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Old 04-01-2013, 01:16 AM    (permalink
Ness
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Originally Posted by AcheTen View Post
Defense fluctuates from year-to-year far more than offense.

Defense that is predicated upon a top-heavy list of elite starters, like the 49ers defense, stands a much greater chance of regression than other defenses.

I will honestly be shocked if their defense is still top-10 next year. In fact, I'd bet money that they don't finish in the top-10 in defense next year.

That doesn't mean they can't be a playoff team, especially if their offense is good, which it could very well be. But there are too many variables and factors into what makes an elite defense to just pencil them in year-after-year as a top-5 unit.
And this is what folks were saying after 2011. That the turnovers wouldn't continue to go our way, that it was a once in a generation year, blah, blah, blah. It was like saying that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense would fall off a cliff following the 1997 and 1998 seasons, or that the Steelers would decline after 2004 and 2005 on D yet they were dominant for a number of years. When you have a coaching staff that has been together and knows how to make adjustments and replace players then it's not that big of a deal. Only way SF isn't among the top defenses in 2013 is if everyone on that side of the ball gets injured or Colin Kaepernick on offense gets hurt forcing the defense to have to win every game.
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Oh, my bad. Didn't realize SWDC was the pinnacle of class and grace.
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Old 04-01-2013, 02:01 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
It's ok, he's trying really hard to tell people JPP isn't any good and will use any opportunity to tell anyone and everyone why.
To be fair. JPP has put up the most misleading 10-sack season in NFL history. That's kinda impressive.
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JPP is a better and more productive player than Brandon Graham
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Is Shaun Hill a top 10 QB? Definitely not. Is he a top 20 one? Almost certainly.
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Most misleading 10+ sack season EVER.
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Old 04-01-2013, 07:54 AM    (permalink
cmarq83
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Originally Posted by AcheTen View Post
Elite starters:

- Justin Smith
- Navarro Bowman
- Patrick Willis

Good starters:

- Ray McDonald
- Ahmad Brooks
- Aldon Smith

Average to Mediocre players made to look better by scheme/talent around them:

- Carlos Rogers
- Cris Culliver
- Donte Whitner
- Terrell Brown
- Perrish Cox

Gone from team:
- Dashon Goldson (best DB in their secondary)
- Isaac Sopoaga (average rotational player)
- Ricky Jean Francious (solid rotational player)

Basically speaking, their entire DB outside of Goldson was pretty scrubby to average at best. Now that Goldson's gone, they're entirely dependent on their front seven to cover up their secondary. And Justin Smith is far and away the best player in their front seven, and as an older more injury-prone player, we saw what happened to the SF defense in the latter half of the year after his injury. What happens if Justin Smith is on the decline, which is highly likely given his age? I only like Ray McDonald of the others on that defensive line, and he's just a "good" player.
Even though I don't necessarily agree with your player evaluations (Culliver, A. Smith, and Rogers should all go up a tier), but you won't find any defense at this point without any questions on it. Only Seattle can match the overall talent of San Francisco, and you'd be hard pressed to find another defense without more significant flaws than the 49ers currently.

The fact remains that this is a defense that returns 9 starters from a defense that allowed 14-17 ppg in consecutive seasons. They have 14 picks and there are plenty of desirable defensive free agents left. They're going to have 1 of the 5 best units fairly easily.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:10 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Ness View Post
And this is what folks were saying after 2011. That the turnovers wouldn't continue to go our way, that it was a once in a generation year, blah, blah, blah. It was like saying that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense would fall off a cliff following the 1997 and 1998 seasons, or that the Steelers would decline after 2004 and 2005 on D yet they were dominant for a number of years. When you have a coaching staff that has been together and knows how to make adjustments and replace players then it's not that big of a deal. Only way SF isn't among the top defenses in 2013 is if everyone on that side of the ball gets injured or Colin Kaepernick on offense gets hurt forcing the defense to have to win every game.
Did you watch the defense after Justin Smith got hurt in the latter part of the regular season and into the postseason?

It didn't look even average, let alone dominant.

Now, extrapolate that onto a full season if (really, when, because at his age, it will happen soon) Jusin Smith is injured and/or out for any reason going forward...

And it's not like they're just going to pick up a dominant all-around DT/DE off a tree somewhere. There are no guarantees they can even get on eof the top DL in the draft, and even if they do get one, there are no guarantees that player will even be able to contribute much as a rookie, and certainly there are no guarantees that he will even be 1/4 of the player Smith has been for them the past two years.

Their secondary has basically zero talent now that Goldson (their best DB the past two years by far) left in free agency. It's all a bunch of mediocre zone corners that get burnt easily when the rush doesnt arrive (like Cris Culliver) or older guys who are likely to regress rapidly (like Carlos Rogers) in the future. Once the DL is no longer dominant, this defense tumbles out of the top-10. Maybe it won't be in the bottom 10, but it will probably hover around the 16-20 range.

Of course, if the offense is great, then the team will still win a ton of games, but they will end up looking like the 2010 Saints or the 2011 Packers - teams that play in a ton of shootouts and win alot, but once they hit a team that can slow them down with defense, they will lose because their own defense won't be able to keep up.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:16 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by cmarq83 View Post
Even though I don't necessarily agree with your player evaluations (Culliver, A. Smith, and Rogers should all go up a tier), but you won't find any defense at this point without any questions on it. Only Seattle can match the overall talent of San Francisco, and you'd be hard pressed to find another defense without more significant flaws than the 49ers currently.

The fact remains that this is a defense that returns 9 starters from a defense that allowed 14-17 ppg in consecutive seasons. They have 14 picks and there are plenty of desirable defensive free agents left. They're going to have 1 of the 5 best units fairly easily.
I'm not going to argue with the talent level of the 49ers on offense, because that side of the ball is certainly stacked with talented and young players.

However, the defense is another story altogether. I'd take a bunch of defenses over what the 49ers have: The Lions have a better DLine and a comparable secondary now; the Bengals have a better DLine and more overall talent on D; the Broncos have more overall talent on D; the Seahawks definitely have more defensive talent; the Rams have more younger cornerstones on defense than the 49ers; and I'd probably even take the Chargers because of their young defensive linemen.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:49 PM    (permalink
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I'm not going to argue with the talent level of the 49ers on offense, because that side of the ball is certainly stacked with talented and young players.

However, the defense is another story altogether. I'd take a bunch of defenses over what the 49ers have: The Lions have a better DLine and a comparable secondary now; the Bengals have a better DLine and more overall talent on D; the Broncos have more overall talent on D; the Seahawks definitely have more defensive talent; the Rams have more younger cornerstones on defense than the 49ers; and I'd probably even take the Chargers because of their young defensive linemen.
You almost had me convinced that you were just an idiot rather than trying to get a rise out of everyone. Then you said that you'd take Detroit, Denver, and San Diego's defensive talent over what the 49ers have...
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:22 AM    (permalink
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The broncos def. have some good/elite players on D but most of out starters are young/average players..its more the scheme from Del Rio than talent.

The 49ers are def more talented
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:43 AM    (permalink
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You almost had me convinced that you were just an idiot rather than trying to get a rise out of everyone. Then you said that you'd take Detroit, Denver, and San Diego's defensive talent over what the 49ers have...
When comparing defenses side-by-side, I'd rather take the defense with the better DLine, because elite DLinemen are harder to find and/or develop. Secondaries can be built more easily.

Detroit has a pretty bad secondary, but San Francisco is not much better now that Goldson is gone. With the right CB addition here and there, Detroit has top-5 potential in that defense based on the talent and quality of their defensive linemen. Ndamakong Suh and Nick Fairley are both better than any defensive lineman on the 49ers roster except for Justin Smith, but I'd give the edge to Suh and Fairley over Smith if I was taking them for the next 2-3 years because they are young and developing rather than on the decline like Smith.

You have the same scenario with the Chargers. Bad secondary, nice young defensive linemen in Reyes, Liuget, and Ingram. I'd take the defensive line / linebacker talent on the Chargers roster over the 49ers' right now. And again, because secondaries are easier to build than defensive lines, it doesn't really matter to me if the 49ers have a slight edge in the DB department (and it's not even a great edge as I mentioned before because their DBs are mediocre at best now as a group).

In the case of Denver, Von Miller is better than any player on the 49ers defense, period. And Denver has the better secondary right now. The only area in which the 49ers out-talent Denver on defense is the two ILBs (Bowman and Willis).
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:53 AM    (permalink
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you know, and DL (the whole thing) and S. but at least we have a good OLB and a good CB.
People overrate the 49ers DLine going forward soooo much, it's ludicrous.

Seriously guys, outside of an older, on-the-decline, injury-prone Justin Smith, the 49ers have basically nothing on the DLine. Ray McDonald is a "nice" player but that's about it. The rest of their guys are scrubs or left in free agency.

I'd honestly take Derek Wolfe +Terrance Knighton + other guys over Justin Smith + other guys right now, just because of the age / injury issues with the latter.

And 49ers safeties are a joke right now. Are you kidding me? Goldson was their best DB and he's gone, and now they have the mediocre and overrated Donte Whitner. I'd take Rahim Moore + Champ Bailey + Domonique Rodgers Cromartie + other guys over the 49ers secondary ANY day of the week and twice on Sunday.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:00 AM    (permalink
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People overrate the 49ers DLine going forward soooo much, it's ludicrous.

Seriously guys, outside of an older, on-the-decline, injury-prone Justin Smith, the 49ers have basically nothing on the DLine. Ray McDonald is a "nice" player but that's about it. The rest of their guys are scrubs or left in free agency.
Stop saying Justin Smith is injury prone. The two games he missed at the end of the regular season last year where the first games he has missed since his rookie year back in ´01. From 2002 Justin Smith has started 174 consecutive games, playing one of the most physically demanding positions in football. Just stop it.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:04 AM    (permalink
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Stop saying Justin Smith is injury prone. The two games he missed at the end of the regular season last year where the first games he has missed since his rookie year back in ´01. From 2002 Justin Smith has started 174 consecutive games, playing one of the most physically demanding positions in football. Just stop it.
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The fact is that older players are more injury prone. It's just a part of getting older. And we already saw last year that it has begun.

Injuries don't go away with age, they just keep nagging at your body and you have to manage them.

Couple that with natural age-related decline (which happens with every player past the age of 32), and Smith's expected value, in terms of performance, going forward is a line graph that is pointed downward, whereas expected value of players like Suh, Fairley, Reyes, and Wolfe are all line graphs that are pointed upward that will plateau maybe 3-4 years from now, as they did with Justin Smith when he was the same age and developed into a great player in his late 20s.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:33 AM    (permalink
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I will say Chris Harris though is one of the best nickle backs in the game, when he came in and started he was lights out and when he was able to play the nickle he was again lights out.


now that DRC is here he is going to be able to focus on nickle and PFF had him highly rated to go along with his impressive game play.


"Best Starting Pair

When asking the question, which cornerback duo was the best in the NFL this season, it is impossible to prove definitively one way or the other. What we can tell you though, is which starting cornerback duo gave up the least yardage. That would be the Broncos’ Champ Bailey and Chris Harris Jr. They finished fourth and ninth respectively in YPCS this season, the highest average finish of any starting cornerback tandem. Four individual corners gave up more yards than the 929 yards the Denver duo combined to give up. "
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:42 AM    (permalink
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I will say Chris Harris though is one of the best nickle backs in the game, when he came in and started he was lights out and when he was able to play the nickle he was again lights out.


now that DRC is here he is going to be able to focus on nickle and PFF had him highly rated to go along with his impressive game play.


"Best Starting Pair

When asking the question, which cornerback duo was the best in the NFL this season, it is impossible to prove definitively one way or the other. What we can tell you though, is which starting cornerback duo gave up the least yardage. That would be the Broncos’ Champ Bailey and Chris Harris Jr. They finished fourth and ninth respectively in YPCS this season, the highest average finish of any starting cornerback tandem. Four individual corners gave up more yards than the 929 yards the Denver duo combined to give up. "
It'll definitely be interesting to see if that Broncos defense gets better with Knighton and DRC. Even though they've been a pretty impressive statistical defense, I've always felt that teams that have QBs who don't panic when they're hit few times, a decent running game, and the ability to attack the middle of the field can run the Broncos D out of the building.

They need to find an answer so they can compete with the good offenses in the AFC which killed them last season.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:45 AM    (permalink
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Granted the Patriots played them early on when the team was still learning the scheme on both O and D.

I agree the key to beating the broncos to me over the last couple years is the inability to guard the TE... going back to Gates, Gonzales now the patriots have two good ones.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:47 AM    (permalink
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Schematically, Denver's defense is very similar to Seattles.

Just shows you how personnel can make what is essentially the same scheme look so different.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:49 AM    (permalink
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The problem is you dont have the Sean Taylor type saftey any more that has the size and speed to play against the TE...they are essentially moving towards being more of a CB playing safety and having an athletic TE is becoming a HUGE weapon (Gronkowski and Hernandez are examples)
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:53 AM    (permalink
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And teams have adjusted to this problem by getting lighter in the front 7, and playing aggressive 1 gap schemes to rush the passer.

And offenses countered with the read option and jumbo packages to reestablish the value of the run game.

It's a never ending chess match btw offensive evolution vs defensive evolution. Evolution is probably the wrong word, bc everything has been done already. It's finding schemes and personnel groupings that can take advantage of current league wide trends.

I think we might see more 2 gap defenses come back, maybe even some 46 and flex defense. Probably the most realistic is 2 gap defenses like Parcells 3-4 though.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:55 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by bigbluedefense View Post
Schematically, Denver's defense is very similar to Seattles.

Just shows you how personnel can make what is essentially the same scheme look so different.
Red Bryant and Earl Thomas are the difference between those 2 defenses. Bryant commands a double whereas whomever the Broncos had could get blown off the ball. Obviously Thomas's range covers up a lot of the speed deficiencies of Sherman and Browner. Smith may not have burnt Bailey so bad it Thomas was there to clean up over the top.

I just pray the Broncos don't get Seymour because he'd be a hell of an addition as a heavy end in the same vein the Seahawks use Bryant.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:56 AM    (permalink
Denver Bronco56
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But my top 10 would be


1)49ers
2)Seahawks
3)Denver
4)Patriots
5)Falcons
6)Texans
7)Packers
8)Ravens
9)Giants
10)Lions(My Sleeper team for 2013)
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:04 AM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
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Red Bryant and Earl Thomas are the difference between those 2 defenses. Bryant commands a double whereas whomever the Broncos had could get blown off the ball. Obviously Thomas's range covers up a lot of the speed deficiencies of Sherman and Browner. Smith may not have burnt Bailey so bad it Thomas was there to clean up over the top.

I just pray the Broncos don't get Seymour because he'd be a hell of an addition as a heavy end in the same vein the Seahawks use Bryant.
They try to use Wolfe in the Bryant role, and I think he's decent at it. I think their problem was DT, they need to get heavier at DT.

Mebane and Branch really packed the middle for the Hawks, and Denver doesn't have that meat in the middle. That's why they got Pot Roast, to try to help out in that area.

I also think the Hawks have a criminally underrated LB core, and the Broncos LBs are pretty mediocre. Seymour would be a great addition to Denver though.

And I agree about the secondary. Earl Thomas is a stud and the best FS in the league.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:19 AM    (permalink
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They try to use Wolfe in the Bryant role, and I think he's decent at it. I think their problem was DT, they need to get heavier at DT.

Mebane and Branch really packed the middle for the Hawks, and Denver doesn't have that meat in the middle. That's why they got Pot Roast, to try to help out in that area.

I also think the Hawks have a criminally underrated LB core, and the Broncos LBs are pretty mediocre. Seymour would be a great addition to Denver though.

And I agree about the secondary. Earl Thomas is a stud and the best FS in the league.
I think calling Denver's linebackers mediocre is a bit harsh considering they have Von Miller and Woodyard was pretty solid last season. The main issue was at middle linebacker where Joe Mays was such a disaster that switching to the 37 year old Keith Brooking was a fairly significant improvement.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:22 AM    (permalink
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They try to use Wolfe in the Bryant role, and I think he's decent at it. I think their problem was DT, they need to get heavier at DT.

Mebane and Branch really packed the middle for the Hawks, and Denver doesn't have that meat in the middle. That's why they got Pot Roast, to try to help out in that area.

I also think the Hawks have a criminally underrated LB core, and the Broncos LBs are pretty mediocre. Seymour would be a great addition to Denver though.

And I agree about the secondary. Earl Thomas is a stud and the best FS in the league.
I think there is a bit of an issue on the edges as well. While obviously the NE games stand out most to me, I saw some other teams attack the corners with some success against them. A lot of it has to do with how bad Mays and Williams were at getting off blocks, but there was a lot of movement at the end position.

If they ever hope to stop the NE offense they need to find a way to counter the size and athleticism that NE throws out on the outside with Solder, Vollmer, and Gronk. So far in the last 3 meetings the Broncos have had no answer.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:23 AM    (permalink
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I think calling Denver's linebackers mediocre is a bit harsh considering they have Von Miller and Woodyard was pretty solid last season. The main issue was at middle linebacker where Joe Mays was such a disaster that switching to the 37 year old Keith Brooking was a fairly significant improvement.
I agree 100% Woodyard was lights out last year and Von Miller speaks shouldnt even be in discussion for "Mediocre" the one spot that all broncos fan are worried about is MLB...if we can draft a stud MLB or Nate Irving can step up we should be fine.


Another thing to point out is Robert Ayers is going to finally get his shot to start(he started his rookie year but was a OLB, he is finally getting a shot at his natural position)
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:30 AM    (permalink
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I think calling Denver's linebackers mediocre is a bit harsh considering they have Von Miller and Woodyard was pretty solid last season. The main issue was at middle linebacker where Joe Mays was such a disaster that switching to the 37 year old Keith Brooking was a fairly significant improvement.
Mediocre means average. I think that's fair. Von will or should eventually take the Dumerville role in this defense. Unless you get a Freeney type to play RE.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:33 AM    (permalink
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You guys are insane if you think Earl Thomas is even a top-5 safety, let alone "best safety in the league".

He's fast, has good range, but blows his fair share of coverages and doesn't offer anything spectacular in the run game.

He's not bad, but he's a far cry from the top-5.
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