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.