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Thread: Our Defense needs a better pass rush and run D.

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    Dolphins101's Avatar
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    Our Defense needs a better pass rush and run D.

    NFL teams try to copy Giants' blueprint at the draft
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    Posted: April 14, 2008



    If you don't believe a great pass rush can stymie a potent offense, you didn't see the Giants torment Tom Brady in Super Bowl 42. They sacked the Patriots' quarterback five times, flattened him or pressured him on at least a dozen other plays and held a New England team that scored a record 589 points during the regular season to 14 points.
    The Giants raised the flag for pass rushers everywhere. NFL teams are notorious copycats -- if one ever wins a Super Bowl using the single wing, the others will ponder switching to that offense -- so players who can consistently pressure the quarterback have become more coveted in the wake of the Giants' championship. Such players are hard to find, and teams that have them don't give them up easily.
    Of the 11 players given franchise tags by their teams before free agency began on February 29, four are adept at sacking the quarterback: Chiefs end Jared Allen, Titans tackle Albert Haynesworth, Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs and Packers tackle Corey Williams, who subsequently was traded to the Browns. Several other sack specialists received big money to sign with new teams.
    The next step will be finding those types of players in the draft.
    "Most people in our league understand the importance of the pass rusher," says Eric DeCosta, the Ravens' director of college scouting. "You're going to see a lot of these pass rushers come off the board quicker than some other positions."
    Sporting News' War Room scouts project five defensive ends will be selected in the first round of this year's draft. Several other pass rushers, including some tackles and linebackers, also are expected to be first-round picks.
    Most mock drafts have the Dolphins taking Virginia end Chris Long No. 1 overall. Given that Miami is in the same division as New England, Long would be a sound selection. He should be able to help Miami defend Brady and Co. whether he lines up in a 4-3 defense or a 3-4 scheme, which is what he played in college.
    Other pass rushers likely to be picked in the first round include ends Vernon Gholston (Ohio State), Derrick Harvey (Florida), Phillip Merling (Clemson) and Quentin Groves (Auburn), who is listed on many draft boards as an outside linebacker; tackles Glenn Dorsey (LSU) and Sedrick Ellis (USC); and outside linebacker Keith Rivers (USC).
    Gholston is an example of a player whose value may be slightly inflated because he can rush the passer. His stock shot up after the NFL Combine, where his 37 reps in the 225-pound bench press, 10-5 broad jump and 35 1/2-inch vertical jump led all defensive linemen. But the knock on Gholston is that he is inconsistent and sometimes disappears in games.
    Although they aren't first-round prospects, Purdue's Cliff Avril, Michigan's Shawn Crable and McNeese State's Bryan Smith are smaller, undersized players who could play outside linebacker and generate pressure on the quarterback.
    Teams can find good pass rushers in every round. The challenge is picking players who will fit in their systems.
    Teams that play 4-3 defenses primarily rely on the ends to pressure the quarterback. If they also have a tackle who can collapse the pocket, that's a bonus. The best pass rushers on 3-4 defenses usually are the outside linebackers.
    Last season, the Giants generated pressure primarily with their front four. Of their league-leading 53 sacks, 39 1/2 were registered by linemen, including a combined 22 by ends Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan and 10 by Justin Tuck, an end who rotated in primarily at tackle. The line's ability to pressure the quarterback masked some deficiencies in the secondary.
    A sack is like a home run for a defense. It can stop an offense in its tracks, take it out of scoring position or force a turnover. That's why premier pass rushers are so valuable.
    "The best way to stop a quarterback is to hit him and pressure him and force him to make bad throws," says DeCosta. "That's an impact way of defending an elite quarterback." And that's why you'll see players who can pressure the passer get drafted early and often on April 26.

    The draft is deeper in OT's then olb or de. If we do take J Long I hope we can get some kind of upgrade on the D. If not well be looking at a 4-12 record next year.
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    3rdandinches's Avatar
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    You can't look at one game and say that it's the way to win a superbowl for everyone else. First off a great pass rush won't do a lick if your playing Minnesota in the Superbowl, you get the idea. It depends on who your playing and how they game planned for your defense. NE screwed up greatly, they ran next to no screens, draws or dump offs to the RBs. When they did they had great success, either the OC lost focus or it was Brady. I've never watched the Patriots try to go deep as often as they did in the Superbowl.

    I'm not saying we don't need to improve our pass rush or our run defense but you can't look at 1 game and now call it a Blue Print for future Superbowl wins.

    We need to improve everywhere to have a hope of winning ball games period. C.Long and J.Long would be a very good start.
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    Kdawg954's Avatar
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    I dunno . . . right now we have 6 guys on the front line which I think can be successful with the right scheme in place:

    DE - Roth/Starx
    NT - Ferguson/Solai
    DE - Holliday/R. Wright

    Yea I mean its not Usi and Strahan . . . but I would like to see these 6 in the 3-4 before saying we aren't able to have success . . . if a guy like Calais Campbell falls . . . I wouldn't mind taking a shot . . . 32 iono . . . definitely at 57 tho.

    I would love for Rod Wright to come into his own at 3-4 DE . . . and Solai to start using that talent as a NT.

    At LB . . . we have our starters . . . JT, CC, Torbor and JP . . . so honestly . . I think the front 7 is OK for this year . . . we also have some young guys like Moses and Abe Wright that look very intriguing at OLB . . . we definitely could use another solid LB or 2 . . . but its not crucial this year. However I see some drafts completely ignoring the front 7 . . . and that is ridiculous . . . just look at Fred Evans . . . yea he messed up, but what a talent he was looking to be and he was in round 7 . . . Rod Wright was in round 7 . . . I mean its these kind of guys we need to look at later in the draft.
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    Were doomed lets be the Bungals of our time !!!! Our Defence will stink watch and learn.
    DE - Roth/Starx
    NT - Ferguson/Solai
    DE - Holliday/R. Wright

    Wow the other teams will be scared and our Lbers !! Look out !! 3-13 here we come
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    Dolphins101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdandinches View Post
    You can't look at one game and say that it's the way to win a superbowl for everyone else. First off a great pass rush won't do a lick if your playing Minnesota in the Superbowl, you get the idea. It depends on who your playing and how they game planned for your defense. NE screwed up greatly, they ran next to no screens, draws or dump offs to the RBs. When they did they had great success, either the OC lost focus or it was Brady. I've never watched the Patriots try to go deep as often as they did in the Superbowl.

    I'm not saying we don't need to improve our pass rush or our run defense but you can't look at 1 game and now call it a Blue Print for future Superbowl wins.

    We need to improve everywhere to have a hope of winning ball games period. C.Long and J.Long would be a very good start.
    v

    Guess you didn't watch the Pats much last year. BTW we used to be able to beat the pats with our D. Defence wins championships.
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    Kdawg954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphins101 View Post
    Were doomed lets be the Bungals of our time !!!! Our Defence will stink watch and learn.
    DE - Roth/Starx
    NT - Ferguson/Solai
    DE - Holliday/R. Wright

    Wow the other teams will be scared and our Lbers !! Look out !! 3-13 here we come
    Thing is atleast we have decent bodies on the front 7 . . . we have some positions where we have NOBODY (OLine) . . . how do we look upgrading positions with decent bodies over positions with no bodies . . . . this team is a work in progress . . . it will not happen over night.

    If we draft Chris Long and keep the exact same guys .. . . where do u play him? Someone is gonna be out of position . . . and I'm not thrilled having our 3 most expensive players playing OLB.
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    3rdandinches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphins101 View Post
    v

    Guess you didn't watch the Pats much last year. BTW we used to be able to beat the pats with our D. Defence wins championships.
    Yes I watched them run long drive after long drive and mixed in a bomb or two around the short stuff. Who lead that team in receptions, I think it was that guy who catches the ball at the line of scrimage or a little past and gets everything else after, remember we loved him for that. Brady`s best attribute is his ability to hit the quick open man not drop back hold the ball for ever and heave away.

    I never said they didn`t go deep, they just did it alot more than normal in the Superbowl. For a team that adjusts better than most they really gave that one away. And they still had a shot to win the game if Samuel would have caught that easy interception at the sideline. Which had nothing to do with any pass rush.
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    Dolphins101's Avatar
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    So we get a bunch of star special teams players which is good but thier not true starting proven lb'ers. So those guys we picked up in FA were cast offs from other teams ( If they wanted them they would have kept them ) are going to come down here and solve our Defences issues ???
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    3rdandinches's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphins101 View Post
    So we get a bunch of star special teams players which is good but thier not true starting proven lb'ers. So those guys we picked up in FA were cast offs from other teams ( If they wanted them they would have kept them ) are going to come down here and solve our Defences issues ???
    Who said that, we need help everywhere and some areas are more important than others to deal with right away. You want better LB`s and you use NYG as an example, we signed their starting Superbowl LB in Torbor and then you call him a cast off. How does that work, you want one thing but when it`s presented to you it`s not good enough.
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    Torbor was in a 4-3 there can he play 3-4 ???? We'll see.
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