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Old 10-08-2007, 05:54 PM    (permalink
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Have we suddenly forgotten how to sack the QB, hold on third downs, and cause turnovers? I mean, we rarely get turnovers from the defense anymore, we don't get sacks as often as we should, we've been way to conservative in our play calling. We gave up 27 points to the Bears "offense." Point is, we were supposed to be dominating this year, and I'm just not seeing it. With the talent we have on that defense, three and outs should be the norm. We need to blitz. We have the personel, when we do it it usually works, and it causes the oh so elusive interceptions.

I'm probably still pissed, but we don't have as good of a defense as I want at this point in the year.
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Old 10-08-2007, 06:24 PM    (permalink
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Have we suddenly forgotten how to sack the QB, hold on third downs, and cause turnovers? I mean, we rarely get turnovers from the defense anymore, we don't get sacks as often as we should, we've been way to conservative in our play calling. We gave up 27 points to the Bears "offense." Point is, we were supposed to be dominating this year, and I'm just not seeing it. With the talent we have on that defense, three and outs should be the norm. We need to blitz. We have the personel, when we do it it usually works, and it causes the oh so elusive interceptions.

I'm probably still pissed, but we don't have as good of a defense as I want at this point in the year.
Packers haven't blitzed linebackers in years. It's the scheme.

Also, Packers have 5 interceptions in 5 games. Tied for 9th in the league. That's nothing to scoff at.

The defence played very well last night. I don't know what game you were watching but the offence constantly put them in terrible situations and they managed to stand pat most of the time.

The only real hole in the Packers defence right now is that they can't cover tight ends. The Packers need to start doubling top pass-catching TEs with a safety over top and a linebacker underneath. Nobody on the team has stepped up and showed the ability to cover top TEs one-on-one.
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Old 10-08-2007, 07:07 PM    (permalink
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The defense was superb in the 1st half yesterday. They gave up 2.5 yards per carry and a long run of 11. The were only a couple really bad plays: Nick Collins decision not to man up Adrian Peterson, Nick Collins getting beat by Desmond Clark, and that's about it.

The Bears had great field position all night due to our inability to move the ball in the 2nd half and MM's refusal to put the ball in Devin Hester's hands.

One really bad play I wanta get out of the way: on 3rd and 1 on the Chicago 11 in the 3rd quarter, we had a called run play. The Bears lined up two 1-techniques on the center, two 5-techniques in between the guards and tackles, and 3 LBs (two head up the guards, and one head up the center). No chance were we gonna run up the middle against that. But Brett didn't call an audible, and the run went for -3 yards. We then settle for a FG.

Later in the quarter, Fave gift-wrapped a TD for the Bears after underarming the ball to a swarm of defenders. Who knows why. If Atari Bigby doesn't push Olsen out like he did, there's a really good chance he doesn't get a second foot in. (CHI's drive: 1 play, 19 yards)

Again in the 3rd, Woodson fumbles the ball, and the Bears recover at our 41. They go on to kick a FG. (CHI's drive: 5 plays, 23 yards).

There were only two bad drives against the defense. The first one came in the 2nd quarter (TD, 12 plays, 82 yards), but should have been stopped after a FG, but didn't, due to an iffy/BS call against Corey Williams (lining up on the center, more or less). The second came in the 4th (TD, 8 plays, 79 yards), including a 27 yard Mossing by Greg Olsen over none other than Nick Collins.

We did some good things in the game. We finally got a semblance of a run game going and established ourselves against the run. By no means did our defense lose us the game. Three fumbles and an INT did.


Random notes:

It was good to see Justin Harrell play (1 solo tackle) and drive his man back on a few plays.

KGB brought a lot of pressure, in effect forcing incomplete passes.

Atari Bigby is our best safety.

Cullen Jenkins will benefit a lot from the BYE week.

Nick Collins is fulfilling his label as not having the mental ability to play at a sustained high level.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:00 PM    (permalink
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I'm still pleased with how our defense has played. I don't see any reason to panic. If there's something that bugs me it's the penalties. It's the facemasks, holding, etc. that extend their drives. 5 games in we have only allowed one rushing TD, that's something that good defenses will do. And even that one came last night after we held them to a FG, but there was a "penalty".
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:01 PM    (permalink
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I'm still pleased with how our defense has played. I don't see any reason to panic. If there's something that bugs me it's the penalties. It's the facemasks, holding, etc. that extend their drives. 5 games in we have only allowed one rushing TD, that's something that good defenses will do. And even that one came last night after we held them to a FG, but there was a "penalty".
That penalty pissed me off so much. I can understand making a bad call on holds, facemasks, and a host of other things, but I just don't see how you mess that up.
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:27 PM    (permalink
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Nick Collins is fulfilling his label as not having the mental ability to play at a sustained high level.
I agree with every point, except partially that one. The Clark TD was more Poppinga's fault than Collins'. Poppinga did claim responsibility for it. For one he didn't get a jam on Clark cause he completely bit on the run, on top of that, I think as a safety what the other team does as well as what you see your teammates doing will throw you off. If he's expecting run in that situation like everybody else, and at the last millisecond he realizes Clark is running a route rather than blocking it's too late. Sure Collins could have done better on that play. But everybody else could have too. Namely Poppinga. It was also a risky call by Chicago. Most teams would just run in that situation. I was really surprised by Chicago's play call. If it doesn't work then they look like idiots and every says what the hell are they doing??

-------

Next thing... By no means am I mad at the defense. I, like Boston, want more aggressiveness and turnovers if we're expecting to be dominant. Unless every guy is considered fast player it's really hard to play the bend but don't break style of defense in a dominant way. Chicago, Indy, Tampa, etc... I know we aren't Tampa 2 or whatever. But it's based on "bend but don't break" and you have to have quick, fast players at almost every position to be dominant in that philosophy. If we want to hang around 10th instead of top 3 or 5 then keep doing it, if not, let's get more aggressive. I don't mean Baltimore style with 340 pound Haloti Ngata blitzing from linebacker. Maybe more like Seattle where you have the 240 pound weakside linebacker Julian Peterson with 6 sacks already. A.J. Hawk can be that guy for us. It just seems like we were more aggressive last year.
------
Below is part of my Bear week write up which is pretty much about the whole season defensively.

1. The defense on secondary receivers was poor. Especially the Tight Ends. Olsen had 4 catches 57 yards and a TD, Clark had 3 catches 62 yards and a TD, Adrian Peterson had 2 catches for 32 yards, a back up RB. They had catches of 27, 34, and 30 yards respectively. I guess you can't cover everybody.

2. The best way to stop teams when your offense turns the ball over 4 or 5 times is to get it back. I want a more aggressive defense, I want more blitzing, I want more forced fumbles and I want more interceptions. Last year the defense would give up big plays but they forced turnovers and sacks.

Last year there was 18 interceptions and 9 forced fumbles for a total of 27. Forced 9 turnovers so far, which, now that I look at it it's about the same pace as last year but I guess I thought we'd have more. Dominant defenses take the ball away a lot. In the back of my mind I've thought that even though we have high expectations for this defense and they can be really good they need to take the ball away more.

3. Sacks. I definitely understand the whole sacks are not totally indicative of the pressure you're getting "thing". There's hits, knockdowns, hurries, and turnovers that pressure can cause. Maybe it just seems like we aren't blitzing as much because we aren't getting sacks but I think we should blitz more often. I think we're a really good blitzing team and when you have a Cornerback tandem like we do, we can do it extremely well. We have two outside Linebackers that can eat a blocking RB for lunch and we've seen it before. All 3 can put up a pretty good fight against a lineman for a linebacker. We're definitely getting lots of pressure, even with 4 down, I just think that if you bring that extra guy more often there will be more sacks for everybody. As a result offenses are put in long down and distances or will turn the ball over more often. We have 12 sacks and I wouldn't be surprised if we led the league in QB hits. We're on pace for 38 or 39 and we had 46 last season. The most of any 4-3 defense. We had 14 after 5 games last season, so maybe I'm just nitpicking. It's hard to recall how much pressure a team gets on a Quarterback one year to the next just off of memory so I don't know exactly. We just gotta get there more often, once we do, this defense will dominate.

4. A.J. Hawk either needs to make more impact plays or be put in a position where he can make more impact plays. I'm one of his biggest fans. He's an excellent tackler. Easily one of the best tacklers in the NFL from the day he came into the league. Offenses really cannot run the ball to his gap at all. And he's the one guy I see most often trying to rip the ball out in a pile. He'll make a play at least once every game this year where I say to myself, "Wow, that is quietly but surely a pretty impressive play." I just want more of it. I know he may never light the world on fire with pass deflections and interceptions but I feel like if A.J. forces turnovers in any way then everybody else will. He's the type of player that has a low risk of being exploited. He's just very sound in what he does. That's why I think they need to give him more opportunities. If his assignment on the play is not ideal he will know what to do. They have to allow him to be more of an impact player. I can say that he needs to step up and become elite, cause there's a few things I've seen in each game he could've done in a different way. But he was the 5th pick in the draft and his a very smart player. Let him out of the cage.

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Old 10-11-2007, 02:47 AM    (permalink
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"Last year there was 18 interceptions and 9 forced fumbles for a total of 27. Forced 9 turnovers so far, which, now that I look at it it's about the same pace as last year but I guess I thought we'd have more. Dominant defenses take the ball away a lot. In the back of my mind I've thought that even though we have high expectations for this defense and they can be really good they need to take the ball away more."

I didnt check the stats from last year, but I think the reason it seemed like the pack was creating more turn overs might be because the team played so much better in the second half of the season(last 4 games) and im guessing there were more turn overs during that time. I think woodson racked up the ints during that time frame.

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Old 10-11-2007, 06:39 AM    (permalink
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Hawk is the guy that is worrying me. For being the 5th overall pick he sure isn't playing like it thus far in my opinion. I realize it's only his second season, but I want to see him be a play maker.
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Old 10-11-2007, 11:22 PM    (permalink
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"Last year there was 18 interceptions and 9 forced fumbles for a total of 27. Forced 9 turnovers so far, which, now that I look at it it's about the same pace as last year but I guess I thought we'd have more. Dominant defenses take the ball away a lot. In the back of my mind I've thought that even though we have high expectations for this defense and they can be really good they need to take the ball away more."

I didnt check the stats from last year, but I think the reason it seemed like the pack was creating more turn overs might be because the team played so much better in the second half of the season(last 4 games) and im guessing there were more turn overs during that time. I think woodson racked up the ints during that time frame.

That's a good point.
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Old 10-12-2007, 02:53 PM    (permalink
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I definitely have a few complaints from watching the Bears game...

-Blitzing, we don't do it nearly enough. Hawk, Barnett, Bigby always seem to cause a disruption, so why don't we blitz them more?

-Why do I see Bigby playing man coverage on TEs so much? He's a good player but asking him to defend guys like Olsen on fade routes is asking for trouble. Worse yet, on a lot of these plays we're blitzing only the front 4 so it's not like there's no one back there.

I'm starting to think Poppinga needs to go as well. He can't cover or blitz, that's for sure, and lately it seems like he's been a liability against the run as well. On Benson's TD run Poppinga was unblocked and had a clear lane to him, but he ran to the inside for whatever reason (always a mistake, he should have went for the contain and forced Benson inside at the very least). Maybe Bishop could take over or something.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:50 PM    (permalink
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This defense does what it has to, when it has to. The only real "weak" links are Collins and Poppinga. I think it will continue to improve as the year goes on.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:54 PM    (permalink
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Collins is underachieving, he should be playing much better(based off his impressive rookie year), but i think he's doing his job well enough.
I would really like to try out Rouse at LB, i think he could do a better job covering than AJ or Poppinga. Jarrett Bush is a human pincoushion
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:01 PM    (permalink
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By no means is Hawk's strong suit coverage but he doesn't give up big plays like Poppinga has. I think some of it comes from once again not giving him enough opportunities. They make him play a conservative coverage and stuff. That's what I can't wait to see when I watch the Skins game on NFL Replay. I remember when he gave up a few catches to Gates it was short simple routes. He would be 2 yards in front of Hawk. I don't think they let him be physical enough with him that game.

Anyway, as for the defense as a whole... I think they will play really well the rest of the way. If you look at our schedule the rest of the way it's pretty weak compared to what we thought of it before the season. Most people would agree the Cowboys are better right now and the only other team you could mention is the Panthers. There are some really WEAK OFFENSES also.

Mon., Oct. 29 @ Denver Broncos
Sun., Nov. 4 @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sun., Nov. 11 Minnesota Vikings
Sun., Nov. 18 Carolina Panthers
Thurs., Nov. 22 @ Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving)
Thurs., Nov. 29 @ Dallas Cowboys
Sun., Dec. 9 Oakland Raiders
Sun., Dec. 16 @ St. Louis Rams
Sun., Dec. 23 @ Chicago Bears
Sun., Dec. 30 Detroit Lions
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:32 PM    (permalink
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Mon., Oct. 29 @ Denver Broncos
Sun., Nov. 4 @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sun., Nov. 11 Minnesota Vikings
Sun., Nov. 18 Carolina Panthers
Thurs., Nov. 22 @ Detroit Lions (Thanksgiving)
Thurs., Nov. 29 @ Dallas Cowboys
Sun., Dec. 9 Oakland Raiders
Sun., Dec. 16 @ St. Louis Rams
Sun., Dec. 23 @ Chicago Bears
Sun., Dec. 30 Detroit Lions

Will Travis even be playing? If he's not we can shutem down easily IMO, but Walker does concern me a bit. He definitly holds a grudge. We might have to do something on the ground in this one though, tough pass D. Good thing we've got a bye first.

If we shutdown LJ and Gonzalez we win. I am not concerned with Bowe at all, and their line is terrible. Offensivly we should do good enough.

Minny, AD concerns me, but itshould be an easy win especially if Jackson is playing QB. Offensivly we just need to pass like crazy again.


We might have a tough time against their O if Delhomme gets back or Carr gets in rhythm but both might be hurt and i like our chances against Vinny. offensivly, like the chiefs we should do well enough,

Dallas, i dont really wanna talk about this one yet. Ive got alot of concerns here. Hopefully, like how the Boys were always the thing standing in the way of the Packers making the SB, we'll be like that to them.

Oakland, no concerns, shutdown the backs and youve shutdown the team. Like our chances against their line. Offensivly we should do good enough.

St.Louis, the way Bulger/Ferrote have played im not concerned and their D is a pincushion.

Da Bears, we should win it the same way we were in the first half.

Detroit, like i said earlier
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Old 10-17-2007, 10:35 AM    (permalink
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After watching the Redskins game last night and replaying several plays, it seems like we definitely picked up the blitz. It didn't help quite as much as it has in the past but that's expected against the better offenses. There was one play where Campbell was looking for Moss (I think it was him) on a deep slant over the middle through the safeties. But the pressure got him. I think it was Kampman. It saved us a huge play if Moss caught it. Speaking of Kampman... he OWNED the right tackle. With Jansen out it's easier. But he absolutely dominated that guy. He got to Campbell several times, every time it was a different move. In the fourth quarter our D Line absolutely took over one again. There was a stat towards the end of the game: Campbell 37 drop backs, 18 hurries, 12 to 15 hits, and a few sacks Now that I think about it we also slowed down the blitzing in the 4th and were successful because of the D Line's dominance.

Cooley coverage- Hawk gave up like 2 or 3 small catches. Poppinga gave up almost all the rest except the TD. That other one where Cooley was blocking and then he slipped out to run while Campbell was under pressure, Campbell threw it to him and he ran for another 30 yards, that was just poor.

Running back coverage was close to superb. Barnett stopped them on that 4th and 2, the same play they did a little bit earlier. Everything else was sound.

Run stoppage was pretty good.

Woodson and Harris were awesome, but Moss helped our pass D out with his mistakes though.
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Old 10-17-2007, 11:17 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Nitschke-Hawk View Post
After watching the Redskins game last night and replaying several plays, it seems like we definitely picked up the blitz. It didn't help quite as much as it has in the past but that's expected against the better offenses. There was one play where Campbell was looking for Moss (I think it was him) on a deep slant over the middle through the safeties. But the pressure got him. I think it was Kampman. It saved us a huge play if Moss caught it. Speaking of Kampman... he OWNED the right tackle. With Jansen out it's easier. But he absolutely dominated that guy. He got to Campbell several times, every time it was a different move. In the fourth quarter our D Line absolutely took over one again. There was a stat towards the end of the game: Campbell 37 drop backs, 18 hurries, 12 to 15 hits, and a few sacks Now that I think about it we also slowed down the blitzing in the 4th and were successful because of the D Line's dominance.

Cooley coverage- Hawk gave up like 2 or 3 small catches. Poppinga gave up almost all the rest except the TD. That other one where Cooley was blocking and then he slipped out to run while Campbell was under pressure, Campbell threw it to him and he ran for another 30 yards, that was just poor.

Running back coverage was close to superb. Barnett stopped them on that 4th and 2, the same play they did a little bit earlier. Everything else was sound.

Run stoppage was pretty good.

Woodson and Harris were awesome, but Moss helped our pass D out with his mistakes though.
Wow that's some pretty good pressure right there. Hopefully we can keep that up.
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Old 10-23-2007, 01:03 PM    (permalink
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I wonder if Rouse could ever get a look at OLB too. He definitely has the size and speed to be an interesting prospect there.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:59 AM    (permalink
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http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...r_N.htm?csp=34

Real good article on the strengths of our defense. Good to get the national credit.
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Old 11-11-2007, 11:48 PM    (permalink
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Guess what?! After the shutout vs. the Vikings we are now 3rd in points per game allowed at 15.8 per game. Officially a Top 5 Defense!

------edit----

I take that back. We are now 2nd!! The Colts just lost and gave up 23 points, they have 15.8 through 8 games, doing the math, obviously that average is going up now.

2nd in the most important defensive category. Woooo
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Old 11-12-2007, 01:44 AM    (permalink
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Yeah I counted that up a little earlier. That shut out is going to start getting the packers defense a lot more recognition, especially now that the defense is second in the league with points allowed. I was waiting for all the defensive talent on the team to start showing up in the stats. The nice thing is I dont think we have seen this teams best days yet..
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:15 AM    (permalink
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We're tied for 5th in the league in sacks now. NYG have slowed down a bit and are nearing the back. Good to see we've picked it up to 26 sacks I believe.
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Old 11-15-2007, 12:30 AM    (permalink
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Another good sign is that the Packers got Michael Montgomery back, so more depth to a deep line.
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