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Let's Discuss the Secondary

Originally posted by NCommand:
Here's another question... do you guys like Patrick shadowing RBs/TEs? It's seemed to work fairly well as he has taken a lot of them out of the game but some of the better TEs got their TDs even if he had great coverage. He definitely was playing great coverage for a LB but might be best to put a tall big CB on those tall big TEs especially the Graham type that are like WRs.

No I don't and I'm glad you brought this up! I hate that Willis isn't free in this defense to rush the passer, make TFL or rack up tackles as much. No doubt we should have a tall Culliver or Goldson covering TE's. Willis spent WAY too much time in coverage and that is an obvious weakness of his...well, actually, all of our guys in the middle of the field are average to poor in coverage (Willis/Bowman/Whitner/Goldson). I don't even think the Giants had one pass to the sideline...everything was right down the middle of the field including the TD's AND we have extra DB's back there to help d/t the effectiveness of the front 5 (to no avail). I say 5 b/c really, it's McDonald, Sopoaga, Smith, Brooks & Haralson/Smith controlling the LOS and providing consistent pressure while the back end can be devoted to extra men in coverage.

good points I didn't even really think about it like that. Willis is does spend too much time in coverage and needs to be unleashed more often to get after the qb.

Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Carlos Rogers is good short term if we want long term solution we should go after Brent Grimes always liked his aggressive style and fairly young.
he's seems more like a cover 2 corner, but i do like his aggressiveness.
Originally posted by lamontb:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Here's another question... do you guys like Patrick shadowing RBs/TEs? It's seemed to work fairly well as he has taken a lot of them out of the game but some of the better TEs got their TDs even if he had great coverage. He definitely was playing great coverage for a LB but might be best to put a tall big CB on those tall big TEs especially the Graham type that are like WRs.

No I don't and I'm glad you brought this up! I hate that Willis isn't free in this defense to rush the passer, make TFL or rack up tackles as much. No doubt we should have a tall Culliver or Goldson covering TE's. Willis spent WAY too much time in coverage and that is an obvious weakness of his...well, actually, all of our guys in the middle of the field are average to poor in coverage (Willis/Bowman/Whitner/Goldson). I don't even think the Giants had one pass to the sideline...everything was right down the middle of the field including the TD's AND we have extra DB's back there to help d/t the effectiveness of the front 5 (to no avail). I say 5 b/c really, it's McDonald, Sopoaga, Smith, Brooks & Haralson/Smith controlling the LOS and providing consistent pressure while the back end can be devoted to extra men in coverage.

good points I didn't even really think about it like that. Willis is does spend too much time in coverage and needs to be unleashed more often to get after the qb.

Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Carlos Rogers is good short term if we want long term solution we should go after Brent Grimes always liked his aggressive style and fairly young.
he's seems more like a cover 2 corner, but i do like his aggressiveness.

No doubt! The fact that the front five can absolutely control the LOS is quite remarkable. Willis job all year should have been to spy guys such as Sproles (who scored an easy TD on us in the middle of the field) and play downhill like in years past (including pass rushing). If that means taking Bowman off the field for Culliver or another CB/S to cover TE's or help double WR's who are effective against us (see Cruz, first half), so be it. It's a win-wn...keeps Bowman fresh AND gives us the play-making ability of Willis and adds a better matchup on TE's and RB's. This, to me, is on VF. You've GOT to utilize your players best at their strengths and we didn't do that with Willis, esp. We have the best 4 LBers in the game and we played Brooks/Smith straight-up almost all year and put Willis/Bowman in coverage too much...to their weaknesses. To me, they achieved in spite of a vanilla VF scheme. But if he doesn't add another layer or two next year, and regresses like his history indicates, ala Manusky in San Diego, I'll let you all know first. LOL
[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 2, 2012 at 1:28 PM ]
Graham is to strong to be covered by a CB.
Willis did a solid job, the guy who was perfect for such tasks was Manny Lawson. Yet there are not many TEs liek Graham in the NFL. Pettigrew was shut down by Willis. He will improve I have no problem.
Very interesting post and a bit too much for me to comment on.

I feel that our secondary was vastly better than in the last 5-6 seasons or longer. I also feel it was largely due to all the pressure the front 7 put on the opposition. I'd like us to pick up a quality vet CB like Carr or Finnigan and the find one in the draf and another fast pass rushing OLB. I hope Baalke/JH can find another CB gem like Culliver.
Originally posted by NCommand:
No I don't and I'm glad you brought this up! I hate that Willis isn't free in this defense to rush the passer, make TFL or rack up tackles as much. No doubt we should have a tall Culliver or Goldson covering TE's. Willis spent WAY too much time in coverage and that is an obvious weakness of his...well, actually, all of our guys in the middle of the field are average to poor in coverage (Willis/Bowman/Whitner/Goldson). I don't even think the Giants had one pass to the sideline...everything was right down the middle of the field including the TD's AND we have extra DB's back there to help d/t the effectiveness of the front 5 (to no avail). I say 5 b/c really, it's McDonald, Sopoaga, Smith, Brooks & Haralson/Smith controlling the LOS and providing consistent pressure while the back end can be devoted to extra men in coverage.
I don't know... Willis and Bowman are really quick on blitzes but a lot of the time they get gobbled up by the big lineman. I think Willis might have regressed in pass rushing since he didn't do it as much this year as last year. One thing I noticed is he often tries to go through lineman instead of using his quickness to fake them out or go around them. I don't know if I would sacrifice Goldson for a TE but maybe Culliver. Willis did a good job of shutting down a lot of RBs and TEs but guys like Graham were too much and understandably so. Even Pettigrew who I think had the 3rd best TE #s this year Willis shut down but did give up a td on a well covered play. So I think is capable of covering most but I'd draw the line at some point. We are spoiled though, most LBs can't cover TEs or RBs. We could have Scott Shanle (saints) who has been getting beat constantly for years. I remember the Colts Saints SB thinking the guy would be upgraded after that game but nope. Clark killed him that game.

It's hard to decide though... I think we mostly have used Willis as a shadow one guy (RB or TE) this year. Maybe we should mix it up and have him blitz more often and have someone else pick up his guy. If he drops into coverage every play it's not much for the defense to guess. Or mix and match with Bowman blitzing as well. I guess we feel it isn't necessary if our DL/OLBs are getting enough pressure. Still they had stretches where they where worn down and couldn't get pressure.

Edit: It's crazy though that the defense can get so much better. I thought Vic would be more aggressive but it was year 1 with no offseason. Still, sometimes simple is the best way to go. A lot of the time you will hear how defenses are playing better and they say the coach just simplified things and said go play ball. It takes years of working together to get like the Ravens and to keep building on and on. Back to being aggressive though, maybe Coach Harbaugh said let's pull in the reigns, play this sort of style on defense until the offense catches up a bit. If we had a great offense I think Vic let's those guys go all out because if we make a mistake the game isn't over. I think we are doing a good job of using a scheme and style that fits us now.

P.S. Great comments Ncommand, you're a great poster.
[ Edited by Gore_21 on Feb 4, 2012 at 2:10 AM ]
Originally posted by miked1978:
CB: If we lose Rogers then we need to draft a corner high in the draft or sign a good vetern. If we keep Rogers I'd still maybe draft one int he middle somewhere. I hope we keep Rogers and I think he is a top 10 corner.

S: If we lose Goldson we are in some troube. They better resign Reggie Smith if we do and i dont think he is the answer. I can see Goldson asking for a lot which he does deserve but we will probably franchise him. I can see us drafting a safety.

Our secondary is the weakest link to our defense but then again teams don't rush against us so they pass. It's hard not to give up 200+ yards passing per game if they are throwing 40+ passes.

Yep, we get thrown on more then most teams because we shut down the run so even though we were like 16th in passing we where tied for 10th in yards given up per pass play at 6.9. Get down to 6.7 and that's good enough to be tied for 5th.

I agree about Goldson... we have to franchise tag him at worst. The FS class is weak and the only guy probably worthy of a 1st is Mark Barron who will be long gone at our pick. The FA class isn't much either. Michael Griffin of Tenn was once high up there but apparently he was benched because he has been playing so bad lately. If we do someone lose him we should re-sign Reggie even if he isn't the answer. This way if we go with a rookie we have some vet help there to either start off the season or replace the rookie if he stinks it up.
The secondary is fine if we resign Rogers and Franchise Goldson. I don't see the problem... Now if 1 or both of those don't get done I do see a problem. Anyway this is the best secondary we have had in years. Not perfect but we had some horrific secondary's in the last 10 years.


Originally posted by NCommand:
No I don't and I'm glad you brought this up! I hate that Willis isn't free in this defense to rush the passer, make TFL or rack up tackles as much. No doubt we should have a tall Culliver or Goldson covering TE's. Willis spent WAY too much time in coverage and that is an obvious weakness of his...well, actually, all of our guys in the middle of the field are average to poor in coverage (Willis/Bowman/Whitner/Goldson). I don't even think the Giants had one pass to the sideline...everything was right down the middle of the field including the TD's AND we have extra DB's back there to help d/t the effectiveness of the front 5 (to no avail). I say 5 b/c really, it's McDonald, Sopoaga, Smith, Brooks & Haralson/Smith controlling the LOS and providing consistent pressure while the back end can be devoted to extra men in coverage.

You're on crack if you think Willis is poor in coverage. I do agree that Fangio put him in man too often and should have blitzed him more, but the guy is quite above average in coverage, as evidenced by outstanding plays he made in the Giants game, numerous times jamming Ballard off his pattern, the outstanding breakup on Victor Cruz down the seam in OT. The only real times hes been beat in coverage has been in man against a TE that was 5 inches taller than him. The Jimmy Graham TD Willis was step for step. Graham just happened to be taller and Whitner let Willis down by going for the pick and missing Graham.
[ Edited by Danny49er1997 on Feb 4, 2012 at 3:57 AM ]
Originally posted by Danny49er1997:
You're on crack if you think Willis is poor in coverage. I do agree that Fangio put him in man too often and should have blitzed him more, but the guy is quite above average in coverage, as evidenced by outstanding plays he made in the Giants game, numerous times jamming Ballard off his pattern, the outstanding breakup on Victor Cruz down the seam in OT. The only real times hes been beat in coverage has been in man against a TE that was 5 inches taller than him. The Jimmy Graham TD Willis was step for step. Graham just happened to be taller and Whitner let Willis down by going for the pick and missing Graham.

I agree with this but wouldn't say he's on crack. Willis definitely stepped up that area of his game. We're just debating at one point is it too much Willis in coverage and do you continue to shadow him against certain players? Do you just let him roam the middle and blitz? I think what we did worked but I'd like to see him occasionally leave his man for someone else and blitz. Only player I wouldn't have him cover next year is Graham. Everyone else he did his job. Not like he didn't do a good job against Graham but it was an almost impossible task and he had good coverage on the ones that he gave up. You're right though Whitner went for the pick instead of the tackle and it cost us a TD.
Originally posted by sfout:
Cory Nelms is apparently a safety in training and we also have Mark Legree on the practice squad. We might invest in a veteran or late round pick but I wouldn't be surprised if Legree made the final 53 as the #3 safety.

I like the size and speed of Nelms. Hopefully he can show something this offseason.
The secondary if Goldson and Rogers are resigned.....

The secondary if 1 of those 2 is not resigned.....

The secondary if 2 out of those 2 are lost..... .....
Originally posted by NCommand:
Here's another question... do you guys like Patrick shadowing RBs/TEs? It's seemed to work fairly well as he has taken a lot of them out of the game but some of the better TEs got their TDs even if he had great coverage. He definitely was playing great coverage for a LB but might be best to put a tall big CB on those tall big TEs especially the Graham type that are like WRs.

No I don't and I'm glad you brought this up! I hate that Willis isn't free in this defense to rush the passer, make TFL or rack up tackles as much. No doubt we should have a tall Culliver or Goldson covering TE's. Willis spent WAY too much time in coverage and that is an obvious weakness of his...well, actually, all of our guys in the middle of the field are average to poor in coverage (Willis/Bowman/Whitner/Goldson). I don't even think the Giants had one pass to the sideline...everything was right down the middle of the field including the TD's AND we have extra DB's back there to help d/t the effectiveness of the front 5 (to no avail). I say 5 b/c really, it's McDonald, Sopoaga, Smith, Brooks & Haralson/Smith controlling the LOS and providing consistent pressure while the back end can be devoted to extra men in coverage.


Agree and really thought when the DC commented on Willis' lack of pass rushing skills he would concentrate on remediation. I think the 9ers got out of their plan for the D when they realized the DBs needed help and the front seven was the strength of the team. Imagine having a couple of shutdown CBs on this team giving the DL more time to get to the QB! I really liked R Smith as a young DB and wonder what the heck happened to both he and Spencer. Spencer on the third WR would have been interesting to me. I haven't read anything to indicate a problem.