Content available exclusively for subscribers
What you saw from their approach gives you an idea
of what the Jets’ defense could potentially look like when they get all the requisite parts.
Talking about the 49ers’ defense.
The 49ers aren’t great at cornerback, They really aren’t. That is why many people thought they would have issues against Dallas, Green Bay and now the Los Angeles Rams. But it never happened. While they lost to the Rams, it wasn’t easy for Los Angeles’ high-powered offense.
And this brings up a very important point about the scheme Robert Saleh is running, which he brought with him from San Francisco.
The scheme is front-driven. You can take this all the way to the forefathers of this system like Monte Kiffin and Rod Marinelli. The idea is to dominate up front with a dominating defensive line, with an 8-man rotation keeping guys fresh, allowing them to play with their hair on fire, as they say in the football world.
And this allows the back seven to not have to hold up as long in coverage, and also leads to turnover opportunities for the back seven due to the chaos caused by the front four harassing the QB.
The 49ers were able to dominate upfront, especially in the playoffs. A key is having two dominating defensive linemen in Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead.
Another key is they have a lot of depth on their defensive line, and when they go to their second unit, it’s not much of a drop-off.
A huge problem for the Jets this year was when they went to their second-team defensive line, there was a big dropoff.
Robert Saleh was asked a few times when Quinnen Williams snap count was somewhat low in many games, considering he’s the Jets’ best defensive lineman.
The reason was simple – since the system calls for the big guys up front to run sideline to sideline making plays, you need to spell them more.
When the Jets played the 3-4 defense, their linemen often stayed in smaller areas, and were often asked to tie up offensive linemen, so the four linebackers in back of them could flow to the football less encumbered by blockers.
That is not how the Saleh system, which he learned from Pete Carroll, a disciple of Kiffin, works, They want their defensive linemen running all over the field making plays.
With that being the philosophy, it’s understandable why Williams had to come out more than some fans would have liked.
But once again, the problem was, when frontline guys like Williams and John Franklin-Myers came off the field, there was too often a huge dropoff to the second team.
So this if the Jets defense wants to resemble the 49ers, aside from getting a dominating edge-rusher like Bosa for their first-team, they also need to load up on real defensive line depth, so their second team is loaded, like the 49ers.
Now with all this being said, I still think the Jets should pick a cornerback in the first or second round. Regardless of the scheme, despite the propaganda, that position needs a lot of help.
But if Saleh’s system has any chance of resembling his old team, they need to go eight deep with quality defensive linemen next year.
January 31, 2022
Premium will return by 9:30 pm on Tuesday from the Senior Bowl.