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4-3 Under, The Leo And The Falcons Multiple Defense


vel
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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.

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.

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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.

Love jackson.

The second babs was signed I said, I hope were bringing in jackson as well. Then bam haha

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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.

LOL ! Vel you da man .......nostradamus2.jpg

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Thanks for the info. That was very enlightening.

SLB-Van Noy, Bartu

5T-Jackson, Goodman

1T-Soliai, Peters, Ellis

3T-Babinaux, Easley

EL-Biermann, Massaquoi, Maponga

WL-Weatherspoon, Bartu

ML-Worrilow, Dent

CB-Trufant, Hal

FS-Clemons, Parker

SS-Moore, Motta, Ishmael

CB-Alford, Mcclain, Gaines

This is how my mock would look for this scheme. I just got to have Jake Matthews and a RB like Sims, Seastrunk, or Williams, and a TE in rd 7 on offense.

1-RT-Jake Matthews

2-SB-Kyle Van Noy

3-3T-Dominique Easley

4-RB-Sims/Seasrtunk/Williams

5-CB-Phillip Gaines

5-1T-Justin Ellis

6-OG-Jon Halapio

7-WR-Cody Hoffman

7-TE-Jacob Pederson

7-CB-Andre Hal

7-FS-Sean Parker

QB-Ryan, Davis, Renfree

WR-Jones,White, Douglas, Hoffman, Davis or Johnson

TE-FreeAgent, Toilolo, Pederson

RB-Jackson, Rodgers, Sims/Sea/Wil, Smith

FB-Dimarco or Ewing

LT-Baker, Holmes

LG-Blalock, Halapio

OC-Hawley, Konz

RG-Asamoah, Halapio

RT-Matthews, Schraeder

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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.

12fifthdown-nickel-blogSpan.jpg

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.

12fifthdown-creep-blogSpan.jpg

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.

Edited by RandomFan
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Well, Vel, you were nearly dead on.

I have to be honest, I still this hybrid alignment as a 3-4, with a LB occaisionally cheating up to the LOS. Sure, I see the shifts, but I still see a DL that is stocked with 3-4 types.

Regardless, I am willing to accept your explanation. Here is a question for you and the board. Is Spoon ideal for this defense? If not, would it make sense to trade him to Miami for Dion Jordan?

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Regardless, I am willing to accept your explanation. Here is a question for you and the board. Is Spoon ideal for this defense? If not, would it make sense to trade him to Miami for Dion Jordan?

Yes, Spoon is an ideal fit for this defense, with the exception being that he can't stay healthy. If he could stay healthy he is still a great fit as an ILB because of his versatility and ability to cover along with being a solid run stopper with enough size.

Also, in order to run a hybrid front, you also have to have the personnel capable of fitting in a 3-4 defense in order to make it flexible enough. Does that not make sense to you? Running a hybrid or multiple front means having players that are versatile and capable of handling multiple roles along a variety of fronts. We haven't had that Nolan's whole time here; now we do.

Edited by RandomFan
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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.

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."

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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."

I see what you're saying now. I love your last paragraph too. Trust me, I am one of those guys who hate the idea of defining us as anything but a hybrid. Most don't understand what is meant, so they fight it every step. I am a fan of Nolan (almost 20yrs) and a student of the hybrid.

Thing is...the hybrid is like saying, "Pick your poisin" then you already have the needle filled with arsenic, cyanide, and raw sewage behind your back with a sniper on the roof. I think we have taken two steps in the right direction already.

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Great post and great FA predictions vel. Since you pretty much nailed the FA picks, who do you like at #6?

I think it's going to be Mack. People are blowing things out of proportion thinking he won't be there at #6. Somebody would seriously overdraft him if he isn't. Mack is the best fit for Nolan's D because he can play anywhere in the front 7. Clowney is great, but only going forward. Mack can drop, blitz from the LB spots, rush from the ends. That's the kind of player teams have trouble with because they don't know what he's doing, but you have to have resources dedicated to stopping him in case. You think he's coming and designate two blockers to him but he drops, you're screwed.

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Personally, I'd prefer a vet.

Have you seen the vet options available? It's not pretty. No, it is either going to be Matthews or Robinson at #6, or an OT with our 2nd or 3rd rounder, or any combination of Baker, Reynolds, Schrader, Terren Jones, or Gabe Carimi. It's possible a vet gets cut after the draft, but who knows. Pulling two 16 game starters from those 5 players scares me. I know we need a pass rush, but dang, I'd love to at least have one of the OT spots secured and not have to worry about it.

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Have you seen the vet options available? It's not pretty. No, it is either going to be Matthews or Robinson at #6, or an OT with our 2nd or 3rd rounder, or any combination of Baker, Reynolds, Schrader, Terren Jones, or Gabe Carimi. It's possible a vet gets cut after the draft, but who knows. Pulling two 16 game starters from those 5 players scares me. I know we need a pass rush, but dang, I'd love to at least have one of the OT spots secured and not have to worry about it.

Honestly, I am not so high on Matthews. He's 2nd round talent with top 5 pedigree (huge Matthews family fan here). Robinson is good, but I would still like to take advantage of the top shelf defense help. Next year will be slack on DL and OLB and heavy on OL. I look at those things.

Plus there is some VERY decent talent at OT in the FA.

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Honestly, I am not so high on Matthews. He's 2nd round talent with top 5 pedigree (huge Matthews family fan here). Robinson is good, but I would still like to take advantage of the top shelf defense help. Next year will be slack on DL and OLB and heavy on OL. I look at those things.

Plus there is some VERY decent talent at OT in the FA.

Strongly disagree with you on Matthews. He's the best of this bunch right now, by far. Robinson might turn out better in the long run, but right now Matthews is capable of stepping in and being a pro-bowl player from day one.

And while it's true next year might be slack on DL and OLB, I'm sure TD has looked that far ahead too. The thing is we wont be picking at #6 next year. We've got our DL's for the next few years, what we'll need are pass rushing OLB's which you can find in the 2nd this year in Dee Ford, or even the 3rd in Attachou. The point is you don't draft elite OT's outside the top 15-20 spots in the 1st round. You can find OLB pass rushers later than that.

I'm honestly torn which direction we should go, but as long as we get one of the OT's or get a Clowney or Mack with #6, I'll be content either way. Heck, I will still be happy if we are forced to settle for Watkins. Even though it's not a huge need, you don't find a talent like that unless you're picking top 10, which we hopefully wont be for a long time after this year.

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