You must have missed today's game... or the San Francisco game in the playoffs. The run has killed us.
I understand the need to get after the QB. It's a no brainer. But this is what I'm talking about when I say that we need to stop with the hybrid crap. If you want to run a 4-3 offense, you need your defensive ends to be good at both defending the run, and getting after the QB. If you don't like that style of play, then we need to switch to a 3-4, where the DE's are primarily there to occupy the offensive line, and the OLB are there to attack the QB. The hybrid thing, which plugs players into these roles that do not fit these roles, has been a failed experiment. Look at how god awful our defense is. It has been this way for a while.
This is a chicken or the egg type deal. Did the bad players come first, or did the bad scheme come first? Bad scheme will make players look bad, and bad players will make the scheme look bad. But you have to pick a scheme. You have to decide how you are going to approach building your defensive line. Is it any wonder that our defense looks lost out there? It's being pulled in all different directions. What kind of player should Dimitroff target to improve the defensive line? What's the plan for the defensive line? As it stands, it's an impossible situation.
I think you have a very antiquated view of this. When DEs in today's game are good vs. the run, it's not because they are stout at the point of attack. It's because they get penetration and can make plays in the backfield. Take for instance, one of the better 4-3 defensive ends vs. the run the past few years has been Jason Pierre-Paul. It's because JPP is able to get in the backfield and make plays, with 8 tackles for loss in both 2011 and 2012, and particularly in 2012 that was the 2nd best of any 4-3 DE (behind only Michael Bennett, another good run-defender). Just look at John Abraham, who when we picked him up in 2006, the knock was he was ineffective vs. the run. Well over 7 years in Atlanta, Abe's run defense was rarely an issue. Why? Because he got penetration and made plays in the backfield. Really the only time Abe struggled vs. the run was when the read option came into the mix in 2011, where he could get caught out of position.
Again, look at Osi. Notoriously bad vs. the run, yet this year, his production there has been pretty good.
If Clowney is added, his success vs. the run won't be because he's stout at the point of attack, it's going to be because he is disruptive and consistently can penetrate.
Run defense can be improved in several ways:
1. Get a good MLB. If Worrilow continues to develop, he could be that player.
2. Get better at DT. The problem is that Peters and Babs are good run defenders, but their primary backup Jerry is not. You need to get better guys in the rotation.
3. Offense also plays a significant factor. The more points put on the board, the less the opponent will run.