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H.I.T.S. and loafs: How Colts coordinator Matt Eberflus motivates his defense


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Thanks for posting this.

 

I was completely indifferent when it came to Flus one Reich was named coach. Knew nothing about him and figured he’d be gone “soon”. 
 

LOVE what he had brought to the organization! I’ve been a fan for almost 30 years and I have watched a lot of really poor... Jacksonville jaguars rushing for almost 400 yards poor... defense over the years.

 

Flus is a breath of fresh air for a longtime fan like myself. I’m embracing whatever culture he’s implementing on defense.

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With an O guy as a HC, it's hard to tell how much of the D is from the DC, and how much is impacted by to HC's vision. At the end of the day, we played a weak schedule last year, and our D rankings, especially our pass D ranking, dropped like a led balloon as our schedule got harder. Flus came from a more aggressive D, so his conservative scheme in Indy begs some question... 

 

In short, we're stout vs the run which is great, but our pass D leaves a lot to be desired. HITS and Loafs are cute to read about, but give me a pass D that ranks high in more than just takeaways. And give me a pass rush that blitzes more than bottom of the league. Let's see a little more chaos and a little more unpredictable play calling.

 

 

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7 hours ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

When the OP mentioned Loaf, I was thinking Meat Loaf Hungry Episode 11 GIF by The Simpsonsmmmmmmmm, Meat Loaf!


I spent a week in the hospital recently and the day they discharged me I had to eat and hold down a meal. I chose the meat loaf, but in retrospect I wish I had eaten my Bat Out of Hell LP instead...

 

200.gif

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6 hours ago, John Waylon said:


I spent a week in the hospital recently and the day they discharged me I had to eat and hold down a meal. I chose the meat loaf, but in retrospect I wish I had eaten my Bat Out of Hell LP instead...

 

200.gif

You got out, and you're posting here. Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. 

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On 6/10/2021 at 12:37 AM, EastStreet said:

With an O guy as a HC, it's hard to tell how much of the D is from the DC, and how much is impacted by to HC's vision. At the end of the day, we played a weak schedule last year, and our D rankings, especially our pass D ranking, dropped like a led balloon as our schedule got harder. Flus came from a more aggressive D, so his conservative scheme in Indy begs some question... 

 

In short, we're stout vs the run which is great, but our pass D leaves a lot to be desired. HITS and Loafs are cute to read about, but give me a pass D that ranks high in more than just takeaways. And give me a pass rush that blitzes more than bottom of the league. Let's see a little more chaos and a little more unpredictable play calling.

 

 

There were times when the secondary looked confused, a sign of inexperience. That can certainly change with another year under their belts.

Rhodes, Moore, Blackman and Willis are solid players. Ya Sin has some issues with technique, which have to be corrected. 
  Turay was injured and is now getting healthy. Lewis was coming on. The pass rush is a question mark but could be better, with Paye, Dayo and added depth. We shall see. 
    I like the fact that they try to take the ball away and at the same time, are a sound tackling defense.

  In short, I see a defense that is young, aggressive and coming on. 

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On 6/10/2021 at 12:37 AM, EastStreet said:

With an O guy as a HC, it's hard to tell how much of the D is from the DC, and how much is impacted by to HC's vision. At the end of the day, we played a weak schedule last year, and our D rankings, especially our pass D ranking, dropped like a led balloon as our schedule got harder. Flus came from a more aggressive D, so his conservative scheme in Indy begs some question... 

 

In short, we're stout vs the run which is great, but our pass D leaves a lot to be desired. HITS and Loafs are cute to read about, but give me a pass D that ranks high in more than just takeaways. And give me a pass rush that blitzes more than bottom of the league. Let's see a little more chaos and a little more unpredictable play calling.

 

 

I agree.  Hopefully they can continue to stop the run and get better at pressuring the QB. I don’t mind the yards as much as the scoring defense. I believe they ranked 10th last year.  If they can improve on both of those while scoring more points on offense, hopefully they can make opposing offenses one dimensional and open up opportunities for QB pressures which lead to negative plays and turnovers. Will be interesting to see how that side of the ball plays with their 2nd year with Buckner and secondary.  

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On 6/10/2021 at 12:37 AM, EastStreet said:

With an O guy as a HC, it's hard to tell how much of the D is from the DC, and how much is impacted by to HC's vision. At the end of the day, we played a weak schedule last year, and our D rankings, especially our pass D ranking, dropped like a led balloon as our schedule got harder. Flus came from a more aggressive D, so his conservative scheme in Indy begs some question... 

 

In short, we're stout vs the run which is great, but our pass D leaves a lot to be desired. HITS and Loafs are cute to read about, but give me a pass D that ranks high in more than just takeaways. And give me a pass rush that blitzes more than bottom of the league. Let's see a little more chaos and a little more unpredictable play calling.

 

 

I honestly wish we would play a hard schedule because for the last 6 seasons I have been on the site, almost everyone says we played a weak schedule after every season lmao . We only won the division in 2014 and went to the AFC Title Game because our schedule was weak :sarcasm:. I am just having fun with you but it's true that a lot say this after every year. We may be the only team that plays a weak schedule in the league according to some :sarcasm:. I get it, SOS will say we did last year but playing the Texans and Jags skews it. We played at Cleveland, at Tennessee, at Pittsburgh, At Chicago, Tennessee, Ravens, and GB at home that is pretty strong in reality - all playoff teams. 7 tough opponents we played. I think the weak schedule stuff is a little old but that is just me. Of course SOS, thanks Jags and Texans lol. 

 

If we go 11-6 or 12-5 it will be because we didn't play anybody by seasons end because watch SOS will say so haha .

 

The very 1st game of the season we let Mustache Man go 19-20 and we lost to the Jags. I thought the D got better for a while after that.

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42 minutes ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

I honestly wish we would play a hard schedule because for the last 6 seasons I have been on the site, almost everyone says we played a weak schedule after every season lmao . We only won the division in 2014 and went to the AFC Title Game because our schedule was weak :sarcasm:. I am just having fun with you but it's true that a lot say this after every year. We may be the only team that plays a weak schedule in the league according to some :sarcasm:. I get it, SOS will say we did last year but playing the Texans and Jags skews it. We played at Cleveland, at Tennessee, at Pittsburgh, At Chicago, Tennessee, Ravens, and GB at home that is pretty strong in reality - all playoff teams. 7 tough opponents we played. I think the weak schedule stuff is a little old but that is just me. Of course SOS, thanks Jags and Texans lol. 

 

If we go 11-6 or 12-5 it will be because we didn't play anybody by seasons end because watch SOS will say so haha .

 

The very 1st game of the season we let Mustache Man go 19-20 and we lost to the Jags. I thought the D got better for a while after that.

 

  We had no experience with our safeties so their read and reaction must be expected to be sub par.
 One corner that was subpar

 Walker was an easy 7 yards most anytime they wanted it.
 Leonard was focused being a run stopper so he was easy in the flats.
 And our DE's were solid but didn't require ANY help to stop them.
 Quite mediocre pressuring the QB as a unit.
  This is Another development season for our young players on D. SORRY!
 People can Whine about it all they want, it is just the cycle we are in.
 With so many young players on Offense too, the goal must be to have them all grow together and if THEY are good enough...

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1 minute ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

  We had no experience with our safeties so their read and reaction must be expected to be sub par.
 One corner that was subpar

 Walker was an easy 7 yards most anytime they wanted it.
 Leonard was focused being a run stopper so he was easy in the flats.
 And our DE's were solid but didn't require ANY help to stop them.
 Quite mediocre pressuring the QB as a unit.
  This is Another development season for our young players on D. SORRY!
 People can Whine about it all they want, it is just the cycle we are in.
 With so many young players on Offense too, the goal must be to have them all grow together and if THEY are good enough...

We will be fine, I think Paye will make a difference alone. I can see him making a decent impact, nothing huge because he is a rookie but he will help. Leonard and Buck will have great years, so will Moore. I can see our D being around top 10 = nothing special but good. If our Run game dominates that will help keep the D fresh in most games as well.

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I brought this up on another thread last night, the million dollar question is if we don't win our division will we make the playoffs? I think we will be fine and good but the AFC has like 7 other teams that are in the good category including the Titans. Chiefs are in the great category. The AFC is loaded.

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On 6/10/2021 at 12:37 AM, EastStreet said:

With an O guy as a HC, it's hard to tell how much of the D is from the DC, and how much is impacted by to HC's vision. At the end of the day, we played a weak schedule last year, and our D rankings, especially our pass D ranking, dropped like a led balloon as our schedule got harder. Flus came from a more aggressive D, so his conservative scheme in Indy begs some question... 

 

In short, we're stout vs the run which is great, but our pass D leaves a lot to be desired. HITS and Loafs are cute to read about, but give me a pass D that ranks high in more than just takeaways. And give me a pass rush that blitzes more than bottom of the league. Let's see a little more chaos and a little more unpredictable play calling.

 

 

I disagree. We run the Indy2. Want complex blitzes and schemes. Bring Pagano back. 

The fact that the other team knows what we are doing and have that defensive rank is impressive on it's own. Before Pagano when we ran the Indy 2 we couldn't stop the run. This time we do. 

Whatever Flus is doing it's working.

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14 hours ago, coltsfeva said:

There were times when the secondary looked confused, a sign of inexperience. That can certainly change with another year under their belts.

Rhodes, Moore, Blackman and Willis are solid players. Ya Sin has some issues with technique, which have to be corrected. 
  Turay was injured and is now getting healthy. Lewis was coming on. The pass rush is a question mark but could be better, with Paye, Dayo and added depth. We shall see. 
    I like the fact that they try to take the ball away and at the same time, are a sound tackling defense.

  In short, I see a defense that is young, aggressive and coming on. 

I've drank the kool aid for too many years. Our pass D last year was pretty bad down the stretch, so I'll believe it when it I see it. Our SOS early is up there, so if they play well in some big games, and against some good QBs, I'll change my tune. They definitely have something to prove.

 

And I'd only say Rhodes, Moore, and Willis are solid. Blackman was pretty awful at times the second half of the year. He went from one of the highest graded Ss early, to sub 50 by end of year. If he can play well on the back end, he'll take a nice jump, could be a top 5 FS. But if he plays the same as he did the second half, good QBs will burn him every week.

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13 hours ago, AwesomeAustin said:

I agree.  Hopefully they can continue to stop the run and get better at pressuring the QB. I don’t mind the yards as much as the scoring defense. I believe they ranked 10th last year.  If they can improve on both of those while scoring more points on offense, hopefully they can make opposing offenses one dimensional and open up opportunities for QB pressures which lead to negative plays and turnovers. Will be interesting to see how that side of the ball plays with their 2nd year with Buckner and secondary.  

That #10 (overall PPG) spot was top 2ish early (1st half of season), and dropped biggly as we played better teams/QBs. The passer scoring rank was #12, and also was top 2-3 through the first half of the season. 

 

In short, for us to drop from 2ish to 10-12ish over the last half of the season, means we played likely #20ish the second half of the season. 

 

And as far as yards vs pts, typically I'd accept that if our RZ D was better. But it was ranked 21st... IMO, the bend don't break strategy broke a lot when we played decent teams or decent QBs.

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13 hours ago, 2006Coltsbestever said:

I honestly wish we would play a hard schedule because for the last 6 seasons I have been on the site, almost everyone says we played a weak schedule after every season lmao . We only won the division in 2014 and went to the AFC Title Game because our schedule was weak :sarcasm:. I am just having fun with you but it's true that a lot say this after every year. We may be the only team that plays a weak schedule in the league according to some :sarcasm:. I get it, SOS will say we did last year but playing the Texans and Jags skews it. We played at Cleveland, at Tennessee, at Pittsburgh, At Chicago, Tennessee, Ravens, and GB at home that is pretty strong in reality - all playoff teams. 7 tough opponents we played. I think the weak schedule stuff is a little old but that is just me. Of course SOS, thanks Jags and Texans lol. 

 

If we go 11-6 or 12-5 it will be because we didn't play anybody by seasons end because watch SOS will say so haha .

 

The very 1st game of the season we let Mustache Man go 19-20 and we lost to the Jags. I thought the D got better for a while after that.

SOS is what it is. It's a pretty simple and direct measurement. And sure, it's impacted by bad teams like the Jags. But at the same time, we should be beating those bad teams easily. We haven't lol. At the end of the day, SOS doesn't mean anything if you win the SB. But we haven't lol. When we play a weaker SOS, and go out early in the playoffs, people will talk. It's pretty natural.

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10 hours ago, Matabix said:

I disagree. We run the Indy2. Want complex blitzes and schemes. Bring Pagano back. 

The fact that the other team knows what we are doing and have that defensive rank is impressive on it's own. Before Pagano when we ran the Indy 2 we couldn't stop the run. This time we do. 

Whatever Flus is doing it's working.

Our ranks dropped like a lead balloon the last half of the season as we stopped playing chumps. Our PPG allowed, YPG allowed rank, etc, aIl dropped dramatically. 

 

And yes, after the first half of the season, all the teams had us figured out. That why, for example, they picked on Blackmon deeper, and he went from the like a top 10 safety that everyone was buzzing about, to a sub 50 graded safety QBs were going after.

 

If you've ever read my post or previous posts, I've been pretty clear that I don't want to blitz top 5 in the league. I just don't want to blitz bottom 5 either. As far as Indy2, not sure what that means. We've been playing a strange hybrid of C2 with more and more rip/liz since later 2019. The increased rip/liz IMO is the reason some of our LBs have struggled vs the pass.

 

I'm happy to debate any area, but would recommend you look deeper on a game level, or at least our performance 1st half of the year vs last half. 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

Blackman was pretty awful at times the second half of the year. He went from one of the highest graded Ss early, to sub 50 by end of year. If he can play well on the back end, he'll take a nice jump, could be a top 5 FS. But if he plays the same as he did the second half, good QBs will burn him every week.

 

 

 

I would say give Blackmon a break he was a rookie coming off a leg injury, it was amazing he was able to come back so soon. Even he admitted that he hit a wall because he lost muscle strength from the injury.

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57 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

SOS is what it is. It's a pretty simple and direct measurement. And sure, it's impacted by bad teams like the Jags. But at the same time, we should be beating those bad teams easily. We haven't lol. At the end of the day, SOS doesn't mean anything if you win the SB. But we haven't lol. When we play a weaker SOS, and go out early in the playoffs, people will talk. It's pretty natural.

SOS is really only one of the things you can go by. I do also factor in how many playoff teams a team plays as well regarding strength of schedule but SOS is the only measure stat wise you can use.

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8 hours ago, EastStreet said:

That #10 (overall PPG) spot was top 2ish early (1st half of season), and dropped biggly as we played better teams/QBs. The passer scoring rank was #12, and also was top 2-3 through the first half of the season. 

 

In short, for us to drop from 2ish to 10-12ish over the last half of the season, means we played likely #20ish the second half of the season. 

 

And as far as yards vs pts, typically I'd accept that if our RZ D was better. But it was ranked 21st... IMO, the bend don't break strategy broke a lot when we played decent teams or decent QBs.

I noticed that too. Why I’m looking forward to the harder part of the schedule being early. I think a lot has to do with depth.  People say this is a deep roster but I feel the talent is spread out amongst the starters and not very many backups to feel comfortable about.  It’s time some of these younger players step up to become average starters with a couple great games mixed in.  We have very few glaring holes but having JAGs won’t win in January. I feel this is the year we will see noticeable improvement from some of the draft picks we have been developing. If this happens the D rankings should be a consistent top 10 in many areas. 

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23 hours ago, Zoltan said:

 

 

 

I would say give Blackmon a break he was a rookie coming off a leg injury, it was amazing he was able to come back so soon. Even he admitted that he hit a wall because he lost muscle strength from the injury.

I absolutely give him a break, or would not view him as a potential top 5 FS. That said, I didn't see weak legs as his problem late in the season. It was his intermediate and deep coverage discipline and recognition. He basically looked similar to his college years once QBs started testing him deeper. He no doubt is a monster down hill, but he has a long history of back end challenges. It's why most of the talking heads viewed him as a down, or split safety, or perhaps a nickel or dime. He simply has to improve in coverage duties if he's going to play much single high in our C3/C1/rip-liz sets.

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15 hours ago, AwesomeAustin said:

I noticed that too. Why I’m looking forward to the harder part of the schedule being early. I think a lot has to do with depth.  People say this is a deep roster but I feel the talent is spread out amongst the starters and not very many backups to feel comfortable about.  It’s time some of these younger players step up to become average starters with a couple great games mixed in.  We have very few glaring holes but having JAGs won’t win in January. I feel this is the year we will see noticeable improvement from some of the draft picks we have been developing. If this happens the D rankings should be a consistent top 10 in many areas. 

I think the drop was due to a mix of reasons. Most IMO, was that we simply played better teams/QBs, and we just weren't that good lol. Sprinkle a little injury in here and there, as well as teams getting some film on our rooks and younger guys.

 

While I "hope" every year our players develop, I don't "assume" they all will. I do think Pittman and Taylor for instance showed positive trending. Some of the others, especially on D, negative trending.... It is what it is. Regardless, we really need Oke, RYS, and Blackmon to bounce back.

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40 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

I absolutely give him a break, or would not view him as a potential top 5 FS. That said, I didn't see weak legs as his problem late in the season. It was his intermediate and deep coverage discipline and recognition. He basically looked similar to his college years once QBs started testing him deeper. He no doubt is a monster down hill, but he has a long history of back end challenges. It's why most of the talking heads viewed him as a down, or split safety, or perhaps a nickel or dime. He simply has to improve in coverage duties if he's going to play much single high in our C3/C1/rip-liz sets.

 

and you don't see how weak legs can effect coverage and ability to react? I mean if your muscles are fatigued it  would greatly affect ability to cover and react to coverage especially in deep coverage. 

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1 hour ago, Zoltan said:

 

and you don't see how weak legs can effect coverage and ability to react? I mean if your muscles are fatigued it  would greatly affect ability to cover and react to coverage especially in deep coverage. 

Have you watched his college tape?

 

The difference I'm talking about is his coverage. He wasn't asked to cover a lot on the back end early in the season. His big plays were almost all downhill, with a few in a "help" situation on intermediate stuff. Not many at all in single coverage. If you've watched his college tape, you'll know that his behaviors in college looked very much like his behaviors whenever he was covering on the backend. He didn't have weak legs in college.... The difference was, QBs/teams tested him last year more after they got tape on him. Discipline (not biting up) is not weak leg issue. Poor angles is not weak leg issue. Recognition is not a week leg issue.

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