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ExtremeRavens: The Sanctuary

Another possible factor in the decline of the defense


vmax
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The Ravens are the 20th ranked defense and we've been talking about the horrendous play of the secondary, the lack of a pass rush and now runners are getting 100 yard games...that's one hell of a fall from grace in one year.

 

Also in one year, Mike Nolan has taken a 29th ranked Denver D and turned them into a #7 unit....most importantly they are #1 in points surrendered with 66.

The Ravens are 21st with 130. They are giving up an absurd number of big plays.

 

What's the tie in here?

 

Nolan has been in the league for years and studied every NFL offense to the bone. He was great at dialing up the right defense, the right coverage, the right blitz at the right time. He knows their tendencies. He knows the tendencies of the opposing OC.

 

Greg Mattison on the other hand has only one NFL year under his belt...as a LB coach.

Sure he knows the fundamentals inside and out and can teach them well. Certainly he knows defense.

 

He does not have the years of studying NFL offenses, learning their tendencies and knowing their personel and what they can do. He can't call the right defense, the right coverage, the right blitz at the right time like Nolan...or Rex could do...because he lacks their experience and familiarity with the competition.

 

During the game he's in a chess match with some NFL OC...and he's a step behind.

Not because he's dumb...it's just experience against his opponent that he lacks.

 

 

So why aren't the Ravens getting the QB pressure that they need to generate?

Why are the blitzs not working?

 

It's a combination of a few things...almost a perfect storm.

 

1. The secondary talent...in particular Washington, Foxworth, Walker, Carr and Landry are not executing their positions. Right now I don't think they can and it could take a year or two to get guys who can cover. I hope they get it together. Assignment, alignment and technique...not happening. Communication...not there.

Ed Reed may be part of the problem too. Either he's trying to do too much to cover all the weaknesses or he's out of postion free lancing.

 

2. The front 7 is not generating enough pressure on the QB to hurry throws. They are predictable as hell.

 

3. Mattison is not one step ahead of his opponent on calling the proper defense, blitz and cover scheme.

In fact, his opponent is reading his hand.

 

4. Mental errors abound...the Obligatory Defensive Game Losing Penalties HAVE TO STOP!

RIGHT NOW!

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OK...I'm calming down... :)

 

I'll throw in a 5th...Time of Possesion. The Ravens have been murdered here the last 3 weeks. The defense can't make the 3rd down stops and the offense is not on the field.

Since when is scoring fast a problem?

Since now.

The Ravens offense has to run the ball more, use up more clock, and sustain drives to give the D a rest.

 

Jumping out to a lead to start the game would help the D too.

 

I don't think this can be fixed in one bye week.

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BTW...in no way am I saying all of this is Mattisons fault.

I like the guy. I back him.

I'm just saying his unfamiliarity with the NFL offenses, personel and OC's hampers his ability to out scheme his opponent during the game.

It's an experience thing. He'll catch on...but how soon?

Edited by vmax
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Great points max, I guess based upon what you said we are really going to find out how smart of a DC Mattison is when he plays the Bengals for the second time. Can he learn from his mistakes and pick up on tendencies?

 

As for running the ball, max, we have tried the past two weeks very persistently. The rushing attempts and ToP stats will not be there if you are getting stuffed on first and second down, leaving your offense with third-and-longs (see this past game). You have to understand the risks with running the ball against good defenses. If you get stuffed on first down, even a four yard gain on second down leaves you with a 3rd & 6. We have been very successfull picking up yardage through the air on first and second down leaving us with third and shorts.

 

I am really tired of this we need to run the ball more, Cam knows what he is doing. Especially with Gaither out, you have to play to your strengths. If Cam thinks we can be more successfull running the ball, we will. Last week it just was not working against the Vikings, which is why the offense came out slow. When we started to run the ball is when the passing game started to catch on.

 

We just have to accept here in Baltimore, especially with a multi-dimensional back like Rice who can spread the defense, we might have to use the pass to set up the run. That makes Rice even more leathal out of the shotgun and single back sets, while the defense still has to account for him on the screen passes. The defense is just going to have to adjust to our offense.

 

I do not care, a three-and-out is a three-and-out, no matter how quickly your own offense scores. If the defense wants a rest, get off the field yourself.

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Good points Max. As for the stats I say you are using some pass defense stats. Overall Broncos is second combined with first in score, gives me the miracle of the year. Nolan picks up a front seven from no where, who based on salary cap (See Ravens front seven, ugly) and former performenses should be ranked 32.

 

As for our defense we are ranked 16th. And I am beginning to think the main problem is not the secondary, but on all of them, starting with the DL.. What happend to Ngata and Suggs? I thougth they were supposed to take it to another level, dominate, not happening.

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Also, what has happened to Landry? he is definately not the same person out there pre injury, he looks real hesitant, dosent want to get hit. Ed Reed is covering the entire backfield. And how many times have we said it, your CB's are only as good as the pressure the D-Line and Line backers get on the QB. Just look at who we let go over the past seasons and how they have faired, Starks, Herring and Baxter, they were decent backs and safetys here. But they leave our system and they are toast, they are no better than Washington, Walker, Foxworth and Landry.

 

When our blitzes are picked up and it seems they have been picked up frequently, it makes our D very vulnerable,

 

Is the answer another LBer? another quicker DE(Kruger)?

Adalius Thomas has been benched in NE, hell he was inactive last week, could Oz be making a call up north?

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And how many times have we said it, your CB's are only as good as the pressure the D-Line and Line backers get on the QB. Just look at who we let go over the past seasons and how they have faired, Starks, Herring and Baxter, they were decent backs and safetys here. But they leave our system and they are toast, they are no better than Washington, Walker, Foxworth and Landry.

 

 

Pressure is part of it, but Starks and Baxter played across from McAlister which allowed us to roll covereage towards their guy and trust that McAlister could do a good enough job on his guy with no help. Now if you're trying to decide which corner needs help, the answer is both!

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After watching the Vikings game on NFL Replay last night (my first watch), my thoughts on the D:

 

1. I agree with VMax on many points -our pass rush is not potent or consistent, plain and simple. Suggs, Ngata and Co needs to pump up the pass rush to a new level.

 

2. Our DC is not making adjustments. Case in point: In Vikes game, our 2nd half D was no better and our pass D was deplorable. I could not believe Frank Walker's embarrasingly weak cover skills. How is this guy even in the league ? Anyone ?

 

Back to the point, In Broncos-Chargers game, Nolan makes halftime adjustments and essentially shut down Rivers and Co in the 2nd half. In our game vs Chargers, we made no adjustments and Rivers smoked us the whole game !

 

In fact, other than Cleveland (who doesnt have a legit NFL QB), we have not stopped a QB all season, have we ?

 

3. Our DL is getting punched in the mouth (esp Vikings game). Either Gregg and Pryce are aging vets and Ngata is hurt, or we are playing stout OLs every game. Regardless, our TOP and LOS control is lacking big time.

 

4. Our pass D just doesnt play with the same intensity, physicaliity, and DISCIPLINE as other teams. How do teams like Houston and Cleveland essentially stop or slow down Carson Palmer and Bengals, while he passes at will against us ? Am I missing something ?

 

5. Lastly, our D just doesnt have IT right now. Its going to take a miracle, divine intervention, freak defensive play (pick 6 or fumble return for TD) to change this thing around.

 

I am sticking with this team, through thick and thin, but dont see a turnaround until we replace our secondary (sans Reed) with some GAMERS. As a wise person once said, you cant make chicken salad with chicken poop. Our secondary is the latter !

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5. Lastly, our D just doesnt have IT right now. Its going to take a miracle, divine intervention, freak defensive play (pick 6 or fumble return for TD) to change this thing around.

 

I thought the exact same thing this past Sunday! The defense did not have the swagger they have had in the past, heck that they even had this preseason or even in the Pats game. The Vikings came right out and smacked us in the mouth. The defense looked lathargic and like they still had the momentum sucked out of them from the previous week against the Bengals. Very rarely had I seen an offense come out and pound the ball down our throats for 14 points on the first two drives. This loss of confidence concerns me a lot, it is like the defense is listening to what the media is saying and do not believe themselves that they are good.

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I thought the exact same thing this past Sunday! The defense did not have the swagger they have had in the past, heck that they even had this preseason or even in the Pats game. The Vikings came right out and smacked us in the mouth. The defense looked lathargic and like they still had the momentum sucked out of them from the previous week against the Bengals. Very rarely had I seen an offense come out and pound the ball down our throats for 14 points on the first two drives. This loss of confidence concerns me a lot, it is like the defense is listening to what the media is saying and do not believe themselves that they are good.

 

 

TCleetz.

 

I have no clue how we come out vs Denver. I am very impressed with the Broncos and dont see us beating them right now. But one never knows.

 

I'll say this- if we lose, I see this team "tanking it" the rest of the season. Our team's confidence (esp on D) is shot and a loss to Denver would be a dagger. We would not recover and would become Titan like (in my opinion).

 

Just saying....

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I have no clue how we come out vs Denver. I am very impressed with the Broncos and dont see us beating them right now. But one never knows.

 

I'll say this- if we lose, I see this team "tanking it" the rest of the season. Our team's confidence (esp on D) is shot and a loss to Denver would be a dagger. We would not recover and would become Titan like (in my opinion).

 

Since the beginning of the season we have dropped from 4th to 20th in D. I think we know how it feels to be a Bengal fan.

 

And to think if Houshka makes the kick, we give the key to the city to Rice & Flacco

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TCleetz.

 

I have no clue how we come out vs Denver. I am very impressed with the Broncos and dont see us beating them right now. But one never knows.

 

I'll say this- if we lose, I see this team "tanking it" the rest of the season. Our team's confidence (esp on D) is shot and a loss to Denver would be a dagger. We would not recover and would become Titan like (in my opinion).

 

Just saying....

 

I agree with you in that this loss would be a dagger for the defense. However, I do not see the team "tanking" with as good as our offense is playing. For a 3-3 teams, none of our losses have been more than six points. With our offense, we are sure to win a few of these shootouts.

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Ngata's had some back problems that have been kept hush hush. That probably is slowing him down some and limits his physicality.

Gregg...it takes 2 years to come back 100% from his injury and it's year 1.

Mattison started Edwards over Pryce to inject more physicality to the line....Bannon needs to see more PT.

Suggs is getting doubled on his side....and he's...not his old self....

 

Nevertheless Matty has plenty of guys he can use to bring the heat. He just has to set it up and call it against the right matchup and at the right time. Ray, Johnson, Ellerbe, Barnes, Gooden, McLain (he can get there),...the Ravens have the athelets in their front 7 to get the job done.

I'm scared stiff to send a safety or corner...:)

 

Run blitz some...that keeps pressure in the backfield regardless of the play.

 

It's gut check time for all these guys but along with that comes the mental discipline to know your assignment and to stick to it. Just everybody being where they are supposed to be will eliminate some of these big plays.

 

And at the home games...We the Fans....have to yell our faces out to make life hell for opposing offenses.

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To those who think Rex is the difference, his 2007 D had some very similar defense stats, probably worse.

 

Maybe a better running D.

 

Basically same rank in yds, penalties, QB rating, +20 rec, +40 rec.

More or less.. worse in RZ defense, scores (rushing and passing), interceptions, FF, FR and sacks.

 

3 things give me still some hope for our defense; it is healthy, it is a new secondary.. Fox, carr, Webb.. and Fab and Landry had barely played together + young ILBers. They should improve with more games. And it was our bad october, when november and december comes, Ravens normally do a lot better.

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Im really not all that worried at this point. We have been in every game to the last possesion. We have not been blown out by anyone. Im not willing to throw all the blame on the secondary. We need work in all area equally, offense loses the game in N.E. the defenses loses the game to the bengals and special teams loses the game to the vikings. If we can improve in all those areas in the next two weeks we have we can right this ship. Wouldnt hurt to find a big receiver though.

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Interesting idea.

 

One thing that has come to mind the last couple of days. This D reminds me of 2 yrs ago. Rolle kept getting burned but it was really Ed Reed not helping over the top. Also Landry showed he had flws that yr. Then that yr we also could not get a passrush. With no Pryce they never got to the QB. The reasons the D is playing like this are diffferent but the results look very similar to the Billick's last season.

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