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View Full Version : Why does our team seem to undervalue the safety position?


gtexan02
10-11-2010, 01:12 PM
Over the past 2-3 years on this messageboard, I have repeatedly made the same point:
The majority of teams with a good pass defense have at least one truly dependable, game changing safety.
I now think it goes even further. Every team with a great defense requires at least one really talented safety.

Here have been some of my past points:
1. Almost every recent playoff team has had probowl level safety play from at least one safety spots.
Taking last year as an example:
Superbowl Winner - NO Saints - Sharper and Harper - Both had probowl years
Superbowl Loser - Colts - Bathea - Probowl year
Cardinals - Wilson & Rolle
Ravens - Reed
Packers - Collins
Patriots - Merriweather
Eagles - Mikell
(I dont think Vikes, Jets, Cowboys or Chargers had a probowl safety)

The interesting thing is that 70% of the teams with a probowl safety made the playoffs. And the rest (with the exception of Buffalo) were extremely close.


2. Probowl safety play results in teams winning the turnover battle.
You can check previous posts for stats on this. Look at the Steelers with and without Polamalu for a good example

3. And now I have a 3rd stat. Teams that draft 1st round safeties see immediate turn arounds on defense. (Stats will be rankings of opponent passer rating, rather than ypg)

2010

Chiefs - Drafted Berry in 1st round - Currently rank 11, last year ranked 20th
Seahawks - Drafted Thomas in 1st round - Currently rank 16th, ranked 28th last year
(Philly and Cleveland both drafted 2nd round safeties, philly improved from 11th to 7th currently, and cleveland remained about the same, in the mid 20s, decreasing slightly)

2009
No 1st round safeties were chosen, but 1st 3 safeties picked were (all 2nd rounders):
Lions - Delmas - ranked 32nd before, ranked 32nd after (although they improved statistically- they were just that bad)
Patriots - Chung - ranked 23rd before, ranked 13th after
Bills - Byrd - ranked 17th before, ranked 2nd after

2008
Only 1 1st rounder, and only 1 second rounder.
Giants - Kenny Phillips (1st round) - 17th before, 8th after
Vikings - Johnson (2nd) - 23rd before, 16th after

Counting this years (even though its not a full year), the average improvement a team gets the year after it spends a high draft pick on a safety in terms of qb rating against is approximately 7 ranking points. Moving from 10 to 3 or 17 to 10. Thats a pretty big jump in a 32 team league.


Why does our team seem to undervalue the safety position?

Texecutioner
10-11-2010, 01:12 PM
I've been asking that question for years now.

silvrhand
10-11-2010, 01:32 PM
I've been asking that question for years now.

But we got pollard right? Don't get me wrong I love some bone jarring hits from a safety but boy has he looked bad in coverage of late, and safety coverage is far easier.. deep as the deepest man..

It's not all that hard :(

Texecutioner
10-11-2010, 01:53 PM
But we got pollard right? Don't get me wrong I love some bone jarring hits from a safety but boy has he looked bad in coverage of late, and safety coverage is far easier.. deep as the deepest man..

It's not all that hard :(

We did get Pollard and I love the guy, but hell Pollard was a guy that was let go by the Chiefs and we just snagged him up thinking he'd just be more of a filler at times. We got lucky with Pollard being the machine that he's been thus far. We've had so many opportunities to go after top notch safeties around the league and we decline to every time whether it's been in the draft or in the free market for a guy who has been a big time player.

The1ApplePie
10-11-2010, 02:04 PM
But we got pollard right? Don't get me wrong I love some bone jarring hits from a safety but boy has he looked bad in coverage of late, and safety coverage is far easier.. deep as the deepest man..

It's not all that hard :(

The only safety we had a shot at in the draft was Taylor Mays, who is basically a more athletic Pollard.

Antrell Rolle was a big free agent this year though

Dutchrudder
10-11-2010, 02:10 PM
Couple things that come to mind Gtex:

The 49ers drafted Taylor Mays in the 2nd last year, but have they seen any secondary improvement?

I think the Steelers won two super bowls when Troy was having an awesome year too. He got hurt last year and they missed the playoffs by a tiebreaker.

The Giants last year looked great up until the injuries started to happen. Kenny Phillips went down mid-year, but I don't remember exactly when. It may coincide with that team's defensive decline over the year and help prove your point even more.

You mention Mikel of the Eagles, but if you go back a bit further I believe Brian Dawkins was a huge playmaker during their Super Bowl run.

gtexan02
10-11-2010, 02:13 PM
Couple things that come to mind Gtex:

The 49ers drafted Taylor Mays in the 2nd last year, but have they seen any secondary improvement?

I think the Steelers won two super bowls when Troy was having an awesome year too. He got hurt last year and they missed the playoffs by a tiebreaker.

The Giants last year looked great up until the injuries started to happen. Kenny Phillips went down mid-year, but I don't remember exactly when. It may coincide with that team's defensive decline over the year and help prove your point even more.


Lets see, this year the 49ers are ranked 28th. Last year they were ranked 21st. They've had a drop so far.

gtexan02
10-11-2010, 02:15 PM
The only safety we had a shot at in the draft was Taylor Mays, who is basically a more athletic Pollard.

Antrell Rolle was a big free agent this year though

True. This year we didn't have a great chance, but we could have tried to move up for Thomas. He didnt go all that high and has been great so far.

beerlover
10-11-2010, 02:18 PM
Over the past 2-3 years on this messageboard, I have repeatedly made the same point:
The majority of teams with a good pass defense have at least one truly dependable, game changing safety.
I now think it goes even further. Every team with a great defense requires at least one really talented safety.

Here have been some of my past points:
1. Almost every recent playoff team has had probowl level safety play from at least one safety spots.
Taking last year as an example:
Superbowl Winner - NO Saints - Sharper and Harper - Both had probowl years
Superbowl Loser - Colts - Bathea - Probowl year
Cardinals - Wilson & Rolle
Ravens - Reed
Packers - Collins
Patriots - Merriweather
Eagles - Mikell
(I dont think Vikes, Jets, Cowboys or Chargers had a probowl safety)

The interesting thing is that 70% of the teams with a probowl safety made the playoffs. And the rest (with the exception of Buffalo) were extremely close.


2. Probowl safety play results in teams winning the turnover battle.
You can check previous posts for stats on this. Look at the Steelers with and without Polamalu for a good example

3. And now I have a 3rd stat. Teams that draft 1st round safeties see immediate turn arounds on defense. (Stats will be rankings of opponent passer rating, rather than ypg)

2010

Chiefs - Drafted Berry in 1st round - Currently rank 11, last year ranked 20th
Seahawks - Drafted Thomas in 1st round - Currently rank 16th, ranked 28th last year
(Philly and Cleveland both drafted 2nd round safeties, philly improved from 11th to 7th currently, and cleveland remained about the same, in the mid 20s, decreasing slightly)

2009
No 1st round safeties were chosen, but 1st 3 safeties picked were (all 2nd rounders):
Lions - Delmas - ranked 32nd before, ranked 32nd after (although they improved statistically- they were just that bad)
Patriots - Chung - ranked 23rd before, ranked 13th after
Bills - Byrd - ranked 17th before, ranked 2nd after

2008
Only 1 1st rounder, and only 1 second rounder.
Giants - Kenny Phillips (1st round) - 17th before, 8th after
Vikings - Johnson (2nd) - 23rd before, 16th after

Counting this years (even though its not a full year), the average improvement a team gets the year after it spends a high draft pick on a safety in terms of qb rating against is approximately 7 ranking points. Moving from 10 to 3 or 17 to 10. Thats a pretty big jump in a 32 team league.


Why does our team seem to undervalue the safety position?

rep your way. the most aggressive play would have been to trade up for Earl Thomas once San Diego moved way ahead of the Texans for Mathews. those two players should have been options 1a & 1b. imagine how much better this defense would be with a ballhawk like Thomas?

otherwise the Texans have not been in position (early 2nd) to draft one of the elite safties. I really wanted either Louis Delmas or Patrick Chung in 09 but both taken with the first picks of the second round. This past draft we (badboy, rmartin65) targeted Nate Allen as top priority safety but he too was gone long before the Texans pick (taken #37th overall).

TimeKiller
10-11-2010, 02:36 PM
It's not even that we haven't used a 1st....we haven't used a 2nd...3rd...4th....5th....late round safeties every other year and journeyman F/A's just aren't going to cut it apparently. Frankly it looks like they are playing 4 strong safeties out there.

gtexan02
10-11-2010, 02:54 PM
It's not even that we haven't used a 1st....we haven't used a 2nd...3rd...4th....5th....late round safeties every other year and journeyman F/A's just aren't going to cut it apparently. Frankly it looks like they are playing 4 strong safeties out there.

Exactly. Great safety play can open up a lot of options for a defense.
A great safety or two can make your corners look a lot better, which in turn can make your defense line look a lot better.

Great safeties also help linebackers in the run game and can help cover TEs so you dont end up with Diles 5 yards behind D Clark

Weve spent countless first and early round picks on defensive players. Either we're terrible at scouting, or our schemes are garbage or we are missing some key pieces. its like having a great offense with no QB