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Hey Man! Get Out of the Zone!

 
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iPwn


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Hey Man! Get Out of the Zone! Reply with quote

In 2010, we watched our zone defense get gashed by defenses for long plays all game long. We saw our Corners playing 5-10 yards off the LOS on nearly every play, and even that didn't stop defense from making big plays on us. I cautioned the whole year that the corners were not a problem, but that the play from very poor Safeties was the cause of a schematic change.

Fast forward to 2011, we bring in two new starting Safeties and our defense switched to what I, and from what I remember most of you, would describe as a defense that's secondary was primarily a press man-to-man scheme. This scheme not only made the defense look better as a whole, but actually made us one of the best defenses against "big play passes."

As we headed into the season, many believed that our defense would be even better with the addition of Aaron Ross. Ross had consistently been a bad zone defense corner, but had proven over the course of his career to at least be an adequate Man to Man cover corner. This, of course, seemed like a near perfect match for the Jaguars who had made a clear transition to the man to man defense.

This season, however, we seemingly have tried to abandon everything that worked last year, instead opting for a cover defense that is widely made up of soft zone coverages.

So I come to you, and I ask "Why?" Why has the defense abandoned what worked so well last year? Are Daryl Smith and Clint Session missed so much that we feel that the back half needs to play zone to be in better position to play the run? Is the pass rush so much worse that we feel the guys can't hold man coverage long enough? Is it a mix of the two? Coaches out of touch with what the players do well? The injuries to Cox and Mathis bothering them enough that they can't press receivers with regularity? Aliens? pwny not actually knowing what is going on with the team?
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Adrenaline_Flux


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We ran more zone last year than you think, but I agree with the general idea that we're playing too soft/conservative in the secondary.
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iPwn


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I had to guess, I'd say our defense played zone about 40% of the time last year, this year it seems a lot closer to 70-80%. It's seemingly the same thing with press coverage, though probably not as extreme. I could be wrong on both accounts as far as what I remember, but there's clearly a stark difference between how they played last season and this season.
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Tugboat


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting topic, and i'm honestly not sure where i stand on this at the moment.

It does get frustrating watching our DBs line up so deep in these soft zone coverages we seem to see a lot of this year.

I think there are a few extra things at play though. The health and quality of personnel is one. Though as you're suggesting, maybe some players aren't being properly utilized. And certainly late last year, we had pretty abysmal quality of players in our secondary a lot of the time. So maybe that's not it.

I do also wonder if it's as much of a marked difference as you suggest in terms of coverage schemes. I haven't done any real math on the subject, and don't plan to. But the eyeball test does seem to suggest you may be right...but maybe not by such a significant margin.

The biggest thing for me though, and it's something i've mentioned before...Is that i feel like our hilarious inept offense last year really flattered the defensive side of the ball at times. Teams really had no reason to go full-throttle offensively against us much of the time. Combine that with the fact i don't think our defense was nearly as good as a lot of the stats showed, and it's a dangerous recipe for the sort of regression we've seen this year. Why would teams do things the hard way, when our offense wasn't even remotely threatening, and our defense was just fine with giving up small bits of yardage all the way slowly down the field the easy way? Again, i haven't even looked at numbers on this, it's just an impression i got.

The other question i'd have, is...based on the ideas in the original post: if we were going to run more of a zone scheme this year...why would we bring in a guy like Ross if he fits more in a man scheme? That doesn't seem like things are on the same page between management and the coaching staff.

And finally, i'm sure i'll catch flack for this because Mel Tucker is a great guy and a great coach and all that, but i still feel like this year and last even when we were 'statistically good', he doesn't run an overly dynamic or creative defensive system. It's not that it's 'bad', i just don't necessarily see the flexibility in it that some of the more impressive DCs show in their looks. Which really, kind of fits in with what you're suggesting i think. Maybe it's a case of square peg - round hole in terms of what Tucker is trying to do this year.
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iPwn


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tugboat wrote:
The biggest thing for me though, and it's something i've mentioned before...Is that i feel like our hilarious inept offense last year really flattered the defensive side of the ball at times. Teams really had no reason to go full-throttle offensively against us much of the time. Combine that with the fact i don't think our defense was nearly as good as a lot of the stats showed, and it's a dangerous recipe for the sort of regression we've seen this year. Why would teams do things the hard way, when our offense wasn't even remotely threatening, and our defense was just fine with giving up small bits of yardage all the way slowly down the field the easy way? Again, i haven't even looked at numbers on this, it's just an impression i got.
But why isn't that the case this year?

Prior to this last game, our offense had 263.6 yards per game and 14.1 points. Last year, those numbers were 259.3 and 15.2.

Our defense led the league in three and outs last year too. Not really sure how I wanted to work that into the point, but it's necessary to note with the notion that we might have been content with just letting teams slowly walk down the field.

Otherwise, I'd generally agree with most of what you said.
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Tugboat


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iPwn wrote:
Tugboat wrote:
The biggest thing for me though, and it's something i've mentioned before...Is that i feel like our hilarious inept offense last year really flattered the defensive side of the ball at times. Teams really had no reason to go full-throttle offensively against us much of the time. Combine that with the fact i don't think our defense was nearly as good as a lot of the stats showed, and it's a dangerous recipe for the sort of regression we've seen this year. Why would teams do things the hard way, when our offense wasn't even remotely threatening, and our defense was just fine with giving up small bits of yardage all the way slowly down the field the easy way? Again, i haven't even looked at numbers on this, it's just an impression i got.
But why isn't that the case this year?

Prior to this last game, our offense had 263.6 yards per game and 14.1 points. Last year, those numbers were 259.3 and 15.2.

Our defense led the league in three and outs last year too. Not really sure how I wanted to work that into the point, but it's necessary to note with the notion that we might have been content with just letting teams slowly walk down the field.

Otherwise, I'd generally agree with most of what you said.


Different coaching staff? Mularkey to me has shown less of a propensity to roll over and accept defeat than Del Rio did at times last year. As long as we're still trying (however futile), other teams seem willing to continue putting their foot to our throats. Like, last year there seemed to be plenty of times where we'd be down a couple scores and we're just trot out there with 3 runs up the gut and a punt. Whereas this year, it seems as though we still give it the ol' college try most of the time. I mean, we're still really bad at it so it isn't likely to show up as much different in the stats sheet, but it's the general impression i get.

I do think it's very much a composite problem, and you've probably touched on some of the other key causes, but it's hard for me to ignore the impression i get either. I think it's part of the issue, certainly not the whole issue. And again, i could be way off, i haven't broken down the statistics, because frankly...that sounds like a colossal amount of complicated mathematical calculations, if it were to even show up that way. So...i'll just have to go with my imprecise impressions i guess.



I should also add that this is an epic thread title btw. Very well executed. Laughing [/i]
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JaguarCrazy2832


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i hate stuff like this, why try to change the defense around when clearly something worked after the thing you are doing failed so miserably before
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Mr. V


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaguarCrazy2832 wrote:
i hate stuff like this, why try to change the defense around when clearly something worked after the thing you are doing failed so miserably before


Injuries, can't do what you want with the current personnel.
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JaguarCrazy2832


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mr. V wrote:
JaguarCrazy2832 wrote:
i hate stuff like this, why try to change the defense around when clearly something worked after the thing you are doing failed so miserably before


Injuries, can't do what you want with the current personnel.


who has been hurt? i know the CBs are the same now...
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Mr. V


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JaguarCrazy2832 wrote:
Mr. V wrote:
JaguarCrazy2832 wrote:
i hate stuff like this, why try to change the defense around when clearly something worked after the thing you are doing failed so miserably before


Injuries, can't do what you want with the current personnel.


who has been hurt? i know the CBs are the same now...


LBs (Session and Smith) and not having Cox and Mathis fully healthy prevents Tucker from being as aggressive as he was last year. Blitzed Session a lot in the final few games, no LB we have right now can do that.
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