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Found 4 results

  1. In an earlier post, we discussed Dan Quinn's defense. It received such a positive reception that I wanted to look at Todd Bowles' defense, one of the other candidates the New York Jets are heavily considering for the open head coaching position. Unlike Quinn, Bowles' defense is much harder to nail down. Quinn's defense is relatively straightforward. Although there are variations, there aren't many and they are easy to identify. That isn't the case with Bowles. To begin with, it's unclear what he would bring over to the Jets. He has operated multiple schemes, both 3-4 and 4-3, and is willing to change schemes completely to fit his personnel. Despite losing Karlos Dansby to free agency, Daryl Washington to a season-long drug suspension, Darnell Dockett to an ACL tear, John Abraham to IR, Tyrann Mathieu for a few weeks, etc., Bowles managed to have the fifth best defense by points allowed. You can compare this to the Jets, who ranked twenty-fourth. That said, Bowles' defense in Arizona most closely resembles none other than the organized chaos of Rex Ryan. But not the Rex Ryan that we saw the past few years; the Rex Ryan that went to the AFC Championship in 2009 and 2010. It's aggressive. As Greg Cosell stated, "Now, you could argue that they don't have a pure pass-rusher, but this is where Bowles comes in. This team blitzes more than any team in the NFL, and they blitz more on first down than any team in the NFL, and they're creative with their pressures. They're also very good with disguise." It adapts to the opponent. When the Cardinals played the Dallas Cowboys, Bowles switched from a predominately 3-4 scheme to a 4-3, simply because it was a better matchup. They won that game 28-17, and ended DeMarco Murray's streak of 100-yard games. It adapts to the players. To quote Dockett, "This defense is based on guys and what their ability allows them to be good at. What they were drafted for." When Bowles found that he didn't have an elite pass rusher, he balanced it out by adding more safeties... sometimes up to four on the field on any given down. This allowed him to cover athletic tight ends for longer, and had the added benefit of confusing offenses. Bowles doesn't force a round peg into a square hole... he finds another solution. Unlike Quinn, I can't show you one formation to give you an almost complete understanding of Bowles' defense. It's far too complex and mutates too often to simplify into one article. Instead, what I can do is give you several examples of the type of scheme you'll see under Bowles. So, this is a good play to show you that not is all it seems from where the players are initially lining up. Here, you have a nickel package. Three down linemen, three linebackers, and five defensive backs. There's an OLB standing up at the top of the formation, and he's going to rush the passer, looping around the right tackle. You have a three-tech defensive end stunting into the A gap, and another linebacker looping down and presumably past the left tackle, who is engaged with the six-tech defensive end. Meanwhile, in the secondary, you have mixed coverage. The outside corners are in man, and you have two safeties, the extra defensive back, and a linebacker in zone. As I mentioned, this may remind you of Rex Ryan. It's a lot of mixed coverage with a core of man coverage, blitzes from unexpected places, and disguised scheming. This is the game I mentioned where they changed their scheme completely. Bowles uses a decent amount of 4-3 looks, but this game was an almost wholesale change. In this play, only one lineman actually goes where they're showing. To avoid some confusion in this play, anyone that is in man coverage has a yellow line. On this play, you have some over the top safety help, and an overload blitz on the weak side. It results in a five-yard sack. I wish I could give you a simple breakdown of everything Bowles will do, but the fact that I cannot gives you an idea of what kind of defense he runs. It's multiple and confusing as ****. It changes based on what his players can and can't do. On a Jets team that has struggled with players being forced into roles they can't handle, that may be what's needed going forward.
  2. Great article about last night's game, but what really stood out to me wasn't so much the article itself, but the comment section underneath. Like this one from BromleyTown: "I came to Atlanta 23 years ago from the UK. The beer was rubbish and soccer culture didn't exist, except in immigrant communities and as a novelty sport for little kids. The local newspaper sports columnists never reported on soccer, unless they had to during the World Cup, and then they were utterly dismissive of the sport in which "nobody scores." How things have changed. The soccer and the beer are now both excellent. I'd like to take some credit for that, but I'm afraid it's merely coincidence. If you want to hear a great piece about the building of Atlanta United, listen to the Men in Blazers' interview of Darren Eales. It's a fascinating story of how to build a team from nothing. With Tata and probably Almiron leaving, though, there's a good chance next season might not be so rosy. It will be interesting to see if Atlanta - known for being fair-weather fans - turns out for a team that doesn't always win. I hope so." Here's another lengthy one (warning tl;dr) that I really liked from DerkNew: "Atlanta winning is the best thing to happen US soccer in years. This year's MLS final felt more like a Superbowl, but with much better atmosphere and that is going to make soccer grow more in the US. Usually it is small market teams that make the final, so it is great for the spectacle that a big team with a big stadium and big crowd made the final elevating the importance of soccer in the US. Atlanta are the prototype of the potential of soccer in the US. The clever thing MLS new teams realised is, if you treat fans as stakeholders rather than consumers the fans will be more engaged and invested in the team. LAFC is less than 1 year old, but the owners invited the fans into their offices to help design the stadium, what food they would sell and help fans set up supporter groups and called them founders rather than fans. So because the fans feel more part of the organisation they are more passionate about the team. So when you see LAFC games the crowd atmosphere is great and this is how MLS is going to take over the American sporting landscape because US soccer games have far more passionate crowds than the other sports and that is converting many people. You can clearly see in the MLS a split happening between the older generation clubs and new generation of clubs. The Soccer Mom older clubs and Tifo young adult new clubs. Nowhere is that contrast more than Atlanta Utd and New England. Both clubs are owned by billionaire NFL owners. New England was an original club with a wacky American sports name. Atlanta like many of the new clubs taking on more European style names like Minnesota Utd, Inter Miami, Sporting Kansas, Cincinnati FC (the FC in Cincinnati stands for Fussball Club) and LA FC. Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank has an interest in soccer and he was prepared to invest in an executive with Premier League experience that brought a level of soccer professionalism not seen in any other MLS team. He then attracted a world renowned coach who would sign up and coming South American players rather than ageing players from Europe. With a top quality coach and very good players they would play the kind of football that could fill the stadium up. In contrast New England was founded when NFL owners had teams just to sell tickets to stadiums when the NFL team was not playing there. The New England owner didn't really have an interest in soccer and just wanted to make money when the NFL season was finished and because he didn't care neither did the fans. So you have an MLS team with mediocre cheap players playing in the NFL stadium that is only a quarter full because they didn't see the potential of soccer in the US when they first created the teams. So now in the MLS most of the bad teams are ones that were created earlier where they viewed soccer as soccer mom sport in the 1990s and the big clubs are now the ones founded after the millennium when the owners started to see the potential of soccer US. For soccer to truly to be big in America , they need the older generation of media gatekeepers to die out so soccer starts to get the same level of coverage as the traditional sports. That is the last obstacle left."
  3. Not sure if this been posted yet. We get an idea of the team’s mindset with all of this here. By Cory Woodroof@CoryWoodroof47 Jun 18, 2018, 11:25am EDT SHARE Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports The Falcons and Julio Jones contract extension saga has been the story of the offseason, and now we have a prognostication and some context for the ordeal from someone with a close ear to the ground. Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke with Charlotte’s ESPN 730AM The Game and gave his take on where the thinks this situation will wind up. “Yes, I do [expect a deal to get done],” Ledbetter said on the show. “I think he’ll be in camp on time, and they’ll work their differences out. Nothing major, but it’s major enough to keep him away from camp. The markets for wide receivers went up over the offseason, and [it] looks like Julio wants an adjustment to his contract.” Ledbetter paints a less-rosy picture for the relationship between Jones and the team at the moment of this contract conversation. “It’s in a bad place right now,” Ledbetter added. “Coach was expecting him in here. He told us that at the owners meeting when I talked to him down there in Orlando, and then, a few weeks later, Julio informed that he’s not going to be here.” He also alludes to the T.O. element to this holdout as being something that might drive a rift between Jones and the Falcons. “The fact that he’s running around with Terrell Owens has the front office uneasy. The fact that he’s held out and is kind of bucking the whole Brotherhood thing has them a little bit uneasy, too. So, they’ll have to mend some fences, no question about it, once he returns.” Though, Ledbetter says Jones “still means the world to this team,” and that the drafting of Calvin Ridley was not done to be a replacement for Jones down the road. He notes that Ridley is firmly supposed to replace what Taylor Gabriel brought to the offense. To hear all at once that D-Led expects this to get resolved before camp and that the team and Julio aren’t in a great place right now is, admittedly, a lot to take in. On one side, level minds have felt for some time that the Falcons would get this settled before things got dire with Julio, and that they understand he’s worthy of this kind of raise. But, this might also be true: the Falcons might resent this a bit in terms of having to reopen how they negotiate extensions, and might be worried this will set a bad precedent for future contracts. Thomas Dimitroff hinted to as much in an interview with Andrew Brandt last month, where he cited Jones specifically. “We had talked about how we were going to approach it. We normally have not done guys, Julio included, until that last year. We’re not big on doing the three years, two years, normally, we’ve been a year out, and it’s been that way with our main guys, so it sends a message to even guys who are more midline players who are looking for a contract, like, look, if Matt and Julio, and a couple of other guys, even Roddy White during those times, have done it this way, it sets a tone of consistency. And, I think, that’s been good for us.” So, between Jones wanting to get an exemption for typical team policy, and with him missing camp, hanging out with T.O. and not adhering minute-by-minute to the “Brotherhood” mentality, Quinn and Dimitroff sound be a bit irked with the Jet at the moment, though they won’t show that hand all the way publicly. To say the relationship isn’t great now doesn’t mean it won’t be once Jones starts putting in the work at training camp, as Ledbetter speculates he will. If they’re able to work out a contract then, this will likely be water under the bridge by the season. If something happens and the team holds their ground, and Julio calls their bluff, make no mistake: this has a high probability of carrying over into training camp. If it does, Jones will be far from the first player in NFL history to hold out when camp starts, but it will be less than ideal for a Falcons team that’s trying to get its offense back to elite status. A player missing June reps is something you can deal with. We saw what happened last season when Julio missed key training camp reps. But, we’re dealing with a host of professionals who, even at a tiff, will still have the wherewithal to deal with this in a proper way and find an agreement that benefits all parties. D-Led seems to think it’ll get done, so let’s hope that foresight follows through before this holdout begins to really manifest some tough results.
  4. Dear Moderators, I just wanted to ask what your stance was on posting articles from the site we write for and things. I didn't know if y'all frowned on self promotion and things like that. I would also post my colleagues articles if that was okay.