Posted by Jeremy Igo
on 30 September 2014 - 05:09 AM
I love a Shula bashing thread as much as the next guy, but it's not all Shula's fault. Look at me defending Shula. What has the world come to?
Here are the four biggest issues that have contributed to the Panthers 2 game losing streak (in no particular order):
1. Panthers are negative in turnover differential. The last turnover the Panthers had in their favor was Gano's fumble recovery against Detroit. Our defense has caused zero turnovers since then after leading the league in turnovers the first two games. The Panthers offense isn't good, giving them fewer opportunities doesn't help matters.
2. Offensive line looks awful against a 3-4. We have two tackles who do well against slower, larger bull rushing defensive ends. Against speedy ends or 3-4 backers, they are just awful. See the first play against the Ravens for reference. The good news is Chicago runs a classic base 4-3, although they will change it up a but like the Panthers from time to time.
3. No member of the defensive line demands a double team. Defenses now have the luxury of having a free offensive lineman to block Luke or any other linebacker they wish. This is a game changer and has an impact on the entire defense that cannot be overstated. If just one member of the defensive line would step up and require a constant double team, there would be a domino effect that would improve the play of all defensive positions on the field.
4. Run Blocking. It is almost non existent. This is a surprise to me, as I had such high hopes for Trai Turner. He hasn't developed as quickly as I had hoped. Silatolu looks like he hasn't improved since his rookie season. The poor play at both guard positions is forcing Kalil to stretch his play and in turn makes even him look bad. It looks like once again Cam Newton is our only hope for yards on the ground.
In my opinion, the following might get things turned around....
1. Let Cam be Cam. If Cam feels comfortable enough to take off ... let him. He is less likely to be injured running around in space than relying on Chandler and Bell to protect him. If Cam adds that element to the game, teams will be forced to gameplan around it, and that will open up things tremendously for the rest of the offense.
2. Keep KK Short in next to Alexander. These guys worked a lot next to each other in camp and preseason and looked fantastic on stunts. Both are talented enough to require that double team as a tandem. The center will be forced to help out instead of popping out to the second level. If that happens, the run defense is back to normal.
Posted by Jeremy Igo
on 29 September 2014 - 03:41 PM
lukes the qb of the defense, its his job to make sure people are in the correct spots. Rivera says the main issue is people not in the right position. Outside of lukes individual play which is top notch, hes in charge making sure carolina is in the correct defense for what the offense is showing and if not yell out changes. Thats the part of his game right now that he is not doing well with imo.
Posted by Jeremy Igo
on 29 September 2014 - 03:34 PM
Before you go and tell your friends how poorly Luke is playing, I would like you to take a closer look at a play that when watched in real time looks like a Kuechly missed tackle and nothing more.
First of all, this is a base 4-3 defense with Klein at the top of the screen on the line of scrimmage lined up against the tight end in the Sam position. AJ is usually in the weak side LB position, but because of the injury to Thomas Davis, he was playing the strong side. Luke in the middle, and that is Chase Blackburn in the weak side spot where AJ Klein would have been playing if TD was healthy. Also notice Josh Norman over covering Smith in the Slot.
The Ball is snapped, a run is immediately read. AJ Klein is sealing the edge with the tight end. Look at who pops out on Kuechly right away. That is the Ravens 300lb center. The only free man to disrupt the full back enough to plug the hole is Chase Blackburn. Also worth noting that both Star and Cole are matched up 1 on 1. No double teams here.
Cole and Star fail to disrupt the guards. Blackburn fails at the point of attack, and the RB easily finds the hole. Notice Kuechly sees whats happening and is trying to release himself from the center's hold. Also, notice Josh Norman now recognizes the play.
Kuechly manages to almost get an arm on the back while still being pushed by the Ravens center. This forced the runner to the right.
Kuechly now sheds the center, only to find Josh Norman in his way. Norman over persued to the right and became another obstacle for Luke to fight through.
The play ends with Kuechly getting enough of a grab on the runner to slow him just a bit and giving DeCoud and Harper time to make the tackle. It was a gain of 9 yards. Without Kuechly being the player he is, it could have gone all the way.
Like I said, this play happens so fast, the easiest thing to see is Luke falling down as he gets an arm on the runner. Very easy to place the blame on his shoulders. But looking at all that is happening, I don't think it is fair.
The good news is if Davis is back, Klein can once again be in his normal spot and maybe makes this play where Blackburn could not.