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LBs in zone coverage

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Jared, Nov 27, 2010.

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  1. Jared

    Jared Rookie

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    It seems to me as a casual observer that the vast majority of the wide open catches by opposing teams are coming between the LBs and the safeties.

    So my question is, for those of you who are more learned than I, is why is this the case? Is it a question of scheme? If so, why hasn't it been corrected? Can it be? Are the LBs just too young, and not recognizing how far behind them the secondary is being stretched? Is it a misread by the LBs?

    The one thing that seems to be NOT the case, is that it is NOT about the footspeed of the LBs. Many, many times when the receivers, especially WRs on deep ins and deep crossing routes, cross behind them, the LBs are not actually moving back. This suggests to me not that the LBs CAN'T drop farther back, but that for some reason they simply are not doing so when in zone defense.

    So I ask you, collective knowledge of the forum, why do you believe this is occurring?
  2. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    I single handedly blame Gary Guyton. Even when he has a good game, deep down i still hate him. He's fast but seems to have no acceleration. Balls are always caught in front of him and he doesn't jar any balls lose because he tackles with zero force. I feel that fletcher should replace him. When flecther is on the field, good things seem to happen.
  3. BlitzFritz

    BlitzFritz Rookie

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    I have no clue, but agree with you guys on the LBs and Guyton. Most of the damage is done in the middle of the field to guys who are wide frickin open.

    -- FRITZ
  4. Patriots Nation NY

    Patriots Nation NY Banned

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    All I want for xmas is a defense that challenges every play.. just challenge the play atleast .. it's at the point where it's at will ..i really do wonder what goes thru their minds when they watch film of the prior game ..Pride anyone?
  5. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Why we still appear to be playing mostly zone with a young, athletic defense is something I've been asking for a couple of weeks now. I could see it with Junior Seau and Tedy Bruschi back there. But these guys? Wouldn't we better off at least switching it up from zone to man every now and then?
  6. pats_premi

    pats_premi Rookie

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    :yeahthat:

    I also think they need to communicate better and jump routes. It appears as if the opponents complete lot of the passes with two or three defenders in the same area.
  7. Marqui

    Marqui Rookie

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    You want to know why it's a bad idea to play a lot of man with a young secondary? Go back and watch a few Texans games, that's why.
  8. sarge

    sarge Rookie

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    Yup, I agree.

    Im the NFL replay you can hear BB talking to the D coordinator talking about pushing the pocket and such and causing on INT in the first, then tells him why don't we switch it up and play a little zone.

    Every time they dropped into zone you could just watch the opposing recievers run about ten yards out and turn around. The defenders would not move until the ball was thrown, and if it was not a completion it was primarily due to a bad pass or dropped ball.

    I would atleast like to see more blitzing mixed in.

    I remember back when Cassel was playing QB, second game against the Jets. Jets had there way against the Pats all day until BB started sending guyton and Mayo up the middle at Favre, at which point the Jets where stonewalled.

    Game goes to overtime and BB reverts back to zone. I was freaking screaming at the TV.

    I understand you want to switch it up a bit or they will eventually figure it out. But why switch to something they clearly had already figured out and got all there points against.

    Againt the Jets this week, if we just sit back in the zone and do not try exotic blitzes we will lose.

    As the the risks of blitzing and such, I prefer the quick death with the chance of a big play over the slow and painfull certain death
  9. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You are aware that the two teams run totally different defenses with totally different personnel, right? Technically, that's the same thing as saying, "you wanna know why the Jets and Steelers shouldn't run an aggressive one-gapping 3-4? Go back and watch a few Patriots games. That's why".
  10. WhiZa

    WhiZa Rookie

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    Can anyone simply explain why zone is better then man to man? It seems in zone the WR easily finds the gap and catches the ball before getting tackled by 5 players. In man to man at least you have a better chance at defending the catch though you may be the only one in a position to tackle the receiver.
  11. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As an aside, it should also be pointed out that the defensive mini-stand that eventually ended up winning us the Chargers game came because we FINALLY switched from zone to man coverage. It confused Rivers, who was exploiting the soft spots in the zone all throughout the second half, enough that their offense stalled for a long field goal.
  12. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    I like Fletcher too, but not at the expense of Guyton. These eyes tell me that Guyton usually limits dropoffs in the flat that used to go for 10-15 yards to 3-4 yards because of his excellent speed. He also is very competitive covering crossing routes, making at least 1 pick and numerous breakups.
  13. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    I agree that too many of the Patriot's young defenders are far too passive in their zone coverage. At ILB, Guyton is an offender, but regrettably so is Mayo. Time and again you see these guys rooted in their zones, not adjusting their positions as receivers enter, and not reacting as the ball is thrown.

    Ironically, of all the ILB's Spikes is probably the most active in zone coverage. He demonstrated good ball skills at Florida, and against the Lions you could see him reading the the QB from his zone and moving to jump to make the deflection he got on Thursday. I wish they'd trust him a bit more on passing situations. I suspect we'd be better off with his instincts and physicality in there instead of Guyton's speed and softness...
  14. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good call on that. Spikes' instincts are absolutely off the charts. When he gets more comfortable playing in this style of defense, he's going to be a monster.
  15. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    He's fast, and he's smart enough to get into the right positions, but he tends to avoid contact and what's worse he has terrible hips and has real difficulty changing direction. Two or three plays a game you'll see him lunging around trying to make a tackle. Against Detroit he missed a red zone stop on 2nd and long that resulted in 3rd an inches and a TD, and later he missed a sideline tackle as well.

    He's fast as hell and has great size, so I can see why they play him, but he's given up far too many big plays for my liking.
  16. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Guyton's been one of our best LBs in coverage.

    I get it, he sucked last year, I hated him too. But he's played at a higher level this season, and I think not having to deal with the run game as much with Spikes has made him much better.

    Fletcher looks very promising too, but you can't blame Guyton for the entire unit's coverage issues when he's been the only guy consistently doing it well.

    Any zone will eventually get picked apart if we give the QB enough time. The pass rush has been good at times but very inconsistent, and when we're not getting pressure on the QB, they have plenty of time to wait for a receiver to find a soft spot in the zone.
  17. Kasmir

    Kasmir Rookie

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    Yeah, he's been guessing wrong a bit too much in this his rookie year, but he's learning. I think his guessing in zone coverage would be a big improvement over the passivity we see from Guyton and Mayo, and those of us who've saw him at Florida know that he can make big plays against the passing game -- 5 sacks and 6 INTS (including 4 pick-6's) in his last two years there...
  18. The_Riddler

    The_Riddler Rookie

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    Sanchez will eat this soft, passive zone alive with slants to Holmes and deep seam routes to Mr. Patriot killer Dustin Keller unless we mix things up and confuse him.

    We used to have CB, SS and ILB blitzes in our old BB defenses that worked great when disguised well enough, we made many big plays when these were unleashed and for some reason we don't do that anymore. Why would BB not throw these into the defensive game plan?

    Bottom line is pressure, we chose to sit back in week 2 against Sanchez instead of sending more than 3-4 for basically the entire game and he ate us alive, I hope BB revisits that film and decides to disquise and bring some heat, sitting back against that Jet offense is not going to get it done.
  19. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Due to the rules changes, there are very few teams who use the zero blitz, and those teams seldom use it. Trent Dilfer actually went into detail on it a few weeks back and highlighted that we used to be one of the teams that used it the most. However, with the rules changes and the changes to our secondary (losing Ty Law for example), the zero blitz became too risky to attempt.

    As for your last paragraph, do you have statistical evidence to prove that? From what I saw, we sent plenty of extra rushers at Sanchez, and they were being picked up by the Jets O-Line.
  20. The_Riddler

    The_Riddler Rookie

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    Interesting, the zero-blitz? Never heard of it, can you elaborate?

    The entire 2nd half of the Jets game in week 2 BB sat back in that soft zone the entire half and gave a non-confident Mark Sanchez his confidence back. And in the end, that's what lost the game for us BB's decision not to pressure Sanchez when he was on shaky ground as it was, Sanchez had time to do his taxes that whole half and he picked us apart because of it and it cost us the game. Go back and watch it if you've DVR'd it or Google it. We sat back the whole second half and blew that game because of it.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
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