QBs Camouflage For Defense:Mickey

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Mr Cowboy, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Mr Cowboy

    Mr Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    IRVING, Texas - One game, just one game. Thank goodness it's a 16-game season. Anything less would have created mass hysteria.

    We 'r' Hysteria, though, right? Terrell Owens would be Exhibit A, and what? The guy comes out with minimum training camp practice to catch six passes for 80 yards and a touchdown, and truth be told, had he not been interfered with on one play and had Anthony Fasano not been called for interference on another, Owens, having missed three weeks worth of practice, would have finished with eight catches for 145 yards - at least.

    Because of Owens, remember the Mike Vanderjagt ordeal flew under the radar, and come season opener, which became a bigger story, Owens or Vanderjagt?

    That is why I throw out the caution flag today, because I sense Hysteria II building steam: Bench Bledsoe, Bring on Romo.

    Be careful, be very careful not to get sucked into another sexy plot and become distracted from the meat of the Dallas Cowboys' season-opening 24-17 loss to Jacksonville. I'm tellin' ya, don't let that quarterback stuff send flak over what was most disturbing from the Cowboys' third consecutive loss in the state of Florida:

    Defense.

    Right?

    You with me on that?

    Now I don't know about you, but heading into this game, and I'm not saying I'm the authority on picking scores, but since I predicted the Cowboys to win, 20-13, I would think that it was fairly reasonable to figure the Cowboys would score like 20 points in a season opener, on the road and against a darn good defense that had lost very little from last year. Especially since there were real concerns going in with the offensive line and kicking game.

    Well, what? The Cowboys scored 17 points, and came within the width of the upright from scoring . . . 20. So that was about right, despite how unevenly the quarterback played - for whatever reason - or the offensive line, including Flozell Adams.

    But the Cowboys gave up 24 points - 24 points to an offense which had scored no points with its first-teamers vs. the opposition's first-team defenders in four preseason games. To an offense loaded with receivers of little acclaim and missing its first-round drafted tight end. To an offense I'm guessing you would have been hard-pressed to name one of its starting offensive linemen before the game. To an offense which last year scored more than 24 points only seven times in 17 games, and in one of those games needed overtime.

    That's wrong.

    If I were the worrying sort, that's what would worry me after this first game and heading toward the next 15. That's where I would focus my apprehension.

    Like, what happened? And I know preseason is preseason, but these first-teamers gave up but a field goal to Seattle and a touchdown to Minnesota in eight quarters of preseason football. They gave up as much in two out of three second-quarter possessions Sunday.

    Like, defense needs to be the Cowboys' calling card this season if they are to do business in the playoffs in the end. Didn't you think that, too?

    After all, isn't that where the resources of late have been spent, save Owens' signing? The Cowboys have spent six first-round picks on current defenders - Greg Ellis, Roy Williams, Terence Newman, DeMarcus Ware, Marcus Spears and Bobby Carpenter. All but Carpenter start, and you realize, while they stole Chris Canty with a fourth, if not for the knee and eye, he would have been a first-round pick.

    And as for spending money, see big-buck, free-agent contracts signed with Anthony Henry, Jason Ferguson and Akin Ayodele. That covers every starting spot among the 11 except two - inside linebacker (Bradie James) and free safety (Pat Watkins or Keith Davis).

    That is why last Friday when asked to provide three keys to the game, one of mine was "Bigger D." Hey, Big D, as in defense is one thing, but the Cowboys defense this year just has to be better than that. It has to be catalytic, Bill's word, not mine.

    Well, against Jacksonville, it was for a quarter. The Cowboys yielded 16 yards on 15 first-quarter plays. And I might even cut the defense some slack, because at halftime, while Jacksonville did score 10 points, the Jags only had 132 yards and Roy Williams had gobbled up an interception.

    But that was it. The Cowboys couldn't slam the door on the Jacksonville offense the second half, even if the Jags were set up at the Dallas 40 for what turned out to be the critical third touchdown. But three passes later, the Jaguars gobbled up 33 yards and a touchdown.

    That just can't happen. Not if these Dallas Cowboys are to be what we think they can be this season. The defense has to be not only this team's stopper, but also the closer.

    But the defense wasn't, and what worries me most is how the Jaguars moved the ball throwing. That means there wasn't enough pressure up front, and here we thought that front seven would be a mess to handle this season. That means the secondary was getting beat, and this had nothing to do with safeties. The Jacksonville wideouts were beating the likes of Newman, Henry and Aaron Glenn in man, and obviously the Cowboys were counting on their man coverage since they decided to play a lot of single safety in the game so they could insert a third corner.

    In fact, if not for Josh Scobee's missed 49-yard field goal, the Jags would have scored on three of four possessions there in the second half.

    The run defense, problematic last year after Al Singleton was lost halfway through the season with a shoulder injury, was solid. Gave up just 78 yards. Just 2.4 a carry. Had four tackles for losses. Bravo.

    But, the Cowboys gave up 237 yards passing, and Jimmy Smith no longer plays for Jacksonville. Hey, I know those Jaguars receivers are big, but they sure aren't big on experience. This can't happen.

    "Their confidence definitely built up, especially in the second half," Spears said. "You open that door, and it's hard . . . smelling that blood."

    So maybe this is a lesson learned. The Cowboys need to sharpen their olfactory senses. They should have been smelling blood in the second quarter. They had slammed the door on the Jaguars offense early, to the point there were 67,000 people ready to turn on the quarterback, the running back, the offense and the offensive coordinator.

    But the Cowboys didn't close, and the offense didn't outscore what the defense allowed, and now they sit here, 0-1 facing a somewhat critical game in Week 2, even if there are 14 left after that.

    "As coach said after the game," Spears recalled, "it's a long season."

    That's a good thing, and so far, for all the right reasons.

    But I'm telling ya, don't let the quarterback rhubarb run interference for Sunday's real worry.

    Remember what T.O. taught us.
  2. odog422

    odog422 Well-Known Member

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    good article. this was lost in all the hubbub about bledsoe. at least if u go by the board. me and a couple of friends were like "is this last year?" with the no pressure.

    winicki addressed this in a post and i commented there as well - where are the innovative blitzes and different things that zimm wanted to do but the D was too inexperienced for last year? why did i not see RW blitzing til the end of the 4th qtr? why cant we ever get to the qb when we blitz? same ole same ole, and a real concern for me.
  3. TwentyOne

    TwentyOne Well-Known Member

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    Yep, good article.

    What worries me the most is, that now Teams will see how good of an Defence Coordinator Zimmhuuu really is and they will shy away from him after this season. So he will stick around as our DC for years to come. :banghead:
  4. braw

    braw Member

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    After watching the game again, The score was 10 -10 going into the 4th quarter. After that the wheels came off the defense. The Jags D was making plays in the 4th(blitzing, and confusing the QB).

    Their D stepped it up a notch while our D kept doing the same ol thing. Jags brought 5 sometimes 6 people for pressure, while our D sent the usual 4. Once in awhile we would send RW to touch one of their blockers.

    Am I missing something here because I thought the 3-4 brings the pressure from all sides with its LB not safeties. The best blitzing LB we have was not active. The LBs during the nickel should be Carp, Burnett, Ware, and Ellis.

    Let the 3 cb and 2 safeties cover the the field while letting loose your 3 fast LBs bring the pressure.

    On the blitz the RW came in and was blocked by little Drew. Thats the same BS the Zimmer has done for years. A good DC brings in RW in thight to take on the OT while Ellis has to be picked up by Drew.Thats a miss match not only do you bring pressue but the QB has to throw it over a 6'6 player.

    Teams make mistakes which we did on Sunday, but yet the score was tied going into the 4th. This D seems to lose gas in the 4th for years now.
  5. dbair1967

    dbair1967 Arch Defender

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    it wasnt lost in the Bledsoe hubbub...I mentioned this after the Vikes preseason game and got crucified for it here...people said I didnt know what I was talking about and that we were "clearly holding back"

    we went 3 straight games in preseason without getting a single sack from a starting player...now its 4 staright games, because Ratliff isnt a starter either

    I've always said the defense is why we didnt make the playoffs last yr...and if what we saw Sunday is the best they can do, it will probably be the reason we dont make the playoffs this year either...I dont know if its Zimmer or Parcells or a combination of both, but somebody doesnt know what the hell they are doing on the defensive side of the ball...our system sux

    David
  6. ravidubey

    ravidubey Active Member

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    The defense also relies on the offense putting in position to play well. If the offense can't chew up the clock, then the defense gets tired. If the offense can't score, then the defense has to defense a balanced attack from the opposition which is harder to do.

    But the article sodes make some good points. Terence Newman and Anthony Henry have to start making plays that hurt the opposition, not merely defend against them.
  7. braw

    braw Member

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    While I agree 100% with what you wrote. The score was 10-10 without the pressure into the 4th. Then the D does a nose dive and the flood gates open. I have one answer to why that always happens.
  8. Mr Cowboy

    Mr Cowboy Well-Known Member

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    I would hope that Zimm would at least watch film of the Chargers to see how he can use our LB's as blitzers. Ware would be a bigger monster in SD than Merriman is................But here all he can hope for is to get sacks by having to outmuscle an OT that is heavier by 50 pound than he is. No creativity by the Def Cord. to allow him a free pass to the QB.
  9. Mash

    Mash Active Member

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    Nothing new.....we dont have a pass rush......its been like that for awhile........some underrate scheme's but I see DC's to more with less talent....in this league.

    We will have some growing pains with this young D.....but Im still not sold on our coaching....

    Both our OL coach and DC need to improve.....but Bill likes them both....so I guess...."In Bill we trust"
  10. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Active Member

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    My question before the game was what evidence was there, starting out the season, that our D was so great?

    We basically were poor defensively at the end of the season last year and just because Madden said something positive about them in the pre-season doesn't mean jack squat.

    To me, the biggest problem is the poor pass rush. We can argue about Ware all we want, but when he was drafted it was for one reason, primarily...SACK THE QB on a consistent basis. So far he has not done that.

    Charles Haley is the prime example of what a relentless pass rusher does for a defense. Before Haley we were a good, young defense. The addition of Haley took us to the #1 Defense in the league.

    The bottom line is Ware MUST step up his play and get to the QB!
  11. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    Actually, I felt like ware and, at times, Ellis were the only players getting consistent pressure on the QB.

    When your DL plays the exact same gaps every play, never stunt or drop into Zone coverage, though, it's pretty easy to roll your protection to the backers.

    My issue, the more I think about it, is the DL itself, which is supposed to disrupt the line and allow the backers to get there.

    The DL gets a fail.
  12. jimmy40

    jimmy40 Well-Known Member

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    Proof?
  13. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Active Member

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    I'm not dogging Ware or saying he's not a good, young player. He obviously is a good, young player.

    But pressure on a QB isn't the same thing as SACKING the QB and Ware, up until now, hasn't consistently beat his man so that opposing teams have to design schemes to keep him off their QB. Right now they can go into a game basically relying on their LT to block him.

    Teams can't do that against true, elite pass rushers.
  14. Mash

    Mash Active Member

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    Put Haley in the Campo....Zimmmer and now Parcell's/Zimmer defence and they would have him drop back in coverage. :)

    Im not saying Ware is a Haley....but how long has it been now since we had some sacks?

    But one thing i noticed and I could be wrong.....we didnt resort back to that monster of a 3 men rush nickle package.... :)

    Im blaming the coaches for our OL and lack of pass rush :)
  15. odog422

    odog422 Well-Known Member

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    you may have mentioned it, but im talking about the 20 threads on bledsoe, while none, or very very few on the D after this game.

    but i do agree with your last paragraph - our offense, the way we play, is predicated on a solid D. any hopes for playoffs or beyond, IMO, requires a disruptive D. at this point, we cant even get the solid part right. and im looking, like you, at the coaches for not putting our players in the best position to succeed.

    yes there is risk involved, but as mick points out, all the high picks are on that side of the ball and the playin it safe, close to the vest deal is killin me. scheme DOES matter and rarely do we send more than they can block, period.

    guaranteed OC's are not staying up at night trying to figure out where or how the pressure is going to come from us. and as far as the field position thing goes mentioned by another poster, if we could manage a few three and outs maybe we wouldnt be so tired. as well as create more opportunites for the offense. it goes both ways.
  16. dboyz

    dboyz Active Member

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    I only partially agree. Yes our defense has room for improvement, plenty of room. But this article overlooks the fact that our offense have Jacksonville two short fields to work with. That makes a pretty big difference. Yes it would have been nice to hold them to field goals, but you can't keep putting your defense in bad situations. We have a good defense, but definitely not a dominant defense.

    My biggest complaint about the defense is not enough big plays made. I thought the Roy Williams interception might be the beginning of something. But
  17. lspain1

    lspain1 Active Member

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    I want to add something concerning the blitz and "sending more folks" See the below from TMQ on espn.com

    LINK


    TMQ has long contended blitzing is prone to backfire. Each year, I chart every down for a playoff weekend, and annually my charts show that offenses gain more yards and score more touchdowns against the blitz than against regular defense -- and that this holds even if you adjust for down and distance. I found that offenses averaged 4.3 yards per play against conventional defense and 8.7 yards per play against the blitz and scored touchdowns on 2.6 percent of plays against conventional defense and on 6.7 percent of plays against the blitz; that conventional defense forced the offense to kick three times as often as blitzing forced a kick; and that there was no difference between blitzing and conventional defense in terms of forcing turnovers.

    Pro Football Prospectus objects to my playoff-weekend approach, calling four games too small a sample. One weekend of charting every play is the most I can stand! Schatz and his pals from Football Outsiders (who, in another of those historical-dialectic reversals, are rapidly becoming insiders) charted every 2005 NFL passing down, some 16,188 of them. Their conclusion: "Overall, [defensive] performance is the same whether the defense sends three, four, or five men after the quarterback. On a six-man blitz, the defense clearly has the upper hand. Send seven or eight across the line, and suddenly the offense is gaining more yards per pass." The finding appears to be that offenses can usually handle five rushers but that six rushers might overwhelm blocking, making the six-blitz the effective tactic; however, a seven- or eight-blitz means a receiver covered by no one, causing the mega-blitz to backfire. The book's advice to defensive coaches: Call the six-blitz.


    Whatever we were doing I don't think we sent six at all.
  18. CrazyCowboy

    CrazyCowboy Well-Known Member

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    We better get that D back on track fast......Moss is heading to Texas stadium sunday and we all remember him from last year right?
  19. AMERICAS_FAN

    AMERICAS_FAN Active Member

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    People, we should all take stok in the post highlighted above. What "braw" says is true; the score was tied going into the 4th. This D seems to lose gas in the 4th for years now. The same can be also said for the offense. This O is good at taking an early lead, or doing enough to catch up, but I can't rmember the last time this offense took a lead and ran away with it. I think alot of this has to do with Parcells style of coaching. I think he has most players so anxious that they're always playing not to as to not disrupt Parcells. And Parcells spends too much time cracking the whip and not enough time teaching his palyers how to win.

    AF
  20. SilverStarCowboy

    SilverStarCowboy The Actualist

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    Yes the REAL worry is the Skins.


    We must win and have no remorse.

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