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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/13/2014 in Posts

  1. A lot of confusion is still going on around this place in regards to what kind of defense we run, what Nolan prefers and what the "4-3 Leo" defense is. I want to start a thread to help clear the air For starters, there is nothing called a 4-3 Leo defense. The Leo is the name of a position unique to the 4-3 Under. It's also called the Elephant. This is primarily what we run. Not a plain 4-3 like Chicago/Minny and not a 3-4. That's why the Big Tackle looks became a big part of our defense once Ray Edwards left. He was manning the 5T role, but wasn't a fit skill wise nor attitude wise. But the normal fan saw him as a traditional left end in a 4 man front. Here is a breakdown from The Fifth Down of the 4-3 Under and the Elephant Rusher: [Pete] Carroll worked on the same staff with Kiffin at Arkansas and with the Minnesota Vikings and claims Kiffin as his primary defensive influence. Along with the 4-3 Under, Carroll will be using a pass-rushing variation that was first popularized by George Seifert in San Francisco. Looking to create mismatches anywhere he could against opposing offensive lines, Seifert allowed his weakside defensive end to move around his defensive formation to rush the passer from either side of the defense from a two-point stance. Players like Charles Haley, Chris Doleman, Rickey Jackson and Tim Harris filled this “Elephant” role with great success. With the Elephant rusher in a two-point stance and the strongside linebacker usually near the line of scrimmage as another capable pass rushing option, these defenses look like a 5-2 or 3-4 front. It’s somewhat of a semantic argument because there will be four players in a two-point stance behind three down defensive linemen, but this front is more like a 4-3 than a 3-4 because of how the three linemen line up. The lineman to the inside of the Elephant rusher is aligned as a 3-technique, something that you won’t see in a base 3-4 set. This look is essentially a 4-3 Under with a standup defensive end. The confusion is this looks like a 3-4 or 5-2, like the article says, to the untrained eye. You have 3 DL with their hands in the dirt, normally bigger guys, and 2 players standing on the ends in pass rush stances. Where the distinction comes in is the personnel. Our 3 DT looks made since to be labeled a 3-4, except when looking at assignments. 3-4 defense have two 5-Tech ends and a NT. 4-3 Under has one 5T, a 1T and a 3T. Primary players in the draft that can fill these positions are Hageman (5T), Nix (1T) and Donald (3T). Those three players on the same line together would not be a 4-3 nor a 3-4 straight up. But they would be perfect fits in a 4-3 Under together. Here is more information on eat individual position, broken down at FieldGulls.com, the Seahawks SBNation site (I added players from the draft that fit the positions as well): The SAM linebacker comes up closer to the line to play hard contain and the weakside LEO is pushed out a bit, maybe a yard off of the weakside tackle. The LEO's main job is to control the C gap while rushing the passer like a wild banshee and the SAM plays contain against the TE, runs in pass coverage with him, or rushes the passer in some situations. Here is the basic description of each position in the 4-3 Under. The LEO can be a little bit smaller than a normal DE and tends to be a more athletic and versatile body type for this Elephant position; a guy that can speed rush the QB but also react quick enough to control his gap. Must also be able to drop back into coverage occasionally in zone blitz situations. (Perfect Fit: Kahlil Mack). The strongside defensive tackle can be short and squat but must be able to take on a double team consistently. (Perfect Fit: Louis Nix). The weakside defensive tackle, the 3-tech, must be your premiere interior pass rusher and have an explosive first step. His main job is to pressure the QB and stop the run in his weakside B gap. The 5-tech defensive end can be a bigger guy and must be great against the run. This is why you saw Red Bryant move out there in 2010. (Perfect Fit: Aaron Donald). The SAM linebacker needs to be athletic and rangy; great against the run but able to run with tight ends and running backs in pass coverage. (Current Players: Bartu; Biermann/Perfect Fit: Kyle Van Noy). The WILL linebacker is going to get a lot of tackles and in this system is typically a faster, smaller linebacker with range. (Current Player: Spoon/Perfect Fit: Ryan Shazier). The MIKE linebacker needs to be the field general; very instinctual and savvy. He needs to be quick enough to drop back down the middle third of the field in pass coverage in the Tampa-2 coverage. (Current Player: Paul Worrilow/Perfect Fit: CJ Mosley). The free safety is a guy that's going to move around a lot and be very instinctual as well. He's going to come up to the line a lot and will get a lot of tackles. (Current Player: Decoud/Perfect Fit: Calvin Pryor). The strong safety has to be good against the run but like the free safety, will move around a lot and have to defend against the deep pass a lot. He will need to be fast and have some ball skills. (Current Player: WillyMo/Perfect Fit: Deone Bucannon). Finally, the cornerbacks need to be physical and long. They will get involved in run defense a lot so they must be good tacklers. They are protected over the top a lot of the time so typically they're not all-world defenders but need to be pretty fast. (This is where our defense defers. Trufant, Alford and McClain aren't long and only moderately physical, but they can cover. Enables more blitzing for Nolan's touch.) So now that we have laid the foundation for what we are looking for with our defense, this explains why a player like Goodman was added and where he fits in our defense. Worrilow isn't an all-world LB, but he is very instinctual and savvy. 100+ tackles in half a season says so. Bartu is highly athletic and rangy in the short to medium range. He's also strong against the run and a decent pass rusher. I don't agree with labeling him a SLB though. FAs like Arthur Jones and Tyson Jackson make perfect sense to add. Think about Seattle's defense without Mebane or Red Bryant or even Alan Branch when he was there. Not the same team. That's what those guys would bring that we don't have. They already have experience in the role and wouldn't break the back. Obviously, guys like Joseph and Soliai fit the 0-1Tech role to a T. A player I see worth paying a decent contract for is Lamarr Houston. He's similar to what Wilkerson provides in NYJ at the 5T. Michael Johnson would be the more expensive option but could move from the 5 to the 3 to a big Leo. The defense could see a big shift in talent to make the change from 4-3 BVG style to 4-3 Under Nolan style. Paired with MSalmon thread, and I think a lot of confusion will be cleared up on what players we will be looking at in the draft and FA.
    3 points
  2. Yes, but the point is that the 4-3 Under will still only be a small part of your overall Hybrid package. A hybrid is a hybrid. With about 70 different multiple defensive fronts to choose from and implement at any time during the game as a hybrid, why do people get so insistent on defining us as any one of the 70, which calling ourselves a LEO front would do? I just don't get the allure. We are a multiple hybrid front. Like it says in the article, "There’s no simple diagram or playbook quirk that defines Bill Belichick’s (or Nolan's) defense. Rather, it might be said that it’s the complete lack of one."
    3 points
  3. Good post RandomFan, but even with all of that you CAN in fact run the 4-3 Under as part of your hybrid package. In fact many say the Under is perfect for it and the Seahawks did prove it.
    1 point
  4. This was a great post, except for one small thing: we don't run a LEO defense either. We run a hybrid. While exhibiting some of the same characteristics, there are differences. All those times that TD, Smitty, and Nolan have kept saying we run a Hybrid and not just a 4-3 or a 3-4, and all those times people tried to claim they were just being evasive or just didn't want to admit which defense they are playing, well, those people are just wrong. So like others have said numerous times, we don't run a 3-4. We aren't converting to a 3-4. We also don't run a 4-3. We run a hybrid. Which means on any given down, the defensive front can and will change, frequently. There is no "base" defense when running a hybrid. The whole concept of a "base" defense goes completely against the advantages and value of a hybrid front. http://fifthdown.blo...-the-3-4-front/ The under-shifted 3-4 front, with or without a 2-gap end, is just one of many potential variations a coordinator may align for his front seven. In fact, a coach influenced by both flavors of the 3-4 might be tempted to meld both concepts with traditional 4-3 ideas and create a monster playbook with more than 50 fronts. And pull it off with amazing success. The Hybrid Playbook There’s no simple diagram or playbook quirk that defines Bill Belichick’s defense. Rather, it might be said that it’s the complete lack of one. Belichick, in a very short span early in his career, was introduced to many different defensive schemes at the pro level. He was exposed to Maxie Baughan, who ran George Allen’s complex 4-3 scheme, whicht was full of pre-snap adjustments. He briefly coached with Fritz Shurmur, who would follow Allen (and others) as coordinators who frequently used nickel schemes as a base defense. He worked with Joe Collier, who turned a troublesome set of injuries to his front seven into Denver’s vaunted Orange Crush – maybe the original multiple-front scheme. Those exposures came before he gained fame and respect under Bill Parcells and the true 3-4 in New England and New York. The key to the success of Belichick’s style is flexibility of personnel. To be able to switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 to a dime defense and all points in between requires versatility at nearly every position. Players have to be able to run and cover and hit. Linemen have to be strong enough to hold the point in the 3-4, but get upfield in a 4-3. Defensive backs have to be very good in zone coverage but competent in man coverage when needed. It requires special skills, but also an above-average football IQ. Compared with the base Dungy-Kiffin scheme, which probably started with as little as three or four fronts and a couple of zone coverages, Belichick’s hybrid is a maze meant to confuse and confound. Another important difference in Belichick’s defense is philosophical rather than playbook-oriented. Most coordinators identify the weaknesses of an upcoming opponent and game-plan to take advantage. Belichick specifically seeks to take away the strength of an offense, forcing it to operate out of its comfort zone. In a league where you may face a power offense one week and a spread offense the next, the versatility of the multiple front playbook is the only way to pull off such a philosophy. Belichick isn’t the only coach with a multiple front playbook. Coordinators like Mike Nolan, Rex Ryan and **** LeBeau thrive on a confusing mix of fronts, both conservative and aggressive, from which a variety of man and zone coverage and any number of designer blitzes can be generated. In our final three installments, we’ll look at some of the variations that have made the multiple front coaches successful -– the fire zone blitz, the 46 and some interesting subpackage looks built to befuddle offenses and generate big plays for the defense. Nolan also makes heavy use of the big nickel formation and the 3-3-5 formation on passing downs. Along with the "amoeba" defense that has several other names such as Creep, Prowl, and Psycho. http://fifthdown.blo...el-subpackages/ In the late 1980s and early 1990s, another defensive guru, Fritz Shurmur, devised the “Big Nickel” (a k a “Wolverine”) 4-2-5 defense. Shurmur used the scheme to great success against the juggernaut 49ers, but often used it as a base defense in later years when his linebackers were beset by injury. The Big Nickel allowed Shurmur to get an extra safety-linebacker hybrid into the lineup. Depending on his personnel, he could cover and pass-rush with the secondary personnel, but still support the run, all while disguising which coverage his defense would play. The Big Nickel has made a comeback in recent seasons, particularly against star receiving tight ends like Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez and Todd Heap. The 4-2-5 is being phased out as the predominant subpackage in passing situations, however. Defensive coordinators, in a chess match with offensive coordinators to defend multiple wide receiver packages and spread sets, are using many types of nickel fronts. In recent seasons, we’ve seen nickel fronts with anywhere from one to five down linemen and many combinations of linebackers, cornerbacks and safeties as coaches look to maximize speed, versatility and coverage ability. Two variations in particular, the 3-3-5 and a variety of one- and two-down linemen packages, have become very popular across the league. Defending the Spread The spread offense isn’t new to the N.F.L. The Run and Shoot offenses of the Houston Oilers, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons may have had a little more motion and been more likely to use four wide receivers than a tight end in their sets, but the philosophy was the same. Stretch the defense from sideline to sideline, move defenders out of the box, get skill players on mismatches with players of lesser coverage ability and put pressure on the gap integrity of the defenders left in the box. The stretched defenses were not only prone to mismatches, but were also often forced to show their hand earlier, allowing for earlier pre-snap pass reads or checks to run plays. Though the spread usually operates out of the shotgun with four receiving options, it’s not just a passing offense. Stretching the defense horizontally and moving defenders out of the box allows for more running lanes and possible big gains on the ground if one defender can’t get to his gap responsibility in time. The defense must be able to defend both the run and the pass. Use a 4-2-5 nickel formation against the spread, and offenses may exploit a safety or linebacker in coverage against a slot wide receiver. A team with enough corners to play dime coverage may be exposed by the run if their safeties aren’t capable run defenders alongside the single linebacker. Successfully defending the spread requires speed and versatility. In recent seasons, the solution has been the 3-3-5 nickel package. The 3-3-5 doesn’t necessarily include three defensive linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs. The package can also be played with 4-2-5 or 4-1-6 personnel. To run the package well, a team needs three down linemen with the ability to penetrate and disrupt running lanes or pressure the pocket, a combination of three rush ends, linebackers and safeties that are athletic enough to stop the run, rotate into any zone coverage or blitz effectively, and a combination of five defensive backs that can handle different types of coverage calls without giving up a big play. To pull it off, teams look to get as many of their best athletes on the field at the same time. It’s a strategy that usually works best for teams with a hybrid playbook and hybrid personnel. The alignment and group of versatile athletes can disguise coverages and blitzes until after the snap, while still having six players with size in the box to defend the run. The athletic ability and discipline to successfully run the 3-3-5 are limiting factors for most teams, but many of the league’s most successful big-play defenses have used it as part of their subpackages, including Buddy Ryan Bears defenses of the mid-1980s, who sometimes used it as a change-of-pace after bringing in a corner to replace Refrigerator Perry. Organized Chaos Another subpackage wrinkle gaining popularity among the league’s defensive coordinators puts just one or two defensive players into a three-point stance. Depending on the playbook, it’s been referred to as the Creep, the Prowl or the Psycho, but it could rightfully be called Organized Chaos. Using similar personnel to the 3-3-5, this alignment puts one or two down linemen near the center, and leaves four or five defenders to jump and move around before the snap. At the snap, this formation becomes a zone blitz without defensive linemen. The intentions of the roaming defenders are well disguised. Any of them can blitz or rotate into coverage, confusing quarterbacks trying to make pre-snap reads, set pass protection or make run checks and also offensive linemen trying to call out assignments or plan blocking schemes. Like the 3-3-5, this subpackage needs versatile, speedy and smart athletes. Despite its ability to confound blocking assignments, it’s easy for a defender who is jumping around before the snap to get caught out of position on a running play. It will never be used more than a handful of snaps a game, but it has been used with success by many teams in recent seasons, including Pittsburgh, New England, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Green Bay and the Jets among others.
    1 point
  5. Can I just brag a little bit. I know Tyson Jackson wasn't a popular guy when he was first brought up, but I think he is a sleeper signing for us. Not many people watched the Chiefs and his stats don't pop out, but the guy was a very good run defender and eats double teams. Paired with Soliai, I wouldn't be surprised if we don't allow a single 100 yard rusher this year.
    1 point
  6. Absolutely the post of the year ! No whiney complaints about TD, Smitty or Ryan. Just bare bones , intelligent football talk .Thanks man Winner, winner chicken dinner !
    1 point
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