Originally posted by baltien:
Depth is a concern but so is personnel. No one wants to say it so I will:
Aldon Smith is mediocre against the run, and sucks in coverage.
Last year the only thing we did differently defensively was sub Haralson out for Smith on passing downs. That right there should tell you where the problem lies.
Teams have figured him out. Like Ndamukong Suh, all you have to do is run at him. Between that and him running himself out of the play by constantly over pursuing, he'll wear down and then we become (even more) vulnerable down the field.
Justin Smith getting hurt was a big blow, but there's simply no reason why without him to occupy blockers for Aldon, our pass rush becomes virtually non-existent.
So the solution here is to yes, add more depth but we also need to tweak the scheme. Blitzing Willis and Bowman more would be a good start.
Nobody even bothers to run on Brooks side...ever. Brooks knows exactly what spot upfield to get to to either force the RB inside, tackle him himself or continue on the pashrush (knock down passes). Aldon is all over the map and all his talk about being double-teamed? I didn't see it. In fact, Brooks remains the guy that is double-teamed b/c he plays on the strong side (SAM - where the TE typically lines up). Brooks is stronger at the POC and keeps his eyes in the backfield (a point Baalke made when drafting Aldon). This year, teams seemed to run at Aldon and he seemed more concerned with the one blocker on him than using proper technique and getting upfield to the right spot where he can force the RB inside, contain the edge, tackle the RB or continue on to the QB. And the dude is 8" tall and has he had one knock-down pass?
And if he and Justin were hurt that badly (and it seemed like they were), why were they playing FT?
A two-gap NT would be ideal for our team (no more one-gapper-slashers). Period. It will help about three waves of defenders around and behind him. We also need a taller, stronger DE to rotate with Justin/McDonald. I'm not very impressed with McDonald at all and would love someone who is taller, can time his jumps, push/collapse the pocket and push the OL backwards vs. just holding the edge. Just b/c we run a 3-4 it doesn't mean we can't pay in the backfield.
Some of this is on the coaches/their philosophy!
[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 20, 2013 at 9:44 AM ]