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Panthers find bright spots in defensive ends


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#31 panthers55

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 09:57 AM

But wait. If Brayton, an older veteran, is doing worse than last year that could mean that older players level of play declines year over year...

Pfffffft. That's a ridiculous idea. P55 set this guy straight.


Brayton isn't playing well this year. Not sure why. I don't know that age is the main factor given that Brayton is not that old and doesn't have a history of abuse or injury to his body. Most older players break down due to cumulative wear and tear but Brayton wasn't a consistent starter his first couple of years and has been relatively healthy. Each case is different although age gets everyone in the end.

What I do see is that Meeks scheme is so dependent on getting pressure with the DEs and there is so little help with the DTs inside, our DEs are constantly taking inside rushes to get pressure on the quarterback. Consequently they get sucked inside and fail to do what the DE is mainly responsible for in the run game which is hold the edge and turn things inside. Teams can run wide on us particularly on the offense's left side (our right side) anytime they want. By the time the linebacker and safety can get over there, the running back is down the field. Hillis killed us that way last Sunday. The defensive scheme seems pretty porous many times against outside runs. The line stunts and attack angles seems pretty basic as well and are easily countered. I wonder how much is personnel, how much is execution and how much is scheme.

Maybe it is me but I would rather spend time discussing football and schemes for example that taking pot shots at other posters. How about you, Del??

#32 Urrymonster

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:45 AM

Brayton isn't playing well this year. Not sure why. I don't know that age is the main factor given that Brayton is not that old and doesn't have a history of abuse or injury to his body. Most older players break down due to cumulative wear and tear but Brayton wasn't a consistent starter his first couple of years and has been relatively healthy. Each case is different although age gets everyone in the end.


The thing is, Brayton has always been a little 'over-rated' by the huddle board. One thing is for sure, he works hard, really hard and is very committed. The problem is, he really has never provided any real consistent pressure (this season is his worst by far though) and his run play is grossly over-estimated.

However I like him and continue to think he is a good guy to have around. This is a guy who has been through a lot of crap in this league and if there was someone to teach Brown how to rise through adversity, it's him.

I think perhaps the reason why he is playing worse this season is possibly because it's pretty damn difficult to stay committed to the season and thus we are automatically taking away his major asset.

What I do see is that Meeks scheme is so dependent on getting pressure with the DEs and there is so little help with the DTs inside, our DEs are constantly taking inside rushes to get pressure on the quarterback. Consequently they get sucked inside and fail to do what the DE is mainly responsible for in the run game which is hold the edge and turn things inside. Teams can run wide on us particularly on the offense's left side (our right side) anytime they want. By the time the linebacker and safety can get over there, the running back is down the field. Hillis killed us that way last Sunday. The defensive scheme seems pretty porous many times against outside runs. The line stunts and attack angles seems pretty basic as well and are easily countered. I wonder how much is personnel, how much is execution and how much is scheme.


I have wondered much on the scheme myself. Even before Meeks I never really saw us make a clever play along the defensive front, it's always seemed that we take on the 'single matchups' philosophy.

All you need to do is look at the Giants DLine and see that with talent, intelligent play creation can turn you into an unstoppable force on it's day.

However, are the angles down to the inexperience of our young ends? Johnson has contained the left side pretty damn well, however Brayton and Brown have struggled. This is something we unfortunately can only speculate on.

Maybe it is me but I would rather spend time discussing football and schemes for example that taking pot shots at other posters. How about you, Del??


This. I have had enough of all the childishness round here, I can only read so many single sentence threads without going mad. Nice to actually have discussion for a change.

#33 Anybodyhome

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:51 AM

Meeks had more speed and, generally speaking, smaller defenders in Indianapolis than he does here. He never had a decent group of DTs that got any consistent middle pressure there, either.

But, he did have Dwight Freeney. Now, Dwight Freeney-like production is what Meeks expects out of Everette Brown and it's not going to happen. Let's hope not, anyway. As good as Freeney may be, he's pretty one dimensional and gets owned against the run. The Panthers cannot afford to have a one-dimensional DE. Robert Mathis makes up for what Freeney lacks against the run. In Charlotte, a healthy Thomas Davis with his speed would be a perfect match with Everette Brown in much the same way if only Brown could improve.

#34 Dpantherman

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 10:52 AM

man if we had a pocket collapsing dt, we could be 2-9 right now.

3-8. :biggrin:

#35 Urrymonster

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 11:05 AM

Meeks had more speed and, generally speaking, smaller defenders in Indianapolis than he does here. He never had a decent group of DTs that got any consistent middle pressure there, either.


Bingo, they just had a prolific offense that forced many teams to pass to catch up, allowing their incredible DEs to do what they do best.

But, he did have Dwight Freeney. Now, Dwight Freeney-like production is what Meeks expects out of Everette Brown and it's not going to happen. Let's hope not, anyway. As good as Freeney may be, he's pretty one dimensional and gets owned against the run. The Panthers cannot afford to have a one-dimensional DE. Robert Mathis makes up for what Freeney lacks against the run.


This is actually a myth. He was bad, but the last couple of years he has really shored it up and has been average and at times pretty good at times.

Mathis is not better, nor worse than Freeney is at defending the run.

In Charlotte, a healthy Thomas Davis with his speed would be a perfect match with Everette Brown in much the same way if only Brown could improve.


As DEs? Not sure Davis has the ability to shed blocks, nor exploded from a 3 point stance considering he has never done it and was a college safety. Eric Norwood on the other hand...

By the way BRown is steadily improving, I am cautiously optimistic about him next season

#36 panthers55

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 11:14 AM

The thing is, Brayton has always been a little 'over-rated' by the huddle board. One thing is for sure, he works hard, really hard and is very committed. The problem is, he really has never provided any real consistent pressure (this season is his worst by far though) and his run play is grossly over-estimated.

However I like him and continue to think he is a good guy to have around. This is a guy who has been through a lot of crap in this league and if there was someone to teach Brown how to rise through adversity, it's him.

I think perhaps the reason why he is playing worse this season is possibly because it's pretty damn difficult to stay committed to the season and thus we are automatically taking away his major asset.



I have wondered much on the scheme myself. Even before Meeks I never really saw us make a clever play along the defensive front, it's always seemed that we take on the 'single matchups' philosophy.

All you need to do is look at the Giants DLine and see that with talent, intelligent play creation can turn you into an unstoppable force on it's day.

However, are the angles down to the inexperience of our young ends? Johnson has contained the left side pretty damn well, however Brayton and Brown have struggled. This is something we unfortunately can only speculate on.



This. I have had enough of all the childishness round here, I can only read so many single sentence threads without going mad. Nice to actually have discussion for a change.


Yeah I would much rather debate issues like you mentioned than make childish oneupmanship remarks which seem to fill threads these days.

To your speculation about the DEs, I think much of our lack of sack production revolves around lack of DT play meaning the defense can concentrate on the DEs. As for Johnson I really think he has come into his own this year and is a force. I really have not been concentrating on it but maybe you saw it. How many sacks does he have from the DT position on third downs with perhaps Hardy on the edge versus sacks from the DE position.

As for Brayton specifically, I would separate his run defense in the past from this year. In 2009 for example he had 45 tackles and 5 sacks. So far this year he has started 9 of 11 games and has 14 tackles and 0 sacks. A huge drop off. Last year he led the defensive line in tackles and this year he is at the bottom. They kind of dropoff is pretty unusual without a major injury. Meanwhile Charles Johnson's numbers are going to be way up.

As for general defensive line play I do think our schemes are pretty poor really. I don't know how much of that is Meeks and how much is Baker. But color me very unimpressed this year. Teams can easily exploit us especially on the edges. Johnson is the only one who is really doing a good job.

#37 Urrymonster

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 11:39 AM

To your speculation about the DEs, I think much of our lack of sack production revolves around lack of DT play meaning the defense can concentrate on the DEs. As for Johnson I really think he has come into his own this year and is a force. I really have not been concentrating on it but maybe you saw it. How many sacks does he have from the DT position on third downs with perhaps Hardy on the edge versus sacks from the DE position.


I am unsure on how many sacks etc, but he lines up at DT in a 4 man front generally around 3-4 times a game, so it's not something he does regularly on 3rd downs for example. When we have a 3 man front he is usually the NT, which is employed depending on the opponent. I will have a look into it though and see if I can come up with anything.

I know that when Brayton has moved inside he has only struggled more. That is with Brown, Brayton, Johnson, Hardy from right to left.

As for Brayton specifically, I would separate his run defense in the past from this year. In 2009 for example he had 45 tackles and 5 sacks. So far this year he has started 9 of 11 games and has 14 tackles and 0 sacks. A huge drop off. Last year he led the defensive line in tackles and this year he is at the bottom. They kind of dropoff is pretty unusual without a major injury. Meanwhile Charles Johnson's numbers are going to be way up.


Something that is worth considering is that he is playing almost exclusively at RE for the first time with us. Whilst he spent time there in 2009 for some games (and played well), this is the first time he is consistently anchored at that position.

Could coming up against premier tackles have that much of an impact?
Could the fact that a lot of teams will run to the strong side impact his ability to pick up tackles?

As for general defensive line play I do think our schemes are pretty poor really. I don't know how much of that is Meeks and how much is Baker. But color me very unimpressed this year. Teams can easily exploit us especially on the edges. Johnson is the only one who is really doing a good job.


Pretty much agree, however Hardy appears to not be caught out so much in the run game. However it's a fairly small sample size.

#38 Icege

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 04:29 PM

As for Brayton specifically, I would separate his run defense in the past from this year. In 2009 for example he had 45 tackles and 5 sacks. So far this year he has started 9 of 11 games and has 14 tackles and 0 sacks. A huge drop off. Last year he led the defensive line in tackles and this year he is at the bottom. They kind of dropoff is pretty unusual without a major injury. Meanwhile Charles Johnson's numbers are going to be way up.


(this is all imo of course!)

At the beginning of the season with Beason on the Will side and Connor in the middle, teams were going to be targeting the strong side to the untested LB and DE not named Julius Peppers. James Anderson and Charles Johnson have blown up as a result.

Brayton was also regarded as our best pass rusher by a few of the opponents we've played against. I remember him being mentioned specifically on a couple of occasions.

Combine that with his age, and numbers are definitely going to drop. However, he works his ass off and has been around. With all the veterans we had cut, I'm pretty sure he got his "Get Out of Jail Free" card when he was very vocal about wanting to stay with Carolina.

#39 Anybodyhome

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Posted 03 December 2010 - 05:09 PM

Bingo, they just had a prolific offense that forced many teams to pass to catch up, allowing their incredible DEs to do what they do best.



This is actually a myth. He was bad, but the last couple of years he has really shored it up and has been average and at times pretty good at times.

Mathis is not better, nor worse than Freeney is at defending the run.

As DEs? Not sure Davis has the ability to shed blocks, nor exploded from a 3 point stance considering he has never done it and was a college safety. Eric Norwood on the other hand...

By the way BRown is steadily improving, I am cautiously optimistic about him next season


Mathis as a LB usually lines up and plays as a stand-up DE on run downs when Freeney is on the sidelines. Freeney rarely plays on run downs.

Not saying Davis as the DE, I'm saying Brown with Davis behind him as the OLB, much in the same fashion as Mathis playing behind Freeney when Freeney is on the field.

#40 Delhommey

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 12:41 PM

Yeah, I'm tired of the "lol @ the youth movement" potshots as well.

#41 Urrymonster

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:03 PM

Mathis as a LB usually lines up and plays as a stand-up DE on run downs when Freeney is on the sidelines. Freeney rarely plays on run downs.

Not saying Davis as the DE, I'm saying Brown with Davis behind him as the OLB, much in the same fashion as Mathis playing behind Freeney when Freeney is on the field.


Really? I am sure that happens on occasion, but everything I have seen list Mathis as playing the predominant amount of his snaps at LE?

Freeney and Mathis have played on more rushing plays than anyone else on the Colts DLine...

I confess though that I do not know the Colts incredibly well.

#42 Anybodyhome

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 01:13 PM

You're right. I'm thinking of Gary Brackett, not Mathis. I haven't seen much of the Colts this season, but in past years Freeney was just plain bad playing the run.

#43 panthers55

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:05 PM

Freeney has improved his run defense significantly in the past 2 years. He still doesn't make a ton of tackles though.

#44 malik

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 04:39 PM

Fox should ask Everette Brown: "What have you done for me lately?"

He's invisible every game. I almost forgot we drafted him.

oh poo i forgot that name, i didnt even know who you was talking about Posted Image

#45 pantherclaw

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 06:01 PM

Works his ass off. Can't quite get there.

He's still playing his part of the line. It helps the other guys. And he'll continue to get better.

Sacks will come.


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