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Multiplying the Multiplicity of Mister Zimmer's Multiple Defense

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Xavier Rhodes finds Colts zone defensive scheme “so much easier”

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The Colts play a lot more zone coverage than the Vikings and Rhodes seems to be welcoming the change in how he’ll be approaching his job this season.

“It’s so much easier,” Rhodes said, via Joel A. Erickson of the Indianapolis Star. “I’ll tell you that. . . . This one is more zone, eyes to the quarterback. That’s going to be the main difference for me, is being able to play looking at the quarterback, rather than looking at the man.”

I posted this to twitter this spring: 

Top PFF overall graded seasons by Vikings DBs since 2014:

92.3 Smith 2017
90.5 Harris ‘19
89.8 Smith 19
89.0 Harris 18, Kearse 19
87.4 Smith 14
85.3 Smith 15
83.0 Newman 16
79.7 Smith 18
78.1 Alexander 18, Harris 15
77.1 Sendejo 17
77.1 Munnerlyn 15
76.2 Rhodes 17
75.1 Smith 16

^^ they’re almost all safeties: the top 7, 10 of the top 12, etc

Only one CB under Zimmer graded >80 (Newman 2016).

Even more striking: 2 of the top 4 seasons for CBs were slot corners: Alexander and Munnerlyn. Only Newman 2016 and Rhodes 2017 managed a grade >75 playing outside corner for Zimmer — an obvious mismatch between grades and the perceived quality of the group.

Are the Vikings are uniquely good at finding 7th/UDFA safeties, yet bad at drafting 1st/2nd round corners? Or does Zimmer’s scheme affect these grades somehow?

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1 hour ago, SemperFeist said:

I remember Rhodes in Frazier’s zone defense. Woof!

He was pretty good in 2013, especially later in the year.

From Jan 2014, on DN :

Quote

Rhodes wasn't excellent but he was very good

You can see it if you look at the PFF stats in more detail.

Out of 79 CBs who played 50% of their team’s pass defense snaps, Rhodes was:

  • tied for 18th in yards/cover snap (top 2 are Revis & Sherman, Verner is 14th, Patrick Peterson 15th)
  • 28th in passer rating against

Those are pretty good numbers, especially since he mostly played in nickel until Robinson got hurt.

Plus Rhodes was 9th in the league in passes defended.

 

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On 8/11/2020 at 12:45 PM, Krauser said:

Xavier Rhodes finds Colts zone defensive scheme “so much easier”

I posted this to twitter this spring: 

Top PFF overall graded seasons by Vikings DBs since 2014:

92.3 Smith 2017
90.5 Harris ‘19
89.8 Smith 19
89.0 Harris 18, Kearse 19
87.4 Smith 14
85.3 Smith 15
83.0 Newman 16
79.7 Smith 18
78.1 Alexander 18, Harris 15
77.1 Sendejo 17
77.1 Munnerlyn 15
76.2 Rhodes 17
75.1 Smith 16

^^ they’re almost all safeties: the top 7, 10 of the top 12, etc

Only one CB under Zimmer graded >80 (Newman 2016).

Even more striking: 2 of the top 4 seasons for CBs were slot corners: Alexander and Munnerlyn. Only Newman 2016 and Rhodes 2017 managed a grade >75 playing outside corner for Zimmer — an obvious mismatch between grades and the perceived quality of the group.

Are the Vikings are uniquely good at finding 7th/UDFA safeties, yet bad at drafting 1st/2nd round corners? Or does Zimmer’s scheme affect these grades somehow?

i don't have a PFF subscription but is there a discrepancy between the CB (especially boundary CB) coverage and run defense grades? 

 

there's no secret zimmer asks a lot of his corners and that's why he feels he needs to invest so heavily in talented ones. i'm just not sure what specifically is dragging down our corner grades. like in 2017, rhodes made the all-pro team and if my memory is right he routinely shadowed and shut down top receivers, yet only received a PFF grade of 76.2.

 

another thing that doesn't quite add up (to my untrained football mind) is that the vikings had one of the best overall PFF coverage grades this past season despite absolutely brutal CB play. obviously smith, harris and kendricks were elite at their position which helps but it just reinforces the theme that poor CB grading hasn't affected the overall unit's success.

 

still by far my favourite quote from zimmer was during his first vikings training camp, "if i wanted a cover-2 corner i could go to the 7-11 and find one"

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2 hours ago, SteelKing728 said:

Maybe the rebuild won't take too long if we can just add a few more pieces next year.

The CBs have already made tremendous improvement in just a span of a few weeks.  I think the defense, as a whole, will eventually be pretty good.  They're going through some growing pains right now.  

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3 hours ago, SteelKing728 said:

Maybe the rebuild won't take too long if we can just add a few more pieces next year.

Like Hunter, Pierce, and Barr? ;)

Young CB's will take their growing pains but they'll be better for it with each game that passes.

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Harris has probably been the biggest disappointment this year on the defense. 

He’s just not playing at the level he has the previous two years, and I don’t think the team has been able to lean on him as much as they would have liked with the young corners. 

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Could be one of the best quotes I have seen from any player during the game.  Way to go Harrison, speaking for many watching the game who feel the same way.

 

Cam was targeted 11 times against Seattle for 6 completions for 74 yards and 1 TD.  Gladney on the other hand was only targeted one time in the game and gave up one completion for 13 yards.  All the rookies can do is play aggressive because mistakes will be made, but timid play will create even more mistakes and errors than aggressive play.  

 

 

The lack of ball awareness on this throw was pretty massive.  Sure he was just afraid of getting beat deep even though Harrison was coming just had to run a lot farther since he faked a blitz near the line then bailed out.  

 

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5 hours ago, JDBrocks said:

signs of life?

Pattern match is pretty when it works. 

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On 10/15/2020 at 6:19 AM, SteelKing728 said:

Maybe the rebuild won't take too long if we can just add a few more pieces next year.

Yeah, we are the best worst team in the league or are we the worst best team? 

Edited by marshpit23
Change from comparative to superlative
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On 10/15/2020 at 5:05 PM, Ozzy said:
The lack of ball awareness on this throw was pretty massive.  Sure he was just afraid of getting beat deep even though Harrison was coming just had to run a lot farther since he faked a blitz near the line then bailed out.  

 

i really hope that was just a "welcome to the NFL" moment for dantzler (whom i have high hopes for). it's like he thought there was no way the receiver could catch it so he just kept running and had hopes of intercepting the overthrow. 

 

instead, 6'4, massive vert metcalf went up and caught it easily, converting a deep bomb on a clutch 4th and long. if there's a silver lining to us losing that game it's that hopefully that play really sticks in dantzler's mind and is a forever reminder to him to play the man (force the incompletion), then try to play the ball (go for the INT). and also, it's 4th down so you don't even want an INT in that position.

he really played that snap perfectly up until the end. played 8 yards off the line of scrimmage, stayed on top of metcalf throughout the entire route and would've been in the perfect position to make a play on the ball if he had he slowed down and adjusted to metcalf trying to high point the ball.

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