1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Perhaps it's time to shift approaches on defense

Discussion in 'Miami Dolphins Forum' started by Jaj, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Over the last few years we've seen something interesting on the part of the Patriots and Ravens and perhaps even the Jets. These three teams honestly have very little pass rush to speak of, but they are so incredibly hard to run against that they make you a one-dimensional team. Against the Pats, Danny Woodhead cost Miami dearly with his quick surprise running. Had Miami been able to stop Ben-Jarvis Green Ellis early in the game or Woodhead's 14 carries for 69 yards Miami would have been able to put the Pats in the same position, league rivals have put them in the last couple years. Perhaps the best approach would be to employ something a little more novel or classic depending on the way you look at it. Back in around 2000-2003 Miami was fairly successful against top passing teams in the league. They had a steady veteran safety over the top in Brock Marion who while slow didn't make all that many mistakes. Their run defense (obviously Thomas was a big factor) was based on Tim Bowens and Larry Chester. You didn't run on Miami. I can't tell you how many times we kicked the crap out of L.T. in that era.

    My suggestion is that Miami look at perhaps starting a second NT the same way that Baltimore starts a second NT next to Ngata (or next to Cody, etc...). Now I'm not saying Randy Starks can't stop the run but Starks should be a guy playing left end as well as rotating in at RE. Odrick is another guy that at this point I'd say would be better off rotating in as well the same way Jay Williams was so vital for Miami back in those years. Perhaps if our 3 technique DT/3-4 DEs were a little fresher they'd be able to contribute better on passing downs.

    What do we give up? You would think we give up some pass rush but I'll tell you what if you stop Arian Foster regardless of what the other team is throwing at you change the dynamic of the game. You dissuade the pass so much that you can probably make the other team predictable. Let's at least do one thing right and return to being a top run defense.
     
    muscle979 and NaboCane like this.
  2. NaboCane

    NaboCane Banned

    31,949
    11,899
    0
    Nov 24, 2007
    The funny thing is that the 3-4 is supposed to be the better formation to stop the run; not by a lot, but it's a game of inches, no?

    Baltimore has superior talent on the DL and a MLB who doesn't know the meaning of "quit," and can play in a 3-4 as easily as a 4-3. But they also have superior talent in the Secondary, which we will never have as long as Ireland is choosing our Free Safeties.

    In other words: there are a lot of good DLs in the league, but only one Haloti Ngata; some good Safeties, but only one Ed Reed...etc.

    I don't know what to think anymore, I was really thrown by the NE game. I thought that with the DL talent and depth we had, plus Wake and Dansby, we'd be tough against the Patriots; but the fact is that this D was raped by Brady, and by Belichick's gameplan.

    Do we actually have the talent on D that we thought we had, or were we kidding ourselves?
     
  3. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito.

    39,997
    32,486
    113
    Dec 11, 2007
    My understanding is that the 3-4 is better to stop the pass and the 4-3 is better at stopping the run.
     
  4. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I think we have the talent, I'm not sure if we used it to the best of our ability. Baltimore's starting CBs are not better players than Miami's. They do play with more tenacity though (cramping).

    Take a look at Miami's personnel. You have Soliai who has excellent size. The rest of the guys have been doing way too much Jenny Craig.

    Starks is at 305, McDaniel at 305, Odrick at 305 (maybe), Merling at much lighter than that, and Langford at 295. You might say those are over 300lb players and they should be able capable of anything you ask but they're also lanky 300 lb players. If worn down they will become extremely easy to push around in the goal-line. Finding Larry Chester to Tim Bowen's Paul Soliai isn't that difficult. Kearse or Fields could have helped Miami.

    Perhaps the way to stop these no-huddle drives is something new. If you see that the other team is playing hurry up keep a player in reserve for the next drive, instead of running them in and out. Doing this Miami's DL will likely have probably 25 minutes ( two drives) between the next time we have to see them. Take advantage of the fact that we have four quality players on those spots in the DL.

    Langford plays LE, McDaniel plays RE for the entire first drive. Odrick plays LE, Starks plays RE for the entire second drive. That way instead of 20 minute breaks for a completely blasted defense you basically have a guy take what could be up to a half hour on the bench relaxing getting ready to go again.
     
  5. NaboCane

    NaboCane Banned

    31,949
    11,899
    0
    Nov 24, 2007
    Which is it, Alen? All things being equal, which is the better set to stop the run?
     
  6. NaboCane

    NaboCane Banned

    31,949
    11,899
    0
    Nov 24, 2007
    Tell that to the guys who say that size doesn't matter. Seriously, they want them a certain size for a reason; defying that standard will only hurt you, like you said, when the player is depleted and has less natural bulk to anchor him.

    See, it's **** like this that makes me wonder; if the smarter guys in this community can think of things like this, why don't the guys who are getting paid to think?

    You take an awesome advantage like our depth on the DL, which few teams have, and do nothing with it instead of creating to counter what Belichick created to stymie us.
     
  7. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Depends on the formation and which 4-3. 3-4 usually dictates that you run 300 lb DEs but what Baltimore runs in my opinion is a 4-3 in all but name. They have a huge SLB yes in Johnson yes, but their line is very very large. They don't do this let's put a lighter DE on this side, no. They want those three guys on the line to be a massive pain for running the ball. By formation they resemble the Bears when they had Washington-Traylor-Robertson(I think it was his) together. You can't run on that. Even if you're in a smaller set you can't run on that and when the defense knows that you can pass on them all day and they won't care as long as they don't give up the big play. Heck they may even give up a field goal to you, but at the end of the day they know what's coming as the field becomes tighter and tighter. They can take gambles and give you that 10-20 yard play but once in a while they're going to strike and get a pick off of you, not to mention they're going to be excellent in the red zone.
     
    NaboCane likes this.
  8. Stringer Bell

    Stringer Bell Post Hard, Post Often Club Member

    44,201
    21,955
    113
    Mar 22, 2008
    3-4 is generally better than 4-3 against the pass because it allows for more flexibility in coverage with an extra person on their feet. But really the differences between the two aren't all that great.
     
  9. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I honestly think it depends quite a bit on whose playing where and with what personnel more anything. Wake is a defensive end in anything but name. He stands up sure but honestly he's another DE really. Misi is a very big SOLB not really a true DE. Listen at the end of the day if I'm going to get my *** kicked by Hernandez and Gronkowski, at least let it by just them.
     
  10. djphinfan

    djphinfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    103,444
    57,045
    113
    Dec 20, 2007
    I think we have the personnel to run a 43, especially on the dline.
     
  11. ckparrothead

    ckparrothead Draft Forum Moderator Luxury Box

    79,599
    159,162
    113
    Dec 1, 2007
    The 3-4 was originally started by teams that were tired of guys like O.J. Simpson beating their defense to the perimeter and turning the corner for big yardage.

    It goes both ways. In the 3-4 you're usually better at stopping the outside run but you have the "double bubble" issues on the inside run, whereas the 4-3 can be beaten to the perimeter...but not all 3-4's are played the same, nor all 4-3's.
     
  12. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    It's the same way with Cameron Wake. Instead of seeing a well rested guy rearing back and attacking the offensive line I saw a guy that was absolutely gassed trying his best but getting leveled by the much larger Solder.

    Instead of playing the way we have with Wake having to play and do everything take the risk, take him out of the game and give Taylor an entire drive (he's already playing an entire drive basically). Wake was a monster in 2009 when he came in and had one role to rush the passer and no chance of getting tired.
     
  13. vt_dolfan

    vt_dolfan Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    Thats what I thought as well.....somehow teams need to get pressure on Brady up the middle...force him out and let the OLB's whack him.
     
  14. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    You can't get much through Mankins and Waters. Connolly maybe.

    The way to get pressure on Brady is you have to either get coverage sacks or have fresh pass rushers force him into bad throws.
     
  15. Killerphins

    Killerphins The Finger

    9,313
    4,169
    0
    Nov 11, 2008
    So turn Wake into a situational pass rusher and make Taylor the full time guy?
    Oh HELL no...... :angry:
     
  16. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    No. You make Wake the pass rusher on drives 1, 2, and 4. Taylor is the pass rusher on drive 3.
     
  17. Killerphins

    Killerphins The Finger

    9,313
    4,169
    0
    Nov 11, 2008
    Yeah let's panic and change the whole defensive scheme.:hammer:
    Wake will be fine.
     
  18. texasPHINSfan

    texasPHINSfan New Member

    6,363
    3,740
    0
    Dec 14, 2007
    Bellevue, WA
    A good pass rush can make average DBs look like probowlers. Instead of putting the fire out at the top, we should start at the bottom, no?
     
  19. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    It's not the entire scheme. It's the approach that will force teams to play to our game-plan and take their no-huddle out of the equation. Miami was far more effective against Brady when the no-huddle had to stop towards the end of the game. That Welker TD was stupidity on Nolan and Jones. Make teams play the way you want to play them.

    A good pass rush is fine but when you're team can't rotate in and out to create that good pass rush then you have to at least stop the run. Making the other team one-dimensional is very valuable. There's two choices:

    1- You negate the fatigue factor on the DL, simplify rotations, and play with what you have.

    or

    2- You change the front of the scheme to stop the run by placing a second nose, forcing the other team into 15-20 yard passes all game long.
     
  20. Killerphins

    Killerphins The Finger

    9,313
    4,169
    0
    Nov 11, 2008
    I'm not even sure Jason Taylor can even get to a QB anymore.
     
  21. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    30,404
    49,681
    113
    Nov 25, 2007
    I don't think it's quite as easy to do, or quite as beneficial as you think. There are logistical problems with doing it.

    Right now, you've got the Ravens(Ngata/Cody, formerly Ngata/Gregg), the Patriots(Wilfork/Haynesworth), and the Saints(Aubrayo/Rogers). They are basically all forming a pattern... They've got a pure space eater(Cody/Wilfork/Aubrayo), and they've all got a big guy who is also a good pass rusher(Ngata/Haynesworth/Rogers). Both archtypes are pretty rare. Colleges don't produce a load of 330+ pound defensive tackles anymore. I think the latter set of guys, who can be quality pass rushers at that size, are even rarer, to the point where I don't think off the top of my head I can name many more than those three in the league. Fred Robbins had a good year last year, Kris Jenkins is retired, etc).

    If you DON'T have a player like that, I think it presents some serious logistical problems. What if teams throw on your base package, like teams chose to do on Miami in the Crowder/Ayodele years? You're basically getting no pass rush and exhausting your fatties. Rotation-wise, what are you doing? Are you able to commit to basically having 4 co-starters, given that passing down packages are roughly 50% of all snaps in the NFL? If one of those guys in either rotational set goes down, do you have the depth to fill in now that you're going for two separate archtypes?

    I remember when the Dolphins had Timbo and Chester, they were very difficult to run on... In base formations. If I remember correctly, when the Dolphins DID get run on, it was because they couldn't really afford to put those guys in on Nickel packages, and teams like the Bledsoe-run Bills and the Colts with Edgerin James put up 100+ yard days primarily keeping the space eaters off the field.

    Even for the Dolphins... How are you proposing to do it? You've got Paul Soliai(For a year), and then a bunch of resources and very good players in the wrong archtype. Are you going to bulk up a DE and hope he's effective at 325+ pounds? Are you going to let go of quality players to embrace a fad?
     
    FinNasty likes this.
  22. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I think Taylor can get to the QB in limited spurts but the way he's playing out there is more like a SOLB and that's what we he's probably better at nowadays anyway. Osi Umenyiora would be nice to have. You play one of Wake and Osi until third and more than 4. It's not so much how often you have them together but it's about making those opportunities on third down to end Brady's drives count.

    1- Negate that SOB's no huddle by having an entirely fresh defensive line in on the next drive.
    2- Once that's done make that third down personnel count. Bringing in a tired Starks and Odrick to give you a pass rush is stupidity.
     
  23. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    30,404
    49,681
    113
    Nov 25, 2007
    I don't think you can say there is an inherent advantage to the 3-4 or 4-3 when there is so many variants with the two. There's a broad range of differences in play style and personnel style in both defenses. You've got the Colts who have basically been running 4-3 that's more like most teams Nickel packages than anything, you've got 4-3 teams that are basically running a 3-4(Seattle, Dolphins under Saban), you've got 3-4 defenses that are basically like some of the smaller 1-gap 4-3 defenses in an "Under" front like Wade Phillips does.

    A 4-3 or 3-4 doesn't inherently mean anything other than the amount of hands on the ground vs. hands off the ground in the front-7, and I think the stereotypes of the two defenses can be very misleading.
     
    FinNasty and Stringer Bell like this.
  24. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Well let me ask you this if the opposing team has two NTs lined up on the guards what does the C do? It's not like he can pull pass block the edge pass rushers. As long as Kearse and Fields continue to slowly collapse the pocket they can prevent that the QB from stepping up in the pocket. (Soliai and Kearse can't get to the QB but they can minimize his room). If the team you're facing has to commit the guards no matter what (Haynesworth was lined up against and even at one point on the outside shoulder of Incognito) and the C is sitting there haven't I used three of the opposing team's linemen? Rather than having someone play the "0" and another linemen between a guard and a tackle (if you have good linemen you can stop that with only two linemen, which is what Connolly and Mankins can do), you force the C to commit to pass blocking a non-pass rusher. You don't give up anything in the run game because those two guys can maintain that A gap between themselves. No matter what though you must play me with your offensive guards. I don't care if it's the nickel, the dime formation whatever it is, I'm going to make that C of yours commit to basically nothing at times. There really is no way around this, because you can't shift protection with a C trying to block a DT whose moving to the outside of him and a guard shifting to help against Wake. This allows me to blitz a LB from the edges in a double say Wake. Now I've got you in a major bind. It also allows guys like Bell who are far to quick to adjust against for a tackle to get through and cause confusion.

    Most importantly I maintain the run stopping aspect of my defense.

    Now as far as the Crowder-Ayodele years. I'll give up those big gains to the TE. I have to give up something. However, if I have a guy that can at least cover well in a zone like a Dansby or a Burnett I at least have a chance to minimize those gains. I'll get them on a third down at some point in the drive. They'll miss a couple passes at some point in a drive. Then I let all hell break loose and I bring Starks-Odrick-McDaniel-Wake fresh as all hell off the bench.
     
  25. Striking

    Striking Junior Member

    1,402
    443
    83
    Apr 21, 2008
    Aurora, Colorado
    NE is one dimensional. The DL was a failure as much as the DBs. When Woodhead is able to get positive yards on every (?) play its a problem. Worse is to see him get extra yards after first contact.

    When comparing a superior defense to Miami I notice one thing. The defensive bubble that appears around the player with the ball. There are no easy yards due to missed tackles because if guy #1 makes the rare miss, #2 and #3 are right there to finish the job. It was a problem last year, and after one game, it appears we have yet to address it.
     
  26. FinNasty

    FinNasty Alabama don’t want this... Staff Member Club Member

    21,599
    27,509
    113
    Dec 1, 2007
    Our issue was that we were never even able to get into our base defense b/c the Pats spread attack. We were in nickel and dime packages all night. It's not like the Pats ran against our base. And the passing yards they racked up were against our 3rd/4th CBs (Vontae and Smith allowed 5 completions combined out of Brady's 32 completions.)

    I think it would be a HUGE mistake to change our defense based off one game against an offense that we won't see again all season other than the next time we play them. No one will be able to spread us out like THAT. No one...
     
    5thAmendment likes this.
  27. Jaj

    Jaj Registered

    6,359
    1,671
    0
    Mar 23, 2008
    Los Angeles
    That was the mistake on the Dolphins' part throughout the game. They gave up their base formation in favor of trying to get to Brady and Woodhead punished Miami enough to remind them that New England can change to a run play on any down at Brady's behest. If we forced him to pass (not like we could have created any less pressure against him anyway) at least the DBs and the LBs would have known what was coming).
     
  28. Disgustipate

    Disgustipate Season Ticket Holder Club Member

    30,404
    49,681
    113
    Nov 25, 2007
    Well, block the guy he's assigned to block given the scheme and play, pretty much no matter what.

    What are the coaches to do? If you've got two players in the area who are very good against the run, there's a bunch of stuff you do, from running away from them, to calling runs you can deal with a 1v1 loss or lack of movement, etc. and so on.

    I don't think it's that easy. Walking a linemen back into the pocket isn't an exactly easy task even with a size advantage, a lot of these big fat guys as powerful as they are get pulled for that very reason.

    I'm not really even sure you can name Kearse and Fields are really better at anything than Langford/Starks/etc. Physically, they have more size and theoretically more strength, but in practice I don't think either of them can rush the passer or hold up against the run better.
     
  29. NaboCane

    NaboCane Banned

    31,949
    11,899
    0
    Nov 24, 2007
    Th reason Smith and Davis had low numbers against them is because they were out about half the game with cramping from dehydration, IMO. I know that at 11:00/Q3, fresh out of the locker room at halftime, both were on the sidelines unable to play. It was absurd.

    And I can't say for sure but I would be surprised if Houston didn't look at that game and decide they were going to something similar; they won't have Brady but Schaub is not chopped liver and Arian Foster is better than any Back on NE's roster.

    I would bank on seeing at least some of that until we stop it.
     
  30. Dol-Fan Dupree

    Dol-Fan Dupree Tank? Who is Tank? I am Guy Incognito.

    39,997
    32,486
    113
    Dec 11, 2007
    I agree that Schaub is not chopped liver, however in comparison to Brady he is chopped liver.
     
  31. NaboCane

    NaboCane Banned

    31,949
    11,899
    0
    Nov 24, 2007
    With a different take, I'd say that one thing this game did was possibly usher in a new era of strong field generalship.

    For a long time now, since the retirement of Elway, Marino, Kelly and the like, we've seen QBs limited far more in terms of audibles, or outright calling plays at the LOS, and the advent of strong OCs who expect their calls to be respected and executed like Woody Allen expects actors to say his dialogue. That pendulum might now be swinging back toward the strong, brainy QB model, more gunslinger than caretaker.
     
    FinNasty likes this.
  32. PhinsPhan23

    PhinsPhan23 New Member

    206
    104
    0
    Nov 4, 2010
    You are correct. Easier to run on the 3-4.
     
  33. rafael

    rafael Well-Known Member

    27,363
    31,258
    113
    Apr 6, 2008
    That's my take on it as well. Those that are trying to say one is better than the other against the run are just being too simplistic.
     
  34. MarinePhinFan

    MarinePhinFan Banned

    7,612
    1,578
    0
    Oct 11, 2010
    What? Lol....have you ever watched Schaub play? Schaubs numbers are equal to Brady's even though he as an inferior team, coach, and less experience. In each of His first 2 full seasons he had over 4000 yds passing, 66% comp rate, and 53 TD's with only 26 INTs. He averaged more yards per game and had a higher QBR than Brady.
     
  35. miamiron

    miamiron There's always next year

    2,354
    1,402
    113
    Jan 4, 2008
    Yes, teams did run on Miami

    2002

    Colts...143 yards
    Chiefs..122
    Broncos...111
    Bills...132
    Packers...104
    Bills...161
    Bears...107
    Vikings..129
    Pats...116

    2001

    Titans...105 yards
    Rams...123
    Jets...128
    Panthers...103
    Bills...127
    Broncos...147
    San Fran...152
    Pats...196
    Falcons...152
    Ravens...226

    2000

    Vikings...125 yards
    Ravens...118
    Bengals...191
    Packers...133
    Jets...133
    Colts...144
    Bills...160
    Tampa...100
    Colts...133
    Raiders...140

    Miami's pass defense was very good but started to drop off

    In 2000 Miami held 14 teams to less than 200 yards receiving
    In 2001 Miami held 10 teams under 200 yards receiving
    In 2002 Miami held 8 teams under 200 yards receiving
     
  36. MrClean

    MrClean Inglourious Basterd Club Member

    I'd agree with that. Last year, I believe against the Jets in one game, when we couldn't slow down the run game in the 3-4, we switched to a 4-3 jumbo package part of the time. I believe we kept the 3 starters out there and added McDaniel to them. Just to get more beef on the DL and make it harder for them to push us around and as I recall it did help.
     
  37. hammer

    hammer New Member

    170
    51
    0
    Sep 13, 2011
    Beavercreek Ohio
    THIS ! This is why I think only teams like Baltimore and Detroit can stop New England. You have to get pressure up the middle and our 12 million dollar nose tackle was simply not a factor.
     
  38. hammer

    hammer New Member

    170
    51
    0
    Sep 13, 2011
    Beavercreek Ohio
    I believe when Daryl Gardener was at his best and mentally stable the D was solid against the run.
     
  39. FinNasty

    FinNasty Alabama don’t want this... Staff Member Club Member

    21,599
    27,509
    113
    Dec 1, 2007
    According to PFF, Vontae and Smith were on the field for 56 and 75 snaps respectively...
     
  40. MonstBlitz

    MonstBlitz Nobody's Fart Catcher

    20,974
    9,796
    113
    Jan 14, 2008
    Alexandria, VA
    The past two super bowl winners do very little to support your theory. Both the Saints and Packers were gashed by the run and still were able to win the big game.

    Also, statistics demonstrate it's passing defense that correlates much more with winning than run defense. It's a passing league. Those teams that stop the pass and pass well will have the most success.

    Is your point that stopping the run might make it easier to stop the pass? I guess it's possible, but I don't agree that's where the focus should be. And it wouldn't be much of a shift either. For the past several years this Dolphin team has been very good at stopping the run and dreadful at stopping big pass plays. We see where that's got us.

    In my opinion, we need to worry much more about the pass. Danny Woodhead did some damage, but it was Brady's arm that killed us.
     

Share This Page