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JPicc2114

Bills and Nickel Defense

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1 hour ago, Rocky Landing said:

If the RB is consistently getting tackled in the secondary, then the D-line is failing to stop the run. The Rams O-line owned our D-line on run plays. Henderson had massive holes to run through all day long. 

 

I also think the reliance on nickel defense has a lot to do with our lack of depth at LB. Klein was sold as a "run stuffer," but has that been the case so far?

That's the bottom line. We no longer have a huge DT to eat up 2 blockers. Without Star or Phillips our smaller DL will get abused until Sean schemes up something other than Taron. We need Dotson in the middle and Edmunds/Milano on the edge.

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1 hour ago, IgotBILLStopay said:

Yes the Rams came out of the locker room and attacked the 4-2-5 defensive scheme. A guy like Keuchly knows when to attack and when to cover but quite often Edmunds was wrongfooted. And Taron Johnson as the 5th back was stretched thin. Ideally we need a safety / LB hybrid like a Jabrill Peppers to go with a 4-2-4 alignment. Since we don’t have that, we will likely settle for the front four rushing a bit less and maintaining gap integrity, Edmunds having only coverage responsibility and someone else (Dodson?) will be a spy on the Henderson / Woods type rusher.

 

You can do that like - now in hindsight.  But to throw Dodson out there as a nickel corner with no practice probably wouldve had a similar result.  

5 minutes ago, LABILLBACKER said:

That's the bottom line. We no longer have a huge DT to eat up 2 blockers. Without Star or Phillips our smaller DL will get abused until Sean schemes up something other than Taron. We need Dotson in the middle and Edmunds/Milano on the edge.

 

You can make it a sub package sure - But now you're likely limited in coverages you can run as well.  Man is basically out unless you think one of those LBs can run with Kupp.  They were making adjustments based on where our guys were lining up on the LOS etc.  We really needed a 12th man to screw with them a bit.  

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I think the LBs need to step to the gap more. Rams also took advantage of the LB aggressiveness of shooting the gap. 

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1 hour ago, thenorthremembers said:

Better get used to the Nickel because it is essentially McDermott's base defense.   What they dont have, and havent had since he has been here is a unique enough athlete to play the "big nickel" everyone talks about.  Jeremy Chinn or Kyle Dugger would have filled that role well.  Whats odd to me is they know they have to run nickel, most teams have to because it's incredibly unusual for modern teams to run an offense with just two wideouts, but still our depth at both cornerback and safety is bad, and its not like its been good since McBeane has been here.

 

I guess they know that the name of the game is scoring points not playing defense.

Hyde actually played that role under Capers in GB after Woodson left. Get a player too big in the role and they can’t cover slot receivers unless they’re a freak athlete. Using Hyde or Poyer as the big nickel creates a hole though. 

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4 hours ago, JPicc2114 said:

I watched quite of the game vs the Rams over again, and I noticed that the defense was in 2 LB sets for a large majority of the game. Taron Johnson got blown up on run plays. Yet the Bills continued to stay with the nickel package. With all the dump downs the Raiders like to do, I would assume that you would see more 3 LB sets. I am predicting the Bills put up a more stout effort on defense this week

Thats exactly what Steve Tasker said on WGR earlier today

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1 hour ago, Buffalo Junction said:

Hyde actually played that role under Capers in GB after Woodson left. Get a player too big in the role and they can’t cover slot receivers unless they’re a freak athlete. Using Hyde or Poyer as the big nickel creates a hole though. 

Why no Siran Neal. Ive seen that guy in training camp run stride for stride with John Brown

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So this talk of Buffalo wanting that 220 pound freak like Duggers makes even more sense... that would have plugged the defense’s weakness

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5 hours ago, Rocky Landing said:

If the RB is consistently getting tackled in the secondary, then the D-line is failing to stop the run. The Rams O-line owned our D-line on run plays. Henderson had massive holes to run through all day long. 

 

I also think the reliance on nickel defense has a lot to do with our lack of depth at LB. Klein was sold as a "run stuffer," but has that been the case so far?

Klein is a $6 mil bust

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5 hours ago, matter2003 said:

 

This is an excellent piece for a few reasons...one they talk about how Josh Allen is turning into an elite QB, but then they also started talking about what the Rams were doing when they ran the ball and committed to it in the 2nd half...basically said that the Rams were running the ball right at the 7th defender the Bills were putting in the box, which was Taron Johnson most of the time since they were in the nickel, and said that it was done intentionally and that the Bills are going to need to adjust to it. Wherever Johnson was lining up, that was where the Rams were running it, directly at him, which I believe is why you saw the Bills try and use Marlowe in the slot for a while to try and give them a little bit of a bigger body for that...but then Marlowe was taken advantage of in the passing game.

 

 


the problem was mcd didn’t adjust at all to this 

 

in terms of offense vs defense mcd got totally outclassed. Allen saved him 

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I think it’s actually pretty simple. The Bills play mostly nickel with two LBs that excel in coverage and pursuit and not In run defense. So the run defense is going to be based heavily on how the DL does and, as has been noted, they don’t have any strong DTs vs the run right now. All four DTs got steamrolled vs the Rams. They could try to put more numbers in the box but that means more man coverage and more pressure of Wallace and Johnson so there’s no magic solution. The DL just needs to improve as the season goes on.

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The Bills base defense has been the nickel for years now. They are in nickel usually 60% or more of the game. You can't play a 4-3 against a 3 WR set.

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5 hours ago, Buffalo Junction said:

Hyde actually played that role under Capers in GB after Woodson left. Get a player too big in the role and they can’t cover slot receivers unless they’re a freak athlete. Using Hyde or Poyer as the big nickel creates a hole though. 

Get Jaquon on the field more at safety?

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7 hours ago, JPicc2114 said:

I think we need to see Dotson on the field more vs the Raiders IMO

I’m shocked they didn’t bench Edmunds for Dotson against the Rams. The guy was an abomination in the 2nd half and arguably the reason the Rams made a come back. Dude was just a disaster. 

1 hour ago, vincec said:

I think it’s actually pretty simple. The Bills play mostly nickel with two LBs that excel in coverage and pursuit and not In run defense. So the run defense is going to be based heavily on how the DL does and, as has been noted, they don’t have any strong DTs vs the run right now. All four DTs got steamrolled vs the Rams. They could try to put more numbers in the box but that means more man coverage and more pressure of Wallace and Johnson so there’s no magic solution. The DL just needs to improve as the season goes on.

Edmunds excelled at nothing on Sunday. Over pursed, missed tackles, wrong gaps, got ran over. Interested to see what they do if it continues. 

Edited by ScottLaw
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4 hours ago, TheyCallMeAndy said:

So this talk of Buffalo wanting that 220 pound freak like Duggers makes even more sense... that would have plugged the defense’s weakness


came to say something about this. Maybe we get Nasirildeen From Fla St in the draft next year, but he will probably go higher than our pick 

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12 hours ago, Rocky Landing said:

If the RB is consistently getting tackled in the secondary, then the D-line is failing to stop the run. The Rams O-line owned our D-line on run plays. Henderson had massive holes to run through all day long. 

 

I also think the reliance on nickel defense has a lot to do with our lack of depth at LB. Klein was sold as a "run stuffer," but has that been the case so far?

 

This is correct. We spend very little time in base (even less than previous years) because we really don't have a third linebacker to put out there. Klein has looked old and slow when on the field. 

 

The D-line is definitely struggling against the run but 3 of our 4 interior guys are really, by trade, 3 techs. Expecting them to be good run stuffers is tough on them it isn't really their skillset. But we also had horrific linebacker gap fits on Sunday. Those guys have to get off blocks and hit the right hole. If they can't this failure will continue.

10 hours ago, LABILLBACKER said:

That's the bottom line. We no longer have a huge DT to eat up 2 blockers. Without Star or Phillips our smaller DL will get abused until Sean schemes up something other than Taron. We need Dotson in the middle and Edmunds/Milano on the edge.

 

So Phillips was big... but he was also one of the worst run defenders up front I have ever seen. That is why ultimately the Bills let him walk. 

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The Raiders have the biggest line in pro football so you know what we can expect Sunday.

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13 hours ago, Protocal69 said:

Why no Siran Neal. Ive seen that guy in training camp run stride for stride with John Brown

No clue. We may see more of that going forward though. Time will tell, but I’m sure McD is adapting his scheme this week after that weakness was exposed. 

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6 hours ago, Beast said:

The Raiders have the biggest line in pro football so you know what we can expect Sunday.

 

Ya, but they can't stretch the field like the Rams. Especially with Ruggs and the other rookie out injured.

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Fwiw, it's not only on Taron here, or Edmunds for that matter. I posted this in the Edmunds hot take thread after Sunday, but might be worth it here for context on Taron: 

Simply put, the Rams ran a great offense in the second half, any defense would have a hard time handling it:

  1. McVay was keeping track of the DL rotations we were using and made the most of the match-ups he identified.
  2. We saw year one Goff getting to the line early and have to think he had the extra mic time and ability to pre-snap read.
  3. We were focused on shutting down Higbee, which we overall could say we did. This should really be #1 here, considering it was our top priority after Gesicki had another field day with us, and Higbee didn't see a catch until late in the 3rd. We erased the biggest part of their PA pass game.
  4. Yes, Woods took us to town on sweeps, but overall we were looking to make this a trench game and prevent air yards.

The Rams are a very good football team, it's as simple as that. Joe B posted some points in his All-22 along these lines:

Quote

2) Did Edmunds struggle as much as it appeared on the broadcast?

When the Bills’ defense was getting trounced in the second half, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds drew some ire as a reason for the Bills losing their way. [...] While he missed some tackles in key moments, though, Edmunds wasn’t nearly the liability he was getting made out to be.

Edmunds was particularly noticeable on film, in a good way, for his work in coverage. He made Goff’s job difficult in the first half by clogging up passing windows, and even knocking away a pass. His speed from sideline to sideline was unaffected by his injury. Simply his presence on the field affected the game and was a big upgrade over the young Tyrel Dodson. The Bills didn’t allow a catch to Rams tight end Tyler Higbee until eight minutes into the third quarter, and Edmunds deserves a lot of the credit for that. We also can’t forget that the defense allowed only three points through the first two and a half quarters against a well-schemed offense, and Edmunds had a part in that.

None of that is to say Edmunds didn’t struggle down the stretch. He did, and it looked like the shoulder injury was bothering him on tackle attempts and on plays where he needed to shed blocks. Still, he wasn’t more to blame than others for how the Bills’ defense let the game get away from them in the second half. On the surface, Edmunds has a lot of potential and comes with a big reputation as a former first-round pick. Reviewing the film offers a reminder that he’s playing through what looks to be a painful shoulder injury and is still a significant upgrade over his backup.

3) An all-out failure by the defensive line

While there is plenty of blame to go around for the Bills’ defensive woes in the second half, the criticism starts and ends with the defensive line. Defensive end Mario Addison was the only player from that unit who received an above-average grade for his performance. [...]

The most surprising performance was that of Jerry Hughes, who had one of the better grades through the first two weeks. Against Los Angeles, Hughes was essentially erased by left tackle Andrew Whitworth. He didn’t provide any pressure on the quarterback, even in plenty of one-on-one opportunities. Trent Murphy also was a non-factor, too often trying to go wide on pass-rushing attempts. Rookie A.J. Epenesa, though he recorded his first career sack, also struggled against the strength of blockers and completely lost contain at one point on a Robert Woods end-around gain.

The defensive tackles were even worse. The Rams picked on the Bills’ interior with their rushing attack and dominated them almost all game. Quinton Jefferson was the biggest disappointment of the game — he struggled to hold the point of attack against double teams and the offensive line quickly got him moving side-to-side to create a cutback lane for runner Darrell Henderson. Jefferson is a good pass rusher, but the full-time one-technique defensive tackle role might not be for him based on what we saw Sunday. Harrison Phillips was also a liability against the Rams. They routinely controlled him and pushed him out of the way in rushing attempts. He also didn’t provide any semblance of a pass rush when given one-on-one chances. For the first time this season, the Bills badly missed Star Lotulelei and his impact against the run.

The solution for the Bills could come internally. Vernon Butler, who mostly played as a backup three-technique defensive tackle, also took some reps at one-technique. He provided more of an anchor against the run than either Jefferson or Phillips did, and those efforts could be worthy of a start alongside Oliver. Butler does not provide nearly the type of pass-rushing ability as Jefferson does, but the Bills need to figure something out against the run. If it’s a simple fix of pairing Oliver with Butler and switching Jefferson back to his natural position of three-technique alongside Phillips, then it’s worth a shot. The Bills would still be able to substitute Jefferson in for Butler on obvious passing downs. Whatever the case, the Bills need to fix the middle of their defensive line because they were a big reason the Rams came back in the game.

 Why we have Jefferson at 1T when he's a hybrid 3/5T is likely telling about how healthy Harry actually is. As for his few snaps last year, Harry faired better at 1T than Star before his injury as the anchor and eating gap double teams. This year it looks like he still doesn't trust it quite yet and needs to get overall strength back. But ANY defense that has issues with the run need not look further than their front four - run stop starts up front, and if the middle can't set the LOS and anchor gaps it doesn't matter if we have the best "pantene pro" LB and/or Nickel DB in the league. 

Edited by ctk232

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5 hours ago, JPicc2114 said:

 

Ya, but they can't stretch the field like the Rams. Especially with Ruggs and the other rookie out injured.

Richie is done too 

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