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Old 09-03-2012, 02:43 PM    (permalink
bigbluedefense
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Default Articles On Defense Thread

I love reading about defense. I love the schemes, the evolution of the game, getting a deeper understanding and idea of different styles of coaches and how different schemes run on different sets of principles, how many schemes are more similar than we think, etc.

This is an article on Bill Bellichick's hybrid defense in NE. Great article, really shows you some insight into the genius of Bill Bellichick.

http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...triots-defense

Anyone who loves reading about the game, I strongly recommend reading this. If you love the 46 defense, go buy Rex Ryan's book on the 46. Its a great read as well.

I've been studying the wide 9 for the past 2 years in bits and pieces, when I can find a good link on it I'll share it here.

But anyway, post and discuss defensive schemes here. I figure we could use a thread like this.
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Old 09-04-2012, 05:50 AM    (permalink
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That's a great read and one of the few articles about BB's defense that is actually correct. Keep the links coming, I love these kind of articles.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:21 PM    (permalink
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Link does not work

Game. Set. Match.

Great work by some dude.
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:54 PM    (permalink
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I know this isn't defense but I'll just put X's and O's in general.
http://cbsprt.co/OVME1w Will Brinson's simple breakdown of Ogletree's big game.

Doug Farrar/Greg Cosell preview http://t.co/lpj0f22y

More Cosell http://www.blogtalkradio.com/fantasy...urucom-podcast
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:48 AM    (permalink
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very interesting thanks for posting this
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:29 AM    (permalink
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If anyone has a breakdown of the Ravens hybrid D I would like to read it. I've been watching a boring Tampa 2 for so long I am having trouble at times following what the front 7 are doing in Pagano's new defense.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:46 PM    (permalink
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If anyone has a breakdown of the Ravens hybrid D I would like to read it. I've been watching a boring Tampa 2 for so long I am having trouble at times following what the front 7 are doing in Pagano's new defense.
I second that.
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Old 09-13-2012, 01:54 PM    (permalink
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Just read up on the zone blitz. When watching the defense, pay attention to the alignments, how they attack the gaps. One thing I learned is, it's not about a 3-4 or 4-3 alignment, it's about how you attack the gaps in those alignments.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:06 PM    (permalink
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That's the thing, after one game and no way to replay it I don't even know if we're running a one or two-gap D. I'm assuming two-gap.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:14 PM    (permalink
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You could be running both.

I'll give you an example with the Giants. The Giants DL asks the DTs to 2 gap, holding their man and not penetrate the backfield, while the DEs are asked to attack down the field. So on the same DL, you have 2 guys 2 gapping and 2 guys 1 gapping.

But then in the nascar package, when we come out with 3 or 4 DEs on the DL on passing downs, they all typically 1 gap. But even that's not set in stone. Some blitz packages will ask someone to 2 gap etc.

It can get complicated. Most teams use a ton of different looks from different styles.
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Old 09-13-2012, 02:24 PM    (permalink
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Excellent article, BBD. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:07 PM    (permalink
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If anyone has a breakdown of the Ravens hybrid D I would like to read it. I've been watching a boring Tampa 2 for so long I am having trouble at times following what the front 7 are doing in Pagano's new defense.
Most schemes are a lot more multiple than their generic name lets on. For example, a lot of people would just label the Colts and Packers and Steelers as being a 3-4, but each scheme shares similarities and separates themselves with little subtleties. No ďtraditionalĒ scheme has survived without some assimilation from evolving concepts and Paganoís defense is no different.

In general, the biggest difference between the Tampa 2 and Paganoís defense is the freedom to manipulate the front to attack whatever gaps he feels are weak given the offenseís personnel, formation, down, and distance. It is less reliant on just overwhelming an offense with pure pass rushing talent. And, in that regard, this defense has more interchangeable and mixed components than a Tampa 2 variant.

A standard 3-4 alignment is 5, 0, 5. But thatís quite a loose standard because fronts change from team-to-team and snap-to-snap. You could see 4i, 0, 4i to create space for rush outside linebackers. Might see 4i, 0, 5 or 3, 1, 5 just as much. The combinations are countless based on what the defense is attempting to accomplish. And thatís accounting for just three down linemen. In addition to aligning in a two-point stance, Terrell Suggs also put his hand in the ground and lined up in a three-point stance often in Baltimore. Nor does that consider gap responsibilities. It could be one-gap or two-gap. Certain teams might run more of one than the other, but the lines have blurred to the point where thereís elements of both in defense. Thatís where the defense is a blend between the 3-4 and 4-3 and more multiple in their methods.

From what I saw with the Ravens, Pagano was an aggressive defensive mind. He brought pressure with both rush linebackers. He brought creative coverage shells. He brought smart utilization of talent to that side of the ball. He maximizes what he gets out of his edge linebackers in coverage without sacrificing his pass rush push via strong tight end jams at the line and I think heís one of the best defensive back coaches in the NFL, too. He left the Ravens with one of the best secondaries in the league and it isnít just because of Ed Reed. Pagano developed a lot of the depth thatís there now.

Now, I think some of what he did in Baltimore will change in Indianapolis. He gambled with his backend with the Ravens more and I think it will be some time before he has that level of talent and trust with the Colts defensive backfield. Plus, he had much better space-eaters in the trenches in Baltimore, so more stacking concepts in Indianapolis wouldnít surprise me either. But, in short, the biggest indicator of how the defense is adapting is the slight differences in the front and technique. Although, Pagano is good enough to where he will run a lot of different defensive concepts out of the same front. Much like offenses, defenses donít want to fall into the trap of being too predictable.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:56 PM    (permalink
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Cudders, thanks, that gives me something to work from. Can you explain what you mean by 4i? I don't know what the "i" means.

I know at one point Ngata was a NT and is more of a DE/DT and the actual NT ended up being a rotation of Terrance Cody and Brandon McKinney. So if the Ravens were in a 3 man front, it would've been Redding, Cody, and Ngata, right? Did their responsibilities change drastically based on circumstance or were they generally similar from one down to the next?

Also my impression was that Johnson played more as a true LB whereas Suggs was rarely in coverage and played as either a rush LB or a true down lineman. But that seems to have changed a bit in Indy, Mathis is a better pass rusher than Johnson so I guess that would make sense. Freeney's injury throws another wrench into things.
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Old 09-14-2012, 04:53 AM    (permalink
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Cudders, thanks, that gives me something to work from. Can you explain what you mean by 4i? I don't know what the "i" means.

I know at one point Ngata was a NT and is more of a DE/DT and the actual NT ended up being a rotation of Terrance Cody and Brandon McKinney. So if the Ravens were in a 3 man front, it would've been Redding, Cody, and Ngata, right? Did their responsibilities change drastically based on circumstance or were they generally similar from one down to the next?

Also my impression was that Johnson played more as a true LB whereas Suggs was rarely in coverage and played as either a rush LB or a true down lineman. But that seems to have changed a bit in Indy, Mathis is a better pass rusher than Johnson so I guess that would make sense. Freeney's injury throws another wrench into things.
Itís numbering nomenclature for defensive alignment and techniques. The well-publicized five-technique is a lineman that lines up on the outside shoulder of the tackle. Likewise, a four-technique is a lineman that lines up over (or parallel to) the tackle. The ďiĒ denotes lining up on the inside shoulder. So, in this instance, ď4iĒ calls for the lineman to line up inside the tackleís shoulder and shade toward the B-gap.

As for the linemenís individual responsibilities, those change based on the overall defensive call. If I had to guess, Iíd assume that the Ravens ran a higher percentage of one-gap concepts than two-gap, but like I said, elements of both are there. For example, letís pretend Baltimoreís defense has their opponentís offense at 2nd & 10 on the BAL 20 in the first quarter. In their film studies and game preparation, the staff uncovers that the offense likes to run lead dives through the A-gap on 2nd & 8-to-10 to put them in more manageable third down situations. The coaches recognize the screecher as the fullback checks into the game. So the call might shade Ngata and Redding a little inside, but give them one-gap freedom. And then assign a more rigid role to whichever nose tackle is in the game as a two-gap, zero-technique thatís heads-up on the center.

Or, if the Ravens read pass in a certain situation, the entire line could have outright one-gap responsibilities. Or, if the call is a specific pressure, those responsibilities could change. A defensive end might line up on the inside shoulder of an offense tackle to create room for a rushing linebacker out of a two-point stance. Or, a defensive end might two-gap and just hold the point if the defense has dialed up a pair of linebackers to blitz behind them. So base responsibilities change based on circumstance, sure.

Iíve seen Pagano bring both outside linebackers quite a bit. It hasnít been a this-or-that role for him. I didnít see the Colts-Bears game, but I donít anticipate that changes in Indianapolis. Itís clear their pass rushers are two of their best defenders and Pagano will want to utilize those strengths. Much like Suggs. Suggs is one of the most fearsome edge rushers in the NFL and Pagano leaned on that on a lot of snaps. In Baltimore, his edge linebackers were adept at jamming en route to the quarterback, so he maintains some coverage with them without sacrificing his pass rush. I think itís fair to reason thatís been a coaching point during his tenure with the Colts so far. Get the hands on them, disrupt the timing of the route, and then get to the quarterbackís spot.
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Old 09-14-2012, 07:50 AM    (permalink
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I love this Cudders.

To piggy back on what he's saying as well, keep in mind that ultimately talent will dictate the scheme. Pagano did a lot of blitzing in Baltimore but was also able to get away with a lot more over there because he had a great secondary. He might have to call off the dogs a little in Indy because he doesn't have the same caliber DBs on the back end.

He also has 2 great edge rushers in Indy, so he may decide to lean on them more to bring pressure and play safer coverage on the back end. We don't know yet, we have to see how he cooks it up.

But ultimately, players dictate the scheme. He'll use his principles, alignments, audibles, responsibilities the same way, but the play calls will ultimately fall on what he thinks his players are capable of executing.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:21 PM    (permalink
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PFF is a pariah site on these boards, but I read this a while back. Solid article.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/08/03/hyping-the-hybrids/
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:47 PM    (permalink
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PFF is a pariah site on these boards, but I read this a while back. Solid article.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/08/03/hyping-the-hybrids/
I donít have a problem with PFF. I think some of their stuff is interesting as long as it isnít being used as the baseline of an entire evaluation. I wouldnít ever trust what PFF espouses as concrete fact though.

For example, the information under the Baltimore subheading is misleading. First, Greg Mattison was the defensive coordinator in 2010, and he adopted a more conservative approach. Second, during Paganoís tenure as defensive coordinator, the Ravens werenít running a 4-3. Thatís not an accurate statement. Did Baltimore show some 4-3 fronts? Sure did. But it just canít be classified as one because the bottom-line is that it doesnít fit into the convenient, neat categories of 4-3 or 3-4. Itís a multiple defense. There were undeniable 3-4 fronts incorporated, too.

Their justification for Terrell Suggsí classification as a defensive end is based on the percentage of snaps in which he dropped into coverage. It shouldnít be a surprise that he spent an overwhelming number of snaps rushing the passer. It suits his skill set. Heís one of the best pass rushers in the NFL and heís paid to do that. It wouldnít be effective, smart coaching if he wasnít getting after it out there.

An odd front doesnít just send three rushers at the quarterback. One of the schematic advantages of the 3-4 is that it disguises where the fourth rusher is coming from. In most cases, the best pass-rushing linebacker is going to be that ďhiddenĒ rusher. And that linebacker will dig his hand in the dirt at times. Even more often in obvious passing situations. But that doesnít make him a base end. The roles might be blurred and similar, but thatís an overall defensive theme in the NFL, and it doesnít make them identical and it doesnít make them a 4-3. Suggs is still more diverse and flexible than that. He lines up in two- and three-point stances. He lines up inside and outside of the six-technique. He lines up all over the place. In the same article that penalizes Suggs for dropping into coverage just 90 times, PFF characterizes Tamba Hali as a ďtraditional 3-4 OLBĒ. How often did Hali drop into coverage that season, PFF? At their count, a grand total of 84 times. WhatÖ?

Same goes for Jarrett Johnson. Because his skill set was different from Suggs, his role was different. Thatís not a shocker. Itís clear that Johnson canít generate the kind of pass rush that Suggs can, so heís utilized elsewhere within the framework of the defense. Yet, he still aligned with his hand in the ground in certain sub-packages. Pagano was just swapping out a bigger man for a quicker man along the line.

In short, itís hard to paint these kind of defenses with such broad brushstrokes. Simplified, stand-alone statements like ďitís a 4-3Ē or ďitís a 3-4Ē arenít accurate. Those kind of statements might lead to good pieces that get hits for a site, but itís not reflective of realities. Because defenses like Paganoís unit in Baltimore canít be pigeonholed as one or the other. You would hear the same from him.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:51 PM    (permalink
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Cudders...can I have your baby? hahaha
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:11 PM    (permalink
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It's important to note that the best way to describe defenses is how Cudders broke it down: even vs odd fronts. And most teams use both fronts as well. In fact, it's fair to say that every defense in the NFL is multiple front nowadays. You might see some pure even front 4-3 teams, maybe 1 or 2 pure odd front 3-4 teams, but almost every team in the league uses a combination of even and odd in their sets, a combination of 3 man and 4 man lines in their sets.

Each individual formation and snap needs to be analyzed to determine what is being ran. With the pass game being so advanced now, teams have to be multiple front to attack gaps and confuse protections or else it would be like playing catch out there.

They have to disguise their fronts and their coverages.

And just like how offenses have choice route opens, defenses have coverage options based on the offense, and rush/coverage options based on the offense. It's very complex, and unless you have the playbook on you, you don't really know what happened or who did what. You can guess, but that's all it is, a guess.

That's why you saw so many analysts say that giving the fans the coaches tape could open a can of worms. Bc we really don't know what we're looking at. None of have the playbooks, and unlike some analysts, none of us have any connections within the teams that could explain some of their concepts to us.

The only people who truly know what was going on are the coaches and the players. That's why you always hear them rip the media and fans alike. We can only guess, that's what we are. Guessers. None of us truly know with 100% certainty what the playcall was.

We can evaluate execution, basic football 101, but it's somewhat unfair of all of us to be armchair coordinators. We're the madden generation, it's what we do, but to be frank, none of us truly know what we're talking about.

We can guess. That's it.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:37 PM    (permalink
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http://www.bigcatcountry.com/2012/9/...fense#comments

http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2...l-subpackages/

http://www.shakinthesouthland.com/20...er-slide-front


Some awesome articles here boys

Bremel has a whole series you need to read. The whole series is at the bottom of that article.
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Old 09-15-2012, 11:40 PM    (permalink
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The 3-4 defense that Romeo Crennel stays true to is using strictly two gapping down linemen. IF you look at it from a far you will see it more of a 5-2 than a 3-4. Both OLBs hover around the LOS, one drops in to coverage approx 60% of the time. In the first game of this year, when they had 3 down linemen you could see that the DEs were two gapping where as Poe lined up at the zero or 1 was 1 gapping. That is highlighted in that article about Wilfork. Wilfork does both depending on what is called and what he sees.
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<+BOE> Scott, with Burfict's character concerns (whether legit or not) you think Pioli would draft him. :D
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What's with the hate on Ricky Stanzi? Those youtube clips of him with the hulk hogan theme music instantly make him better than Luck.
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:40 PM    (permalink
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http://www.fieldgulls.com/2012/5/7/2...lity-diversity

Danny Kelly drops some knowledge here

http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dal...ive-scheme.ece

I like this article as well
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<+BOE> Scott, with Burfict's character concerns (whether legit or not) you think Pioli would draft him. :D
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What's with the hate on Ricky Stanzi? Those youtube clips of him with the hulk hogan theme music instantly make him better than Luck.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:04 PM    (permalink
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This is not a defense article but just thought I would post it. A bit Seahawks oriented but discusses a nice point about running against the blitz and zone vs man blocking http://mynorthwest.com/?nid=422&sid=740107
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:01 AM    (permalink
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http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100...content_stream

This is a nice breakdown of the Seahawks defense.
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Old 09-26-2012, 06:09 PM    (permalink
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More Chris Brown is awesome.
http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...ics-zone-blitz

http://www.grantland.com/blog/the-tr...rry-fitzgerald
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