Post count: 1858

Again, I'm nitpicking.  But the Bucs haven't had any worse injuries than most teams most years.  They lack depth, but the starters aren't actually playing much better than the backups.

My sense is that the starters are struggling in part because nobody trusts that the guy next to them is doing their job. Can't free-lance in this defense, and we've got a lot of it happening, either by choice or by ignorance (the Dixon example before).

Is there any defence you can freelance in?

That's a fair point. Maybe the way I'd frame it is that some defenses are more conducive to free-lancers and others open them up to being exposed. Two examples - Troy Polamalu seems to have been given a lot of free reign over the years to just let his instincts take over and (until recently) it didn't seem to effect the Steeler's D so much. The other is LaVar Arrington - he functioned quite well until Greg Williams. There was one year in Washington where Williams relied on a ton of cover-2 and Arrington ended up on the bench. He just wouldn't stay put.

I'd thought about Polamalu as well (Ed Reed would be another good example).  Even the Seahawks defence has a more free role for their "Elephant" player I believe (I'll have to check the terminology).The reason I ignored those defences is because they're designed for one player to have more latitude, to freelance.  Polamalus wasn't breaking the defence, but was doing what he was allowed within the confines of the defence. 

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