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The LBC


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:56 pm    Post subject: Trying to Find a Silver-Lining Reply with quote

So, let me be clear, this is no attempt to find a silver-lining in last night's game, the previous week's game, or really even this season. I'm currently in the hope that this team finally quits on Norv (it won't happen because for some reason the only time these guys can show any kind of team-wide resolve is when rallying to "save Norv") and seals his fate once and for all.

To be honest, I'm not completely convinced that the biggest issue is epidemic not of Norv or AJ, but it's Spanos... it always has been Spanos and until he's gone it likely always will be Spanos. The fact that he has positioned his son to be AJ's eventual successor (something I'm fairly confident would be a contingency of an future GM hiring if he didn't outright promote John-boy, if AJ did get the boot) is just indicative of his wanting to ensure his influence is felt on this team, even though his knowledge of the game of football (outside of the business aspects) is minimal, and I'd almost wager his interest is as well.

That all said, teams can and have succeed in spite of less-than-desirable ownership, look no further than the Yorks in San Fran, arguably Pat Bowlen in Denver, Irsay in Indy. You've got to find that perfect storm of the GM that the owner's willing to stand by (usually someone smart enough to make the owner feel like their considerations are having influence while effectively still implementing the same plan he would have whether the owner thought it was "wise" or not) and a coach players are willing to go to war for (it's pretty evident that's not Norv) who can competently assemble a proper staff.

Literally, what we need is not a coach with some stellar scheme, we need a coach with a vision and who can convey that vision (this is honestly my biggest critique of Norv, he doesn't have vision, or at best his is "we can win a Super Bowl", he doesn't grasp conceptual vision - you want great examples: Harbaugh, Schiano, Smith, Vermeil, Tomlin - that's leaving out the very obvious greats of Bryant, Shula, Lombardi, etc.). The coordinators can come and go, but if the vision is solid and in place, and the replacements brought in are done so with the vision in mind, you're going to - by and large - see continued success.

Our defense could realistically be overhauled to be a highly-competitive unit in a single off-season, We don't need to necessarily invest high draft picks in elite cover corners, we need guys who are more scheme-cognizant of what we've got now and who play smarter (this is more key than anything - very few of our DB's play particularly smart). Those kind of players can be found anywhere from the 3rd to 5th rounds of the draft. Look at San Francisco's CB's, look at Green Bay's (outside of CWood, but he was a free agent acquisition), look at Seattle's, these are not teams spending 1st round picks on CB's to achieve this. These are teams identifying intelligent players who buy into the scheme, can think well on the fly (and understand the intricacies of adjustment), and who buy into a scheme that partners them with consistent, effective pass-rush.

Part of this also involves identifying your young leaders on a unit and giving them the reins, telling them "This is your team now; take charge," even if it means letting long-time, perhaps fan-favorite aging vets walk in free agency (see San Fran letting TKO walk; Green Bay not flinching at letting Nick Barnett, Al Harris, and Kampmann walk; Seattle parting with Tatupu, and moving Trufant to the slot to clear way for Sherman/Browner as the starters).

But most of all, we need to get away from this mentality that there's any other way to success than building from the trenches outward. Am I saying that that means spending 1st round picks on guards? No, unless a truly remarkable prospect comes along and is an undeniable BPA on the board (and we're picking late in the round). But that also doesn't mean habitually waiting until the 3rd round at best to even consider drafting players at that position either. It's true, the value in drafts for guards does extend to the middle and sometimes late rounds (Carl Nicks was a 5RP, Dielman was a UDFA, as was Alex Boone, Marshall Yanda - 3RP, Chris Kuper - 5RP, Josh Sitton - 4RP, Jahri Evans - 4RP), but these are guys who typically don't come in and immediately break out. You have to coach them up some - something our current coaching staff has proven they cannot do (it's no secret, just look at the fact that aside from Hardwick/Dielman who was coached up under Houck, the best OL that's played for this team in recent years in terms of performance is Gaither - when healthy - not anyone we've actually drafted that's been "coached up" by Hunter & Sullivan).

Fact is, even if/when we have a dependable starting 5 on the OL and 3 on the DL, we should still be investing a minimum of a 3rd-4th round pick on the two lines annually just to maintain quality depth and sustainability, because you can't count on every prospect to pan out so you have to hedge your bets.

I'll let this stew for a little bit, then I'll post up what I feel could be done to get us on the right path (though a lot of it is projection and conjecture because we're still dealing with the impetus that is the Spanos family).
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AntonioGates


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with a lot of what you said. This team has a few areas where, if tweaked the right way, could return to being a championship contender. I agree that it all starts with the overall organization mentality. Unfortunately the people who could make these tweaks are not AJ and Norv, and until they are gone this team will continue to be a inconsistent mess.

Would Charger fans trade the team going to LA if it meant a entire new ownership group? At this point I think a lot of them would.
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iLikeDefense


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You certainly bring up very important topics and points. Will those things happen, who is to say? I really like how you highlight Spanos as the source of the problem, I'd agree with you! He has never been a good owner imo! I think Norv has to go and your team needs a coach with authority and intensity! Norv's laid back approach crippled this team. I somewhat agree with your theory of taking players to fit your scheme. It didn't work for Denver. Denver tried to do that when McDouche was our HC, he tried to turn Denver into NE, brought the scheme, drafted players to fit that scheme and yeah Noshow and Ayers and countless others did not pan out at all! But it has kept NE above average but they havent hit on those CB picks (which i agree with you, unless there is the next Woodson, Champ, PP, Revis, look later in the draft or even UDFA like Chris Harris). It will suck to see this team rebuild, I know over the last 3 years, but it'll be worth it!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really hope Wright comes back and is just what we've needed. We still need a scary pass rusher. That is what we truly need. The Dline is developing fast and I like where Pagano has this D headed. Hopefully Taylor develops as well.

On O, we need to spend some picks on the Oline. If no elite CBs are available where we pick (Milliner, Rhodes, Banks, Poyer) then a G like Chance Warmack, Cooper, etc should be great. I like guys like Jake Matthews, but a RT isn't worth that high of a pick, regardless of how bad Clary is.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JammerHammer21 wrote:
I really hope Wright comes back and is just what we've needed. We still need a scary pass rusher. That is what we truly need. The Dline is developing fast and I like where Pagano has this D headed. Hopefully Taylor develops as well.

On O, we need to spend some picks on the Oline. If no elite CBs are available where we pick (Milliner, Rhodes, Banks, Poyer) then a G like Chance Warmack, Cooper, etc should be great. I like guys like Jake Matthews, but a RT isn't worth that high of a pick, regardless of how bad Clary is.


Agreed, but i think we still need CB help reguardless. If Wright can lock down one of those spots, then thats awesome, sink a 2nd or 3rd into a guy like Terry Hawthorne or Justin Gilbert or even Bradley Roby or someone like that and we could have a solid group. I agree with you that we need a bigtime pass rusher. INgram is great, but we said it all along that he isn't that elite pass rusher who's gonna win off the edge a whole lot, though he's gotten solid pressure. Add a explosive pass rusher like Carradine, Werner, Mingo, Jones (ok the last two are a dream but nevertheless) and we can do good things.

I agree that RT's aren't worth top round picks, but mauling OG's are. I REALLY want Frederick for this team, perfect fit, great pulling outside and a dominant run blocker, hopefully him playing C will drop him far enough for us to get him in the 2nd.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote




Until the FO/Coaching staff gets enough of a backbone to tell these guys that they have to earn their job/paycheck, we're going to be disappointed year after year. Have the backbone to pull a guy that's having a bad game, regardless of position/tenure, and then make them earn their job back for the next week. There needs to be some accountability on this team. Without it, there's no reason to get better.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sort of confused about the Yorks reference. Jed York runs the 49ers now and he is 100% dialed in unlike his father. He has the passionate of his uncle which was something his father John York lacked. No surprise the team is taking off now but there are other factors as well. Sorry if I hijacked your thread or completely missed your point Laughing .
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duffman57 wrote:
JammerHammer21 wrote:
I really hope Wright comes back and is just what we've needed. We still need a scary pass rusher. That is what we truly need. The Dline is developing fast and I like where Pagano has this D headed. Hopefully Taylor develops as well.

On O, we need to spend some picks on the Oline. If no elite CBs are available where we pick (Milliner, Rhodes, Banks, Poyer) then a G like Chance Warmack, Cooper, etc should be great. I like guys like Jake Matthews, but a RT isn't worth that high of a pick, regardless of how bad Clary is.


Agreed, but i think we still need CB help reguardless. If Wright can lock down one of those spots, then thats awesome, sink a 2nd or 3rd into a guy like Terry Hawthorne or Justin Gilbert or even Bradley Roby or someone like that and we could have a solid group. I agree with you that we need a bigtime pass rusher. INgram is great, but we said it all along that he isn't that elite pass rusher who's gonna win off the edge a whole lot, though he's gotten solid pressure. Add a explosive pass rusher like Carradine, Werner, Mingo, Jones (ok the last two are a dream but nevertheless) and we can do good things.

I agree that RT's aren't worth top round picks, but mauling OG's are. I REALLY want Frederick for this team, perfect fit, great pulling outside and a dominant run blocker, hopefully him playing C will drop him far enough for us to get him in the 2nd.

I'm pretty much on board with this.

Ideally, I'd like to trade back (wouldn't everybody, though?) barring a must-have prospect falling to us in the 1st, but I would like to see our 1st used on more very specific players versus a particular position, and yes this more fits the BPA approach. If a Johnathan Hankinson, Chance Warmack, or Barrett Jones is available (Jones like wouldn't be as he's going to be drafted as a center and thus can likely be penciled in for Top 12), I have no qualms using the 1st on them. If we do spend the 1st on a pass-rusher, I firmly advocate ceiling, explosiveness, and athleticism over polish in this case - even if it means sticking the guy as only a 3rd-down/passing-downs player a la Aldon Smith for his rookie campaign.

Call me nuts, but I'd actually give some serious thought, if on an affordable contract, to bringing Marcus Trufant in on a 1 or 2 year deal. Is the guy old and has he had his past with injuries? Yes. Is he the kind of ultra-intelligent vet that can make up for some of his physical deficiencies through superior tactics? Yes, again. Is he older than Carlos Rogers? Yes, but he could be a competent stop-gap/mentor for a young secondary that's needed. I could even see going after someone like Jason McCourty if Tennessee doesn't re-sign him (it'll be interesting to see how that pans out, since I think they may be more inclined to give the larger contract to Verner whose going to be up for one before too long). Far from perfect, but still competent and intelligent.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

McCourty signed for 43 million.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JammerHammer21 wrote:
McCourty signed for 43 million.

$8.5 million a year for him? Yikes! I know that there's some inflation to be considered for the gap to be made up with the money gained that otherwise would have been going to rookies under the old CBA, but... sheesh! Way to skew the market on mid-range talent Tennessee. Thanks a ton! Evil or Very Mad
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Random thought that occurred to me today. Since, for the moment, Hardwick and Gaither (assuming he's ever healthy again) are the only pieces of our OL even worth considering building from (can't really say AROUND since Nick's up there in age), what do others think of the prospect of blowing the whole line up in 2013 and seeing a ZBS put in place? It seems like that plays more to Hardwick's strengths, certainly would seem to increase Molk's chances of success as a future starting center, and Gaither is certainly athletic enough to play in one (I know he struggled in KC in their zone-based scheme, but how much of that was playing out of position at RT and playing injured versus being a poor scheme fit?).

Mathews is the type of runner that can still succeed behind a zone-blocking line as he has the vision to do so.

Now I'm not advocating this on the premise of... well we can get late round OL and still succeed (that's not quite the case in this day and age with the amount of zone-schemes there are out there, versus in the 90's when Shannarat was among the minority implementing one). But it allows for going after prospects and players whose best qualities are intelligence and athleticism, versus the - in many cases somewhat epidemic lazy attitude that a lot of young linemen coming out of college seem to have and then get promptly punched in the mouth as rookies and lose their resolve.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The LBC wrote:
Random thought that occurred to me today. Since, for the moment, Hardwick and Gaither (assuming he's ever healthy again) are the only pieces of our OL even worth considering building from (can't really say AROUND since Nick's up there in age), what do others think of the prospect of blowing the whole line up in 2013 and seeing a ZBS put in place? It seems like that plays more to Hardwick's strengths, certainly would seem to increase Molk's chances of success as a future starting center, and Gaither is certainly athletic enough to play in one (I know he struggled in KC in their zone-based scheme, but how much of that was playing out of position at RT and playing injured versus being a poor scheme fit?).

Mathews is the type of runner that can still succeed behind a zone-blocking line as he has the vision to do so.

Now I'm not advocating this on the premise of... well we can get late round OL and still succeed (that's not quite the case in this day and age with the amount of zone-schemes there are out there, versus in the 90's when Shannarat was among the minority implementing one). But it allows for going after prospects and players whose best qualities are intelligence and athleticism, versus the - in many cases somewhat epidemic lazy attitude that a lot of young linemen coming out of college seem to have and then get promptly punched in the mouth as rookies and lose their resolve.


"Can Still" is an underestimation of what Mathews would do in a ZBS IMO. Thats truely when he excels is when you stretch it out, and let him cut upfield when he finds a whole.

I also think that Green would also be alright in a ZBS, seems like a better fit for him than in a power system. OL's with ZBS's seem to be producing better this year especially, with KC, Wash, Seattle (i think), obviously Houston. I'm not sure who else runs a ZBS.

Id be on board with this idea. I dont think its necessary but it might be worth it. Get a guy like Eric Fisher at RT, and this line could be good as a ZBS group assuming the RG position gets changed, because Vasquez obviously cant do it.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duffman57 wrote:
OL's with ZBS's seem to be producing better this year especially, with KC, Wash, Seattle (i think), obviously Houston. I'm not sure who else runs a ZBS.

Add to that the Phins, who are getting relatively close to Top 10 RB production out of Reggie freaking Bush with a zone-concept under Joe Philbin, the Packers (though it's not like they really get a ton of production - or try to - out of their running game), and (I think, but don't hold me to this) the Pats use a decent amount of zone-blocking in their scheme.

I'm not opposed (just not sure if I'm terribly in favor yet...) of giving a guy like Karl Dorrell another crack as an OC (he hasn't done it at the pro level yet, only college), or looking at someone like Maurice Carthon (a bit more on the fence with this one) if/when the Chiefs clean house of Crennel and his staff, or Kippy Brown (whose still got at least another 5+ years in him). Honestly, though I don't know if it fits with the idea of implementing a ZBS as he's always been a power-blocking guy, I wouldn't mind us going back to the Al Saunders well as long as it was solely as an OC.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The LBC wrote:
Duffman57 wrote:
OL's with ZBS's seem to be producing better this year especially, with KC, Wash, Seattle (i think), obviously Houston. I'm not sure who else runs a ZBS.

Add to that the Phins, who are getting relatively close to Top 10 RB production out of Reggie freaking Bush with a zone-concept under Joe Philbin, the Packers (though it's not like they really get a ton of production - or try to - out of their running game), and (I think, but don't hold me to this) the Pats use a decent amount of zone-blocking in their scheme.

I'm not opposed (just not sure if I'm terribly in favor yet...) of giving a guy like Karl Dorrell another crack as an OC (he hasn't done it at the pro level yet, only college), or looking at someone like Maurice Carthon (a bit more on the fence with this one) if/when the Chiefs clean house of Crennel and his staff, or Kippy Brown (whose still got at least another 5+ years in him). Honestly, though I don't know if it fits with the idea of implementing a ZBS as he's always been a power-blocking guy, I wouldn't mind us going back to the Al Saunders well as long as it was solely as an OC.


Im still interested in the idea of bringing in Chip Kelly as an offensive HC, as he runs a ZBS, but that may just be because i really like the guy as an Oregon fan and think he's a genious...lol
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duffman57 wrote:
The LBC wrote:
Duffman57 wrote:
OL's with ZBS's seem to be producing better this year especially, with KC, Wash, Seattle (i think), obviously Houston. I'm not sure who else runs a ZBS.

Add to that the Phins, who are getting relatively close to Top 10 RB production out of Reggie freaking Bush with a zone-concept under Joe Philbin, the Packers (though it's not like they really get a ton of production - or try to - out of their running game), and (I think, but don't hold me to this) the Pats use a decent amount of zone-blocking in their scheme.

I'm not opposed (just not sure if I'm terribly in favor yet...) of giving a guy like Karl Dorrell another crack as an OC (he hasn't done it at the pro level yet, only college), or looking at someone like Maurice Carthon (a bit more on the fence with this one) if/when the Chiefs clean house of Crennel and his staff, or Kippy Brown (whose still got at least another 5+ years in him). Honestly, though I don't know if it fits with the idea of implementing a ZBS as he's always been a power-blocking guy, I wouldn't mind us going back to the Al Saunders well as long as it was solely as an OC.


Im still interested in the idea of bringing in Chip Kelly as an offensive HC, as he runs a ZBS, but that may just be because i really like the guy as an Oregon fan and think he's a genious...lol

I only worry that Chip is going to need one heck of a defensive coach as his second in command if/when he comes to the NFL. I don't doubt he can find a way to adapt (in whatever way possible) a scheme to fit the talent provided him (it's Chip's forte). But he has very little grasp on defense at all, and that dates back to NH. Aliotti knows his stuff, but you and I both know that he's the next in line for the Ducks' HC gig if/when Chip leaves.

I'm liking, by and large, what I'm seeing from Pagano, however he needs better assistants at most of the positional coaching positions (Don Johnson's done enough to merit being retained at this point, the jury's still out on Joe Barry, Meeks and Dishman are worthless and we knew that before either got here). Where I worry with Chip is his connections at the pro level to bring in adequate (if not better than that) assistants - who exactly does he have hard ties to?

To be honest, I'm still hopeful for Fangio (though he doesn't fit the mold of what Dean would pick whatsoever), as he has been on the same staff as Saunders twice and I believe that Fangio's defense coupled with Saunders' offense can be extremely effective in our division (particularly as long as Peyton is in it, given that it would predicate off of ball-control, play-action passes, and beat-them-till-they're-black-and-blue defense.
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