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Defensive Scheme (part XII)


BCJet
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3 minutes ago, BCJet said:

I know there have been a ton of threads about how poor the Jets defensive scheme is, but the guys at www.jetsxfactor.com did a great piece about the nuances of the scheme and why its very likely it wont work.

https://jetsxfactor.com/2021/12/14/robert-saleh-vision-alarming-truth/

In summary, their main points:

1.   The scheme has really only worked consistently in Seattle when they had elite defenders in every position group in Chancellor/Thomas, Sherman, Wagner, and Michael Bennet - which has been covered here a lot.

2. You also need an elite QB/offense as this scheme is essentially a full-time nickel and is most effective when a team is trailing and has to throw.  They explained that seattle was oftentimes winning those games which led to the defense being "better" as they were playing to their strengths.  Conversely with respect to the defense against the run, the defense tends to struggle against the run and screens as we have all clearly seen and which is commonly known around the league now and why the teams simply gash it with power running.

I cant see how we will be successful if we need to use a ton of draft capital on the defense to find elite playmakers and then at the same time have ZW progress fast enough that he can give the defense a lead to play with all while dealing with teams beating the attacking DL with screens and counters.  

Time of possession was huge for those Seattle teams they had a dominate running game with Lynch...Wilson was mostly a game manager in those years.

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the most encouraging think in this article was how Saleh changed it mid season in SF last year. yet looking at it we are much worst then SF was last year and he hasnt changed it yet.

we might need Woody or JD to intervene and tell him this defense is out dated and doesnt work anymore. change it before we kill this 2022 draft getting players for it.

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The defense doesn't have weaknesses that are any different from every other defense that is primarily rush four and play zone. The linebackers are just terrible. They could blitz and play man but then it would be a bigger problem that the corners are also terrible. The system is actually doing a pretty reasonable job of hiding what it's supposed to hide. They're missing pieces, but that's true no matter what.

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A monkey could call this scheme.
I mean a monkey could drive a bus, too, but I wouldn't want to be a passenger.


Exactly the problem. The scheme is easy to call because it’s extremely simple and relies on incredibly good players to execute it. In stark contrast Belicheck calls incredibly complex schemes that puts average physical athletes into great positions to make plays.


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15 hours ago, Waka Flocka Flacco said:

The defense doesn't have weaknesses that are any different from every other defense that is primarily rush four and play zone. The linebackers are just terrible. They could blitz and play man but then it would be a bigger problem that the corners are also terrible. The system is actually doing a pretty reasonable job of hiding what it's supposed to hide. They're missing pieces, but that's true no matter what.

This is the part I dont agree with.  When you go out and state that you want your DL to penetrate and create havoc in the backfield,  you are essentially setting them up to be trapped and countered not to mention susceptible to screens and thats what has happened.  Yes our LBs suck but we do have mosley and two DL in Foley and QW who were absolutely dominant against the run and now are average at best.  That cannot be on the LBs.

I think a better argument would be that we need a Kam Chancellor who can cover TEs AND help in the run game to avoid being gashed vs running teams and in the screen game.  That being said, one reason he was so successful was that he had an all time great in Earl Thomas who could cover a ton of ground as a single high FS. 

As much as I would like to see somewhat of a schematic scheme, especially along the defensive line, I think the bigger probability is that we wind up looking at players like Devin Lloyd and Kyle Phillips to play the roles we need to be better in this scheme

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As we play the Dolphins this week, I note the dialogue regarding their defense.  That is a 3-4 (sort of) defense based on the Patriots and devised by Flores.   They don’t seem to have a problem finding players for it, and Saleh itself started Flacco the last time we played them before their defense was so confusing.  So why are we running a defense that is not confusing?

Gregg Williams in 2019 ran a decent defense.  A good blitzing safety helped-he had Jamal Adams playing at an All Pro level.  

I am actually getting closer to concluding that the Jets do not know what they are doing in the big picture.  Saleh is going to have to put a defense on the field that actually schemes and is coached, as opposed to playing backyard football.  The offensive scheme looks decent but needs players.  

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6 minutes ago, varjet said:

As we play the Dolphins this week, I note the dialogue regarding their defense.  That is a 3-4 (sort of) defense based on the Patriots and devised by Flores.   They don’t seem to have a problem finding players for it, and Saleh itself started Flacco the last time we played them before their defense was so confusing.  So why are we running a defense that is not confusing?

Gregg Williams in 2019 ran a decent defense.  A good blitzing safety helped-he had Jamal Adams playing at an All Pro level.  

I am actually getting closer to concluding that the Jets do not know what they are doing in the big picture.  Saleh is going to have to put a defense on the field that actually schemes and is coached, as opposed to playing backyard football.  The offensive scheme looks decent but needs players.  

I must admit a terrible urge to put my fingers in my ears and chant "na na na na" like a four year old when I hear the word "system". There is no issue in having a base philosophy but in my opinion you must adjust to your players and devise a scheme that maximizes the skills of what we have. Our personnel in no way fit Saleh's "system" yet he insists on running out. It's break the TV frustrating.

And LaFleur is doing the same thing. He puts in White and runs an offense to mazimize his potential, Zach comes back he insists on stuffing him into a poorly fit box.

I feel as low on hope as I have in a while.,

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3 minutes ago, johnnysd said:

I must admit a terrible urge to put my fingers in my ears and chant "na na na na" like a four year old when I hear the word "system". There is no issue in having a base philosophy but in my opinion you must adjust to your players and devise a scheme that maximizes the skills of what we have. Our personnel in no way fit Saleh's "system" yet he insists on running out. It's break the TV frustrating.

And LaFleur is doing the same thing. He puts in White and runs an offense to mazimize his potential, Zach comes back he insists on stuffing him into a poorly fit box.

I feel as low on hope as I have in a while.,

Exactly - could not possibly agree more.

Pick a 4-3 or 3-4 and then find players who can adapt at least somewhat week to week.  

It doesnt really matter what Saleh learned, he needs a DC who can teach!  Saying that "we dont follow a WR" is ridiculous, you do what you have to do to stop the other teams strengths.  If that means hall follows a good WR, then do it.  If that means you play  2-gap 4-3 vs a team like the colts who run, then you do it.  If you need to play 4-2-5 zone vs the chiefs, then you do it.

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Nice article. I read through most of it.

Just a few comments/questions:

1) Could it be that the scheme is conducive to developing elite talent because of its simplicity? Legit question which I don't have an opinion on one way or the other.

2) The writer notes that Saleh adjusted the 49ers defensive scheme when they didn't have the talent to run his preferred scheme. Saleh has the ability to adjust his scheme but, my guess is he likely does not want to right now because he prefers the Seattle scheme and he knows we are not winning anyways.

3) Giving Zach's struggles, the FO should consider making this a run heavy team and striving to have an elite run game. At least in the short term. When Russell Wilson was young, Seattle was a run heavy team. They had beast mode run through everyone.

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2 minutes ago, GreenFish said:

Nice article. I read through most of it.

Just a few comments/questions:

1) Could it be that the scheme is conducive to developing elite talent because of its simplicity? Legit question which I don't have an opinion on one way or the other.

2) The writer notes that Saleh adjusted the 49ers defensive scheme when they didn't have the talent to run his preferred scheme. Saleh has the ability to adjust his scheme but, my guess is he likely does not want to right now because he prefers the Seattle scheme and he knows we are not winning anyways.

3) Giving Zach's struggles, the FO should consider making this a run heavy team and striving to have an elite run game. At least in the short term. When Russell Wilson was young, Seattle was a run heavy team. They had beast mode run through everyone.

1.   I think this is correct, especially with respect to CBs as JD has looked for a certain type in late rounds and given its zone based, I dont think you need elite talents like Stingley at CB - moreso you need elite safety play.

2.  My fear here is the Todd Bowles problem - blind loyalty.  Bowles' defense actually pkayed very well the few games Kacy Rogers was out with an illness, but Bowles was too loyal to a coach who clearly was not someone who should be running a defensive meeting room and calling plays.  Hopefully saleh realizes how bad that could be for him.

3.  I do see us running more once we add a TE (hopefully Trey McBride with our 2nd round pick) as he and Kroft would actually be really good in this system blocking and as pass catchers.  

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The defense was pretty good in SF the last 2 years he was there including 2020 when they had a crap load of injuries.

            dvoa    pa    ya
2017:    26    25    24    
2018:     24    28    13
2019:      2    8    2
2020:      6    17    5

It's no coincidence they had Bosa the best year the defense in SF. The D relies on a heavy pass rush from the front 4. Hutchinson.

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What  I never understood is why all other defensive coordinators ( especially ours) don’t do what Belichick does so successfully which is to take away the best player by double teaming him with their CB2 and a safety, thus leaving their CB1 to blanket their #2 threat.

I mean, it sounds simple enough. Is it that complicated ? like I don’t know,  physics? 

 

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18 hours ago, BCJet said:

I know there have been a ton of threads about how poor the Jets defensive scheme is, but the guys at www.jetsxfactor.com did a great piece about the nuances of the scheme and why its very likely it wont work.

https://jetsxfactor.com/2021/12/14/robert-saleh-vision-alarming-truth/

In summary, their main points:

1.   The scheme has really only worked consistently in Seattle when they had elite defenders in every position group in Chancellor/Thomas, Sherman, Wagner, and Michael Bennet - which has been covered here a lot.

2. You also need an elite QB/offense as this scheme is essentially a full-time nickel and is most effective when a team is trailing and has to throw.  They explained that seattle was oftentimes winning those games which led to the defense being "better" as they were playing to their strengths.  Conversely with respect to the defense against the run, the defense tends to struggle against the run and screens as we have all clearly seen and which is commonly known around the league now and why the teams simply gash it with power running.

I cant see how we will be successful if we need to use a ton of draft capital on the defense to find elite playmakers and then at the same time have ZW progress fast enough that he can give the defense a lead to play with all while dealing with teams beating the attacking DL with screens and counters.  

Defensive Scheme (part XII)

where are the other 11 parts?

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I said most of this sh*t when the hired this guy.  This is not a news flash.  OTOH, the board has been whining that stopping the run doesn't matter, well here you go.  This is a D that will work when the team is good.  Do we really care that much about the way things are going now?  

I think that is why he is stubbornly sticking to the supposed "system."  First, these guys have to learn it and knowing who can play it and who can't will matter more than whether we give up 7 yards or 6.  Second, they have had a ton of injuries.  A large part of this scheme involves versatility and interchangeability.  It is hard to do that with guys off the street.  I am not in love with this D or staff, but I think they are better than it has seemed.  I give them more of a pass than I do Wilson and I am still okay with trotting that guy out there every Sunday, no matter what Boomer says.

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8 minutes ago, #27TheDominator said:

I said most of this sh*t when the hired this guy.  This is not a news flash.  OTOH, the board has been whining that stopping the run doesn't matter, well here you go.  This is a D that will work when the team is good.  Do we really care that much about the way things are going now?  

I think that is why he is stubbornly sticking to the supposed "system."  First, these guys have to learn it and knowing who can play it and who can't will matter more than whether we give up 7 yards or 6.  Second, they have had a ton of injuries.  A large part of this scheme involves versatility and interchangeability.  It is hard to do that with guys off the street.  I am not in love with this D or staff, but I think they are better than it has seemed.  I give them more of a pass than I do Wilson and I am still okay with trotting that guy out there every Sunday, no matter what Boomer says.

What would you consider the premium positions in this defense? What are the positions you think are worth investing big bucks or a high 1st rounder (specific to this defense)?

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okay so the article shows how the jax and san fran defenses fell from 2 to 5 as their offenses dropped from 6th to 27th and 4th to 15th respectfully.  that doesn't really show that the defense or it's scheme needed the offense to be great in order to stay good.  the jets would be laughing all the way to the bank if their defense even sniffed 5th in one game this season.  true enough a good offense helps the defense by making the other team more one dimensional.  but more important is having the right talent level and player longevity.  the defense needs to behave as a unit , not just a bunch of players flying around trying to tackle the ball carrier.  and this is what they are lacking.  and this will be helped as the young players gain experience.

i don't know enough about football to say saleh's defense should be scrapped but it seems clear he doesn't have the right player mix and he certainly doesn't have enough players who know how to play the system.  but i think we can say that about nearly any defensive scheme. hopefully that will change.

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2 hours ago, BCJet said:

Exactly - could not possibly agree more.

Pick a 4-3 or 3-4 and then find players who can adapt at least somewhat week to week.  

It doesnt really matter what Saleh learned, he needs a DC who can teach!  Saying that "we dont follow a WR" is ridiculous, you do what you have to do to stop the other teams strengths.  If that means hall follows a good WR, then do it.  If that means you play  2-gap 4-3 vs a team like the colts who run, then you do it.  If you need to play 4-2-5 zone vs the chiefs, then you do it.

Exactly. If for some reason Belichick thought his players best fit a 2-4 alignment in full time dime he would do it. Over time Saleh should get players that get closer to his ideal but the reality is that each season needs to have essentially it's own "system"

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34 minutes ago, GreenFish said:

What would you consider the premium positions in this defense? What are the positions you think are worth investing big bucks or a high 1st rounder (specific to this defense)?

I think they just want pass rush.  Maybe safety, I'm not sure.  I think they look to fill corner with traits guys and train them up.  I think they just want LB that can run, but everything will be predicated on pass rush.  I'm no expert, but those are my guesses.  Meanwhile, one of Maccagnan's few hits, Fatukasi, is a pending FA and I'm betting he gets more money and love elsewhere.  That will hurt our run D even more.

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Good read, fun topic.  I think in general the "base" or "system" or "philosophy" is overrated and really doesnt matter, it's not x's and o's its the Jim's and the Joe's, so what Saleh is trying to install, isnt concerning.  Many teams have done it successfully, there are only so many looks you can give a team.  What concerns me and I dont know if this changes with better players, but Saleh/Ulbrich seemingly do not scheme week to week game plans.  They really dont try to hide their looks either.  Not a ton of disguising.  That's concerning because you really do need damn all-pro's at every level if you're just lining up and asking everyone to win on every play.  It's just feels too easy to attack but who knows, maybe they just feel limited due to the roster.

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It’s hard to judge the scheme given that our linebackers/safeties are brutal. Mosley was really good but he’s lost a step - maybe 2. He’s always a beat late. The rest of the linebackers are backups at best and since Maye got hurt we are playing backups/practice squad safeties. We are going to draft a bunch of defensive players high. I’d like to see how our defense looks with real talent.


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10 minutes ago, sirlancemehlot said:

A simple fix would be to install a two-gap system you could deploy on running downs instead of just firing every DL upfield every down.  Protects our skinny LB's and allows them to scrape without getting mauled by guards.

Pretty sure they did that.  Remember the goal line stands with Fatukasi?  I think they did it against the Colts among others.

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