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What once was old, is new again... Monte Kiffin in Dallas


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#1 Integrity28

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:20 AM

Rob Ryan being fired is old news. Monte Kiffin is back... and I wonder if it's a sign of things to come.

When Kiffin was part of the coaching staff that built Tampa Bay, their success (in particular that of the defense) triggered a league wide copy-cat reaction... and the Tampa-2, or derivations of it, was installed for many teams trying to rebuild or change direction. In time it's popularity waned and the 3-4 defense took it's place as the flavor of the month. As Jets fans watching our team install and draft for a 3-4 the past 7 years, we went from seeing maybe 4 other 3-4 defenses targeting the same hybrid OLB/DE prospects we wanted our team to take to now seeing closer to 10-12 teams (guesstimate) drafting for the 3-4.

It'll be really interesting to see the leagues reaction if Kiffin is able to take that Dallas defense further than Rob Ryan. I've already read that Demarcus Ware will be assuming the Simeon Rice role, which should be interesting... I frankly don't know enough about technique to say whether this could hinder Ware or not. It would be downright injustice if Ware was made irrelevant in this system. I'll let those that know more about technique weigh in on that though.

What do you guys think, any chance this triggers the typical league-wide over-reaction and teams all start going back to the Tampa-2 / Cover-2 systems?
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#2 #27TheDominator

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:35 AM

I prefer that my coach alter the system for the players rather than vice versa. It's one thing when you come into a sh*tshow like the Jets between 2005-2006, but not the way the Jets or Cowboys are now. You need the capability of playing multiple fronts to disguise things these days. With the current rules nobody is lining up and just crushing Os like they used to.

I agree about the ease of getting players when you are looking for a different system. It makes guys that were once easy to find, say 3-4 DEs that you could develop out of tweener defensive tackles, become hot commodities going earlier and earlier in the draft.
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#3 Jetsfan80

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:41 AM

Rob Ryan being fired is old news. Monte Kiffin is back... and I wonder if it's a sign of things to come.

When Kiffin was part of the coaching staff that built Tampa Bay, their success (in particular that of the defense) triggered a league wide copy-cat reaction... and the Tampa-2, or derivations of it, was installed for many teams trying to rebuild or change direction. In time it's popularity waned and the 3-4 defense took it's place as the flavor of the month. As Jets fans watching our team install and draft for a 3-4 the past 7 years, we went from seeing maybe 4 other 3-4 defenses targeting the same hybrid OLB/DE prospects we wanted our team to take to now seeing closer to 10-12 teams (guesstimate) drafting for the 3-4.

It'll be really interesting to see the leagues reaction if Kiffin is able to take that Dallas defense further than Rob Ryan. I've already read that Demarcus Ware will be assuming the Simeon Rice role, which should be interesting... I frankly don't know enough about technique to say whether this could hinder Ware or not. It would be downright injustice if Ware was made irrelevant in this system. I'll let those that know more about technique weigh in on that though.

What do you guys think, any chance this triggers the typical league-wide over-reaction and teams all start going back to the Tampa-2 / Cover-2 systems?


I think the league is too different from what it was in 2002. The running QB's in the league we have now would eat up a Tampa-2 type defense alive.

The league is all about innovation, not reverting back to its old ways. Marv Levy isn't coming back to run an all hurry-up offense.

Defenses are going to have to come up with something brand new that hasn't been tried before. THEN the league will copy it when it works until offenses figure it out, and the cycle will start over again.
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#4 Integrity28

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:55 AM

I think the league is too different from what it was in 2002. The running QB's in the league we have now would eat up a Tampa-2 type defense alive.

The league is all about innovation, not reverting back to its old ways. Marv Levy isn't coming back to run an all hurry-up offense.

Defenses are going to have to come up with something brand new that hasn't been tried before. THEN the league will copy it when it works until offenses figure it out, and the cycle will start over again.



Isn't New England pretty much running an all hurry-up offense?

Mostly I agree with you though.
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#5 Integrity28

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

I prefer that my coach alter the system for the players rather than vice versa. It's one thing when you come into a sh*tshow like the Jets between 2005-2006, but not the way the Jets or Cowboys are now. You need the capability of playing multiple fronts to disguise things these days. With the current rules nobody is lining up and just crushing Os like they used to.

I agree about the ease of getting players when you are looking for a different system. It makes guys that were once easy to find, say 3-4 DEs that you could develop out of tweener defensive tackles, become hot commodities going earlier and earlier in the draft.


The bold was 100% my grievance about Mangini. It took him 3 years to get most of the players he needed for his system. I'd argue it would have taken less time for him to upgrade the 4-3 we already had in place, than to plod through 3 years of roster turnover to build a mediocre 3-4.
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#6 #27TheDominator

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:14 AM

I think the league is too different from what it was in 2002. The running QB's in the league we have now would eat up a Tampa-2 type defense alive.

The league is all about innovation, not reverting back to its old ways. Marv Levy isn't coming back to run an all hurry-up offense.

Defenses are going to have to come up with something brand new that hasn't been tried before. THEN the league will copy it when it works until offenses figure it out, and the cycle will start over again.


There is some value to playing more zone style D against running QBs though. You are worried about the Cover-2 having both safeties out of the box, right? That might be a valid concern, but there is also the fact that the corners are generally more involved with run D and play more zone facing the QB. You don't see guys chasing and flailing like Wilson. That is why we had to dump our excellent cover corners when Herm came to get guys that played facing the QB. I see the new running QBs as doing the most damage to teams like the Giants that rely on speed rushers. Those guys can completely disrupt teams like the Pats, but they tend to overpursue against the running QBs.
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#7 #27TheDominator

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:20 AM

The bold was 100% my grievance about Mangini. It took him 3 years to get most of the players he needed for his system. I'd argue it would have taken less time for him to upgrade the 4-3 we already had in place, than to plod through 3 years of roster turnover to build a mediocre 3-4.


Not that I disagree, but I didn't think we had as many 4-3 pieces in place as most of the board did. Especially after dumping Abraham. Other than Vilma and Robertson, who was hurt by the switchover? Robertson wasn't winning any fans even in the cover who and Vilma is not a player worth switching defenses over.
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#8 Integrity28

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:23 AM

Not that I disagree, but I didn't think we had as many 4-3 pieces in place as most of the board did. Especially after dumping Abraham. Other than Vilma and Robertson, who was hurt by the switchover? Robertson wasn't winning any fans even in the cover who and Vilma is not a player worth switching defenses over.


The secondary was fine. Vilma was the key player, he was GREAT in a 4-3 and wasted in the 3-4. Rex built his D around Revis, his best defender, Mangini should have built around Vilma HIS best player.

Abraham should never have been traded. Regardless of whether fans like him. He was a proven 4-3 pass rusher, a commodity.

We had 2 great fits for the 4-3 and enough pieces and and off-season that could have had that cover-2 up and improved in one year, versus a 3 year defensive rebuild.

Rebuilding anyting over 3 years in today's NFL is foolish and unnecessary.
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#9 Greenseed4

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

Interesting read concerning the Tampa-2

http://www.dallascow...19-e1b6c73113ad

"Parcells convinced Jones that it was easier to find players to play in the 3-4, since it was a cheaper form of defense to play, because you didn’t have to pay the outside linebacker what you were paying defensive ends."

"Dungy and Kiffin took the concept of the defense to handle teams that were running the West Coast offenses, which were becoming so popular at the time. The key to the defense is having an attacking defensive front, but it’s also a defense built on speed and its ability to rally to the ball."

"In the 3-4 defense [Rob] Ryan played, it was a two-gap system which required the defensive line to fire their hands into the blockers, hold the block, then shed one way or the other. Head inside, head outside. In this Tampa 2 scheme, the linemen try and get up the field as fast as they can. In scouting terms it is called “Grabbing a gap”. This is where Warren Sapp was at his absolute best,"

"An “Under” front is when the defensive line is shaded to the weak side of the formation or an “Over” front that is shaded to the strong side. The over and under has to deal with the positioning of the “1 technique,” and the other defensive linemen adjust off that. What this front allows is switches and stunts without putting the defense at risk."

"The design of the defense is bend but don’t break, making sure to eliminate the big play. It makes the offense have to drive the ball in order to have success, and it requires an offense to be very patient in the way they attack it. It’s designed to allow the underneath stuff, but the speed of the defense takes care of that."

Edited by Greenseed4, 15 January 2013 - 11:36 AM.

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#10 #27TheDominator

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:46 AM

The secondary was fine. Vilma was the key player, he was GREAT in a 4-3 and wasted in the 3-4. Rex built his D around Revis, his best defender, Mangini should have built around Vilma HIS best player.

Abraham should never have been traded. Regardless of whether fans like him. He was a proven 4-3 pass rusher, a commodity.

We had 2 great fits for the 4-3 and enough pieces and and off-season that could have had that cover-2 up and improved in one year, versus a 3 year defensive rebuild.

Rebuilding anyting over 3 years in today's NFL is foolish and unnecessary.


Vilma was never GREAT. He was very good at his best. A nice piece, not a player to design a defense around. Abraham was great, but probably not reliable enough to build around. The Abraham bridge may have already been burnt based upon the alleged alcohol abuse and the like. The secondary is irrelevant because they would have been "fine" no matter what you did with them - though maybe would have gone a different route than Dyson.

Interesting read concerning the Tampa-2

http://www.dallascow...19-e1b6c73113ad

"Parcells convinced Jones that it was easier to find players to play in the 3-4, since it was a cheaper form of defense to play, because you didn’t have to pay the outside linebacker what you were paying defensive ends."

"Dungy and Kiffin took the concept of the defense to handle teams that were running the West Coast offenses, which were becoming so popular at the time. The key to the defense is having an attacking defensive front, but it’s also a defense built on speed and its ability to rally to the ball."

"In the 3-4 defense [Rob] Ryan played, it was a two-gap system which required the defensive line to fire their hands into the blockers, hold the block, then shed one way or the other. Head inside, head outside. In this Tampa 2 scheme, the linemen try and get up the field as fast as they can. In scouting terms it is called “Grabbing a gap”. This is where Warren Sapp was at his absolute best,"

"An “Under” front is when the defensive line is shaded to the weak side of the formation or an “Over” front that is shaded to the strong side. The over and under has to deal with the positioning of the “1 technique,” and the other defensive linemen adjust off that. What this front allows is switches and stunts without putting the defense at risk."

"The design of the defense is bend but don’t break, making sure to eliminate the big play. It makes the offense have to drive the ball in order to have success, and it requires an offense to be very patient in the way they attack it. It’s designed to allow the underneath stuff, but the speed of the defense takes care of that."


Hated it. I hate bend but don't break. I like to attack. It still can be effective, but I prefer this.
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#11 Integrity28

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:49 AM

Vilma was never GREAT. He was very good at his best. A nice piece, not a player to design a defense around. Abraham was great, but probably not reliable enough to build around. The Abraham bridge may have already been burnt based upon the alleged alcohol abuse and the like. The secondary is irrelevant because they would have been "fine" no matter what you did with them - though maybe would have gone a different route than Dyson.



Hated it. I hate bend but don't break. I like to attack. It still can be effective, but I prefer this.


Well, we'll never know... the only thing I am unwavering about is that giving Mangini 3 years to build a 3-4 defense was dumb. It all worked out in the end when we hired Rex, but the mere fact that Woody allowed Mangini to drag his feet on installing his system under the veil of "needing 34 guys" was ridiculous. More a reflection on Woody and Tanny than anything else though

Totally agree with the bold.

Edited by Integrity28, 15 January 2013 - 11:49 AM.

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#12 Bleedin Green

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:53 AM

While I think variations of it could start to become more popular, I'm not sure you'll ever see a true pure cover-2 reemerge in the same level of popularity. In today's age of NFL, the way the game has changed, there continues to be greater emphasis regarding the aggressiveness of a defense. In order to have any sort of aggressiveness in a cover-2, you're really relying 100% on your DL to do that, and given the changes in recent years, putting together a line who can consistently put on the kind of pressure you need to have success against today's passing offenses, without any extra help, is a very tall order. While having a great pass rusher is (typically) a major key to any top defense, even Ds with the best rushers these days don't solely rely on those guys to put on the pressure by themselves, but are sure to scheme to help compliment those guys, using the advantage they create to allow for other free rushers. That's not to say a variation of it won't make a comeback, but with the way the rules have changed, there are simply too many QBs out there who would completely pick apart a "bend but don't break" defense, which was already a big enough problem for most cover-2 teams outside of Tampa back in those days to begin with.
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#13 #27TheDominator

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 11:58 AM

Well, we'll never know... the only thing I am unwavering about is that giving Mangini 3 years to build a 3-4 defense was dumb. It all worked out in the end when we hired Rex, but the mere fact that Woody allowed Mangini to drag his feet on installing his system under the veil of "needing 34 guys" was ridiculous. More a reflection on Woody and Tanny than anything else though

Totally agree with the bold.


A little confused on the "drag his feet" part. Dragging his feet would indicate that he altered things based upon his personnel which I thought is what you were complaining about. I think he installed it and then lived with less than stellar results. I'm not a huge fan of Mangini, but I think the D developed in a fairly reasonable manner, though the personnel seemed better tahn performance in 2007 and 2008. Rex was getting better out of less though as some, like Dierking, point out part of that is the lousy offense.

Edited by #27TheDominator, 15 January 2013 - 12:14 PM.

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#14 Greenseed4

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:00 PM

Hated it. I hate bend but don't break. I like to attack. It still can be effective, but I prefer this.


I think we all have nightmares about Mangini's famous "Prevent [us from winning]" defenses...employed late, late, late in the game after getting a lead.
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#15 Integrity28

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:09 PM

A little confused on the "drag his feet" part. Dragging his feet would indicate that he altered things based upon his personnel which I thought is what you were complaining about. I think he installed it and then lived with less than stellar results. I'm not a huge fan of Mangini, but I think the D developed in a fairly reasonable manner, though the personnel seemed better tahn performance in 2008 and 2009. Rex was getting better out of less though as some, like Dierking, point out part of that is the lousy offense.


Dragged his feet, meaning it felt we were on this ever-long search for the players he needed for his defense to not suck. Maybe that was perception-driven, either way it sucked. He'd get another "Mangini guy" results didn't change and then it was off to find another guy who "fits the 34".... seemed like a never-ending cycle.

You are right though, maybe he just sucked and that was the fans being optimistic hoping he was just always one player away from not sucking.
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#16 #27TheDominator

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:16 PM

That should have read 2007 and 2008. 2009 was stellar and it's hard to believe Mangini couldn't do better with a healthy Jenkins and prime Revis in 2008.
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#17 Jets2013

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Posted 15 January 2013 - 12:31 PM

I prefer that my coach alter the system for the players rather than vice versa. It's one thing when you come into a sh*tshow like the Jets between 2005-2006, but not the way the Jets or Cowboys are now. You need the capability of playing multiple fronts to disguise things these days. With the current rules nobody is lining up and just crushing Os like they used to.

I agree about the ease of getting players when you are looking for a different system. It makes guys that were once easy to find, say 3-4 DEs that you could develop out of tweener defensive tackles, become hot commodities going earlier and earlier in the draft.


Agreed...I feel coaches should adapt their fronts to the talent they have rather than the other way around...just makes more sense to me.
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