just for this year, its for the future as well. I think the 3-4 suits Ware and Spears better, no time like the present to get started on it. The same people who claim that Parcells is forcing this a year too early would be the same people biting their nails next year if the Cowboys delayed it. Its called risk aversion .. its a personality type.
  10. Waffle

    Waffle Not Just For Breakfast Anymore

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    Nice article, JT. I especially liked the Haley playing time comparison to Glover/Ellis for this season. Puts it into perspective.
  11. Kangaroo

    Kangaroo Active Member

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    No we should have cut ties with them or traded them period end of story. They are undersized making this defense a crappy defense when it goes 3-4. The line is not big enough to run a 3-4 at this time. This team will be killed by the run just like last year
  12. Zaxor

    Zaxor Virtus Mille Scuta

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    really surprised this article got so little play...

    guess folks are tired of debating and want to see some action...

    come on training camp
  13. blindzebra

    blindzebra Well-Known Member

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    Then we should have Henson starting at QB, since Bledsoe is not the future either.;)

    After all there is no time like the present.:rolleyes:
  14. Zaxor

    Zaxor Virtus Mille Scuta

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    was that the sound of a [font=&quot]gauntlet[/font] being dropped:eek:
  15. blindzebra

    blindzebra Well-Known Member

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    I have trouble with doing things half way. 3-4, 4-3, mix and match hybrid, screw that. Pick one and build it with the best 11 players you can put on the field.

    Win now, build for the future or try to do both?

    If we are going to turn the defense over to the young guys, with all the rough patches that will likely have, why not do the same on offense? Why not get all the growing pains out of the way now?

    If Glover and Ellis are too old and average, then what the hell is Bledsoe?
  16. Zaxor

    Zaxor Virtus Mille Scuta

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    BZ I agree 100%... to not do so is irresponsible to me... either sh or get off the pot..don't just sit their and take space...
  17. junk

    junk I've got moxie

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    Kind of a subtle slap in the face to anyone who questions the 3-4, JT.

    In truth, it is a legitimate concern. The switch to a 3-4 base is the biggest thing that is happening this offseason and will have major implications on the Cowboys season.

    While I may agree on keeping Glover fresh, he was the defense's best player last year. I would argue that Ellis was second. Both are better suited to a 4-3 and I think Glover is much more that a gap shooting DT that "can't hold the point of attack". If that was the case, BP wouldn't even consider him at the nose in the 3-4.

    As far as Ware and Spears, they both come from 4-3 backgrounds. There is no guarantee that they can even play in the NFL, much less transition to the 3-4. Another legit concern although personally, I think they will be able to do it.

    I agree on Ware not being an OLB in the 4-3. However, Burnett, Nguyen and even Singleton is a solid LB core. Shanle couldn't even beat out Singleton last year and now is counting on competing with James for a starting middle spot in the 3-4. James was awful last year.

    I thought the idea was that in the 3-4 you could just plug bodies in at the 3-4 end position and use draft picks and money to find pass rushing OLB because that was "easier". Yet the team burns a first round pick on Spears....to be a 3-4 end. He's a guy I think would be much more effective in another scheme. He could be a Kevin Williams type DT/DE. If you just want guys to hold the line of scrimmage, why not sign Marques Douglas on the cheap and let Kenyon Coleman/Greg Ellis/Canty man that other DE spot and use #20 on one of those "tough to fill" positions?

    Personally, I am all for the scheme that best fits the talent on the squad. If thats the 3-4, great, but I think its naive to dismiss any concerns. I think the coaching staff themselves have them and will use TC to determine exactly what kind of defense will be run.
  18. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I share the opinions of some in that this is not a great move for Ellis or Glover. Ellis has improved his sack totals each of the past 4 seasons. He Registard 9 sacks last year with what I would consider poor supporting cast. What could he do with the likes of Ferguson, Glover, Spears/Canty, Ware at OLB and Roy playing close to the line? This concept of Ellis being free to go one on one in a 34 is rubbish. Who do you double team in a 43 with that kind of pass rushing talent at the OLB? I also believe Ellis is undersized for DE in a 34 but he's about perfect for DE in a 43. There is also truth to the fact that Ellis will no longer be shading somebodies outside shoulder in a 34. He will have to lock up on a regular basis. This is going to negate any speed advantage he has. His sack production will go down IMO. As for injury, I believe Ellis' injury was a broken leg. It wasn't a knee or the like. I don't really see how that affects anything. Probably healed stronger then it was before. 30 is the prime for a DE. He is reaching his physical peak from a strength perspective. His agility is still there at that age. His endurance is still high. His knowledge of the game has matured. Greg Ellis will likely be the best DE he can be over the next few years. In a situation where we have multiple rush threates, that finally allows him to play one on one. Who knows what his production could be in that situation? I too think it is a waste.

    As for Glover, same deal. Playing DE in a 34 is going to do the same for him. The example given by the writer says that 65% of plays is exactly what you want from this guy. Well, I agree with this but all 65% of those plays are not going to be at his natural position. If we really are going to a 34, I think we should have traded Glover. I don't see him being as effective as he could be in that scheme.
  19. ABQCOWBOY

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    I think Ware could play OLB in a 43. I definatly think he could play DE in a 43 but from all accounts, he's got the physical attributes to play OLB in a 43. I would actually like to see what he can do there.
  20. InmanRoshi

    InmanRoshi Zone Scribe

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    It isn't complicated math.

    Generally most teams that use the 3-4 still use a 4 man front in nickel. Have you people never watched the Baltimore Ravens and Terrell Suggs?


    Nickel makes up 50% of defensive snaps, alone.

    Ellis and Glover will get 50% of their snaps in a 4 man set.

    Glover will be off the field at what he does worst ... run defense and holding up the point of attack (that's according to his former GM Randy Mueller), and fresh for what he does best ... penetrating gaps and getting pass rush up the middle.

    So much handwringing and sweaty palms over nothing.

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