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Article: do the bills have a problem at CB2?

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1 minute ago, GunnerBill said:

No. Next question.

Well, my reaction to that question is also "no," but now I'll take a look at the article just to assure myself that I'm not missing something.  

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2 minutes ago, GunnerBill said:

No. Next question.

 

He is pretty fair about the question. He points out that the position is a weakness relative to the Bills, but not necessarily a weakness in the sense that other teams are not marching out starting quality players at certain positions. Its just the weakest spot on a very good defense, which I think is true. His point is the Bills did not invest in the position like many thought they would, considering its about the only "hole" on the defense. 

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2 minutes ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

He is pretty fair about the question. He points out that the position is a weakness relative to the Bills, but not necessarily a weakness in the sense that other teams are not marching out starting quality players at certain positions. Its just the weakest spot on a very good defense, which I think is true. His point is the Bills did not invest in the position like many thought they would, considering its about the only "hole" on the defense. 

They brought in Norman and Gaines which should have been enough, but then Gaines opted out.

 

So I think it is likely that Wallace is the guy again. And I'm fine with that. He had a sophomore slump but he's a young player and can get better.

 

I agree with the article that Norman doesn't have the athleticism anymore to turn and run with NFL WR's, but we'll see.

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Just now, MJS said:

They brought in Norman and Gaines which should have been enough, but then Gaines opted out.

 

So I think it is likely that Wallace is the guy again. And I'm fine with that. He had a sophomore slump but he's a young player and can get better.

 

I agree with the article that Norman doesn't have the athleticism anymore to turn and run with NFL WR's, but we'll see.

 

Norman and Gaines are just "guys." They aren't upgrades. I hope Levi can improve, but he is so slight. He will probably be the defense's weakness again this year.  But, hey, every defense has its soft spots. That would be miles better than our run defense being terrible again. 

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Okay, I read it.  It makes at least a credible point - that Wallace was the weakest link in an excellent defense, and the Bills didn't get better at the position during the off-season.  They lost Kevin Johnson, EJ Gaines opted out.  They've added "only" Josh Norman and Dane Jackson (7th round pick).  Of course, "didn't get better" is premised on the author's conclusion that Josh Norman's skills have eroded to the point where he isn't likely to be able to compete for time. 

 

I think the argument is pretty weak.  First, Wallace can be expected to continue to improve, and if he's the weakest player on my defense, I'm happy to settle for that.  That's particularly true that the front seven has gotten stronger.  

 

Second, the author ignores how much the Bills defense is a team defense, not a collection of individual talents.  It's all about the team working together, and in the defensive backfield it's about the four or five starters, together with the linebackers, playing as a team led by Hyde and Poyer.  Ignoring that point causes the author to overstate Wallace's individual skills and Norman's current physical capabilities.  Wallace is now a couple of years into playing the number 2 corner position in a team defense, and he can play it just fine.  Norman has had several years of experience playing the number 1 position in this very same defense, and sliding down to the number 2 probably is a step he can make.

 

So, yeah, sure, if your standard is perfection, Wallace may be the weak link, but am I worried about it?  No. 

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6 minutes ago, Shaw66 said:

Okay, I read it.  It makes at least a credible point - that Wallace was the weakest link in an excellent defense, and the Bills didn't get better at the position during the off-season.  They lost Kevin Johnson, EJ Gaines opted out.  They've added "only" Josh Norman and Dane Jackson (7th round pick).  Of course, "didn't get better" is premised on the author's conclusion that Josh Norman's skills have eroded to the point where he isn't likely to be able to compete for time. 

 

I think the argument is pretty weak.  First, Wallace can be expected to continue to improve, and if he's the weakest player on my defense, I'm happy to settle for that.  That's particularly true that the front seven has gotten stronger.  

 

Second, the author ignores how much the Bills defense is a team defense, not a collection of individual talents.  It's all about the team working together, and in the defensive backfield it's about the four or five starters, together with the linebackers, playing as a team led by Hyde and Poyer.  Ignoring that point causes the author to overstate Wallace's individual skills and Norman's current physical capabilities.  Wallace is now a couple of years into playing the number 2 corner position in a team defense, and he can play it just fine.  Norman has had several years of experience playing the number 1 position in this very same defense, and sliding down to the number 2 probably is a step he can make.

 

So, yeah, sure, if your standard is perfection, Wallace may be the weak link, but am I worried about it?  No. 

 

Even in team defenses, cornerbacks are to at least some extent left out on an island. Even if they have help over the top, or a LB in a passing lane, they are still by themselves with their guy for most of the play. Levi is very slight, and he doesn't have the athletic ability to overcome it. He will do OK, but never better than OK. So, yeah, I'm not "worried" about it either. But you saw last year teams take advantage of Levi. It would have been nice to have someone better. 

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Josh Norman can still play. He jacked it in last year playing in a clown show franchise. He will start opposite White and he will surprise a lot of people.

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5 minutes ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

Norman and Gaines are just "guys." They aren't upgrades. I hope Levi can improve, but he is so slight. He will probably be the defense's weakness again this year.  But, hey, every defense has its soft spots. That would be miles better than our run defense being terrible again. 

Gaines is just a guy who performed consistently well, and this defense is about consistency.  I was sorry to see him go, because he was a real threat to take the job from Wallace.  

 

As for Norman, I'm just not prepared to buy the narrative that he's declined physically to the point that he can't play in the league.  I don't buy it for a minute, mostly because his so-called "decline" coincided with his move from one of the acknowledged young defensive geniuses in the league (McDermott) to one of the acknowledge dysfunctional franchises in the league (Washington).  Richard Sherman has been playing longer than Norman, and nobody's talking about his physical decline.  Sherman was coached in Seattle by Robert Saleh, his current defensive coordinator.   I''m guessing that Sherman is still a competitor in the league because of brains and coaching much more so than continuing physical excellence, and I suspect that's what we're going to see with Norman, too. 

5 minutes ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

Even in team defenses, cornerbacks are to at least some extent left out on an island. Even if they have help over the top, or a LB in a passing lane, they are still by themselves with their guy for most of the play. Levi is very slight, and he doesn't have the athletic ability to overcome it. He will do OK, but never better than OK. So, yeah, I'm not "worried" about it either. But you saw last year teams take advantage of Levi. It would have been nice to have someone better. 

That's fair, and I agree it would be nice to have someone better.   But I'd guess that if you look around the league, Wallace is in the top half of #2 corners.  Maybe not top half of pure cover corners, but top half in corners playing all aspects of their position.  Pretty tough to complain about that.  

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1 minute ago, Shaw66 said:

Gaines is just a guy who performed consistently well, and this defense is about consistency.  I was sorry to see him go, because he was a real threat to take the job from Wallace.  

 

As for Norman, I'm just not prepared to buy the narrative that he's declined physically to the point that he can't play in the league.  I don't buy it for a minute, mostly because his so-called "decline" coincided with his move from one of the acknowledged young defensive geniuses in the league (McDermott) to one of the acknowledge dysfunctional franchises in the league (Washington).  Richard Sherman has been playing longer than Norman, and nobody's talking about his physical decline.  Sherman was coached in Seattle by Robert Saleh, his current defensive coordinator.   I''m guessing that Sherman is still a competitor in the league because of brains and coaching much more so than continuing physical excellence, and I suspect that's what we're going to see with Norman, too. 

 

THAT is a very strong argument. I just hate hoping that vets will just "figure it out" again. It always feels like such a long shot. 

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Hope Norman can be great again but that really feels like wishful thinking.

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McD has never had two stud CB’s. He’s had a really good one and an average one every step in his career. I think they are banking on Norman regaining some of the form that made him a star in Carolina. I don’t put anything past McD when it comes to getting the most out of his DB’s. 

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6 minutes ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

THAT is a very strong argument. I just hate hoping that vets will just "figure it out" again. It always feels like such a long shot. 

 

Norman played better in Washington than the narrative. Until 2019 that is and to me his body language looked like that of a guy who had given up. I don't think we are going to get 2015 Josh Norman, not for a minute. But if we get 2017 / 2018 Josh Norman that is still an upgrade on Wallace. 

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I don't think anyone expects Norman to be what he was in Carolina but I certainly expect him to be better than he was in Washington.  McD doesn't expect guys to be what they're not. 

 

Say what you want about Wallace but I thought he was sorely missed in the playoff game. 

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1 hour ago, BillsMafi$ said:

Do you have an opinion?

1 hour ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

He is pretty fair about the question. He points out that the position is a weakness relative to the Bills, but not necessarily a weakness in the sense that other teams are not marching out starting quality players at certain positions. Its just the weakest spot on a very good defense, which I think is true. His point is the Bills did not invest in the position like many thought they would, considering its about the only "hole" on the defense. 

The article could be written for any team/unit as there is always a weak link.  The bigger question is will Wallace or the CB2 cost us any games because he is weak or the scheme can not cover for him.  I expect the D to perform at a min better than last year or some marginal improvement.

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7 minutes ago, Just Joshin' said:

Do you have an opinion?

The article could be written for any team/unit as there is always a weak link.  The bigger question is will Wallace or the CB2 cost us any games because he is weak or the scheme can not cover for him.  I expect the D to perform at a min better than last year or some marginal improvement.

 

Alot of turnover on that DL. I wouldn't take it as a given that they perform just as well.  They might, and I even think they will, but I am hesitant to be overly optimistic. 

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2 minutes ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

Alot of turnover on that DL. I wouldn't take it as a given that they perform just as well.  They might, and I even think they will, but I am hesitant to be overly optimistic. 

Part of the reason I said marginal.  They may start slower on the DL but by the end of the year will be better.

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The only facts we have on Norman is he payed at a high level under McD’s system, and not when not played to his strengths in Washington.  Maybe he lost a step and is a reasonable argument, but not a foregone conclusion.  Now he goes back to the system he knows like the back of his hand so this year will determine did he really lose a step or was the shirt show in Washington the problem.  None of us know and happy to wait and see.  This author doesn’t know anything more than us.  Happy to wait and see.  
 

I do believe Beane used the cost constraints and available talent to put the best team together.  No one can predict who would opt out.  You’d think with all of these guys already reporting that part will calm down.  I know nothing more than any of you.

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3 hours ago, JoshAllenHasBigHands said:

 

Norman and Gaines are just "guys." They aren't upgrades. I hope Levi can improve, but he is so slight. He will probably be the defense's weakness again this year.  But, hey, every defense has its soft spots. That would be miles better than our run defense being terrible again. 

Well I don't expect McDermott to ever bring in a high priced CB2. He likes bringing in young guys and overlooked guys and coaching them up. The secondary seems to be his specialty.

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