Q – Last week both of us explained how to “easily” game plan against our D!
Now for the hard part.
Is there anything Vance Joseph can do to prevent Palmer from hitting a thousand or so crossing, seam, check down routes at 8 to 12 yards?
I have an idea but I’d like to hear yours first
The first thing we can do is find 2 new LB’s! OK, that can’t happen, so realistically, our safeties are going to have to try and help the LB’s, but that puts more pressure on the CB’s, as they will likely be working one on one with some talented WR’s, namely Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown. I think in the nickel packages, we have to be more disciplined with our LB’s, meaning we can’t afford to have them blitz, and be picked up, I’d almost prefer to have them crowd the field and do their best in coverage. I’ve seen Alonso try and shoot a gap so many times this year, only to have a RB exploit a different lane, or just run a quick route in the flat where the LB should be. In other words, let’s let the front 4 do their best, and drop the LB’s back in coverage, with help from the safeties.
David Johnson is the most dangerous Cardinal on offense. Not only is he an effective runner, but he’s an excellent receiver, with size and speed that make him a difficult cover for anyone. If we can somehow limit him, I think we can stay in this game. If Alonso can’t go, or even if he can go and is playing impaired by the cast, the LB’s have their work cut out for them with Johnson.
Q – Oinks Mike
So are you with me? Is the 2017 offseason about getting better up front defensively?
After watching Baltimore in the 1st qtr of the game do whatever they want on offense – do you think this is our Achilles heal.
No pass rush and easy easy completions in the middle of the field seem to be our downfall – and we’ve seen it a lot during the season.
Sir Pigsgerald Oinkustus Bacon DeLa Chuleta, A/K/A The Sqiglilator
Defense will definitely be a priority, with the exception of OL and TE. Get one more competent O-lineman in the draft, and please, please, please a TE who is actually a threat to catch the ball downfield, and preferably, one with a little size, like 6’4” or taller. Alright, back to the defense. I think we have to aim for 2 starting LB’s, and they don’t both have to come from the draft. We can get 1 in the draft, and one in FA, but a lot will depend on whether we’re able to re-sign Alonso, and if we even want to. Like others have suggested, I’d like to see Alonso move to OLB, pick up a stud MLB who can solidify this unit, make tackles as well as cover (3 down LB). We can definitely use a young pass rushing DE, but at this point, it’s not a priority over LB.
I think at CB, we’re in good shape if Howard can show us he can play a couple of games and play well. Maxwell has changed my mind, and I think he’s back next year for sure. he can play, and is definitely good enough to start. Lippett will continue to develop, and McCain is OK as a the nickel or dime. I wouldn’t mind drafting another CB, but it’s not a priority. I wouldn’t be mad if we drafted another S either, Abdul-Quddus has played OK, but he’s not a difference maker. We need impact at LB, and besides Alonso, we don’t have it. Biggest need for sure is LB. Ideally, we got a top LB in this coming draft.
from New Age
Which unit needs a high draft pick the most and who is your guy for that spot? Or, which unit is holding us down the most at this point in the season? Pick whichever one you want to use.
I think it’s clear that LB is our biggest need, and as I’ve previously mentioned, I think Alonso would be better at OLB, and we finally get a stud MLB. If we can get Vandy ILB Zach Cunningham, that would be great, but there are a couple of other guys that may fit as well. Alabama MLB Reuben Foster is a solid tackling machine and possibly, as good or better pro prospect than last year’s Bama ILB Reggie Ragland.
If we go OLB, I think Jabril Peppers is gone before we pick, so possibly Alabama’s Tim Williams, or UCLA’s Takkarist McKinley. In FA, I don’t really like the crop of ILB’s available, they’re either too old, not 4-3 fits, or not going to make an impact, but at OLB, SD Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram is a FA, ARZ Cardinals LB Chandler Jones, who was traded from NE, and another NE castoff Jamie Collins, who definitely seems to have attitude issues, and apparently, they have come up in Cleveland, where he’s been lackadaisical in pursuit at times, one glaring one was a TD that he just started jogging, and he had the angle to make the play. Maybe he just needs some motivation and possibly, he was taken aback by being traded from a SB contender to the worst NFL team. That’s 3 possibilities who would be a HUGE upgrade over what we currently have.
Draft a guy like Cunningham, Foster or Davis, get one of the above mentioned OLB’s in FA, move Alonso to the weak side, and all of a sudden we have a LB corps!
It’s also obvious we need a quality player for depth on the O-line, because we’ve seen how negatively that affects our performance, and denies us the ability to carry on with our normal game plan, so another OG or C, may be in the cards, but probably not with our 1st or 2nd pick.
Q – I think this is my first ask Mike question. I see you guys always mentioning how in past years we always suck in December and I can’t disagree. Different players, coaches, different uniforms, we’ve changed damn near everything. Is this the year we change that too?
Thanks for the question! You are now famous beyond your wildest dreams! You will be read worldwide!
Anyway, back to reality, I think it’s possible that due to mitigating circumstances, we could possibly be in for a rough December. We already got shellacked by the Ravens to start December in the wrong direction, and the Arizona Cardinals are as good, or IMO, better than the Ravens. They have a much more balanced team. The Ravens feature a very good defense, but on offense, they only tore us apart, not the rest of the NFL. The Cardinals on the other had, have a very good dangerous offense, led by a veteran QB Carson Palmer, a top 3 RB in David Johnson. It doesn’t stop there, although a little older, WR Larry Fitzgerald is still a difficult cover and a star player, and Michael Floyd at 6’3” 220 is another tough cover. John Brown has the speed to go deep, so a tough trio of WR’s. Just to give you some perspective on how good David Johnson is, he has 1005 yards rushing, averaging 4.4 YPC, and also has 64 catches 704 yards. 1700 yards from scrimmage and we’re at game 13 this week. He also has 11 rushing TD’s, and 4 receiving TD’s, 15 TD’s in all. Crazy!
It’s not clear whether Jelani Jenkins will play Sunday, but as crazy as it sounds, I hope he’s healthy enough to play. He’s probably our best cover LB, which I realize isn’t saying much, but regardless, we could use him to help out. If Alonso and Jenkins are out, that leaves a combination of Mike Hull, Neville Hewitt, Spencer Paysinger and Zach Vigil. David Johnson will no doubt be drooling while savoring that matchup.
I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t think it would be fair to blame Gase if the team fails this December. I didn’t love his game plan last week, and it didn’t appear that he was able to adjust in the 2nd half either, but there are games like that for every team. I expect us to be much more competitive this week, and I think we can beat the Cards, but we have to execute a good game plan, and get a better start than we have in weeks. We can’t fall too far behind early on the Cards, because then they will bury us. If our O-line is healthy, and Alonso and Jenkins can be effective with their injuries, I think we have a fair shot.
What I don’t want to see is another game where it looks like we don’t belong on the field with our opponent. Baltimore undressed us, so I’m hoping Gase and Joseph come up with a solid plan of attack, no matter who plays Sunday. If we win this Sunday, IMO, we’ve already changed because a big bounce back win this Sunday would be big one for this team, and its young HC.