It All Starts Up Front


It All Starts Up Front

A team’s greatest strength is it best asset.  Teams will live and die based on their bread and butter, what makes them stronger, better than what their opponents bring to the table.  It’s a facet of the game that you are not supposed to worry about….theoretically.

 As we have seen so far, our greatest strength is turning out to be our greatest weakness.

Defensive Line:
Jason Taylor, Paul Solia, Randy Starks, Phillip Merling, Kendall Langford, Jared Odrick,

These athletes were supposed to be dominating the line of scrimmage.  If you look at the draft status of each player, no player was taken less than the 4th round, with two first round picks.

So far we have 4 team sacks and two of them came from our OLB Cameron Wake, therefore only two sacks have been produced by our Dline. What is going on here?

We are not getting the pass rush needed from our primary point of attack, and we need to understand why.  Jason Taylor was brought back for the third time to educate our young players on striving for excellence.  I understand that there should be a learning curve for our young players, but that time has passed.  No longer are we looking at them as prized prospect, rather developing players that are not producing.

Randy Starks…where are you?  Langford is in a contract year, and isn’t playing like he’s worth a 7 million dollar contract that his agent is requesting.  Paul Solia got his 12 million, but is nowhere near that price tag.

Coming into the season there was so much talk about the athleticism our Dline had, but teams continue to run right through us, and have blanket coverage to pick apart our secondary.

Secondary:

The best secondary is the one that plays the shortest amount of time.  It all starts up front.  If you have constant pressure on the QB, you are asking your cornerbacks and safeties to just hold the initial move and ensure that nothing is developing over the top.  I can’t stress this enough, without pressure on the QB, you are asking too much of your secondary.

Think about it this way, if we are playing zone sky two coverage, or a cover 3 umbrella, without pressure the QB can identify the zone read and just wait for their players to sit in the soft places of the zone.  For man coverage the QB just has to wait until a double move or when separation is made from the wide receiver to the cornerback.

Yes we are supposed to have one of the best cornerback duos in the league (or at least we think we do) but Football is a team game where you have to rely on other positions to make it easier not for you, but for the team.

Watching the Browns and Houston games again, I can’t help but notice that players are not playing for each other.  There is a lack of respect and common understanding.  Without our players coming together we will continue to see this type of lackluster effort.

It all starts up front, and it’s up to our team to start playing together and understanding the basic principles of the game.  How we lost this key concept is the better question. I don’t want to say it’s the coaching or lack of effort from the players, but if we don’t get this resolved we will continue to see the same results on the field.

So who is to blame for our 28th Ranked D, is it the Defensive Line that can’t get the pressure we need or the secondary for not being the play makers we thought they were:

 

Who is to blame for our falling D?

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