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Titans Defensive Review- Titans at San Diego, Week 2
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ThatTitansFan


Joined: 02 May 2012
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Titans Defensive Review- Titans at San Diego, Week 2 Reply with quote

Well, there is a glimmer of good news, despite all the bad. But since the bad is substantial, let's start with that.

#1. We literally have no idea how to cover Tight Ends, and we don't adjust to their play. We made Randy McMicheal and Dante Rosario look like, well, Hernandez and Gronk. I truly am confused. We have athletic enough players to cover them. We have guys that are fast enough to contest balls, or strong enough to tackle.

But we don't? It bamboozles me. Here's why- our safeties have looked pretty decent in coverage against WRs. THey're in the right places, they play their zones well, etc. But against TEs, they're just never really there.

Here's my big problem. If you look at Rosario's second and third touchdowns, they're literally the same play. He just runs straight down the middle on a seam, and Rivers just floats a pass to him right behind the LB and in front of the Safety. Same play, twice. Two quarters apart. No adjustment.

#2. It's interesting to watch the run game- here's what I saw. Marks was back. We actually did a tremendous job against the run in the first two quarters. Why? They tried to repeat the Pats method from last week- outside plays, offtackles, etc. With Marks back, we smacked that in the face, repeatedly.

Then, they put in their big guy, and just starting slamming it up the middle. And 3rd-4th quarter, we had nothing. Granted, the defense had to be exhausted by then, but still- without McCarthy, we cannot stop those. His prenatural instinct for sniffing and closing lanes makes between tackle stuff very scary for opposing teams. Witherspoon defended these plays ala Tulloch- stand behind the line, wait for the running back to burst through, and tackle him 5 yards downfield. Not good... So my advice for opposing teams? Run straight ahead till McCarthy gets back. If you run outside, our speedy OLBs and penetrating DTs will make it hard.

#3- WTF on game prep. I'll make a bigger deal of this in just a second.

Here's the positive- for two quarters, 2 and 3rd, we essentially held them to 0 yards. They couldn't run, they couldn't pass, Rivers was continuously getting hit, and we made some big plays. That's the defense playing its best. And it was stirring- if our offense could have done anything correctly (and just stayed on the field) we wouldn't have entered the 4th quarter with a D that had already played 30 minutes.

And here's what bothers me about that. The first quarter, we were close- if you watch those plays, Rivers is making them by the skin of his teeth, and fitting some balls into incredibly tight spots. But we came into the game not knowing well what our opponent would be doing and it showed. Once we adjusted in the 2nd quarter, we just shut them down until fatigue kicked in. (To be fair as well, the score should have been 14-3, not 17. That pick block that got them into field goal range was so unbelievably blatant as to be absurd.)

The score may not look it, but the defense this game was fantastic. Rivers played outstanding, and just got lucky enough (and bad enough reffing) to get that early lead. But we managed to shut them down for 2 quarters, and then, of course, the fact that time of possession was like 2 to 1 kicked in, and the defense just couldnt keep up anymore.

Here's the positional positives-
#1 Brown looks like he can be a starter. He played quite well. I don't understand why we don't assign him man to man on some Tight Ends (especially since they're just tearing up our zones)
#2. D Morgan looked fantastic all game, as did Wimbley, as did the whole Dline. Rivers was under pressure all day, and I think we had 13 QB hits. If we could cover just a littttttttle bit better, that would be great.
#3. The corners were fantastic. Mouton had a bit of a rough game, but McCourty and Verner were good all game.

Which brings me to my close- WTH is wrong with our safeties? Rewatch this game. I think they had like two catches outside the hashes, and everything else inside them. Floyd's big plays were all downfield against the safeties. The Tight Ends were just having a field day against the safeties.

I cannot figure it out. Griffin and Johnson are big, fast, athletic players. YET THEY NEVER SEEM TO BE IN POSITION.

Our defense has a very specific problem- we seemingly cannot guard between the hashes 5-20 yards behind the line of scrimmage. I don't know if that's a specific scheme problem (it very well could be, since we seem very good on the outside). I don't know if that's because Griffin and Johnson are terrible. But it's a massive problem and I'm starting Pettigrew in my fantasy league this week. Our run defense is great outside when our full DT rotation is in. Our interior run def is great when McCarthy is in. I'm hoping when we have both we show what we did this preseason.

Edit/Follow-up- Here's my solution. Make Brown a starter, and assign him to man up on the #1 tight end all game long. Our zone defense is working great against the WRs, but we are being absolutely destroyed inside. And it's all zone defense. Good QBs like Rivers and Brady see the dead spots in between zones, and just pick them apart. Brown is big enough and fast enough (same for RJ). Just assign one of those two to man up on the Tight End, and leave McCourty/Mouton/Verner (whoever is playing outside on that side of the field) in one on one. Or, switch to a single centerfielder to play deep, and have the other safety play man.

Guys, I really think this is a scheme problem. We're playing deep zones with safeties, and they just keep throwing it right in front of those zones, but behind the linebackers. It's the same spots over and over again. I bet if you made a throw/catch frequency chart against the middle of the field, it's blood red right in the middle, 11-20 yards deep.

WE NEED TO ADJUST. WE KNOW OUR WEAKNESS. NOW DO SOMETHING GRAY.
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-Munch-


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought Derrick Morgan was a lone bright spot that game. He made his presence felt and played really hard. First time that's happened really.
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-Hope-


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice post, some very astute observations. Our defense certainly has potential, and I too am of the opinion that they played much better than the 38 points they allowed, but the problems that they do have are so huge and worrisome that it's hard to have much confidence in them right now. This tight end BS has plagued us for years upon years. Why does nobody adjust a damn thing?
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RuskieTitan


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good observation. That FB dive for 17 yards really sticks to me as the turning point when our defense just collapsed.

And I think I was a bit too hard on them yesterday, especially when the time of possession came out. Though to be fair, we did win a game against Jacksonville a few years ago with just 15 minutes or so...

Given how awesome Michael Griffin is and what a Pro Bowl talent he is, I believe that the fault ultimately lies with Jerry Gray and his scheme. He really needs to step it up.

Unfortunately, while you and I know our weaknesses... I'm worried that Gray doesn't recognize the fact that he sucks and won't change.
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UTMoc10


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good right up. I'm looking forward to going back and re-watching the game when I get the chance to really watch the D-Line especially Morgan and Wimbley.

I also wanna check out which guys can't seem to hold blocks in pass protection.

By the way, Marks was inactive, at least he was listed that way and doesn't appear on the stat sheet. Martin did play a very good game. I have yet to notice Klug yet this season though. I wonder if he has some nagging injury or something because he usually goes 100 mph. He only has 1 tackle assist through 2 games.
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Titan89


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think overall the defense has been better than most people think and the points against are not totally indicative of the tale. For one I will say I think our defense while having some mistakes and giving up some easy plays, has at least looked passable when compared to the offense.

On defense while it is far from dominant there is some positive I feel. I think the d line especially pass rush is improved and I think while it is not a world beater it is still decent enough to get the job done. The linebackers and corners to me have played fine and I don't think you can fault them too much overall. The biggest problem has been the safeties and I am puzzled about why Babineaux has been benched.

I think as far as Robert Johnson goes, what can you say he is finally playing significant time and looks like a 1st year starter. I think the scheme is the biggest problem with him as he is lining up way too far back a lot of the time and that is by design I think.

Michael Griffin on the other hand is the ultimate no show enigma on this entire team. The guy week one can't make a damn tackle and looks like he should be in the beauty pageant as he does not want to get dirty. Week 2 he makes a lot of tackles mind you nothing epic and gives up passes in the passing game. At what point is the Michael Griffin with any sort of consistency going to show up? He is getting paid like the man but all I think we are asking is he plays good and shows some consistency. So far he is not earning his pay and has been mediocre to down right garbage the first two games.

Also my final point, maybe if the offense could move the ball and pick up a first down, the defense would not be on the field for so long and yes after that long especially in that heat ANY defense will wear and start to breakdown.

As far as I see it, if the offense plays better and starts getting some time of possession and some points to give the defense some help and rest, all of a sudden the defense will look a lot better. I would say even they could be the middle of the pack in the league but only if the offense starts doing their end of the job.

Just my two cents and I honestly would not have thought looking at this team that offense would be such a problem.
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TitanSlim


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Two problems we had on defense was our third down defense and covering their TEs. Those were the same problems we had during the Fisher/Cecil era. I thought adding Jerry Gray would solve that problem but clearly it hasn't.

And is it me or was Michael Griffin playing more SS while Robert Johnson was playing more FS?
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ThatTitansFan


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Follow Up #2-

From nfl.com

TOTAL OFFENSIVE YARDS 496 806
TIME OF POSSESSION 22:40 37:20

We have 500 offensive yards, our opponents have 806
Our opponents are averaging 37 minutes and 20 seconds in time of possession.

You know what is wrong with our defense?
Our offense.

We have 5 sacks, tied for around 13th in the league. We have 3 forced fumbles (but no recoveries) and 1 int. We have a crap ton of QB hits and a lot of pressures. Runningbacks are still only averaging 4.2 yards per game (which I think is tremendously good for our run defense, given that they are tired and playing from behind continuously) That's actually good for tied-14th in the league.

We we don't have is an offense holding up their end. I know the defense looks bad, but come on- how do you expect guys to do well when they're on the field for almost 3/4ths of the game. They're tired, they're fatigued, they're hurting.

This defense has shown it can be really good. It was dominant in the preseason when our offense played mediocre. Right now our offense is flat out terrible (worst in the league in PPG, time of possession, and so many other categories).

This defense should be damn pissed at the offense.
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s_camp


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TitanSlim wrote:
And is it me or was Michael Griffin playing more SS while Robert Johnson was playing more FS?


Yes and it's the only excuse the can be made for Griffin, although playing in the wrong position doesn't excuse his craptastic tackling.
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RuskieTitan


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

s_camp wrote:
TitanSlim wrote:
And is it me or was Michael Griffin playing more SS while Robert Johnson was playing more FS?


Yes and it's the only excuse the can be made for Griffin, although playing in the wrong position doesn't excuse his craptastic tackling.


If we had more players have 'craptastic' tackling, maybe someone else on the front 7 would actually lead the team in tackles?

Granted, a safety of Griffin's caliber leading a team in tackles doesn't shock me with how he flies all over the field.
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s_camp


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RuskieTitan wrote:
s_camp wrote:
TitanSlim wrote:
And is it me or was Michael Griffin playing more SS while Robert Johnson was playing more FS?


Yes and it's the only excuse the can be made for Griffin, although playing in the wrong position doesn't excuse his craptastic tackling.


If we had more players have 'craptastic' tackling, maybe someone else on the front 7 would actually lead the team in tackles?

Granted, a safety of Griffin's caliber leading a team in tackles doesn't shock me with how he flies all over the field.


The front 7 struggling has no bearing on how well Griffin tackles, just how often he tackles.
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VY-FTW


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RuskieTitan wrote:
s_camp wrote:
TitanSlim wrote:
And is it me or was Michael Griffin playing more SS while Robert Johnson was playing more FS?


Yes and it's the only excuse the can be made for Griffin, although playing in the wrong position doesn't excuse his craptastic tackling.


If we had more players have 'craptastic' tackling, maybe someone else on the front 7 would actually lead the team in tackles?

Granted, a safety of Griffin's caliber leading a team in tackles doesn't shock me with how he flies all over the field.


You are one of my fav posters here..But dude. Griff isn't a probowl safety anymore..

Griff can't tackle to save his life. he has no form at all.

He just lowers his shoulder and hopes for the best haha.

He BITES HARD on PA passes.

He can't play 1 on 1 man to man or zone.. Look at last year. Countless times when the other team needed a big play they went after griff. 1st Jags game saints game sticks out for me.

so lets recap. He can't tackle..Can't cover,and he bites on PA..

Hes useless...Not to mention at the end of last year he acted like he didn't wanna be a titan.

Hes not a leader,hes not real man. Hes a Texas punk just like VY. And in till hes not starting we will have crap for safety play.

IM STARTING THE TRADE GRIFF TO THE SKINS FOR A LOW PICK AND START TOMMIE CAMPBELL AT FS TRAIN. Who is jumping on?
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Ockham


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Titans Defensive Review- Titans at San Diego, Week 2 Reply with quote

ThatTitansFan wrote:


#2. It's interesting to watch the run game- here's what I saw. Marks was back. We actually did a tremendous job against the run in the first two quarters. Why? They tried to repeat the Pats method from last week- outside plays, offtackles, etc. With Marks back, we smacked that in the face, repeatedly.



I don't know what game you were watching, but Marks was inactive.
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titans0021


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RuskieTitan wrote:
s_camp wrote:
TitanSlim wrote:
And is it me or was Michael Griffin playing more SS while Robert Johnson was playing more FS?


Yes and it's the only excuse the can be made for Griffin, although playing in the wrong position doesn't excuse his craptastic tackling.


If we had more players have 'craptastic' tackling, maybe someone else on the front 7 would actually lead the team in tackles?

Granted, a safety of Griffin's caliber leading a team in tackles doesn't shock me with how he flies all over the field.
I get that it's your thing, but seriously, there comes a point where it has to pain you to continue pretending that Griffin has been anything other than garbage.
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TitanRanger


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

titans0021 wrote:
RuskieTitan wrote:
s_camp wrote:
TitanSlim wrote:
And is it me or was Michael Griffin playing more SS while Robert Johnson was playing more FS?


Yes and it's the only excuse the can be made for Griffin, although playing in the wrong position doesn't excuse his craptastic tackling.


If we had more players have 'craptastic' tackling, maybe someone else on the front 7 would actually lead the team in tackles?

Granted, a safety of Griffin's caliber leading a team in tackles doesn't shock me with how he flies all over the field.
I get that it's your thing, but seriously, there comes a point where it has to pain you to continue pretending that Griffin has been anything other than garbage.


I think you are underestimating ruskie
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