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Our Defensive Backs

McKissic for the win

philemon

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My first New Thread. Hope I generate some good discussion...

It's no secret our defense has been playing better - specifically our secondary. DHall pretty much shut down Dez on Sunday night. I confess I was surprised!

So, why is our defense playing better now?

Is it chemistry? Is it better focus? Is it that they understand the scheme now?

My $0.02 worth is that I think it's a combination between chemistry and focus. The winning streak has generated some *good* pressure on our guys to play well. There's accountability within that corps that stems from the chemistry. Nothing could be better!

There's focus that is a result of the winning streak as well. Knowing that one loss will send you home is something that makes you go deeper in your preparation and play.

Whatever it is, I like it! We're getting outstanding play from guys who are 2nd and 3rd string players.
 

Boone

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We need more philemon threads :)

Fans tend to want to assess the d-backs in isolation, but their play is really impacted by a lot of other things. I think one thing we are seeing is that our d-line is putting consistent pressure on the opposing QB as compared to earlier in the season. Haslett is being a lot more aggressive in trying to generate pressure than he was at times earlier in the year. Not giving opposing QBs free reign to sit back and make their 3rd and 4th reads is pretty helpful to a flawed secondary. I do think we've seen better effort out of our guys, and we're also seeing players like Madieu Williams improve their play as the season progresses. I agree with you that improved secondary play has been huge of late.
 

pez

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One thing I am worried with our upcoming games. The play of DHall.

DHall got a lot of love from the fans from his performance against Dez this past game, however, after watching the game at home, I noticed that the refs did not call a lot of what I think were obvious interference calls (am I complaining... no). But I think the refs might have taken this game off except for maybe the final quarter and were just letting the teams play.

With another crew, Dhall might have racked up a lot of penalties, and it is something I hope doesn't happen in our upcoming games.
 

philemon

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Thanks Boone!

Yep, pressure from the front has played a huge role. Loved seeing all those blitzes Sunday night.

I have to say that whenever we go into zone coverage, I just cringe. I don't re-watch the games and I'm not a football coach, but it seems to me that we've gone to a lot more one-on-one after the bye. I hate the HUGE holes that our zone coverage causes. I'm sure there are reasons why Haslett calls for zone in certain situations, but it just gives QBs an easy 10-15 yards every time.
 

philemon

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One thing I am worried with our upcoming games. The play of DHall.

DHall got a lot of love from the fans from his performance against Dez this past game, however, after watching the game at home, I noticed that the refs did not call a lot of what I think were obvious interference calls (am I complaining... no). But I think the refs might have taken this game off except for maybe the final quarter and were just letting the teams play.

With another crew, Dhall might have racked up a lot of penalties, and it is something I hope doesn't happen in our upcoming games.
Yea, it was obvious that the refs were deliberate about letting the guys play. I agree that DHall was all over Dez at times. At the same time, I also saw some push-offs too that weren't being called.

While DHall has a lot of flaws, I think he's smart enough to figure out quickly how the refs are going to call a game. Whether it's a conversation with them before the game or "feeling it out" after the snap, he doesn't seem to get a lot of flags for interference.
 

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Part of me thinks that the reason we are doing better on D is that after the bye we got a new defensive coordinator. London Fletcher. They said last week that Haslett has given free reign to Fletcher to change and call plays on defense. Well, I think that might just explain a whole bunch.

Actually, I think there is a ton of credit to pass around including to Haslett, but I suspect London is being much more active in teaching and coaching on the field.
 

philemon

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Part of me thinks that the reason we are doing better on D is that after the bye we got a new defensive coordinator. London Fletcher. They said last week that Haslett has given free reign to Fletcher to change and call plays on defense. Well, I think that might just explain a whole bunch.
Didn't know that. That explains a lot!
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Boone

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I'm not sure that's a 'new' approach. I was under the impression that Fletcher has always had the freedom to change calls at the LOS. Could be wrong on that, but that's what I believe. He may be doing more of it these days though, regardless.

I think whether this is a factor or not, we need to give Haslett some credit for tightening this defense up under extremely challenging circumstances.
 

Jimbo

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A lot of these guys have only been in this defense for a year or less. As the season goes on, they seem to have a better understanding of it and are more comfortable as a result. Thanks to that newfound comfort level, it allows guys like Josh Wilson and D. Hall to blitz because Richard Crawford, Madieu Williams and others have their zones effectively covered.

In addition, making relative newcomers Stephen Bowen and Barry Cofield Defensive Co-Captains seems to have brought about more intensity along with chemistry. Those guys play their gaps effectively and allow the LB's and Safeties to come up and make plays. I've also noticed that the D-Line is very good at getting their hands up in the air and forcing the opposing QB's to put a little more air under the ball. This gives our secondary a split second longer to close and make plays.

I also think Wilson and Hall are playing a little more physical than they were earlier in the season. This bodes well going into the playoffs where, traditionally, the refs are a little more lax with throwing flags. It's all of these things coming together that has made our defense more effective.
 

Rymanofthenorth

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UTEP

what I noticed was that when we were creative in applying pressure, our defence looks almost decent, when we try to outman someone we have situations like when Romo had 10 seconds in the pocket untouched. Its really that simple, we lack overall talent in some spots, if we want to be effective, we have got to be creative in blitzing, thats the advantage this 3-4 scheme gives us. If we play simple and try to go with too much zone and only rush 3-4 and always the same guys, this defence is a bottom 5 defence, if we stay creative and move guys around, it is a middle 10 defence with the players we have, and that might be enough.

I will say Jackson has improved his level of play A LOT and Crawford is a revelation, its funny that we are doing this with PR guys in the secondary.
 

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