There are 130 users in the forums

Remember
Not a member? Register Now!

Snap Count and Drafting a Nose Tackle

  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,571
In many threads, much has been made about the lack of snaps that SF nose tackle plays. The main statistic thrown out is the 30.9%--the number of snaps played by Sopoaga in 2012.

Some use this single stat to argue that the drafting of a nose tackle is not a major need because that nose tackle does not have much importance in the SF defense. There are many problems with using that statistic to evaluate the importance of a nose tackle in SF's 3-4 defense.

In contrast, I contend that Stoppage's limited snap count was indicative of a diminishing effectiveness of his play on passing downs.

I argue that drafting a nose tackles, even though we signed Dorsey and extended Ian Williams remains a high priority.

As we all know, in 2012, Sopoaga played around 31% of the defensive snaps. But, are were aware that in 2011, his first year playing nose tackle under Fangio, he played 41% percent of the defensive snaps. That number of snaps decreased in 2012 to 30.9%--a drop of about 10%.

Prior to Sopoaga, Aubrayo Franklin played nose tackle. In 2010, Franklin played 53% of the defensive snaps.

Franklin was one of the leading run stopping nose tackles in the league. In 2010, Pro Football Focus ranked as the #2 among all defensive tackles against the run.

At the end of the season, the new staff, Harbaugh and Fangio, let him walk in free agency, precisely because Franklin did not generate any pressure in the passing game.

In 2010, the season before Fangio and Harbaugh arrived, Franklin was rated 74th against the pass.
In the nickel defense, he only played a total of 12 snaps for the year.

The 49ers want a nose tackle than play well against both the run and the pass.

Franklin could not and the team let him walk. Sopoaga could not do it; the team let him walk.
RJF, back-up nose tackle, did not show much pass disruptive ability, the team let him walk.

The current coaching staff values a nose tackle that can play both the run and the pass well.
If they find that player, the percentage of snaps played by a nose tackle will probably be higher than the 53% snaps played by Franklin in 2010.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/03/10/life-on-the-nose-todays-market-for-nfl-nose-tackles/

EDIT: Franklin did not play under Harbaugh and Fangio. I said he did.
I will correct that.
[ Edited by buck on Mar 26, 2013 at 7:38 PM ]
Franklin never played under Harbaugh/Fangio.
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,571
Originally posted by Travisty13:
Franklin never played under Harbaugh/Fangio.

Your are right,

But, Harbaugh and Fangio were the ones who let him walk in free agency after the 2010 season.
Not really sure of the point to this thread... to this:

I contend that Stoppage's limited snap count was indicative of a diminishing effectiveness of his play on passing downs.

If offenses open things up with 3 WRs and a single back, we generally sent out our 4-2-5... which made sense, right? Send the 4 man DL rush at them while adding an extra DB to contend with the extra WR. With Justin and Ray moving inside and having Bowman and Willis, we felt we could contend with their potential RB while adding pass coverage with the extra DB.

Why would we leave a run-stopping base NT on the field in that situation?

So was it a knock on the NT? or was it just smart football to get the best personnel vs the offensive setup?
  • buck
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 10,571
Originally posted by Mr.Mcgibblets:
Not really sure of the point to this thread... to this:

I contend that Stoppage's limited snap count was indicative of a diminishing effectiveness of his play on passing downs.

If offenses open things up with 3 WRs and a single back, we generally sent out our 4-2-5... which made sense, right? Send the 4 man DL rush at them while adding an extra DB to contend with the extra WR. With Justin and Ray moving inside and having Bowman and Willis, we felt we could contend with their potential RB while adding pass coverage with the extra DB.

Why would we leave a run-stopping base NT on the field in that situation?

So was it a knock on the NT? or was it just smart football to get the best personnel vs the offensive setup?

I never suggested that we should leave a nose tackle that is only a run stopper in the game on passing downs.

Given the inability of Sopoaga to generate any significant pass rush, using the 4-2-5 made all the sense in the world.
You have to play the cards that you have, even if they are not the best cards.

If the nose tackle can pressure the passer, your hand improves.

It gives you more flexibility and diversity in deploying different schemes against the passing game.

Having more diversity in how we attack the passing game, improves the defense.
Being able to pressure the passer with both a 3 man and 4 man would be a step forward for the defense.

Harbaugh and Fangio were on hand, when the team let Franklin walk. Franklin was excellent against the run.

The central point is that many have repeatedly stated, or clearly implied, that a nose tackle is not important in the 3-4 run by SF.
That contention is supported by the limited snaps of Sopoaga in 2012.

I think that contention is repeated often enough, that it merits discussion.
[ Edited by buck on Mar 26, 2013 at 8:21 PM ]
Nose tackles in general are being phased out of the game because of the evolution of highschool and college offenses. Those offenses are providing more NFL caliber QBs to the NFL which in turn allows more NFL offenses to be effective. Couple that with how rare guys like Ngata, J. Smith, and Wilfork are who can hold up against the run and rush the passer and it can be considered a futile pursuit.

Not to mention over half the NFL now runs a 3-4 base so the competition and salary for those types of guys is also high.
[ Edited by 5280High on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:01 PM ]
Originally posted by 5280High:
Nose tackles in general are being phased out of the game because of the evolution of highschool and college offenses. Those offenses are providing more NFL caliber QBs to the NFL which in turn allows more NFL offenses to be effective. Couple that with how rare guys like Ngata, J. Smith, and Wilfork are who can hold up against the run and rush the passer and it can be considered a futile pursuit.

Not to mention over half the NFL now runs a 3-4 base so the competition and salary for those types of guys is also high.

They arent being Phased out. They are just extremely hard to find when it comes to players on the level of Ngata in the middle.

IMO All Pro NT's are the hardest position in football to find. Even harder than Franchise QB's.
Thank you Buck, I'm glad that somebody here gets it.

Interior defensive lineman that can penetrate the pocket and keep the QB from stepping up and away from the outside pass rushers are crucial to a good pass rush in any defensive scheme. I played left OT for many years, so I know a thing or two about this. Give the QB a clean pocket to step up into and it is very easy to protect against even very good outside pass rushers. It forces a guy like Aldon Smith to have to go through an offensive tackle that is much bigger and stronger, rather than around him.

This is why Justin Smith is so valuable to out defense. He is the only guy powerful enough and quick enough to penetrate the pocket and flush the QB.

I like Jonathan Hankins and Jesse Williams in the upcoming draft. They could fill this role.
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
They arent being Phased out. They are just extremely hard to find when it comes to players on the level of Ngata in the middle.

IMO All Pro NT's are the hardest position in football to find. Even harder than Franchise QB's.

I would argue that they are, maybe not historically as the level of athlete as a whole has gotten bigger and faster each decade as sports science and nutrition reach them earlier and earlier in life.

Im just saying that college coaches are no longer concerned with having guys pack on weight to eat up space. Guys who in the 90's may have been developed into 330+ pound NT's are now 290 pound brick houses of athleticism. Because instead of facing offenses predicated on running the ball they are facing wide open spread offenses where extra weight is a detriment.

Look at the defenses from the Big 12 back when Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas were still trying to run the ball compared to the Big 12 now. That conference used to pump out defensive beasts non stop, now its shifted towards QB's, pass protecting OL coupled with pass rushing DE's, WR's, and DB's usually getting selected early in the draft.
[ Edited by 5280High on Mar 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM ]
Originally posted by 5280High:
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
They arent being Phased out. They are just extremely hard to find when it comes to players on the level of Ngata in the middle.

IMO All Pro NT's are the hardest position in football to find. Even harder than Franchise QB's.

I would argue that they are, maybe not historically as the level of athlete as a whole has gotten bigger and faster each decade as sports science and nutrition reach them earlier and earlier in life.

Im just saying that college coaches are no longer concerned with having guys pack on weight to eat up space. Guys who in the 90's may have been developed into 330+ pound NT's are now 290 pound brick houses of athleticism. Because instead of facing offenses predicated on running the ball they are facing wide open spread offenses where extra weight is a detriment.

Look at the defenses from the Big 12 back when Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas were still trying to run the ball compared to the Big 12 now. That conference used to pump out defensive beasts non stop, now its shifted towards QB's, pass protecting OL coupled with pass rushing DE's, WR's, and DB's usually getting selected early in the draft.

Oh i see what you were saying in your OP, not that they are being phased out of the NFL, but they are being phased out in lower levels of the game. That makes more sense, and i agree with that to a point, though i dont think its out of necessity of countering offenses, more so that it is out of necessity of not having many NT prospects to develope at that level, so instead of plugging in square pegs into round holes, they must adapt to the talent that is in front of them. I think historicly it has always been a rare talent level and rare player to find that can fit the all pro NT mold. I miss read you OP.
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Oh i see what you were saying in your OP, not that they are being phased out of the NFL, but they are being phased out in lower levels of the game. That makes more sense, and i agree with that to a point, though i dont think its out of necessity of countering offenses, more so that it is out of necessity of not having many NT prospects to develope at that level, so instead of plugging in square pegs into round holes, they must adapt to the talent that is in front of them. I think historicly it has always been a rare talent level and rare player to find that can fit the all pro NT mold. I miss read you OP.

So what you're both saying is a player like Star Lotulelei is going to become even more rare so we should grab one of them now while have the chance?
Originally posted by smithc28:
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Oh i see what you were saying in your OP, not that they are being phased out of the NFL, but they are being phased out in lower levels of the game. That makes more sense, and i agree with that to a point, though i dont think its out of necessity of countering offenses, more so that it is out of necessity of not having many NT prospects to develope at that level, so instead of plugging in square pegs into round holes, they must adapt to the talent that is in front of them. I think historicly it has always been a rare talent level and rare player to find that can fit the all pro NT mold. I miss read you OP.

So what you're both saying is a player like Star Lotulelei is going to become even more rare so we should grab one of them now while have the chance?

i think thats what 5280 is saying. Thats not really what im saying. Im saying that they have always been rare. But yes, we neet a NT bigtime.
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Originally posted by smithc28:
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Oh i see what you were saying in your OP, not that they are being phased out of the NFL, but they are being phased out in lower levels of the game. That makes more sense, and i agree with that to a point, though i dont think its out of necessity of countering offenses, more so that it is out of necessity of not having many NT prospects to develope at that level, so instead of plugging in square pegs into round holes, they must adapt to the talent that is in front of them. I think historicly it has always been a rare talent level and rare player to find that can fit the all pro NT mold. I miss read you OP.

So what you're both saying is a player like Star Lotulelei is going to become even more rare so we should grab one of them now while have the chance?

i think thats what 5280 is saying. Thats not really what im saying. Im saying that they have always been rare. But yes, we neet a NT bigtime.

I don't think we need one that bad. We have Ian, who mostlikely will be a solid starter, will give us what we need 30% a season, we will mostlikely grabe a guy to compete with him. I think we have a bigger hole at Fs and Back up tightend. Two major pieces of the superbowl run left in goldson and walker. I wouldn't say issac was much of anything besides a fat guy who just stood in the middle why everyone else made plays around him. I think Ian will give us the same if not better production than issac ever did. Again I hate issac and thought he was the most overrated niner by this board, with that said im glad he's gone. I think It's BPA for either FS, TE, DT and if Austin the wr falls all beats are off.
Originally posted by TheGoldDiggerrrr:
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Originally posted by smithc28:
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Oh i see what you were saying in your OP, not that they are being phased out of the NFL, but they are being phased out in lower levels of the game. That makes more sense, and i agree with that to a point, though i dont think its out of necessity of countering offenses, more so that it is out of necessity of not having many NT prospects to develope at that level, so instead of plugging in square pegs into round holes, they must adapt to the talent that is in front of them. I think historicly it has always been a rare talent level and rare player to find that can fit the all pro NT mold. I miss read you OP.

So what you're both saying is a player like Star Lotulelei is going to become even more rare so we should grab one of them now while have the chance?

i think thats what 5280 is saying. Thats not really what im saying. Im saying that they have always been rare. But yes, we neet a NT bigtime.

I don't think we need one that bad. We have Ian, who mostlikely will be a solid starter, will give us what we need 30% a season, we will mostlikely grabe a guy to compete with him. I think we have a bigger hole at Fs and Back up tightend. Two major pieces of the superbowl run left in goldson and walker. I wouldn't say issac was much of anything besides a fat guy who just stood in the middle why everyone else made plays around him. I think Ian will give us the same if not better production than issac ever did. Again I hate issac and thought he was the most overrated niner by this board, with that said im glad he's gone. I think It's BPA for either FS, TE, DT and if Austin the wr falls all beats are off.

I think NT is the second greatest need behind FS at this point, and they are about tied IMO. A guy like Jesse williams would be a huge upgrade over Ian, or anyone else on the roster.

TE will depend on how sold they are on celek IMO.
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Originally posted by TheGoldDiggerrrr:
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Originally posted by smithc28:
Originally posted by IdahoNiner:
Oh i see what you were saying in your OP, not that they are being phased out of the NFL, but they are being phased out in lower levels of the game. That makes more sense, and i agree with that to a point, though i dont think its out of necessity of countering offenses, more so that it is out of necessity of not having many NT prospects to develope at that level, so instead of plugging in square pegs into round holes, they must adapt to the talent that is in front of them. I think historicly it has always been a rare talent level and rare player to find that can fit the all pro NT mold. I miss read you OP.

So what you're both saying is a player like Star Lotulelei is going to become even more rare so we should grab one of them now while have the chance?

i think thats what 5280 is saying. Thats not really what im saying. Im saying that they have always been rare. But yes, we neet a NT bigtime.

I don't think we need one that bad. We have Ian, who mostlikely will be a solid starter, will give us what we need 30% a season, we will mostlikely grabe a guy to compete with him. I think we have a bigger hole at Fs and Back up tightend. Two major pieces of the superbowl run left in goldson and walker. I wouldn't say issac was much of anything besides a fat guy who just stood in the middle why everyone else made plays around him. I think Ian will give us the same if not better production than issac ever did. Again I hate issac and thought he was the most overrated niner by this board, with that said im glad he's gone. I think It's BPA for either FS, TE, DT and if Austin the wr falls all beats are off.

I think NT is the second greatest need behind FS at this point, and they are about tied IMO. A guy like Jesse williams would be a huge upgrade over Ian, or anyone else on the roster.

TE will depend on how sold they are on celek IMO.

Ok i'll play with you. Yes FS is the biggest need, we agree on something. As for Jesse williams, dudes got talent and a hugh upside. Problem is he wouldn't be a starter from day one it's going to take him awhile to learn how to play in the nfl but once he does could be a baller, but do we really want to wait around like we have been with AJ. Ok lets talk about celek, I like the guy he's a true old school tightend type of player, he's not athletic like walker was and is more of a true tightend than the H back type of player walker was used like, Do i like celek yes love his hands and seems like a good player. Would either the tighends from ND, Or Standford be upgrades sure looks that way, and since we run the pistol we need more of a hybrid tightend than a tranditonal guy hopefully celek will adjust but it's hard to tell if he can line up in the backfield, in the slot and so forth, like the ND Kid and the Standford Kid can. Either way you don't fill a hole you take the best player and hope he fills a hole too, which is what will do i assume. But Trent likes to f**k with my mind and do whatever he wants and takes whoever he wants.