Hey guys. Since the Titans had a QB who i really liked to watch, i was able to watch a lot of Jim Schwartz defenses during his DC days at Tennessee. Want to give my take about that and how our players can fit on this defense.
Brian just posted earlier about the differences between Schwartz and Petinne base defenses. Here is the link:
Some observations about his defenses in Tennessee:
- Schwartz runs a more traditional 4-3, using the "wide 9" in his D-line. This formation made the Titans have outstanding production from players like Kyle VandenBosh and Jason Babin, who are good, but not anywhere close to Mario Williams level. I think he can continue to be very productive in this scheme, but we really don't have the other DE to play in this scheme. Lawson will be a LB in this scheme IMO. Hughes is more a pass rush specialist, i don't see him being a every down DE in this scheme. A player i can remeber from the Titans that i think is the perfect comparison to Hughes role is Jacob Ford. He was a undersized DE who had a couple of nice seasons in Tennesse with Schwartz as a pass rusher specialist. Never started, but always had his sacks playing behind Jevon Kearse and in the next year Willian Hayes, who always started but never put the sack numbers that Ford did.
- His defense always was very good, but when Albert Haynsworth was at his best, his defense was stellar. Can Dareus play in this Haynsworth role? I don't known, but at least we have Kyle Williams alongside him, who can make the job easier. The other DTs in Tennessee were Toni Brown, who was good but not great and Jason Jones, who was very very good at times, but struggled with injuries. Obviously Schwartz had a pair of studs DTs in Detroit too, but i can't talk about his Detroit days, i don't saw enough to give a opinion about that.
- Last point about D-line. In Tennessee, he rotated his players a lot to keep then fresh. No one played the % of snaps that Mario, Kyle and Dareus are playing here. I can remember Babin talking one time about how great ti was to be able rest on some plays and give his all when on the field. Let's see how he will manage it here.
- The Titans had to very good to great linebackers during those years ( 07-08). Keith Bulluck and Stephen Tulloch. The other guy was David Thornton, who was a run stopper 2 down guy. Tulloch was only a run stopper in the beginning too, but developed in a nice 3 down LB in 2009 when replaced Bullock in this role. Bullock was amazing. I think Kiko can be for us what Bullock was for that team. Obviously Bullock was a veteran, and a great leader and Kiko is only in his second year. But Kiko is just like him at the playmaking department. The difference is, Bullock was the weak side LB, and Kiko is our MLB. Will Schwartz move Kiko to OLB in his 4-3? Maybe it makes sense, but he will need to find a capable run stopper MLB to do that ( Brandon Spikes anyone?).
- In nickel packages it was always Bullock and Tulloch on the field. I can see Kiko in Bullock's role, and Lawson can play at Tulloch's place too, but it's not the ideal. We will really need anothe LB in this scheme.
- Those LBs rarely blitzed and had good sacks numbers. Those defenses were very conservative, trusting in the front four to create pressure and droping the LBs in coverage, were Bullock always made great plays.
- We have a way better pair of starting CBs than the Titans had in those years. Nick Harper was old and slow. The other guy was Cortland Finnegan, who iis and was a overrated douche. He was good against the run tought.
- Their safetys were Michael Griffin, who had his best years under Schwartz, and Chris Hope, who was a more in the box type of safety. This is interesting to me, because if i would compare Hope to one of our safetys, this guy would be Searcy. Also, if Schwartz could make Griffin play at pro-bowl level, he sure can do wonders with Aaron Williams, who had a pretty good first season in his new position. So What about Byrd? I'm sure he will continue to shine in Schwartz defense, but maybe out FO can think he's expandable, specially at the price he demands, who knowns.
- Those defenses trust too much in the front four to create pressure. They not blitzed a lot. They not had unorthodox approaches, disguised formations. I don't known if it was more about Jeff Fisher and if Schwartz was different than that in Detroit, but it was that way in Tennessee.
- I like the fact we had equal or better players at any position those Tennessee defenses had. We only need a good run stopper LB and that's it. The wild-card is Dareus in the Haynsworth role. That defense was night and day with and without Haynsworth. He had an amzing impact against the pass and run. Dareus not showed this type of impact against the run IMO.
I liked Schwartz defense, but like Petinne's way more. Not a change i love, but the Bills could do way worse. Add the fact that Schwarts will not just change everything and maybe we will be fine with a mix of those two schemes.
Please guys give your thoughts, thanks!