2019 Defensive Progress & Robert Saleh Hot-seat Tracker

Originally posted by TheWooLick:
Kyle's offense is atop the NFL for turnovers. Magic?

Yes, despite the TO's. Imagine what he could do if he didn't have to deal with poor TO's.
Originally posted by Ensatsu:
The onus is on John Lynch for letting go of Dumervil and not drafting or acquiring a pass rusher to replace him. This front office put this guy in a horrible position.

And I don't care how much Saleh loves his big ends. If Lynch is listening to him like a robot and acquiescing him on his demands without thinking about it, then he should take ownership and solve the problems himself.

Now it is too late. We will be the top 5 worst defense in the league this year because of foolishness. I'm not deflecting 100% of the criticism away from Saleh, but fans need stop giving him 100% of the blame. The talent level on this team should stop being overrated. It's terrible in many areas.

Definitely, it never comes down to just one source. It's always a combination.

But he, Lynch and every 9er fan in America knew we had no pass rush coming in. Therefore, like what Kyle is doing on the offensive side, you have to temper expectations and work around glaring personnel holes and focus your efforts in other areas (i.e. coverage to allow your slow pass rush to get home).

Look what Ken Norton Jr. is doing up in Seattle with mostly no-names right now.
Originally posted by OnTheClock:
(No pun intended by the way...)

Look, I am not thrilled with the big mistakes and I have been very critical of him at times this year myself, but at the same time I can't ignore that he adjusts well and does some other good things. Statistically we are better than last season and if you thoroughly evaluate the unit, you'd start to realize maybe it's not as bad as some think.

Indications are that players may be more to blame so I'm trying not to be too emotional about how I assess him.

Indications are that while it was a rough start and there's still room for improvement, we actually have improved from last season in a lot of areas, especially third down defense. Our tackling has gotten better recently as well. I think maybe they put too much faith in Warner to relay information as a rookie, but they probably expected him to get through those growing pains quicker. I see them trying to address issues like penalties by pulling Witherspoon off the field. I see them playing the more effective guys (Day, Blair) more often now even though they aren't making the most money.

People are quick to point out the points per game allowed while completely ignoring the fact that our offense is the worst in the league at turning it over, and not just turning it over, but turning it over in scoring position for the opponent. On top of that, we've played four top ten offenses so far and face the #1 offense in the league this week.


Yet, currently, this is where we rank statistically right now:

Total Yards/Game: 19th
Passing Yards/Game: 25th
Rushing Yards/Game: 13th
Yards/play: 16th
Passing yards/play: 13th
Rushing yards/play: 10th
3rd down defense: 12th

Considering the units we've faced and the fact that we have no legitimate pass rusher, #2 corner, or the single high safety this defense needs, evidence points to this being a defense that is better than people think. Evidence shows that we've steadily worked to address problems we had early on in the season (tackling, penalties, third downs), and with that being true, it's reasonable to expect we are going to correct the missed assignments as well. Evidence indicates that perhaps we're jumping the gun in roasting Saleh and calling for him to be fired.

Final thoughts: There are.. As odd as it is to say.. A lot of positive things we've got going. This doesn't mean Saleh has been perfect and can't be better in some ways, but this defense had a lot of issues to fix and maybe we need to be less emotional and recognize it takes time to fix that many problems -- problems which largely appear to be due to lack of experience and a lack of difference-making talent at a few key positions in this scheme.
EXCELLLNT post!

By far & away the fairest yet.

Thanks.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Definitely, it never comes down to just one source. It's always a combination.

But he, Lynch and every 9er fan in America knew we had no pass rush coming in. Therefore, like what Kyle is doing on the offensive side, you have to temper expectations and work around glaring personnel holes and focus your efforts in other areas (i.e. coverage to allow your slow pass rush to get home).

Look what Ken Norton Jr. is doing up in Seattle with mostly no-names right now.

I don't buy the Ken Norton stuff. It's fool's gold.

How many defensive coordinators has Pete Carroll rotated in and out? They always look great!!! Gus Bradley, Dan Quinn, Kris Richard, etc.

Pete's defense is always going to play at a high level since he is running it. And then people hire his assistants and then realize, yeah maybe they aren't as good. It's the Belichick effect. The NFL falls for it every time.

Look at the Falcons right now under Dan Quinn. They are not a world beater on defense. Heck, we can probably hire him in a couple of years if they keep underperforming at Atlanta.
It's mid season. There is time to clean up the mental errors.
  • cciowa
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 53,222
Originally posted by PacTiger:
It's mid season. There is time to clean up the mental errors.

these mistakes mental and physical have been on going since last year. come on
Originally posted by Ensatsu:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Definitely, it never comes down to just one source. It's always a combination.

But he, Lynch and every 9er fan in America knew we had no pass rush coming in. Therefore, like what Kyle is doing on the offensive side, you have to temper expectations and work around glaring personnel holes and focus your efforts in other areas (i.e. coverage to allow your slow pass rush to get home).

Look what Ken Norton Jr. is doing up in Seattle with mostly no-names right now.

I don't buy the Ken Norton stuff. It's fool's gold.

How many defensive coordinators has Pete Carroll rotated in and out? They always look great!!! Gus Bradley, Dan Quinn, Kris Richard, etc.

Pete's defense is always going to play at a high level since he is running it. And then people hire his assistants and then realize, yeah maybe they aren't as good. It's the Belichick effect. The NFL falls for it every time.

Look at the Falcons right now under Dan Quinn. They are not a world beater on defense. Heck, we can probably hire him in a couple of years if they keep underperforming at Atlanta.

Even if you want to give Pete all the credit, they have no Legion of Boom up there and are looking significantly more prepared, focused, actually play with an all gas no breaks mentality, etc. Can you name any of their starters outside of 3 players?

Dan Quinn is massively overrated. He straight up lost the Superbowl which still gets blamed on Kyle to this day. And that was WITH a healthy and talented defense.
[ Edited by NCommand on Oct 17, 2018 at 9:57 AM ]
Originally posted by cciowa:
Originally posted by PacTiger:
It's mid season. There is time to clean up the mental errors.

these mistakes mental and physical have been on going since last year. come on

The DTs and LBs are playing better than last year. Just saying there is time to clean up and play a lot better. If he doesn't then we'll see what happens.
one thing that we didn't expect was the regression from adrian colbert and akhello witherspoon. colbert I kind of saw but akhello was unepxected on my part.
Originally posted by NCommand:
Even if you want to give Pete all the credit, they have no Legion of Boom up there and are looking significantly more prepared, focused, actually play with an all gas no breaks mentality, etc. Can you name any of their starters outside of 3 players?

Dan Quinn is massively overrated. He straight up lost the Superbowl which still gets blamed on Kyle to this day. And that was WITH a healthy and talented defense.

No doubt, as a defensive mind that Pete Carroll >>>>>>> Saleh. That's why they are more prepared and focused.

I am definitely not saying that Saleh is a great coordinator. But I also think we need to be very cautious in thinking that we can just hire one of his assistants and then act like it will solve the problem. For example, a lot of people here are clamoring for Kris Richard since he is available. Personally, I just think it would be a lateral move at best, but that is just my opinion.

Originally posted by kujon11:
one thing that we didn't expect was the regression from adrian colbert and akhello witherspoon. colbert I kind of saw but akhello was unepxected on my part.

Just those two?
Originally posted by NCommand:
I agree that the defense needs to be looked at as a whole.

We were -3 in turnover ratio last year, -11 this year. Stud yesterday researched and noted that 37 points have been scored off TO's. Even ST's are contributing to that.

The last 8 games last year we played a string of pretty crappy QB's outside of Wilson. There's no question we've played better QB's this year.

Injuries seem on par to last year.

The last 8 games we gave up 20.5 PPG. So far this year, 29.8. And no doubt the TO's and competition has contributed to that significantly. Unfortunately, TO's = automatic TD's.

Obviously, with 1,200 pounds of beef up front and our clear strength, why would the opposition run the ball esp. when they can pass with ease esp. with zero pass rush to worry about? The run defense and pass defense stats reflects that.

However, those are the end results of the following concerns:

Slow starts, total lack of recognition of common concepts by the opposition (diamond formation), total personnel regression from last year despite another full off season and simplified scheme to boot, odd personnel choices and preferences, lack of development of young players, only 3 TO's again, last in sacks, poor situational awareness, continual poor communication issues, poor fundamentals (tackling/angles/form), inability to call TO's, players confused pre snap, inability to coach up players on situational awareness (Mabin vs. GB), inability to provide help to a DB getting abused, slow to make adjustments, zero changes to personnel (definition of insanity is...), scrape-exchange still can't be executed properly, trail concept fails, gap integrity blows still (1-legged Rodgers), blown coverages, constant bull rushing (vs. 1/2 man), rotating CB's, 3rd and longs, etc.

The bottom line is Saleh is a very green DC and HC/OC's are exposing him this year. He's trying to adjust by running varying coverages but his defense is wildly ill-prepared and late to adjust or can't adjust at all. And it's only going to get worse as the L's pile up and the morale drops.

Everyone knew coming in he was missing a true ER but he also seems to be fixated on run defenders and seemed fine with players like Armstead, Ward and Marsh as playing significant roles in this defense.

Now the latest shift is blaming talent. To me, both are accurate. 1. We're clearly missing some key personnel to make this scheme run more effectively and 2. Robert Saleh isn't a good DC today.

He and all of his assistants need to be critically evaluated this off season. Kyle is scheming up magic on the offensive side with crucial injuries across the board and different personnel in and out of the lineup. The defense needs to be held to the same standard.

People can talk about metrics and that's fine, but technique and understanding the why behind metrics is just as important. I can show you a set of numbers but they mean nothing until people infer their own conclusions which may not be correlated in the sets of stats shown. You can weave a great story from this but here's the catch, all football is situational. Just because statistically you're playing the #1 offense and you're ranked the #18 defense, does not at all mean you "shouldn't have a chance to win." Matchups on both sides of the ball matter. Also, rankings are snapshots in time and don't take into consideration player or unit development, scheme, etc. For example, a poor DC can have great talent and call a bad game but because he has better talent statistically can have a better D. Does this mean the total D, including scheme, is improving week over week or does it mean his players are good at covering bad scheme? Tracking total D week over week won't tell you this until he plays an O with enough offense and a play-caller who can expose bad scheme despite superior talent.

This is why I don't put too much faith into rankings and try to extrapolate conclusions if the visual evidence consistently says the opposite.

Judge a team not by the Vegas line, not by ESPN rankings, not by PFFs top power poll, but what the team can control. Start with the fundamental things in which they're responsible before heaping praise or finding blame in other areas.

Communication is a football fundamental. It's CLEAR communication is a problem. It's CLEAR communication is not improving because even after the 6th game of the season, players are STILL talking about miscommunicaiton post game as the reason why they weren't able to do fundamental things (right coverage, understand the scheme, prepared for what the other team is running). This is *not* a talent issue. If you're not even in the right spot because you don't understand what's going on week after week, that's fundamentally a coaching problem. I can't evaluate how effectively talent can be if they don't understand in the SECOND year of the same scheme in the 6th game what they're supposed to do. Yes an awesome pass-rush would overcome a lot of things, but the question should be - should it? Football 101 - know where you're supposed to be at what time.

Technique is also a problem, from tackling to getting heads around to intercept a pass. Again it's hard to talk about talent and lack thereof if at a fundamental level, what's being taught is clearly not being done properly. How do you know what kind of talent you need if guys aren't tackling and like with communication above, apparently we're not teaching our players how to tackle properly. We're also not teaching our CBs how to play the ball and could somewhat be the reason why our INT is last in the league. Our CBs always have their backs to the ball as it arrives - again that's not talent, that's being taught.

It's fine to defend based on negligible stats that may or may not mean what's intended, but again, I point you to the things that our team can control when it comes to practice and preparation; fundamentals.

I caution everyone with relying too much on "stats".

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[ Edited by NinerGM on Oct 17, 2018 at 10:20 AM ]
Originally posted by Ensatsu:
No doubt, as a defensive mind that Pete Carroll >>>>>>> Saleh. That's why they are more prepared and focused.

I am definitely not saying that Saleh is a great coordinator. But I also think we need to be very cautious in thinking that we can just hire one of his assistants and then act like it will solve the problem. For example, a lot of people here are clamoring for Kris Richard since he is available. Personally, I just think it would be a lateral move at best, but that is just my opinion.

Totally fair points.

Even if Norton did stay here, it too doesn't mean he'd have this unit playing the same. Pete has built a system up there like Bill Walsh did here on offense. Once it's built and the culture is firmly established, then you can develop players within it and eventually, get to the point where you can plug a guy in (next man up) and not miss a beat. That's what we're seeing up there now and that's why that 'could' move on from the LOB and still be effective and getting better weekly.
"Slow starts, total lack of recognition of common concepts by the opposition (diamond formation), total personnel regression from last year despite another full off season and simplified scheme to boot, odd personnel choices and preferences, lack of development of young players, only 3 TO's again, last in sacks, poor situational awareness, continual poor communication issues, poor fundamentals (tackling/angles/form), inability to call TO's, players confused pre snap, inability to coach up players on situational awareness (Mabin vs. GB), inability to provide help to a DB getting abused, slow to make adjustments, zero changes to personnel (definition of insanity is...), scrape-exchange still can't be executed properly, trail concept fails, gap integrity blows still (1-legged Rodgers), blown coverages, constant bull rushing (vs. 1/2 man), rotating CB's, 3rd and longs, etc."---NCommand.

In my opinion, most of these problems are specific to CB play and that is the problem of that position coach. Fire Hafley Now!
[ Edited by pickle on Oct 17, 2018 at 10:33 AM ]
Originally posted by pickle:
"Slow starts, total lack of recognition of common concepts by the opposition (diamond formation), total personnel regression from last year despite another full off season and simplified scheme to boot, odd personnel choices and preferences, lack of development of young players, only 3 TO's again, last in sacks, poor situational awareness, continual poor communication issues, poor fundamentals (tackling/angles/form), inability to call TO's, players confused pre snap, inability to coach up players on situational awareness (Mabin vs. GB), inability to provide help to a DB getting abused, slow to make adjustments, zero changes to personnel (definition of insanity is...), scrape-exchange still can't be executed properly, trail concept fails, gap integrity blows still (1-legged Rodgers), blown coverages, constant bull rushing (vs. 1/2 man), rotating CB's, 3rd and longs, etc."---NCommand.

In my opinion, most of these problems are specific to CB play and that is the problem of that position coach. Fire Hafley Now!

LOL, there's a lot more than just CB talent/execution in that list but I agree, Hafley certainly needs to be fully evaluated as well while matching his coaching up against Saleh's wishes.
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