Here is the sack production for 2002 (16th D) and 2003 (31st D):
DL 2002 - 9.5
DL 2003 - 3.5
LB's 2002 - 20
LB's 2003 - 14
DB's 2002 - 4.5
DB's 2003 - 1.5
Looks like a ripple effect straight on thru the D from the loss of Walker & Payne IMO. DL went from good 3-4 pressure up the middle by Payne and great pressure by Walker to no pressure resulting in a harder time for the LB's to get to the QB and combined with Glenn being injured making it harder for the DB's to come on blitzes. Seems to me that this is an argument over how to pronounce potato. If the DL isn't good enough to create pressure the LB's will not be freed up to make plays. If the LB's aren't good enough to make something of the pressure a DL gives them then the pressure is worthless. A 3-4 still has a front seven that has to pressure the QB--not 4 LB's and 3 schmoes that people just have to run around.
but consider we also had the second worst secondary statistically in the nfl.
But consider that it wasn't the secondaries fault--it was the failure of the front seven to provide any QB pressure.