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Defensive coaches can’t substitute players to match down and distance, and often can’t even call plays. It’s base defense and hope for the best _ and that’s not working out too well.

Coaches talk about redefining what it means to play good defense. Don’t worry so much about yards between the 20s, but stiffen in the red zone and cause turnovers. The problem with that is turnovers are often as much about luck as they are skill. Not very reliable.

It seems hopeless, but as much as it sounds like a cliche, the game is cyclical and at some point someone will figure out how to turn this around.

Dunn has decided to take at least a couple years off from coaching to follow his son’s high school career in Georgia. Maybe when he’s ready to come back, he’ll have the answer.

For now, when asked the most important thing a defense needs these days, he concedes: “No. 1 thing is you’re going to have to have a good offense yourself.”

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Follow Ralph D. Russo at http://www.twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP