I despised Warren Sapp when he played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, more recently I’ve been entertained and amused by his work on the NFL Network as an analyst and I now feel much gratitude to the guy for enlightening the Lions defensive coordinator.
I just recently wrote about Gunther Cunningham’s lack of creativity with the Detroit Lions defensive scheme. I wanted to see more movement from the defensive lineman. Thankfully Warren Sapp expressed those same sentiments and it seems Gunther Cunningham is listening.
Sapp criticized the Lions D-line scheme at the Super Bowl, saying that they were too predictable in how they used Suh in 2011, when Ndamukong’s sack total fell from 10 down to 4.
As an armchair QB and an overall know-nothing, even I was saying this throughout the 2011 season. I wondered why the Lions abandoned the exotic movement schemes that they unveiled in 2010.
Of Ndamukong Suh’s 14 career sacks, four have come when he was away from his normal left tackle positioning. Three of those sacks came in 2010 when the Lions were being aggressive and creative with their alignments and movements.
In Suh’s rookie season, he had sacks as a stand-up pass rusher against the Redskins from the right defensive end and against the New England Patriots from a few yards off the line of scrimmage, looking much like a linebacker.
The 2010 D-line movement worked very well and you could see the offensive lineman get confused as to who they needed to block and who was coming or not. So WHY did they stop using it?
It made no sense to telegraph where Suh was going to be in 2011, as Sapp said… “Jesus, you put the man in a position where he’s here, and now people have wham blocks and all that because they know he’s right there every time. When I was (alternating sides), you had to map this thing out… He’s right there every time. I’m like, ‘Come on, Gunther, stop it.’ And then you put (Nick) Fairley behind him? Oh, so we don’t get to see them side by side?”
Warren hit the nail on the head and even though it’s a little irritating that Gunther didn’t figure that out inside of last season I’m glad he’s taking Sapp’s advice now.
Cunningham says the Detroit Lions will “probably” will move Suh around alot more this year.
“Warren will be happy, I’m going to move him(Suh) all over the place now,” Cunningham said. “As a matter of fact, I showed him some of Warren’s tape. Warren should be really happy.”
Warren isn’t the only one happy. This is HUGE news for the Detroit Lions defense and it’s going to be exciting to see the fear in opposing O-linemen’s eyes again! GO LIONS!!!