A Look at The Jets Defensive Scheme

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by jays52, Sep 18, 2010.

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  1. jays52

    jays52 In the Starting Line-Up

    #91 Jersey

    ...and how it can be effectively attacked.

    Is it 4:15 on Sunday yet?

    Well, I'm bored, chomping my nails off in anticipation of the coming matchup, and needed to kill some time. So, I took a look at some Ryan concepts, looked at his players, had some thoughts and sat down on my laptop with a coldbeer.

    Let's start with the two most basic concepts behind Ryan's fundamental attack. His scheme relies upon attacking the blocking scheme of the offense and forcing a quick ball release. This is achieved through disguising the Mike backer, overloading a gap, and pressing receivers off of the line. In order to understand how this attacks blocking schemes, it is necessary to first understand the fundamentals of a pass blocking scheme.

    Typically, the first call made after the offense breaks the huddle is the identification of the Mike linebacker. This is sometimes made by both the QB and center, othertimes just by the center. Think of the Mike backer as the strength of the defensive formation. Just as you would hear defenses call out "strong left", offenses will call out "52 is Mike". Almost everything in defensive football boiled down it it's most basic, fundamental level flows through the Mike linebacker. This is in large part because of the premium on the middle of the field. Look at how defenses are built. Nose, Mike and Will, SS. Everything from flow to the football to coverage to blitzing runs through the Mike. From 2-gap 34 to Ryan 34 to Johnson 43 to Tampa-2, it all places a premium on the alignment and responsibility of the mike. If he's not there to blitz or eat a blocker he is there to compensate for a weakened area. In the context of the passing game, he is your best key in the anticipation of a blitz or coverage. Take this read away and the offense is already in an anticipation disadvantage.

    The next part of what makes Ryan's scheme effective is the overload blitz. This is again an attack on the pass protection concept. As a very general rule, most protections rely upon the blocker to defend a zone of closeness. Take the man closest to your face, and put a premium on defending the most direct line to the football. This is in response to stunts and loops that are designed to confuse man blocking scheme. For example; the offense is set in a singleback set with the TE aligned to the right of the formation. The defense is in a basic 43 call. In a very basic call the tackle is responsible for the weakside end, and the guard is responsible for the 3-technique. When the ball is snapped the 3-tech drives across the face of the guard, drawing him inwards. The defensive end accelerates towards the outside shoulder of the tackle, pulling him outwards in his drop steps. There is now a large rushing lane opened in the B-gap. The Will backer attacks the B-gap and the back steps up to block the Will. Tackle has outside responsibility, guard has inside responsibility, back has blitzer. Same thing would have happened if the 3-tech shot the B-Gap, and the Mike came through the A gap. Now, let's add a walked up free safety coming through the B-Gap off of the azz of the Will. No matter what the o-line does, someone is going to come free. This example isn't perfect nor absolute but it does a good job of illustrating my point.

    When you know that someone is going to come to the QB, and do so in a hurry, the next logical progression is a quick release of the football. The most obvious counter to this is the slant, and other routes that attack the inside of the field. This is why the interior defenders in blitz mandated man coverage will often play inside technique and jam the receivers. Force the progression to take as long as possible and remove the obvious areas. It also helps to have corners with great ball skills as rushed throws are often errent throws (Cromartie and Wilson are both examples of this). This seems great in theory. Create indecision, force panic, force rushed plays, penetrate and attack to create negative plays. If done effectively, it shortens the field and greatly limits the potential of the offense. It's the inverse of great Belichick defensive football, but the desired result is the same. It's difficult to attack, but because it is a hard philsophy and not an adaptable concept it can be beaten.

    The first thing you look at when scheming any defense is how are they going to attack you. We already know this. What follows is the identification of it's vulnerability. We know there are going to be zones vacated. We know that if blocked it is highly vulnerable. We know that the seams are going to be open. We know that their safeties are going to be in cover-0, or at most cover-1. You then look at what your own strengths are. Tight ends, passing game backs, slot receivers, and a flanker that must be respected. This is an interesting blend of strengths. It gives you the ability to spread the defense out and play the numbers and route game with your inside recievers. A valid option, but not necessarily absolutely prudent given the concession of immediate pressure in conjunction with press. You can also man up the tight ends and play the body positioning and physical mismatch game. Hmm, interesting. With two tight ends and your passing game back in there you can do a lot of things. You can line up your big tight end as the H and motion him towards the overload. He can chip the exterior defender and release to an uncovered seam. The back can pick up the interior defender. You will win this matchup every time. You can take your receiving tight end and play him in the seam as the Y draws the interior corner. I like that set. Then there's the option of the bunch formation creating your own overload. If they're in man, they are going to be forced to sell out their blitz or give it up all together. You are going to draw their outside man over the interior reciever in the bunch (especially if it is a TE) if they are going to play straight man. This will negate their overload. If they don't respect it and stick to the blitz, you have an easy hot hitch, or if you really want to get fancy an easy jet crack on the playside OLB and a quick toss that will outflank the blitz and is well blocked.

    Well, this is a fun topic of conversation, and I hope that others can chime in on this geekout session. What I said obviously isn't perfect nor absolute, but is in my mind a pretty logical way of looking at things. If you have something to add or just think I'm an idiot please add on!
  2. BradyMossWelker

    BradyMossWelker Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Bill, is that you?
  3. Mike in 333

    Mike in 333 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Nice job Jays, this helps to explain the troubles we had in our 1st game against the Jets last year. No Welker so the options for a quick pass were limited. Revis neutralized Moss so Brady was under a lot more pressure earlier in his reads than he typically is. I think with Welker back on the field and with our revitalized TE corps tomorrow should be much different with better blocking and more targets for the quick pass. I like what the RB's are doing this year and if our running game can produce then the Rex Ryan blitz scheme could turn into an advantage for us. Really looking forward to how it plays out
  4. Patstopia

    Patstopia Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #51 Jersey

    I feel smarter already. Awesome write up. Thanks
  5. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

    #24 Jersey

    I enjoy it more when I just watch it ... but thanks for the effort jay. ;)
  6. Frezo

    Frezo In the Starting Line-Up

    #50 Jersey

    IMO the Pats need to establish the run. A 70/30 pass to run offense plays into the Ryan defense. If the offense becomes predictable towards passing, it plays right into the blitz heavy defense. It allows the D to get into a rhythm and sooner later due to the inexperience of the O-line and simply the number of passes, they're going to get to Brady. What options do you see for establishing a running game against the Jets?

    How about a 2 TE set? Gronk and Crump are big guys. Put Aiken as the strong side wide out and bring him in motion to the inside to block. He's another big guy that blocks well. Just run the play and see if they can stop it. Play a little old school smashmouth. It'll have to be executed quickly because the extra blitzer will coming from the weak side.

    I bet a delayed hand off from the shotgun could be successful in certain situations.
  7. Wheelssps

    Wheelssps Practice Squad Player

    Thanks for the post! It helps me understand some of the use of the TE's to neutralize the pressure AND at the same time exploit a weakness in the defense. Other posters in other treads have mentioned going spread, but I really don't think we'll see tons of it. Sure some of it, but I think going too much spread allows the defense to come at you anyway, whereas using the TE's as above slows the defense while giving the offense the ability to send appropriate people into patterns each play to exploit vacated areas of the field. I think we'll see more 2 TE sets with backers in motion, or split wide and motioning back towards the line than we will total spread em out.
  8. PatsfanGlo

    PatsfanGlo On the Game Day Roster

    This is why this website is best football forum anywhere. This had to be one of the most educational post ever for me. Compared to typical Jests 'Brady + Goat = Love' bs, this is intellectually sound post. Thank you and please keep them coming. Oh and I have to ask....on Patscast, when they say Jay, is it you? For some weird reason, I always thought it was Kontradiction....now that i see your name with this post....heh...
  9. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #12 Jersey

    I'll keep my part simple and comment on personnel.

    Good to have:

    Moss -- open anywhere on the field unless considerable talent is dedicated to covering him.

    Faulk -- best on the team at picking up the blitz. Also a solid short-pass receiver.

    Taylor -- notwithstanding the foregoing, made a pretty awesome blitz pickup in Game 1. And his presence forces the defenders to pinch their formation toward the center a bit more than Faulk's.

    Welker -- one of the great short-pass receivers in the entire history of the game.

    Crumpler, Gronk -- suitable short-pass receivers. Also can be blocking assets. And as Ken argued in another thread, can slightly slow the blitz by making blitzers run around them (although his estimate of 1 second was wildly overstated).

    Edelman -- a lesser Welker

    Less good, perhaps:

    Tate -- speed receiver who inherently takes time to get open.
    Hernandez -- see Tate, although not to that extreme.
    Aiken -- not necessarily open even when he's wide open.
    Other RBs -- what do they contribute, especially on plays they won't carry the ball?
  10. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    In the first game last year, Revis had help all over the field against Moss. The problem in that game was the inefficiency of Edelman (his first game and limited Brady reps, so understandable) and Galloway (pathetic, no excuse). Those two had so many misses opportunities that the Pats couldn't get into any sort of rhythm. Too bad because the running game was reasonably effective.

    The second game was totally different. The running game was still OK, but Welker and Edelman had near 100% efficiency. Revis was left alone with Moss much more this game and Brady (to a fault) looked to Moss down the field too much.

    Also remember that Vollmer wasn't yet starting in the first game and Light/Neal were out for the second game. Connolly started in the second game so he has some experience against the Jets. With Jenkins and Pace out, I doubt the Jets will be able to sustain an all-out blitzing scheme into the 4th quarter (Pouha and Taylor really aren't full-time players). If Revis and Pool aren't 100%, it is unlikely that they can commit 6+ players to the pass rush very often.

    To be honest, I will seriously tip my hat to the Jets if they pull this game out. The Ravens were able to put together some drives despite their turnovers and suckish ST play. Here is the ending field position for every Ravens drive that started outside their 20 (all between the Balt 24 and 36):

    Jets 20
    Jets 20
    Jets 1 (TD)
    Balt 42
    Jets 42
    Jets 36

    The Jets DL rotation is 33 yo Ellis, backups Pouha and DeVito, spectac-u-bust Gholston, some guy named Kroul and signed off the street Green. The LBs are solid but only 5 deep (including Taylor and Westerman). The safeties are a disaster if Pool can't go or can't go full speed. I know it is easy to fall into the trap of projecting Revis and Harris across the whole defense, but this isn't the '85 Bears we are dealing with.

    Stay out from the shadow of your goal line. Don't turn the ball over. Don't get greedy. Get everyone involved. No stupid penalties. Basically, stay clean and efficient and the Jets D will have nothing left in the 4th quarter.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  11. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd On the Game Day Roster

    Aiken is no longer on the team.

  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I guess it's been a long time since I disagreed with an analysis as much as this one.

    1) trying to establish the run isn't a terrible idea in of itself, but to ignore that we are a passing team against one of the best run defenses in the league is a little silly. That strategy simply lets Cromarite and Wilson of the hook. Brady will pass to Moss, Welker, the tight ends, and one of our running backs early and often.

    2) I am 100% fine with a 2 TE set. It is necessary to protect Brady. Taht does not decrease the likelhood of passing, or the percentage of passing plays. it simply allows Brady the time to complete passes. There will be a lot of work for all of our receivers over the middle.

    3) With regard to using Aiken as our #2 receiver because he is such a good run blocker is the worst idea I've heard in years. Theis strategy wasn't even used last eyar when Aiken was on the team, and two receivers were injured.

    4) Even without Jenkins in there, having the patriots try to focus on smashmouth running up the middle is IMHO a really bad idea. I see lots of off-tackle plays and sweeps with a pulling guard as our bread and butter running plays.

    Deciding to be a smashmouth running team is the way to be easily beaten by the jets. Expecting Brady and his Bunch of receivers to win us the game is, well, the way to win the game. Just PROTECT the franchise. I do see a lot 2 TE sets.

  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Welcome to the board!

    After being here for awhile, you will understand that facts are often ignored when posters want to make a point. Facts rarely are allowed to get in the way.

  14. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd On the Game Day Roster

    There are indeed a lot of facts being ignored in this thread.

    Did people see how much success Ray Rice and the Ravens' excellent line had against the Jets defense? They committed to the run all night, and thats part of the reason they only scored 10 points.

    The Jets are geared towards the run, offensively and defensively. That is why we cannot run on them. It is also why taking the initial lead is of paramount importance. If NE puts points on the board early they control the outcome of the game. I can't see BB calling anything less than the plays it takes to straight up beat the Jets D.
  15. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I disagree with your analysis of the ravens-jets game. The ravens did indeed seem to try to play just well enough to win. They trusted their defense to hold the jets to 9 points. The ravens almost lost that game. The jets had a first down about 20 yards from a field goal try if the jets receiver had simply stepped forward before stepping out of bounds. We want the patriots not to allow the jets this kind of opportunity.

  16. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd like to see a lot more motion than usual. It would keep Moss freer of Revis, who loves to jam at the line. It would also allow for adding a wrinkle to the bubble screen, by putting Welker in Motion and then running a TE in the direction of Welker's man at the snap.

    As BB has noted, attacking the Jets defense is about recognition. Brady has to make the right reads, and he and Koppen need to be on the same page when it comes to protections. If they can do that, the rest will fall in place.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  17. Frezo

    Frezo In the Starting Line-Up

    #50 Jersey

    My bad. Forgot Aikens was gone.
  18. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    I think it was in the off season of Rex's first year with the Jets that someone posted (either here or JI) and old Raven defensive play book. I down loaded it. It was over 60 pages. While there were a lot of Xs and Os, there was also a great deal about the philosophy that backbones the D.

    The one I remember the clearest, was that it is up to the defense to DICTATE to the offense. Its the Defense's goal to make the offense react to what the D is doing rather than the other way around. Other things I can remember them emphasizing where about always deliver the blow, don't take one. To play with great technique. To know your assignments and responsibilities

    When I was going over some of their blitz packages I noticed that a key factor is trying to get an offensive lineman to commit to blocking a defender who isn't rushing. They have some blitzes where the defender steps into the blocker before dropping into coverage. They believe if they execute they blitz packages they can force the ball out quickly enough that even completed passes aren't damaging
  19. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    #12 Jersey

    Good point. :D

    I forgot that in the face of the other post ...
  20. MustaphaM0nd

    MustaphaM0nd On the Game Day Roster

    I was just saying I thought the blueprint week 1 set was that you have to pass to beat the Jets.

    The Ravens are one of the best running teams in the league, and they struggled to run the ball. I don't see why we would insist on running the ball often.:confused:

    Being "balanced on offense" is a means of offensive production, but not a goal in itself. If the most effective gameplan for tomorrow means passing the ball every single down, so be it.
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