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Old 11-11-2009, 09:10 AM    (permalink
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:14 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Saints-Tigers View Post
Also, I think if Derrick Johnson ever goes to a team that properly utilizes him, he could be the best outside LB we've seen in some time.
Trade him to Oakland! He would fill a major need, and fit perfectly with our defensive scheme. He could be our Julian Peterson. We're currently missing that impact guy in John Marshall's system.
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Old 11-11-2009, 09:43 AM    (permalink
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Question for Bengals fans:

What exactly are you guys doing on defense that is making the unit so successful? I know you have 2 solid CBs, you have a great LB core, and a solid run stuffing DT, but it just seems to me that this defense is overachieving right now.

Is it good coaching? Change in style? From observing from afar, it doesn't seem like theres really any trickery involved with the Bengals defense. It seems pretty vanilla to be honest. But its working.

Perhaps I'm underrating your pass rush?

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Will Witherspoon has been a great player the past couple of years. But I've looked at him more as a MIKE than a WILL. And in Philly, he's a MIKE.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:29 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
Question for Bengals fans:

What exactly are you guys doing on defense that is making the unit so successful? I know you have 2 solid CBs, you have a great LB core, and a solid run stuffing DT, but it just seems to me that this defense is overachieving right now.

Is it good coaching? Change in style? From observing from afar, it doesn't seem like theres really any trickery involved with the Bengals defense. It seems pretty vanilla to be honest. But its working.

Perhaps I'm underrating your pass rush?

_____________

Will Witherspoon has been a great player the past couple of years. But I've looked at him more as a MIKE than a WILL. And in Philly, he's a MIKE.
I'm surprised by the Bengals D, too. I thought for sure the clock struck midnight on them when Odom went down. But nope.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:59 AM    (permalink
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I think really it is just the mentality that the D plays with more than anything right now. They've got a pretty fair amount of talent at key spots and some pretty good depth. Zimmer has got this team playing with a lot of tenacity and they are very technically sound. Plus, I think people are just now finally seeing how great our Corners are. They pretty darn well last year without JJ or a pass rush to speak of. Zimmer has put a lot of work into that pass rush this year, and it has continued to produce without Odom.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:01 AM    (permalink
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I thought the Odom injury was really going to hurt the Bengals D but as we see it hasn't that much.
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Old 11-11-2009, 11:45 AM    (permalink
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It sure does hurt in the pass rush but we've still been able to get after it a bit. Tank has really helped in that regard up the middle so far. We still have Robert Geathers, Micheal Johnson, Johnathan Fanene, and Frostee Rucker at end who've all played rather well. Fanene has been somewhat of a revelation since coming in for Odom and it looks like MJ is finally starting to get it all together.
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Old 11-11-2009, 12:14 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
Question for Bengals fans:

What exactly are you guys doing on defense that is making the unit so successful? I know you have 2 solid CBs, you have a great LB core, and a solid run stuffing DT, but it just seems to me that this defense is overachieving right now.

Is it good coaching? Change in style? From observing from afar, it doesn't seem like theres really any trickery involved with the Bengals defense. It seems pretty vanilla to be honest. But its working.

Perhaps I'm underrating your pass rush?
Well it's all Mike Zimmer, first and foremost, the guy was a blessing. It's been a mixture of personnel and scheme thus far. We're definitely not without weakness on D, and still rather thin, but Marvin Lewis finally has guys buying into this new attitude, this new swagger, and at the mean time they've come in, learned and bought into Zimmer's schemes.

Now, for some specifics.

The pass rush we've generated this year (21 Sacks) has definitely made things a little easier, and teams have had to throw the extra Tight End, Fullback, or Running Back back there to block in pass defense. Antwan Odom was playing some terrific football for us, but we've been able to replace him successfully with a combination of Frostee Rucker, who is playing his best football as a pro, Jonathan Fanene, who just makes plays when he's in the game, and rookie Michael Johnson, who has put some heat on the QB, but right now has been mostly useful for tipping balls at the line of scrimmage and throwing one more roadblock in the opposing QB's throwing lane.

Not to be sold short is the Cincinnati Bengals rush defense. This unit used to be a laughing stock of the league dating back from about 1999-2007. No one's laughing any more. They aren't laughing because the Bengals have only allowed one rusher to go over 100 yards (Jerome Harrison), the longest run allowed by the team has been 24 yards, and we now rank 2nd in the league behind Pittsburgh in rush defense with 83.9 yards per game.

The middle of the defense has been stout, the linebackers play sideline to sideline, and we're finally making plays behind the line of scrimmage. Mike Zimmer called Domata Peko the best Nose Tackle he's ever coached, and he continues to fly under the radar. Tank Johnson is back and healthy, and is making plays behind the line. Second year Pat Sims may not have Peko's motor, but has the same type of size and strength combined with terrific quickness for his weight. This has to be our best DT situation I've ever witnessed (Keep in mind I'm only 19.)

The linebackers... what to really say about this unit. Right now, they cover the run better than the pass. Rookie SAM Rey Maualuga has been a two down backer and seems to always be around the ball in the run game, whether it be to the outside or middle. This guy has a great motor, he plays sideline to sideline, he plays with great energy, and best of all, he's a sure tackler. Still, as I said, he's a two down player and needs to get better acclimated in coverage for this defense to reach its' true potential. MLB Dhani Jones keeps on going. He's still our #1 playmaker at Linebacker for the time being. Dhani plays the run tough, is an effective blitzer, and has some instincts in coverage. As with Maualuga, the guy gets out and makes tackles at both sidelines, but unlike Rey, Dhani's presence is often felt in the opposing team's backfield as well. Keith Rivers is on the cusp of becoming a very good player in the NFL. Keith is big, he's fast, he's getting there in terms of coverage ability, and I know I'm wearing it out, but he's making plays in the run game from sideline to sideline. Right now, he still gets nicked up a little too easily, and has missed some tackles due to playing high or stiff-hipped. As I said though, he has been improving and will get there.

- Backup linebacker Brandon Johnson should be a big part of the team's future plans. When Johnson's on the field, the defense simply plays better. Dare I say it, Johnson may be playing the best football of any linebacker when he's on the field like he was last week filling in for an injured Keith Rivers. Johnson is the team's best coverage LB, standing at 6'5 with fluid athleticism. He also is the team's most effective blitzer. When Zimmer sends #59, you'll know. Last year Johnson came on and spearheaded that LB group the second half of the season, I'm hoping we can find a full-time role for him here. The guy is a stud and gets some snaps on 3rd Down regularly, playing WLB.

The secondary contains our best players, but our worst situation. Don't be overly hard on the Safeties. In Zim's scheme, there really isn't a true FS/SS, and they are often used in blitz packages, and have also lined up in the box fairly often threatening blitz. Chris Crocker started a bit slower this year than he finished a year ago, but looks to be getting up to speed in recent weeks. Zimmer really likes to have fun with him, after coaching him in Atlanta, putting a good amount of responsibility on him as a blitzer, defending the pass, and covering the run. He has had some missed tackles and some mistakes, but his play has shown improvement in recent weeks. Roy Williams has been good for our team, but he's also been hurt. Chinedum Ndukwe is the #3 Safety, capable of playing either spot, and is used as aggressively as anyone on our D. Ndukwe flies off the edge or up the middle and is an explosive, productive blitzer though he's been whiffing a bit back there and has missed a couple tackles in the run game.

Cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall are our top individual defenders thus far. They both excel in man coverage for the Bengals. This defense is at it's best (as it was the last two weeks) when they're facing spread looks or have to play conservatively, sitting back in zone. They play best when those two corners can man up, S/LB's make up the coverage on Tight Ends and backs, and Zimmer can bring the occasional blitz. They are two of the league's better cover corners making up one of the league's premier 1-2 punches at Corner. Behind them, we are extremely shaky with constant injuries and inexperience. 3rd CB David Jones is now back, and we'll see what he can do, but we missed him earlier in the year facing 3/4 WR packages. Rookie Morgan Trent has played an active role though recently and is cutting down his liability. Those are really our only 4 corners, and when only 3 were healthy, we had a tough time defending the pass.

-I hope you got what you wanted out of this answer. I know it was a simple question, but as you said, it was hard to pick up on paper or watching a game or two what made this defense tick.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:34 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by ThePudge View Post
Well it's all Mike Zimmer, first and foremost, the guy was a blessing. It's been a mixture of personnel and scheme thus far. We're definitely not without weakness on D, and still rather thin, but Marvin Lewis finally has guys buying into this new attitude, this new swagger, and at the mean time they've come in, learned and bought into Zimmer's schemes.

Now, for some specifics.

The pass rush we've generated this year (21 Sacks) has definitely made things a little easier, and teams have had to throw the extra Tight End, Fullback, or Running Back back there to block in pass defense. Antwan Odom was playing some terrific football for us, but we've been able to replace him successfully with a combination of Frostee Rucker, who is playing his best football as a pro, Jonathan Fanene, who just makes plays when he's in the game, and rookie Michael Johnson, who has put some heat on the QB, but right now has been mostly useful for tipping balls at the line of scrimmage and throwing one more roadblock in the opposing QB's throwing lane.

Not to be sold short is the Cincinnati Bengals rush defense. This unit used to be a laughing stock of the league dating back from about 1999-2007. No one's laughing any more. They aren't laughing because the Bengals have only allowed one rusher to go over 100 yards (Jerome Harrison), the longest run allowed by the team has been 24 yards, and we now rank 2nd in the league behind Pittsburgh in rush defense with 83.9 yards per game.

The middle of the defense has been stout, the linebackers play sideline to sideline, and we're finally making plays behind the line of scrimmage. Mike Zimmer called Domata Peko the best Nose Tackle he's ever coached, and he continues to fly under the radar. Tank Johnson is back and healthy, and is making plays behind the line. Second year Pat Sims may not have Peko's motor, but has the same type of size and strength combined with terrific quickness for his weight. This has to be our best DT situation I've ever witnessed (Keep in mind I'm only 19.)

The linebackers... what to really say about this unit. Right now, they cover the run better than the pass. Rookie SAM Rey Maualuga has been a two down backer and seems to always be around the ball in the run game, whether it be to the outside or middle. This guy has a great motor, he plays sideline to sideline, he plays with great energy, and best of all, he's a sure tackler. Still, as I said, he's a two down player and needs to get better acclimated in coverage for this defense to reach its' true potential. MLB Dhani Jones keeps on going. He's still our #1 playmaker at Linebacker for the time being. Dhani plays the run tough, is an effective blitzer, and has some instincts in coverage. As with Maualuga, the guy gets out and makes tackles at both sidelines, but unlike Rey, Dhani's presence is often felt in the opposing team's backfield as well. Keith Rivers is on the cusp of becoming a very good player in the NFL. Keith is big, he's fast, he's getting there in terms of coverage ability, and I know I'm wearing it out, but he's making plays in the run game from sideline to sideline. Right now, he still gets nicked up a little too easily, and has missed some tackles due to playing high or stiff-hipped. As I said though, he has been improving and will get there.

- Backup linebacker Brandon Johnson should be a big part of the team's future plans. When Johnson's on the field, the defense simply plays better. Dare I say it, Johnson may be playing the best football of any linebacker when he's on the field like he was last week filling in for an injured Keith Rivers. Johnson is the team's best coverage LB, standing at 6'5 with fluid athleticism. He also is the team's most effective blitzer. When Zimmer sends #59, you'll know. Last year Johnson came on and spearheaded that LB group the second half of the season, I'm hoping we can find a full-time role for him here. The guy is a stud and gets some snaps on 3rd Down regularly, playing WLB.

The secondary contains our best players, but our worst situation. Don't be overly hard on the Safeties. In Zim's scheme, there really isn't a true FS/SS, and they are often used in blitz packages, and have also lined up in the box fairly often threatening blitz. Chris Crocker started a bit slower this year than he finished a year ago, but looks to be getting up to speed in recent weeks. Zimmer really likes to have fun with him, after coaching him in Atlanta, putting a good amount of responsibility on him as a blitzer, defending the pass, and covering the run. He has had some missed tackles and some mistakes, but his play has shown improvement in recent weeks. Roy Williams has been good for our team, but he's also been hurt. Chinedum Ndukwe is the #3 Safety, capable of playing either spot, and is used as aggressively as anyone on our D. Ndukwe flies off the edge or up the middle and is an explosive, productive blitzer though he's been whiffing a bit back there and has missed a couple tackles in the run game.

Cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall are our top individual defenders thus far. They both excel in man coverage for the Bengals. This defense is at it's best (as it was the last two weeks) when they're facing spread looks or have to play conservatively, sitting back in zone. They play best when those two corners can man up, S/LB's make up the coverage on Tight Ends and backs, and Zimmer can bring the occasional blitz. They are two of the league's better cover corners making up one of the league's premier 1-2 punches at Corner. Behind them, we are extremely shaky with constant injuries and inexperience. 3rd CB David Jones is now back, and we'll see what he can do, but we missed him earlier in the year facing 3/4 WR packages. Rookie Morgan Trent has played an active role though recently and is cutting down his liability. Those are really our only 4 corners, and when only 3 were healthy, we had a tough time defending the pass.

-I hope you got what you wanted out of this answer. I know it was a simple question, but as you said, it was hard to pick up on paper or watching a game or two what made this defense tick.
Is Zimmer an attacking DC or more of a 4 man rush guy? He runs a lot of Man right?
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:11 PM    (permalink
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Frankly I'm just shocked the Bengals are doing so well when they spent this training camp being on Hard Knocks. For a while, it seemed that show was like the new Madden curse.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:20 PM    (permalink
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Is Zimmer an attacking DC or more of a 4 man rush guy? He runs a lot of Man right?
He likes to show blitz/blitz a good deal on passing downs while manning up those two top corners Hall and Joseph. He definitely likes to build the confidence of this defense by attacking (especially on third downs.) He uses a lot of 4 man rush looks on rushing downs, and will on passing downs against 4+ WR sets. Typically against teams that throw that type of look out against the Bengals, we tend to sit back in zone coverage and struggle due to a thin CB corps.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:11 AM    (permalink
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The Saints are playing a dangerous style of D right now it seems, both safeties are quasi-rovers, either playing near the line, or just playing all over, never really just settling into soft zones. Sharper has free reign to freelance, and Harper blitzes about as much as he covers.

I think it really works well because we are generating a rush with just 4 guys, both CBs are playing outstanding despite being in single coverage a LOT, and Vilma can comfortably cover backs and TEs.

We did double Steve Smith a lot though, but I really like how our D is playing the pass, but we are aching for Sedrick Ellis, and we could really draft another DT this year as well. We are currently starting Remi Ayodele, and Anthony Hargrove, a 270 pound DE, who I actually like a lot, but he's a DE...

I'd love to upgrade at OLB and DT.

I know no one asked, I just wanted to talk about it :D
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:45 AM    (permalink
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I think resigning Sharper and adding a OLB & DT either through free agency or the draft would have our defense pretty set. Also, it should be interesting to see what we do with Roman Harper at the end of the season too.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:50 AM    (permalink
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Whats the word with Malcolm Jenkins? Is he a CB or Safety? How has he looked so far?
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:03 PM    (permalink
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The Saints D has scored more TDs than the Browns offense and Raiders offense and is tied with the Rams offense
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:29 PM    (permalink
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-Matt Ryan is hitting the sophomore slump. Now having that said, watch him put up a 40 burger on my Giants :(. But getting back to my original point, I think "the next Peyton Manning" talk is a bit premature. I love Ryan, I think the world of him. But let's put the anointing oil down. You gotta prove it first.
I think the notion that Ryan is fully hitting his sophomore slump are a bit exaggerated. He hasn't played up to par and expectations, but taking a closer look at the schedule, you can see why it makes sense. The Falcons last 3 out of 4 opponents have had a bye week to prepare for the Falcon's passing attack and a particularly hurt offensive line. The other team that didn't have a bye to prepare? The undefeated Saints in New Orleans. Ryan seems to have struggled, but as it stands, the Falcon's 3 losses are to the 6-2 Patriots, 6-2 Cowboys, and 8-0 Saints (all away). But I do agree with the premature Manning talk. He doesn't look nearly as poised in the pocket and isn't making as many big plays as last year. Whether that has to do with a struggling pass blocking unit or lack of arm strength remains to be seen.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:40 PM    (permalink
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I think the notion that Ryan is fully hitting his sophomore slump are a bit exaggerated. He hasn't played up to par and expectations, but taking a closer look at the schedule, you can see why it makes sense. The Falcons last 3 out of 4 opponents have had a bye week to prepare for the Falcon's passing attack and a particularly hurt offensive line. The other team that didn't have a bye to prepare? The undefeated Saints in New Orleans. Ryan seems to have struggled, but as it stands, the Falcon's 3 losses are to the 6-2 Patriots, 6-2 Cowboys, and 8-0 Saints (all away). But I do agree with the premature Manning talk. He doesn't look nearly as poised in the pocket and isn't making as many big plays as last year. Whether that has to do with a struggling pass blocking unit or lack of arm strength remains to be seen.
No need to be defensive, I don't think there's anyone on this board who doesn't think Matty is worth his dolla dolla bills y'all. This happens to young QBs, and then they slap an experience bandaid on it and move on.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:49 PM    (permalink
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I don't see how arm strength is a reason for his struggles, he doesn't have a cannon but he is easily on par with a Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers; in fact, there is only about five or so Quarterbacks that have discernibly stronger arms.
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:51 PM    (permalink
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I don't see how arm strength is a reason for his struggles, he doesn't have a cannon but he is easily on par with a Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers; in fact, there is only about five or so Quarterbacks that have discernibly stronger arms.
and some of them...don't count.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:10 PM    (permalink
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and some of them...don't count.
Based on their game performances, some of them couldn't.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:01 PM    (permalink
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No need to be defensive, I don't think there's anyone on this board who doesn't think Matty is worth his dolla dolla bills y'all. This happens to young QBs, and then they slap an experience bandaid on it and move on.
Exactly. I think some people may look too much at his numbers (8 interceptions in the last 4 games) and think that he may be going into a slump, even though he is much more accurate and has made relatively better decisions (for the most part at least).

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I don't see how arm strength is a reason for his struggles, he doesn't have a cannon but he is easily on par with a Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers; in fact, there is only about five or so Quarterbacks that have discernibly stronger arms.
I agree, but I am still unsure of why our down field passing game hasn't started clicking yet. There could be a multitude of reasons, including a struggling offensive line, no deep threats outside White, and playcalling, but as of now, it seems as if you stop our short-medium game, there isn't much we can do. I would like it if we could at least take some shots down the field to keep defenses honest, but we don't even do that. I am not questioning Ryan's arm strength (yet), but this offense should be more explosive and it isn't. Now that Turner has gotten going, I hope we can return to the explosive offense of last season, where Ryan averaged 7.9 yards per attempt.
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Old 11-12-2009, 05:57 PM    (permalink
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Whats the word with Malcolm Jenkins? Is he a CB or Safety? How has he looked so far?
He's at Corner, and currently the Dime back... he hasn't seen much action on Defense yet... but he's making a huge impact on special teams... forcing fumbles on both kickoff returns, and punt returns. We might see him get more action at Nickel Back vs. the Rams as they might rest Jabari Greer with a strained groin.
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:07 PM    (permalink
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Malcolm has forced 2 fumbles on special teams, and he's downed 2 punts inside the 5 yard line if I recall, 1 on the 1 yard line.

Staff is high on him though, and he looks way faster than touted, he ran down Aaron Brown in the Lions game from behind without an angle, I was impressed.
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fwiw, i amz deunks ofs myt ass. ilo vez drinmoinz befotre i post. wha t a hreat ideas.z.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:33 PM    (permalink
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and some of them...don't count.
Like this gentleman?

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Old 11-12-2009, 11:58 PM    (permalink
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Like this gentleman?

No... more like this guy:




















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