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View Full Version : Calling all D-line gurus



lloydroid
10-10-2012, 03:03 PM
Like most people, I spend most my time watching where the ball goes when I watch a game. I try to notice other elements of play, but I sill tend to just follow the ball, as most do. But I know some focus a bit more on seeing how the D-line is playing, and I wanted to know, from those who pay more attention to that element, if our DE's are playing well, particularly Hood and Heyward. I was looking forward to both of those guys really stepping up their play this season, with Hood, because he has become a work out animal and transformed his body, and Heyward, because usually a good player makes a big jump from rookie to 2nd year. It is especially hard to notice if they are playing well, because in our system, good DL play isn't usually predicated on sacks, etc, making it tougher to determine if they are playing well.

So, what is the verdict? Are Hood and Heyward living up to their first-round pedigrees?

squidkid
10-10-2012, 03:27 PM
i would have to say that our dline performance would be based on the production of our lbs(so i have been told by the dline supporters)
i wonder how our lbs rank stat-wise?

feltdizz
10-10-2012, 03:53 PM
Last game the DL was getting good pressure. I'm not one to look at the trenches but I tried to last game.

flippy
10-10-2012, 03:59 PM
On TV, it's easiest to watch the ball and sometimes hard to see what's happening on the lines and with the WRs. Anyone get the new packages from the NFL that allow you to watch the views the coaches get to see?

From what I can see on tv, I don't see the guys up front getting a push. They're often getting moved and redirected. I think a lot is on Casey. He used to move the C/G back 3 yards. And that's when we got pressure. It gave the QB no where to step up and avoid pressure on the outside. Collapsing the middle of the pocket is key to this D getting consistent pressure. And it hasn't been happening regularly since the XL SuperBowl. I think that was his downside.

If Casey can't get a push, it's easier to block everyone else on our Dline.

Granted, I don't focus on the Dline on every play. But my general take is we're easy to push around.

lloydroid
10-10-2012, 04:25 PM
OK, but what about when McClendon is in? It always seems like he is pushing people around up front.

SidSmythe
10-10-2012, 05:24 PM
I key in on the D-Line often. One thing I can say is they are merely holding their own and might be giving up a few steps compared to the Keisel, Hampton and Smith line of a few years ago.

Smith could blow things up and rarely got pushed back. A Younger Casey held his ground.

But now i'm noticing our line maintain the LOS at best but often are lose a yard or 2 of ground at the Point of Attack. I guess you could say they're doing their job, but they're not getting penetration and disrupting things in the backfield like the days of old. This of course puts more pressure on the LB's to fill and bring down a RB with a head of steam as opposed to bringing down a guy trying to make something out of nothing.

Now if you want to see bad, watch the Buffalo Bills. They're giving up huge chunks of yardage b/c their D-Line aren't maintaining any ground. Last week I watch their Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams get "washed" down the line out of his gap leaving a HUGE running lane for Frank Gore. Compared to that, our O-Line doesn't look so bad

D Rock
10-10-2012, 05:52 PM
I key in on the D-Line often. One thing I can say is they are merely holding their own and might be giving up a few steps compared to the Keisel, Hampton and Smith line of a few years ago.

Smith could blow things up and rarely got pushed back. A Younger Casey held his ground.

But now i'm noticing our line maintain the LOS at best but often are lose a yard or 2 of ground at the Point of Attack. I guess you could say they're doing their job, but they're not getting penetration and disrupting things in the backfield like the days of old. This of course puts more pressure on the LB's to fill and bring down a RB with a head of steam as opposed to bringing down a guy trying to make something out of nothing.

Now if you want to see bad, watch the Buffalo Bills. They're giving up huge chunks of yardage b/c their D-Line aren't maintaining any ground. Last week I watch their Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams get "washed" down the line out of his gap leaving a HUGE running lane for Frank Gore. Compared to that, our O-Line doesn't look so bad

For all the money and investment they have in that D-Line, it is absurd how poorly their defense is performing.

lloydroid
10-10-2012, 05:58 PM
I key in on the D-Line often. One thing I can say is they are merely holding their own and might be giving up a few steps compared to the Keisel, Hampton and Smith line of a few years ago.

Smith could blow things up and rarely got pushed back. A Younger Casey held his ground.

But now i'm noticing our line maintain the LOS at best but often are lose a yard or 2 of ground at the Point of Attack. I guess you could say they're doing their job, but they're not getting penetration and disrupting things in the backfield like the days of old. This of course puts more pressure on the LB's to fill and bring down a RB with a head of steam as opposed to bringing down a guy trying to make something out of nothing.

Now if you want to see bad, watch the Buffalo Bills. They're giving up huge chunks of yardage b/c their D-Line aren't maintaining any ground. Last week I watch their Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams get "washed" down the line out of his gap leaving a HUGE running lane for Frank Gore. Compared to that, our O-Line doesn't look so bad

That surprises me, about the Bills. They were advertised as having a DL that was all that and a bag of chips. Mario Williams, former first round over all pick, who is supposed to possess superman-like skills. Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams - Dareus had a monster rookie season (43 tackles, 5.5 sacks); that guys is a massive load and crazy powerful. Kyle destroyed our OL last year when we played them. He can be disruptive as hell. Chris Kelsay averaged 47 tackles per season and though he may never have had a double digit sack total any year, he's a constant, stable force on the line. Anderson got a decent 4 year contract worth $19.5 mil, but Kelsay has been good for 9 years. It shocks me that this DL stinks. At least 3 of the guys on there should be dominant. Maybe they play undisciplined? Id Mario under-achieving? Only 1.5 sacks and 9 tackles would seem to indicate so. Too bad for Bills fans; I thought their DL was going to be dominant and I even drafted their D on my fantasy team, with this in mind (I have yet to star them; my other D is Houston).

flippy
10-10-2012, 07:46 PM
OK, but what about when McClendon is in? It always seems like he is pushing people around up front.

I thought McClendon looked good in the preseason against Philly and then last week against Philly. I think it has to do with their OLine.

Other times I've seen him in the game, I've seen him getting blocked by 1 guy and controlled. That can't work in a 3-4. We need a beast of an NT. He seems better suited to be a 4-3 DT. I really like McClendon, but I think we're trying square peg, round hole a couple of these guys.

Even Keisel's not perfect for the 3-4. People used to get on him when he became a starter to better control his gaps and play the run better without getting washed out. He's gotten stronger and is a solid 3-4 DE. But he had a freakish size/speed combo and he could really get after a QB when he was a 3rd down replacement for Kimo. I really think Keisel could have been the Levon Kirkland of 3-4 OLBs. But we bulked him up to control the gap better.

SidSmythe
10-11-2012, 09:21 AM
All I can say is the Bills are not getting their money's worth.

I think the Steelers D-Line is still playing well, just not dominant like we're use to seeing

Oviedo
10-11-2012, 09:36 AM
I thought McClendon looked good in the preseason against Philly and then last week against Philly. I think it has to do with their OLine.

Other times I've seen him in the game, I've seen him getting blocked by 1 guy and controlled. That can't work in a 3-4. We need a beast of an NT. He seems better suited to be a 4-3 DT. I really like McClendon, but I think we're trying square peg, round hole a couple of these guys.

Even Keisel's not perfect for the 3-4. People used to get on him when he became a starter to better control his gaps and play the run better without getting washed out. He's gotten stronger and is a solid 3-4 DE. But he had a freakish size/speed combo and he could really get after a QB when he was a 3rd down replacement for Kimo. I really think Keisel could have been the Levon Kirkland of 3-4 OLBs. But we bulked him up to control the gap better.

I agree with your assessment---all of our DL except for maybe Heyward (I think he could be an excellent 4-3 DE) are better suited for the 4-3. That is been my argument over the past couple of seasons. Hampton is washed up so essentially we don't have the critical NT you need in a 3-4 and they are very, very difficult to find. It is getting too hard to find guys who fit our 3-4 and then take the additional time to train them up (I would argue we "train out" what got them to the NFL). That is why we get to the point where we are forced to hang onto players who are near or past their "sell by" dates.

flippy
10-11-2012, 11:21 AM
I agree with your assessment---all of our DL except for maybe Heyward (I think he could be an excellent 4-3 DE) are better suited for the 4-3. That is been my argument over the past couple of seasons. Hampton is washed up so essentially we don't have the critical NT you need in a 3-4 and they are very, very difficult to find. It is getting too hard to find guys who fit our 3-4 and then take the additional time to train them up (I would argue we "train out" what got them to the NFL). That is why we get to the point where we are forced to hang onto players who are near or past their "sell by" dates.

The other problem is I wouldn't use a 1st round pick on DL given that we need to re-train. It seems the risk/reward is too high. Just draft a couple of these guys later in the draft and see who can make the transition in 3 or 4 years. Taking DL early in the draft seems like a reach in our system.

Oviedo
10-11-2012, 12:46 PM
The other problem is I wouldn't use a 1st round pick on DL given that we need to re-train. It seems the risk/reward is too high. Just draft a couple of these guys later in the draft and see who can make the transition in 3 or 4 years. Taking DL early in the draft seems like a reach in our system.

Current system. There is always hope!!!!

RuthlessBurgher
10-11-2012, 01:31 PM
Current system. There is always hope!!!!

Of the teams currently ranked in the top 5 in overall team defense, only one of them (Seattle) runs a 4-3 defense. The other 4 (San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, and Pittsburgh...yes, doom-and-gloomers...we are ranked 5th at the present time) all run a 3-4 defense.

Oviedo
10-11-2012, 01:59 PM
Of the teams currently ranked in the top 5 in overall team defense, only one of them (Seattle) runs a 4-3 defense. The other 4 (San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, and Pittsburgh...yes, doom-and-gloomers...we are ranked 5th at the present time) all run a 3-4 defense.

And the team that won the Super Bowl last year ran a 4-3. Not sure that matter either given that the two Super Bowl participants had terrible defenses last year. I think #30 and #31 or thereabouts.

SidSmythe
10-11-2012, 02:10 PM
so what exactly is it that makes a 4-3 superior to the 3-4???

lloydroid
10-11-2012, 02:16 PM
And the team that won the Super Bowl last year ran a 4-3. Not sure that matter either given that the two Super Bowl participants had terrible defenses last year. I think #30 and #31 or thereabouts.

Close. NYG were 27th in total D. Pats 31. I think NY's ranking was deceptive. They certainly had a better D than 27th in the league, when it counts. That DL can flat out get after QBs.

http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&defensiveStatisticCategory=GAME_STATS&conference=ALL&role=OPP&season=2011&seasonType=REG&d-447263-s=TOTAL_YARDS_GAME_AVG&d-447263-o=1&d-447263-n=1

lloydroid
10-11-2012, 02:19 PM
so what exactly is it that makes a 4-3 superior to the 3-4???

It's not superior; it can be - all depends on if you have the right players. But I will say this: with the 4-3 you can draft players who already play the position you need them for, not having to retrain so many players - that's what sucks about the 3-4. Also, you must find a stud NT or the whole thing fails, and we are beginning to see that with Hampton out of his prime. Once you lose a true 3-4 NT, the whole thing collapses.

flippy
10-11-2012, 02:59 PM
I'm not concerned about a 3-4 vs 4-3. I just want to see consistent pressure like we did on Sunday. I'd also like to see more aggressive play in our backfield. Irregardless of where we rank, we're not opportunistic. We don't attack the ball to create turnovers. I hate to say it, but outside of James Harrison and Ryan Clark, we sometimes look soft.

Some teams have this knack for tacking balls away. Teams like Chicago and NE come to mind. They may not be ranked as even good defenses, but any time I watch them play, all 11 guys are constantly going after the ball to try to create a turnover.

Captain Lemming
10-11-2012, 03:22 PM
Even Keisel's not perfect for the 3-4. People used to get on him when he became a starter to better control his gaps and play the run better without getting washed out. He's gotten stronger and is a solid 3-4 DE. But he had a freakish size/speed combo and he could really get after a QB when he was a 3rd down replacement for Kimo. I really think Keisel could have been the Levon Kirkland of 3-4 OLBs. But we bulked him up to control the gap better.

I never get this stuff about BK.

He had a grand total of 3 sacks during three years backing up Kimo.

It aint just that the 3/4 is a bad fit. He was a 4/3 DE in college, and was no phenom there.
I follow the Mountain West and WAC, and BYU for decades.
BK was not a beast by ANY STRETCH. Dude was an "honorable mention" all MWC player ONCE.

In other words there were SIX DEFENSIVE ENDS in the weak defense MWC better than BK.
Two years as a starter and he get SEVEN sacks total in two seasons. He wasnt even the best DE on that team. Ryan Denney was a beast on the other side.

At 6'5" and 269 he had the prototype size for a 4/3 DE, which is what he played at BYU.

An athletic freak at that size in that conference would dominate.

IMHO a bulked up BK in a 3/4 is the only way he starts in this league. He is good not great.

He is right where he needs to be.

Slapstick
10-11-2012, 03:44 PM
Of the teams currently ranked in the top 5 in overall team defense, only one of them (Seattle) runs a 4-3 defense. The other 4 (San Francisco, Houston, Dallas, and Pittsburgh...yes, doom-and-gloomers...we are ranked 5th at the present time) all run a 3-4 defense.

Furthermore, if you looked at a pre-snap photo of the Seattle defense, their front looks a lot like a 3-4...

With their stand-up "Elephant" DE on the weak side and the Strong Side LB really close to the LoS, you would be hard pressed to make a distinction...

Oviedo
10-11-2012, 05:09 PM
It's not superior; it can be - all depends on if you have the right players. But I will say this: with the 4-3 you can draft players who already play the position you need them for, not having to retrain so many players - that's what sucks about the 3-4. Also, you must find a stud NT or the whole thing fails, and we are beginning to see that with Hampton out of his prime. Once you lose a true 3-4 NT, the whole thing collapses.

Thank you. That has been my point all along. It is a issue about replenishing the talent and getting them in the field faster contributing. Not who who is standing up and who is in a three point stance. There is too much risk in sustaining the 3-4 which is why you have to keep the veterans you guessed right on that you can convert for so long which is where we are now.