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Jim Johnson's Scheme

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  • Jim Johnson's Scheme

    Hey guys, I have a good idea of how Jim Johnson's scheme works and its principles, but if possible, can someone help me break down all the details of it? I know we'll be essentially running the same scheme and I don't want to say something inaccurate about the scheme in later discussions. You guys have watched the scheme every week for years, and probably forgot more about it than I know, so I was wondering if someone can help me break it down.

    So far this is what I know:

    Its heavily based on man coverages. It uses alot of heavy blitzing and relies on its secondary to hold up in man assignments. Lots of Cover 1 and Cover 0 techniques

    The safeties are usually responsible for TE coverage (I could be wrong on this)

    The OLBs are primarily blitzers on passing downs

    The MLB is primarily a run thumper, no real tough assignements in pass coverage

    The OLBs have a difficult gap assingment against the run, because they must overpursue with the blitz, but also keep their lane for their gap assingment, which could be difficult. This puts added pressure on the dline to hold up at the point of attack.

    The scheme is vulnerable to screen passes and the short pass game

    Having a dominant FS is essential for it to work

    I guess thats about all I know about it. Is there any thing else to add on? Am I inaccurate about anything? Do you guys use man almost exclusively, or is there some zone thrown in every now and then? And what kinds of zones?

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

  • #2
    Well I'm not the best at breaking down a scheme, but here's a few things about his defense. Our defense is somewhat blitz heavy, but it all depends on what team we are playing. From week to week last season we would either sit most everyone back in coverage and let the front 4 pressure the qb. Other games we would be pressuring the qb all day with constant blitzing. That's one of the good things about this defense, it's unpredictable. Honestly Johnson doesn't blitz enough for my liking in many games.

    Our defense is mainly man coverage, especially the secondary. At LB whenever we play Trotter in coverage he pretty much just plays a middle zone. Dawkins plays a lot of man coverage, but we also let him play some zone and freelance a bit.

    Our safeties are mainly concerned with the TE in coverage, but the safeties in this defense have more responsibility than most. Without good run support safeties our defense pretty much falls apart.

    On passing downs the OLB's don't blitz as much as you think. Our OLB personnel have not been very adept at blitzing so a lot of the time on passing downs we will let them patrol the flats. If you are talking about like a 3rd and 15 situation, then yes most of the time we blitz them.

    As for the MLB Trotter has to cover a bit, but is pretty much just a thumper like you said. I don't know if your defense will function the same way, ours just does because that is what suits Trotter. It would be a waste for Antonio Pierce to be limited to run stuffing.

    On running downs and the OLB's job, you are correct. This is one reason that the safeties are very important. We can get a lot of bodies around the RB but we had a huge problem with wrapping up this season, so Dawkins or Lewis would have to knife in and take them down.

    Having a dominant FS is not essential, but it helps a lot. You could probably get by just fine if you have two solid safeties who both play the run well. No doubt in my mind though the safeties are the mose important part of the defense. If they can't play the run you've got problems. In goal line defense, our biggest playmaker is Brian Dawkins. Not to sound cocky but we have one of the better goal line defenses in the NFL. We load up the middle where Trotter anchors it, and the outside is patrolled by Dawkins. Teams rarely run outside on us in these situations because of how quickly Dawkins gets to the ball carrier. So having good run support safeties is essential, and if they are really good in coverage thats a bonus.

    But you've got to keep in mind Johnson has designed our scheme around our players so your scheme will turn out pretty differently from ours, but with the kind of pressure your front 4 gets you shouldn't have any problems.


    • #3
      Thats interesting. We have good run stuffing safeties (when Demps wraps up, but I blame his nagging injury on some of that), but theyre not great at coverage at all. Our CBs are good in man coverage, nothing like Philly, but decent. They struggled in zone.

      AP is not a great coverage LB, but can hold his own in a middle zone, like Trotter. I can see us using him the same way. From what you say, I don't know if Safety or CB is our main need to address with this style of defense. It will be interesting to see how Spags adjusts to our personnell.


      • #4
        Well, perhaps the Giants will go after a 1-gap DT who can really penetrate the backfield on day 1. I really liked what I saw from Fred Robbins last year, but Cofield didn't really do much in terms of pass rush. Also drafting some impact OLB's would really help. We finally had a playmaker at OLB this year in Gaither and our defense was immeasurably better.

        I definitely see the focal point of your defense next year being on the front 4 as well as Pierce. Ours is on the back 4, but you've got to play to your strengths.


        • #5
          The giants would definately look at OLB early, considering they let go their two starters. DT is important as well for them along with O-line. My thing about this post is, Spags may not run the same type of defense as Johnson, so what we are telling you may not happen for your defense next year.
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