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Why does our run defense suck?

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So, I'm hoping to get some more specific or detailed answers here, something beyond the basic, they're bad at everything. Because this is genuinely a curious matter, to me. We're about a third of the way through season two of the run D being absolutely atrocious, at this point. And in that time we've overhauled almost the entire front 7, we've seen a coaching staff change, and with it a pretty noticeable scheme change. We've at various points tried very aggressive methods of prevention and very conservative ones, our LBs have had different coverage roles and neither seems to put them in a position to defend the run.

So why, specifically, is our run defense this bad? I feel like, under Sutton, I knew the answer. Or answers. We basically asked our front 4 to pin their ears back and rush, for the most part. Ford, Jones, and Bailey weren't asked to do much in run D. Houston was excellent at contain, but I'm not sure if that was scheme or just him being good at it. But our front 4 really wasn't concerned with run D. And we were undersized or under-powered at spots, as well. The S play was horrendous, so Sorensen and Parker stepping down to fill was not good. Murray and Watts weren't run support guys. The LBs were bad. Sutton also just didn't seem to care about the run, schematically.

So there were a lot of reasons for us to be bad at it last year. This year I'm just more lost. Mathieu is a very good run defender. Thornhill and Breeland have been solid tacklers on the back end (save for Breeland this past game.) Lee was a known coverage oriented guy, but Hitchens and Wilson have been solid run defenders in the past in this kind of set up. Okafor and Ogbah were advertised as better run defenders than rush specialists. Nnadi was billed as a proper NT. Run D was supposed to be a strength for Clark. It just feels like we added a ton of talent just for them to all fall off dramatically as run defenders, and I don't get.

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Our run defense is bad for a couple reasons.

  • Our DT's  are losing leverage which allows the backs to get to the second level.
    • Chris Jones who makes 3 or 4 great plays a game tends to rush the QB rather than play the run.
    • Derek Nandi is not getting the push he did last year.
    • Xavier Williams is trash.
  • Our linebackers are slow and un-athletic so teams can run stretch plays which our linebackers aren't quick enough to get to the spot.

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I posted this shortly after he was hired:

On 1/24/2019 at 10:17 PM, kingseanjohn said:

Steve Spagnuolo as defensive coordinator, in points allowed:

Giants: '17-27th, '16-2nd, '15-30th

Saints: '12-31st (a historically bad team, see below)

Giants: '08-5th, '07-17th

So from beginning to end: 5th, 17th, 31st, 30th, 2nd, 27th.

That's his whole career as DC. His second year was good both time at the Giants, otherwise it isn't good. But just how historically bad was that Saints team you may ask?

The Saints defense allowed 7,042 yards in 2012—shattering the Baltimore Colts' 31-year-old record of 6,793 yards.  (Chiefs gave up 6,488 yards this year)

They gave up 28.4 points per game (Chiefs 26.3)

Passing yards per game 292.6 (Chiefs 273.4)

Rushing yards per game 147.6 (Chiefs 132.1)

His first year has ALWAYS been bad. The season is still young so there's time to fix some things, but not everything.

Compared to last year we are on pace to give up 3.7pts fewer per game. We're giving up 36.2yds less passing per game, but teams are getting 23.7yds more rushing per game. Overall we're doing better in both points and yards. But situationally, we aren't getting it done. We aren't getting the sacks and turnovers that we had last year. Losing Ford and Houston is biting us in the *** imo since Clark hasn't panned out quite yet.

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I see it as an ILB problem. However that colts O line dominated and pushed us around and it was very clear.

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Zone defense saps the ability for the back 7 to come up and make plays. Yes we've got a new DC, new schemes, etc., but if the players can't comprehend the system or can't physically perform their responsibilities, it won't work.

The 4 man DL should be sufficient to slow down the run. But our DL isn't as athletic as expected. Playing zone is a killer. QB's aren't frightened by a zone defense. And

Our LB's are weak and can't plug holes and slow to assist and contain. Our DB's aren't strong to tackle/finish. (They also don't turn around to locate the ball on pass plays). Matthieu isn't what he used to be. He'll flash occasionally, but is needed to do more than that.Thornhill is still learning. His tackling skills need improvement IMO. He can close the gap at the LOS but at times seems out of control and will slide off the tackle.

Edited by mayanfootball

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