Defensive Attitude

Posted: July 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 55 Comments »

The recent flashback posts have gotten a few people to talk about the glory days when the defense was tough, physical and played with a lot of attitude. Gang Green punished you.

They also came up short in the playoffs.

1988 – lost the Fog Bowl … gave up 341 yards and 20 points … 164 rushing yards

1989 – lost to the Rams … gave up 409 yards and 21 points … 144 rushing yards

1990 - lost to the Skins … gave up 299 yards and 20 points … only 93 rushing yards

Then Bud Carson took over.

1992 – beat the Saints … gave up 360 yards and 20 points … only 76 rushing yards

1992 - lost to Dallas … gave up 346 yards and 34 points …. 160 rushing yards

That is hardly an impressive stretch of games. The defense came up small when we needed it to shut teams down. Let’s compare that group to some of the Jim Johnson groups.

2000 – The Eagles played 2 games. Gave up a total of 23 points. Allowed 237, 199 yards. Teams ran for combined 162 yards.

2001 – Eagles played in 3 games. Gave up 9, 19 and 29 points. Allowed 258, 184 and 371 yards. Rams did run for 161.

I could keep going, but you should get the point. The Jim Johnson teams played with less attitude, but more discipline. They were able to play well in the postseason. Not every game, but enough that the Eagles had consistent success in January.

There is no question that the defense was too soft the last couple of years. The hitting was inconsistent and the tackling was flat out bad. Not only did teams not fear the middle of the field, they saw it as a welcome mat to the endzone.

I don’t need the 2013 defense to get back to the Body Bag days. That stuff makes for great stories, but it didn’t win playoff games. Not to mention, with today’s rules, you just can’t go out and punish people the way you used to.

DeMeco Ryans will hit and tackle. Mychal Kendricks can be physical. Patrick Chung is a big hitter. Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher will both hit and tackle. I have no idea what to expect from FS. Nate Allen struggled the last couple of years, but as we’ve talked about…the Wide-9 put a lot of pressure on DBs. That can lead to passive play and guys losing confidence. I think that is exactly what happened with Nate. Go watch the 2011 BUF game. He tackled better in that game than any other time in the NFL. It was after that game that his knee started to get sore and his level of play declined. 2012 was a struggle basically the whole year.

If Nate can bounce back or Kenny Phillips can stay healthy, the middle of the field will be a lot less friendly.

A little more attitude on defense would be nice, but I would prefer to see the defense play with more brains than anything else. Missed assignments have plagued us more in recent years than a lack of bone-crushing hits.

Having a tough defense is good. Having a smart and tough defense is great.

_


  • Weapon Y

    One problem the defense (and offense for that matter) had the past two years was that there was way too big of an emphasis on the big play. The Wide 9 was designed to get more sacks, but when used improperly, it caused offenses to get tons of yards on the ground. The cornerback trio of Asomugha, DRC, and Samuel (particularly the latter two) spent way too much effort going for the big interception, which allowed receivers to gain many yards after the catch and get open. The defense needs to get back to fundamentals and do the little things right.

    • TommyLawlor

      Agree on fundamentals.

  • troy412

    Yea miss those gang green days for all the reggie white and jerome browns what made jim johnson defense so good was brian dawkins and what made buddy and carson defense was muddy waters and wes hopkins saftey play no intimidating saftey play when u oppenent refused to go across the middle cause they knew what was lurking for prey that made gang green the two enforcers that makes a great defense the saftey play is vital to our sucess

  • A_T_G

    You, sir, have an offensive attitude about our defensive attitude.

  • Mitchell

    With the physicality Tommy just mentioned, will Nate really need to be a physical force? Tackle well? Yes, but since this defense will be predicated on takeaways, why can’t we just have Nate roam the back and break up passes and of course get dose INTs.

    • TommyLawlor

      Nate must get back to being a consistently effective tackler.

  • MediaMike

    Uh, can we please not forget the following HORRIBLE efforts by JJs Ds in the playoffs.

    2002 – Tampa
    2003 – Green Bay
    2004 – New England
    2006 – New Orleans
    2008 – Arizona
    Putrid efforts in all 5 games by our D.

    • Adam

      It’s important to put those into context:

      2002 – JJ and Co. put up a stellar performance against Atlanta in the divisional game. Dunn had less than 50 yards rushing, we sacked Vick 3 times and intercepted him twice. They scored only 2 field goals. Tampa game we didn’t get any favors from McNabb, losing two fumbles and a pick. Duece had 58 rushing yards. Our D help the Bucs to less than 50 yards rushing. Not to mention the fact that the team we lost to eventually won the SB.

      2003 – Once again not much help from the offense. GB puts up a quick 14 points in the first but then the D holds them for the rest of the game minus a field goal in the 4th. Dawk came up huge in OT with the interception. I’m not really sure why this game would be considered horrible on the Eagles D considering we held the Pack to 17 points. The only major blemish was Green’s rushing yards.

      2004 – Again, I’m putting this one on the offense. The offense couldn’t gain any field position and the D had terrible starting spots. The D was a huge factor in getting us to a 13-3 season and to the SB, and they kept us relevant in the game. They got us the ball back with like 5 minutes left in the 4th and the offense screwed the pooch and took their good old time moving down the field. McNabb had a great game but his turnovers were what lost us this one, not the defense.

      2008 – This was all Larry Fitz. The D just had no answer for him. I wouldn’t consider it a horrible effort on JJ’s part, Fitz was just more talented than the team could handle.

      Why the eagerness to crap on JJ though? He may have been one of, if not THE biggest reason for the decade of success the Eagles had in the Andy Reid era.

      • MediaMike

        I’m not crapping on him by any stretch, but I wanted to point out that there are full stories missing from your rebuttal.

        2002 – We had no clue how to stop any of Tampa’s bunch formations that day. We should have been in nickel more often, but instead we got a face full of Barry Gardner. Michael Lewis should have not been taken out of the lineup for one-leg Blaine Bishop……that’s coaching. Hugh Douglas getting ZERO push all day isn’t JJs fault however.

        2003- Green Bay gained WAY too many yards against us. The rushing yards given up were a travesty.

        2004 – The D game plan was totally unable to generate any pass rush, got Dion Branch an MVP award, and had no answers to the passes to the running backs.

        2008 – 11/27/08 – Eagles 28 point win over Arizona. 1/18/09 Eagles 7 point loss. 35 points worse isn’t acceptable. I refuse to accept that any one player isn’t able to be shut down by a D. Larry Fitz is great, but where were the adjustments to stop him?
        All in all I think JJ was a GREAT DC in his time here, but to cut off the conversation about him after the 2001 season playoffs was not telling a full story. All credit to JJ for the awesome game plans in many games, but the 5 game I mentioned were not his best work. Especially considering the blatant chokes in 2002 and 2008 cost us titles.

    • TommyLawlor

      Mike, again with the hyperbole.

      HORRIBLE efforts? That’s just silly.

      The defense had a poor day vs TB. They got the best of us with matchups. No question about that, but you have to give credit to Gruden for his plan and Brad Johnson for his execution.

      2003? That defense wasn’t in good shape. ND Kalu was the RDE. Carlos Emmons broke his leg and Ike Reese was the SAM. Mark Simoneau wasn’t a great run stuffer. That D played with heart, giving up yards, but stiffening in the RZ and coming up with takeaways.

      2004. Defense struggled in the 2nd half of the Super Bowl. Another game where the opponent found a matchup to exploit (Branch vs Ware).

      2006. That defense just wasn’t very good. They lost to the #1 offense in the NFL.

      2008. That defense was good, but had an awful 1st half. They were outstanding for most of the 2nd half, but couldn’t get off the field on the one critical drive. The Cards were the #4 offense in the league and they put up even more yards in the Super Bowl against the Steelers and the #1 defense.

      HORRIBLE efforts are when good defenses play below their ability and lose to lesser teams. We got beat by groups that outplayed and/or outcoached us on those days. There is nothing horrible about those efforts. The results sucked, but you cannot realistically expect a defense to shut down every opponent in the playoffs. It is great when that happens because you win a title when that happens, but expecting it is crazy.

      • MediaMike

        Any one of those games, and the context you’ve provided, by themselves totally works for a discussion. The repetitious nature of “reasons” year after year after year adds up to a significant issue; the lack of a title. And I didn’t “expect” a title out of any one of those teams specifically at the time they were playing, but the some total of non-achievement is extremely draining. 1960 gets further and further and further away and that isn’t remotely tolerable.

        • TommyLawlor

          It isn’t tolerable that we haven’t won a SB? I hate that attitude.

          Do you not think the players and coaches have done everything humanly possible to win? Being a SB champ defines your career. Those people have left the game empty and I’m sure it bugs them on a certain level for the rest of their lives.

          If the Eagles organization wasn’t committed to winning, you’d have a legit argument. Late in the Braman years, there is a lot to complain about for sure.

          Both Leonard Tose and Jeff Lurie reached the SB. They hired good coaches and spent money. The final result just wasn’t good enough.

          The Red Sox went from 1918 to 2003 between titles. They had HOF players and even legends that left empty. That’s just part of sports.

          We all want a SB. We really do. That’s true of fans, Lurie, Kelly, Eagles employees, players and anyone else that is part of Eagles Nation. It will happen when the right combination of players, coaches and circumstances come together.

          • Mac

            To make things fair, I suggest that teams who win a SB should sit out the following post-seasons until all other teams have had the opportunity to win a SB. That way every grouping of 32 years has a different winner! It virtually guarantees fans of each of the teams the opportunity for 2 SB wins during their lifetime. At least one of which should occur during a year where he/she can enjoy it. Also, as the herd is thinned… the excitement grows to see which team will be the last to win the coveted Lombardi trophy before the clock is reset!

            Problem solved/You’re welcome.

          • MediaMike

            Ha ha. Nice.

          • MediaMike

            I don’t fault the effort or commitment to winning it all, I just believe that the lamentation of not having achieved it allows for deeper criticism of the team. Want to be beyond reproach and able to avoid getting ripped; win titles. The title argument seems to be quickly at the lips of just about every other fan base in the NFL when discussing any and every aspect of our teams and quite frankly has worn many of us down. Especially when dealing with Steelers and Giants fans. I think you miss part of that by not living in the area.

          • Adam

            Titles never silence the critics. Ask a guy like Eli, who people are still debating if he’s an elite QB even he’s part of a handful of QB’s in the history of the league to win multiple SB’s. I got into a debate with a guy on 24/7 who said Peyton was nothing more than a regular season QB because he didn’t win ENOUGH Super Bowls. Even after the Birds finally win one, other fans will say that it took too long to win that one, or that it was only one. People like this will always find a way to not lose an argument.

  • eagleyankfan

    I know baseball and football can not be compared .. but .. I do think there is a similarity here. In baseball, there is always the saying ‘built for the playoffs’. The Eagles were the complete opposite. They were built(the defensive seasons mentioned here) for the season. The Giants have been(and always will be under Coughlin) built for the playoffs.

    • Matthew Donaldson

      I’m not sure what you mean by that. I understand the saying in baseball, because you can shorten your pitching staff and get an advantage, but what exactly does built for the playoffs mean in football?

      • eagleyankfan

        I know, it’s a lot. I feel like my statements were like a great joke leading to a punch line I didn’t give. Here’s my best try to answer though. When you look at the Giants last run, it clearly wasn’t about the regular season. Now what does THAT mean? I’m not sure. It could mean the Giants “learned” each game as the season went on. Maybe it means the Giants adapted to their opponents better in the playoffs? I don’t believe too much into the “got hot at the right time”. You do that once, ok – great. Giants have done that more than once, so it’s no coincidence. What I boiled it down to(and I’m just a fan) the Giants use the regular season to find out what they can/can’t do and build on it. The Eagles always seem to do the same thing(I know, another open ended statement) day in and day out. Offensive plays the same — defense the same. Other teams exploited this in the playoffs. Eagles(from this fan’s view and history) never really adapted to get the team over the hump. We can say we got close vs NE, but watching that game, we were never really in it.

      • Tumtum

        To me, built for the playoffs means that you do not have an obvious exploitable major flaw. Back in the JJ days, in certain years, our major exploitable flaw was stopping the run. Last year the Ravens defense was not particularly good at anything. There were times when they would be poor against the pass and others they would be poor against the run. However, they did not have one extremely exploitable flaw. If a team tried to run it up the middle over and over on them they were sure to start getting stuffed. An offense needed their whole arsenal to beat them.

        A built for the post-season defense forces the offense to use their whole playbook.. in my opinion.

        • Tumtum

          And in the vein so does an offense. Towards the end with Marty at OC the run game was non-existent. Also then, not surprising our post-season success dwindled.

      • eagleyankfan

        Maybe it’s lack of game plan by the coaches? When the Yankees faced the Mets in the WS, the Yanks did home work, come up with a game plan and executed it to perfection. What was the game plan? In simple terms, shut down their lead off guy. He had a GREAT season, until the Yankees game planned for him. Maybe other NFL game plans took away the Eagles best offensive play? Or found and targeted the weakest part of the Eagles “D”? Do the Eagles EVER shut down the opponents best weapon in the playoffs? I don’t have the numbers to back that up, it’s just a view from a fan.
        Just wondering why the Bills lost 4 in a row. Each NFC team seemed to know something the AFC teams didn’t know come playoff time. The Giants beating an undefeated NE team? It wasn’t luck.
        I’m not 100% sure of the answer I guess, but there’s reasons why the Eagles failed defensively(and offensively) in the playoffs and other teams excel.

  • Adam

    Hey Tommy.. Question about defending RG3 and the read option if they chose to run it again this year: What’s stopping a defense from putting a lick on RG3 every time they run the play, even if he does option the ball to the back? Obviously it would have to relatively close to the time when he optioned the ball, but if they run that play does he not lose the protection afforded to him as a QB, becoming essentially a RB from the refs standpoint? I feel like if a team did this, it would force Washington to move away from it as they cannot afford to risk another injury.

    • Tumtum

      They can and did last year many times. The thing is if you put a lick on RG3 you just took a defender out of the play. They got a big gain. They run it again.

      • Adam

        And look what happened to after those hits accumulated. How many more seasons (heck, even games) do you think RG3 can actually handle taking those unnecessary hits? Eventually Washington will have to decide that, and it has to be in the back of their minds this season.

        • Mitchell

          Speaking of taking hits, I was talking to a friend about Tebow. He said Tebow should be in a read option like RGIII. I informed him that it doesn’t matter, he still can’t throw and even if he is bigger than RGIII,he’s still gonna take too many hits and get hurt. Doesn’t matter how big you are, if your getting hit too many times in te NFL you will go down eventually.

        • Tumtum

          I’m with you. You are going to lose the battle. He is going to lose the war. Just my opinion.

          • GEagle

            Luckily for us, we won’t have to worry about it with Foles and Barkley

          • Adam

            I hear you. I honestly don’t think it would be the worse thing in the world for RG3 to start moving towards being a pocket passer. Obviously this takes away a big element of his game but I know for sure he has the arm and football IQ to be effective as a primarily a drop back guy, with some runs sprinkled in.

          • GEagle

            I honestly think there is a good chance shanny destroys RG3 and runs Alfred morris into the ground close to how Wanstead did to Ricky Williams

          • Adam

            Wouldn’t be too worried about Morris if I was a Skins fan, at least. Shanahan seems to have a magic garden of RBs that he can pluck out in the late rounds. They’re all products of his system.

          • GEagle

            That’s what fans said last summer about having Royster and that other clown….without Alfred Morris last year, there run game would ave been Doomed. Now I don’t know if he pulled another late round running back gem out of his ass this year, but Alfred was a savior for them last year

        • GvilleEagleFan

          On an unrelated note, how badly do you want to see Gruden bring Vick on his QB Camp show and just throw all of his bad decisions and big shots he’s taken up on the screen and then look over at him and ask, “Now what were you thinking there?” I love seeing him do that, because how the prospect responds can really say a lot about his ability to admit fault and be coachable. If you watch RGIII’s episode you see he willingly takes responsibility for hanging on to the ball too long. I hope that that’s the kind of film room coach Kelly is behind the scenes.

    • TommyLawlor

      As others have pointed out…you can beat up the QB, but at what cost? How many big plays do you give up, hoping to hurt someone?

      You also don’t know if the league would look into this if the hits on the QB got out of line.

      • Adam

        I agree, and I’m not saying go out there put cheap shots on a guy, but if a team goes out and tries to have their QB play like a RB, a defense needs to punish this guy. It may sound bad, but it’s a risk a head coach takes when he asks his QB to play like that, and a defense should make a coach second guess this decision.

        • MediaMike

          That was exactly what Gunther Cunningham was saying when explaining things last week.

        • GvilleEagleFan

          You’d have to think Goodell would step in to protect such a marquee player, whether that’s the right or wrong thing to do. Secondly, I think the plays Griffin tends to get hurt on are the same kind of plays Vick will get banged up on: trying to extend the play too long while being a 210 lb guy playing against 240lb guys. If what you’re saying happened one game, you’d have to think Griffin would just start going down after he handed the ball off to trigger more personal foul flags and better brace himself to avoid injury.

          Don’t underestimate how much smarter Griffin is than Vick. I’ll bet Shanny is showing him tape after tape of Wilson and Kaepernick going out of bounds on their keeper runs and sliding to avoid shots and then asking him how many ACLs they tore, how many games they missed, and how many playoff games they won. Unlike Vick (in my opinion), Griffin is humble enough and still early enough in his career to modify his playstyle when there are such obvious examples of players succeeding with the read option without injury.

      • MediaMike

        I hope they don’t If the league goes over the top in an effort to protect this type of play at QB, it’ll damage the product. I’d hate to see the NFL devolve into a gimmick league where the pro-style QB isn’t in the majority.

  • Tumtum

    What excites me about this years defense is that they should be ALLOWED to develop an identity. In 11′ the d line developed the identity of going for sacks and nothing else. Not much of an identity for a whole unit if you ask me. They played the same way in 12′ and didn’t get the sacks. Disaster.

    Just having a real DC should help in leaps and bounds. Davis might not work out (though I really think he will), but there is one thing you can be sure of; the man knows what he is doing. Unfortunately the DC situation since JJ has been rookie DCs that were trying to reinvent the wheel. McD was a JJ protege but really tried to switch things up schematically. Juan preached fundamentals and a Bears-type-defense (simple, hard nosed, imo), but as we found out he was really anything but conventional. Safeties who play the run first, eh?

    Davis is going to use proven methods. Of course he will have to tweak it to his taste but you are going to recognize what he is doing. Its like cooking. He isn’t trying to create and entirely new dish like pizza with a carrot crust. He is making a pizza. You will see that it is a pizza. Lets just find out if it tastes any good.

    I’m excited about Davis. I am excited about this defense. I see no reason why this D can not be a top 10 unit, at least middling. You would not expect this team to need to make its name on defense. They will need to be able to stop a control style offense, which is what you would expect to see to keep the ball away from Chipper. Stop the run, don’t let em go over the top. Seems pretty basic.

    • Mitchell

      I agree with the identity of the team being disguise and takeaways, it includes the whole defense, instead of the line getting sacks and everyone else just support. It makes everyone feel important.

    • OregonDucker

      IMHO, the Defense will apply the same principals as the offense. They will exploit mismatches, and hide scheme for an advantage. Chip did not micromanage Defense at Oregon but did set down guidelines. What you see with the Eagles are the same principals.

      The biggest weakness on Defense from what I see is safety and CB coverage skills. Sure they can hit but can they cover speedy WRs. Davis will disguise his coverage scheme to compensate for this weakness.

      • GEagle

        lol Even the converted Duck fans know we have problems in the secondary…YIKES!!!
        ..
        Atleast they will fight and not quit, which if you missed the Nnamdi and DRC era, is a great first step.
        ..
        In trying to see Desean returning Punts with an inverted “Flying V” of Blockers, Gordon Bombay style!.any of that in chips playbook? JK

  • Tumtum

    Jake and Peter (pedro) traded for Feldman from Chi?! I really just know my Os. Thoughts??

    • TommyLawlor

      Pedro had to go. Hasn’t been the same since last August. Yankees ruined him. Moving to NL might be big help. Still has great stuff.

      Jake has to learn how to pitch. For whatever reason, wasn’t happening in BAL.

  • tdilla

    Madden ’13 seems to think this year’s D will actually be pretty good. In my own season, I swtiched schemes from 3-4 to 4-3, with Fletch, Antonio Dixon, and Derek Landri (still on the team, in another world) manning the front 3, and Cole, Ryans, Kendricks, and Graham respectively at the LB positions. Nate Allen, Pat Chung, Boykin, and Bradley Fletcher were the DB’s. I tried to get the roster as close to what this season might look like as possible, and simmed the entire season.

    The D finished #1 in the league in yards allowed, and 7th in pts allowed. Boykin finished the season with 8 picks (2 for TD’s), DeMeco had 13 TFL’s,, and Kendricks had 6 sacks. The biggest problem were TE and RB routes where Cole and Graham were covering them, but other than that, the D was pretty airtight. Trent Cole had a monster 11 sacks. Graham seemed to be consistently exposed on wheel routes and routes through the flat.

    I know it’s only Madden, but since it’s the closest thing to a football simulator we can get, I figure that can’t be bad news, right?

  • Christopher Miller

    I understand exactly what you are saying. I am excited we won’t have a pair of milk toast corners but Williams has a history of being a little overly chippy. That is going to get old quick if it starts leading to stupid penalties.

  • GEagle

    I posed this question on PhillyMag, curious to get you guys Feedback..
    in the NFC East, would you trade the Eagles defensive roster for that of the skins, midgets, and cowgirls?

    I want to compare what the Eagles have unit by unit with what the rest of the NFC east has…Tom this might actually be a good article to get a more in depth view from you about where we stand in the division..In 2013:

    1) I think the Eagles have the best group of RBs and it isn’t even close
    2) We might have the best TE’s, and only the cowboys can compare
    3) The is a good chance that we have the best Oline(The only player in the division that could start for us is probably Trent Williams)
    4) I think we have the best group of LB’s (Only questions are Orakpo and Sean Lee)
    ..,
    we have plenty of questions bout our secondary, but no NFC EAST secondary blows ours out of the water. They all have plenty of question marks. prince Amukamara and Morris Claiborne both have a ton to prove.

    I can’t expect us to have the best Dline, but I don’t see any great Lines in this division. You got Damarcus Ware and JPP. giants lost a ton of veteran lineman and replaced them with Eagles our coach didn’t want.

    if Cox can take that next step, we should have a comparable Dline to the quality we see throughout the division. We very well might prove to have the best and most complete LB corp…and everyone else’s secondary has as many issues as ours. heck, Carry Williams might be the best corner in the division(and that is NOT meant to be a compliment)..I need to see something from Claiborne and Prince before I annoint them.

    I really wonder how different the 2013 Eagles would be viewed if they had an established QB comparable to RG3,Romo,and Eli?…but if you take away the uncertainty at the QB position, we are ready, to compete with the division. This probably speaks more to the parity of the division, then the actual quality of our roster….I’m very curious to see how the NFC east does in the non division games this year

    • tdilla

      You’re right, there doesn’t really appear to be a group that stands out above the rest.
      I’d think the cowgirls have the best secondary, but with yet another D coordinator, how effective will they really be?
      Foreskins have the best LB’s, but London Fletcher won’t be around for ever. Orakpo is a stud though.
      Honestly, I think the Eagles will have the stoutest D line. You’re going to tell me Chris Canty is better than Fletcher Cox? Add in Eagles rejects Jenkins and Patterson, and I’m still not convinced the Giants are any better. I think the Giants just play better as a unit right now.
      I can see the Eagles making some noise this year. The NFC East isn’t dripping with talent, so it might be the case where the Eagles take advantage of a wounded buck and seize an opportunity to compete. A lot really comes down to the Eagles secondary, IMO.

    • TommyLawlor

      The Eagles DBs are not great, but no secondary in the NFC East looks good on paper. It could turn out that the team that gets the best DB play wins the division.

      • GvilleEagleFan

        I think it’s tough to argue at this point that Kerrigan, Orakpo, Perry Riley, Fletcher and Rob Jackson aren’t better than Ryans, Kendricks, Cole, Graham, and Barwin simply because of the proven production from the Redskins’ group in their current scheme. I think we have the potential to be just as good, but at this point in time I think they have us beat. That being said, I don’t know if I would trade them straight up as a group. If I could swap Cole and Graham for Orakpo and Kerrigan, though, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

        I’d love to know how you think our OLB’s stack up against the Redskins’ group, Tommy.

        • GEagle

          Fletch has to be old at some point then again I been saying that for years lol….Orakpo coming off an injury year..I would rather have Barwin over Kerrigan..but if Healthy I would probably have to take Orakpo over Graham and Cole…Im not taking any LB in the division over Demeco..and While I cant prove it, I have a feeling Kendricks could become one of the best players on this entire roster..Cross my fingers for good healthy and a tremendous leap in play out of him..

          Tom, that’s a solid statement my friend..Secondary play in this division could be a deciding factor…I think every team is going to 3-3 in the division and the non division games will really decide things. Very exciting to go into a season of such parity. if our players want it bad enough, they have as good a chance as anyone…
          While Im sooo excited for Camp to start, Im also petrified for the time of year where injuries can start happening. Every day the first thing Im doing is checking the injury report
          ..
          BTW, Canty plays for the Ravens now if im not mistaken.

  • tball_man

    That 1989 rams game…. Ugh. Made a TE into a HOF practically and their lb the same.

    • tball_man

      Kevin Greene running wild.. And I recall him wearing body glove elbow sleeve…. Faulty memory with the TE I guess. Henry ellard down right sideline after qb step up. Front four hardly got anywhere close to qb. Gang green sure did come up short in those games. Offensive countered the aggressiveness with counters and misdirections and bootlegs…

  • GEagle

    I’m hoping that Cox and Kendrick’s were in such dysfunctional situations last year that the new environment and scheme(especially for Kendrick’s) is such a tremendous improvement for the that they can’t have sophomore slumps. We have a lot of young players with limited NFL experience, how those players develope along with how we Gel as a unit, are the x factors to our defense this year. It’s crucial that we see improvement this year from Cox,Graham,Kendrick’s,Boykin and Curry….Cary and Bradley I’m hoping will improve now that they will get to enjoy some stability, and continuity. Cary really only has two games of playing experience under his belt, and that’s just not enough to call him a finished product. Bradley has dealt with injuries and then being jerked in and out of lineups by the coaches once Trumaine and Janoris got on the field..so it has to be possible for him to improve if he gets stability,experience and continuity. Brad was a kid who’s play impresses you, but then gets Burnt from bad mistakes, something that can be fixed with experience and continuity….Thorton is also a player that hasn’t had enough experience to be considered Maxed out as a talent. I struggle with what his true Cieling is…Graham is flat out Hungry, and his desire can’t be questioned IMO. I see NO reason to not rationally expect continued growth out of him these next two seasons as long as he doesn’t suffer any injury setbacks.

    We have plenty of questions about the defense, but what we do have is young talent with limited experience…Put that in the hand of good teachers, and we have cause for Hope!!! We will also benefit drastically from the schematic changes. So while I would be foolish to proclaim that we will have a top defense in 2013, I am happy with this unit as a year one foundation to the defense of the future.

  • Anebriated

    A good defense needs a base of discipline and fundamental play and THEN you add in the attitude to put you into the next level. JJ’s attitude was B-Dawk.