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Defensive Assessment Thus Far

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5 hours ago, IronMaidenBills said:

Ed Oliver and AJ Ep are huge liabilities on defense. Quite frankly a disappointment. Edmunds is good, but it’s clearly he is hurt. Milano is undervalued and was missed, he makes plays everywhere. We need a Bruce and LBs.

 

Nope. Edmunds is the biggest liability at the moment. He bites heavy on every play action fake he follows every designed misdirection and he creates huge holes in the zone scheme.

 

The Dline is not playing well but we all knew from the moment McDermott arrived here that MLB is critical in his defense. Once you create a hole by dragging that piece out of place the integrity of the zone collapses pretty quickly and there become spaces to attack. 

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11 minutes ago, loedward22 said:

 

no... but they can be beat every time FASTER!


that’s just more clock to chew on. Yum

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6 hours ago, Do The Reich Thing said:

One word sums up this Bills defense right now. “Exposed”


Finally, tonight, we got a taste of what the rest of this season will be like if the offense doesn’t carry us in a game. For the first four weeks our offense was so good that it overshadowed how bad the defense has been. I’m on record as being a part of this group. Saying, “oh they’ll figure it out, it’s early in the season and all defenses have been ” or “oh they haven’t been that bad.”
 

From top to bottom this group has been awful all season. You can say we missed Tre and Milano in particular tonight, but they were bad with them when they have played. I’ll start first with defensive line:

 

There has been little to no penetration, contain and pass rush from the entire line. Far and away Quinton Jefferson has been the best defensive lineman. He’s the only guy that has performed well some of the time. Where is Jerry Hughes? What about Ed Oliver? Harrison Phillips? Mario Addison? Trent Murphy? AJ E? It is beyond frustrating to consistently see QBs have all day to throw. And even when they have all day to throw the ends can’t set the edge so the QB just breaks the pocket and makes a play. Run defense has been alright, but that will get you nowhere in today’s NFL if you can’t stop the pass. 
 

Linebackers next: Man what an overall disappointment it is to write about this group. Klein can’t cover, Edmunds has regressed to being as bad as Eddie Robinson, and Matt Milano is average, but some say he’s a star because he’s the best of a poor performing group. Dodson has showed some flashes in his limited time and Lewis played hard tonight but is clearly undersized. Nonetheless, no matter who it is, gaps aren’t being filled, they can’t cover and they’re just running into blockers when they try to blitz. 
 

Defensive Backs: All of these factors listed above lead to a bad secondary. Idc if you have Deion and Darrell Green out there. They would be bad with the front two levels performing this badly. Combine this with guys who also can’t cover you get what the secondary looks like right now. Taron Johnson... woof. Tre White has been bad when he’s played this year. Josh Norman and Levi Wallace are both meh. And our coveted safety duo has not performed up to par. 
 

Moving forward, where do we go on defense? Do we make a trade? Do we change the scheme? Do we keep riding the wave and hope it all evens out? Something else? The talent on most levels of the defense is there. This group has performed to a high level before, so it suggests the personnel is there. I don’t have the answers, but they need to fix it now. Tonight was a wake up call. 
 

TL;DR - The defense has been bad all year and the issues are no longer overshadowed by our offense. What do we do?

 

Beane has really done a brutal job in free agency and this is why defence is trash,  they have almost no play makers other than white and safeties.  LIke why are the Bills paying Klein an average LB 6 million or Addison 10 million or Murphy 10 million yet Jordan Phillips's cap number this year is 4 million.  Or how about Vernon Butler's cap number of close  to 8 million. 

 

Beanne spending has been terrible because he is puuting heavy dollars into medicore players on defensive side of the ball and it is now showing because we don't have any player makers other White.  This is not how you build a championship team 

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18 minutes ago, Niagara Dude said:

Beane has really done a brutal job in free agency and this is why defence is trash,  they have almost no play makers other than white and safeties.  LIke why are the Bills paying Klein an average LB 6 million or Addison 10 million or Murphy 10 million yet Jordan Phillips's cap number this year is 4 million.  Or how about Vernon Butler's cap number of close  to 8 million. 

 

Beanne spending has been terrible because he is puuting heavy dollars into medicore players on defensive side of the ball and it is now showing because we don't have any player makers other White.  This is not how you build a championship team 

 

I know people will groan when I say this.... too many average former Panthers. Klein, Addison and Butler might know the scheme.... but they are adding very little to it at the moment.

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Poor personnel moves in the offseason and poor drafting on the defensive side of the ball is finally catching up with us. Trent Murphy, Jerry Hughes,Tremaine Edmunds, Ed Oliver, Josh Norman, Levi Wallace, not guys that would be feature players anywhere else. Then you lose guys that were productive like Lorax, Shaq Lawson, Jordan Phillips and you don't even attempt to replace that production. Klein and Addison and Butler aren't it.

I was really hoping the defense was turning a corner after the Raiders game but I think we might've just caught the Raiders on an off day.

 

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7 hours ago, VW82 said:

 

I mean, Metcalf went late 2nd IIRC. Not too sure how Wilkins has looked for Miami but he would've been an option. Devin Bush has been very good but perhaps not a scheme fit. Burns has produced for Carolina. I'm honestly a little shocked at how underwhelming some of McD's recent defensive picks have turned out. Still early though.

Draft picks... defensive FA additions. All underwhelming. 

 

Kleins a gigantic waste. Butlers returned to pre 2019 form, and Jefferson shows spurts of good play but is no more than a 3rd rotational DT. Horrible Harry is horrible. 

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Bottom line...if they can’t find a way to pressure the QB(with or without blitzes), they will continue to struggle. 
 

It was such an easy night for Tannehill, I’m not sure he even had to shower after the game. 

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Just now, Back the Blue said:

Bottom line...if they can’t find a way to pressure the QB(with or without blitzes), they will continue to struggle. 
 

It was such an easy night for Tannehill, I’m not sure he even had to shower after the game. 

He had that smirk on his face all fricking night!

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10 hours ago, bills6969 said:

It really starts up front with the Dline.  In particular,  the pass rush is non-exisitent.  Not sure how this gets fixed other than try some other guys (Epenesa?) or blitz more.  The Dline is really concerning because they are fully healthy and are still playing like *****.

 

At LBs, something is up with Edmunds.  He looks like a shell of the player that we saw last year.  I’m guessing he’s battling an injury or just sat on his ass all offseason.

 

In secondary,  we clearly missed Tre tonight.  Hope he heals up quickly cuz he is def needed back there,  but I think the big issue is lack of pass rush is killing us. If QB is not getting pressured,  a decent QB will pick apart a secondary.  If we don’t fix Dline/pass rush the D will continue to stink.

 

This!  A huge concern going forward as this years defense is stinking it up.

 

Going from #3 overall to around 20th really is unreal. 

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3 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

I know people will groan when I say this.... too many average former Panthers. Klein, Addison and Butler might know the scheme.... but they are adding very little to it at the moment.

I actually liked the Butler signing. He’s reverted back to pre 2019 season form. Klein just wtf? He sucks. Terrible use of resources, but he did play for Carolina. And I got criticized all offseason for suggesting Addison is starting to slow down. Still think he is. 
 

Just a lazy offseason attack to FA. It was essentially target former Panthers and sprinkle in other players here and there if you can. 

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4 hours ago, Niagara Dude said:

Beane has really done a brutal job in free agency and this is why defence is trash,  they have almost no play makers other than white and safeties.  LIke why are the Bills paying Klein an average LB 6 million or Addison 10 million or Murphy 10 million yet Jordan Phillips's cap number this year is 4 million.  Or how about Vernon Butler's cap number of close  to 8 million. 

 

Beanne spending has been terrible because he is puuting heavy dollars into medicore players on defensive side of the ball and it is now showing because we don't have any player makers other White.  This is not how you build a championship team 

Damn... I even forgot about Vernon Butler. Terrible signing. 

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10 hours ago, jahnyc said:

I think Milano is very good and is missed when not in there.  Addison and Butler do not seem to be adding anything.  I think injuries and the free agent additions (other than Jefferson) have hurt the defense.

Addison has been asked to drop into coverage a decent amount of time for some reason. Not sure if it’s a zone blitz or what but he doesn’t seem good at it. 

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10 hours ago, Do The Reich Thing said:

One word sums up this Bills defense right now. “Exposed”


Finally, tonight, we got a taste of what the rest of this season will be like if the offense doesn’t carry us in a game. For the first four weeks our offense was so good that it overshadowed how bad the defense has been. I’m on record as being a part of this group. Saying, “oh they’ll figure it out, it’s early in the season and all defenses have been ” or “oh they haven’t been that bad.”
 

From top to bottom this group has been awful all season. You can say we missed Tre and Milano in particular tonight, but they were bad with them when they have played. I’ll start first with defensive line:

 

There has been little to no penetration, contain and pass rush from the entire line. Far and away Quinton Jefferson has been the best defensive lineman. He’s the only guy that has performed well some of the time. Where is Jerry Hughes? What about Ed Oliver? Harrison Phillips? Mario Addison? Trent Murphy? AJ E? It is beyond frustrating to consistently see QBs have all day to throw. And even when they have all day to throw the ends can’t set the edge so the QB just breaks the pocket and makes a play. Run defense has been alright, but that will get you nowhere in today’s NFL if you can’t stop the pass. 
 

Linebackers next: Man what an overall disappointment it is to write about this group. Klein can’t cover, Edmunds has regressed to being as bad as Eddie Robinson, and Matt Milano is average, but some say he’s a star because he’s the best of a poor performing group. Dodson has showed some flashes in his limited time and Lewis played hard tonight but is clearly undersized. Nonetheless, no matter who it is, gaps aren’t being filled, they can’t cover and they’re just running into blockers when they try to blitz. 
 

Defensive Backs: All of these factors listed above lead to a bad secondary. Idc if you have Deion and Darrell Green out there. They would be bad with the front two levels performing this badly. Combine this with guys who also can’t cover you get what the secondary looks like right now. Taron Johnson... woof. Tre White has been bad when he’s played this year. Josh Norman and Levi Wallace are both meh. And our coveted safety duo has not performed up to par. 
 

Moving forward, where do we go on defense? Do we make a trade? Do we change the scheme? Do we keep riding the wave and hope it all evens out? Something else? The talent on most levels of the defense is there. This group has performed to a high level before, so it suggests the personnel is there. I don’t have the answers, but they need to fix it now. Tonight was a wake up call. 
 

TL;DR - The defense has been bad all year and the issues are no longer overshadowed by our offense. What do we do?

 


I will boil everything down to a few things:

 

The defensive line not been good.  They did a terrible job with contain which was a strength last season.  They get pushes around in the middle and aren’t great at rushing the passer.  Still, I think this unit has the best chance to get better.

 

Linebackers are an issue.  I think you undersold Milano just a little bit.  He’s a solid player who is very good at coverage and decent against the run.  The defense has always missed h

when he’s been out.  Edmunds has been a liability and has not been very good.  It makes you wonder what the Bills saw in AJ Klein because he’s been just as bad. 
 

Cornerbacks also have been poor.  Tre wasn’t having the best year.  Levi Wallace is serviceable.  Norman is below average and Tauron Johnson has been the worst of the group.  
 

It’s going to be a major undertaking to fix things on defense 

 

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5 minutes ago, Not at the table Karlos said:

Addison has been asked to drop into coverage a decent amount of time for some reason. Not sure if it’s a zone blitz or what but he doesn’t seem good at it. 

If so, I don’t like it.  Stop trying to “fool” QB’s.  Let your DL rush the passer...this is what they are good at!

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5 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

Nope. Edmunds is the biggest liability at the moment. He bites heavy on every play action fake he follows every designed misdirection and he creates huge holes in the zone scheme.

 

The Dline is not playing well but we all knew from the moment McDermott arrived here that MLB is critical in his defense. Once you create a hole by dragging that piece out of place the integrity of the zone collapses pretty quickly and there become spaces to attack. 

Longer-term Edmunds seems better suited on the outside than as the MLB in this defense.  Your assessment is spot-on.  MLB is a big need.  On top of this outside of Milano our LB group is weak and wasn't addressed well in the off season.  Can we get Lorax out of retirement for another season here?

 

But the DL is no better.  They are consistently losing the one-on-one battles with the offensive line which allows them to step out and tie up the LB's.  And they are neither stopping the run or putting pressure on the QB.  Usually you get one or the other but getting neither?  We have no quality run stuffers or pass rushers.  That's a problem. 

 

And the secondary?  Left hung out there all night they didn't fare well but still the coverage was poor. 

 

My takeaway was they played like it was the first week of preseason.   

 

To win with this defense, unless there is a miracle improvement, we need the offensive to put up 30+ points and play a mistake free game along with special teams holding their own.  And that isn't going to happen every week.

     

Edited by All_Pro_Bills

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5 hours ago, GunnerBill said:

 

Nope. Edmunds is the biggest liability at the moment. He bites heavy on every play action fake he follows every designed misdirection and he creates huge holes in the zone scheme.

 

The Dline is not playing well but we all knew from the moment McDermott arrived here that MLB is critical in his defense. Once you create a hole by dragging that piece out of place the integrity of the zone collapses pretty quickly and there become spaces to attack. 

If MLB is so important to his defense you’d think they’d have some decent depth behind Edmunds who’s been hit or miss up to this year..... and this year he’s been a miss since game 1.

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1 hour ago, JohnNord said:


I will boil everything down to a few things:

 

The defensive line not been good.  They did a terrible job with contain which was a strength last season.  They get pushes around in the middle and aren’t great at rushing the passer.  Still, I think this unit has the best chance to get better.

 

Linebackers are an issue.  I think you undersold Milano just a little bit.  He’s a solid player who is very good at coverage and decent against the run.  The defense has always missed h

when he’s been out.  Edmunds has been a liability and has not been very good.  It makes you wonder what the Bills saw in AJ Klein because he’s been just as bad. 
 

Cornerbacks also have been poor.  Tre wasn’t having the best year.  Levi Wallace is serviceable.  Norman is below average and Tauron Johnson has been the worst of the group.  
 

It’s going to be a major undertaking to fix things on defense 

 

Milano is decent to solid like you said, and maybe I did undersell him a bit. I don’t think he’s worth a massive contract though with how injured he always is. 

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The Bills have given up 23 or more points in4 straight weeks. 

 

Last year they gave up 23+ only 3 times all year.

The bad 2018 team did it 7 times, but never 4 straight weeks.

In the teams entire history there are not many stretches of giving up 23 points 4 straight weeks. 

 

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I think NFL all of sudden deciding to cut down on holding calls is really hurting our D. I don't know if NFL gave out a memo before the season started and if they did McD should have adjusted to it. Lot of teams are struggling on defense this year, but teams with smaller DL are even struggling more.  Teams with speed edge rushers or bigger DL are playing better this year. We are also benefiting on offense with less holding calls as Allen has more time to find a WR open.  

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