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twfish

Pass rush VS Coverage

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I've been thinking about this alot lately for whatever reason, likely from seeing a post on instagram about about Von Miller and Bradely Chubb versus Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. It got me thinking that if we had one of the best pass rushing duos the league has seen, then why wasn't our defense one of the best? I mean that what its all about is getting to the QB right? While they did make a tremendous impact we would still give up a ton of plays. Plays that would cause us to lose games. It was generally to QB's that would get rid of the ball quickly not giving the pass rush enough time to get to the QB. It just so happened that PFF released a video discussing the topic the next day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTmMhTXD45U

 

So given the option would we be better with an elite secondary or an elite set of edge rushers? Me personally I am siding with the secondary. If you have guys that can blanket WR's It forces the QB to continue through his progressions taking more time allowing even mediocre pass rush to apply pressure. It is causing me to wonder if maybe the edge rusher position is becoming over valued in the terms of draft capital where elite level cornerbacks are being dropped down due to just ok pass rushers. Lets hear some offseason talk

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i think its best to be well rounded,   teams will always attack your biggest weakness 

 

if i could pick something to upgrade i would go with pass rush. mostly because great edge rushers are still hard to find, but cover two corners and safeties arent really.  the pass rush was not bad last year, but they were nothing special either and it hurt us against the leagues best teams 

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I was thinking myself after the draft that the team may be looking for

a few more coverage sacks, by half of the picks going speedy linebackers

and secondary help. Our managing team actually appears competent 

after years of cluelessness.

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You always go with pass rush first.  Unless you have deon sanders and mike Haynes beck there, the corners can only cover for so long.

The colts gave up so many plays in the freeney/Mathis era because the secondary practically gift wrapped 6-7 yard completions by playing so far off the receivers.

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The quicker the passing game becomes(this has been a trend) the more coverage will matter more than pass-rush less, simply because you have to cover from second 0 of the snap of the ball to the point when the ball is either caught(and player tackled) or intercepted or defensed... while the pass-rush purely physically usually doesn't get there until around second 2 of the pass-rush and the average time to throw is about 2.5-2.6 seconds.... so in essence you have less than 3 seconds to get there with pass-rush and in reality you pretty much never get there before the 2.0 second mark. 

 

Something else to consider here though... pass-rush is more consistent than pass-coverage. That's even what PFF's own research shows. It's more consistent and more predictable game to game and year to year. This means that you would probably be able to rely on your pass-rush more confidently than on your pass-coverage. 

 

I personally would rather not look at it as an either/or proposition though. They are both aspects of the game that are very important defensively and enhance one another. Ballard is on the record that he believes in building from the inside-out so I guess he's on the other end of the debate here... although... if you look at his picks... it seems to me that he does understand the importance of pass-coverage - he spent 3 top 50 picks(2 seconds and a 1st) on DBs in his 1st 2 drafts, while spending 3 seconds on pass-rushers. This is a very balanced approach when it comes to the draft capital he's using to build the defensive structure of this team and you can even argue he's using more higher end resources on the secondary rather than on pass-rush. 

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52 minutes ago, BOTT said:

You always go with pass rush first.  Unless you have deon sanders and mike Haynes beck there, the corners can only cover for so long.

The colts gave up so many plays in the freeney/Mathis era because the secondary practically gift wrapped 6-7 yard completions by playing so far off the receivers.

 

 And of course the Freeney hole was the easiest 5 yd rush in the history of the NFL.
And you could rush right at Mathis or run a counter play his way as he was always bolting straight behind the line racing to catch guys from behind that were running through the Freeney hole. Comical and painful to watch.

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2 hours ago, twfish said:

It got me thinking that if we had one of the best pass rushing duos the league has seen, then why wasn't our defense one of the best?

 

Our defense was one of the best, if not THE best... at playing the pass when Peyton gave them a lead.

 

The problem was that Freeney and Mathis weren't great at playing the run.  Teams could run and dink-n-dunk on our Tampa-2 all day long.

 

Remember our defense was historically bad against the run in 2006, but still won 12 games and a SB.

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4 minutes ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

 And of course the Freeney hole was the easiest 5 yd rush in the history of the NFL.
And you could rush right at Mathis or run a counter play his way as he was always bolting straight behind the line racing to catch guys from behind that were running through the Freeney hole. Comical and painful to watch.

Yup, like the Mark

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Gastineau

 

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13 minutes ago, stitches said:

The quicker the passing game becomes(this has been a trend) the more coverage will matter more than pass-rush less, simply because you have to cover from second 0 of the snap of the ball to the point when the ball is either caught(and player tackled) or intercepted or defensed... while the pass-rush purely physically usually doesn't get there until around second 2 of the pass-rush and the average time to throw is about 2.5-2.6 seconds.... so in essence you have less than 3 seconds to get there with pass-rush and in reality you pretty much never get there before the 2.0 second mark. 

 

Something else to consider here though... pass-rush is more consistent than pass-coverage. That's even what PFF's own research shows. It's more consistent and more predictable game to game and year to year. This means that you would probably be able to rely on your pass-rush more confidently than on your pass-coverage. 

 

 You don't have to get there, just making the QB pressured in his face, making him move makes a huge difference. It was great watching how Belichek got his pressure up the middle with his LB"s.
Our sam's were slow and the rookies were lost in coverage. Yes our rookies will need a year+ of experience to get with it, but we seem poised to be able to chase around with tighter coverage. That will create more sacks and turnovers we should expect. 

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1.) It's not an either/or option... One without the other is a dead end.

 

2.) The draft round pattern simply reflects the human body type variances in a population. Essentially there are 10/100 times more elite athletes at 6' 200lbs as there are those at 6'5 260lbs and even less elite athletes at 6'6" 310lbs. Market principles: desirable and rare = more valuable

 

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2 hours ago, twfish said:

I've been thinking about this alot lately for whatever reason, likely from seeing a post on instagram about about Von Miller and Bradely Chubb versus Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. It got me thinking that if we had one of the best pass rushing duos the league has seen, then why wasn't our defense one of the best? I mean that what its all about is getting to the QB right? While they did make a tremendous impact we would still give up a ton of plays. Plays that would cause us to lose games. It was generally to QB's that would get rid of the ball quickly not giving the pass rush enough time to get to the QB. It just so happened that PFF released a video discussing the topic the next day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTmMhTXD45U

 

So given the option would we be better with an elite secondary or an elite set of edge rushers? Me personally I am siding with the secondary. If you have guys that can blanket WR's It forces the QB to continue through his progressions taking more time allowing even mediocre pass rush to apply pressure. It is causing me to wonder if maybe the edge rusher position is becoming over valued in the terms of draft capital where elite level cornerbacks are being dropped down due to just ok pass rushers. Lets hear some offseason talk

 

 Manning wanted MVP's. With teams fearing his passing game i thought we should have been able to run better than we did considering his "beautiful mind" and reading defenses and changing the play at the last moment.
 With less than half the league having good QB's he went into most games with the expectation he should be able to outscore our opponents. And he did.
Unfortunately for his defenses he scored quickly quite often leaving his defenses on the field for often much more of the clock. With teams being able to run on Freeney and Mathis game in and game out, Manning got his regular season MVP'$ and our defenses payed the price.
 History shows our D's in the playoffs did not give up more than about 21-22 pts a game for him. It was our offense (Manning) that failed to deliver in many of his 7 one and dones. 
 In his Colts Super Bowl winning run he had 3 tds and 7 int.

 

  I will take being stout containing the edges and putting pressure up the middle, combined with tight coverage in the short to intermediate game.
 Belichek is the model, it really is that simple. CB and Eberflus get it, and we have a lot to look forward to..
 

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Because teams knew how aggressive we were when it came to freeney and mathis so they would do three step drops and run the ball. The back seven was never really talented and no one was really constantly getting to the QB other Freeney and Mathis. Also the colts philosophy was basically Manning is gonna get us a lead so it didn't matter. 

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It's very difficult to have two edge rushers as good as Freeney/Mathis were and Miller/Chubb are. It's not a requirement to win. It's certainly a nice bonus but not really something you can expect to always have.

 

It's important to remember how Bill Polian viewed the Colts defense when Freeney/Mathis were here. He viewed the defense primarily as a great compliment to their offense. With Dungy's defense you could win with:

 

+ Smaller/More athletic players (easier to find later in the draft)

+ Younger players (simple defense, easier for young guys to step in right away)

= A defense that was cheaper, small, played a ton of zone, and was easy to run over.

 

Remember, other teams used a similar defense as the Colts (Bucs, Bears) but those teams used more resources to building/maintaining their defenses because they didn't have the offense the Colts did. 

 

I don't think this is an either/or situation. The goal should be finding and maintaining the right balance. You want to maximize your strengths but you can't be too weak in one area otherwise you will get exposed in the playoffs.

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1 hour ago, throwing BBZ said:

In his Colts Super Bowl winning run he had 3 tds and 7 int.

This is still mind blowing to me. The Colts defense carried them to a SB title during that playoff run. 

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1 hour ago, Matthew Gilbert said:

This is still mind blowing to me. The Colts defense carried them to a SB title during that playoff run. 

The defense won the first two playoff games that year and the offense 

played a bigger role in the AFC title game vs the Pats. 

 

If Polian would have put more into the defensive side of the ball

instead of trying to slide by with 2nd tier defenders, then 

maybe Manning would have more than one title in Indy.

 

Rest assured, Ballard isn't making that very same mistake.

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The biggest problem with dungys defense was that they didn't have anyone inside of freeney and Mathis until they finally got MacFarland.

 

Edge rushers can be neutralized much easier if your G and C can control both opposing DTs. 

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I 've said many times on this forum it doesn't matter who is in your secondary if the front 7 can't stop the run or rush the passer. And I still think that is one of the true axioms of football. In his 14 years of leading the Colts Polian, agreat gm over 3 decades with 3 different teams only drafted 2 dl and 3 lb in rounds 1 and 2 with the Colts. Freeney, Hughes, Peterson, Morris, and Washington. And guess what, the defense was never very good. Coincidence, I don't know, but I think it had a lot to do with all those poor defensive teams.

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Freeney and Mathis were game wreckers but they can only do so much. For years teams would run draws against Freeney and exploit the Colts defense. The Colts also lacked talent at the DT position which failed to stop the run for many years. The secondary and pass coverage was terrible for so many years under Polian. 

12 hours ago, Matthew Gilbert said:

This is still mind blowing to me. The Colts defense carried them to a SB title during that playoff run. 

They picked the perfect time to show up that season! Thank God!

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I'm starting to think that it's more important to have the pass rush come from the tackles or the center of the defense than the ER's.  If it's from the outside a QB just has to step into the pocket and make the throw or continue going through his progressions.  We see it all the time.  If it's up the center he has to move one way or the other quickly and his target area is reduced by half the field.  If we have really strong coverage corners or LB's we have the advantage.  I think we have a good group of coverage corners right now.  If we can get the same from our LB's we are going to be very hard to move the ball against.  I think our ER's are okay and they are good against the run.  But if we can improve the pass rush from the tackles our defense could be awesome.  JMO.  

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