PDA

View Full Version : Herm: Following the Cover 2 Blueprint to a "T"


Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 09:43 PM
I don't know how many of you remember....but in December of 2005, ESPN.com published a story on the scheme and philosophy behind the "Cover 2" defense. After the recent draft talk, I dug around to try to find it again....and I ran across it.

After 14 months, Herm seems to be following it almost exactly as it was presented there. It's as if he's using it as a blueprint.

To me, the most interesting link is this one:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/flash/2005/coverTwo

Click on "Formations & Principles," "Areas of Responsibilities," and "Attacking the Cover 2". When viewing "Areas of Responsibilities" you can "FLOAT" the cursor over each position group for a detailed description of the responsibilites and assignments for safeties, corner backs, linebackers, and lineman.

Each of those descriptions seem to describe the guys Herm has brought in; and explains, in clear terms, why we have released the guys we have. I think it's pretty cool, really. :hmmm:

So, for good or bad, depending on what you think about the "Cover 2" I suppose....at least Herm seems focused, and doing precisely what he needs to do to make mold our defense the way he thinks it should be.

Of course, on the offfensive side...either Herm is a whole lot smarter than we are about what's going to work, or he's trusting Solari on his judgement of the offensive line. Because, there is certainly cause for concern there...at least in my mind. But I digress; my point is, you can clearly see what he's doing with this defense....and I'd have to say, he's doing a helluva a job.

Anway, here is text and the the link to the direct article (I think it's a great read, especially now that we've been through two drafts with Herm.) You can see what he's doing, and where we are headed with this defense. If nothing else, the man has a plan and is sticking to it....which, from my perspective, is a pretty good thing.

Thoughts and commentary, which agrees or disagrees with my take is welcome.... :p

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2271514

Monday, December 26, 2005
Updated: December 28, 11:05 AM ET
'Simple' scheme nets big gains for trio of defenses

<HR width="100%" noShade SIZE=1>
By Michael Smith
ESPN.comWhen Lovie Smith took over as Chicago's head coach last year, one of the first steps in installing the Tampa 2 defensive scheme was to change the way the Bears practiced. If a ball lay on the ground, Smith wanted his players to swarm to it like ants to a crumb, pick it up and carry it to pay dirt. And not just fumbles, mind you, but incomplete passes as well. (Per the rules of football, incompletions cannot be returned.)

"Sometimes you'll see us do it in games," Bears Pro Bowl safety Mike Brown (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5068) said of the defense's take-it-to-the-house mind-set. The Bears have a league-high nine interception returns for touchdowns in Smith's two years as head coach. "It's our mentality."

Good defenses think alike -- aggressively. Before a recent practice in Indianapolis, Ron Meeks, the Colts' defensive coordinator, was asked how Indy's version of the Tampa 2 defense evolved in one season from the team's perceived weak link into a confident, physical group that carried the club through the first quarter of the season, before the Colts' high-octane offense got in gear.

"We play with so much energy and speed," Meeks said. "When the ball is thrown, we're like piranhas. We're attacking the ball carrier, attacking the receivers, trying to inflict as much pain and play with as much energy as we can. A lot of it is an attitude."

That aggressive approach is the foundation of the Tampa 2, the style of Cover 2 defense made popular by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=tam) under Tony Dungy, starting in the mid- to late-1990s. Actually, it all started in the 1970s with Bud Carson's Steelers defenses, for whom Dungy played defensive back. Dungy learned the Cover 2 from Carson. In Cover 2, two safeties play zone (area) coverage, each of them responsible for half of the field. Dungy's Bucs had great success dropping a speedy middle linebacker (the "Mike") down the middle of the field to defend the pass, creating a three-deep look, while four often undersized but quick defensive linemen rushed the passer. And so, the Tampa 2 was born.

So, too, was a trend. Nowadays, most every defense in the league has some form of the Tampa 2 in its package. But no one is making the Tampa 2 do what it does better than the originators -- Dungy in Indianapolis, Smith in Chicago and longtime coordinator Monte Kiffin in Tampa. The Bears and Colts are division champions, and the Bucs a victory away from making it three-for-three for Tampa 2 teams.

The Bears' defense has had a season for the ages, drawing comparisons to Da Bears of 1985. Chicago is on pace to break the 19-year-old record for points allowed in a 16-game season (187). Chicago went 43 quarters without allowing more than seven points in one quarter, the second-longest such streak in the last 70 years. The Bears allowed the fewest points over eight home games (61) in league history. Naturally, Chicago's top-rated defense leads the league in fewest points allowed per game at 11.2. The Bears were 21st in total defense a year ago.

The Colts' defense also made a dramatic jump, in Dungy's fourth year, from 29th in 2004 to ninth this season. Indianapolis held its first five opponents to 10 points or fewer -- the third team since 1970 to do so -- and seven foes overall to 10 or fewer. The Colts rank second in points allowed per game (15.6). And like the Bears, they're playing with virtually the same personnel.

Meanwhile, Tampa has the NFL's No. 2-rated defense, having allowed 16 or more points only four times. The Bucs will finish in the top 10 in total defense for a ninth consecutive season.

It seems the Tampa 2 is an ideal scheme with which to turn around a defense virtually overnight. In 2001, Smith's first year as St. Louis' defensive coordinator, the Rams improved from 24th the previous season to third. Meeks was Smith's secondary coach that year, before going to Indianapolis with Dungy in 2002.

The secret to the Tampa 2 system? There really isn't one.

Less is more in this case. The brilliance of the scheme lies in its simplicity. What the Tampa 2 teams have figured out is that it isn't what they're doing, as much as it is who is doing it and how. Whereas success in defenses designed by the Bill Belichicks, Romeo Crennels and Nick Sabans place a great deal of faith in the players' aptitude, the Tampa 2's effectiveness has more to do with their attitude.

"There's no magic formula," Dungy said. "We don't do a whole lot, other than play hard and play well. Whether it's Pittsburgh or Tampa or Chicago or here, we're going to be fundamentally sound and try not to give up big plays and play hard and play smart. It's that more so than the X's and O's."

“If you like cheeseburgers, [the Tampa 2] is OK because the cheeseburger's going to be the same everyday, all the time, whatever city you're in, ask for a cheeseburger and fries, it's going to be the same.”—Colts coach Tony Dungy

The Tampa 2 is quite player-friendly. Each player is assigned a gap, and he is to attack it. Chicago, Indy and Tampa like to stop the run with eight players near the line of scrimmage, and on passing downs drop into their Cover 2 zone. They like to play it safe in this scheme, so it doesn't call for a lot of all-out blitzing with zero coverage (no safety in the middle, corners one-on-one), instead preferring to rely on the defensive line to apply pressure on the quarterback. "We play the odds a lot is what we do," said Smith, Dungy's linebackers coach in Tampa from 1996 through 2000.

They're always hustling in the Tampa 2, gang tackling ball carriers. It helps that the players have an idea where the ball is going. The Tampa 2 asks the corners to reroute the outside (also the most dangerous) receivers, delaying the release and buying the line more time to get to the quarterback.

"That's where the rush and the coverage come together," said Mike Tomlin, the Bucs' secondary coach and one of the league's top coordinator prospects. "The way you attack it is vertically. But in order to do that, you have to protect, or you have to get a bunch of people out to stress us. If you get people out, we've got one-on-one with the guys up-front. If you keep guys in to protect, we've got enough people in pass defense, and guys are in position to see the ball come out."

And attack.

"It allows them to play fast," Tomlin said.

The concept behind the Cover 2 is to prevent the big play by keeping everyone in front of the safeties and, when possible, making big plays. Simple. It's more of a mentality than it is mental.

"[Pittsburgh coach] Bill Cowher, when we played them, he had to laugh," Dungy said. "He said they had an extra day, because it was Monday night, and they had all this extra time. 'But you guys only have one defense. We couldn't even utilize it.'"

When Colts owner Jim Irsay and team president Bill Polian hired Dungy four years ago, they knew, with the players Indy has on offense, they wouldn't have much salary cap space to allot for the defense, meaning the Colts would have to build that side of the ball through the draft and not free agency. Dungy and the Tampa 2 defense he taught were perfect for the Colts and their home stadium, the RCA Dome, with its artificial surface. "He brought a defense that fit completely with the kind of players we had here and the salary cap approach that we were forced to take," Polian said.

In recent years, Indianapolis has lost linebackers Mike Peterson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4685) and Marcus Washington (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5088) to free agency, and after the Patriots pushed the Colts around for a second year in a row in the playoffs, fans and media wanted to see the Colts spend money on free agents for the defense, even at the expense of retaining franchise (and franchised) running back Edgerrin James (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4652). But Dungy knew it would only be a matter of time before his young players matured in the system.

"That was the trepidation: 'How are we going to get better because we didn't go out and get five or six new guys?'" Dungy said. "We felt the guys we got, [former Eagles defensive tackle] Corey Simon (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5035) and [first-round cornerback] Marlin Jackson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=7205), were going to help us, but we knew that most of our improvement would come from Mike Doss (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6394), Bob Sanders (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6803), Cato June (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6534), Raheem Brock (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6096), playing more in the system and playing better because they knew what they were doing."

Simon calls the Tampa 2 a "man-whoop-a-man" defense. "If you can't beat your man," Simon said, "you're going to find holes in our defense. It's simple and sound. It's not real complicated."

Dungy raised quite a few eyebrows, but he knew precisely what he was doing when he drafted undersized end Dwight Freeney (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5897) in the first round of his first draft with the Colts. He was getting his version of Tampa's Simeon Rice (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=3549), a premier pass rusher, a key component of the Tampa 2. Smith has two terrors coming off the edge in Adewale Ogunleye (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5768) and Alex Brown (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5990). Sanders, taken in the second round last year, is the intimidator at safety, the Colts' version of ex-Buc John Lynch (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=2441). For the Bears, that's Mike Brown.

The parallels in the blueprints don't stop there. Before Anthony McFarland (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4663) took over, the Bucs had Warren Sapp (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=3140) as their dominant defensive tackle. The Colts have Simon; the Bears Tommie Harris (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6773), Smith's first draft pick. Lance Briggs (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6404) is to the Bears what Derrick Brooks (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=3141) is to the Bucs, what former sixth-round pick and college safety June is to the Colts, the playmaking weak-side linebacker. Chicago has Brian Urlacher (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=5038) in the middle. Back in the day, the Bucs had Hardy Nickerson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=1570) running the defense; now that guy is Shelton Quarles (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4073). Bears cornerback Nathan Vasher (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=6869), Smith says, possesses the ball skills of Tampa's Ronde Barber (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=3985).

What all of those players have in common is that they can move quickly. Along with an aggressive attitude, the Tampa 2 places a premium on speed. "I'm sure we don't emphasize [running to the ball] any more than anyone else does, but it's easier to fly to the ball when you have fast guys that can run," Dungy said. Speed often comes at the expense of size, though not always, as Smith discovered. "When I went to St. Louis," Smith said, "I was looking for those same body types. What I've since found out since I've been in Chicago, just looking at our linebackers, is you can have speed, quickness and size." Smith and defensive coordinator Ron Rivera grade their players on loafs, or how many times they don't hustle to the football.

At some point this season, the Bucs, Bears and Colts defenses were carrying their respective teams, some more than others. The Bears are an 11-win team despite infrequent contributions from their 31st-ranked offense. At the very least, Tampa 2 players don't have to carry huge playbooks. The Tampa 2's hallmark is execution rather than ingenuity.

The league's three Tampa 2 teams all have a legitimate shot at reaching Detroit and Super Bowl XL. Not coincidentally, Tampa, Chicago and Indy model their defenses after General Motors. They do one thing and they do it well.

"I tell guys it's like McDonald's," Dungy said. "If you like cheeseburgers, [the Tampa 2] is OK because the cheeseburger's going to be the same everyday, all the time, whatever city you're in, ask for a cheeseburger and fries, it's going to be the same. That's what we are -- the cheeseburger and fries that's the same way every week in every city."

Michael Smith is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 09:56 PM
From the article:

Safties: tough, with good instincts and open-field tackling ability. Straight-line speed can be helpful, but pure man-on-man skills aren't necessary. Good in run support, and smart....to read the offense. (Hello, Pollard and Page)

Linebackers: active and athletic with good coverage skills (Hello Harris and Edwards); MLB must be able to cover deep middle (bye-bye Kawika) ; more emphasis on athleticism than size (Mr. Bell, say hello to "falcon" or the bench.)

:hmmm:

Wilson8
05-01-2007, 10:05 PM
Interesting information and it does look like he is following this plan. I still think we need another safety. Jarrad Page can do this. Not sure that Pollard can. I wanted the Chiefs to go after Chris Hope last year when he signed with the Titans.

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 10:08 PM
From the article:

Corners: don't need elite covereage skills but should be more QUICK than fast (Cover 2 sounds good for declining vets like Law and Surtain); toughness and instincts are important, and good open field tackling in run support are important.

Lineman: Need to be able to get pressure on the QB without blitzing, so emphasis is on athleticism and quickness, rather than size (Wilkerson, Turk, Tank, and Reed); with a run-stopper in the middle (Edwards, Tank, Boone.) Speed to attack one-gap responsibilities (Hali, Allen, Turk) bring the pressure on the QB.

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 10:10 PM
Interesting information and it does look like he is following this plan. I still think we need another safety. Jarrad Page can do this. Not sure that Pollard can. I wanted the Chiefs to go after Chris Hope last year when he signed with the Titans.

My understanding is that in the Tampa 2, if at least ONE of the safeties has speed and athleticism...you can give up a touch with the other, if he's a real headhunter: a John Lynch type player. I think Pollard is in that mold.

'Hamas' Jenkins
05-01-2007, 10:16 PM
Pollard is a rich man's John Lynch. You couldn't physically design a better SS for a cover 2 than Pollard. The guy is easily the hardest hitter on our team.

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 10:17 PM
Interesting that Mike Tomlin, who's quoted in the article....has risen so quickly. Wow. Assistant defensive coach for Tampa, to D coordinator with Minnesota....to head coach in Pittsburg....in 14 months time.

I wonder if part of the reason they let Porter go, was a switch to the Cover 2? Anyone know? I guess it would make sense....

So that gives us, what....Atlanta, Minnesota, Chicago, Indy, Tampa, and Kansas City that I know of....any other Cover 2 teams out there that I'm missing? :hmmm:

kcchiefsus
05-01-2007, 10:19 PM
Interesting information and it does look like he is following this plan. I still think we need another safety. Jarrad Page can do this. Not sure that Pollard can. I wanted the Chiefs to go after Chris Hope last year when he signed with the Titans.

Do you really think Herm Edwards would have drafted Pollard if he didn't think he had the range to play in the cover 2? Comeon now.

It pisses me off when people already say they don't think Pollard has what it takes. Herm is the one that drafted him so he obviously thinks he does have what it takes.

Wilson8
05-01-2007, 10:19 PM
I really like Pollard and I think he is an excellent athlete. I do think he will take his lumps though if the Chiefs start him. Hopefully they can let him "grow" into the position.

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 10:19 PM
Pollard is a rich man's John Lynch. You couldn't physically design a better SS for a cover 2 than Pollard. The guy is easily the hardest hitter on our team.

I absolutely LOVE Pollard. I think he's gonna be a Polamalu type player if he can stay healthy.... :drool:

:D

kcchiefsus
05-01-2007, 10:20 PM
Interesting that Mike Tomlin, who's quoted in the article....has risen so quickly. Wow. Assistant defensive coach for Tampa, to D coordinator with Minnesota....to head coach in Pittsburg....in 14 months time.

I wonder if part of the reason they let Porter go, was a switch to the Cover 2? Anyone know? I guess it would make sense....

So that gives us, what....Atlanta, Minnesota, Chicago, Indy, Tampa, and Kansas City that I know of....any other Cover 2 teams out there that I'm missing? :hmmm:

Detroit and Buffalo.

kcchiefsus
05-01-2007, 10:21 PM
I'm not sure about quickness but as far as straight line speed goes Jarrad Page is not any faster than Bernard Pollard. They are both about the same size as well.

Mecca
05-01-2007, 10:25 PM
Interesting that Mike Tomlin, who's quoted in the article....has risen so quickly. Wow. Assistant defensive coach for Tampa, to D coordinator with Minnesota....to head coach in Pittsburg....in 14 months time.

I wonder if part of the reason they let Porter go, was a switch to the Cover 2? Anyone know? I guess it would make sense....

So that gives us, what....Atlanta, Minnesota, Chicago, Indy, Tampa, and Kansas City that I know of....any other Cover 2 teams out there that I'm missing? :hmmm:

Pittsburghs going to play a bit of a hybrid but still alot of 3-4. Their first 2 picks are edge rushing 3-4 types although Timmons is athletic enough to do both.

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 10:25 PM
I'm not sure about quickness but as far as straight line speed goes Jarrad Page is not any faster than Bernard Pollard. They are both about the same size as well.

I can't remember....all I know with the coverage responsibilities that linebackers have, I'm not sure blazing speed is nearly as important in a scheme where they would need more range.

"You got the deep left half, I got the deep right half--and we need to keep everything in front of us" makes it easier to understand how some less than stellar athletes have done pretty well in Cover 2 defenses.

It seems to me, the saftey position screams more "FOOTBALL PLAYER"....."Head knocker".....than speedy athlete....in the Cover 2. :hmmm:

pikesome
05-01-2007, 10:26 PM
I'm not sure about quickness but as far as straight line speed goes Jarrad Page is not any faster than Bernard Pollard. They are both about the same size as well.

I don't worry about Pollard's fit, I worry a bit about Page's. But, as was pointed out, if Herm drafted him you've got to give Herm the benefit of the doubt.

Rausch
05-01-2007, 10:29 PM
I'd think with the athletes we have at DE now we could run some more zone blitzing as well. This is one area where having Capers as DC would come in handy...

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 10:30 PM
Pittsburghs going to play a bit of a hybrid but still alot of 3-4. Their first 2 picks are edge rushing 3-4 types although Timmons is athletic enough to do both.

Yeah. That makes sense. Kinda like last year Herm and Gun transitioned the defense slowly toward what is now emerging. I'm sure it depends in part, what players they have....and the investment and commitments they have with those guys. I was just surprised by Porter's release I guess.

petegz28
05-01-2007, 10:35 PM
didn't Pollard have 2 game saving interceptions in the end zone? Or was that Page?

Fish
05-01-2007, 10:36 PM
didn't Pollard have 2 game saving interceptions in the end zone? Or was that Page?

Page did

pikesome
05-01-2007, 10:36 PM
didn't Pollard have 2 game saving interceptions in the end zone? Or was that Page?

Page I think.

petegz28
05-01-2007, 10:37 PM
Page did


Ok then Pollard had the 3 blocked punts.

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 10:43 PM
Ok then Pollard had the 3 blocked punts.

I think that's right. Regardless, both seem to have a bright future.

Deberg_1990
05-01-2007, 10:46 PM
Very little blitzing.....

Hmmmm...im still mystified as to why Gun is running this defense?????

Unless hes more of a figure head and Herm makes most of the calls??

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 10:50 PM
Very little blitzing.....

Hmmmm...im still mystified as to why Gun is running this defense?????

Unless hes more of a figure head and Herm makes most of the calls??
I suspect what we saw LAST year was a hybrid; as we get more of the proper players in place....if the front four can bring the heat, I suspect Gun will call off the dogs some....Gun likes his blitzes, as we all do, but you go with what you have. He's shown that. If Herm wants Cover 2, that's what we'll see.

However, I suspect whenever Gun has discretion to call a blitz....he WILL. So it'll just be a Cover 2 that blitzes more than most.... :D

I like it. :)

Count Zarth
05-01-2007, 10:50 PM
Gunther is a student of the Cover 2. He's well versed in it.

Count Zarth
05-01-2007, 10:52 PM
I suspect what we saw LAST year was a hybrid;

It was definitely a hybrid. We just didn't have the players to run Cover 2 consistently.

Deberg_1990
05-01-2007, 10:55 PM
I suspect what we saw LAST year was a hybrid; as we get more of the proper players in place....if the front four can bring the heat, I suspect Gun will call off the dogs some....Gun likes his blitzes, as we all do, but you go with what you have. He's shown that. If Herm wants Cover 2, that's what we'll see.

However, I suspect whenever Gun has discretion to call a blitz....he WILL. So it'll just be a Cover 2 that blitzes more than most.... :D

I like it. :)

Good points.....thanks for the links....great read.

Count Zarth
05-01-2007, 11:01 PM
Gunther is a student of the Cover 2. He's well versed in it.

Just to expound on this...Gunther was the defensive line coach with the Colts in 1982, under Bud Carson. Bud Carson basically INVENTED the Cover 2 defense.

Mr. Kotter
05-01-2007, 11:12 PM
Good points.....thanks for the links....great read.
If you haven't looked at the "Attacking the Cover 2" graphics....you should.

It becomes pretty clear, pretty quickly WHY it's been pretty successful....

To defeat it, you need to get the Safties to cheat up in run support. If you have to have a running game that the other team HAS to respect.... you can do that.

BUT, how many teams have a POWER type running game, AND a QB with both the arm and the touch to consistently throw fade/deep "out" patterns OR who can consistently thread the needle on deep routes because the WRs will be double-covered?

How many teams are able to do that, consistently?

Then answer: not very damn many. :hmmm:

cdcox
05-01-2007, 11:33 PM
I wonder if part of the reason they let Porter go, was a switch to the Cover 2? Anyone know? I guess it would make sense....



Pittsburgh has always been really smart about not giving huge contracts to players when they reach their peak, especially LB. They draft smart, take the best years, then let them move on when the contract gets too big. They've lost some good players in their prime, but normally it's worked pretty well for them:

Hardy Nickerson, Kevin Greene, Chad Brown, Greg Lloyd, Levon Kirkland, Earl Holmes, Jason Gildon, Kendrell Bell...

Letting go of Porter is just business as usuall for them. They just drafted Lawrence Timmons to replace him.

RedThat
05-02-2007, 01:03 AM
Pittsburgh has always been really smart about not giving huge contracts to players when they reach their peak, especially LB. They draft smart, take the best years, then let them move on when the contract gets too big. They've lost some good players in their prime, but normally it's worked pretty well for them:

Hardy Nickerson, Kevin Greene, Chad Brown, Greg Lloyd, Levon Kirkland, Earl Holmes, Jason Gildon, Kendrell Bell...

Letting go of Porter is just business as usuall for them. They just drafted Lawrence Timmons to replace him.

Yeah I have to agree with you.

They've always been one of those teams that seems to draft REALLY well, especially on defense. And when the player wants a big contract they let him go, and replace him with little to no difficulty.

Very smart organization. They are very well ran. That's for certain.

Eric
05-02-2007, 01:23 AM
Pittsburgh has always been really smart about not giving huge contracts to players when they reach their peak, especially LB. They draft smart, take the best years, then let them move on when the contract gets too big. They've lost some good players in their prime, but normally it's worked pretty well for them:

Hardy Nickerson, Kevin Greene, Chad Brown, Greg Lloyd, Levon Kirkland, Earl Holmes, Jason Gildon, Kendrell Bell...

Letting go of Porter is just business as usuall for them. They just drafted Lawrence Timmons to replace him.

Could you imagine fans here crying if Derrick T would have been let go.

Good GM's don't listen to the fans.

beer bacon
05-02-2007, 01:37 AM
Could you imagine fans here crying if Derrick T would have been let go.

Good GM's don't listen to the fans.

I don't know if even the Steelers could have let DT go. There is a difference between releasing solid players made good to great by the system and releasing an all-time great player, who would be fantastic in any system that lets him just go.

jlscorpio
05-02-2007, 02:31 AM
I love how Herm is building a younger, more aggressive D. Our offense was due to fall flat anyways. We had a 4-year run like few other teams ever have. You can't draft every position every year. Whenever a team is rebuilding/getting younger, you inevitably have one, maybe even two, elements where you have to just go with what you've got, and address it down the road. That's our O-Line situation right now. We desperately needed a stud possession WR, youth/depth at DT, and a new kicker. We got all those, hopefully. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are good teams, ask the Redskins.

booger
05-02-2007, 05:14 AM
Gunther is a student of the Cover 2. He's well versed in it.
We ran it off an on back in '95. Tracy Simien the big downhill MLB actually had 3 picks or so covering the deep middle. We ran alot of bump too with Carter and Hasty. Mark Collins moved to FS and actually played NB with William white coming in and played S in the nickel. With Collins versitility we didn't have to run on subs as much. George Jamison was another former lion ( like White ) and played OLB. We were not as much of a blitz team with Smith, Sal, Joe Phillips, and DT getting pressure on the qb.

booger
05-02-2007, 05:24 AM
I'd think with the athletes we have at DE now we could run some more zone blitzing as well. This is one area where having Capers as DC would come in handy...

Herm touched base with this somewhere this offseason. Basically saying he and Gun are on the same page. Trying to dispell the notion that he and gun have a different approach and all Gun wants to do is blitz. He basically said Gun didn't have much choice but to blizt to get pressure on the QB. Said yeah we are C2 but more of a fire zone ( zone blitz ) team.

Agree totally on DE blitz drops. No more Hicks in that role. Allen and Hali, Wilkerson, and hopefully Turk all play well in a 2 point stance and have the balance to stay on their feet and pursue the play.

Capers had alot of sucess when he went to J'ville and ran zone blitz in their 4-3 after he got canned @ carolina.

I think we have the tools to be very versitle and run a lot of different fronts and looks.

Still glad we have a HC in herm that will be their to advise Gun though.

Count Zarth
05-02-2007, 05:52 AM
We ran it off an on back in '95. Tracy Simien the big downhill MLB actually had 3 picks or so covering the deep middle. We ran alot of bump too with Carter and Hasty. Mark Collins moved to FS and actually played NB with William white coming in and played S in the nickel. With Collins versitility we didn't have to run on subs as much. George Jamison was another former lion ( like White ) and played OLB. We were not as much of a blitz team with Smith, Sal, Joe Phillips, and DT getting pressure on the qb.

That's crazy. Some kind of talent on that defense. Jeez.

Dr. Van Halen
05-02-2007, 06:59 AM
It pisses me off when people already say they don't think Pollard has what it takes. Herm is the one that drafted him so he obviously thinks he does have what it takes.

You forget, some people on this board have high school and even (gasp) college football experience. That easily qualifies them as more credible than a former professional football player, scout, and current head NFL coach to evaluate players and draft picks.

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 07:38 AM
Detroit and Buffalo.

I thought there were at least a couple of others; thanks.

Chiefnj
05-02-2007, 07:39 AM
With more teams running the cover 2, offenses will get better at attacking it.

htismaqe
05-02-2007, 07:46 AM
Pittsburghs going to play a bit of a hybrid but still alot of 3-4. Their first 2 picks are edge rushing 3-4 types although Timmons is athletic enough to do both.

Cover 2 refers only to the responsibility of the 4 defensive backs relative to deep zones.

Tomlin said during the draft that the Steelers are a 3-4 defense and he's gonna stay with a 3-4 defense.

That doesn't mean that he won't implement the Cover 2. He's just not gonna implement the Tampa 2 scheme for the front 7.

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 07:46 AM
With more teams running the cover 2, offenses will get better at attacking it.

Agreed.

The problem is....beating it, consistently, requires three things:

1. A power running game, or at least a stud RB--to draw the safeties up, and to keep the LBers honest.
2. A strong-armed QB; one that has touch to throw the deep post and deep sideline patterns...that's where the soft zones are in the Cover 2.
3. An O-Line that will give that QB a full 3-5 seconds in the pocket...so receivers can get open deep.

Not many NFL teams have all three of those pieces in place.

Buehler445
05-02-2007, 07:48 AM
Those are some really informative articles, thanks. I'm confident Herm can shape up the D. Hopefully we can get something going on the Offensive side (though probably not this year) with some excellent drafts and better play calling.

htismaqe
05-02-2007, 07:49 AM
With more teams running the cover 2, offenses will get better at attacking it.

That notion is over-hyped.

This is the NFL. They study football 24x7x365.

booger
05-02-2007, 07:49 AM
Agreed.

The problem is....beating it, consistently, requires three things:

1. A power running game, or at least a stud RB--to draw the safeties up, and to keep the LBers honest.
2. A strong-armed QB; one that has touch to throw the deep post and deep sideline patterns...that's where the soft zones are in the Cover 2.
3. An O-Line that will give that QB a full 3-5 seconds in the pocket...so receivers can get open deep.

Not many NFL teams have all three of those pieces in place.

or the fast athletic TE to split the S's deep down the middle.

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 07:56 AM
Those are some really informative articles, thanks. I'm confident Herm can shape up the D. Hopefully we can get something going on the Offensive side (though probably not this year) with some excellent drafts and better play calling.

Personally, I think the key offensively this year....is going to be whether Solari and Herm are correct in their apparent judgement that our offensive line will be, at least, adequate.

IF Terry is able to play, and McIntosh and Wellborne live up to their potential....they could be right. If we have to rely much on the youngsters who are still developing, our QBs are going to be running for their lives.

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 07:57 AM
or the fast athletic TE to split the S's deep down the middle.

Yup. That's why the if the Chargers are healthy, and clicking, we will have to be more creative defensively for those games.

Chiefnj
05-02-2007, 07:59 AM
That notion is over-hyped.

.

No it isn't. Teams that start trends have a distinct advantage. When there were only 2-3 teams playing a 3-4 defense they had an advantage over offenses because offenses would likley only face a 3-4 once or twice a season. They also had a distinct advantage in the draft because they could take the 'tweeners' that 4-3 players were passing up on that didn't fit exactly.

When the west coast offense started it was better than sliced bread. Then the cover 2 was developed to beat it. For a while zone blitzing was great, but it too faded after offenses got accustomed to playing it.

htismaqe
05-02-2007, 08:01 AM
No it isn't. Teams that start trends have a distinct advantage. When there were only 2-3 teams playing a 3-4 defense they had an advantage over offenses because offenses would likley only face a 3-4 once or twice a season. They also had a distinct advantage in the draft because they could take the 'tweeners' that 4-3 players were passing up on that didn't fit exactly.

When the west coast offense started it was better than sliced bread. Then the cover 2 was developed to beat it. For a while zone blitzing was great, but it too faded after offenses got accustomed to playing it.

This is 2007, not 1986.

All of these schemes have been around and seen for many years. Today's NFL is about subtle wrinkles.

And EXECUTION.

Brock
05-02-2007, 08:03 AM
This is 2007, not 1986.

All of these schemes have been around and seen for many years. Today's NFL is about subtle wrinkles.

And EXECUTION.

and who has the better players.

booger
05-02-2007, 08:08 AM
I see the offense moving to more of a west coast type of offense while still trying to get vertical once in a while. Herm has had those types in the past and Solari has a big background in it coaching OL and TE in SF and Oline under Marty and Gun up until we ran the coryell.

Most all of the new WR's are big 6' plus and over 200 lbs, even all of the unofficial UDFA's except for the Ean Randolph who is a punt returner as well.

He moved boomer to FB to compete w/ Greg Hanioan as the blocking FB. Otherwise our RB's with Bennett being a good pass catcher and Herm has hinted at wanting LJ to be more of a complete back and wanting to see him catch more passes. Plus the comparrison of Kolby Smith to kimble anders you can see more of this thinking.

Big key to the OL is for them to play well as a group of 5. Even if Wiegmann stays, Waters is the only legit stud left. There's alot of youth there that i'm sure will get plenty of chances to compete especially at C and RG RT.

I could see them probably setting an example with Terry and cutting him. It's not just the recent off field troubles but apparently he hasn't been very active in the offseason workouts. They had to have a guy like him last year. They might not now.

I think Welbourn is on a short leash as well. Obviously he is in the same boat as terry regarding suspensions. Even though his is substance abuse 1 more problem and he misses a year. Plus he always bitches about his contract.

booger
05-02-2007, 08:15 AM
Yup. That's why the if the Chargers are healthy, and clicking, we will have to be more creative defensively for those games.

Hopefully Donnie Edwards helps some in that area.

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 08:42 AM
Hopefully Donnie Edwards helps some in that area.And he should; in the success Gates has had against us recently....mismatches against Mitchell, Bell, and our safeties have killed us.

Coogs
05-02-2007, 09:43 AM
That's crazy. Some kind of talent on that defense. Jeez.

Great talent at all the positions,that is all Gun needs to be a great DC.

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 10:15 AM
Great talent at all the positions,that is all Gun needs to be a great DC.

Players are definitely the most important part of a great defense. However, there are lots of examples of coaches with great talent at all the positions....who have screwed the pooch too.

Lzen
05-02-2007, 11:47 AM
The Bears' defense has had a season for the ages, drawing comparisons to Da Bears of 1985. Chicago is on pace to break the 19-year-old record for points allowed in a 16-game season (187).

Huh? 19 year old record? I thought that record was broken (shattered) by the 2000 Ravens (165 points allowed). WTH?

Great articles, btw, Kotter. Thanks.

ct
05-02-2007, 11:54 AM
Agreed.

The problem is....beating it, consistently, requires three things:

1. A power running game, or at least a stud RB--to draw the safeties up, and to keep the LBers honest.
2. A strong-armed QB; one that has touch to throw the deep post and deep sideline patterns...that's where the soft zones are in the Cover 2.
3. An O-Line that will give that QB a full 3-5 seconds in the pocket...so receivers can get open deep.

Not many NFL teams have all three of those pieces in place.

There are 2 teams in our own division very close to that. Only the young QBs keep them from this definition. Well, I'll have to qualify Denver's OLine as well, they are not what they used to be.

Direckshun
05-02-2007, 11:56 AM
AFC West is going to be monster this year.

In 2009 it'll likely sport four playoff-calibur teams. Unreal.

luv
05-02-2007, 01:18 PM
Ive heard several people say that they don't like the Cover 2. I would think it's a pretty solid defense. What's not to like?

If that's been answered in the thread already, just tell me to go back and read.

Direckshun
05-02-2007, 01:27 PM
Because Cover 2 is renouned as a "bend but don't break" defense.

When we played the Rams, QB Marc Bulger racked up well over 300 yards passing, and RB Stephen Jackson racked up over 200 total yards. But they only scored 17 points.

Why? Because our defense gives up those short-yardage underneathe throws over and over again with the Cover 2, but disallows most anything into the endzone.

A lot of people hate the Cover 2 because sometimes it allows guys on the other team to put up monster numbers and look very threatening to our defense -- oftentimes more threatening than it actually is.

htismaqe
05-02-2007, 01:45 PM
I'm more of a college fan than pro fan, which is why I think I prefer zone defense.

Zone defenses are predicated on EXECUTION of the scheme, which can mask deficiencies in raw talent.

Eric
05-02-2007, 02:26 PM
Didn't some coach also say they would play some 3-4

OctoberFart
05-02-2007, 02:32 PM
Cover 2 is good with pressure but will get torched without as the zones get really big. I guess any D gets torched with no pressure though.

Simply Red
05-02-2007, 02:42 PM
Cover 2 is good with pressure but will get torched without as the zones get really big. I guess any D gets torched with no pressure though.
:rolleyes:

Chief Faithful
05-02-2007, 02:47 PM
Cover 2 is good with pressure but will get torched without as the zones get really big. I guess any D gets torched with no pressure though.

You are correct, but isn't the cover 2 designed to keep WRs from getting behind the defense? The last thing I want to see are the long TD passes by the other team.

Eric
05-02-2007, 02:49 PM
It's always about players in the end.

New England's D would be way less effective without the Georgia Dtackle Stroud.

htismaqe
05-02-2007, 02:53 PM
It's always about players in the end.

New England's D would be way less effective without the Georgia Dtackle Stroud.

ROFL

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 02:54 PM
It's always about players in the end.

New England's D would be way less effective without the Georgia Dtackle Stroud.
Don't you mean Vince Willfork, of Miami? :hmmm:

ROFL
Cut him some slack.... Stroud's still with Jacksonville.

OctoberFart
05-02-2007, 03:27 PM
You are correct, but isn't the cover 2 designed to keep WRs from getting behind the defense? The last thing I want to see are the long TD passes by the other team.
Where did I mention deep TD passes? Cover 2 is good at preventing that.

Easy 6
05-02-2007, 04:40 PM
I really like Pollard and I think he is an excellent athlete. I do think he will take his lumps though if the Chiefs start him.

For every lump Bernard takes, he will give 2.

By the end of 07 he's a star IMO.

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 05:44 PM
For every lump Bernard takes, he will give 2.

By the end of 07 he's a star IMO.

It might take another year, but I'm pretty sure the guy will make a couple of Pro Bowls....in our system. :)

Easy 6
05-02-2007, 05:49 PM
It might take another year, but I'm pretty sure the guy will make a couple of Pro Bowls....in our system. :)

Heh, yeah i wanted to say "rising star", but it would have ruined the visual asthetic's of my post.

ChiefsCountry
05-02-2007, 05:50 PM
It's always about players in the end.

New England's D would be way less effective without the Georgia Dtackle Stroud.

I think you mean Richard Seymour.

Crashride
05-02-2007, 06:16 PM
Pollard bashers in 5....4...3...

Mr. Kotter
05-02-2007, 07:14 PM
I think you mean Richard Seymour.

Maybe; I thought he meant Tackle though. :shrug: