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Old 03-12-2007   #1
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Default The importance of a playmaking FS

I see a lot of people clamoring for Landry on this board, and Im just curious. What do you think a really good FS does for the team? Is it more or less important than a true #2 cornerback? How different of a team is Baltimore when Ed Reed is injured? How much of a difference did Chris Hope make for the Titans D? And how much did it hurt the Steelers to lose him?

I think Landry is a special athlete, and I think FS is a can't miss position in the NFL draft.

Im just a little concerned with the "bang for your buck" mentality. How much does a FS really improve the team? How important is the position? And how much of an upgrade would someone like Landry be over Brown?

On the one hand, I can see it being a huge upgrade. Suddenly the CBs don't have to be on islands covering the WRs. In deep zones, there would be someone to help over the top. We could double true 1 WR teams.

On the other hand, FS can only play half the field, so we are still left with the same problem we have now. What do we do with the weak half of the field?
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Old 03-12-2007   #2
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

Dude, just look at Troy Polamolu(sp?) for Pittsburgh. SS helps the entire D: run support or coverage. It allows you to do a lot with different coverages, disguise coverages and, hopefully, create more turnovers. SS, like MLB is kind of the QB for the D.
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Old 03-12-2007   #3
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

a free safety's importance and role relies on the team. place like denver and pittsburgh who's pass rush units look more like punt block teams dont need someone to sit deep in zone. with the texans, we have zone guys like faggins and roc without the athleticism to keep up in man coverage or deep routes, and dunta on the other side who has impossible closing quickness but will bite on fakes. if you want to know what a centerfielder would do for the texans, watch the bills game again, or keep an eye on baltimore. contrary to popular opinion, the ravens arent the blitz happy 3-4 team that they're made out to be and they play a lot of mixed zone coverage which is where ed reed makes his living. we also play a lot of mixed zone and dont have the talent or athleticism in the deep secondary to cover it's weaknesses. simmons is the baseball equivelant to a "utility player" and brown is a backup strong safety and 8th man. a legit centerfielder is very important to the scheme we run and covers our obvious personnel shotcomings. along with that cover-up, it accentuates our positives by allowing faggins to play short zone and puts dunta up on the line where he can jam and run support. also, being in the AFC south we have to compete with peyton for several more years to become king of the hill. what that means is we go into games in atleast nickel packages ... a ballhawk in the middle gives us a lot more flexibility when trying to disrupt their gameplan and allows us more room to try and get creative attacking with our pass rush.

again, it's team specific, but the texans are a team who would use and desperately needs a centerfielder.
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Old 03-12-2007   #4
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

I think we need to upgrade FS but I think CB2 is in even more of a dire need. Brown not the most talented FS more suited for SS but he at least gives you a legitimate option, where as Faggins would barely make it as a nickle for most teams. I never understood the man crush Texans fans had for Fagggins.

I liken it to the Astros, you got Willy T in Center and Everett at Short. If you want to upgrade the offense put Burke at short not Center, Willy at least gave you something.
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Old 03-12-2007   #5
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Originally Posted by dvs1 View Post
I think we need to upgrade FS but I think CB2 is in even more of a dire need. Brown not the most talented FS more suited for SS but he at least gives you a legitimate option, where as Faggins would barely make it as a nickle for most teams. I never understood the man crush Texans fans had for Fagggins.

I liken it to the Astros, you got Willy T in Center and Everett at Short. If you want to upgrade the offense put Burke at short not Center, Willy at least gave you something.
Burke probably doesnt have the defensive range or arm after originally being drafted as a SS out of Tennessee in 2001. SS is usually the IF position that the best fielder resides at, i.e. Adam Everett of the Astros. Taveras was statiscally one of the worst offensive players in the National League last year. He just continued the ausmus-everett-SP black hole from the bottom of the lineup, although his defense might have saved a few games also. couple that with biggio's vanishing act over a good portion of the season, that's 5 positions in the lineup where you received next to nothing most nights. i'll take burke in center if he can give me more than what Taveras did. shoot, if it's up to me biggio sits after that 3000th hit, burke moves in from CF, and hunter pence gets a headstart on 2008. really amazing what puma did last year with zero protection.

sorry about the Astros rant.
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Old 03-12-2007   #6
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Originally Posted by dvs1 View Post
I think we need to upgrade FS but I think CB2 is in even more of a dire need. Brown not the most talented FS more suited for SS but he at least gives you a legitimate option, where as Faggins would barely make it as a nickle for most teams. I never understood the man crush Texans fans had for Fagggins.

I liken it to the Astros, you got Willy T in Center and Everett at Short. If you want to upgrade the offense put Burke at short not Center, Willy at least gave you something.
because faggins is very good at what he does. he's not the fantastic overall guy like clements or champ bailey. he's an underneath and zone coverage guy. asking him to play man coverage 10 yards back is going to get the entire secondary burnt (like we tried to do all too often with an interior zone and outside man). when faggins can get to the LOS and follow the quarterback he's able to disrupt routes and throw off the qb's timing. that's where a centerfielder comes into play. taking over the deep crossing routes and double moves on the sideline that all of our cornerbacks struggle with.

as per my post, we have good cornerbacks but they all have the same limitations. we hurt in deep man and intermediate zone coverages. a ballhawk free safety cures much of that problem and lets us use the guys we have's strengths. also since we have dunta, earl, brown, and simmons as legit pass rush options, we need someone who can float to cover that void during blitzes much like how hope got his acclaim in pittsburgh for covering polomalu's voided space.

despite my arguing that a free safety is our biggest need on defense, a lot of that talent will be nullified if we cant upgrade the OLB position. we play a lot of interior zone and greenwood, orr, and wong are absolutely horrible in the passing game. there are only 2 positions that i'd really consider needs on defense ... the first being free safety where i'd gladly use a first round pick, the second is outside linebacker where i trust kubiak to find an undersized ballhawk much like gold and johnson in denver.
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Old 03-12-2007   #7
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Burke probably doesnt have the defensive range or arm after originally being drafted as a SS out of Tennessee in 2001. SS is usually the IF position that the best fielder resides at, i.e. Adam Everett of the Astros. Taveras was statiscally one of the worst offensive players in the National League last year. He just continued the ausmus-everett-SP black hole from the bottom of the lineup, although his defense might have saved a few games also. couple that with biggio's vanishing act over a good portion of the season, that's 5 positions in the lineup where you received next to nothing most nights. i'll take burke in center if he can give me more than what Taveras did. shoot, if it's up to me biggio sits after that 3000th hit, burke moves in from CF, and hunter pence gets a headstart on 2008. really amazing what puma did last year with zero protection.

sorry about the Astros rant.
You obviously don't follow the 'Stro's and need to stick to football. Or maybe hockey. Burke is a HIGHLY touted 2nd base prospect, NOT outfielder, and Taveras' speed made him a legitimate CF AND leadoff hitter. He did pretty dang good at both and I hate to see him gone. I see it as Purpura's biggest blunder so far. I'll take Biggio at 2nd til he decides to hang up his cleats. If you disagree, you don't enjoy the sport and history of baseball as much as I do. To each his own. Burke, like Berkman, will enjoy his nest seasons at his natural position. I know we need offense for the 'Stro's, but I still wish we had Willie T.
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Old 03-12-2007   #8
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

not to encourage an astros rant in the bullpen, but the best thing willie T could do is become an astro again. we ruined willie as a pro by bringing him along too quickly. the best thing he can do is join the farm system in AAA where we're great at developing talent. there he can refine his stroke and become the leadoff hitter he was supposed to be for a couple of years without the pressure of stats and championships (jumping from AA to pro is a bad idea unless it's a prodigy like d-train in florida). willie should've been a year ahead of pence, which puts willie starting this year and pence next year ... along with lee completing our outfield (in a perfect world). as for burke, the infatuation is purely houston based. he's an average hitter, an average fielder ... but he's a houston astro and young so that automatically makes him a fan favorite. his 18th inning shot also makes him an icon. he doesnt compare to biggio as a first half player, and like biggio, he falls off as the season progresses. his offense is NOT comperable to everette's defense ... bad BAD arguement. shortstop and catcher are positions where you trade bats for gloves, which is what we've done and we have two of the best in baseball.
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Old 03-12-2007   #9
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Originally Posted by dvs1 View Post
I think we need to upgrade FS but I think CB2 is in even more of a dire need. Brown not the most talented FS more suited for SS but he at least gives you a legitimate option, where as Faggins would barely make it as a nickle for most teams. I never understood the man crush Texans fans had for Fagggins.

I liken it to the Astros, you got Willy T in Center and Everett at Short. If you want to upgrade the offense put Burke at short not Center, Willy at least gave you something.
CC Brown wouldnt even make second string on most teams. Faggins would.
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Old 03-12-2007   #10
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
I see a lot of people clamoring for Landry on this board, and Im just curious. What do you think a really good FS does for the team? Is it more or less important than a true #2 cornerback? How different of a team is Baltimore when Ed Reed is injured? How much of a difference did Chris Hope make for the Titans D? And how much did it hurt the Steelers to lose him?

I think Landry is a special athlete, and I think FS is a can't miss position in the NFL draft.

Im just a little concerned with the "bang for your buck" mentality. How much does a FS really improve the team? How important is the position? And how much of an upgrade would someone like Landry be over Brown?

On the one hand, I can see it being a huge upgrade. Suddenly the CBs don't have to be on islands covering the WRs. In deep zones, there would be someone to help over the top. We could double true 1 WR teams.

On the other hand, FS can only play half the field, so we are still left with the same problem we have now. What do we do with the weak half of the field?

You can only fill one hole at a time, with one player. I personally believe CC Brown is one of the 3 weakest starters on the field for us, and upgrading that position to a Bona-Fide stud would do amazing things for a defense that is already doing good things. A Good Safety (Sanders, Polamalu, Ed Reed, Roy Williams, Sean Taylor, Rodney Harrison, etc. etc. ad nauseum) can help erase the mistakes your cornerbacks make, provide support in the run game, and if you get a true ballhawk back there can change the course of a defense's turnover ratio. We play in a division with a team with 2 premier recievers, (harrison and wayne), so it seems to me our secondary should be heavily emphasized. If we don't walk away with Landry, Nelson, or Merriweather, or some diamond in the rough FS of EQUAL or better playmaking ability, then i'm going to be highly disappointed in this draft.
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Old 03-12-2007   #11
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

Yeah I agree, we've been beefing up the front 7 the past couple of seasons with first round DLmen and LBs and FAs, its time to throw some bones to the secondary. Peyton always burns us back there, I would also love to start seeing some coverage sacks and I can't honesty say when I've ever seen one. Maybe Dunta's rookie season when he had Glenn next to him and Coleman at FS (I know he sucked in 05, but he had a good year in 04)
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Old 03-12-2007   #12
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

I think the folks pushing the Landry pick think like I do... the secondary is not getting it done. Landry, on paper at least, is probably the most talented player available to fill one of our biggest needs.

It looks like there will be some good CB's in later rounds, including one named Bannister that may be a sleeper like a few others we have picked up. (Dunta, DD/DW, etc.)

Also, the fact that we are picking up RB's and help on the lines through FA make me think the Front Office is thinking about addressing the secondary in the draft.
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Old 03-12-2007   #13
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

Well this is my position so I always have a strong argument for the importance, ahem

In my opinion safety is the second most important position on the defensive side of the ball behind defensive ends. Here's my quick spill on why defensive end is important, if you cut down every run on the outside, it forces it inside, where you always have teamates to help you, if they are forced to run inside you have 3 linebackers on average, and two safetys filling in, and its head to head, so harder to juke or do anything crazy. Also if you have awesome d ends, you can make your d bs a lot better. I am not that great of a fs, but we had an all-state dt/de, and when he was putting pressure on the qb, I was able to make big plays, almost every single interception we had this season, was while the d end was in his face.


Now why safety is important:

Safety is the most versatile position on defense, what a safety usually does before and during each play is crucial. Before each play the safety reads the sets, for example, if he sees a tight end and a 1 wr set on his side of the field, he will check to a cover 4 look on his side so he can be head up on the te and the corner can cut off anything deep on the wideout, while the olb can drop hook to curl flats and cut off passing lanes. If the safety sees two wr on his side, he will check to a cover two often so he can take away the deep threat with a jam by the corner, and a linebacker will carry the seam on the inside the receiver, after that he plays by the simple rule "one goes away two comes to play". Basically everything I just said is what goes through a safetys head before each play. The Safety has the eyes behind hte defense and makes a lot of coverage checks, the safety is the qb on defense, and must watch a whole lot of film. Simply knowing a qb s throwing motion in order to jump a route is crucial. If you have a dominating free safety they will come up on the run well, and that guarantees a 5 yard max on each carry, that is if the rest of the d doesn't do its job. A good free safety also takes away any deep threat, a team going against ed reed that week will say, alright (qb) don't throw it deep if you panic, ed reed is back there. And a good free safety is like having a good closer in baseball, when tthe other team is doing the two minute drill, the free safety keeps hte defense organized and also is the last line of defense. Having a good free safety that lays the wood also puts a mental fear in receivers minds of not wanting to go across the middle, the prescence of that will make receivers flinch before going for balls across the middle, enough time for a safety to make a play.


I am all for Laron Landy being here... he was a leader of the best defense in ncaa. He brought the noise with his hits, and he was a playmaker on offense during high school, so he has that natural athelticsm to him (sean taylor also played offense in high school)
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Old 03-12-2007   #14
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Originally Posted by dvs1 View Post
I think we need to upgrade FS but I think CB2 is in even more of a dire need.
Exactly.
No matter how good our FS might be, if the opposition has 2 good WRs they can isolate one of them on our weak corner and burn us big-time.
LSU is a very successful team in our region, and a lot of people follow them and in particular some individuals on their team like 4-year starter Landry.
And lots of posters were frustrated that we didn't get Sean Taylor a few years, and still think someone like him is a necessity for a successful D.
We need a strong #2 corner to go with D-Rob and a strong edge rusher to play weakside DE more than a top FS, IMO.
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Old 03-12-2007   #15
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Exactly.
No matter how good our FS might be, if the opposition has 2 good WRs they can isolate one of them on our weak corner and burn us big-time.
LSU is a very successful team in our region, and a lot of people follow them and in particular some individuals on their team like 4-year starter Landry.
And lots of posters were frustrated that we didn't get Sean Taylor a few years, and still think someone like him is a necessity for a successful D.
We need a strong #2 corner to go with D-Rob and a strong edge rusher to play weakside DE more than a top FS, IMO.
I dont see the difference. If you have one weak CB and a ballhawking FS covering one WR and you have your stronger corner covering the other WR. How is that different from having two strong CB's and putting single coverage on both WR's. Or having two strong CB's and still double teaming the weakerside with the FS. Either way you still have one good coverage guy and one bad coverage guy on both WR's.

But Faggins is decent for a short amount of yards. He mainly gets beat deep were a good FS will help him alot. Were CC Brown is just bad in coverage everywere. A FS will also help in run defense more than a CB.
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Old 03-12-2007   #16
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Exactly.
No matter how good our FS might be, if the opposition has 2 good WRs they can isolate one of them on our weak corner and burn us big-time.
LSU is a very successful team in our region, and a lot of people follow them and in particular some individuals on their team like 4-year starter Landry.
And lots of posters were frustrated that we didn't get Sean Taylor a few years, and still think someone like him is a necessity for a successful D.
We need a strong #2 corner to go with D-Rob and a strong edge rusher to play weakside DE more than a top FS, IMO.
if they isolate our weak corner, can we cheat our new free safety? i'm not a college football fan so dont tie me to any player. a free safety covers our deficiencies and accentuates our strengths. even if we signed both nate clements and champ bailey we'd still be hurting for a free safety. if we sign a free safety he can cover for average cornerbacks ... it doesnt not work in reverse ... unless you choose to forget randy moss, andre johnson, and marvin harrison who beat EVERYONE. the only way to contain these players is with a ball-hawk centerfielder. and incase you missed the past 7 years, peyton manning loves it when teams sit in man coverage ... name your best 5 cornerbacks of all time, and peyton will pick them apart in man. mix a zone blitz with intelligent coverage and you've got a chance.

ed reed fixes faggins, roc, and dunta. champ bailey does not fix brown & earl.
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Old 03-12-2007   #17
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

At this point I think we need to take who ever we deem the best DB prospect. Whether that player play SS, FS, or CB...

We could use an upgrade at any of those positions...
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Old 03-12-2007   #18
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if they isolate our weak corner, can we cheat our new free safety? i'm not a college football fan so dont tie me to any player. a free safety covers our deficiencies and accentuates our strengths. even if we signed both nate clements and champ bailey we'd still be hurting for a free safety. if we sign a free safety he can cover for average cornerbacks ... it doesnt not work in reverse ... unless you choose to forget randy moss, andre johnson, and marvin harrison who beat EVERYONE. the only way to contain these players is with a ball-hawk centerfielder. and incase you missed the past 7 years, peyton manning loves it when teams sit in man coverage ... name your best 5 cornerbacks of all time, and peyton will pick them apart in man. mix a zone blitz with intelligent coverage and you've got a chance.


No, there aren't very man corners that can hold the elite recievers one on one, but if you have a lock down corner like Champ Bailey, he can essentially eliminate a side of the field...

And it does work in reverse, just like every other position...

A good corner, takes pressure off the safeties and a good FS takes a little pressure off the corners...

We don't have the luxury of picking a player based on position...We need to take the best player on the board in all rounds, basically at any position...
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Old 03-12-2007   #19
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

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Originally Posted by South Texan View Post
I think the folks pushing the Landry pick think like I do... the secondary is not getting it done. Landry, on paper at least, is probably the most talented player available to fill one of our biggest needs.

It looks like there will be some good CB's in later rounds, including one named Bannister that may be a sleeper like a few others we have picked up. (Dunta, DD/DW, etc.)

Also, the fact that we are picking up RB's and help on the lines through FA make me think the Front Office is thinking about addressing the secondary in the draft.
Am I the only person here that sees that Landry is a SS, NOT a FS??????? His strong suits are not deep coverage, if that's what we're going for, grab Reggie Nelson, and if we don't want to use a 1st rounders, then get Merriweather. He's still a good ball-hawking FS, and better than Landry (in coverage), and we only have to use a second round pick.
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Old 03-12-2007   #20
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Default Re: The importance of a playmaking FS

I was playing NCAA 07 as Texas VS LSU in the National Championship game (dyansty mode, I went 14-0) and I ran a running play. It looked like I was free to the end zone when out of nowhere comes IMPACT player FS #30 (Landry) and he slams into me, forcing a fumble which an LSU player recovers.
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