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Mike Smith Giving His Defensive Staff An Assignment


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Later this month Falcons coach Mike Smith will gather the members of his defensive staff and hand them an assignment. He will remind them about the playoff games against Wilson and Kaepernick. The former threw against them at will. Maybe the latter could have, but the fear of Kaepernick's arm and feet freed the Niners' backs to run wild. Smith will tell his staff, Figure out how to stop these mobile guys who can throw. Diagnose the option read.

"I won't be alone," Smith says. "You can bet every defensive coach in the league will vet this offense. Every one of my coaches will be assigned a specific element. They'll research it, they'll present their findings, and we'll add some strategy to our playbook for next season."

So what do teams do to adjust? SI asked four defensive assistants who faced either San Francisco or Washington in 2012 to predict how the league would scheme to stop the pistol. They focused on three positions: corners who can cover without safety help, quick defensive ends who can shed blocks, and linebackers who can cover. Cornerbacks will have to go man-to-man more often because safeties will be needed to help in run support and in diagnosing the pistol. Defensive ends, instead of rushing upfield to sack the quarterback, will spy the passer instead and mirror his movements. And more than ever linebackers will keep one eye on runners waiting for a handoff that may get yanked back and the other eye on receivers trolling the middle.

"The defense," says one veteran coordinator, "has to be a lot more disciplined against the pistol." Teams will need more corners like Seattle's Richard Sherman on islands, to take away good wideouts; more pass rushers like Cameron Wake to shed guards and tackles and keep mobile quarterbacks from breaking past the line of scrimmage; more linebackers like Patrick Willis to cover intermediate areas and make sure the backs who take pistol handoffs don't break runs for big gains.

Basically look at the Ravens.... They have some big boys up the middle... They stopped the run (It didnt change until Ngata got hurt) .. That allows your DE/OLB to play the option .... Having a good tackling Safety that you can move to LB in some cases could help...

It all starts up front tho

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Smith can do/say all he wants but when it's draft time, egotistical TD makes all the decisions. Remember when Roddy was like, oh we are going DE with the number one pick. Everyone with eyes could see that DE was the obvious need. But to spite Roddy for opening his mouth, TD goes and drafts a WR.

TD to Roddy - sayonara

Edited by Mr. Right
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I've heard Nolan went up to Canada and study how this one CFL team who is the best read option defense and is studying the film. Weatherspoon and Nicholas were exposed in playoffs and they are suppose to be guys we count on from LB position. So outside a huge star LB that can defend run and pass I don't see how Falcons can improve vs read option unless Nolan starts breaking down film and starts noticing tendacies.

Read/ option is here to stay. This is not wild cat. This read/ option opens up passing lanes and opens up the field and drops LBs

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Good point. Read option is the new normal. It's not the wild cat because RBs aren't told to throw the ball.

Look at the 2nd half . Collin and 49ers were shredding the Ravens defense.

You can't stop this offense. Just wish to limit it . Watch as Collin k and Rg3 and even some Wilson start scratching the surface open up the deep play action off it. Look how impressive all 3 were deep passing already. So many wrinkles into that offense.

NFL will be about adapt of die

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I'm sceptical about how long teams will use the read option, during the superbowl the ravens took a couple shots at Kaep when he didnt have the ball, more teams and dirtier teams will end up knocking someone out the game. As long as Kaep runs he's at risking of getting knocked out.

Wilson will be a better QB IMO than Kaep cause he uses his legs like Rodgers to extend plays and not risk getting hit like Kaep or RGIII

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I've heard Nolan went up to Canada and study how this one CFL team who is the best read option defense and is studying the film. Weatherspoon and Nicholas were exposed in playoffs and they are suppose to be guys we count on from LB position. So outside a huge star LB that can defend run and pass I don't see how Falcons can improve vs read option unless Nolan starts breaking down film and starts noticing tendacies.

Read/ option is here to stay. This is not wild cat. This read/ option opens up passing lanes and opens up the field and drops LBs

I think that is still to be determined because we have to see how defenses respond to it after an entire off-season to analyze it.

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I'm sceptical about how long teams will use the read option, during the superbowl the ravens took a couple shots at Kaep when he didnt have the ball, more teams and dirtier teams will end up knocking someone out the game. As long as Kaep runs he's at risking of getting knocked out.

Wilson will be a better QB IMO than Kaep cause he uses his legs like Rodgers to extend plays and not risk getting hit like Kaep or RGIII

That is the only negative - injury to your QB. But if you can find QBs like Kaep and Wilson in the 2nd round and after, then you don't have to worry as much about losing your cap space to injury. Have your QB run maybe max 3-5 times a game out of the read option, just enough so the defense thinks/gameplan about it. I'd have the QB run primarily in the redzone and inside the 10 and maybe once or twice outside of that. Other times, just hand the ball off. Also the QB can just extend the play and scramble if needed.

Have the scrambling set up the defense in guarding the QB running out of the read option but the QB never really actually run out of the read option because that's dangerous for the QB.

Edited by Mr. Right
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I think that is still to be determined because we have to see how defenses respond to it after an entire off-season to analyze it.

It's not just that don't forget Kaep benefits from the best O-line in the league and best defence. Things just don't work out the way they look on paper. Rodgers is the best QB yet he's been one and done twice since his superbowl. No way Kaep goes through the season without getting a few good hits, what's to say one doesnt put him out

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I've heard Nolan went up to Canada and study how this one CFL team who is the best read option defense and is studying the film. Weatherspoon and Nicholas were exposed in playoffs and they are suppose to be guys we count on from LB position. So outside a huge star LB that can defend run and pass I don't see how Falcons can improve vs read option unless Nolan starts breaking down film and starts noticing tendacies.

Read/ option is here to stay. This is not wild cat. This read/ option opens up passing lanes and opens up the field and drops LBs

Let me say this aboyut Nic and Spoon being "exposed" .... I think part of the problem is they didnt get the depth in their drops (zone) ... In my opinion a big part of that is because of our D-Line... not just the lack of pass rush but also that they had to be very alert against the run because we dont have the stoutest D-Line (big guys up front) .... I felt like our LB's by far had the hardest job.... If they stayed in the box to stop the run a second to long... The QB's had all day to theor the ball and will find a TE behind them.... If they drop back to deep once the ball is snapped... The EB would gash us.....

We didnt match up good against the option... It all starts up front... You need guiys that will clog the middle... Allow your LB's to get their depth if your going to zone... Also you need a pass rush... The QB's had alllllllll day

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That is the only negative - injury to your QB. But if you can find QBs like Kaep and Wilson in the 2nd round and after, then you don't have to worry as much about losing your cap space to injury. Have your QB run maybe max 3-5 times a game out of the read option, just enough so the defense thinks/gameplan about it. I'd have the QB run primarily in the redzone and inside the 10 and maybe once or twice outside of that. Other times, just hand the ball off. Also the QB can just extend the play and scramble if needed.

RG career is in jeopardy cause the idiot redskins let him run. Wilson is the most impressive to me cause he doesn't look to run rather make plays with his arm. Kaep has a good arm he'd be wise to use that 95% of the time.

If I'm a defender on the edge and I see the read option I will blow up Kaep "ooops didn't realise he have it to the RB"

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Look at the 2nd half . Collin and 49ers were shredding the Ravens defense.

You can't stop this offense. Just wish to limit it . Watch as Collin k and Rg3 and even some Wilson start scratching the surface open up the deep play action off it. Look how impressive all 3 were deep passing already. So many wrinkles into that offense.

NFL will be about adapt of die

Second half is when Ngata got hurt, though. Until then they were handling that offense because they took away the run threat.

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Falcons have been trying to find a guy that can explode the pocket, peria before his leg injury was doing this. Shame he couldve been a sapp presence in the other teams backfield. I don't know if there's an explosive huge man this year, Falcons brass should do something to get him.

Can someone please list the plays Jelly blew up inside? Pre or post injury. I haven't really seen them.

We need to blow up the middle to stop the RB. In option and non option schemes.

That will put the rest of the defense in good position to make plays.

I still favor a DT. Preferably a vet that knows wtf to do.

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Can someone please list the plays Jelly blew up inside? Pre or post injury. I haven't really seen them.

We need to blow up the middle to stop the RB. In option and non option schemes.

That will put the rest of the defense in good position to make plays.

I still favor a DT. Preferably a vet that knows wtf to do.

I guess he would have been referring to the Miami game in 09, the only game Jerry played "prior to his leg injury".

Jerry did have a great game against the Eagles last year. I was really hoping he had turned the corner in that game, but he faded back into oblivion.

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I think the answer is to blitz the h*ll out of these guys and pound them even when they hand the ball off.

After a while, they will just get tired of running that play, or they will get hurt.

Not if when they hand off their backs are getting 15 yards a run.

Playing this kind of offense is about discipline and reaction not being overly aggressive.

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