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Sanders\' Blitzing Problem

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Sanders\' Blitzing Problem

Looking at the game again last night, I confirmed something (in my mind, at least) that I had suspected after the Atlanta game.

Bob Sanders can't design a quality defensive back pressure package. He CAN design a quality linebacker dog/blitz but doesn't have any quality pass rushers at the linebacking position.

The worst offender is A.J. Hawk. He is simply dreadful when called upon to blitz from the line. If he comes free, he has a distant chance. If he is presented with any kind of resistance, forget it. He simply can not get around or shed any kind of block. He GIVES UP. Let me get this straight - he can't cover. He can't rush the quarterback. And we made him the 5th overall pick in the draft? Yikes.

Hawk is not alone, of course. For all the talk of Poppinga's talent as a pass rusher, after all the puff pieces this summer about how the coaching staff was putting in new packages where Brady could show off his pass rushing prowess, we've gotten as much production from Poppinga in rushing the quarterback as we did last year. Namely - zippo. And don't even get me started on Barnett, who has just forgotten how to play the game.

And then there are the defensive backs. Go back and watch the Atlanta game and then watch the Tennessee game again. Every time Sanders sends Woodson or Williams, a glaring hole is left in the coverage that both Matt Ryan and Kerry Collins easily exploit for big gains. It's like Sanders just doesn't take into consideration that offenses can adjust their routes on site. (Note to Bob: Ask your Head Coach about this. His offense does it all the time) I mean, pull up a seat and grab your popcorn when you see a Packer defensive back rushing the quarterback. It's Amateur Hour!

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (7) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

Robert Greenfield's picture

Ryan and Collins definitely picked it up right away, as did just about everyone watching the game. Sanders needs to come up with some creative blitzes. Take a note from the Steelers I think - they throw Polamalu around pretty well.

DaveK's picture

I completely agree with this post. As good and talented as this defense seems to be at times they simply are BAD at blitzing the QB. The timing always seems off. They either creap too early and tip off the line or they are so late they do not get to the QB in time or are easily picked up my the RB. I long for the days of Butler blindsiding the QB causing a fumble.

Franklin Hillside's picture

The problem with Barnett is the defensive line isn't drawing double teams and guys can slide off and block him. He needs to be free to roam and use his speed. Not a valid excuse for his lack of production, but it's a root cause.

On a positive side, we sacked Kerry Collins twice to double the Titans total for the season.

packeraaron's picture

Agreed on that last point Franklin - both sacks were by linemen, of course...

Franklin Hillside's picture

We don't blitz. Didn't last year, shouldn't try this year. It just gets us burned.

It's like the screen on offense. We don't do it, shouldn't try, and when we do, we look like a junior high team in practice.

ctpack's picture

Also after watching the Pittsburg game,Packers are very slow.No speed on defence.

packeraaron's picture

ctpack - while that's not strictly true (Williams, Collins etc have plenty of speed) it's true that the Packer linebackers in particular are not blazing fast, as they are in Pittsburgh. Plus, LeBeau is the Godfather of the Zone-Blitz - he has guys always in position to make plays.

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