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If Spags leaves - defensive changes?

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If Spags leaves - defensive changes?

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 11, 2009 9:36 am

I have been thinking of our offseason needs next year and also what could happen if Spags leaves (however unlikely).

Firstly let me say that I have the utmost respect for Spagnuolo and what he has done with the Giants defense. If Spags leaves, should we consider changes to our defense?

Alot has been made of our the possible need to seriously overhaul our front seven next offseason, particularly at DT and also at LB where we need a serious infusion of speed and athleticism (we need to upgrade SLB, WLB and likely groom Pierce's replacement); even DE seems to be a position of need.

Rather than adapting our players to the system, why not adapt the system to the players? Should we consider shifting to more base 3-4 fronts

Pierce, Blackburn and Clark have adequate speed at best for a 4-3, but would be fine for a 3-4 ILB which plays to both player's strengths.

Kiwanuka, Umenyiora and Kehl would excel at OLB, they would be given more space to make plays. Osi's speed would be a major asset. Our DEs already have experience playing in space and dropping into coverage.

Tuck, Robbins, Cofield, Alford, Henderson and Wynn would all be good options at 3-4 DE. Tuck has had considerable success working inside with his quickness. The idea of having Tuck at RDE with Umenyiora at ROLB would be a vicious combination.

Tuck, Umenyiora and Kiwanuak could all be used in a similar versatile fashion to how the Patriots/Ravens have used Willie McGinest, Adalius Thomas and Terrell Suggs, either at DE or LB.

Robbins and/or Cofield would be adequate at NT, but it is one position we will need to add is a genuine 3-4 NT; but as other teams have shown, that is certainly possible.

good 3-4 defenses do need a quality SS; we have Phillips who is emerging nicely.

the base 3-4 offers alot of flexibility, but perhaps something along the lines of what the Patriots or Ravens do (also playing alot of 4-3). It isn't about overhauling our defense, but more about building on what Spags has done and get more out of our players.
For example: We use a 3-4 as our base defense, in passing situations we bring out our current 4 aces package, if we get better matchups, we use our current 4-3 base etc.

It gives us alot more options and variations for teams to contend with. We also have the players and system to be able to adapt well to most situations.

A good example of a good 4-3 defense team that successfully switched to a 3-4 are the Ravens.

It also means we have less players/positions we need to upgrade in the offseason

is it worth considering?
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Re: If Spags leaves - defensive changes?

Post  Big_Pete on Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:38 am

Compare our possible current 4-3 and possible 3-4 depth charts for 2009.

Current 4-3 projected

LDE - Tuck, Wynn

LDT - Cofield, Alford

RDT - Robbins, Henderson

RDE - Umenyiora, Kiwanuka

SLB - Clark/?, Kehl, DeOssie

MLB - Pierce, Goff

WLB - Blackburn, Wilkinson

Needs: Upgrade SLB, Upgrade WLB, developmental MLB to replace Pierce, DT upgrade, DE Depth

An option is to move Kiwanuka back to DE, in which case SLB is not a priority, but DE depth becomes urgent

3-4 Projected Depth Chart

LDE: Cofield, Alford

NT: Robbins, ?

RDE: Tuck, Wynn, Henderson

LOLB: Kiwanuka, Wilkinson, DeOssie

LILB: Pierce, Goff

RILB: Blackburn, Clark

ROLB: Umenyiora, Kehl

Needs: developmental MLB to replace Pierce, NT, OLB depth
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