Posted June 19, 2013

FUNNY how something can be the same and yet change so much. We're still going to be running a 4-3 (Under/Over) scheme, but the EMPHASIS will be different this year.

Gone is last years focus on getting the DT's (Richard Seymour/Dez Bryant and Tommy Kelly) to the QB. This year the focus is on controlling the gaps. Enter FA additions Pat Sims and Vance Walker. Defending the run has been a problem for us the last few years, and I'd say it's the biggest culprit in our loss to win ratio over the last few seasons. Yards surrendered on the ground yield long drives, yield tired defenders, yield points surrendered late in games. 1+1+1=3. Simple math. Seven times last year we surrendered 120 or more rushing yards, and EVERY one of those games was a loss. 3 of those losses were blowouts and only ONE of them (122 yards in a 17-20 loss vs the BROWNS!) was close. Neither Sims nor Walker is a pass rush specialist. Their job is simply to clog lanes to force the action to the DE's. Stats will be a bonus for these guys. Stats isn't why they're here.

Lamarr Houston may be the most underrated DE in football. He's a throwback player, and if there is one area it's great to have a throwback, it's near the line of scrimmage. His game is power based, and as an actual 300 (not 290+) pound DE, he excels in setting the edge of the Defense. This is awesome because that is EXACTLY what the DE's will be called on to do in this scheme. Set the edge and work outside arm to both occupy blockers, and box in the run or force it high and out to the (mostly) unblocked LB's. This works in both running AND passing situations. It also frees up the LB's to blitz, as we don't have a dominant pass rusher on the line. So instead of forcing a square peg into a round hole, DC Jason Tarver simply cut some additional square holes. The question is, can we generate a decent rush without blitzing?

Our LB's are a question mark. First of all I have no real idea of who is playing what. FA signee Nick Roach was initially thought to be Rolando McClain's replacement at MLB, but during the OTA's Roach was moved around a lot, landing (it seems) at SLB. Miles Burris was alluded to as possibly switching to MLB, but has not been able to participate yet as he's still recovering from knee surgery earlier this year. So right now there doesn't seem to be a solid answer at MLB, despite several players who can man the spot competently. FA Kaluka Maiava seems to be the guy for the moment.

At OLB, rookie Sio Moore has apparently caught the eye and the imagination of area scribes, despite being listed as a back-up. Ahead of him is FA Kevin Burnett. Burnett has been a steady (if unremarkable) pro over the last few years. Again, Nick Roach has also seen some action on the edge in OTA's, but I have no idea what to make of him at OLB or MLB for that matter, as GB and Detroit, didm't feature strong running games last year when he played in Chicago. 

All in all I think we're going to have a slug-it-out style Defense, that will force teams to beat us with the pass. If we can manage to find a way to generate consistent pass rush, we should shorten drives, and be in a lot of games at the end. If we don't find a way to get heat on the passer however, our Secondary is going to get shelled, and we will see an uptick in the number of blowouts we suffered last year (4 total). Pass rush will be the key.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wizards apologize for odd Black History Month tribute

Report: McCoy may want more money from Bills

Andre Johnson laughed upon hearing he wouldn't start

Brad Stevens: LeBron 'looks like the MVP to me'

Le'Veon Bell tees off on Mel Kiper Jr. over Twitter


Eagles ship LeSean McCoy to Bills for Kiko Alonso

Murray would reportedly give Cowboys hometown discount

Report: Giants ‘considering a run’ at Ndamukong Suh

Darnell Dockett reportedly visiting 49ers on Tuesday

David West on Brian Shaw being fired: ‘That’s bulls–t'

Hamels trade talk motivating Red Sox pitching staff

Columbus Zoo names newborn penguin after Ezekiel Elliott

Matt Barnes blasts NBA over James Harden suspension

Joe Rogan: Ronda Rousey could beat half the men

Bills tell C.J. Spiller he won't be re-signed

Ohio State self-reported funny NCAA violation

Lupul, Phaneuf, Cuthbert threaten lawsuit against TSN

Report: Adrian Peterson has trade list of five preferred teams

Murphy disagrees with Billy Bean’s homosexual 'lifestyle'

Trent Cole has ‘no respect’ for Eagles after release from team

Ronda Rousey lands free ticket to Pacquiao-Mayweather bout

Report: Celtics to pursue Love, Monroe and Gasol this summer

Trying to solve the Alex Guerrero problem

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Stevens: LeBron looks like the MVP

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.