Originally posted by bdub2588:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Not a lot to pick apart here.
As to the OP, yes, I have some major concerns about our secondary and I'm not sure if we fully addressed the issues.
- Pass rush - No doubt Baalke feels with added pass rush and rotation in the front 7, the secondary will benefit (duh). That said, with a stronger back end, we'd get more "coverage sacks" too. So it works both ways. Did Baalke help the front 7 by improving the back end?
- Scheme - quick, it's 3 and 3. How far off will our CB's play off? 5 or 10 yards? This is an issue b/c we don't have any burners who can recover on a poor first step and we don't have the physical CB's (minus Culliver) to play press...welcome Nnamdi.
- Technique - I noticed a BIG difference from the previous year. Rogers got his big contract by breaking off routes with over-the-top coverage and undercutting WR routes. He didn't do that one time last year and it, to me, appeared we stayed with the theme of keeping everything in front of them (very few challenges) but worse, the CB's didn't play the ball until it reached the WR's; in short, they didn't keep an eye on the QB and didn't use their experience to jump balls . As a result, our TO's went WAY down. For a microcasm of this issue, watch how differently the CB's for the Ravens played vs. ours. Polar opposite. This is a combination of scheme and technique. Also, as noted on NFL Network, our S's got so used to playing so deep and down hill, they were VERY susceptible to double moves and even blown coverages (even as last as the freaking Superbowl).
- Whitner - let's be real, we love this dude and he is SO well spoken, he'll have a long career as a commentator. He's a leader and helps relay the defensive plays. He is excellent playing down hill and in the box. The problem is he is short, has no vertical and is even slower now. He was destroyed for 14 TD's alone last year and most were on bigger, taller, more physical slot WR's and TE's. This is STILL a huge glaring weakness. Unless the FO feels Dahl can step in and give up less (possible), we still have no answer for this and teams will continue to exploit him.
- Rogers - dude got paid and IMHO, half-asses it all last year. Once he got burned and the spot light was on him, then he'd play harder. But the fact is, when we needed him most (3rd down against Boldin), he failed. Baalke has noted he wants to get taller, strong, more physical at CB (ala Seattle). Rogers, his half-ass attitude and his contract don't align. Nnamdi was brought in to not only fit that mold but push Rogers ass! Again, welcome Nnamdi!
- Nnamdi - already stated he fits the Baalke ideal now (see also, Marcus Cooper)
- Reid for Goldson - upside is even higher than Goldson and he's already smarter than him. Fingers crossed here he develops and develops quickly.
- Slot CB - Amendola (with one collar bone) destroyed us last year. Welker did OK. But now we face Austin and Harvin and maybe more. Aside from the size, quickness and speed of Darryl Morris, do we really have anyone who can seriously fit this role to a T?
Just to add visual evidence, if you watch the second video imbedded here of Lockette beating both Rogers and Goldson, you'll see the poor technique I'm talking about. We currently see it with both Cully and Brown as well. They don't play the ball. Instead, they play the WR once the ball arrives in the WR's hands
(too late and never once looked back for the ball). The other issue here is it's a free, clean release by the CB off the LOS. Even with GREAT pressure, the secondary sets itself up for failure with poor technique and no safety help. As usual, our CB's have no over-the-top help while Goldson trails, jogging along watching Rogers get burned...big issue for us. In a synchronized effort, the S is supposed to yell "turn" just as the ball is arriving so the CB can continue to sprint/recover through the coverage and turn and play the ball at the right moment.