Re: At Least Our Defense Is Young - So There's A Small Hope For Improvement.....
posted at 9/28/2010 11:26 PM EDT
For a much improved defense, we'll need...
Brandon Spikes to play the run better inside and track down the ballcarrier better on plays to the outside.
Jerod Mayo has to play more decisive at and around the line of scrimmage on a consistent basis.
Pat Chung to become more familiar and gain a better feel for coverage.
Brandon Meriweather to regain his composure. Roller coaster Brandon's should be on understanding his field positioning relative to his ultimate job responsibility, (being the last line of defense). He'll know things come easy to him when his level of consistency levels out.
Devin McCourty to keep learning. He's got everything going his way, but he strikes me as a fast learner who doesn't repeat mistakes - a major trait you wish everyone could develop more swiftly along the way.
I think there is a lack of complete confidence that plays a huge part in the rest of the corners struggles. I like Darius Butler's physique and talents a lot; too much for me to think he won't be good at some point. I think he's a quick rebounder from controversy, that's my impression, so I expect good things in his future. Whilte is what we've come to see, an average serviceable player. Zach Arrington has a great aggressiveness to his game and I really think he can work well with the more opportunity he is given.
Zoltan Mesko needs to let his leg BOOOOM! His dependability on punting units could be a huge booster shot to the defense.
Gary Guyton to become a more intimidating, straight up tackler. Improved form, footwork and technique could pay huge dividends.
I'm not worried about scheming or conjuring up edge pressure, the Pats can get pressure if they want to in third and fourth down situations. Their can be a crashing mentality or a use of Ninkovich at DE or one of the many secondary players flying in from all over. That stuff will work out alright, but the discipline of the interior defense, specifically from the interior linebackers and safeties, has to force the issue from now on by being comfortable with their positioning and reading and instincts. Easy things that get blown up by "attention to detail".
The coaching I am not too impressed with through the first three weeks, judging by the player development. Belichick is gold, but having another established NFL coordinator like Romeo Crennel or Eric Mangini, (I wish that relationship didn't sour), on defense would have been fantastic for this years team. The younger coaches like Matt Patricia and Corwin Brown could use a figure to consult with and trust aside from Belichick. The players are young and developing very much so themselves still, so it's not like the defensive coaching staff can fall back on Lawyer Milloy, Mike Vrabel, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, or Richard Seymour. Instead they have to get through the grind with, for the most part, younger and more inexperienced leaders.
In large, I don't think things will be too bad, although there is definite room for improvement with simple fixes that are just hard for these guys to commit to.