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The Vikes defense under Alan Williams
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CriminalMind


Joined: 25 Aug 2011
Posts: 4788
Location: Toronto, CA
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea resign Griffen market value as a starting DE.
Move on from Jared Allen, hope for a 3rd Round Comp, since we're prolly not a player for a big Free Agent this offseason
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Sir Fobos


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Griffen has been a one-trick-pony so far... I don't trust him as a full time starter yet. He hasn't had time to show what he can do against the run, and he probably won't see significant playing time at DE unless Robison or Allen go down with an injury.

Unfortunately Griffen's pass rushing ability might inflate his market value, despite being a question mark in the running game. Because of the likely cost to keep each player, I'd like to see both Allen and Griffen move on so we can bring in some fresh blood.
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Klomp


Joined: 11 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir Fobos wrote:
Griffen has been a one-trick-pony so far... I don't trust him as a full time starter yet. He hasn't had time to show what he can do against the run, and he probably won't see significant playing time at DE unless Robison or Allen go down with an injury.

Unfortunately Griffen's pass rushing ability might inflate his market value, despite being a question mark in the running game. Because of the likely cost to keep each player, I'd like to see both Allen and Griffen move on so we can bring in some fresh blood.


Something to think about:

Paul Kruger was in a similar situation, not being a full-time starter. He signed in Cleveland last offseason for 5 years, $40 million. So far in 2013, he has 1 sack.
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rpmwr19


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That tends to happen with free agents that come from winning teams. Less likely to happen with someone coming from a losing team.

Although, it does happen; look at the contract Gosder Cherilus got...
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Krauser


Joined: 20 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://kab-vikings.blogspot.ca/2013/10/arif-hasans-all-22-why-vikings-defense.html

Film breakdown of the Vikings defensive breakdowns by the always excellent Arif Hasan, with gifs illustrating particularly bad plays.

Focus here is on the back 7 in coverage and in space against RBs. Has nothing to say about the pass rush (which also hasn't been great).

Interesting point for most people like me who have a hard time reading coverage schemes on live TV: cover 2 schemes haven't been the main problem.

Introduction...

Quote:
A defense that gives up 2.3 points per drive has no excuse, even if the offense hasnít been setting it up to do well. Regardless of field position, the Vikings defense is the second-worst team in the league when it comes to preventing first downs and touchdowns, as evidenced by Football Outsidersí Drive Success Rate statistic. The Vikings defense has broken down spectacularly, and seems to be able to neither defend the pass nor the run. Itís difficult to pinpoint the cause, even after extensively combing over the All-22.


And (part of the) conclusion, which is worth quoting at length:

Quote:
So whatís wrong with the Vikings defense? Everything.

There are clear talent issues: Chad Greenway, for whatever reason (age, passion, surgery, whatever you want) isnít agile and Henderson isnít being played to his strengths. Josh Robinson is clearly a very weak link in the secondary and Marvin Mitchell is an embarrassment. Jamarca Sanford hasnít followed through on his impressive 2012 season, while the defensive line isnít getting much pressure, even when aided by blitzes. The coaches are often playing the wrong player, too. Thereís not a rational argument, looking at the film, to play Marvin Mitchell, and it looks like Josh Robinson is kind of a dumb decision, too. Xavier Rhodes on the outside is a good decision, but Robinson hasnít actually been bad on the outside that often (although youíll find that hard to believe given the weird switch concept that burned him for a long touchdown against Carolina). Of his 39 receptions allowed, 31 have been in the slot. Heís a bad slot corner, but alright on the outside. Rhodes may be a better corner on the outside, but thatís not the issue; the Vikings need a slot cornerback and they need one badly. Robinson has already proven why itís unwise to take an outside corner and fit him inside. The Vikings may as well see what they have in Marcus Sherels moving forward.

Aside from that, there are often bad plays called. Not as often as fans would believe as the breakdowns are usually the result of skill and not scheme, but they do happen from time to time. People like to malign the Tampa-2 defense, but the Vikings donít run the Cover-2 or Tampa-2 looks as often as people believe, and the biggest defensive breakdowns are rarely out of a two-high safety look anyway.

There are schematic issues; the size of the no-cover zones underneath the hook/curl assignments (underneath zones) are too big and the landmarks donít allow linebackers to break to the ball quickly enough underneath and that could lead to significant issues against the very running backs that have been plaguing the Vikings the most, but it has also put the Vikings in a position to create takeaways from the linebackers. The issue is that there are too many points and yards given up for each takeaway the Vikings grab, and that is a result of talent more often than not.
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El Raymundo


Joined: 02 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krauser wrote:
http://kab-vikings.blogspot.ca/2013/10/arif-hasans-all-22-why-vikings-defense.html

Film breakdown of the Vikings defensive breakdowns by the always excellent Arif Hasan, with gifs illustrating particularly bad plays.

Focus here is on the back 7 in coverage and in space against RBs. Has nothing to say about the pass rush (which also hasn't been great).

Interesting point for most people like me who have a hard time reading coverage schemes on live TV: cover 2 schemes haven't been the main problem.

Introduction...

Quote:
A defense that gives up 2.3 points per drive has no excuse, even if the offense hasnít been setting it up to do well. Regardless of field position, the Vikings defense is the second-worst team in the league when it comes to preventing first downs and touchdowns, as evidenced by Football Outsidersí Drive Success Rate statistic. The Vikings defense has broken down spectacularly, and seems to be able to neither defend the pass nor the run. Itís difficult to pinpoint the cause, even after extensively combing over the All-22.


And (part of the) conclusion, which is worth quoting at length:

Quote:
So whatís wrong with the Vikings defense? Everything.

There are clear talent issues: Chad Greenway, for whatever reason (age, passion, surgery, whatever you want) isnít agile and Henderson isnít being played to his strengths. Josh Robinson is clearly a very weak link in the secondary and Marvin Mitchell is an embarrassment. Jamarca Sanford hasnít followed through on his impressive 2012 season, while the defensive line isnít getting much pressure, even when aided by blitzes. The coaches are often playing the wrong player, too. Thereís not a rational argument, looking at the film, to play Marvin Mitchell, and it looks like Josh Robinson is kind of a dumb decision, too. Xavier Rhodes on the outside is a good decision, but Robinson hasnít actually been bad on the outside that often (although youíll find that hard to believe given the weird switch concept that burned him for a long touchdown against Carolina). Of his 39 receptions allowed, 31 have been in the slot. Heís a bad slot corner, but alright on the outside. Rhodes may be a better corner on the outside, but thatís not the issue; the Vikings need a slot cornerback and they need one badly. Robinson has already proven why itís unwise to take an outside corner and fit him inside. The Vikings may as well see what they have in Marcus Sherels moving forward.

Aside from that, there are often bad plays called. Not as often as fans would believe as the breakdowns are usually the result of skill and not scheme, but they do happen from time to time. People like to malign the Tampa-2 defense, but the Vikings donít run the Cover-2 or Tampa-2 looks as often as people believe, and the biggest defensive breakdowns are rarely out of a two-high safety look anyway.

There are schematic issues; the size of the no-cover zones underneath the hook/curl assignments (underneath zones) are too big and the landmarks donít allow linebackers to break to the ball quickly enough underneath and that could lead to significant issues against the very running backs that have been plaguing the Vikings the most, but it has also put the Vikings in a position to create takeaways from the linebackers. The issue is that there are too many points and yards given up for each takeaway the Vikings grab, and that is a result of talent more often than not.


Ouch.

As I read this, I thought "Fans are sooooo much more educated about the nuances of this game than they were when I was a kid in 4829 B.C."

Good post, Krauser. Always enjoy your stuff.
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As has really been the case for the past few years, the Vikings' defensive deficiencies (IMO) have been up the middle. They've never been able to replace Phat Pat, EJ, or now Antoine Winfield. EJ was never a great MLB to begin with, but Jasper and now Erin are even worse. But, by far, the inability to replace Phat Pat has led to severe breakdowns against the run and an inability to get consistent pressure to help protect the LBs and a thin secondary.

As has been iterated, the scheme has not been the problem...nor do I think it's largely Alan Williams' fault (although people like to generally blame the coordinator)...it's a combination between lack of talent at certain positions and depth and the position coaches' failures to coach the players up. How Joe Woods has still been the DB coach for 8 years here, I'll never know. His secondary players have never improved.
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Klomp


Joined: 11 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

disaacs wrote:
But, by far, the inability to replace Phat Pat has led to severe breakdowns against the run and an inability to get consistent pressure to help protect the LBs and a thin secondary.


We've still been 11th in rushing yards allowed the last two years, only slightly down from Williams' final year (9th), so the stats don't really back that up.

This year, we are 17th.
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SemperFeist


Joined: 13 Jan 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Vikings with 31.6 ppg allowed so far this season are on pace to have one of the worst defenses in NFL history. Right now the Vikings, Jaguars, and Giants are all allowing 31+ points per game. In the last 20 years, at least, only two teams have allowed 30+ points per game; the 2008 Detroit Lions (32.3 ppg, went 0-16), and the 2001 Indianapolis Colts (30.4 ppg, went 6-10).

Obviously with 11 games left on the schedule, this will likely change, but when your schedule includes 9 of those 11 games against teams with legitimate playoff aspirations, 7 of those 9 games against teams who rank in the top 8 of points per game scored. It's not looking good for the Minnesota Vikings.
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klomp wrote:
disaacs wrote:
But, by far, the inability to replace Phat Pat has led to severe breakdowns against the run and an inability to get consistent pressure to help protect the LBs and a thin secondary.


We've still been 11th in rushing yards allowed the last two years, only slightly down from Williams' final year (9th), so the stats don't really back that up.

This year, we are 17th.


Total rushing yards against tell me nothing, because teams have been able to pass at will against the Vikings, so why would they bother even running. I think it's more visual evidence than what you'll find in a stat sheet, and the results of the pass defense than the actual run defense ranking. Phat Pat was brilliant at tying up multiple defenders and getting penetration, which allowed the ends to get pressure on the QB, which helped out the LBs and secondary.

According to Football Outsiders, here are their ranks against both the pass and rush:

2010 (Phat's last season): 8th vs. run (-13.1%...which means that it's about 13% better than the league avg) and 21st vs. pass (6.2%...which means it was 6% worse than league avg)

2011 (EJ's last year): 9th vs run (-10.5%) and 32nd vs pass (22.9%)
2012 (Antoine's last year): 7th vs. run (-14.0%) and 24th vs pass (15.1%)
2013 (current): 28th vs. run (3.3%) and 20th vs. pass (14.1%)

That may not say a whole lot about the loss of Phat alone (although the percentage vs the league avg in pass defense is very telling, as it fell apart after he left), but it is clear to say that without all 3 of those players, Phat Pat, EJ, and Antoine, this team has clearly fallen off the wagon this year against the run.

Total rushing yards won't give you that impression, but a 17% swing vs. the average over last year certainly will. And with the style of this team, if they can't stop the run, they're dead in the water.
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Klomp


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this stage of his career, and in this defensive scheme, would Greenway be better at WILL?

I wouldn't hate going into next year with Chad at WILL, Hodges at SAM, and Mauti (or Cole, I guess) at MIKE. Then we could invest our draft resources at DL and DB.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klomp wrote:
At this stage of his career, and in this defensive scheme, would Greenway be better at WILL?

I wouldn't hate going into next year with Chad at WILL, Hodges at SAM, and Mauti (or Cole, I guess) at MIKE. Then we could invest our draft resources at DL and DB.


Greenway should probably move to WILL at this point. MN needs a better LB to matchup against TEs. Im not sure if Hodges can be that guy, but I think its safe to say that Greenway isnt either.
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rpmwr19


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greenway would not be a good WILL, at least in this system. At this stage in his career I don't see him stack and shedding many fullbacks or guards in the hole. I think that he could probably chase down plays from the backside, but that is the WILL's secondary responsibility.
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vike daddy


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 1-4 Vikings are giving up 31.6 points per game, on pace to be the worst in the team's 53-year history. The current worst is 30.3, which a 3-13 Minnesota outfit allowed during Les Steckel's one coaching season of 1984.



Jim Marshall: "Our attitude back [when I played] was, 'Nobody scores on us.' If somebody scored on us, we made sure that was the last time. Everybody on the team was very tight and working together. When I look at the games now, it seems like there's no coordination on defense. They're being very aggressive, and I take my hat off to them for that. I don't know what the defensive scheme is and what the plan is, so I can't really talk about that. But it just seems like there's a lack of coordination on everything that's being done.''

http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_24349757/vikings-purple-people-eaters-not-impressed-defense
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swiss_vike


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vike daddy wrote:

Jim Marshall: "Our attitude back [when I played] was, 'Nobody scores on us.' If somebody scored on us, we made sure that was the last time. Everybody on the team was very tight and working together. When I look at the games now, it seems like there's no coordination on defense. They're being very aggressive, and I take my hat off to them for that. I don't know what the defensive scheme is and what the plan is, so I can't really talk about that. But it just seems like there's a lack of coordination on everything that's being done.''

http://www.twincities.com/sports/ci_24349757/vikings-purple-people-eaters-not-impressed-defense


Spot on. Sure, we lack talent, but I think the 'coordination' is really really bad, putting the players in bad situations.
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