Post count: 3392

I understand the desire to search for a smoking gun here, but the reality is probably a mix of a lot of factors (in no particular order):- New D - I actually think this is the weakest point. Players maybe shouldn't be expected to be entirely comfortable perhaps, but they certainly should be non-terrible. As dalbuc - I think - pointed out somewhere on these boards, a lot of these concepts are things they've done in other defenses. Learning curve shouldn't be as steep. - Weak links - It seems to me that a lot of the same people are making mistakes. Fletcher, Lansaneh, Leonard Johnson, Dixon. I remember last year one opponent basically threw at Michael Adams every time he was on the field, and we all remember what happened when Tim Wansley came in v. Indy. When you are cutting guys getting substantial snaps midseason (Solomon), that tells you something. I think every team has them, but we seem to have more of them. Doesn't help that the safeties take turns being weak-link du jour either. - Injuries - It's not so much that Mason Foster is an all-pro as it is that the gap between him and Fletcher or Lansaneh is a chasm. There are probably plays Foster won't make in coverage because athletically he's not elite. But he doesn't compound that by making terrible decisions like bite on play action on third and forever. At one point the corners were supposed to be Verner, Jenkins, Banks, and Melvin. Melvin and Verner missed much of the preseason (and Melvin of course eventually got cut), and Banks has been in and out. Jenkins was a starter.  I'm sure Michael Johnson was never going to be Sim Rice II, but I think it's reasonable to assume the injury is causing him problems. McCoy has mostly looked like a bright spot, but the hand is probably having an impact. - Weak links and injuries being a factor are problems of scouting and coaching. Depth has to be better in terms of talent and better in terms of prep. 

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