Ron Swanson wrote:books wrote:Remember when we had all-pros Woodson (HOF) and Nick Collins (maybe headed toward HOF) in the secondary? Our D wasn't all that good, except in 2010. In 2009, Woodson and Collins (and Al Harris and Tramon Williams) were on the team that gave up plenty of points in their losses that year (31, 30, 38, 38, 37) and in the playoff loss at Arizona (51, though yes, Al Harris was on IR for that). For the first two games of 2011, Woodson and Collins were on the team when the team gave up 34 and 23 in wins against the Saints and Panthers.
I don't think it's merely a personnel issue. Ok, this year, the CB position was a mess (#1 CB all-pro Shields out all year, #2 battling injury, #4 and #5 on IR). So yes, Capers' hands were tied there.
But otherwise, let's just say you could replace certain guys on our team with guys from other teams. Let's say you could replace Datone Jones on the roster with Brandon Graham. Let's say you could replace Jake Ryan with Eric Kendricks, and replace Morgan Burnett with a healthy Harrison Smith. I think we'd have the same holes in our middle, wondering why we keep allowing 3rd-and-long conversions, wondering why no one's covering the TE near the sideline, wondering why our blitzes aren't getting there. I still would have little confidence that Capers' D would limit the Falcons to 30 or less.
People were killing McCarthy early in the year for the exact same things (same problems carrying over year-to-year, stagnant offense, lack of diverse play-calling and scheme), then predictably, TT for not giving Rodgers enough "weapons" on offense. Then Montgomery emerges in the backfield, Davante breaks out, UDFA Allison comes out of nowhere, Cook and Cobb get healthy. And all of a sudden the talent concerns are gone on offense.
Missing tackles, pass-rushers not shedding blocks, and just not being able to keep up with Julio Jones is one thing and you can just attribute that to "players not plays". Consistently blowing coverages, allowing a pathetic 3rd & long conversion rate, DB's routinely being out of position, and consistently allowing offenses to pick apart the middle of the field is something completely different. But nah, I'm just a "TT groupie" (whatever the hell that means).
It's both. TT and Capers are solid on their own, but horrible together.
Capers' defense relies on savvy veterans - I think Tramon Williams complained about the lack of veteran leadership after some playoff loss (they all blend together now). TT refuses to provide them, relying on young players with upside instead, which would be better suited for a different defense.
Also, the offensive woes were attributable to having no TE. So it's MM's fault for not trying to scheme receivers open, and TT's fault for waiting so long to bring in a TE worth a damn.