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New Defense

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
I thought I already posted a reply but it disappeared? If it shows up again I apologize. My comment was a pre draft NC comment that he, NC, has a body style that he likes for every position.( Lopez has that low Mongo base for moving a piano or an OL. )Said he’s really strong like you indicated. He loved the fact that he was a wrestler.
Wrestling is an excellent base for interior OL/DL coming into the NFL. Very happy they got two former state champs in Britt and Lopez this offseason.

Lopez just needs to drop anchor and not get pushed back while clogging up rushing lanes and allowing the LBs to flow to the ball.
 

vtech9

Veteran
OK, having finished looking over our defensive players, I've come up with my starting 11. Plus, in parenthesis, I've included a few close alternatives at some of the positions. And I've included a 12th position, my Nickle DB.

Having looked at this potential starting group, I'm really beginning to like this Tampa 2 defensive unit. There's been several posters who really disparage our defense, based on last years results and the addition of so many, what they call, JAGS. But this starting group is really looking good in my opinion.

RDE...Whitney Mercilus (Jonathan Greenard)(DeMarcus Walker)
DT....Charles Omenihu (Ross Blacklock)
NT....Roy Lopez (Jaleel Johnson)
LDE...Shaq Lawson

WILL LB...Kamu Grugier-Hill (Kevin Pierre-Louis)
MIKE LB...Zack Cunningham
SAM LB....Christian Kirksey

CB...Terrance Mitchell
CB...Bradley Roby
SS...Lonnie Johnson
FS...Justin Reid

Nickle DB...Terrence Brooks
I think Maleik Collins will be in there on passing downs on the DL. If used correctly, he can be a beast. He was not used correctly while on the Raiders.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
Trevor Lawrence has never impressed me. Didn’t wow me when he was at Clemson, and his NFL preseason performance was mediocre. I think our thrift store level defense can get a few picks off his Blake Bortles 2.0 arse!
I think for Lawrence and Tua they got a bit overhyped winning the national championship as freshmen starters on stacked super teams. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are still the standard as top QB prototype prospects out of college despite not having the win/loss record of Lawrence and Tua.

Heck check out Mahomes’ record as a starter at Texas Tech… would Tua/Lawrence done better than Mahomes on those Tech teams?
 

Texansballer74

Hall of Fame
I think for Lawrence and Tua they got a bit overhyped winning the national championship as freshmen starters on stacked super teams. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are still the standard as top QB prototype prospects out of college despite not having the win/loss record of Lawrence and Tua.

Heck check out Mahomes’ record as a starter at Texas Tech… would Tua/Lawrence done better than Mahomes on those Tech teams?
They probably would because of the type of offense that was employed and that team was stacked with offensive weapons.
 

Speedy

Former Yeller Dweller
I think for Lawrence and Tua they got a bit overhyped winning the national championship as freshmen starters on stacked super teams. Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck are still the standard as top QB prototype prospects out of college despite not having the win/loss record of Lawrence and Tua.

Heck check out Mahomes’ record as a starter at Texas Tech… would Tua/Lawrence done better than Mahomes on those Tech teams?
The Chiefs also had the luxury of sitting Mahomes for a year. The Jags, Dolphins, and even the Colts with Luck and Manning, didn't have that luxury. Maybe the Dolphins could have with Fitz there. I don't know if that makes a difference or not. Mahomes seems to have benefitted from it. Manning struggled early on. Luck did too for that matter, 23/18 TD/INT, 76.5 passer rating his 1st year. But then you've got Herbert doing what he did last year.

Then you've got great college QBs whose games never translate in the NFL (see Tebow). Will Lawrence's game translate? Who knows? There's been plenty of 1st round picks where it hasn't (Rosen, Trubisky, Mariota, Manziel, Bortles, Locker, Gabbert, etc.)

Lawrence does have a nice collection of receivers in Chark, Jones and Shenault. Despite losing Etienne, Robinson should still give them a decent run game. Some good nasties up front with Cam, Taylor and Norwell. I think it's set up pretty well for him to succeed. I mean, as well as could be expected for a team that was 1-15 last year.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Trevor Lawrence has never impressed me. Didn’t wow me when he was at Clemson, and his NFL preseason performance was mediocre. I think our thrift store level defense can get a few picks off his Blake Bortles 2.0 arse!
I don't watch college football... so, I don't know.

But... 300 yards & 3 TDs in his opener.

Three Ints, Three drops, 50+ passing attempts for a rookie...

I'm assuming he's going to get better. Our defense needs to get better to play this guy twice a year for the foreseeable future.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
I don't watch college football... so, I don't know.

But... 300 yards & 3 TDs in his opener.

Three Ints, Three drops, 50+ passing attempts for a rookie...

I'm assuming he's going to get better. Our defense needs to get better to play this guy twice a year for the foreseeable future.
After getting down 34-7 he found his garbage time points and yards. Classic Bortles performance!
 

SnakeEyes

Under NRG
Lawrence is going to get better. He did play ok after the game was won. Question is was it garbage time or was it just he finally got it together? He played like Bottles in this one, no question. However, if he doesn't improve by mid season, I will be shocked. True, he went to Clemson, may have some skeletons in the closet.

Our D as a unit played well. However, they are going to have to be better than what we saw. INTs are nice, but they were on a rookie. We need more pressure, be it from current players or next draft. And 2 DBs I feel are needed. Reid is good but I would take another S that is as good as Reid seems to be. And another CB that can shut down the full one side would be awesome. Not sure if anyone like that is going to be coming out this year.
 
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steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Lawrence is going to get better. He did play ok after the game was won. Question is was it garbage time or was it just he finally got it together? He played like Bottles in this one, no question. However, if he doesn't improve by mid season, I will be shocked. True, he went to Clemson, may have some skeletons in the closet.

Our D as a unit played well. However, they are going to have to be better than what we saw. INTs are nice, but they were on a rookie. We need more pressure, be it from current players or next draft. And 2 DBs I feel are needed. Reid is good but I would take another S that is as good as Reid seems to be. And another CB that can shut down the full one side would be awesome. Not sure if anyone like that is going to be coming out this year.
CB's Booth/Kendrick/Stingley

DE's Thibodeaux/Leal and there are more pass rushers available OSU's Harrison/Smith/The dude from Purdue/ Jackson from USC.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
The defense is in a tough position for fans. We all see the weaknesses in the Tampa 2. But with the current talent level of the defense, the lack of playmakers at every level even with the scheme allowing LBs to play above their talent level, its the only way the team can avoid getting blown out.

That’s not to say elite QBs/offenses wont run up the score on the team… but the scheme makes the “smart” chain moving completion so easily available that QBs don’t take the deep shots which are well protected. So instead of scoring in 3-5 plays they have to run 8-12 plays to score. And the hope is that somewhere in those extra plays they make a mistake the team can capitalize (drive killing penalties, dropped passes, turnover).

If the team had a fierce pass rush that could get to the QB before the pass catchers get to the soft spots in the zone then the defense would be running at optimal performance. But they don’t.

If the defense had ballhawks in the secondary that could cover lots of ground and jump the route to force an INT then the defense would look great. But (aside from Reid) they don’t.

If there was another LB that could cover like Kirksey to get Cunningham off the field in passing situations that could help. Maybe Kevin Pierre-Louis is that guy. But aside from having that work out and getting Reid back healthy. The defense is going to be “bend and hopefully the other team makes a mistake” all season.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
And to go back to the LBs. Cunningham’s performance has been disappointing. I thought the scheme would help him become a playmaker for this team but thus far his play has been uninspired to say the least. He has 0 impact plays. No TFLs. More assisted tackles than solo tackles. And add on his disciplinary issue due to showing up to practices late I am just disappointed in what he has brought to the team. Jay Foreman 2.0 type play.

If I thought the Lions would do it i’d say trade him for Jamie Collins straight up and at least the Texans might have a LB who can make impact plays. But Lions are going for a youth movement and want that contract off the books.
 
The defense is in a tough position for fans. We all see the weaknesses in the Tampa 2. But with the current talent level of the defense, the lack of playmakers at every level even with the scheme allowing LBs to play above their talent level, its the only way the team can avoid getting blown out.

That’s not to say elite QBs/offenses wont run up the score on the team… but the scheme makes the “smart” chain moving completion so easily available that QBs don’t take the deep shots which are well protected. So instead of scoring in 3-5 plays they have to run 8-12 plays to score. And the hope is that somewhere in those extra plays they make a mistake the team can capitalize (drive killing penalties, dropped passes, turnover).

If the team had a fierce pass rush that could get to the QB before the pass catchers get to the soft spots in the zone then the defense would be running at optimal performance. But they don’t.

If the defense had ballhawks in the secondary that could cover lots of ground and jump the route to force an INT then the defense would look great. But (aside from Reid) they don’t.

If there was another LB that could cover like Kirksey to get Cunningham off the field in passing situations that could help. Maybe Kevin Pierre-Louis is that guy. But aside from having that work out and getting Reid back healthy. The defense is going to be “bend and hopefully the other team makes a mistake” all season.
This is the struggle with Lovie and this team. Lovie is great for player development (fundamentals/mental) but his scheme just doesn't cut it especially with the lack above average talent on the defense.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
This is the struggle with Lovie and this team. Lovie is great for player development (fundamentals/mental) but his scheme just doesn't cut it especially with the lack above average talent on the defense.
I’d lean towards this scheme being the best to minimize the weaknesses on the roster. We know teams are going to be able to drive the field and score if they can play mistake free football for an 8-12 play drive. But how often can an average NFL offense do that is the question.

As the roster stands now, it’s the only scheme to give the team a chance of not allowing 35+ on a regular basis.
 
I’d lean towards this scheme being the best to minimize the weaknesses on the roster. We know teams are going to be able to drive the field and score if they can play mistake free football for an 8-12 play drive. But how often can an average NFL offense do that is the question.

As the roster stands now, it’s the only scheme to give the team a chance of not allowing 35+ on a regular basis.
Of the remaining games, the Jags, Colts and Dolphins "may be" the only teams that might not hang 35 on this defense if it doesn't improve. I'm ok with the team as it is today, we all knew it was coming. I'm more interested in seeing how it all comes together in a year or 2. Defense would definitely be at the top of my list for the upcoming draft.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
And to go back to the LBs. Cunningham’s performance has been disappointing. I thought the scheme would help him become a playmaker for this team but thus far his play has been uninspired to say the least. He has 0 impact plays. No TFLs. More assisted tackles than solo tackles. And add on his disciplinary issue due to showing up to practices late I am just disappointed in what he has brought to the team. Jay Foreman 2.0 type play.

If I thought the Lions would do it i’d say trade him for Jamie Collins straight up and at least the Texans might have a LB who can make impact plays. But Lions are going for a youth movement and want that contract off the books.
I told posters that despite Cunningham's tackle numbers last yr, he sucked.

Foreman is a great comp for Cunningham.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
I told posters that despite Cunningham's tackle numbers last yr, he sucked.

Foreman is a great comp for Cunningham.
I was among the ones you told that to this offseason. I had high hopes for him fulfilling his potential as Lovie’s WILL but I think i’ve seen enough to admit I was wrong.

Kirksey and Kamu Grugier Hill have shown the ability to make impact plays and maximize their talent level in this scheme at least. Maybe when Kevin Pierre-Louis and KGH get healthy they can sit Cunningham on the bench.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I was among the ones you told that to this offseason. I had high hopes for him fulfilling his potential as Lovie’s WILL but I think i’ve seen enough to admit I was wrong.

Kirksey and Kamu Grugier Hill have shown the ability to make impact plays and maximize their talent level in this scheme at least. Maybe when Kevin Pierre-Louis and KGH get healthy they can sit Cunningham on the bench.
Plus being benched for showing up late for multiple practices shows us that Cunningham hasn't bought into the newly created culture.

Good news is Caserio will keep taking out the trash next offseason. I could actually se a scenario where Cunningham is traded at the deadline this yr.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
And to go back to the LBs. Cunningham’s performance has been disappointing. I thought the scheme would help him become a playmaker for this team but thus far his play has been uninspired to say the least. He has 0 impact plays. No TFLs. More assisted tackles than solo tackles. And add on his disciplinary issue due to showing up to practices late I am just disappointed in what he has brought to the team.

I’m wondering how much his disciplinary issues has to do with his play. Is he just not buying in? Does he want to be the Mike? Does he not want to drop in coverage?
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
I’d lean towards this scheme being the best to minimize the weaknesses on the roster. We know teams are going to be able to drive the field and score if they can play mistake free football for an 8-12 play drive. But how often can an average NFL offense do that is the question.

As the roster stands now, it’s the only scheme to give the team a chance of not allowing 35+ on a regular basis.
You would think they would look better in the red zone. As the field gets smaller they should gain the advantage.
 

thunderkyss

Just win baby!!!
Staff member
Contributor's Club
Of the remaining games, the Jags, Colts and Dolphins "may be" the only teams that might not hang 35 on this defense if it doesn't improve. I'm ok with the team as it is today, we all knew it was coming. I'm more interested in seeing how it all comes together in a year or 2. Defense would definitely be at the top of my list for the upcoming draft.
I’m still holding out the running game improves & we actually ball control with our ball control offense.
 

TheRealJoker

Hall of Fame
Kevin Pierre-Louis is activated from IR and back practicing. When he returns to the lineup along with Kamu Grugier Hill, I wonder if Cunningham will be spending the majority of games on the bench?

EDIT:


NOTE : Culley indicated that defensive tackle Ross Blacklock (positive COVID test) and linebacker Zach Cunningham (high-risk close contact) are not expected to return this week after being placed on the reserve-COVID-19 list last week.
 


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