who is to blame for the defencive debacle last year?

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Rymanofthenorth

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we are arguing about this in the Jenkins thread so rather than bog up that thread , lets make one for this. Its a valid thing to argue.

My argument is that in the end its Shannahan who is responsible for it, it was his baby from the get go and he was the driving force behind the switch he wanted the switch and he forced despite a lack of resources.. for a guy who knows football as well as Mike does, this was an epic fail by any measurement. I am tempted to hand Haslett a large part of the blame as his scheme has been unsound and sketchy at best and it was his job to make it work which it very obviously did not.

I am not going to blame the players because with largely the same players the defence was much better, and given that we have released or replaced almost every single starter it shows that the staff finally understands that you have to have the right players to fit the system. The most recent casualty is Blades who many touted as the next ILB but who simply never looked good in this system.
 

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I agree that the ultimate responsibility lies on Shanahan. He put Haslett in charge of that defense. There is no way the decline of our defense was as a result of an unprofessional malcontent.

This off-season we could have had one of the most accomplished 3-4 defensive coordinators in the NFL in Wade Phillips, which would have been awesome because he would have had an axe to grind against our biggest rival, but he ended up in Houston. I am afraid that Shanahan is going to live or die by Haslett. Unfortunately I don't have a positive outlook. Better than last year? I think so, but never more than average as long as Haslett is in charge.
 

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Two schools of thought here. We could have kept the 4-3, made Haynesworth happy and more productive but still ended the season in third or fourth place.

OR we could have switched to the 3-4 in what was otherwise going to be a down year and take our licks as we weeded out the guys that didn't fit.

If you take the more positive, optimistic view of the latter argument Shanahan and Haslett are still on the hook for what happens in 2011.

This defense needs to be a LOT better this season, perhaps as high as the mid teens for this team to be competitive.
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Ax

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Shanahan.

Spilled milk.

File 13.

Move on.
 

Rymanofthenorth

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I agree Ax, but there were a couple guys arguing somewhat eloquently in another thread, so rather than gum that one up, I figured make this one and everyone could have their say.

I found it rather interesting that anyone would think that one malcontent had more to do with the decline of a defence as when he did play he was effective and at times dominant when used correctly.

BT the issue I had with the switch, was simple, we didnt weed out the guys who didnt fit, we counted on them. and basically we took what was a strength and made it a weakness, now if we had gone with a pile of young talent LAST year, I would have been more on board with blowing it up, but we didnt we waited intil THIS season and frankly even after 2 full seasons, this defence has more questions than answers.

if you switch to a 3-4 you need the DC and the fo to be on the right page, I dont think we have that frankly I dont think haslett is an NFL quality DC.
 

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I agree Ax, but there were a couple guys arguing somewhat eloquently in another thread, so rather than gum that one up, I figured make this one and everyone could have their say.

I found it rather interesting that anyone would think that one malcontent had more to do with the decline of a defence as when he did play he was effective and at times dominant when used correctly.

BT the issue I had with the switch, was simple, we didnt weed out the guys who didnt fit, we counted on them. and basically we took what was a strength and made it a weakness, now if we had gone with a pile of young talent LAST year, I would have been more on board with blowing it up, but we didnt we waited intil THIS season and frankly even after 2 full seasons, this defence has more questions than answers.

if you switch to a 3-4 you need the DC and the fo to be on the right page, I dont think we have that frankly I dont think haslett is an NFL quality DC.
Ryman, my only slight disagreement with your post is that I believe the statement in bold is incomplete. I believe it should read as follows;

"when used correctly and he felt like it."

His history of inconsistent play except during contract years still prohibits me from laying all the blame on the coaching staff. Shanny and Haslett are the main culprits in an incorrectly done adoption of a 3-4 defense I agree but motivitaing Haynesworth has been a problem throughout his career no matter who has tried it. I will be surprised if Belichick has any better luck with him than anyone else has had.
 

Rymanofthenorth

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The thing is, even if he was motivated and willing to play NT (which he was not ever going to be as he openly said he wasnt willing to play NT) he wouldnt have been the difference between us sucking and us being awesome, too many other massive holes on that defence. we would have been marginally better not massively better. there were other far more destructive issues such as AC playing OLB and nobody being in position to cover anyone.
 

Burgundy Burner

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Jim Zorn, Greg Blache, and Vinny Cerrato.

And yes, that is a serious answer.
 

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Jim Zorn, Greg Blache, and Vinny Cerrato.

And yes, that is a serious answer.
Actually, I like that answer.

I think the answer is a ratio one. I think Shanny's decision to force that square into the round hole was a big problem, but a notch below that was a group of players who seemingly knew better and seemed really resistant to change. Should our defensive backfield have become that much worse, for example? We had an incredible number of broken tackles. Sure tacklers like Rock Mac couldn't hold on half the time.

Now, I thought Orakpo and Jarmon at defensive end would have made a fine tandem. I had visions of Mann and Manley. Haynesworth was always going to be Haynesworth. Haslett was right that he was miserable in Blatche's 4-3 and played sporadically.

We didn't have a nose tackle and Kemo couldn't get it back. That was a problem. Carricker and Daniels seem like they should have been good enough at holding up the line to let the backers make plays. With Fletch, Lorenzo, Orakpo, and Rocky we should have had an above average linebacker group with only Lorenzo really being the bizarre fit. We had no free safety last year. We would have had none in a 4-3 and that would have killed us no matter what, esp. with a gambler like Hall and a quitter like Carlos (and yes, I believe Carlos quit on this team if for no other reason than the way he milked his injury... or how when Barnes and others came in our defensive play improved so much)

In fact, the reason I think you have to include the players in the blame is because in that final four-five game stretch when the defense actually began to look decent, it was because we sat such a high percentage of our starters. Our "stars" were the problem and that problem was at least half mental.
 

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I actually think BB is the closest to correct - the previous "administration" saddled this team with bad attitudes and lazy players.

Last year, the most important part of our defense pouted and whined instead of playing his hardest. He got paid and got lazy, plain and simple - it was what many predicted would happen. I can't believe how many people here want to just give him a free pass and blame Haslett...its mind boggling.

Bottom line: if you're getting paid millions of dollars, you do what the coaches tell you. And all this talk of "if we were in a 4-3, blah blah blah" is nonsense, because as burgold pointed out, Haynesworth didn't exactly light it up in Blache's defense, and was "miserable." Sounds like a pathetic, whiny little man to me, and has nothing to do with anyone coaching the D. Reports coming out about how he behaved in meetings, etc. tell me all I need to know. He came here for a payday, plain and simple.

So now its tied back into BB's answer - Vinny should have seen that fat bastard was just coming here for a payday, and never signed him.
 

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The 'right' talent wasn't there in free agency last year. Because of the rules of the uncapped year there were few guys out there worth signing for the money they wanted.

Recall the linemen that visited last year were all over 30 and most had already evidenced declining skills.

Barry Sims? 35 years old.

Chad Clifton? 34 years old.

On defense there were no nose tackles worth a $12-15M bonus.

My biggest problem with last year was not keeping that #2 pick and taking a guy like Jenkins to get started for the future on the DL.
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Elephant

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Just curious Lanky, who is giving Haynesworth a free pass? He played a part in the horrible defense. I mean the fat **** laid on the ground waiting for the play to end against the Eagles! But he was only part of the bigger problem! A terrible defensive coordinator who has no idea how to scheme a defense around the players he has.

Also, the year before under Blache saw dramatic improvement in the defensive line play with Albert on board. He was still a malcontent in Blache's system, but he was effective at making those around him better, i.e Carter and Orakpo in double digit sacks.
 

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Jim Zorn, Greg Blache, and Vinny Cerrato.

And yes, that is a serious answer.
Don't really disagree.

The other answer is: no one. It takes a couple years to switch to a 3-4, so just have to suck it up while you get new personnel. And yes, I think we'll be better in the long run for it.
 

Om

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TSF nails it.

The premise of the thread presumes that the switch to the 3-4 was by default a "debacle." It was not. The first year was a transition year. Drawing conclusions at this point is premature by at least one season; more fairly two.
 

Lanky Livingston

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Don't really disagree.

The other answer is: no one. It takes a couple years to switch to a 3-4, so just have to suck it up while you get new personnel. And yes, I think we'll be better in the long run for it.
TSF nails it.

The premise of the thread presumes that the switch to the 3-4 was by default a "debacle." It was not. The first year was a transition year. Drawing conclusions at this point is premature by at least one season; more fairly two.

Oh boy, Ryman is furiously typing his 17-page thesis on how other teams have switched to the 3-4 and had instantaneous success...
 

Om

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I'm sure it will provide appropriate comparative context for each. :)
 

Henry

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I'm gonna get all wacky and blame Dan Snyder.

Of course it's Haynesworth's fault. It's his fault because he wouldn't play in a system not suited to his strengths, and that's Haslett and Shanahan's fault. It's their fault because they tried to fit a 4-3 player into a 3-4 scheme. But changes in scheme from one coach to another aren't the current coach's fault. That's the fault of the front office. And that, at the end of this line, is Dan Snyder.

High coaching turnover and high player turnover is not the recipe for success in a team sport which involved 22 starters and 53-man rosters.

We can blame Haynesworth, or Haslett, or hell even Vinnie. But all of those guys are merely symptoms of a larger problem. The guy who hires them.

Hopefully this current front office and it's team will have a chance to develop, and then we can stop the cycle. Until then, all the fingers really only need point in one direction.
 

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"stopping the cycle"

absolutely!!!!!
 

Rymanofthenorth

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there is no such thing as a multiple year transition when it comes to defence and especially the 3-4, if you arent immediately better its a fail, sorry OM and tsf, Om you know better, I know you do you have seen the stats. you could perhaps argue that it takes 2 seasons, but anything more than 2 seasons of crapulence is an abject failure, and yes a drop from decent to leagues worst is a debacle no matter which way you spin it. You dont change your scheme to get worse, you change it to improve, unless of course your desire is to drop games. last I checked, the point of the NFL was to win games. Say what you want about fatty, when he was playing football, he was a difference maker when used correctly. all I have to say is CHICAGO, last season. add in the fact that we have gotten rid of almost every player from last year and it shows that it was a pisspoor fit from the get go. if we arent top 5 defencively next year (not this year because we all know this year will be terrible) I want some apologies lol.
will we be better in the long run because of it? probably because it will contribute heavily to several losing seasons after which we will draft higher. was it the right decision to make absolutely not and it was one of the biggest fails in modern coaching history.
 

Om

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No, Ryman, I don't "know better" ... not if "knowing better" by your definition states that in all circumstances, failure to improve statistically from one year to another is by default a "fail." You've reduced a complex, multil-layered circumstance to a nearly absurd level of simplicity. You deal in absulutes supported by your own opinion.

I do not.

So ... "sorry" too.
 

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