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Cutting through the confusion: defense


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#1 BlindSite

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 05:22 AM

I wrote this piece trying to explain a few things, while it won't make the extension of Trgovac any easier to swallow, it might help to explain why he was extended.

Sorry to link offsite and sorry that my webpage is so sh*tty (just got it started and I don't know sh*t about building a site)

But I hope you enjoy.

Excerpt

Cutting through the confusion: Defense



After such a brilliant start to the season questions are being raised as to why the Panthers defense dropped from being 2nd in the league in points allowed to 12th in such a short space of time and without suffering major setbacks.



With fans calling for the head of Mike Trgovac and what seems to be a mass exodus (whether by force or by choice remains to be seen) of coaching assistants the coaching staff is taking much of the blame.



As mentioned by Fox there was no pin pointing the precise issue, one week there was problems stopping the run, the next the pass, there was very little correlation between the personnel, opponent or injuries as to which part of the panthers game suffered. There may however, be some rather simple explanations to some of the issues.


Full article
http://www.thestrongside.com

#2 Cyberjag

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 06:32 AM

You're discarding the possibility that Fox had an adverse impact himself when he began working directly with the defense. Accounts say he started mid-season, and based on the timing it may have been during our bye week. That happened right after the Arizona game, which was the first time an opposing offense seemed to march at will against us. He may have decided something needed shaking up and in the process of doing so upset the whole apple-cart, so to speak.

#3 megadeth078

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 08:55 AM

Schwartz is an OL. I think you meant Hayden.

#4 Snake

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 09:30 AM

Really dose make since and I also agree we lost too good coaches and kept a bad one.

#5 panthers55

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 09:44 AM

Don't see how you conclude he made things too complicated or wrong adjustments. Look a the two Arizona games for example. He did the same thing both times as Fox admitted that they didn't double Fitz the first time and didn't the second time as well. Both games he had over 100 yards, the second without Boldin there.

What adjustments did he make?

Secondly almost every analyst I heard for example in the second Arizona game felt our defensive plan was too vanilla and simplistic. It was easily countered by Warner and their offensive scheme by for example moving Fitzgerald to various positions on the field. Rather than one defender moving to cover him like Gamble, we just allowed them to dictate the matchup and situation which make a completion almost a formality.

All year we have failed to stunt, give multiple looks, or try and confuse the offense. When we blitz we usually show it right away particularly up the middle and then fail to change the look even when the offense cals an audible. We routinely get beat in the very spot we just vacated when we blitz because we leave large holes in our zone.

The idea was to simplify responsibilities not our looks and schemes and it worked early. As we went to more of a zone look and played better passing teams with better quarterbacks and offenses we were routinely exposed.

I contend that Trgo has relied on our front four to overpower the opposition and when that hasn't happened for the past few years we have failed to develop more deceptive schemes to confuse the offenses we have faced. We have failed to give any more than a vanilla scheme with obvious blitzing elements easily counteracted when we have become desperate or gotten behind. When we are ahead to give them a bend don't break philosophy which allows them to march down the field, develop rythym in their passing game, and control the clock and game management.

As for what happened from the bye on, I really think in the first half of the year we focused on stopping the run with frequent five man defensive lines sets, run blitzes and had a more aggressive defense as a byproduct. After the bye we faced a majority of teams with good passing attacks and suspect running attacks (except for the Giants) and we went more vanilla and zone to slow them down. As our offense improved we also could score points and didn't have to be as aggressive so Trgo relaxed the reins and played more of a bend don't break scheme.

#6 BlindSite

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 04:00 PM

You're discarding the possibility that Fox had an adverse impact himself when he began working directly with the defense. Accounts say he started mid-season, and based on the timing it may have been during our bye week. That happened right after the Arizona game, which was the first time an opposing offense seemed to march at will against us. He may have decided something needed shaking up and in the process of doing so upset the whole apple-cart, so to speak.


Perhaps, but those accounts don't point to his schemes or his calls. They point to Trgo's Fox might have demanded the change, but Trgo made it.

#7 Frash Brastard

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 12:45 AM

Nice site blindsite.

#8 BlindSite

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 03:17 AM

thanks dude.

#9 unicar15

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 09:04 AM

Don't see how you conclude he made things too complicated or wrong adjustments. Look a the two Arizona games for example. He did the same thing both times as Fox admitted that they didn't double Fitz the first time and didn't the second time as well. Both games he had over 100 yards, the second without Boldin there.

What adjustments did he make?

Secondly almost every analyst I heard for example in the second Arizona game felt our defensive plan was too vanilla and simplistic. It was easily countered by Warner and their offensive scheme by for example moving Fitzgerald to various positions on the field. Rather than one defender moving to cover him like Gamble, we just allowed them to dictate the matchup and situation which make a completion almost a formality.

All year we have failed to stunt, give multiple looks, or try and confuse the offense. When we blitz we usually show it right away particularly up the middle and then fail to change the look even when the offense cals an audible. We routinely get beat in the very spot we just vacated when we blitz because we leave large holes in our zone.

The idea was to simplify responsibilities not our looks and schemes and it worked early. As we went to more of a zone look and played better passing teams with better quarterbacks and offenses we were routinely exposed.

I contend that Trgo has relied on our front four to overpower the opposition and when that hasn't happened for the past few years we have failed to develop more deceptive schemes to confuse the offenses we have faced. We have failed to give any more than a vanilla scheme with obvious blitzing elements easily counteracted when we have become desperate or gotten behind. When we are ahead to give them a bend don't break philosophy which allows them to march down the field, develop rythym in their passing game, and control the clock and game management.

As for what happened from the bye on, I really think in the first half of the year we focused on stopping the run with frequent five man defensive lines sets, run blitzes and had a more aggressive defense as a byproduct. After the bye we faced a majority of teams with good passing attacks and suspect running attacks (except for the Giants) and we went more vanilla and zone to slow them down. As our offense improved we also could score points and didn't have to be as aggressive so Trgo relaxed the reins and played more of a bend don't break scheme.


This is the biggest problem with our scheme and it is about to get worse with Peppers exiting this offseason. Trgo doesn't ever get pressure with anyone other than the front four and maybe an occasional linebacker or DB. I have seen him blitz marshall or Godfrey out of nickel sets...sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't (the latter being the case most of the time).

But what is even more mind-boggling than Turdo's over-reliance on the front four is what you just mentioned as a "vanilla defense." It is not just vanilla in that we always play zone...its vanilla in that its so freakin predictable (especially on 3rd down).

3rd and 8-10 we blitz a DB
3rd and 4-7 we drop back in zone
3rd and short we blitz the LB

And its like we have designated blitzers...its not like the Eagles where anyone can blitz at any different time. With our blitz its either going to be Godfrey or Marshall off the edge (they are already standing on the line of scrimmage showing blitz beforehand so it confuses nobody) or we have Thomas Davis coming up the middle on a delay or off the edge at the snap (once again standing at the LOS which confuses nobody).

I fully expect to see the exact same BS next year with very little changing except for the fact that we will get NO PRESSURE without Peppers unless we pick up another lockdown corner that people are afraid to throw at. Then we could be lucky and get a coverage sack every once in a while.


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