Don't you think it's possible that at least part of (maybe a big part of) the issue vis a vis defensive talent is a coordinator who doesn't seem to know/understand/care what his players are best at - their strengths and weaknesses - and is seemingly unable to use them where they are best?
I think back to B.J. Raji. His first couple years, they had him doing certain things (aggressively rushing the passer), and he had a couple of pretty dominant seasons. Suddenly, for whatever reason, Capers decides to pull him back to (I think it was) a 2-gap responsibility where he was to 'hold the point' but not really rush, and he suddenly, overnight, became a fair/barely average player. Then, his last year (before he got hurt) they suddenly decided to have him rushing aggressively again, and he suddenly looked like he was about to return to the old form. I've never seen a more clear case of "Player is good at skill X, so when you have him perform skill X, he's really freaking good, but when you ask him to do skill Y, he suddenly, shockingly, isn't any good any more".
I've heard it suggested by some of the talking heads that this is at least part of the issue - that Gutekunst has the old Ted Thompson mentality of "it's my job to find good players, it's the coach's job to figure out how to use them". And the result is we have a bunch of players that don't fit the system, and a coach who is unable/unwilling to adapt the system to fit the players we do have.
Not saying any of this is true, or that I know anything at all - but I'm just wondering.
In any event, we know they'll can't change all the players at once, and we know it isn't working as it is, so what are we left with? Coaching changes...
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