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Ron Rivera Comes To Defense Of Tackles

Coach RiveraDefensive tackles I got this

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#61 wade

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

I believe the only positions they would. It have taken would be RB and QB. They would have easily traded those picks.

Precisely. They, like everyone else, felt like the DT position could use an upgrade. In this article Rivera is taking issue with the fans and draft "experts" who have been saying the same thing for months. No matter how much they scream BPA, they weren't drafting a C, RB or QB at 9 because they have entrenched starters at those positions.

#62 MHS831

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:46 AM

  • If the problem is youth (3 rookies and 2 second-year players), how does drafting more youth help?
  • For those who felt that we would have upgraded by drafting a rookie DT, here are some DTs from recent drafts who were actually rated higher than any DT in this draft and who have struggled so far: Dorsey, McCoy, Fairley, Ellis. etc.--
  • "But..but...I have already determined our 2 rookie third round DTs to be busts after 10 games following the lockout year...First rounders can contribute on a high level that would satisfy my lust for excellent DT play immediately!"--a knowledgeable fan
  • For those of you who still do not get why RR did not draft a DT, Ron Edwards is solid at the point of attack and coming of IR. You cannot compare every player on our roster to the best players at their positions league wide. That is pretty stupid in a salary capped league.
  • There are a few people on here (I am one) who were saying that we would NOT draft a DT-period. We were hammered for this opinion. I see that, instead of reflection and any form of acknowledgement of this fact, most of the peoplle attacking have moved on to attack others with newer opinions.


#63 wade

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 10:55 AM

There are a few people on here (I am one) who were saying that we would NOT draft a DT-period. We were hammered for this opinion. I see that, instead of reflection and any form of acknowledgement of this fact, most of the peoplle attacking have moved on to attack others with newer opinions.

It's not as if people were pulling this out of thin air, they brought in four of them for visits (Poe/Cox/Brockers/Worthy).

#64 SuperMan

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:13 AM

I mostly agree with what the coach said. We will have to give our DT's time, and having Edwards back could be big.

But I do have to point out that our last 6 games included two against a struggling tampa team, one against the worst team in the league (Indy) a team that was without its starting qb and threw a rookie against us (Texans), and two teams that put up 30 plus on us (Atlanta and the Aints). In the Texans game, Foster abused us, but fortunately Yates screwed it up for them. In the Saints*** game, Ivory abused us. Not sure if our tackle play really improved overall, or the competition just got weaker. IMO, its probably some combination thereof.


I don't think opposing teams running on us last year was entirely indicative of our defensive tackles we had woeful linebackers, we are going to see a marked improvement in our run defense this season with Beason and Keuchly playing instead of Senn and Conner.

I don't think most people here realize how big of an upgrade that is at linebacker. (two all pro caliber guys vs two backups)

#65 MHS831

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:38 AM

It's not as if people were pulling this out of thin air, they brought in four of them for visits (Poe/Cox/Brockers/Worthy).


They had to check all players who might fall into the "BPA" category in the first or second round. DT is a place where we could upgrade, but it was not a huge need. Brockers, Poe, Coples, and Cox had some freakish physical traits that should have been checked out up close.

If you look at the needs--LB was clearly number 1. Arguably, G was number 2. I was even saying that CB was not that big of a need because Hogan would be as good as any second round draft pick. They must have agreed; I hardly call a fifth rounder addressing a need for a starter. DE was a bigger need than DT, in fact.

I would have understood if we had drafted a DT, but there were people on here who were nasty toward any opinion that did not end in DT. Since I saw it as our fourth or fifth biggest need, I figured we would not draft a DT. Based on the availability of DTs later in the draft and the number of DTs high in the draft that had question marks. Marty has not drafted a DT in the first round while boasting a high success rate for first round picks--the reason? They rarely live up to the hype. He takes safe picks. Our best bet? To look at the growth we had and develop our youth.

#66 DawgzLife

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:51 AM

They never really mention shirley....wondering if he'll be the odd man out


I really hope not. Last year my order for the DTs would go: Shirley, Kearse, Neblett, McClain (I'll leave Fua off completely...he sucks).

#67 DawgzLife

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:57 AM

fantastic article. i'm glad we have a coach willing to elaborate... foxy's one-liners would've been maddening in this situation. maybe rivera reads the huddle and is just sick of hearing fourth-tier posters climbing out of the woodwork and bitching endlessly.


You are right PhillyB, I bold the part I think is most important. A coach who will elaborate shows that he understands how important it is to have fans understand & 'on board'. It also shows he is not insecure. Foxy thought he didn't have to PROVE anything to fans, but it comes off as pompous & can only work in a positive way if you are in the playoffs every year.

#68 DawgzLife

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:09 PM

I agree that it was bull headed to keep those guys in when they weren't performing. It was even more idiotic, imo, to go into last season with just 3 DT's on the roster. And no, it's not just b!tching in hindsight, as I was complaining about it at the time. Along the same lines, it was an error imo to keep playing Naanee, or at least it was a mistake to throw to him so much, when LaFell performed better.

However, I do trust Rivera in general, so I'm sure in his mind he had good reasons to do what he did. But those of you who said "no more excuses" are correct. This is a win now league and the D has to show significant improvement this year.


Good post. All very solid points. I think Rivera will be a very good coach, but I am really hoping his 'stubborness' to keep McClain/Fua/Naanee in, instead of guys that looked like they were playing much better, is very concerning. I hope he grew/grows as a head coach & changes that; I also hope it was b/c he was letting the OC & DC determine there game rotation & that Rivera will step in & let them know that the guys who produce must be on the field.

As has been said, no excuses this year. You are not a Rook; you have the whole off-season, scouting, draft, FA & mini-camps; you should have re-calibrated what you thought you knew & now be ready to help the team take a very big step forward. He was not perfect as a HC last year, but I have a lot of hope...it's now time to produce.

#69 DawgzLife

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

Do people think Rivera knows defense or not?? Do you think he knows defensive talent or not?? For those still not believing him, tell me one credible reason why if he thought our DTs couldn't do the job why would he not draft 1 or 2 of them?? He had the opportunity and surely could have drafted Cox for example. Why didn't he?? Is he stupid, a poor judge of talent, or what. If he believes that the DTs did a good job at the end of the year instead of trying to find fault with his statements why not consider that he knows something you don't. I know a novel idea..... A professional coach might know more than an armchair quarterback armed with a few colds one and you tube at the ready..........Nah......... Couldn't be that...............


What gives me confidence is the fact that he has been a great DC & was a LB as a player. I was 1 who was wanting a DT, BUT...that was premised on the fact that the D is predicated on interior DLmen who can rush the passer. Each defensive philosophy is different & with his stance on how our DTs played may increase the chances we see more LB blitzing this year. It was promised to be 'an aggressive' D, but really didn't look that way last year with all of the injuries. The coach should have a lot better idea than all of us AND he has much better video to breakdown to ensure he is not making decisions on "a hunch".

#70 DaveThePanther2008

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:15 PM

You don't take 2 DTs in the 3rd round and give up on them because they went down with injury. On top of zero OTAs and Mini Camps. Kearse was a steal from Miami and Neblett was UDFA, Shirley did well since we got him in Mid November 2011. We have all the youth we need.

I wasn't sold on Brockers who was our initial Mock Draft favorite, I did jump on the Poe bandwagon for a while but I truly believe that one year of experience for our rookie DT(10 games) outweighed the picks on the board. I think any of these guys will have NFL growing pains and will not dominate as rookies. IMO Rivera didn't necessarily see an major difference between the 2012 Rookie Class and the DTs we chose in 2011.

I have always believed that our young DTs along with Edwards will have a MUCH better season in 2012 than 2011.

Rivera confirmed my belief.

#71 DawgzLife

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:27 PM

I love Rivera and all, but what's this about then?


Good point! Can I give you some advice? Most of us huddlers are too lazy to click on links so most people may have just passed by your post.

It linked to CATMAN72's post where Rivera said he would have drafted Coples as a DT.

Why would Rivera even consider Coples if he was so happy with our DTs? (esp. to the point of making those who considered otherwise seem like impatient ignoramuses)

I think it is a great question. Rivera said himself for people to be patient & let them develop their players, so why would he consider drafting Coples? (don't come with the...he's specially gifted argument)

I'm not doubting Rivera's sincerity, but the 2 stances are somewhat incongruent.

#72 DawgzLife

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:47 PM

  • If the problem is youth (3 rookies and 2 second-year players), how does drafting more youth help?
  • For those who felt that we would have upgraded by drafting a rookie DT, here are some DTs from recent drafts who were actually rated higher than any DT in this draft and who have struggled so far: Dorsey, McCoy, Fairley, Ellis. etc.--
  • "But..but...I have already determined our 2 rookie third round DTs to be busts after 10 games following the lockout year...First rounders can contribute on a high level that would satisfy my lust for excellent DT play immediately!"--a knowledgeable fan
  • For those of you who still do not get why RR did not draft a DT, Ron Edwards is solid at the point of attack and coming of IR. You cannot compare every player on our roster to the best players at their positions league wide. That is pretty stupid in a salary capped league.
  • There are a few people on here (I am one) who were saying that we would NOT draft a DT-period. We were hammered for this opinion. I see that, instead of reflection and any form of acknowledgement of this fact, most of the peoplle attacking have moved on to attack others with newer opinions.


Good post, I agree with most of it.

#1: Exactly, but that's why him being so adamant, yet still considering drafting Coples at #9 for DT is so inconsistent.
#2: Exacty. DT is the often considered the 2nd or 3rd hardest psotion to come in as a rookie & produce (QB & WR are the other 2).
#3: Exactly again.
#4: Good point on player comparisions to the 'top' guy for every position.

I do disagree with the Ron Edwards comment tho. He will have to prove himself before I can make any kind of statement like that. He is aging, coming off of an injury & was declining prior to Kansas City deciding not to resign him. He does not appear anything more than a 'possible' stop gap...he has never been much of a presence by collaping the pocket..just stopping the run at the line (he's avg about 1 sack per year over his NFL career). We will see, but I just don't understand the Ron Edwards love before he takes a snap for us.

#5: Good job MHS831! (seriously) I was 1 thinking we would go DT, b/c I would like to see a pass rushing DT.

I DID NOT want to draft Poe or Brockers or Still b/c we have them or better on the roster already...I think you have over-simplified those of us who were wanting a DT. The only one I wanted was Cox...b/c of his ability to collapse the pocket & either get sacks or flush to QB so our DEs & LBs could destroy the QBs.

I don't think you guys were 'hammered' anymore than everyone gets hammered for ANY opinion on here (it's kind of the fun of things really). Just b/c the team chose a LB & Rivera defends out DTs doesn't mean you were right....or wrong. We will know within a few games if our interior line was set & Rivera was a genius or if we should have tried to solidify the interior.

BTW, to everyone...this is 1 of the most interesting threads & with good respectful opinion-sharing that I have seen for a while!

In all, I think our DTs willbe fine & that Rivera will be more involved with the D & that the LBs will do more blitzing than last year, which will further make our DL look solid.

#73 DawgzLife

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:53 PM

I don't think most people here realize how big of an upgrade that is at linebacker. (two all pro caliber guys vs to backups)


Yep, this is my contention as well. I can't wait to see the defensive schemes with LBs like this...even if Davis doesn't get back (which I hope he does). I don't trust our DC (Opie), but if Rivera is more hands on with the D than last year (b/c his head was spinning being a HC for the 1st time), then look out! I think our D will make 1 of, if not 'the', biggest jump in the NFL this year.

#74 DaveThePanther2008

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:59 PM

...where Rivera said he would have drafted Coples as a DT.

Why would Rivera even consider Coples if he was so happy with our DTs? (esp. to the point of making those who considered otherwise seem like impatient ignoramuses)

I think it is a great question. Rivera said himself for people to be patient & let them develop their players, so why would he consider drafting Coples? (don't come with the...he's specially gifted argument)

I'm not doubting Rivera's sincerity, but the 2 stances are somewhat incongruent.


Why would he consider Coples? BPA? Could Coples been a better player then Kuechly? I am sure that a discussion that Coples was the BPA at #9.

Could be smoke screens..... Coaches and GMs NEVER try to force someones hand in a trade? That is so unethical.

There could be a number of reasons why Coples or any other player on the D-Line was considered and Rivera still having faith in our young D-line.

#75 rayzor

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 02:21 PM

Good point! Can I give you some advice? Most of us huddlers are too lazy to click on links so most people may have just passed by your post.

It linked to CATMAN72's post where Rivera said he would have drafted Coples as a DT.

Why would Rivera even consider Coples if he was so happy with our DTs? (esp. to the point of making those who considered otherwise seem like impatient ignoramuses)

I think it is a great question. Rivera said himself for people to be patient & let them develop their players, so why would he consider drafting Coples? (don't come with the...he's specially gifted argument)

I'm not doubting Rivera's sincerity, but the 2 stances are somewhat incongruent.

considering that they said they were going to draft the best player and not let need dictate the decision, there is no problem. they obviously thought that kuechly was a better prospect than coples and said that they would have drafted coples if kuechly wasn't available. coples was looked at as someone who would be a better DT than DE so that is what position they would have drafted him to play.

it wasn't because of a "need" at DT that coples was considered. it was because he was/would have been the best prospect available at their pick.


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