Food For Thought: A Loaded Defense


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I seem to rather enjoy thinking outside of the box. Because of that, it is what I share with you all the most. My thoughts that some may not be thinking or are thinking but not saying. Right now is going to be one of those times that I share a different opinion that steers the opposite direction of what others are thinking.

Allow me to welcome you to my newest series, The Food For Thought Collection. Where I simply throw out other possibilities that goes against everything that has been talked about the most, and sheds light on the other side of the consensus idea. This does not mean this is what I desire, expect, or encourage. It is simply what it is, another viewpoint.

What if in the draft we focused purely on DEFENSE? And not because we lit it up in free agency on offense. Our only FA signings would be our own, presumably Roger Saffold and Jo-Lonn Dunbar. Then in the draft we attack the defensive side of the ball. That is not to say that we would not draft any offensive players, but rather that it would take a while before doing so.

The reason for this thought is that when you look at the last 10 super bowl champions, seven had phenomonal defenses during the season, and they only got better in the playoffs. In fact if you are willing to go back and add them all up there are more teams that win it all with a defense that is better than their offense, than an offense better than the defense. I guess you can say it's true what they say "defense wins championships".

And again that is not to say that is the case all the time, but it is the majority of the time. We all seen the massacre this year on the big stage. So lets have a look at the last 10 super bowl results.

XXXIX February 6, 2005 New England Patriots† (5) 24–21 Philadelphia Eagles* (2) ALLTEL Stadium Jacksonville, Florida 78,125 #2 PPG Allowed
XL February 5, 2006 Pittsburgh Steelers† (6)[note 3] 21–10 Seattle Seahawks* Ford Field Detroit, Michigan (2)[note 1] 68,206 #3 PPG Allowed
XLI February 4, 2007 Indianapolis Colts† (3) 29–17 Chicago Bears* (2) Dolphin Stadium (4)[note 4] Miami Gardens, Florida (9)[note 2] 74,512

#25 YPG Allowed

XLII February 3, 2008 New York Giants* (4)[note 3] 17–14 New England Patriots† (6) University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, Arizona (2)[note 1] 71,101 #32 YPG Allowed
XLIII February 1, 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers† (7) 27–23 Arizona Cardinals* Raymond James Stadium (2) Tampa, Florida (4) 70,774 #1 YPG Allowed
XLIV February 7, 2010 New Orleans Saints* 31–17 Indianapolis Colts† (4) Sun Life Stadium (5)[note 4] Miami Gardens, Florida (10)[note 2] 74,059 #1 in Takeaways
XLV February 6, 2011 Green Bay Packers* (5)[note 3] 31–25 Pittsburgh Steelers† (8) Cowboys Stadium Arlington, Texas 103,219 #9 YPG #2 PPG Allowed
XLVI February 5, 2012 New York Giants* (5) 21–17 New England Patriots† (7) Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, Indiana 68,658 #25 YPG Allowed
XLVII February 3, 2013 Baltimore Ravens† (2) 34–31 San Francisco 49ers*(6) Mercedes-Benz Superdome (7) New Orleans, Louisiana (10) 71,024 #22 YPG #6 In Takeaways #9 PPG Allowed
XLVIII February 2, 2014 Seattle Seahawks* (2) 43–8 Denver Broncos†(7) MetLife Stadium East Rutherford, New Jersey 82,529 #1 or #2 in every major defensive category

(Scroll over on chart to see rankings)

Is this Surprising to any of you? In fact, things get even crazier when you realize that of these ten teams only one had the top ranked offense for that season, and only 3 were top five. A loaded and stellar defense is statistically the easiest and best way to win.

So back to the Rams. Lets talk draft. In my humble opinion the Rams defense is not loaded enough to be contenders. Are they good enough to make the playoffs, ABSOLUTELY, but you don't play this game to go to the playoffs. Just look at the way Peyton Manning is being criticized for having a career of "mostly" just making the playoffs. You play for titles. The only way you catch a break for not winning is contending and playing in the big game multiple times and even then your success has an asterisk next to it, just look at the Bills. Winning it all is the way to go.

So if we were to address the defense I would say that we are six players away from legit depth, and being a top ranked defense.Those six players would play these positions

  1. One Defensive End
  2. One Defensive tackle
  3. One Linebacker (with the retention of Dunbar/2 if lossed)
  4. Two Cornerbacks (with the loss of Finnegan/1 if retained)
  5. One Safety

With that being said what if the Rams' draft looked like this or something similar?

Trade 2 back to 4 and get 26 and 35.

Trade 3rd 5th and two 7ths for #55 (Bengals 2nd rounder)

Trade 4th 6th and next yr 6th for #72 (Vikings 3rd rounder)

1A. Kony Ealy DE Missouri (over Clowney, YES!!! Deal with it and shut up :) )

1B. Calvin Pryor FS Louisville (over Clinton-Dix, YES!!! "" "" )

1C. Ryan Shazier OLB Ohio State

2A. Aaron Donald DT Pitt

2B. Bradley Roby CB Ohio State

2C. Lamarcus Joyner CB FSU

3. Jimmy Garoppolo QB E. Illinois

6. Arie Kouandjio OG Alabama

7A. Zach Fulton OG Tennessee

7B. Marcus Lucas WR Missouri

7C. Kevin Graf OT USC

7D. Jerry "Boo Boo" Gates S Bowling Green

No this is NOT about a Mock Draft. This is merely an example of a legit possibility. The players may not be spot on but the positions and when they could be taken are the accuracy that I am referring to. Again NOT what I want at all but I do believe something like this is very possible. Why, do you ask? Simple...

  1. This coaching staff is comprised of more defensive minded coaches than offensive.
  2. Paul Boudreau is one of the best OLine coaches in the NFL and can make anyone look good. Give him some decent late round talent and he will turn them into a very very strong starter (think
    Zach Strief rd 7, Matt Birk rd 6, or one of my personal favorites Jason Peters UNDRAFTED!!!)
  3. It is becoming more and more evident that if you want to contend in the NFC West you have to have a top notch defense, not only at the top of the depth chart, but the bottom as well. Depth is a MUST!!!
  4. An average offense can actually get the job. Oddly enough one could make the argument that we already have the most talented offense in the division.

I know, pretty hard to believe that we have more talent on offense than some of these other teams in the NFC West. But it is actually true. We just lack the production. But our offense is also the youngest and has yet to develop fully. So that has to be accounted for as well. Also we lack a creative play-caller. So when you account for those four reason and all this, YES it is believable that we could go with a defensive minded draft. And the truth is, because only about 3 of those positions would actually be asked to take on a heavy load (barring any major injuries), a draft like this could be rather impactful, especially 2 years down the road.

But anyhoo, its just a little food for thought. Another way of looking at the picture and seeing more than what is in plain sight (more line help, receiver help, offense in-general..), but instead seeing what it takes to win in our division. Remember the fastest way into the playoffs is to win your division first.

Hope you all enjoyed..expect more Food For Thought coming soon!!!!

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