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Pretty Good Article


coltsdan

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Indeed it is a good article. I have never been a fan of the cover 2 scheme, imo we dont have the correct personel to run this scheme. Switching to a base 4-3 scheme would be a better move imo. Now if we had a defensive line such as the Giants do, who can generate a pass rush with all 4 defensive lineman and actually blitz and play man in critical situation we would be a completely different defense. Our biggest issue is 1st down and third down. (Particularly 3rd and mid). First down teams usualy gash us for 5 or more yds because of un sound gap play, and on 3rd and 5 we are 5 yds off the receivers who run quick slants and pick up an easy 1st down. Its very disheartening to watch from my living room and call what the other team is doing before it happens. We need to play closer to the receivers on 3rd down, or even man coverage. I dont think Larry Coyer realizes that you can still play zone with your corneres closer to the receivers instead of 5 yards off.

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I have never understood the "Bend but Dont break" defensive concept. For some reason we always break but we break slowly keeping Peyton off the field. People don't fully understand the pressure the defense puts on the offense to have to score everytime they get on the field cause they wil never know if they will get the ball back. I have seen some games where the offense only 3 possessions in the entire 1st half.

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The problem that we are facing this year with our defense is that it is built to play with a lead. Everyone likes to talk about how the offense was built around Manning. The defense was also built around Manning. They built the defense specifically with the offense in mind. When our offense is scoring it is forcing the opposing offense to keep up especially when we start adding to the lead. This allows our guys to pin their ears back and go straight after the QB.

Freeney and Mathis are perfect for that defense because they can just ignore the run and go after the QB. The problem we face now is we are not going to have that lead consistently or that constant threat of well you better score here or our offense will make it a 10-14 point lead next time we get the ball.

This allows the opposing team to run the ball more consistently which totally negates Freeney and Mathis because they are pretty average at run defense. Half the time they just run themselves out of the play anyways.

The sad thing is we really do not have the personnel to go to a more man coverage defense. Lacey sure is not going to be able to get into a WRs face. Powers could do a better job, but he is better suited for the zone.

All I know is the key to weathering this storm is the defense. If they do not set it up we will be lucky to be 2-6 by the time Manning is ready to come back.

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not just 5 yards..... it is like 3rd and 2 and the corners are standing off like 10-12 yards......

coaches noticed the other teams seemed to catch the ball alot and they are going to make some adjustments, but they noticed we most of the time tackle them after they catch the ball, which is good

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The problem that we are facing this year with our defense is that it is built to play with a lead. Everyone likes to talk about how the offense was built around Manning. The defense was also built around Manning. They built the defense specifically with the offense in mind. When our offense is scoring it is forcing the opposing offense to keep up especially when we start adding to the lead. This allows our guys to pin their ears back and go straight after the QB.

Freeney and Mathis are perfect for that defense because they can just ignore the run and go after the QB. The problem we face now is we are not going to have that lead consistently or that constant threat of well you better score here or our offense will make it a 10-14 point lead next time we get the ball.

This allows the opposing team to run the ball more consistently which totally negates Freeney and Mathis because they are pretty average at run defense. Half the time they just run themselves out of the play anyways.

The sad thing is we really do not have the personnel to go to a more man coverage defense. Lacey sure is not going to be able to get into a WRs face. Powers could do a better job, but he is better suited for the zone.

All I know is the key to weathering this storm is the defense. If they do not set it up we will be lucky to be 2-6 by the time Manning is ready to come back.

This sort of something like I posted on another forum. If the Colts have the lead then Freeney and Mathis can hve a field day going after the QB. The problem is, this yr. I highly doubt were going to be playing with the lead very much at all. Our defense this yr. has become incredibly predictable just because of the personel we use. If we have Freeney, Mathis, and Foster on the d-line the opponent is automatically know were coming on a pass rush and can simply audible to a running play at the line and gash us straight up the gut. If we have Anderson, Brayton, and Johnson in they know were playing the run so the QB has all day to stand in the pocket and pick our corner's apart. I don't have a good feeling at all about our defense this yr. and I have no faith in Coyer to come up with creative ways to cover up our predictability. I think they have actually made it easier for the opposing team this yr. to know exactly what our defense is doing.

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Every defense is predictable. Opposing teams spend countless hours studying them. The element of surprise is okay in spots, but it isn't a key to success. Quality QB's will just switch to the no-huddle when facing uncertainty and catch the defense with their pants down. It's far easier for a defense to be surprised by an offense than the other way around.

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I agree the Cbs should play tighter(but that is because that is how I like to play not because I try to claim the cover two is a flawed defense or the COlts lack the personnel to run it) but the author has the reasoning incorrect. The rush is not getting to the QB because the DE and/or interior line are not creating a rush, it's because teams are using three step drops, bootlegs and one step drops from the shotgun to negate the rush. When that happens the D needs to spread the LBers out a bit more, perhaps get 6 or 7 yards between the OLBs and MLB (vs the standard 5 yards) and/or move the safeties up about 3 yards and let the CBs know if the receiver goes towards the sideline you have man coverage, if he goes to the inside then it's zone.

I also find it funny that people act like all the Colts have to do is move the CBs up and the other team won't do any adjustments. Has anyone ever watched what a team does when the CBs are playing like that? They move the TE up to the line and drop the receiver off, so he still has a 2 yard cushion. It's not like the other O is going to say, "Gosh, they are jamming our WRs at the line and we can't get into a rhythm." They make adjustments as well.

Lastly, in the Houston game the CBs were not the problem. The problem was primarily the LBers and the safeties. Two plays stand out to illustrate this both involve Andre Johnson.

One play Powers was within 3 yards of the LOS, he hit Johnson within the 5 yards, Johnson went to the inside, Powers was trailing him in proper position but Brackett was late getting into his zone and it was an easy completion about a foot over Brackett's arms. Another play, Bethea saw something and was telling Bullitt to move up, Bullitt did not move up and it was an easy completion to Johnson. Bullitt tackled him as soon as he made the catch but if he had moved up he would have been in position to break the pass up.

Oh and one other thing about this D. In the Houston game, of the drives that had to cover more than 20 yards to the endzone, the Colts allowed one TD and two FGs.

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I also find it funny that people act like all the Colts have to do is move the CBs up and the other team won't do any adjustments. Has anyone ever watched what a team does when the CBs are playing like that? They move the TE up to the line and drop the receiver off, so he still has a 2 yard cushion. It's not like the other O is going to say, "Gosh, they are jamming our WRs at the line and we can't get into a rhythm." They make adjustments as well.

I agree somewhat...for me, and I've been watching and saying this for years, the problem is that on 2nd and 3rd and short, the CBs give a cushion of anywhere from 5-10 yards. How many times have we seen a slant or other short pass completed for a first down on this coverage? Who else in the NFL does this on such a consistent basis? When our CBs give that big of a cushion, it negates our pass rush completely because the QB does a quick three step drop (or throws quickly out of the shotgun) and none of the linemen have time to get to him (as if our interior d linemen would anyway). I guess what I'm saying is that I have no fundamental problem with the Cover 2, but more a problem with the bend/don't break mentality. It seems that as the NFL has turned into a more precise passing league, Dungy-ball has become out-dated. See the Super Bowl...QBs like Brady, Brees, and Rodgers will tear this D up with short, precise passes (I'm of the opinion that in the second half a healthy Freeney wouldn't have been able to get to Brees because Payton adjusted to our D scheme). Why not run a more aggressive Cover-2? Is it really a big deal if our D gives up big plays now and again? I would trade some big plays for more turnovers and 3 and outs. For the last 2-3 years, we have been getting killed by a lack of turnovers and lopsided time of possession. If I'm tired of yelling get off the field, I can't see why Coyer/Caldwell aren't tired of yelling it too.

I suppose the other aspect of this is personnel. It could just be that the defense is bad because the majority of players are sub-par....or it could be a combination of scheme and personnel. The one thing the coaches can do now is see if tweaking the scheme helps...

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I agree somewhat...for me, and I've been watching and saying this for years, the problem is that on 2nd and 3rd and short, the CBs give a cushion of anywhere from 5-10 yards. How many times have we seen a slant or other short pass completed for a first down on this coverage? Who else in the NFL does this on such a consistent basis? When our CBs give that big of a cushion, it negates our pass rush completely because the QB does a quick three step drop (or throws quickly out of the shotgun) and none of the linemen have time to get to him (as if our interior d linemen would anyway). I guess what I'm saying is that I have no fundamental problem with the Cover 2, but more a problem with the bend/don't break mentality. It seems that as the NFL has turned into a more precise passing league, Dungy-ball has become out-dated. See the Super Bowl...QBs like Brady, Brees, and Rodgers will tear this D up with short, precise passes (I'm of the opinion that in the second half a healthy Freeney wouldn't have been able to get to Brees because Payton adjusted to our D scheme). Why not run a more aggressive Cover-2? Is it really a big deal if our D gives up big plays now and again? I would trade some big plays for more turnovers and 3 and outs. For the last 2-3 years, we have been getting killed by a lack of turnovers and lopsided time of possession. If I'm tired of yelling get off the field, I can't see why Coyer/Caldwell aren't tired of yelling it too.

I suppose the other aspect of this is personnel. It could just be that the defense is bad because the majority of players are sub-par....or it could be a combination of scheme and personnel. The one thing the coaches can do now is see if tweaking the scheme helps...

The majority of the players on this D are not sub par. I'm not saying there is no room for improvement but they are all good players with a sprinkling of some great players.

And here's the thing, there are some QB that can play the short game very well but you can't build a team to defeat one or two teams. two other things about this; one, it would be stupid to trade big plays for TOP. Many teams have won the game without winning the TOP but few teams win when they give up big plays consistently. Two the Colts created 3 TOs in the game against Houston, you really can't expect more than that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of Coyer and not a huge fan of the Cover 2 but that is the defense that is run and it is not going to be changing, in addition the changes people are suggesting would be of little benefit because: a) the CBs are not the issue and b)it doesn't take into account for the other team making very easy adjustments.

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The main problem with our defense for the past couple of seasons has been our EXTREME over-reliance on Freeney and Mathis to generate a pass-rush. They are pro-bowl players no doubt but the problem is there needs to be a relieve rusher that can come in and sub for either or and not miss a beat. Jerry Hughes is suppose to be that guy but that remains to be seen however. Also as the author noted, we need a DT such as Booger Mcfarland to cause disruption in the middle. Our DB's are not the problem as much as everyone likes to knock them. Powers and Lacey are capable but our front 7 must do their jobs better and not get completely blown off the ball on not only rushing plays but on passing downs as well which was evident in the Houston game. I do however agree with the notion that this defense needs to be more aggressive and they most def has the speed to be so. Early 2009 season comes to mind.

Bottom line: Be more aggressive with blitzes and coverage and utilize DL rotation better.

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The majority of the players on this D are not sub par. I'm not saying there is no room for improvement but they are all good players with a sprinkling of some great players.

And here's the thing, there are some QB that can play the short game very well but you can't build a team to defeat one or two teams. two other things about this; one, it would be stupid to trade big plays for TOP. Many teams have won the game without winning the TOP but few teams win when they give up big plays consistently. Two the Colts created 3 TOs in the game against Houston, you really can't expect more than that.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of Coyer and not a huge fan of the Cover 2 but that is the defense that is run and it is not going to be changing, in addition the changes people are suggesting would be of little benefit because: a) the CBs are not the issue and b)it doesn't take into account for the other team making very easy adjustments.

Just to be clear, I wasn't saying that I felt the defensive personnel is subpar...I was just pointing out that one could argue that to be the case (and many in the anti-Polian argue that). Obviously the talent could be better, but that's the case for every team in the league and I don't think the talent is the main issue.

There are plenty more than one or two QBs in the league that are effective in the short passing game. In fact, I would say its the vast majority. Even the lower tier guys like Rex Grossman, Sanchez, Henne, and other "non elite" QBs are all accurate short passers, particularly if CBs are playing way off the receivers. In fact, one of Colt McCoy's strengths is the short game. So, we will likely see a lot of that on Sunday, which could turn into a long game between short passes, bootlegs, and their power running game if we don't make some adjustments.

I agree turnovers were fine on Sunday, but I don't see why we shouldn't expect some schematic changes regarding the positing of our CBs. Our scheme puts them in the position to fail on 2nd and 3rd and short in fear of the big play. We have one of the best FS in the league in Bethea, and Bullit is a very sold SS in pass coverage. Point is, we can afford to be more aggressive with our CBs in pass coverage based on the strong pass coverage skills of our safeties. Our personnel can limit big plays even with a more aggressive scheme.

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Here's a similar take by Art Arkush of Pro Football Weekly, as posted on the PFW website ...

Posted Sept. 12, 2011 @ 6:28 p.m. ET

By Arthur Arkush, PFW ( http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/09/12/gut-check-time-for-colts-defense )

The Colts' offensive struggles in Sunday's 34-7 dismantling courtesy of the Texans were about as surprising as the recent revelations that there is widespread cheating going on in college football. Replace Peyton Manning with Kerry Collins and give Collins roughly two weeks to learn the offense — not to mention three new starters on the offensive line — and growing pains (that's putting it nicely) were imminent.

That the Indy defense was so rotten — while also not a huge surprise — is far more alarming.

Here is a scary thought: The Colts' defense actually improved upon its Week One effort in 2010, when Texans RB Arian Foster rushed his way onto the national stage and into the record books.

The truth, though, is that the Texans still took what they wanted, when they wanted it from the Colts on Sunday — and they did it with relative ease. If not for a dropped TD by All-Pro WR Andre Johnson, a fumble by RB Ben Tate and an ill-advised fourth-quarter interception by Matt Schaub, the outcome would have been much worse.

And the scariest thought of all: Peyton Manning won't be coming to the rescue anytime soon.

The PFW Spin

It is hard to quantify how many times Manning has bailed out the Colts' defense over the past 13 years. The Colts' model for success has been to surround Manning with blue-chip talent on offense and lean on DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to make plays on defense.

That model simply won't work this season.

Sure, Collins still has plenty of talent around him, and Freeney and Mathis are talented enough to make impactful plays. But the feared edge rushers no longer have the luxury of pinning their ears back with the team playing with a lead and concentrating solely on decapitating opposing QBs.

It's safe to assume that defensive stalwarts like Freeney, Mathis, Gary Brackett, Antoine Bethea and others did a lot of soul searching following Sunday's debacle. I firmly believe the Colts, the winningest team of the decade, have too much pride to phone it in this season without their leader. I'm guessing the Colts watched film Monday with a fire burning in their bellies to have a great week of practice and play their tails off against a very beatable Cleveland team in front of their adoring fans on Sunday.

If that is going to happen, however, the Colts' defense needs a dramatic and urgent turnaround. The D-line, which added a pair of former first-rounders, Jamaal Anderson and Tyler Brayton, and third-round three-technique Drake Nevis, needs to develop a chip on its shoulder and no longer tolerate being pushed around. The Texans' offensive line that steamrolled the Colts is not one that is known for being overly physical and imposing its will on opponents — until Sunday.

The Colts' young linebackers need to know their responsibilities and tackle far better. Let me repeat: stay in your gaps, fellas. Tate is an exciting running back who might go on to have a very fine career, but he is not the unstoppable force the Colts made him out to be Sunday.

I don't expect the Colts to suddenly stop playing their Tampa-2 scheme that allows yards in the middle of the field, but I could have found open receivers in that soft zone if I were playing QB. Desperate times call for desperate measures and if I'm defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, the time is now to get creative and find ways to tighten up in the middle of the field and still create turnovers. (Indy came up with three takeaways, but I would argue that at least two were gifts from the Texans.)

It is only one week, and we all have watched enough football to know better than making knee-jerk reactions — particularly with these most trying circumstances — but one thing is crystal clear regarding the Colts after the embarrassing loss in Houston: the status quo on defense simply won't cut it this year.

No. 18 isn't magically swooping in and saving the day like he has so many times in seasons past. The Colts must save themselves — and it starts on defense. I know they have too much pride to stink up the field again the way they did on Sunday.

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Here's a similar take by Art Arkush of Pro Football Weekly, as posted on the PFW website ...

Posted Sept. 12, 2011 @ 6:28 p.m. ET

By Arthur Arkush, PFW ( http://www.profootballweekly.com/2011/09/12/gut-check-time-for-colts-defense )

The Colts' offensive struggles in Sunday's 34-7 dismantling courtesy of the Texans were about as surprising as the recent revelations that there is widespread cheating going on in college football. Replace Peyton Manning with Kerry Collins and give Collins roughly two weeks to learn the offense — not to mention three new starters on the offensive line — and growing pains (that's putting it nicely) were imminent.

That the Indy defense was so rotten — while also not a huge surprise — is far more alarming.

Here is a scary thought: The Colts' defense actually improved upon its Week One effort in 2010, when Texans RB Arian Foster rushed his way onto the national stage and into the record books.

The truth, though, is that the Texans still took what they wanted, when they wanted it from the Colts on Sunday — and they did it with relative ease. If not for a dropped TD by All-Pro WR Andre Johnson, a fumble by RB Ben Tate and an ill-advised fourth-quarter interception by Matt Schaub, the outcome would have been much worse.

And the scariest thought of all: Peyton Manning won't be coming to the rescue anytime soon.

The PFW Spin

It is hard to quantify how many times Manning has bailed out the Colts' defense over the past 13 years. The Colts' model for success has been to surround Manning with blue-chip talent on offense and lean on DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis to make plays on defense.

That model simply won't work this season.

Sure, Collins still has plenty of talent around him, and Freeney and Mathis are talented enough to make impactful plays. But the feared edge rushers no longer have the luxury of pinning their ears back with the team playing with a lead and concentrating solely on decapitating opposing QBs.

It's safe to assume that defensive stalwarts like Freeney, Mathis, Gary Brackett, Antoine Bethea and others did a lot of soul searching following Sunday's debacle. I firmly believe the Colts, the winningest team of the decade, have too much pride to phone it in this season without their leader. I'm guessing the Colts watched film Monday with a fire burning in their bellies to have a great week of practice and play their tails off against a very beatable Cleveland team in front of their adoring fans on Sunday.

If that is going to happen, however, the Colts' defense needs a dramatic and urgent turnaround. The D-line, which added a pair of former first-rounders, Jamaal Anderson and Tyler Brayton, and third-round three-technique Drake Nevis, needs to develop a chip on its shoulder and no longer tolerate being pushed around. The Texans' offensive line that steamrolled the Colts is not one that is known for being overly physical and imposing its will on opponents — until Sunday.

The Colts' young linebackers need to know their responsibilities and tackle far better. Let me repeat: stay in your gaps, fellas. Tate is an exciting running back who might go on to have a very fine career, but he is not the unstoppable force the Colts made him out to be Sunday.

I don't expect the Colts to suddenly stop playing their Tampa-2 scheme that allows yards in the middle of the field, but I could have found open receivers in that soft zone if I were playing QB. Desperate times call for desperate measures and if I'm defensive coordinator Larry Coyer, the time is now to get creative and find ways to tighten up in the middle of the field and still create turnovers. (Indy came up with three takeaways, but I would argue that at least two were gifts from the Texans.)

It is only one week, and we all have watched enough football to know better than making knee-jerk reactions — particularly with these most trying circumstances — but one thing is crystal clear regarding the Colts after the embarrassing loss in Houston: the status quo on defense simply won't cut it this year.

No. 18 isn't magically swooping in and saving the day like he has so many times in seasons past. The Colts must save themselves — and it starts on defense. I know they have too much pride to stink up the field again the way they did on Sunday.

another good article.

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The Colts defense is a very situational unit. As everybody knows, it is built on offense taking us to a lead. That is also why Manning is so important: He indeed plays defense for us indirectly.

With the current players, it is not like we cannot make changes, but do we have the physical conners to jam the receivers? Do we have the DTs to generate presure from the middle?

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Again, coaching. Why do the corners play so far off? Because that's what they're told to do, first by Ron Meeks, now by Coyer. I thought Coyer was brought in to do kind of the opposite, but it seems that we keep falling into the same ol' same ol'. 3rd and 6 against the Colts D, might as well be 1st and 5.

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Again, coaching. Why do the corners play so far off? Because that's what they're told to do, first by Ron Meeks, now by Coyer. I thought Coyer was brought in to do kind of the opposite, but it seems that we keep falling into the same ol' same ol'. 3rd and 6 against the Colts D, might as well be 1st and 5.

you need to have the right personnel to execute the right plays. looking at Lacey matching up against Edwards one-on-one last yr in the playoff was pathetic. Many of our corners should play zone only.

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i see the article repeats the "the defense is built to play with a lead" nonsense. that is colts speak for "our defense really sucks, but if the opposing offense is totally predictable we can get by."

you get it. this is what our D really is. if there are games you remember our D did very well, you may notice these were mostly games we got a lead quickly, or ones with one-dimensional opponents.

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"It is hard to quantify how many times Manning has bailed out the Colts' defense over the past 13 years.....And the scariest thought of all: Peyton Manning won't be coming to the rescue anytime soon."

My summary of this season in a nutshell.

All the strategy in the world, all the retired QBs and rookie hopefuls are not going to solve our problem(s).

I can't help but think that it has to, at least, be better next week. There is always hope!

:lombardi::coltslogo::lombardi:

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A lot of those ideas have been thrown around before on this forum, specifically the "have the receivers decrease their cushions" one. I'm interested in finding out whether it's Coyer telling the CBs to play that far off or if Coyer gives the players the opportunity to do whatever they wish.

I heard something during the game that eluded to defensive players given alot of freedom, something about the defense running a barebones defense where players don't have to think as much and are allowed to just react.....

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