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View Full Version : Be HONEST - Has the DEFENSE really improved?



snowinapril
12-01-2004, 09:56 AM
Is it our weak schedule or our D? Or is it Both?

Sep 12 Dallas Won 35-17
Sep 20 @Philadelphia Lost 16-27
Sep 26 Chicago Won 27-22
Week 4 BYE
Oct 10 @Houston Won 34-28
Oct 17 @New Orleans Won 38-31
Oct 24 Tennessee Won 20-3
Oct 31 N.Y. Giants Lost 13-34
Nov 8 @Indianapolis Lost 28-31
Nov 14 @Green Bay Lost 31-34
Nov 21 Detroit Won 22-19
Nov 28 Jacksonville Won 27-16
Dec 5 @Chicago 1:00pm
Dec 12 Seattle 1:00pm
Dec 19 @Detroit 1:00pm
Dec 24 Green Bay 3:00pm
Jan 2 @Washington 1:00pm

snowinapril
12-01-2004, 09:58 AM
I think the D has improved but only slightly. We have been a little more opportunistic or maybe fortunate with the turnovers which helps. The weaker schedule has helped us look a little better than we actually are.

The fact that we have not allowed more than 1 offensive TD in the last 2 games is definitelt a positive. I think it will help our D's confidence as they are getting healthy. The offenses that we face from here on out have struggled, and we need to consistantly dominate them. (GB is the only offense left that has been playing well as of late.) Even the domination of these teams will not be a good measuring stick to give us a definite answer to the questions about our D and their level of play.

The important thing is the "one more play" attitude that the D has adopted from the Bud Grant speach before the Lions Game. The players seem to believe they are going to make that one more play to make a difference.

Attitude might be the improvement needed to start playing more consistant D. We have young talent on D, and they have been stepping up.

If this attitude will also appear in the tackling department, we will be fine going into the playoffs.

Back to the original question, it is BOTH. Both the schedule and the slight improvement of attitude and play helped the D look better the last few weeks. They have taken advatage of the opportunities that they have been presented with.

Del Rio
12-01-2004, 10:47 AM
I personally think the D has improved in certain areas. The D line has been improving every week. They are one of the best in stats for the league with sacks and hurries.

The turnovers have increased. The players are in positions to make the plays. Cotrell seems to have gotten a handle on the situation.

But we still give up huge ammounts of yards. Our opponents 3rd down average is way high. We miss a lot of tackles. I think it is just the youngness of the D. I mean they are getting to the spot they just aren't doing what they need to do when they get there.

That tells me that they are really concentrating on the scheme and taking the technique for granted. Older wiser players take the scheme for granted and close on the ball.

This about sums up my thoughts on our D and what it needs.

Picture a bunch of young guys given a task. They all have to do the task together yet they are judged individually. Young guy #1 does his task great the first time. Young guy#2 doesn't. Well they are both judged by coach. They relate to each others hardships. And become friends but guess what? Coach isn't on the field.

That's why these young guys do great in practice because he is there in their ears. They want to make him happy and succeed.

Well you get on the field he isn't there you look around and you have a bunch of people you have battled with and you are trying your best to NOT make a mistake. What this D needs is a vetran leader to pull it together. Someone on the field that is going through the trials with you that you want to make happy that you want to get a pat on the back from.

And IMO that position and leader need to be at the LB spot. It has been for years. You have great vetrans in the CB spot saftey even some crafty old lineman, but you need a general. So as far as this year someone needs to take the reigns and have it all click.

snowinapril
12-01-2004, 10:54 AM
Good post DelRio

Do you think Tice would be better off throwing out his player grading system for these young guys?

Would that help them concentrate on the Team Effort instead of their individual grade?

By the way DelRio, too bad about Kirilenko, 2 weeks is much better than the month they were talking about previously.

vikefan in WI
12-01-2004, 11:00 AM
I don't think that this defense that good, I'm not even sure that they are adequate...way too many rushing yards given up and they have the uncanny ability to make 2nd and 3rd rate QBs look like Hall of Famers. They seem to have adopted the bend-but-don't-break style of defense which worked just well enough against jacksonville (and should be good enough for detroit, chicago and washington) but as much as it hurts me to say this, the packers will chew up the defense unless play improves. Fortunately the packers defense will not be able to stop our offense because as it has been shown repeatedly this season the only team that can stop the Vikings offense IS the Vikings offense when they shoot themselves in the foot.

snowinapril
12-01-2004, 11:12 AM
"vikefan in WI" wrote:

I don't think that this defense that good, I'm not even sure that they are adequate...way too many rushing yards given up and they have the uncanny ability to make 2nd and 3rd rate QBs look like Hall of Famers. They seem to have adopted the bend-but-don't-break style of defense which worked just well enough against jacksonville (and should be good enough for detroit, chicago and washington) but as much as it hurts me to say this, the packers will chew up the defense unless play improves. Fortunately the packers defense will not be able to stop our offense because as it has been shown repeatedly this season the only team that can stop the Vikings offense IS the Vikings offense when they shoot themselves in the foot.

The RBs look good because the LBs weren't making the initial tackle in the gap. A lot of 0-2 yd gains were have turned into 6-9 yd gains because of tackling miscues. Our offense getting back to full throttle would help the run D if the opponents have to pass to get into the game. That is what happened early in the season.

The QB's?????? We have dropped atleast 7 or 8 possible INTs, that is huge. Seahawks have the most INTs something like 17. We only have 5, if you add the 8, we would be up there along with our line play we would be considered a good D. The 8 INT's would equate to less points on the board for the opponent. Even if we had 4 of the 8 INTs that would be respectable.

Del Rio
12-01-2004, 11:16 AM
I really don't think his grading system would cause a problem, they seem to want to grade out well for coach, but it just isn't enough to want. The missed tackles are a result of their brains giving 100% to doing what they were taught correctly. Like being 3 yards deep, or containing an area and not focusing on why they need to be there. I imagine it is just a learning curve thing. At WSU it took me a while to get the hang of it. But I assume the NFL is 100% harder.

In a vetrans mind he sees the formation. Keys off on his guy he is watching makes the read gets to his spot then pauses thinks and acts :D

The rookies look like they are thinking OK they are single back strong right, ok I'm right side so I shift in one gap. Then they shift back perhaps designed but more then likely "Oh shit i only shift in when the TE is lined up on the line. Then it's oh crap they snapped the ball. I hope this is my spot, yep this has to be my spot. Here comes average running back#1 ............weak arm tackle.......damn he is strong.

I mean if you had someone to run up and say hey Udeze B gap!! B-gap!!! then between plays come up and say hey notice he was strong side. Keep and eye on that.

I mean the respect for that player and desire to learn is so great. Just in those few seconds of information that would stick with you longer then anything. Lessons learned on the field only take once. Lessons in class take a lot of repitition. And knowing the vetran whom you respect has your back you calm down a bit and can focus on the game.

As far as the Jazz that hurts. You know the Jazz are a lot like the Vikes LOL. They have been in a bit of a slump, but thats what is good about the NBA. It's a long season I still feel they will get a low seed in the west.

ItalianStallion
12-01-2004, 11:17 AM
The defense isn't good, but they are improving especially when it counts, at the end of games.

If they havn't improved alot in production (which they have since the start of the season), the they have improved their mental thoughness.

vikefan in WI
12-01-2004, 11:47 AM
I agree with you snow, but missing tackles and dropping INTs are signs of a mediocre defense. As it stands now, we are the only team to give up 100+ rushing yards for the last five games, we cannot consistantly pressure the QB and we have given up a ton of points. I also agree that once the offense starts hitting on all cylinders that the other teams will have to resort to the pass more, thereby allowing the Vikings to play aggressive pass defense without being too concerned about the run. The bears game should be a confidence builder.

cheesefree
12-01-2004, 11:52 AM
The defense has more speed this year, but they are young and make a lot of mental errors. The dropped INT's are an issue because these are the same guys who made all those INT's last year. They can't stop the run in the first half, so these RB's are racking up big yards before halftime.

snowinapril
12-01-2004, 11:56 AM
DelRio,

I said something similar to what you are saying, in a previous post a few weeks ago. Yeah, I think it is the learning curve and the fact that the game hasn't slowed for them yet. The are still concentrating on where they should be and the D read that they aren't making the plays because they are one step behind.

HarrisonB57
12-01-2004, 11:57 AM
Our Defense's problem is the Backers. I think they have been improving recently but still leave gaps wide open and don't do a lot on pass coverage. I think the best way to solve of LB problem is to just blitz them every down straight through the gaps. They get so confused sometimes in pass coverage that they take themselves out of the play. It would be just as good sending all of them at the same time. Or at least Keith because he is an amazing pass rusher.

vikes09
12-01-2004, 05:14 PM
i really agree. i wouldnt mind a few more blitzes than we have now. and our secondary isnt horrible and our secondary could cover the rest of the wr indstead of our backers...... thats a great idea. ( im hopin for a pick up in this position in the FA or the draft) and i agree bout our backers. i wouldnt mind to have wohever chicagos quaterback looking like this :shock:.

go vikes!!! :salute:

Vikestand
12-01-2004, 07:23 PM
I have seen great improvements on the line in my opinion....BUT...The LB's are biting too hard on the fakes...Need to keep on their assignments alot better then what they are doing...All I know is that they should continue what they have done the last two weeks and I will be happy...

VKG4LFE
12-01-2004, 07:28 PM
the last two weeks in the second half. They have been torched in the first half!

VKG4LFE
12-01-2004, 08:38 PM
the rush D that is.

dan3ski
12-02-2004, 12:57 PM
The Vikings dee has move up three places in as many weeks and this late in the season that is not the easiest thing to do.

muchluv4smoot
12-02-2004, 06:07 PM
Well, our d is moving up in rankings as the season goes on, compared to our D last year, that seem to get worse each week.

I will admit, that I expected our D to be better at this point in the year, but we are imporving each week and that is what I want to see from our D mostly.

I have not been impressed with cotrell as a D coordinator. He talked all offseason about being aggressive and then he plays bend but don't break D when the season starts.

Our LB play is what hurt us early, as did hovan doing nothing in there. I have watched our Lb's make a huge change since halftime of the lions game, especially EJ henderson. He is one of my favorite players, but I was extreamly dissappointed in his play, until the second half of the lions game, where he seemed to finally awake and get it.

I would like to see DT in the game more and more as the year goes on, and newman less and less. I doubt this will happen, but I would also like to see raonall smith back in there when he is healtyh, instead of claiborne. Smith seemed to make more plays when he was in there.

Our D-line, as expected, is getting better and better. Williams and udeze are extremely young, but also talented and that talent is really starting to show. Now with spencer johnson in there for hovan, we have another young inexperienced guy in there, so we will have ups and downs from him. Johnstone is playing at an unstoppable rate, which is nice to see.

We have so much talent at our corners, but I really don't feel cotrell is using them to there capabilities. He plays winfield and williams off, way way too much. Both of those guys can get right in their guys face and cover the hell out of them, but they hardly get the chance to do that. Even when we blitz, cotrell plays them off, which makes no snese to me. If we are blitzing, then the QB should have to throw the ball quickly, meaning why would we not be playing our corners close to the receivers to stop the quick passes??? This part of cotrells scheme just makes no sense to me.

I think this season has shown, what packers fans were trying to tell us all offseason, that our safeties are nowhere near as good as some of us thought they were after last season. Russell flat out needs to go in the offseason. Thank god we just gave him that crappy one year deal in the offseason, instead of a big contract like some people wanted. Chavous is a decent safety, but not a great one. He would be much better, if we could draft or sign an ed reed, roy williams, or sean taylor type of saftey next offseason.

All in all, I am dissapponted in our D so far this year, but am also happy they continue to get better and better as the year goes on. Next year is the year we can really expect a good D, with all the young guys we have playing right now.

snowinapril
12-02-2004, 06:58 PM
I hope it is next year, I get really sick of saying that year after year.

VKG4LFE
12-02-2004, 06:59 PM
"snowinapril" wrote:

I hope it is next year, I get really sick of saying that year after year.

Yeah, me too! But I hope the superbowl win comes this year!! I am REALLY getting sick of there's always next year! lol

cajunvike
12-02-2004, 07:56 PM
"muchluv4moss" wrote:

Well, our d is moving up in rankings as the season goes on, compared to our D last year, that seem to get worse each week.

Think about it, guys...it takes alot to move up the rankings when you are down...so by extension, our D has to be playing a helluva lot better to accomplish that. I will take them playing great now (as opposed to early in the season) because that means that they will have momentum going into the end of season games that we need to win and then into the playoffs (that we also need to win to move ahead). Once the offense fires back up and the defense gets to spend less time on the field and gets to protect leads instead of having to stop teams from extending their early leads, the team as a whole will be infinitely better. I like the prospects of this year's team much better than last year's team...timing is everything! 8)

uncle tony
12-03-2004, 04:28 PM
Two weeks in a row the D stepped up and stoped the offense from scoring. Let's hope we don't need that for the bears game. But if we do it's nice to know that they can make the play.

snowinapril
12-03-2004, 04:34 PM
"uncle tony" wrote:

Two weeks in a row the D stepped up and stoped the offense from scoring. Let's hope we don't need that for the bears game. But if we do it's nice to know that they can make the play.

Let's hope we don't need it for any game here on out.

Face it, we need to play like we did on the last drive of the last 2 games for a whole game. The Jags and the Kittens were not great offenses at all.

This week, we will get a chance to try and stop the run. Let's put the hurts to Thomas and Jones and make them not want to run through the line anymore.

dan3ski
12-03-2004, 11:03 PM
Well I think the Vikings at this point have as good a chance of going to the SB as any team in the NFC. However the elite teams are all in the AFC.

snowinapril
12-03-2004, 11:23 PM
"dan3ski" wrote:

Well I think the Vikings at this point have as good a chance of going to the SB as any team in the NFC. However the elite teams are all in the AFC.

The AFC teams are beatable! It will take a heck of a defensive effort for one game, balls to the walls.

Don't let the mediocre NFC and the ESPN guys try and tell you different. Just because most of the teams in the NFC are 4-7 doesn't mean every team in the NFC plays like they are 4-7. It just so happens that the AFC has put a lot of those loses in the NFC teams L columns. None of the AFC teams have the O to put it to the top teams in the NFC's D. It will be within reach and it is who comes out on top and the way the ball bounces and many other cliches.

THE FAT LADY ISN'T SINGING YET.

TheMaineViking
12-04-2004, 09:47 AM
"muchluv4moss" wrote:

I think this season has shown, what packers fans were trying to tell us all offseason, that our safeties are nowhere near as good as some of us thought they were after last season. Russell flat out needs to go in the offseason. Thank god we just gave him that crappy one year deal in the offseason, instead of a big contract like some people wanted. Chavous is a decent safety, but not a great one. He would be much better, if we could draft or sign an ed reed, roy williams, or sean taylor type of saftey next offseason.


i would just like to see these two stop dropping the picks that have come their way. they combined for 17 last year...if they can't get any against the bears, we're hurting. i like chavous but russell is just not getting it done.

snowinapril
12-04-2004, 03:20 PM
Russell and Williams have both dropped a few INTs