Friday, September 11, 2009

Miami Has Best Defense in AFC East - Part 2

This is the second part of my attempt to show that Miami's defense will make the biggest noise in the AFC East in 2009.  If you missed Part 1, click here.

Part 2 - New England Patriots
Ty Warren, Jarvis Green and Vince Wilfork. Not bad.  Wilfork is the guy you gameplan against, but Jarvis and Warren have plenty of experience between them.  Up until a week ago, Jarvis was the backup.  The Richard Seymour trade was likely palatable to Belichick because he believes that Green can fill Seymour's giant shoes.  But in 7 years of playing together, Green never supplanted Seymour, starting only when there was an injury.  I expect the NE line to be pretty good but not  as intimidating as they once were.  Seymour is 6'6", 310 lbs.  Green is 6'3" 290lbs.  Still good size, but not Richard Seymour size.
In the Depth Department, New England's not doing as well as they'd like.  2nd round draft pick, Ron Brace, has barely shown up so far.  He is listed 3rd on the depth chart behind Wilfork and Mike Wright, a 295lb injury-riddled, situational player who has played every position on the line.  He's like a Randy Starks, if Starks had spent most of his career in the hospital.  Meanwhile, their best young player, Myron Pryor, is undersized at 6'1" and is currently injured and not practicing.

As I mentioned in part one, the average size of Miami's defensive line is 6'4.3", 307 lbs. And they are a healthy bunch.  From my recollection, only Jason Ferguson missed any time due to injury in 2008.  And none of the seven have had any injuries during the off-season/pre-season.  

At linebacker, the Dolphins have something the Patriots don't have.  A pass-rusher.  Okay, they traded for Derrick Burgess.  How about two pass-rushers? Oh, before we go any further it's important to state that Burgess is not the starter.  They have Pierre Woods at WOLB.  IN 2008 he registered ONE sack in 12 games. On the other side is converted pass rusher Adalius Thomas who registered just 5 sacks in 2008 to lead the team.  Oh wait, that's not right...it was Richard Seymour who led the team in 2008 with 8 sacks.  As a team they only registered 30 total. 10 of those came from the linebackers including 4 from another player they shipped off, Mike Vrabel. 

On the inside they have 2008 Rookie sensation Jerod Mayo, and 2008 undrafted rookie free agent Gary Guyton.  Everyone loves to talk up Jerod Mayo, but he is not a big playmaker, more the dependable tackler.

It's not often Miami's inside linebackers get the edge vs most of the teams in the NFL, but here we're clearly better, with Crowder, Ayodele and Torbor compared to Mayo, Guyton and the third guy, Eric Alexander, who played in only one game and only on kick coverage in 2008.  Even Torbor's an upgrade over this guy.

I don't envy the Pats' secondary one bit.  Both starters at cornerback, Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden, have never played a regular season game for the Pats.  Leigh Bodden was the guy I wanted to pick up instead of Eric Green during free agency.  He had 80 tackles last year as a cornerback.  That's how much opponents were just throwing the rock against Detroit in 2008.  Still, he was the best player on that defense.  But does he know how to WIN?  Springs ain't no spring chicken.  At 34 years of age, he makes our secondary look like babies.  Meanwhile, the Patriots went after Darius Butler early in the draft this year and he has come as close to being a draft bust as you can get without actually starting the season.  He is dead last on the depth chart and probably only made the roster because he was a high draft pick.  
Their safeties are young, not particularly exciting, and once again, another rookie, Pat Chung, has not been consistent thus far.  I read a handful of reports on the starters, Meriweather and Sanders and the consensus is 'average' with early reports that Meriweather was not starter material and that's why the Pats drafted Chung.

The more I watch tape of last year, the more impressed I am by Yeremiah Bell.  He made two game-winning pass breakups, and registered the most tackles on the team.   He seems to possess a great balance of stoicism and quick reaction time.  Gibril Wilson, at the very least, is bigger and tougher than Renaldo Hill, and sharper than Chris Crocker (no, not the Britney Spears guy).  Where we win hands down is the depth.  All three of our rookie DBs have looked good in their time leading up til now.  Our veterans seem re-energized and focused on proving 2008 was not a fluke.  And, this is a highly paid bunch.  With Wilson, Bell, Allen, and Davis making big dents in the salary cap and Smith, J. Allen and Culver making medium sized dents, this is a team that will be expected to perform at a certain level. 

As long as their heart and talent lives up to those expectations, there will be some pro-bowl material out there, which is more than I can say for the Patriots defense.  Not one of their defensive players would make my pre-season prediction list to make the pro-bowl.  I can easily name a handful from Miami that would.

12 comments:

  1. The Knight who says Ni!September 11, 2009 at 4:28 PM

    Well done, Tin. Very good. I totally agree. I keep hearing how the Pats are clearly the best team in the league and will win the Super Bowl. That all comes down to Brady and the offense with Moss, Welker, some good TEs and their 17 RBs. Their defense leaves a lot to be desired but Belichick will try to disguise those defensive weaknesses with his offense lead by Brady. Who's their backup QB?

    I like our defense. Is it the best ever, no, but it can be very good and they're big and fast. Porter and JT are the two guys that can make this defense dominant. You know JT wants to prove he's still big time. He's a guy to keep your eye on for sure.

    The Jets have good defensive personnel. Let's see how they handle the defensive master Rexy Boy's blitz defense. Do they get to the QB quick enough and cover? That's the risk of that style.

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  2. We are going to see the same thing from our defense as the jets blitzing all day long to create pressure.  With the rules the way they are for the passing game, pressure is the name of the game.

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  3. Hey don't give away part 3!!

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  4. I've been wondering about Brady.  I really haven't heard anything about him lately, except didn't he hurt his shoulder or something?  And even if they say it's not anything, considering the source who can believe that?  And that knee.  He did not have a good recovery from surgery, infection, so he can't be 100% right?

    And on another subject, did anyone see the <insert  name I cannot speak> Sears commercial during the game last night?  Not being able to make a decision?  LMAO, I have to admit.

    Lastly, if you witnessed the spat with me and randy at the SS today, I can tell you he immediately left and bought a herdfan voodoo doll and has been sticking pins in its lower back.  I literally can barely walk, couldn't even go for my 'ritas this evening so you know it's bad.  It sucks getting old.

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  5. Age is a state of mind, and my mind says I'm old :(

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  6. Tins,

    I think that Mayo has a chance to be a Pro-Bowl player this year but other than that I agree with pretty much everything else you wrote in regards to the Patriots defense & ours as well.  

    With that said our defense was ranked 10th in the NFL against the run which is pretty decent but we'll need to be better than that this year.  I believe that if we can show an improvement in that category it will be a key indicator of how good of a team we are.  However you want to look at the Falcons' weapons (Ryan, Gonzalez, White, Abraham, etc.), I can promise you that our run defense will get an enormous challenge & if they can do what they've been told (enough talking Channing!) we'll have an excellent chance to win this game 

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  7. Well put. I think we all agree the key to this game is controlling Turner.
    With Norwood ailing he may not play as much as he normally does...no idea
    who the 3rd RB is. If Norwood isn't 100%, they probably won't try any
    wildcat on us.

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  8. Tins,

    I was reading in the SS where Crowder was talking how he's tired of hearing from the coaches about how difficult  it is to bring Turner down with one hit & that it was questioning his manhood....Dude, Turner is a beast!!!  I like Crowder's brashness & he makes me laugh & all but I'm not sure he understands (with his size, strength, & speed) how hard it is to bring Turner down.  He's truly a freak of nature.  It's like when our secondary had to stop Andre Johnson last year.  Just when you think you have him stopped, he burns you.  Special players that make special plays BTW--Another player that would make my All-Freak of Nature team if I had one.

    We're going to face a bunch of teams that can run the ball this year but I think Turner is the toughest back we'll face.  There will be teams with a better 1-2 bunch like the Panthers or the maybe the Colts (I've been really impressed with Donald Brown) or the maybe Chargers, etc. but what a way to start the season if you're a LB.

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  9. New England scored a avg. of 25 points per game with Cassal last year. With Brady in 07 the average was 37 points, not counting the playoffs. Somehow I doubt Belliboy is to worried about his D. 

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  10. by Edgar Thompson
    Dolfans looking to get the juices flowing on the eve of the Dolphins season-opener at Atlanta can tune in to see the Dan Marino-led Dolphins pull out an epic win against the Falcons.
    The NFL Network will kick off a new series – “Greatest 4th OTRs” – at 9 Saturday night with an oldie but goodie from Marino.
    You might remember when Marino hit Irving Fryar with a 21-yard touchdown will 11 seconds remaining to beat the Falcons Dec. 3, 1995, at Job Robbie Stadium.

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  11. The Knight who says Ni!September 12, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    WHP, I think you're reading too much into Crowder's statements. I think he completely understands who Turner is. He's a LB and he's knows his job is to stop RBs. This isn't new to him. He's been a starter since he's been in the league. He's been through it all and has faced just about every RB in the league. There are always new challenges with new talents but that's the NFL. He's just tired of hearing he can't tackle Turner on his own. I'm sure he wants to show he can.  ;)

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  12. You maybe right, but I remember another team that could score at will, and didn't go very far.  You have to be able to stop someone in this league.  This is not Baby ball Collage or High School.

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