Was at the game last night, so was able to see a lot more from the seats then I was able to see previously on TV and with all the talk about the offense there are a lot of developments happening defensively….
Kendrick Ellis had an excellent game. This is a 340 lb guy we are talking about who was all over the field last night. I sincerely hope pouha is back to his old self (especially given his contract) but at this point, he should be splitting snaps with Ellis 50-50 with ellis playing more of the “passing down snaps” due to his ability to penetrate. Also, at his height he is excellent at clogging the middle and batting down balls. Kid looks like he could turn out to be an excellent player.
Ho-hum…Wilkerson had another solid game as we have all come to expect. There were a lot of times he was used as the only down lineman in passing situations which I personally don’t like, but overall he was very solid against the run.
Coples had a very similar game to his 2 previous. His speed off the ball is outstanding and he is very strong at the POA. So far so good…
Marcus Dixon also played well against the 2s
Bart had another good game. As much as I want Demario’s speed out there, Bart is playing well, I hope it continues, but if not, at least we have demario (or mauga) behind him.
Bryan Thomas also played very well against the run. There were a couple plays were he really set the edge and took on blockers. I know he is somewhat unheralded, but I think we missed him more then people think last year. Hopefully he stays healthy and helps our run def.
I have defended Pace on the board a lot, but personally I thought he looked terrible last night. Just slow and plodding. We should have had cam sacked once, and pace was so far from getting to him it was embarrassing. I hope rex doesn’t remain too loyal to him because he is being used as an “edge rusher” for us right now and that is hurting the team.
Maybin played well in his “situational” role and the play where he came up the middle, 90% of NFL QBs would have been sacked. I do ope he adds another dimension to his speed rush though…time will tell.
The secondary had its ups and downs. Cro actually hit someone but as usual, also missed a tackle, however I don’t want to nitpick as he was actually physical for once.
Kyle Wilson did not look good….not sure why he is getting so consistently beat, but its very disappointing. I will say though that Newton has such a strong arm, that on the deep cross where Wilson got beat, there aren’t many QBs that can make that throw.
It was tough to evaluate jush bush, but it appears he did blow a coverage on the TD and I saw revis yelling at him.
As for the second unit I tried to watch Antonio allen as much as possible and I honestly think on the long pass he gave up he had excellent coverage and just missed batting the ball away. Im surprised to see bush playing ahead of him…
Overall, (and I hope this is just preseason stuff) I don’t get why we are still going with the 1-2 downlineman and the rest LBs and DBs on passing downs. A front 4 of Ellis and Wilk at the tackles with maybin and coples at DE is a very good unit for pressuring the QB, especially if Ellis comes in fresh if he hasn’t been playing every snap. Seeing the delayed DB blitzes still is frustrating as they don’t work anymore. Rex also used Bart as a “DE” on a couple passing downs and I already mentioned how I felt Pace struggled. We have the speed and athletically ability to rush the passer without a ton of blitzing….I really hope we start to do that.
You make some very good points and I agree with all of them. The defense played very well. I think Ellis is going to be a big time player for us. We had some issues, notably Wilson and covering the TE. The TE problems are getting old. I think it is time for a new approach.
But it is funny that for the offense it is "just the pre season". And for the defense it seems like everything is counting and we are using their performance to predict what will happen in the regular season. Little bit of a double-standard. I think what we saw last night is what we can expect in the regular season. Turnovers are going to be crucial. We need to have a nice differential in order to be successful this season.
I think Wilk, Ellis and Coples are going to need a nickname soon.
The TE coverage thing is what shocked me so much about having Bush play with the first team last night, and not at least rotate with Allen.
Maybe there are things we arent seeing/hearing about allen's struggles, but the guy excelled vs the TE in college and that is an area of need for us....seems like easy math to me.
Bush right now probably has a better grasp of the defense. Thats probably why he was in there replacing Bell. Bell is the one who makes the calls for the secondary so Bush would have assumed that role. Allen played a hybrid LB/S position for South Carolina last year, so he may not be totally comfortable with all the coverage calls that the safety has to make. Bush is very smart (went to Wake Forrest), also played CB in college as well.
Landry will put seven or eight guys on IR if he stays healthy. Reminds me of
Victor Green. Both guys don't (didn't) even need to tackle, they just stop and somehow turn into concrete right before guys going run into them.