Thursday, July 23, 2015

Texas returns both starting safeties in 2015...can we build on this?

Over at Inside Texas I give a scouting report on Texas safeties Dylan Haines and Jason Hall and talk about how their complementary skill sets could allow Texas to build something effective in 2015.

In a base cover 3 defense, the greatest value is going to come from either having two swiss army knife safeties who are both good in multiple roles, or in having two guys who can specialize in the respective roles of box safety and deep safety.

After a successful run in Madden on a recent vacation with my brother in law last weekend I came to appreciate the great value in having a dominant box safety that can be a rover in the middle of the field and attack offenses. The ultimate example would be Troy Polamalu, who was all over the place.

If you have a great strong safety in a game of Madden, just control him yourself and pick coverages where he blitzes or plays as a robber in cover 1 or middle hook/zone defender and then sic him on whatever it is that your opponent loves to do.

The ultimate deep safety would be Ed Reed. He could drop deep and deny the middle of the field to the quarterback and allow the rest of the defense to be aggressive.

Obviously if you combined such players, specialized and as they are, you'd really have something. The offense may know more or less which will be doing what but there's still plenty of variety a defense can bring and they can control the proverbial "middle of the chessboard" in a way that will make offense very difficult.

The legion of boom at Seattle has this with Kam Chancellor (the box safety) and Earl Thomas (the deep safety). Each is one of the best at his respective craft in the entire league. When you add Richard Sherman to that combination you basically guarantee a good defense just by having solid role players in most of the other positions.

Texas isn't going to quite have that in Haines and Hall, but they may have a poor man's version of it that could end up being pretty special before all is said and done. Click the link and read all about it.

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