Deciphering the Draft: A Taylor Made Defensive System

May 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Despite the groans from the typical whining fan, Phil Taylor was probably the best fit for the Browns. Sort of a lynchpin for what the Browns are going to try to do, a system fit. By getting a run stopper, they get better in run and pass defense.

The Browns needed to get better at stopping the run. Last year Ahtyba Rubin was a force in the middle, but one guy can’t do it all. First off, fatigue after owning double teams for 3 quarters played a huge role. Moreover, this happened at the end of games when teams were running the ball more to run the clock out. Let’s also not be delusional, the Browns are going to continue to play a very conservative ball game, so they will have to eke out close ones at the end. That means stopping the run is incredibly crucial.

System: 2 Deep
Taylor is going to make the secondary much better. The reason is that they can now have 2 high safeties. TJ Ward played mostly in the box last year, to help out in run support, this posed liability for the deep ball with one high. We all should remember T.O. burning Eric Wright on Rob Ryan’s Cover 0 genius. Now the presence of Taylor and Rubin in the middle of the line, should make it incredibly tough to run the ball between the tackles with out having to bring a safety down. From there, having a safety on either half off the field means aiding in stopping deep threats. Finally, more aggressive play from the corners should translate into turnovers, because with the help on the deep ball, they will be able to jump routes and be generally much more aggressive in going for the interception.

Common Sense: If there is no safety and the CB misses on the INT attempt, it’s usually six points. That means for the Browns if it’s a 50:50 chance for the CB, he should play the man and not risk giving up the points.

Hindsight, Judging the 2011 Draft:
Stupid people will judge the trade be stats of Taylor vs. Jones, which is ridiculously oversimplifying the game by morons. No matter what happens, Jones is going to a better situation in ATL than he would ever have here. Matt Ryan is better than Colt, Roddy White is better than our entire WR corps, Gonzales is better than Watson, and Michael Turner is probably better than Hillis, but the homer in me will not let me admit that fully. Ergo, I don’t care if he has a 2k yard, 30 TD season every year for the next decade, he would not do that in CLE.
Phil Taylor, not only should not be compared to Jones for effectiveness of the draft, we shouldn’t count his stats to judge him. DT’s rarely produce stats that grab attention, and certainly none who have run stopping as there primary role.
The stats that we should look to at the end of the season are team defensive stats; rushing attempts and average, passing attempts and average, and that the leader in tackles is not a safety, finally the number of interceptions. 2010 saw low passing attempts but high averages per attempt, and high rushing attempts and low averages, with Ward the leading tackler and Elam 4th in tackles.
We should want to see more teams throwing the ball on us, because that generally means we will be playing with a lead, and a lower average per attempt, limiting the big plays. On those same lines, if they are running less, that means less teams are trying to run out the clock, and the average should stay the same or lower. We should also expect more of a mix at the tackle totals within the team, hopefully leaning towards D-line and LB more as well, although CBs should see more tackles in run support. Lastly, turnovers should be generated by the system, by allowing corners to go after the ball, with safeties limiting the risk involved.


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