Breaking down the Secondary – Game 1
I know there is bitterness in the air, but honestly, I really liked last’s night game. We showed, although for brief periods of time that we could go toe to toe with a heavy weight, however the end result was a knockout punch. The Patriots won because they scored more points than us, but that shouldn’t disregard what we saw on the field last night. I was encouraged on how our team played, we just need to iron out some of the wrinkles.
One major wrinkle that needs a heavy dose of Botox is our secondary. Not one starting player or key reserve played well at all. In my eyes the only players that gets a passing grade is Chris Clemons, and that is because he wasn’t playing. One thing that I can’t stress is that the Patriots know how to beat a 3-4 D, and that is with a hybrid TE, since we don’t have one on our team, it might explain why our D can’t keep one contained. Think about this, when teams get ready to play against Michael Vick, the DC would get the faster player on the team to play QB to learn how to contain Vick. What player on our team can even mimic a hybrid TE? Marshall…maybe and that’s a reach.
Nonetheless, let’s take a look at our players:
– Last year it was Sean Smith that got a tattoo on his arm called ‘greatness’ this year it was Davis that said the Dolphins have the best CB tandem in the league. I think it would be wise for our CBs to let their play speak for themselves rather than their mind. Davis, I don’t know where to start with you…Slater 46 yard seam pass on 3rd and 2…yikes. You should have been better than that. Slater is a WR we should never be taking about on Sunday. You were out of position. What you need to do is treat every WR that you line up against the same way you would treat an alpha WR. In Davis defence I will say, that when he left the game with cramps, we sorely missed on former 1st round pick, which should tell you how valuable he is to our team.
– First game of the season, muggy night so I can understand why a lot of our players started to get dehydrated which causes cramps. However, this is supposed to be our home field, we train and work in this climate…it’s an advantage, not a weakness, but when you are on the field as long as our secondary was it makes sense. If you look at the numbers we won the time of possession battle, so something is up with our conditioning. Nonetheless, Smith wasn’t effective against any WR that he matched up against. I saw Nolan call a lot of 3-3-5 Nickel formations, due to the TE mismatches. In this formation, it was Smith that played Safety and was assigned to the TE. Smith has the size and framework to keep up with TE, but he got worked on every single time.
– You tried to lay down a ‘thunder’ hit on Hernandez and what happened? He rolled right off you. Stop wanting to make a highlight reel play and just make the safe play. What happened to you on the Welker 99 yard TD? You got beat on a simple stunt move, but that wasn’t your entire fault…whose fault was it….
– You are to blame for the 99 yard TD. You had the Robber assignment and took a terrible read. You were so out of the position that you couldn’t even provide over the top help. I watched this play 4 times and with everyone screaming at Sapp he should have had over the top help, and the blame lies directly on Jones. His first game as a starter so I am going to give him so more time, before I start asking for….wait a minute we don’t have any better option at Safety. Sidebar – did anyone see the Rams game on Sunday? Quintin Mikell was a force for the Rams, another playmaking FS that we decided wasn’t a good fit for us.
– The longest and most experienced player on our team was the only good thing that I saw out of our secondary. I’m not giving him a free pass, he still gets a failing grade, but he was the best of what we had on the field. His run support was amazing, but he’s losing his speed which is causing Hybrid TE’s to pass right by him.
– The best asset this former 5th round pick showed me last year was his shadowing technique. It was amazing, fast, fluid, and effective. What happened to that? I don’t know if something happened to him or if he’s being asked to do something different. I’m not in the class room with him, but he needs to focus on one thing and learn to fix it fast, or the next time he opens his locker that pink piece of paper will be attached to it.
So you tell me…who had the worst game and why? Would you like to bring back Will Allen?