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View Full Version : Better pass rush won't help without better coverage scheme


cdcox
12-28-2005, 11:40 AM
Many here on the "What one area of our team kept us out of the playoffs? " thread are declaring the pass rush as the single thing in most need of improvement. However, without a change in coverage scheme a better pass rush would have very little effect.

We run what I call "halo pass coverage" becasue the defenders often treat the receiver as someone fielding a punt, giving him a 3 yard halo. Even in double or triple coverage, our players maintain this this halo, even slowing down to avoid closing the gap when given the chance. Once the receiver catches the ball, they collapse the halo and make the tackle (or at least try to). This is done so consistently that it must be by design.

Suppose we had the league's best pass rush. The QB sees a 10 yard cushion on at least one of the wide outs. He knows from film study about the halo coverage. Any decent OC is going to have a hot option on every pass play. When the pass rush comes, the QB can go to this hot option or nearly any other player on the field and hit him for an easy completion because we do not make any serious attempt at close coverage.

I don't know why we don't run a more aggressive coverage scheme. Maybe we don't have good enough players in the secondary to run anything else. Maybe Vermeil or Gunther is so paranoid about giving up the big play that they will not give anything else a chance. What I do know is that a fierce pass rush will have very little impact until we get away from the halo coverage scheme.

Mr. Laz
12-28-2005, 11:49 AM
agreed...

the players don't fit the scheme ... the blitz scheme doesn't fit the coverage behind it...

blah,blah,blah


the coaching just doesn't jive ... time to move on.

ptlyon
12-28-2005, 11:51 AM
the coaching just doesn't jive ... time to move on.

du do do do do do dooo

pig and elephant DNA just don't jive...

Count Zarth
12-28-2005, 11:56 AM
I think you're being a little harsh. It's not as bad as it was under GROB.

B_Ambuehl
12-28-2005, 11:56 AM
There are simply not enough athletes in the secondary and they struggle staying with guys man to man. You have a natural linebacker playing strong safety (Knight), a basketball player playing free safety (Wesley), a free safety playing cornerback( Warfield), and 1 true cover corner doing what he's supposed to do. (Surtain)

I'd bet $50 that's easily the slowest and least agile secondary in the entire NFL.

One of the major reasons I dissed on Williams' as a head coaching candidate last week was because he runs an aggressive man to man scheme and the players in the secondary have already proven they can't play that. However, after giving it some thought I see Warfield being moved to FS and a new athletic corner being brought in, drafted, or someone on the roster getting some PT at that position (Hodge, Sapp, Battle etc.) If that new corner could hold up, moving Warfield to FS would make that secondary a strength.

ChiefsLV
12-28-2005, 11:59 AM
Disagree

While the Chiefs do run the zone defense a lot, they don't run it every time they line up. With a pass rush would come the ability to run a more aggressive cover scheme. Gunther is not going to leave the corners one on one with receivers if he isn't confident that the line will get to the qb. With our defensive line's inability to bring pressure consistently, we'd be giving the other team too many chances for the big play. As they say, it all starts up front.

Lzen
12-28-2005, 12:08 PM
Disagree

While the Chiefs do run the zone defense a lot, they don't run it every time they line up. With a pass rush would come the ability to run a more aggressive cover scheme. Gunther is not going to leave the corners one on one with receivers if he isn't confident that the line will get to the qb. With our defensive line's inability to bring pressure consistently, we'd be giving the other team too many chances for the big play. As they say, it all starts up front.


Yep.

I don't care if you have the best secondary in the league. If you can't get pressure on the QB, you'll give up a lot of passing yards, period. Even the best DBs can't cover forever.

sedated
12-28-2005, 12:08 PM
The DB's are so far away from the WR's because the WR's have time to run their complete routes.

If the QB had less time and a hand in his face when he was throwing, the DB's would look much better.

ptlyon
12-28-2005, 12:10 PM
If we had a stud DT, this thread would not exist.

Warrior5
12-28-2005, 12:18 PM
If we had a stud DT, this thread would not exist.

Exactly...a better pass rush would allow Gun to use a better coverage scheme.

Mr. Laz
12-28-2005, 12:19 PM
Exactly...a better pass rush would allow Gun to use a better coverage scheme.

maybe


and maybe a better scheme would provide a better pass rush.

jspchief
12-28-2005, 12:23 PM
I think it's pas rush and the middle of our secondary.

We need a DT to collapse the pocket and force the QB int oour edge rushers. And we need better safeties to cover the middle of the field.

I also think our scheme is flawed. We rarely bump receivers off their route.

htismaqe
12-28-2005, 12:42 PM
A better this or that wouldn't allow Gunther to do anything.

He's inept.

Everybody said Warfield coming back would ALLOW Gunther to play more bump-and-run. They were wrong.

siberian khatru
12-28-2005, 01:16 PM
A better this or that wouldn't allow Gunther to do anything.

He's inept.

Everybody said Warfield coming back would ALLOW Gunther to play more bump-and-run. They were wrong.


Here's the thing that bothers me: We read this kind of stuff all the time on the Planet. Have you ever read anyone, anywhere in the KC media ask Gunther WHY he doesn't play more b'n'r? Maybe he's got a good explanation (although I doubt it). But it would be so much more enlightening if the media did their job and just asked him to explain.

I always thought reporters should be representatives of the readers/fans. I told coaches I was covering that I'd often ask them questions from a fan's perspective, the guy sitting in the stands or at home on the couch wondering why so-and-so made the decision he did. For me, it was a way not to personalize things -- coaches didn't think I was attacking them, I was only playing devil's advocate. Most appreciated that (some still didn't like the questions, but they were just azzholes).

There's a lot of smart folks on the Planet who understand football -- at least how the game works and how other teams do things. That doesn't necessarily mean they're right and the Chiefs coaches are wrong, but I think it would help if the media served as a bridge between the team and fans and asked the coaches to "educate" us on why they do the things they do.

I read those press conference transcripts I see little more than "who's hurt ... will he play ... ever faced an injury like that before ... how tough will it be playing Team X ... when you were in Philly/St. Louis did you ever ... how was practice this week ..."

cdcox
12-28-2005, 01:46 PM
To all you that say Gun would run a different coverage scheme if the pressure was there:

Why does Gun not man up when we are sending 7 or 8 players on a max blitz. Even if the blitz does not get someone on the QB in 2 seconds, he is going to go to his hot receiver just on the basis of reading the blitz alone. The QB will not hold the ball for 4 or 5 seconds because of the read. Still the blitz is matched halo coverage. Is our DB talent so bad that they can't cover a reciever for 3 seconds?

cdcox
12-28-2005, 01:49 PM
Also, don't call halo coverage a soft zone. Even in a soft zone, once the ball is in the air the players will make a play either by breaking on the ball or trying to time their hit to break up the play. That is not the scheme the Chiefs run. The scheme is to stay within 3-5 yards of the player until he makes a catch, then tackle him.

KC Kings
12-28-2005, 02:02 PM
Disagree.

To say that a better pass rush wouldn't help without a better coverage scheme is incorrect. Not only would a better pass rush alone help the team, but putting pressure on the QB would also improve the play of the secondary.

That's liek saying that getting a better QB wouldn't improve the play of your WR's, or vice versa. Not only can they idependantly improve the team, they also directly affect each other.

cdcox
12-28-2005, 02:26 PM
Someone tell me what the purpose of running a max blitz is if you give the QB a wide open target? Who thinks this idea presents any challenge for an NFL QB? This is what we do.

Mr. Laz
12-28-2005, 02:29 PM
Everybody Hoped Warfield coming back would ALLOW Gunther to play more bump-and-run. They were wrong.
lemme fix that for ya :p

tk13
12-28-2005, 02:36 PM
We don't blitz worth a crap either. That's part of the problem. We can bring 7 guys and somehow they don't get to the QB. You'd think we could man up our corners and blitz. That's what Denver does... their D-line is okay but not great, they just play their corners in man-on-man and bring everybody else after the QB. Their blitzes just seem to work.

Although I think we got some decent pressure on Brees and Eli the last couple weeks... not a lot of sacks but we got up in his face and at least rattled them a bit.

Lzen
12-28-2005, 03:24 PM
Disagree.

To say that a better pass rush wouldn't help without a better coverage scheme is incorrect. Not only would a better pass rush alone help the team, but putting pressure on the QB would also improve the play of the secondary.

That's liek saying that getting a better QB wouldn't improve the play of your WR's, or vice versa. Not only can they idependantly improve the team, they also directly affect each other.


Or perhaps a more accurate comparison would be to say that a better offensive line (i.e. Willie Roaf 2005) makes a QB play better (i.e. Trent Green 2005).

Lzen
12-28-2005, 03:27 PM
We don't blitz worth a crap either. That's part of the problem. We can bring 7 guys and somehow they don't get to the QB. You'd think we could man up our corners and blitz. That's what Denver does... their D-line is okay but not great, they just play their corners in man-on-man and bring everybody else after the QB. Their blitzes just seem to work.

Although I think we got some decent pressure on Brees and Eli the last couple weeks... not a lot of sacks but we got up in his face and at least rattled them a bit.

That's true. What cdcox is forgetting is that opponents are doing a good job of picking up the blitzes. So in reality, the blitzes are neutralized, making them pointless. I was really surprised at how well Dallas did this after about the first quarter of that game. Even with a depleted offensive line, they were able to neutralize the Chiefs' blitzes. :shake: Sure, that exposed the coverage weakness. But I think with a good defensive line, there is much less need to blitz and therefore more players can cover.

Ari Chi3fs
12-28-2005, 03:31 PM
How many Defense coaches are still here from GRob era?

CoMoChief
12-28-2005, 03:36 PM
Anyone who knows anything about football will tell you everything starts from the line of scrimmage, that goes for both sides of the ball.

Look how well our offense is when Roaf and co. are all healthy. Then look how shitty it is when they are not.

Look how good Carolina's defense is. Look how good Tampa Bay and Chicago defenses are. They are results of great Dline play.


To sum it all up, everything starts from the O/Dlines. Eric Hicks needs to leave, as well we need another DT and DE. This is if we aren't running a 3/4.

cdcox
12-28-2005, 03:46 PM
That's true. What cdcox is forgetting is that opponents are doing a good job of picking up the blitzes. So in reality, the blitzes are neutralized, making them pointless. I was really surprised at how well Dallas did this after about the first quarter of that game. Even with a depleted offensive line, they were able to neutralize the Chiefs' blitzes. :shake: Sure, that exposed the coverage weakness. But I think with a good defensive line, there is much less need to blitz and therefore more players can cover.

I don't recall seeing much tight coverage used in combination with the blitz all season. This implies:

a) we tried it and we got burnt big time for TD and have stayed away from that combo the rest of the season (Please provide a couple of examples)

b) Gun knew our blitzes sucked before he ran them. He ran them any way, effectively taking players out of coverage where they could do some good, to send them crashing harmlessly into the opposing offensive line.

c) Gun, thought our blitzes would work. In fact he thought they were so good that there was no need to give the QB a difficult target.

d) Gun is insane, there is no describing his thought process.

e) Some rational explanation I haven't thought of. You tell me.

htismaqe
12-28-2005, 03:49 PM
How many Defense coaches are still here from GRob era?

How many of them coached here under Marty and/or Gun? :hmmm:

sedated
12-28-2005, 03:57 PM
How many Defense coaches are still here from GRob era?


all but one, the LB coach quit, so Gun got to bring in his own guy.

other than that, they are all the same.



(someone please correct me if I'm wrong)

cdcox
12-28-2005, 04:02 PM
Some of you are using the OL-DL analogy. Here is a more accurate analogy:

Team X's offense sucks. They can't run and they can't pass. The passing scheme consists of 95% underneath stuff. Team X always runs short patterns, even when the situation calls for a longer pass. No one is sure why we run so much short stuff, but the rumors swirl around the QB not being able to throw the ball any further. The running game lacks any RB with speed or power.

The plan to make the offense better is to get a better back. Someone with speed and power. That will fix the offense because we fixed one part of the game, and that will open up stuff like play-action passing that will help the passing game. But we will continue to run only short patterns.

This plan is destined to fail because it doesn't challenge the defense. The safeties of the opposing team can continue to play up, thereby stopping the running game. Fixing the running game is not enough, a more aggressive passing scheme is also desperately needed. If the personnel do not allow that to happen they need to be replaced. If the coach is just stupid, the coach needs to be replaced.

I've never seen such and insane coverage scheme as halo coverage. Without fixing that, the best pass rush in the league will not improve your pass defense because you are not making it difficult on the QB. If a hot reciever is always open, the pass rush loses its sting.

cdcox
12-29-2005, 08:12 AM
Glad to see you guys came around to my point of view ;)

htismaqe
12-29-2005, 08:51 AM
all but one, the LB coach quit, so Gun got to bring in his own guy.

other than that, they are all the same.



(someone please correct me if I'm wrong)

Yep, you're right. Fred Pagac was a Gunther hire - Joe Vitt left because he couldn't stand to work with Gunther.

That being said, go to KCChiefs.com and read the coaching bios. Almost all of them ALSO coached here under Marty and/or Gunther - notable exeption is Guinta.