Jump to content

Everything You Need To Know About Dan Quinn's Defense


Rings
 Share

Recommended Posts

This was an article someone wrote about Quinn coming to Jet's and comparing the two defenses.





@TheFalcoholic I wrote this on Dan Quinn's defense a few days ago, if you have any interest in stealing it:


http://www.ganggreennation.com/2015/1/12/7530991/everything-you-need-to-know-about-dan-quinns-defense




Under Rex Ryan, we have come to expect a dominant defense. With the potential hiring of Dan Quinn, a defensive coordinator, a number of fans are afraid that those days are gone and that Quinn is, in effect, a downgrade from Ryan. Although that of course remains to be seen, it's important to understand what Quinn brings to the table. After all, the Seattle Seahawks have had the number one overall defense in the league both years that Quinn was their defensive coordinator.


Under Ryan, the New York Jets ran a multiple defense. That means they ran a base 3-4, three linemen and four linebackers, but you could see a number of different formations, ranging from zero linemen to five or more. Cornerbacks were generally lined up in man coverage, with zone peppered in at times. The scheme was organized chaos, with the goal of confounding the opponent into submission.


The defense that Quinn runs as defensive coordinator for the Seahawks is, in many ways, the polar opposite. It is a base "4-3 Under" scheme, which I'll explain in more detail in a moment. It's an old scheme that has stood the test of time, and executed properly with sufficiently capable personnel, is very difficult to defeat. At its core, there are four defensive linemen, three linebackers, and the cornerbacks are mostly in a "Cover 3" zone. Although there can be some deception involved, this scheme mostly relies on fundamentals, execution, and simply overpowering your opponent. Although this scheme is less complicated than Ryan's scheme, that does not make it simpler.


It also doesn't mean Quinn is married to this scheme. He is known for adjusting his scheme to fit his players and putting players where they can succeed. The Seahawks also heavily use a 4-3 Over and Bear front, which I'll describe in future articles. So this may not be the final result we'll see if he comes to the Jets.


So, what is the 4-3 Under? How will the Jets fit into this scheme? I will attempt to boil this down to its simplest explanation, but please feel free to ask in the comments below if you have any questions.


As I mentioned, it involves four defensive linemen. One is positioned at the four technique ("tech"), one at the one tech, one at the three tech, and another at the LEO position. I'll explain the LEO a little more in a bit. It goes by other names as well, such as Elephant.


But first, a refresher in the where each of those spots line up, in case you forget:


D-line-alignment-and-gaps-copy.0.png


So you can see, the four tech is just inside the right tackle, the one tech between the guard and center, and the three tech is on the opposite side of the four tech just outside the guard. Now is also a good time to say that it isn't always exactly as I just described. Sometimes they'll line up at slightly different techs, sometimes they'll have slightly different roles, sometimes they'll flip sides. But generally speaking, this is how the linemen line up in a 4-3 Under.


Of course, that's not the end of it with these guys. Each of these guys has certain jobs to do. The four tech has a two-gap responsibility, which means in the above description, he's responsible for the B and C gaps. Similarly, the one tech also has a two-gap responsibility, which means he's responsible for the A gaps. The three tech, on the other hand, just has one gap to worry about, the B gap. Their job is to get a yard upfield and to hold their spot, snuffing out running lanes. Here's an image to help you visualize this, courtesy of FieldGulls:


4-3_Under_medium_JPG.0.jpg


The strong side one tech must be able to take on a double team consistently. The weak side defensive tackle, the three tech, must be an interior pass rusher and have an explosive first step. His main job is to pressure the quarterback and stop the run in his weak side B gap. The four tech defensive end can be a bigger guy and must be great against the run.


With the team's current personnel, you would likely see Damon Harrison at the one tech, Sheldon Richardson at the three tech, and Wilkerson at the four tech. Harrison is a monstrous beast that can tie up the center and a guard. Richardson is developing into a great interior pass rusher, and Wilkerson is a force as a run stopper. The defensive line wouldn't need much retooling, as the Seahawks often use 3-4 personnel, which is what the Jets currently have, to run their 4-3.


Now, on to the LEO position. It's sort of a hybrid lineman/linebacker position whose job is mainly to rush the passer. Their hand can either be in the dirt or standing up, depending on what the player prefers. The LEO is always on the opposite side of the four tech defensive end, and generally on the weak side of the formation. In the image above, the left side is the strong side so you'll find the LEO on the opposite weak side. Their goal is to ruin the quarterback's life. In some ways, Jason Babin may be the best suited for this role. It isn't too different from the Wide-9 role he's succeeded in throughout his career.


The other player you might have seen in the image above is the SAM linebacker. He is lined up to the outside shoulder of the tight end off the line of scrimmage a yard or two and is responsible for the D gap, outside of the tight end. He's also sometimes responsible for running in pass coverage. The other two linebackers are the MIKE and the WILL. In the image above, that's #54 and #56. The MIKE is responsible for the strong side B gap and the WILL the weak side A gap.


To quote FieldGulls:



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. The WILL linebacker is going to get a lot of tackles and in Pete's system is typically a faster, smaller linebacker with range. 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.


Right now, I don't think the team has the personnel for the linebacking corps. Demario Davis would probably make a very good WILL, but otherwise, the team will need to find some personnel to fit the system. To be fair, the linebackers the team currently has are generally pretty bad in any system.


Now, as to the secondary. This is obviously a big concern for the Jets after this past season. The Seahawks under Quinn run a number of different formations, but use a significant amount of Cover 3. They usually have free safety Earl Thomas prowling deep between the two hashes, and a cornerback outside the hashes. They may press the wide receiver and then bail to their zone, or they may start in more off coverage. Dee Millinerwill probably enjoy this role, as he has played his best when he's in zone coverage. The linebackers will usually take the middle of the field and the flats.


0ap2000000310464.0.jpg


seahawksd.0.jpg


The other safety, the strong safety, can play near the line of scrimmage and focus on the run. The Seahawks use Kam Chancellor for that. Here, Calvin Pryor would probably excel in that role, as it's essentially what he did in college. The free safety has to be rangy, they have to have great ball skills. It's the lynchpin to the secondary. The cornerbacks need to be strong, physical, and excellent at tackling.


That was exhausting. That's the 4-3 Under in a nutshell, and it's probably the main scheme that Dan Quinn will bring over if he does come to New York. Please let me know if you have any questions below.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 91
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

That defense sounds like it fits our personnel very good right now. Add in a Leo if Mass isn't capable and a Sam since we don't have to rely on Spoon or Spruill. Move Worrilow to Will if he can't hold down the Mike or maybe Bartu. Salioa can play the one tech with Hageman or Babs as the pass rushing DT. Tyson Jackson plays the 4 tech. Willie Mo comes down in the box and Southward or Lowery as the deep safety. I would prefer Tru and Alford in man press coverages but if we could be Seattle light I think it would be Golden. I'm liking the thought of Quinn more and more

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is the thing I don't like about the 4-3... The same scheme Mike Smith specialized in. If you don't have at least 3 pro-bowl talent D-linemen and a versatile safety that can cover and play zone then a OC will have a field day. Oh I almost forgot, you will DEFINITELY need some big, athletic LB's that can cover and defend the run. It's a bare-bones straight up beat-your-man, know-your-role type of defense. We are a good two or 3 drafts away from having that personnel on defense. The question is, does every one have the patience to see this defense implemented properly?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

with what we have on roster now -

DE 4tech: TJax and Goodman + Hageman in pass rush sets

NT 1tech: Soliai and Peters

DT 3tech: Babs and Hageman

Leo: Mass

SAM: Mass, Maponga, Spoon, Biermann

Mike: Shembo, Spruill

Will: Spoon, Worrilow, Spruill, Bartu

CB: Trufant and Alford

SS: Moore, Ishmael

FS: Southward, Lowery

There are some weaker spots, and places we need another guy, but there are some guys that fit the roles to a T quite well.

You can also use a lot of 46 and Double Eagle looks (Seahawks and Jaguars) out of this concept as you develop the scheme and roster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Could have a solid starting unit come opening day

4tech: tjax

1tech: soliai

3 tech: babs/hage

Leo: JASON PIERRE PAUL/ #8 PICK

SLB: MALCOLM SMITH

MLB: prince shembo

WLB: spoon

LCB: tru

RCB: BYRON MAXWELL

FS: southward/ lowery

SS: moore

Only signed 3 free agents and the most expensive would be maxwell. JPP and smith shouldnt command huge deals due to their production. On top of that we could work #8 in or if JPP flops he could take over and be the main guy. Also on pass rushing downs we could go with babs at the 3, hage at the 1 and put JPP and #8 at the ends and get after some qbs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It worries me because the 3-4 is typically less expensive from a cap standpoint.

A 4-3 requires a stud pass rushing DE (call it what you will), and that is probably the second most expensive position in football.

By contrast, a 3-4 can rely on slightly cheaper linebackers who can rush the passer. While you must have the nose tackle to run the 3-4 (unless you want to run a 1-gap scheme) they are not as expensive as pass rushing DEs, and we already have a good one on the roster.

Additionally, and I know you guys don't want to hear this, but there is something to be said for the "4 sacks from 10 guys" approach. With injuries being what they are in the NFL, it is dangerous -- nay, irresponsible -- to pin your pass rush hopes on one studly, high-priced player.

Remember what happened when Abe got hurt? We are setting ourselves up for the same problem.

You want to limit the "irreplaceable" players so that injuries don't kill you.

As of right now, we only have a few (Matt, Julio) that, if hurt, transform the game. I hesitate to add another, similarly important player, rather than adding two or three players that are essentially interchangeable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It worries me because the 3-4 is typically less expensive from a cap standpoint.

A 4-3 requires a stud pass rushing DE (call it what you will), and that is probably the second most expensive position in football.

By contrast, a 3-4 can rely on slightly cheaper linebackers who can rush the passer. While you must have the nose tackle to run the 3-4 (unless you want to run a 1-gap scheme) they are not as expensive as pass rushing DEs, and we already have a good one on the roster.

Additionally, and I know you guys don't want to hear this, but there is something to be said for the "4 sacks from 10 guys" approach. With injuries being what they are in the NFL, it is dangerous -- nay, irresponsible -- to pin your pass rush hopes on one studly, high-priced player.

Remember what happened when Abe got hurt? We are setting ourselves up for the same problem.

You want to limit the "irreplaceable" players so that injuries don't kill you.

As of right now, we only have a few (Matt, Julio) that, if hurt, transform the game. I hesitate to add another, similarly important player, rather than adding two or three players that are essentially interchangeable.

Good thing is quinn has run a 34 before. I honestly think wed see a mix between the two due to ir personnel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good thing is quinn has run a 34 before. I honestly think wed see a mix between the two due to ir personnel.

He may have to mix in more 3-4 looks until he gets everyone in here that he needs to run his 4-3 under....but he would have put 3-4 looks on the field anyway....plus, I'm not ruling out that the Falcons have an excellent offseason as far as acquiring good defensive players either.

Plus, I'm already confident that Quinn will be able to better fit the pieces on the roster the Falcons already have that Nolan and Smith could do on their best day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need a pass rush for this to be executed... Surprise, that's our biggest weakness lol

That is true, but it is also true that Quinn has coached up several DL's into very good pass rushers. I am not saying that he can turn Mass and Maponga into QB-eaters, but it would not surprise anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is true, but it is also true that Quinn has coached up several DL's into very good pass rushers. I am not saying that he can turn Mass and Maponga into QB-eaters, but it would not surprise anyone.

The bulk of Quinn's experience as an NFL coach before being named as Seahawks DC was as a D-line coach....For the Falcons this is hand...meet glove.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The bulk of Quinn's experience as an NFL coach before being named as Seahawks DC was as a D-line coach....For the Falcons this is hand...meet glove.

Most people forget that, they think he is only good because of Pete Carrol. Yet he took each of the three teams he was on as defensive line coach to be top ten in sacks and rushing yard allowed. If that's all he did different for our defense I'd be thrilled.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fk a 4-3 under. Give me a 3-4. We don't have the DLinemen to run a 4-3. We have the perfect 3-4 DLinemen in Soliai, TJax and Hageman. It is a lot easier to find 3-4 backers than 4-3 DLinemen. 3-4 backers are more affordable too. That's why I wanted Rex or Bowles.

The Falcons actually have more talent and depth on the D Line than they do at linebacker, which isn't saying much. They really only lack a pass rusher. The linebackers are a mess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fk a 4-3 under. Give me a 3-4. We don't have the DLinemen to run a 4-3. We have the perfect 3-4 DLinemen in Soliai, TJax and Hageman. It is a lot easier to find 3-4 backers than 4-3 DLinemen. 3-4 backers are more affordable too. That's why I wanted Rex or Bowles.

We don't know what we will have by the time the season starts. We are going

to make some personnel changes through the draft and free agency. So making

a scheme to fit our current personnel would be a bad choice. Chose one and

build to fit. Get players who can play football.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...