Re: Can Belichick build an elite defense?
posted at 1/24/2011 8:26 PM EST
In Response to Re: Can Belichick build an elite defense?
[QUOTE]In Response to Re: Can Belichick build an elite defense? : The thing is that we were 25th in league overall and dead last in opponents 3rd down conversion. Opposing QB's posted higher qb ratings against our defense than they did against any other team in league. If they were that bad in 2010, how much can they improve in 2011? A top 10 defense might be 3-4 years away, at best.
Posted by Spetznaz24[/QUOTE]
I think you are being overly critical of the D right now. Just know that they had 5 rookies starting at one point or another.
Here's a list of reasons why I think the D suffered so much but also reasons why it could become a top 10 team next year:
DL - Problem: Lets face it Wilfork was the only stable point here. All year players were getting hurt and there was no stability on the line at all. For a majority of the time we had backup and rotational players playing significant time on the line. This greatly affected our ability to get to the QB.
Reason for hope: Ty Warren is coming back and a majority of those hurt will be getting better. I can't think of another team who had such devastating injuries on the DL. But with Warren back and the possibility of a stud DE at #17 the line can become extremely deep with those situational players becoming just that again.
LB - Problem: We again had players who would be considered backups starting alongside rookies. Cunningham and Spikes were rookies and made rookie mistakes while TBC, Nin, and Guyton all were starters at one point or another. Add to that the DL not taking up blockers preventing the OLB's from getting to the QB
Reason for hope: Cunningham and Spikes will have a full season under their belt. Guyton and Nin played good in their roles but in a rotational setting their games can become that much better. Add a solid pass rushing OLB (which is a area of great depth in the draft) and a improved DL and the pass rush should greatly improve.
CB - Problem: Our #1 CB was hurt at the beginning of the season. Again we had 2 rookies starting, one of which was a UDFA.
Reason for hope: McCourty payed like a RoTY add to the Bodden coming back and the starting CB's will be improved. Arrington and Butler also look like players that have improved over the year and should be better nickel backs then most teams have. The tickle down affect comes into play as the DL improves the pass rush improves and the secondary improves
The biggest thing is the pressure on the QB. The reason our 3rd down D stinks is because the opposing QB had all day to throw. It's actually impressive how long our secondary could hold the receivers before they finally broke down. If the pass rush gets improved which starts with Warren coming back and the rookie LB's gaining experience and finishes with adding a couple blue chip players our D will easily become a top 10 D if not next year then in 12' (barring major injuries).