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Agree?: Lack of Depth Lead to our Bad Pass D

Originally posted by cciowa:
it should be very very scary that one person or the lack of one person can have such a negative impact on our team. aldon needs to get in better shape, he needs to learn to not be so dependent on justin. the team needs depth on the line,, they needed last year but it was ignored. also i think the coaches did a bad job of using our talent like willis and bowman. i think we could have easily brought them with pressure much more than what we did. i think this should have been done in the super bowl. what the hell good is it to have two pro bowl guys setting around playing checkers in pass coverage. sure that is important but i think they could have been used a bit more than what they were

This. We didn't know it, but we were one injury from being a mediocre D?? I don't blame Baalke. The conventional wisdom was get Alex more weapons and if we can bring the D back intact, we're good. Our top 3 picks offense. Most FA's to offense. Even our beat writers acknowledging going pat with our defense was a bit risky. 2011 injuries - not significant. 2012 injuries - might have cost us a Super Bowl.

Now it is time to focus on bolstering the D.
J Smith, when healthy, requires a double team and sometimes a triple. The back ups can be played one on one. Aldon was doubled most of the time when J Smith was injured, and he still did a pretty good job on the edge. How many runs were around the right end of the D? Most were to the other side, but Brooks isn't being skewered on here so I see this as much to do about nothing...well, almost nothing. With Smith injured he could still bull straight ahead but they didn't do much to change things up to confuse the offenses. What could they have done? Rotated Willis to the edge just before the snap and let the DBs handle coverage, Aldon rotates left and takes whatever gap opens. They very seldom gave the offense a defensive set they weren't expecting. I wanted them to try J Smith at NT once in a while as he could still collapse the pocket.

It's obvious that they need to draft DLmen for the future and as backups, even if Sopoaga is resigned. None of the current backups require a double team--ever! The starters are lights out...when healthy. McDonald is the biggest surprise for me, really thought he would be injury prone.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Feb 21, 2013 at 7:02 AM ]
  • cciowa
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Originally posted by BuZzB28:
I told you, Whitner is still suck and nope talent at coverage.. He is bad read the offense.. You don't doubt me cuz u are late for delay.. Now u see Whitner was stink for plays at Super Bowl Championship! I am very disappoined about A. Smith #99 is fail for nope sacks in playoff championship but A.Smith is very good for sacks at Regulars than Playoff? Hmm.. interest... I wonder about that..
would charles woodson be a good replacement? should we get a nice rookie for that job? both?neither? i liked whitner but as you said,, he was f**king exposed in the super bowl and we need a upgrade there
Originally posted by Squidp:
I think Dilfer was right on the money. He said all year our defense was pretty basic we just would wear teams down bc we were so physical. We have to do a better job of disguising things pre snap

Exactly They basically play the same exact defense every down. that's why teams easily can isolate Whitner in coverage And the only movement up front involves the stunts. Gotta mix it up and be more cretive
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
J Smith, when healthy, requires a double team and sometimes a triple. The back ups can be played one on one. Aldon was doubled most of the time when J Smith was injured, and he still did a pretty good job on the edge. How many runs were around the right end of the D? Most were to the other side, but Brooks isn't being skewered on here so I see this as much to do about nothing...well, almost nothing. With Smith injured he could still bull straight ahead but they didn't do much to change things up to confuse the offenses. What could they have done? Rotated Willis to the edge just before the snap and let the DBs handle coverage, Aldon rotates left and takes whatever gap opens. They very seldom gave the offense a defensive set they weren't expecting. I wanted them to try J Smith at NT once in a while as he could still collapse the pocket.

It's obvious that they need to draft DLmen for the future and as backups, even if Sopoaga is resigned. None of the current backups require a double team--ever! The starters are lights out...when healthy. McDonald is the biggest surprise for me, really thought he would be injury prone.

ITA with this! Nice post dtg

When you're accustomed to seeing one-on-one, it takes time to adjust to consistently beating double-teams, especially as a 2nd year player. The question shouldn't be what happen to Aldon Smith, the question should be when Smith came out of games and RJF was there, what happened to the defense? Should we keep a player who we know statistically couldn't effectively spell our best defensive player? What about Takafu? Where's the help from the bench? You could make the argument that when Gore came out of games, you got pretty good production from both Hunter and now James. We can't say that for any of the guys coming off the bench for the DL - they were all projects that IMHO, plateaued in their development. Can RJF get significantly better than he currently is? Hmm I don't think so. Dobbs? Not sure. The question is do we have the time (window) to develop these players before other parts of the team degrades for another (couple) SB run(s)? Here's where I think upgrading the LOS is the best way to improve the team quickly in time to impact another run.
[ Edited by NinerGM on Feb 21, 2013 at 11:50 AM ]
All anyone has to do is look back to 2011 season...our front 7 was lights out the entire season, into the playoffs. Our secondary thrived...we had guys going to the Pro Bowl who'd never been before. Why did they thrive...consistent pressure on the opposing QB. When Justin Smith got hurt, we had nobody on the roster who stepped up to pick up any of the slack. That's why MM rightly says the fix to the pass defense is up front...everything stems from that. You've all heard the saying "it starts up front". A truer statement's never been made WRT the NFL. I agree the secondary needs some help...but the main focus should be on beefing up the DL. The draft will help...it's pretty deep in "bigs" who can play both inside and out. We don't need another "pure" NT...not when Sopoaga played @ 30% of the snaps. We do need a seasoned vet...and I can't think of a better one available than Randy Starks. He's very versatile and would provide that veteran experience and leadership we just don't seem to have outside of JS. It'll take a mix of vets and youngsters to revamp the DL...but that's what's needed to get the entire defense back to where it was in 2011 and for most of 2012.
Originally posted by NinerGM:
ITA with this! Nice post dtg

When you're accustomed to seeing one-on-one, it takes time to adjust to consistently beating double-teams, especially as a 2nd year player. The question shouldn't be what happen to Aldon Smith, the question should be when Smith came out of games and RJF was there, what happened to the defense? Should we keep a player who we know statistically couldn't effectively spell our best defensive player? What about Takafu? Where's the help from the bench? You could make the argument that when Gore came out of games, you got pretty good production from both Hunter and now James. We can't say that for any of the guys coming off the bench for the DL - they were all projects that IMHO, plateaued in their development. Can RJF get significantly better than he currently is? Hmm I don't think so. Dobbs? Not sure. The question is do we have the time (window) to develop these players before other parts of the team degrades for another (couple) SB run(s)? Here's where I think upgrading the LOS is the best way to improve the team quickly in time to impact another run.


Thank NinerGM--I was hoping Dobbs would make a difference but then he was injured. They won't likely release everyone. I expect them to keep either Sop or RJF and the less expensive guys to fight draft picks for spots on the roster. Also wonder about free agent DL out there. Could see that happen. As for your question--do we have time for development? I don't see Baalke waiting on these guys. He will likely try to find a beast in this DL rich draft to come in and fight for a starting spot right off the bat...at least earn a rotational spot.

The nice thing about this draft is that it seems deep in areas of need--DL, DB and WR. And as the niners have four picks in the first three rounds I would think they will bring in some excellent depth.

Edit: Ideally, I could see trades bringing in more draft choices and the 9ers having six or seven picks in the top three rounds. That would be fantastic.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:10 PM ]
Originally posted by GNielsen:
You can't argue with what happened. The same secondary was effective when both Smiths were healthy and became ineffective when they were not healthy. It was a shut down secondary when the sacks were coming and not when they weren't. Now, I do think they should work on the secondary. I think Culliver needs work locating the ball in the air. I think they might need someone to compete with Whitner, someone faster.

But, I totally agree with Maiocco - they need more defensive linemen. And, they are lucky because this draft is deep with big, tall, high-quality defensive linemen. A 6'4", 320 lb. J. Hankins with his non-stop motor would be perfect to alternate with Justin Smith. And a huge, 6'4", 360 lb. J. Jenkins at nose tackle would consistently occupy two blockers while crushing the center of the pocket allowing Bowman and Willis to run free. Plus, they'll get a couple injured d-linemen back and they can pick up more in the later rounds. A few more D-linemen and a couple more d-backs out of those 14 picks fixes this defense as far as I'm concerned.

I think John Jenkins @ 31 as our true NT, and have RickyJ be backup because of how often we use nickle/dime coverages.

Nickle- Aldon-Justin-RayMac-Brooks

Jenkins will get tired quick b/c of his size but then we can focus on 3-4 depth in the draft/FA. Dobbs needs to go, and maybe keep Will b/c of the added blocking value.
Originally posted by CorvaNinerFan:
All anyone has to do is look back to 2011 season...our front 7 was lights out the entire season, into the playoffs. Our secondary thrived...we had guys going to the Pro Bowl who'd never been before. Why did they thrive...consistent pressure on the opposing QB. When Justin Smith got hurt, we had nobody on the roster who stepped up to pick up any of the slack. That's why MM rightly says the fix to the pass defense is up front...everything stems from that. You've all heard the saying "it starts up front". A truer statement's never been made WRT the NFL. I agree the secondary needs some help...but the main focus should be on beefing up the DL. The draft will help...it's pretty deep in "bigs" who can play both inside and out. We don't need another "pure" NT...not when Sopoaga played @ 30% of the snaps. We do need a seasoned vet...and I can't think of a better one available than Randy Starks. He's very versatile and would provide that veteran experience and leadership we just don't seem to have outside of JS. It'll take a mix of vets and youngsters to revamp the DL...but that's what's needed to get the entire defense back to where it was in 2011 and for most of 2012.

Very good analysis. We're seeing the same effect on the team already ... on the OL. It's no accident this has become one of the top if not THE top OLs in the league... but you would expect that given the talent investments. Only one guy on that line was a home-grown project (took more than 3 seasons to realize talent potential - Boone).
[ Edited by NinerGM on Feb 21, 2013 at 3:18 PM ]
Originally posted by Frisco69ers:
I think John Jenkins @ 31 as our true NT, and have RickyJ be backup because of how often we use nickle/dime coverages.

Nickle- Aldon-Justin-RayMac-Brooks

Jenkins will get tired quick b/c of his size but then we can focus on 3-4 depth in the draft/FA. Dobbs needs to go, and maybe keep Will b/c of the added blocking value.

Jenkins may still be there by the middle of the second round. They may take Hankins or Williams (or someone like those guys) in the first if either of them is still there and then package picks to move up in the second. That way they would be up-sizing their nickle line AND adding a huge piece to their 3-4 line. That's what I'd like to see. There's also a 6'8", 290 lb guy they're looking at for DT. I want then to get bigger and taller on the d-line as well as deeper. I want them knocking those Russell Wilson passes down at the line of scrimmage.
Originally posted by NinerPrideinNJ:
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Originally posted by Wubbie:
So Maiocco had an article about why our Passing D failed us in the playoffs (http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/matt-maiocco/why-49ers-pass-defense-faltered-playoffs).
He said, pretty much, that our secondary is fine, our starting pass-rushers are fine, but the lack of depth killed our late-season pass-rush.

Do you agree? In watching the playoffs, it felt like we had minimal pass-rush. Obviously, the regular season stats back up how good our pass defense is, yet something went wrong in the playoffs. It makes sense. We didn't have the same explosiveness from our pass-rush, and it's very well-documented how little our players sub out.

I really agree though. Yes, there were of course some blown assignments in the secondary, or times were they were beat, but I felt like guys were in good position to make plays. It felt like quarterbacks were beating good coverage with perfect throws. They weren't very well-disrupted.

If it truly is the case of a lack of depth in the front 7, that's definitely on Trent Baalke, and to some extent, the coaching staff, for not rotating the players more.
Thoughts?

Well I partially agree.

I think we have issues in coverage from our safety position, but depth on the D-Line is an issue. Not rotating those players also has something to do with who they have to play those spots if they rotate (IE...they don't have much).

I can't go with the "thats on Trent Baalke" thing tho. Yeah, he needs to improve that position but it's not like there is any other team in the NFL who is completely without weaknesses. That just happens to be ours. There are only so many players on a roster.

You simply aren't going to have a team that is great at every position and have really good backups at all of those positions as well. That's not reasonable.

The 49ers will do something to try and rectify that situation this offseason...but next year it might be something else that isn't perfect. All teams are flawed in some way...they just have to overcome those flaws.

This. Maiocco makes a great point but we also clearly have coverage issues in the secondary.

But the problem is, how do you stop teams that have multiple receiving threats like Jones/White/Gonzo in Atlanta or Jones/Boldin/Smith in Baltimore? Not even Seattle, who IMO have the best secondary in the league, could stop Atlanta.

I don't really remember much about the Giants/Packers divisional round last season and the Packers were stacked with receivers but I'm wondering, what was it that helped the NYG beat the Packers last year?

I know we beat Atlanta but it did kind of help that Matty choked and got hurt in the end.
Originally posted by YoungWifey:
Originally posted by NinerPrideinNJ:
Originally posted by Marvin49:
Originally posted by Wubbie:
So Maiocco had an article about why our Passing D failed us in the playoffs (http://www.csnbayarea.com/blog/matt-maiocco/why-49ers-pass-defense-faltered-playoffs).
He said, pretty much, that our secondary is fine, our starting pass-rushers are fine, but the lack of depth killed our late-season pass-rush.

Do you agree? In watching the playoffs, it felt like we had minimal pass-rush. Obviously, the regular season stats back up how good our pass defense is, yet something went wrong in the playoffs. It makes sense. We didn't have the same explosiveness from our pass-rush, and it's very well-documented how little our players sub out.

I really agree though. Yes, there were of course some blown assignments in the secondary, or times were they were beat, but I felt like guys were in good position to make plays. It felt like quarterbacks were beating good coverage with perfect throws. They weren't very well-disrupted.

If it truly is the case of a lack of depth in the front 7, that's definitely on Trent Baalke, and to some extent, the coaching staff, for not rotating the players more.
Thoughts?

Well I partially agree.

I think we have issues in coverage from our safety position, but depth on the D-Line is an issue. Not rotating those players also has something to do with who they have to play those spots if they rotate (IE...they don't have much).

I can't go with the "thats on Trent Baalke" thing tho. Yeah, he needs to improve that position but it's not like there is any other team in the NFL who is completely without weaknesses. That just happens to be ours. There are only so many players on a roster.

You simply aren't going to have a team that is great at every position and have really good backups at all of those positions as well. That's not reasonable.

The 49ers will do something to try and rectify that situation this offseason...but next year it might be something else that isn't perfect. All teams are flawed in some way...they just have to overcome those flaws.

This. Maiocco makes a great point but we also clearly have coverage issues in the secondary.

But the problem is, how do you stop teams that have multiple receiving threats like Jones/White/Gonzo in Atlanta or Jones/Boldin/Smith in Baltimore? Not even Seattle, who IMO have the best secondary in the league, could stop Atlanta.

I don't really remember much about the Giants/Packers divisional round last season and the Packers were stacked with receivers but I'm wondering, what was it that helped the NYG beat the Packers last year?

I know we beat Atlanta but it did kind of help that Matty choked and got hurt in the end.

How did the Giants beat the Packers and the Patriots (twice)? A deep, healthy rotation of effective pass-rushers and some key passes from Eli Manning with a couple of big catches from his receivers.
In the NFL nowadays, you can have stud defensive lineman or stud cornerbacks but you generally can't have(and afford) both. The Giants won 2 Superbowls with a largely mediocre secondary. The key is being able to generate enough of a pass rush and controlling the line of scrimmage really lessens the burden on the secondary. Not that you don't need quality defensive backs but when it comes to football, I'm all about winning the line of scrimmage on both offense and defense, its ultimately what will make any team a winner. This team needs to reload on the DL and add actual depth because this year and last, they didn't have any. If they can upgrade the DL and get a more steady pass rush, the secondary they currently have is more than sufficient to get the job done although the reality of the situation is that teams will keep targeting and picking on Whitner as the weakest link in the secondary. Either he needs to step his game up or he'll have to be replaced, but otherwise, I have no issues with any other members of the secondary.
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
Yes I agree totally.

It's plain and simple that when Justin went down - our secondary got exposed. How many yards passing did Brady get in the first half when JSmith was in the game and how many yards did he get in the 2nd half when Justin was out? I could be wrong but didn't he more than double his passing yards? Our pass rush wasn't nearly as effective - case closed!

Add to that we didn't have a rotation worth snot. Our starters were on the filed 90%+ in most of the games.

Factor in that we played against some excellent QB's and our secondary wasn't as good as the season prior.

There are some quality FA's and we have plenty of picks to fix it in the short and long term.

I have never really seen such a switch off before....but it was so night and day.

Justin smith must have a stud back up asap if he is THAT important.
Originally posted by Dshearn:
Originally posted by LasVegasWally:
Yes I agree totally.

It's plain and simple that when Justin went down - our secondary got exposed. How many yards passing did Brady get in the first half when JSmith was in the game and how many yards did he get in the 2nd half when Justin was out? I could be wrong but didn't he more than double his passing yards? Our pass rush wasn't nearly as effective - case closed!

Add to that we didn't have a rotation worth snot. Our starters were on the filed 90%+ in most of the games.

Factor in that we played against some excellent QB's and our secondary wasn't as good as the season prior.

There are some quality FA's and we have plenty of picks to fix it in the short and long term.

I have never really seen such a switch off before....but it was so night and day.

Justin smith must have a stud back up asap if he is THAT important.


NE adjusting may have had something to do with the difference between the first half and the second, but Justin is that important. When he is out and they go to a four man line there just isn't as much penetration. It seemed more effective for them to keep the three man line and blitz one of the MLBs.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Feb 22, 2013 at 7:19 AM ]
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