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The NFL's # 1 Defense Thread

  • pd24
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,075
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by verb1der:
Originally posted by dj43:
Originally posted by kem99:
Originally posted by nyc49erking:
For how many years are going to keep saying this defense is good ? They never stop a good passing team, never get any pass rush on the opposing qb, and THEY CANT EVER STOP A TEAM IN THE FOURTH QUARTER, EVER.

This defense has let us down, time after time, after time. Everybody loves Willis, but the brother cant even recognize a simply screen pass play. The heat needs to be put on the defensive players and Manusky, his job should not be safe either. They dont produce in the future, send them all home.

Relax...the defense has been, could be and probably will be better. It certainly has not been as bad as you make out. The pass rush could be more consistent but they were tied for 3rd in sacks last year with 44. They have stopped teams in games where the offense was of little help and the defense kept them in or won the game (e.g. Indy and the Bears last year). They have had good games against passing teams (e.g. Indy and the Cardinals twice last year, Saints this year). By yards, they were in the top 10 of defenses last year and they gave up the least number of points in the division. They're also generally a young defense that should get better as some of the older players are transitioned out for the younger players (e.g. Bowman, Mays)

With that said, there are deficiencies that seem to repeat themselves....

Defending screen passes was a problem that hurt them last year and has again this year.

This is clearly a different defense at home. They play faster, have fewer mistakes, etc. They just don't seem to play the same on the road or be able to stop a team's momentum as well as they do at home.

The sacks and turnovers seem to come in bunches.

One would like to see them be more consistent. Against Seattle, they dominated the first quarter and a half and then it snowballed on them. KC was only 10-3 at halftime with little help from the offense but then it snowballed again.
So I'm all done talking about the offense for this week.

What I don't understand is; where is this "tough guy" defense that was supposed to smack people in the mouth?

Teams have learned the 49ers try to shield blockers away from Willis so he can make tackles. So they run screens and picks so he can't pursue and Manusky has not countered with anything to take advantage of that. The 49er defense lacks speed and when Willis gets screened off the play, no one steps up to make plays. Clements was the leading tackler in KC. That fact alone should tell us a lot. Anytime a corner back is you leading tackler you are going to lose...BIG!

Justin Smith is the only guy that has played with any consistency in the front line. Franklin has not had the same impact he had last year and Sopoaga has been inconsistent as well. Ray McDonald isn't seeing the field as much as he had last year and that is a problem because he does get some push on the passer.

This team STILL needs a pass rusher or a scheme that puts pressure on the QB. Seattle killed the 49ers with blitz packages but Sing/Manusky apparently didn't learn anything from them because they put little pressure on Cassel. If you don't have stud pass rushers, you have to do it with scheme...and that isn't happening.

If the defense had done its job on NO's final drive, this team would be 1-2 and the mood would be much better...but they didn't. Singletary and Manusky should be getting as much heat about the defense as he got about the offense. As bad as the offense has been, it was good enough to have won one game. The defense lost the NO game and got blown out in the other two.

Where is the vinegar about the defense? Alex Smith doesn't play defense. We can't blame him. Who takes the heat for the worst defense in the league?

I don't have an explanation but I'm a firm believer that if the offense plays well, it inspires the defense.

As far as the NO game, the defense played exceptionally well, and Drew Brees game winning drive wouldn't have happened if the Niners didnt turn the ball over so many times, that NO game should've been won by a huge margin.
It is true that one side of the ball can inspire the other, and to the extent that DOES influence the team, the defense should have been totally fired up by the offense at the end of the NO game. The offense had just driven the length of the field on one of the very best drives of the last five years. Yet that apparently didn't have any impact as the defense just went to sleep on some very predictable plays.

The defense had just had a nice rest and they came back on the field and couldn't do the job. Sorry, I cannot lay that one on the offense. Up to that point, Brees and his offense had done no better than Smith and his offense. It was an even game until the defense let it slip away.

Brees was on the road. Give me some home/road splits on Brees/Smith.. It's not even close.
We should pull in threads from the Let's Talk Defense! thread. SInce this is the official thread, I'll repost here:

I, like some on here, are fed up with the constant blaming of the offense 's fault for the defenses deficiencies...please! Like I've been saying in other posts, do you think the Steelers defense was complaining the first four games of the year while their Superbowl winning QB sat out? Nope...they went out and dominated even more and pretty much won 2 of their first 3 games on defense alone (and they were just as great in the third game). So get over it. It's a lousy excuse. So we were in tight games in the first half of games? Great...but you are saying they lost "desire" in the second half. That may be true...I highlighted that Manny flea flicker TD as an example but this is EAXCTLY why we need a real coach and some players with heart. Can you imagine Bill Cowler or Jimmy Johnson standing for that? You don't think players such as Manny wouldn't be held accountable? What happened to all the "character" guys some people thank Nolan for? LOL

For me, everything starts with a philosophy, then coaching, then finding players that perfectly fit and grow under that philosophy (Steelers are another great example of a team who draft no-names often but get guys who fit THEIR system) and then game-planning/execution.

Philosophy - so what the hell is it? We're a 3-4 vanilla defense with ZERO starting pass rushing OLB's and who have only recently started using the ILB to blitz. We have bigger, stronger physical corners but b/c we have no pass rush, ask them to play 20 yards off the WR's and don't take chances. How many times have we lost playing prevent defense at the very ends of games? Are we a hybrid - saw lots of 4 down linemen in the Saints game? Our SAM is asked to cover 20 yards down the field. In the 3-4, your pass rushers are supposed to be free to rush the passer almost exclusively save for a couple drops in zone to disguise the blitz on the other side. But who's our free man? Patrick Willis...so much that we use the TED as a "defensive fullback." Willis would get his 110+ tackles every year in this 3-4 but it seems like our goal is to get him 150+ at the expense of wasting the TED position and using the OLB's as good "run defenders." So again, I ask, what is out philosophy? I've demonstrated several times, all last year in fact, that OLB's in the 3-4 comprise about 50% of their teams sacks (QB pressures, hurries, hit, etc.). Great teams are in the 55-60+% range. The Niners were almost dead last in this category but fans here in NT justified it by stating we were getting sacks from other spots on the field (guess what, so were the other 3-4 defenses). That's my point, sacks should be coming from all over the field but they should be consistently coming from ALL four of the LB's. And this year? We are NOT getting sacks from everywhere and ZERO from our starting OLB's.

Coaching- didn't we hire a pass rushing specialist coach? And didn't we allow Lawson/Haralson to exclusively rush the passer last year? Results...same year-in, year-out. At this point, we have plenty of evidence to boot that neither Haralson/Lawson can do their primary responsibiity (provide a consistent pass rush en route to stopping the run). Therefore, sticking with this is on the coaching! Now, lets look at our players:

Franklin - you can't even think of having a 3-4 defense w/o your anchor. The problem is, the coaches (good coaching) realized this guy is too small and not your wide-body 340+ pound NT who stannding there takes up two men...he must rely on (ala RJF) a one-gap system but b/c of this, we don't get ANY pressure up the gut and continue to get dominated in short yardage and esp. goal line situations. And seriously, he's our franchise tag? LOL. You can get just about any 300+ DL to play one gap effectively.

Sopoaga/Smith - Smith adds some pass rush but has a tendency to get taken out in the run game esp. when you run right at him. He seems to have lost a little bit of a step so far this year and Haralson's play is affected by this. Sopoaga is one reason Manny looks good setting the edge but he'll provide zero pass rush.

Lawson/Haralson - already covered

Brooks/LaBoy - LaBoy was an excellent starter in this league and Brooks' potential seems to be unlimited but b/c our coaches don't place a premium on pass rushers, these two are stuck rushing the passer on obvious pass rushing downs that telegraph when and where the blitz will come from (complete opposite of what the 3-4 is designed for). It's the equivalent of a Jimmy Raye dive play...the formation alone tells the o-line exactly what to expect.

Willis/Spikes - it's Bam and Bam Bam. One takes the pounding and the other gets the overrated glory. If this was a 4-3 defense, their roles would make more sense but in a 3-4, this "defensive fullback" crap is completely taking away from the purpose of the 3-4 (blitzing and disguising it)

Spencer/Clements/Brown - could these guys be used any more incorrectly? On te Steelers (great pass rush and scheme) I have a feeling these two would be lighting it up, or at least, playing their game and playing it well

Lewis/Goldson - Goldson, with his athleticism should be the SS and playing inside the box and rushing the passer. Lewis has been done for years. The FS should be either Smith or Mays, whoever has the best range, speed and play making ability. The best part about the 3-4 is that every position is interchangeable...by design. But we don't exploit that (enough).

Exotic blitz schemes - we have none. The Jets are an example of one of those 3-4 defenses that don't produce much, if at all, from the OLB's but rely heavily on "disguising" the blitz from all over the field, hence their #1 defensive ranking last year. Take notes Manusky and put down Nolan's vanilla ice cream!

Players Who Fit the Scheme - well, if you don't have a philosophy, how can you have great coaching and worse yet, how do you find players (see Nolan's hybrid players) who fit, grow and excel in this defense? And in turn, this affects their production and execution and probably, their motivation.

Look at how many one-dimensional players we have:
Franklin - can only play one gap (was terrible in two gap)
Smith - was a DE on a 4-3 team, asked to play the same role but against two linemen now (needs to work on his run defense but it two dimensional)
Sopoaga - can only play the run well but can't rush
Lawson/Haralson - can only play the run well (a little in coverage is OK, ot stellar) and can't pass rush at all
Willis - a HOF tackling machine, terrible in coverage (always has been), not a leader or a guy who can rally his troops; good at run blitzing
TKO - way too slow, only asked to be a defensive FB
Lewis/Goldson - mostly good in the box as "pseduo LBers" but that's about it (not used to blitz much and very suspect in coverage)
Clements/Spencers - can only play up at the LOS, be physical and on a team with great pass rushers so they can play aggressive
Smith/Mays - hopefully, these two can be more well-rounded

So, in the end, it's a combination of three things: Philosophy, coaching and players who fit this philosophy which in turn affects their production and motivation to shine. Manusky has been getting a free pass for a long time b/c of the offensive woes but he's 50% to blame for these losses too.
[ Edited by NCommand on Sep 30, 2010 at 9:42 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
We should pull in threads from the Let's Talk Defense! thread. SInce this is the official thread, I'll repost here:

I, like some on here, are fed up with the constant blaming of the offense 's fault for the defenses deficiencies...please! Like I've been saying in other posts, do you think the Steelers defense was complaining the first four games of the year while their Superbowl winning QB sat out? Nope...they went out and dominated even more and pretty much won 2 of their first 3 games on defense alone (and they were just as great in the third game). So get over it. It's a lousy excuse. So we were in tight games in the first half of games? Great...but you are saying they lost "desire" in the second half. That may be true...I highlighted that Manny flea flicker TD as an example but this is EAXCTLY why we need a real coach and some players with heart. Can you imagine Bill Cowler or Jimmy Johnson standing for that? You don't think players such as Manny wouldn't be held accountable? What happened to all the "character" guys some people thank Nolan for? LOL

For me, everything starts with a philosophy, then coaching, then finding players that perfectly fit and grow under that philosophy (Steelers are another great example of a team who draft no-names often but get guys who fit THEIR system) and then game-planning/execution.

Philosophy - so what the hell is it? We're a 3-4 vanilla defense with ZERO starting pass rushing OLB's and who have only recently started using the ILB to blitz. We have bigger, stronger physical corners but b/c we have no pass rush, ask them to play 20 yards off the WR's and don't take chances. How many times have we lost playing prevent defense at the very ends of games? Are we a hybrid - saw lots of 4 down linemen in the Saints game? Our SAM is asked to cover 20 yards down the field. In the 3-4, your pass rushers are supposed to be free to rush the passer almost exclusively save for a couple drops in zone to disguise the blitz on the other side. But who's our free man? Patrick Willis...so much that we use the TED as a "defensive fullback." Willis would get his 110+ tackles every year in this 3-4 but it seems like our goal is to get him 150+ at the expense of wasting the TED position and using the OLB's as good "run defenders." So again, I ask, what is out philosophy? I've demonstrated several times, all last year in fact, that OLB's in the 3-4 comprise about 50% of their teams sacks (QB pressures, hurries, hit, etc.). Great teams are in the 55-60+% range. The Niners were almost dead last in this category but fans here in NT justified it by stating we were getting sacks from other spots on the field (guess what, so were the other 3-4 defenses). That's my point, sacks should be coming from all over the field but they should be consistently coming from ALL four of the LB's. And this year? We are NOT getting sacks from everywhere and ZERO from our starting OLB's.

Coaching- didn't we hire a pass rushing specialist coach? And didn't we allow Lawson/Haralson to exclusively rush the passer last year? Results...same year-in, year-out. At this point, we have plenty of evidence to boot that neither Haralson/Lawson can do their primary responsibiity (provide a consistent pass rush en route to stopping the run). Therefore, sticking with this is on the coaching! Now, lets look at our players:

Franklin - you can't even think of having a 3-4 defense w/o your anchor. The problem is, the coaches (good coaching) realized this guy is too small and not your wide-body 340+ pound NT who stannding there takes up two men...he must rely on (ala RJF) a one-gap system but b/c of this, we don't get ANY pressure up the gut and continue to get dominated in short yardage and esp. goal line situations. And seriously, he's our franchise tag? LOL. You can get just about any 300+ DL to play one gap effectively.

Sopoaga/Smith - Smith adds some pass rush but has a tendency to get taken out in the run game esp. when you run right at him. He seems to have lost a little bit of a step so far this year and Haralson's play is affected by this. Sopoaga is one reason Manny looks good setting the edge but he'll provide zero pass rush.

Lawson/Haralson - already covered

Brooks/LaBoy - LaBoy was an excellent starter in this league and Brooks' potential seems to be unlimited but b/c our coaches don't place a premium on pass rushers, these two are stuck rushing the passer on obvious pass rushing downs that telegraph when and where the blitz will come from (complete opposite of what the 3-4 is designed for). It's the equivalent of a Jimmy Raye dive play...the formation alone tells the o-line exactly what to expect.

Willis/Spikes - it's Bam and Bam Bam. One takes the pounding and the other gets the overrated glory. If this was a 4-3 defense, their roles would make more sense but in a 3-4, this "defensive fullback" crap is completely taking away from the purpose of the 3-4 (blitzing and disguising it)

Spencer/Clements/Brown - could these guys be used any more incorrectly? On te Steelers (great pass rush and scheme) I have a feeling these two would be lighting it up, or at least, playing their game and playing it well

Lewis/Goldson - Goldson, with his athleticism should be the SS and playing inside the box and rushing the passer. Lewis has been done for years. The FS should be either Smith or Mays, whoever has the best range, speed and play making ability. The best part about the 3-4 is that every position is interchangeable...by design. But we don't exploit that (enough).

Exotic blitz schemes - we have none. The Jets are an example of one of those 3-4 defenses that don't produce much, if at all, from the OLB's but rely heavily on "disguising" the blitz from all over the field, hence their #1 defensive ranking last year. Take notes Manusky and put down Nolan's vanilla ice cream!

Players Who Fit the Scheme - well, if you don't have a philosophy, how can you have great coaching and worse yet, how do you find players (see Nolan's hybrid players) who fit, grow and excel in this defense? And in turn, this affects their production and execution and probably, their motivation.

Look at how many one-dimensional players we have:
Franklin - can only play one gap (was terrible in two gap)
Smith - was a DE on a 4-3 team, asked to play the same role but against two linemen now (needs to work on his run defense but it two dimensional)
Sopoaga - can only play the run well but can't rush
Lawson/Haralson - can only play the run well (a little in coverage is OK, ot stellar) and can't pass rush at all
Willis - a HOF tackling machine, terrible in coverage (always has been), not a leader or a guy who can rally his troops; good at run blitzing
TKO - way too slow, only asked to be a defensive FB
Lewis/Goldson - mostly good in the box as "pseduo LBers" but that's about it (not used to blitz much and very suspect in coverage)
Clements/Spencers - can only play up at the LOS, be physical and on a team with great pass rushers so they can play aggressive
Smith/Mays - hopefully, these two can be more well-rounded

So, in the end, it's a combination of three things: Philosophy, coaching and players who fit this philosophy which in turn affects their production and motivation to shine. Manusky has been getting a free pass for a long time b/c of the offensive woes but he's 50% to blame for these losses too.

Good work. I beleive you have something here.
  • FL9er
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 1,976
Obviously, the defense needs to make some changes in the future, but they are not that far away.
Originally posted by NCommand:
We should pull in threads from the Let's Talk Defense! thread. SInce this is the official thread, I'll repost here:

I, like some on here, are fed up with the constant blaming of the offense 's fault for the defenses deficiencies...please! Like I've been saying in other posts, do you think the Steelers defense was complaining the first four games of the year while their Superbowl winning QB sat out? Nope...they went out and dominated even more and pretty much won 2 of their first 3 games on defense alone (and they were just as great in the third game). So get over it. It's a lousy excuse. So we were in tight games in the first half of games? Great...but you are saying they lost "desire" in the second half. That may be true...I highlighted that Manny flea flicker TD as an example but this is EAXCTLY why we need a real coach and some players with heart. Can you imagine Bill Cowler or Jimmy Johnson standing for that? You don't think players such as Manny wouldn't be held accountable? What happened to all the "character" guys some people thank Nolan for? LOL

For me, everything starts with a philosophy, then coaching, then finding players that perfectly fit and grow under that philosophy (Steelers are another great example of a team who draft no-names often but get guys who fit THEIR system) and then game-planning/execution.

Philosophy - so what the hell is it? We're a 3-4 vanilla defense with ZERO starting pass rushing OLB's and who have only recently started using the ILB to blitz. We have bigger, stronger physical corners but b/c we have no pass rush, ask them to play 20 yards off the WR's and don't take chances. How many times have we lost playing prevent defense at the very ends of games? Are we a hybrid - saw lots of 4 down linemen in the Saints game? Our SAM is asked to cover 20 yards down the field. In the 3-4, your pass rushers are supposed to be free to rush the passer almost exclusively save for a couple drops in zone to disguise the blitz on the other side. But who's our free man? Patrick Willis...so much that we use the TED as a "defensive fullback." Willis would get his 110+ tackles every year in this 3-4 but it seems like our goal is to get him 150+ at the expense of wasting the TED position and using the OLB's as good "run defenders." So again, I ask, what is out philosophy? I've demonstrated several times, all last year in fact, that OLB's in the 3-4 comprise about 50% of their teams sacks (QB pressures, hurries, hit, etc.). Great teams are in the 55-60+% range. The Niners were almost dead last in this category but fans here in NT justified it by stating we were getting sacks from other spots on the field (guess what, so were the other 3-4 defenses). That's my point, sacks should be coming from all over the field but they should be consistently coming from ALL four of the LB's. And this year? We are NOT getting sacks from everywhere and ZERO from our starting OLB's.

Coaching- didn't we hire a pass rushing specialist coach? And didn't we allow Lawson/Haralson to exclusively rush the passer last year? Results...same year-in, year-out. At this point, we have plenty of evidence to boot that neither Haralson/Lawson can do their primary responsibiity (provide a consistent pass rush en route to stopping the run). Therefore, sticking with this is on the coaching! Now, lets look at our players:

Franklin - you can't even think of having a 3-4 defense w/o your anchor. The problem is, the coaches (good coaching) realized this guy is too small and not your wide-body 340+ pound NT who stannding there takes up two men...he must rely on (ala RJF) a one-gap system but b/c of this, we don't get ANY pressure up the gut and continue to get dominated in short yardage and esp. goal line situations. And seriously, he's our franchise tag? LOL. You can get just about any 300+ DL to play one gap effectively.

Sopoaga/Smith - Smith adds some pass rush but has a tendency to get taken out in the run game esp. when you run right at him. He seems to have lost a little bit of a step so far this year and Haralson's play is affected by this. Sopoaga is one reason Manny looks good setting the edge but he'll provide zero pass rush.

Lawson/Haralson - already covered

Brooks/LaBoy - LaBoy was an excellent starter in this league and Brooks' potential seems to be unlimited but b/c our coaches don't place a premium on pass rushers, these two are stuck rushing the passer on obvious pass rushing downs that telegraph when and where the blitz will come from (complete opposite of what the 3-4 is designed for). It's the equivalent of a Jimmy Raye dive play...the formation alone tells the o-line exactly what to expect.

Willis/Spikes - it's Bam and Bam Bam. One takes the pounding and the other gets the overrated glory. If this was a 4-3 defense, their roles would make more sense but in a 3-4, this "defensive fullback" crap is completely taking away from the purpose of the 3-4 (blitzing and disguising it)

Spencer/Clements/Brown - could these guys be used any more incorrectly? On te Steelers (great pass rush and scheme) I have a feeling these two would be lighting it up, or at least, playing their game and playing it well

Lewis/Goldson - Goldson, with his athleticism should be the SS and playing inside the box and rushing the passer. Lewis has been done for years. The FS should be either Smith or Mays, whoever has the best range, speed and play making ability. The best part about the 3-4 is that every position is interchangeable...by design. But we don't exploit that (enough).

Exotic blitz schemes - we have none. The Jets are an example of one of those 3-4 defenses that don't produce much, if at all, from the OLB's but rely heavily on "disguising" the blitz from all over the field, hence their #1 defensive ranking last year. Take notes Manusky and put down Nolan's vanilla ice cream!

Players Who Fit the Scheme - well, if you don't have a philosophy, how can you have great coaching and worse yet, how do you find players (see Nolan's hybrid players) who fit, grow and excel in this defense? And in turn, this affects their production and execution and probably, their motivation.

Look at how many one-dimensional players we have:
Franklin - can only play one gap (was terrible in two gap)
Smith - was a DE on a 4-3 team, asked to play the same role but against two linemen now (needs to work on his run defense but it two dimensional)
Sopoaga - can only play the run well but can't rush
Lawson/Haralson - can only play the run well (a little in coverage is OK, ot stellar) and can't pass rush at all
Willis - a HOF tackling machine, terrible in coverage (always has been), not a leader or a guy who can rally his troops; good at run blitzing
TKO - way too slow, only asked to be a defensive FB
Lewis/Goldson - mostly good in the box as "pseduo LBers" but that's about it (not used to blitz much and very suspect in coverage)
Clements/Spencers - can only play up at the LOS, be physical and on a team with great pass rushers so they can play aggressive
Smith/Mays - hopefully, these two can be more well-rounded

So, in the end, it's a combination of three things: Philosophy, coaching and players who fit this philosophy which in turn affects their production and motivation to shine. Manusky has been getting a free pass for a long time b/c of the offensive woes but he's 50% to blame for these losses too.

Anyone care to argue with this just for the sake of keeping this thread alive? lol...makes good sense to me.

Nice insight man
Originally posted by FL9er:
Obviously, the defense needs to make some changes in the future, but they are not that far away.

I think we have potential at a lot of positions with LaBoy/Brooks/Mays/Bowman/Smith etc. but do we have the correct philosophy and coaching to get them on the field and playing to their talent level? That's the bigger question. We've all but ignored the NT position and upgrading the OLB since the day we converted to a 3-4. Manusky came from San Diego (very aggressive and creative blitz scheme) but I think was mostly influenced by Mike Nolan's vanilla (some hybrid) schemes which include a very conservative, predictable defense; almost the Jimmy Raye version of the defense in large part. So we get rapped and exploited against Seattle, New Orleans and now Kansas City but not ONE single defensive change is made?

NOTE to all Niner staff/players...STOP TELEGRAPHING WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO IN THE MEDIA. The opposition is not stupid!
Originally posted by verb1der:
Anyone care to argue with this just for the sake of keeping this thread alive? lol...makes good sense to me.

Nice insight man

Sure, I'll take objectivity...the more we look at both sides of the coin the better we understand the bigger picture. For the record, save for the noobs and uneducated fans, we've been 6 months-a year ahead of our own management and coaching. Of course, we're "removed" from the in-house stuff and that usually means it's easier for us to "see" the bigger picture. It's like being in a dysfunctional relationship...anyone on the outside can see it as the trainwreck that it is except you and your significant other. Makes sense...
Originally posted by NCommand:
We should pull in threads from the Let's Talk Defense! thread. SInce this is the official thread, I'll repost here:

I, like some on here, are fed up with the constant blaming of the offense 's fault for the defenses deficiencies...please! Like I've been saying in other posts, do you think the Steelers defense was complaining the first four games of the year while their Superbowl winning QB sat out? Nope...they went out and dominated even more and pretty much won 2 of their first 3 games on defense alone (and they were just as great in the third game). So get over it. It's a lousy excuse. So we were in tight games in the first half of games? Great...but you are saying they lost "desire" in the second half. That may be true...I highlighted that Manny flea flicker TD as an example but this is EAXCTLY why we need a real coach and some players with heart. Can you imagine Bill Cowler or Jimmy Johnson standing for that? You don't think players such as Manny wouldn't be held accountable? What happened to all the "character" guys some people thank Nolan for? LOL

For me, everything starts with a philosophy, then coaching, then finding players that perfectly fit and grow under that philosophy (Steelers are another great example of a team who draft no-names often but get guys who fit THEIR system) and then game-planning/execution.

Philosophy - so what the hell is it? We're a 3-4 vanilla defense with ZERO starting pass rushing OLB's and who have only recently started using the ILB to blitz. We have bigger, stronger physical corners but b/c we have no pass rush, ask them to play 20 yards off the WR's and don't take chances. How many times have we lost playing prevent defense at the very ends of games? Are we a hybrid - saw lots of 4 down linemen in the Saints game? Our SAM is asked to cover 20 yards down the field. In the 3-4, your pass rushers are supposed to be free to rush the passer almost exclusively save for a couple drops in zone to disguise the blitz on the other side. But who's our free man? Patrick Willis...so much that we use the TED as a "defensive fullback." Willis would get his 110+ tackles every year in this 3-4 but it seems like our goal is to get him 150+ at the expense of wasting the TED position and using the OLB's as good "run defenders." So again, I ask, what is out philosophy? I've demonstrated several times, all last year in fact, that OLB's in the 3-4 comprise about 50% of their teams sacks (QB pressures, hurries, hit, etc.). Great teams are in the 55-60+% range. The Niners were almost dead last in this category but fans here in NT justified it by stating we were getting sacks from other spots on the field (guess what, so were the other 3-4 defenses). That's my point, sacks should be coming from all over the field but they should be consistently coming from ALL four of the LB's. And this year? We are NOT getting sacks from everywhere and ZERO from our starting OLB's.

Coaching- didn't we hire a pass rushing specialist coach? And didn't we allow Lawson/Haralson to exclusively rush the passer last year? Results...same year-in, year-out. At this point, we have plenty of evidence to boot that neither Haralson/Lawson can do their primary responsibiity (provide a consistent pass rush en route to stopping the run). Therefore, sticking with this is on the coaching! Now, lets look at our players:

Franklin - you can't even think of having a 3-4 defense w/o your anchor. The problem is, the coaches (good coaching) realized this guy is too small and not your wide-body 340+ pound NT who stannding there takes up two men...he must rely on (ala RJF) a one-gap system but b/c of this, we don't get ANY pressure up the gut and continue to get dominated in short yardage and esp. goal line situations. And seriously, he's our franchise tag? LOL. You can get just about any 300+ DL to play one gap effectively.

Sopoaga/Smith - Smith adds some pass rush but has a tendency to get taken out in the run game esp. when you run right at him. He seems to have lost a little bit of a step so far this year and Haralson's play is affected by this. Sopoaga is one reason Manny looks good setting the edge but he'll provide zero pass rush.

Lawson/Haralson - already covered

Brooks/LaBoy - LaBoy was an excellent starter in this league and Brooks' potential seems to be unlimited but b/c our coaches don't place a premium on pass rushers, these two are stuck rushing the passer on obvious pass rushing downs that telegraph when and where the blitz will come from (complete opposite of what the 3-4 is designed for). It's the equivalent of a Jimmy Raye dive play...the formation alone tells the o-line exactly what to expect.

Willis/Spikes - it's Bam and Bam Bam. One takes the pounding and the other gets the overrated glory. If this was a 4-3 defense, their roles would make more sense but in a 3-4, this "defensive fullback" crap is completely taking away from the purpose of the 3-4 (blitzing and disguising it)

Spencer/Clements/Brown - could these guys be used any more incorrectly? On te Steelers (great pass rush and scheme) I have a feeling these two would be lighting it up, or at least, playing their game and playing it well

Lewis/Goldson - Goldson, with his athleticism should be the SS and playing inside the box and rushing the passer. Lewis has been done for years. The FS should be either Smith or Mays, whoever has the best range, speed and play making ability. The best part about the 3-4 is that every position is interchangeable...by design. But we don't exploit that (enough).

Exotic blitz schemes - we have none. The Jets are an example of one of those 3-4 defenses that don't produce much, if at all, from the OLB's but rely heavily on "disguising" the blitz from all over the field, hence their #1 defensive ranking last year. Take notes Manusky and put down Nolan's vanilla ice cream!

Players Who Fit the Scheme - well, if you don't have a philosophy, how can you have great coaching and worse yet, how do you find players (see Nolan's hybrid players) who fit, grow and excel in this defense? And in turn, this affects their production and execution and probably, their motivation.

Look at how many one-dimensional players we have:
Franklin - can only play one gap (was terrible in two gap)
Smith - was a DE on a 4-3 team, asked to play the same role but against two linemen now (needs to work on his run defense but it two dimensional)
Sopoaga - can only play the run well but can't rush
Lawson/Haralson - can only play the run well (a little in coverage is OK, ot stellar) and can't pass rush at all
Willis - a HOF tackling machine, terrible in coverage (always has been), not a leader or a guy who can rally his troops; good at run blitzing
TKO - way too slow, only asked to be a defensive FB
Lewis/Goldson - mostly good in the box as "pseduo LBers" but that's about it (not used to blitz much and very suspect in coverage)
Clements/Spencers - can only play up at the LOS, be physical and on a team with great pass rushers so they can play aggressive
Smith/Mays - hopefully, these two can be more well-rounded

So, in the end, it's a combination of three things: Philosophy, coaching and players who fit this philosophy which in turn affects their production and motivation to shine. Manusky has been getting a free pass for a long time b/c of the offensive woes but he's 50% to blame for these losses too.
Well said. You have verbalized much of my feelings about the defense and how all the Smith bashing has taken the focus off a defense that has played very poorly.

Brent Jones was on KNBR yesterday and expressed amazement that fans were all taking about the offense when it was the defense that has been the biggest disappointment/failure so far this year. He flat out stated that the loss to NO was squarely on the defense.

I'll get back to this later today.
Willis gets neutralised on screen plays becuase they´re usually ran to the opposite side.

BTW. Ißm sick of the fact that we can´t get any real pressure even if we throw the entire D at the O line they would all be blocked.

passdefence starts with passrush and ours is slow and we have to scheme to get pressure.
Originally posted by dj43:
Brent Jones was on KNBR yesterday and expressed amazement that fans were all taking about the offense when it was the defense that has been the biggest disappointment/failure so far this year. He flat out stated that the loss to NO was squarely on the defense.

I'll get back to this later today.

Totally and NFL Network was stating the same thing; that the defense has been pathetic. Any time you have a coach describe our OLB's as playing "great" and our defense as a whole as playing "lights out" while we continue to get smoked and give up the most points in the NFL, you've got one delusional coach! Manusky is the luckiest man on the face of the planet right now!
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by dj43:
Brent Jones was on KNBR yesterday and expressed amazement that fans were all taking about the offense when it was the defense that has been the biggest disappointment/failure so far this year. He flat out stated that the loss to NO was squarely on the defense.

I'll get back to this later today.

Totally and NFL Network was stating the same thing; that the defense has been pathetic. Any time you have a coach describe our OLB's as playing "great" and our defense as a whole as playing "lights out" while we continue to get smoked and give up the most points in the NFL, you've got one delusional coach! Manusky is the luckiest man on the face of the planet right now!

And where is the change on defense? I mean did sing only watch offensive snaps. At what point does he tell Manusky you have to do something to ramp up the pressure on qb's. You can't keep praying that Manny and Parys are gonna drink some pass rushing juice and get some sacks.
If defense wins games, what is our plan gonna be to stop the screens? It takes a retard to not know what the 9ers are vulnerable to after watching our film. We're in a slump and I seriously hope that Sing and our coaching staff are worrying about our defense as much as they do about Alex and our "change" in offensive play calling. Defense wins games, but it's not like we're gonna get a pick6 anytime soon so we gotta get the offense rolling too. One won't win w/out the other so I hope Sing balances out them both as far as how much work is needed.

GO 49ERS!!!
Then ours needs to step it the f**k up!
than offenses lose them......


thank thank you, I am here all week
Originally posted by lamontb:
And where is the change on defense? I mean did sing only watch offensive snaps. At what point does he tell Manusky you have to do something to ramp up the pressure on qb's. You can't keep praying that Manny and Parys are gonna drink some pass rushing juice and get some sacks.

I don't know man. To play Devil's Advocate, my fear is that this defense is way too complicated (ala Jimmy Raye's system with all the verbiage) and therefore, Manusky has strong-armed himself by sticking with players playing together all these years but players who are not very good at their primary responsibilities for the most part. Is he stuck with Manny/Haralson b/c they know the defense best but b/c they are one dimensional players and lack the #1 skill for these positions, he is forced to generate a pass rush from everywhere else on the field? That's great but ask yourself this question...how many of those sacks made a difference in the game. It seems like just about every sack Brooks made last year was on third down, forced a fumble, hurried a throw or flat out dominated a divisional opponent. That's the kind of playmaking you need at ALL FOUR of the LB positions. So, did Manusky handcuff himself by having a complex scheme that won't allow for players that may be a better long-term fit for us (Brooks, LaBoy, Bowman, Smith, Mays, etc.). Is that why we've ignored the NT position, pass rushing OLB's and top tier CB's all these years? Is that why Manusky said it would take Mays three years to become a starter on this defense yet in Seattle, their rookie safety is not only starting but making huge plays already?

I think on many levels our best players for a "real 3-4 defense" have been sitting on the bench and in some cases, have been for years.

Either way, I don't know how you can have the worst defense in the league and NOT make one single change. I was a big fan of Manusky in San Diego but somewhere between Nolan and Singletary, he's lost his balls! Think of the long list of potential pass rushing studs that could have fit in this defense and/or been developed just with the four LB positions over the years.