Originally Posted by Merchant
I don't think it's fair to blame the success of westcoast-offense type teams against our defense on Lebeau's scheme.
Here is the golden question... Is it the scheme to blame? or is it the execution of the players? Well when your best corners behind Ike are Gay and McFadden.. I'm gonna go ahead and take a wild guess and say that the players should absorb a portion of the blame as well.
Like anything else, it's not a black and white issue and the answer is that it's a little of both.
It's no secret the we're heavy on "Front Seven" philosophy and our secondary is weak overall. I'm not placing the blame entirely on LeBeau, but let's face it, he has a great influence on what kind of personality our defense has. Certainly it comes down to execution, but if our tendency is to emphasize the front seven, then perhaps we've been neglecting the secondary by default and that neglect leads to poor execution simply because the focus is somewhere else.
Whatever the reason, I don't think anyone could argue that our secondary needs work and that we might need to take a look at our overall approach to defense in a league where passing and pass-based offenses are becoming more common.
Green Bay (and the other West Coast teams) proved that no matter how much talent we can bring to bear in a pass rush, it's all moot if the QB gets rid of the ball before any of our guys can get to him and with five receivers on the field, the chances for completing passes goes up drastically especially since we're committing so much to the pass rush.
If you add in our weak corners, who seem to need safety support more often than not, what's left is a wide-open middle and THAT's where we've been getting killed all year. So to me, the solution lies in having a more developed secondary (with more emphasis on the play of the safeties and CB's) coupled with less "heaviness" in the linebackers in favor of more agility and the ability to cover man-to-man in the short to deep middle instead of just dropping into zones.
Yes, we'd give up a little in the pass rush, but we'd gain much more in our ability to defend against a wider variety of offenses overall and I'll take that over what we have now any day.