Originally Posted by deucetx
I wouldn't put that as part of your equation on the NT because they played about half the defensive snaps. They weren't part of the issue in those games. I think it has been well documented that Wade does generally not keep the NT out there on passing downs/spread formations and our worse defensive efforts came against the spread meaning the NT doesn't have that much of an impact.
For example, one of those games was Jacksonville part deux. Total defensive snaps was 68. Earl Mitchell only had 36 of those snaps (4 went to McClain)
Detroit was the other. Total defensive snaps around 91. Mitchell was in 41 (McClain 2). In fact, our 3rd safety was in more with Demps in there for 51 snaps. It's one reason why I tell others that the Swearinger pick is more important than they realize.
That means the position has less impact than most are making it out to be. Important? Course as every position is. At the same time not like a team can afford to pay every spot so you have weigh the importance of each in your scheme. For ours and against todays NFL the NT is not that impactful unless Wade switches things up which I am guessing would take one hell of a NT to make happen. Those aren't easy to find (or should we say afford lol).
Heck, against the Packers and Patriots part deux we didn't even start the NT. We immediately leaped into Wade's passing defense. So I'm okay with Mitchell as being 'servicable' because that is about all he is at this point. At the same time we could use something behind him as we have saw little of McClain to say much. I'm thinking Crick may get in there more than we think.
Chickens and eggs. Is the reason why a true DT doesn't see the field a ton because a different defensive lineup gives them a better chance to win? Does this create problems for the Texans against more balanced offenses where you can't load up on either the run or the pass?
My greater point was just some were predicting Earl Mitchell would have a breakout season because he looks good. My blog post was, hey, he looked good going into OTAs last season too, but there is little reason to believe that all of a sudden Mitchell is going to be a player that we haven't seen in previous games.
Pro arguments for Mitchell improving?
More time with Cody gone.
Defensive linemen not named JJ Watt sometimes need more time to get better at what they do and become full growed mens.
Anti arguments for Mitchell improving?
His individual PFF numbers in limited time have stayed about the same the entire time he's been with the team.
If he was that good, he'd already be seeing the field more than he had.
In the games that Cody was out, the defense played poorly, and his individual numbers via PFF are sort of average.
Under Wade's defense, DTs can excel, make Pro Bowls. Nothing in EM's performance to date suggests that will happen.
Sometimes with more snaps, a player improves, but often it exposes their weaknesses unless they are an outstanding player.
I think the arguments for EM having a "breakout year" are wishful thinking. I think they may have a rotation of guys, and just hope that it isn't something that is exposed.