Originally posted by NCommand:
^^^ Keep it real9erfan! LOL. I'm not one to suddenly change (video) opinions based on one strip that was as much textbook for Reid as it was for Hitner's strip-fumble. Great play though...as was his veteran experience when he shoved a WR OB before he could complete the catch. I also, and have always praised his team-first mentality. Listen to the post game interview with Reid...he praises Reid the whole time. I also understand Baalke's perspective here as well...losing Goldson and we needed a team veteran to train Reid. But he is gone next year...let's be clear here; I'm guessing 90% chance and I would imagine most agree (just review the past pages in this thread). As for Goldson, never liked the dude..thought he was a huge liability back there and garnered his ESPN highlight reels off the coat tails of an epic front 7. How bad was he in coverage? So bad that it was Whitner (then) who was assigned to the huge TE's and WR's esp. in the RZ and Whitner was a "known" liability there. Now, much of my concerns with Hitner have nothing to do with him but the position he play itself. The SS position is done in the NFL. You need "coverage" guys back there now...esp. ones who have serious range AND have the ability to play in the box and tackle. Even despite getting abused last year in the passing game (13 TD's and responsible for the first 3 in the Superbowl), there is nothing he could do about it...he's short, easy to "shove off" in the EZ and a mismatch on height and jumping ability every time...he also doesn't have the best ball skills either (timing and positioning). His intangibles are well documented though. But he's still going to be the target every time in the RZ. I actually think Reid is helping to make Hitner look better than he probably is right now b/c of his communication skills and excellent range and recovery; IQ too. In fact, Whitner is typically the one playing VERY deep while Reid is now underneath making the "plays." Ranking 2nd in "yardage" tells a short-sighted story. It's nice though! What matters is points...and right now, 12 other teams, including the Cardinals, have given up less points thus far. Granted, we've played 4 playoff teams but if you are a championship defense, you don't give up the points...maybe the yards. I certainly don't want to discredit a great past two games or the mere fact that our offense and our "genius" OC hasn't helped matters either. I merely point this out b/c it's Hitner that teams target for points. You don't want fines for "legal hits," simple, have better coverage in the EZ instead of being 3 steps away with outside and underneath coverage...when will he learn? He is also a reason why Willis and Bowman are in coverage FAR more underneath (below the receiver and deep S) than they should be. Better coverage back there means the ILB's can play more down hill. I think we can hide his measurables (also not very quick either...good speed when he gets going though) as the front 7 and Reid continue to progress. I hope we can play him closer to the LOS this year more (more traditional SS role) but eventually, playoff teams will expose our weakneeses and Hitner is a major liability on the back end in coverage. It is what it is...doesn't mean I don't love him as a Niner but no blind homer here. LOL
I actually meant it as a serious question, because I know you were critical of Whitner (I can't get myself to call him Hitner) before and was just wondering what your take is on this matter. I appreciate your explanation and it makes sense. I think you're right about the SS position; it's simply virtually obsolete in today's NFL. I also agree with you about Goldson; he was in position to make a lot of plays on balls, but a lot of those were on errant throws or tipped balls, which resulted from the play of our front 7. Although I was a little worried about his replacement this year, and enjoyed some of those big hits he put on opposing players, I didn't necessarily like the recklessness with which he played. I think it probably cost us the 2011 NFCCG against the Giants. As for Whitner, I agree that he is still a liability in coverage, but I think with Reid in there there is not as much opportunity to expose him. I have been very impressed with Reid, not only with his speed and athleticism, but with his smarts also. I thought he would be making more mistakes as a rookie, but he really seems to understand his position and recognizes what offenses are doing.
I think as far as our defense is concerned, yes points are what matter most. But I think the number of points scored by Seattle and Indy were a but inflated due to our offense's ineptitude and turnovers they committed.