We have all seen the plays that Gibril didn't make the season that made us lose sleep after the games screaming "I could have made that play!!!!!!!" BUT do those handful of plays make Gibril Wilson the scapegoat for our terrible defense this season? does it mean we should cut him due to his poor coverage skills?
We all know that football is the ultimate team game and it takes a team to be great especiallyon defense. So what do we know about Gibril Wilson other than those boneheaded plays?
First his stat line actually isn't that bad. His 94 tackles had him 6th in league in the FS position while on the other hand his coverage skills stats (INTs, PassDef) were in the bottom half of the league for his position. Doesn't paint the whole picture as I couldn't find out how the team defense was in QB pressures but I'm going to make the assumption that we were also in the middle of the pack at best.
Please note: We were T3rd in sacks but that doesn't show if they were coverage sacks and also note the hated Jets were T18th in sacks?!?! but had the best defense in the league. What is more important? the sacks? or the constant pressure? hmmmmm
In my opinion this was a tough season for both safety positions due to the fact that we had two rookie CB's on each side and a LB core that couldn't tackle, pressure the QB or handle there cover responsibility.
For an example, If a linebacker misses a tackle (Akin missed 10) they would have to come up in support. If they lack the pass rush that is asked in a 3-4 defense for the linebackers they have to cover longer. If they LB's suck in coverage (Akin was the WORST) and get beat they are cleaning up there mess, if our CB's allow pass completions on them at an alarming rate (see Vontae Davis) they have to help tackle, and finally you add that all to the fact that Wilson isn't the best cover safety and you have your recipe for disaster.
With that being said wouldn't it be a lot harder for the safety position than any other if the linebacker unit is playing poorly? and if it is a team sport like we all think it is wouldn't it fall mostly on the LB play as many other posts have shown they were in the bottom half in the league in EVERY category. I don't know how it all works out but with a new defense coming and another FA and Draft it will be interesting to see what really happens. I wonder what the Trifecta thinks of Gibril ... are they good like Tony's comments about him at the end of the year or was that another Lorenzo Booker smoke screen??
I know that you can say these are excuses but as a fan we don't know what is being asked of each player to really know how bad they were playing. I'm not saying Gibril is our solution at FS BUT I do think he is our best option at this time unless somehow we manage to get Darren Sharper signed but not likely since he is liking NO so much.
My main reason for this post is simply for you to ask yourself as we are now in the off-season ... Do we cut Gibril? Do we keep him? and should we focus on drafting his replacement in the first three rounds?
MY ANSWER: Keep the the guy and let him redeem himself ... we have so many other holes in the defense (ILB, OLB, NT) that are more important at this time. Also who knows what the guy may do in a different type of pressure defense