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Old 08-26-2008   #1
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Default For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

OK. I think this deserves a new thread. We've all complained about the defense, some think its the coordinator, some think its the players, some think its both.


Last week agains the cowgirls we saw basically vanilla vs vanilla. We saw what our defense does when physically matched up against a good offense. I am not saying that Smith should be our guy. I am saying that I don't think anyone can walk in and turn this into a top 10 defense. Weaver, Greenwood,Reeves and one of our DTs. You can have a guy that fits a particular scheme and utilize his strengths. For example, you can build a defense around speed, if you have a guy who is fast but not a "great" tackler, you can set him up in coverage a lot and rely on the others to tackle. But you cannot scheme for one guy who is slow and can't make a play on the ball, one guy who is slow and can't tackle, one guy who is too small in the middle of the line and one guy who is slow and prone to lose outside contain.

For example, say you decide to cover for Reeves by rushing the passer, well who do you rush? Do you rush Greenwood? He might get there by the time the guy Reeves was covering is being tackled by the safety. Do you rush your other LB and assign DR to cover 3/4 the field while greenwood sits outside of his has mark? Do you rush Reeves, who doesn't seem to like physical play? Again, this isn't so much in defense of Smith as it is a cry for faster/better players on defense. Even if they are young. Sit down, and try to come up with a blitz that you're satisfied with. Rush Demeco, and leave greenwood and diles to cover the middle of the field? I know we're not coordinators but we can still draw up basic plans. I'd like to see your ideas about how to play with our current starters veterans on the roster. I don't think its fair to include say Molden, since we've got a few reports on him but nobody has seen how he plays in an actual game situation. I don't have a problem pluging in Cochrain however, since we have actually seen him play.

There you go. That's your challange. I don't want "rush Demeco more" try to describe what you envision each player doing against a well balanced offense.

I think this will be fun.

Mike
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Old 08-26-2008   #2
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

A) I would like to see our corners jam receivers a helluva lot more - rather than turn and run.

B) I would like to see Richard Smith be creative in the sense of not reacting to what an offense is doing, but rather have the offense try to figure out what the Texans "D" is doing. That means sending different people, whether Greenwood, Ryans, Diles, the kitchen sink - whatever. Bring people from all over.

C) More D-Line or interior stunts.


Just a few comments to get things started in this thread....
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Old 08-26-2008   #3
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan_Bill View Post
A) I would like to see our corners jam receivers a helluva lot more - rather than turn and run.

B) I would like to see Richard Smith be creative in the sense of not reacting to what an offense is doing, but rather have the offense try to figure out what the Texans "D" is doing. That means sending different people, whether Greenwood, Ryans, Diles, the kitchen sink - whatever. Bring people from all over.

C) More D-Line or interior stunts.


Just a few comments to get things started in this thread....

Can you give a specific instance. Draw up one. How do you account for each area of the field (unless you're willing to gamble).
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Old 08-26-2008   #4
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

I think he's got to take advantage of strengths more. It seems like on runs, Amobi is trying to tie up blockers instead of trying to shoot the gaps. He's too small for that. I'd also like to see him and TJ switch sides. Put the bigger guy away from Mario to enable them to both use their quickness for stunts instead of 'balancing' the line.

I dunno about the other end position. It may be the worst in the NFL and there's not a credible OLB to cover up for it either.


I think the 'blitz' idea is way overused, especially when you don't have safeties that can cover.
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Old 08-26-2008   #5
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

My God Texanmike, what are you trying to do? Make us back up our accusations with actual thoughts and facts? When did that start?
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Old 08-26-2008   #6
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan_Bill View Post
A) I would like to see our corners jam receivers a helluva lot more - rather than turn and run.

B) I would like to see Richard Smith be creative in the sense of not reacting to what an offense is doing, but rather have the offense try to figure out what the Texans "D" is doing. That means sending different people, whether Greenwood, Ryans, Diles, the kitchen sink - whatever. Bring people from all over.

C) More D-Line or interior stunts.


Just a few comments to get things started in this thread....
A) Against Dallas I watched some of our rookie corners try and jam some of the bigger Dallas receivers. They did OK, but it left them totally exposed once the WR got around the jam.

B) I agree with this. However, I saw a lot of blitzes against Dallas. The thing I dont like about the Texans blitz defense is that its so predictable. Make the linebacker show blitz, then back off. Then the offense can't just point it out and have the running back pick it up

C) Our lineman have tried stunting, and it stunk. They don't have the range of motion required to be very good at stunting if I recall what someone else posted
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Old 08-26-2008   #7
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

Quote:
Originally Posted by Texan_Bill View Post
A) I would like to see our corners jam receivers a helluva lot more - rather than turn and run.

B) I would like to see Richard Smith be creative in the sense of not reacting to what an offense is doing, but rather have the offense try to figure out what the Texans "D" is doing. That means sending different people, whether Greenwood, Ryans, Diles, the kitchen sink - whatever. Bring people from all over.

C) More D-Line or interior stunts.


Just a few comments to get things started in this thread....
Rewatch the Titans game in week 7.
You will see that we were a whole more than vanilla, but...

When we bring a surprise blitz here and there on a 2nd or 3rd and long, we got result.
We got the LB blitz, the Safety blitz.
We stunted.
But as long we stayed disciplined it worked well for us.
We mix and match the call, and sometimes we got good pressure with only 3.
When we tried to be too agressive, we got burnt.

The Tacks tried to send more men, more often.
But the results they got were about as much from the regular base defense when they only rushed 4.

In the first half, it was a fumble after a catch, a drop after a catch, and a mis-snap that stopped us in the first half, not the Titans!

And they had a stronger D overall.
And they were more agressive.
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Old 08-26-2008   #8
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

i know one thing i DONT want to see, and that is weaver dropping back into coverage. seriously.


as for everyone else, i really cant say because i dont know what their real strengths are. i can say "mario needs to attack, attack, attack" but that would take away his ability to read the run, especially on draws, reverses, and screens. i just want to see our guys go out there and play to their strengths. IMO mario's strength is that he is an incredible athlete therefore making him versitile, and that is why we see him lining up at both DE positions. and if dunta was back in there, we know what to expect because we know his strengths: being physical and doing a great job in man coverage.

if we have players who take bad angles constantly (greenwood comes to mind) dont just let them sit there covering the flats.

if you have a safety who bites on play action and pump fakes too much, change the package you are in, change the personnel, change the assignments, CHANGE SOMETHING.

bottom line: the coaches need to focus on the players strengths instead of forcing them into a particular role.

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Old 08-26-2008   #9
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

The problem with Richard Smith is the one of identity.

More than a few posters here question what he wants as an identity.

Think about Indy, swarm the ball.

Steelers, with their 3-4, LB from anywhere, safety blitzes.

New England.


We have no identity. Are we drafting players to fit our philosophy, or are we molding the defense around the players we have? What does Smith want?
Is he going after the players that fit his hidden philosophy?

More questions than answers.
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Old 08-26-2008   #10
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

I havn't been one calling for Richard Smith's head but I would LOVE to see a more aggressive defense. I'm not going to say keep or get rid of smith b/c I really don't know much about what he has or hasn't done. I think we'll all agree our defense can use more of an identity.. but I also think we still lack a lot of talent. We are SO close though.

For those wanting to get rid of Smith as DC who would you replace him with? Someone already here like Frank Bush... or another defensive assistant? Any guys out in the NFL you'd like to see come to take over the job? I'm not trying to call anyone out... but am genuinly interested in what options may be available.

Defensive End is becoming my main priority going into the draft next year (Julius Peppers is a FA but who really thinks he leaves Carolina!?). There should be some very good DE's coming out.

The minute our DL can stop the run AND rush the passer to minute our whole Defense looks completely different, regardless of what scheme we're trying to use. The linebackers will be freed up to cover the middle of the field, spying on the QB, making those tackles against the TE's and RB's, and dropping back in coverage to help our young secondary. Also, the best thing for a secondary is a great DL. Bennett, Molden, Dunta should hopefully all be playing well and healthy by the time this happens, and it will make their job so much easier.
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Old 08-26-2008   #11
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

Quote:
Originally Posted by noxiousdog View Post
I think the 'blitz' idea is way overused, especially when you don't have safeties that can cover.
That's the kind of observation I wanted to come out of this discussion. I'm not a big Smith fan and he may very well be part of the problem. But so to, is the lack of talent on our defense.

Mike
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Old 08-26-2008   #12
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

I don't like AW dropping into coverage either...

BUT he did have an INT doing that last yr...
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Old 08-26-2008   #13
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

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Originally Posted by DBCooper View Post
The problem with Richard Smith is the one of identity.

More than a few posters here question what he wants as an identity.

Think about Indy, swarm the ball.
Great points. This offseason and early preseason, I've really felt like our Defense had been swarming the ball. I think the D has greatly improved, but still has a ways to go. The D looks completely different than in the past, but that's solely due to the players we've gotten. I think they are much more athletic, quicker, and really do swarm the ballcarrier.

I hope this is an identity that is being formed and we find out this season. We've go to create more turnovers and having more guys around the ball is only going to help create/recover.
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Old 08-26-2008   #14
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

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Originally Posted by Ole Miss Texan View Post
I havn't been one calling for Richard Smith's head but I would LOVE to see a more aggressive defense.
How? That's what I'm getting at. How do you get more aggressive at this point with these players?

Mike
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Old 08-26-2008   #15
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

I really don't think the D coordinator creates the identify of the defense. i think its a team mentality thing. We are giving Richard Smith way too much credit.

If our guys play soft, its because they are soft. If they play tough, its because they are tough. A lot is attitude, and like speed, it can only be changed so much.

We don't have a "tough" in your face team. Yet were trying to play "tough" in your face defense.

A great coach can teach technique and get people to play more aggressively, but a guy like Demeco is never going to hit like a guy like Ray Lewis. They may be equally effective in getting to the ball carrier, but they won't bring the same level of physical play. Both are stellar, All-Pros in the primes, but they have different styles
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Old 08-26-2008   #16
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

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Originally Posted by gtexan02 View Post
I really don't think the D coordinator creates the identify of the defense. i think its a team mentality thing. We are giving Richard Smith way too much credit.

If our guys play soft, its because they are soft. If they play tough, its because they are tough. A lot is attitude, and like speed, it can only be changed so much.

We don't have a "tough" in your face team. Yet were trying to play "tough" in your face defense.

A great coach can teach technique and get people to play more aggressively, but a guy like Demeco is never going to hit like a guy like Ray Lewis. They may be equally effective in getting to the ball carrier, but they won't bring the same level of physical play. Both are stellar, All-Pros in the primes, but they have different styles

I don't know.

Let's hire Belichick as the DC and see what he can get out of them.
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Old 08-26-2008   #17
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

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Can you give a specific instance. Draw up one. How do you account for each area of the field (unless you're willing to gamble).
That's kinda the point. When you're not very talented you need to gamble. You need to mix things up. You need to keep people (offenses) guessing.

But, for the sake of cotinuing this dialogue:

Situation: 3rd and 8 yards at the opponents own 40 yard line (Obvious passing down)

Bring both corners up. The weakside corner comes directly after the QB. The Will LB drops over into the flat and the FS (who cheats towards the LOS as the ball is about to be snapped) covers the reciever on the weakside once beyond the Will LB. That creates a 5 man rush.

Next similar situation, bring the SLB instead. Watch your own tendancies so that they have a hard time figuring out where it will come from next.
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Old 08-26-2008   #18
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

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Originally Posted by Texanmike View Post
How? That's what I'm getting at. How do you get more aggressive at this point with these players?

Mike

You put them in a position to make plays. For instance, the previous regime would often use Dunta in the slot, which gave him more opportunities to blitz. Last year, we left Dunta on the outside and had Fletcher in the slot and Fletcher was not nearly as physical.

Travis Johnson played the run much better than Okoye last year and yet TJ was often on the bench on short yardage while Okoye was in the game.

Another way to add to the aggressiveness is to put the DL on a 7 or 8 man rotation, giving each of them significant breathers. This allows them to go harder the plays they are in- something the Cowboys of the 90s did very effectively.

Showing blitz more often and then falling back into coverage so that we aren't so telegraphed when we do blitz.

Putting as many pass rushers on the field as possible on passing downs. For instance, a front 7 of Mario, Okoye, Cochran, Kalu... with Colvin, Thompson, and Demeco lined up at LB.
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Old 08-26-2008   #19
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

Can't ask players to do things they aren't capable of doing.

Lots of the suggestions sound good though....

Greenwood struggles in coverage enough as it is...

Now you want to give him even more to think about ?
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Old 08-26-2008   #20
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Default Re: For those who complain about Smith - here's your challange

My problem is that I took a time machine to the same time last year when people were talking about how we can't blitz because we don't have the talent and how Richard Smith is the man if he had people.....nevermind, that is just McClain, protector of Dick Smith.

As for the question, I agree with TB above. IF you are talent deficient, the only way to make up for it is to mix it up. Teams will eat you alive playing safe. I'd rather get burned a few times but lay some licks on the QB and have it in his head then sit back and hope someone gets near him. You can disguise blitzes and rotate safeties. The point is to get the QB to release it quick. These are best utilized on some 3rd and longs. JMO
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