Tuesday, January 27, 2009

3 things I like about Meeks

It didn't take the Panthers long to hire a new defensive coordinator. John Fox jumped all over Indianapolis's Ron Meeks, who was the Colts' D-coordinator from 2002-08 and certainly has an easier name to pronounce than Mike Trgovac.

Who knows whether Meeks will ultimately get the job done or not? As I've written here before, players are far more important than coaches. So the importance of this hire shouldn't be overstated.

Also, I don't really think hiring Meeks is going to make much if any difference in Julius Peppers' desire to leave Carolina. I could be wrong about that, but I think Peppers in his own mind is finished with this place, and it's not like he has any previous connection to Meeks. I still think Peppers will be traded within the next three months (by or before Draft Day).

Anyway, here are 3 things I do like about Meeks:

1) He's got a Super Bowl ring. Very, very few people in Bank of America Stadium do. He knows what it takes to go all the way.

2) He let his stars do their thing. Meeks coached an NFL Defensive Player of the Year in S Bob Sanders and one of the league's most fearsome pass rushers in DE Dwight Freeney. I think he'll do well with an up-and-coming star like LB Jon Beason, and hopefully with his DB coaching experience get more out of players like CBs Chris Gamble and Richard Marshall.

3) He's consistent. When you look at the stats Meeks' defenses compiled, it's impressive how often they were in the top 25 percent in the NFL in the most important category (points allowed). Now part of that is having Peyton Manning on the other side of the ball, yes, but part of it is staying committed to your scheme (a 4-3 and a Cover-2, not much different from what Carolina plays now) and just doing it better.


ubermosher said...

"He knows what it takes to go all the way."

Yeah, have Peyton Manning for your QB.

Seriously though, I believe Coach Meeks is an improvement as a coach, but I am also worried that the Panthers believe the solution to their defensive woes is more of the same, a defense that is designed to stop the pass with their best (and most inconsistent) pass rusher scrambling to leave.

Also it needs to be said that in 5 seasons, Meeks defense was 20th or worst in run defense. It didn't bite Indy as much since they often had the lead, forcing their opponents to play to the Colts defense's strength by having to pass... but the Panthers offense isn't going to be blowing out opponents like Peyton Manning and the Colts offense. Panthers defense is going to see a lot more of the run... especially from Michael Turner. I hope Coach Meeks can find something in his repertoire to handle the quality running backs in the NFC South.

Finally, Jon Beason may be able to "do his own thing", but Beason wasn't the reason the defense struggled. Hopefully a quality replacement for Lucas can be brought in, and hopefully we can cut down on the instances where Lucas, Godfrey, and Marshall are confusedly staring at one another after a blown coverage.

Anonymous said...

Bench Ken Lucas.

Ryan said...

i think our dynamic running duo can more than simulate mannings ability to stay on the field, i look for charles johnson, thomas davis, charles godfrey and chris harris to benefit the most from this hire....