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Why Jeff Ulbrich’s plan for the NY Jets DL is unwise


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1 minute ago, kevinc855 said:

2021 Jets Defense allowed a record over 500 points, last in Points allowed per game, last in pass yards allowed, bottom 5 in rush yards allowed, and last in total yards allowed. 

Yes poor innocent Jeff Ulbirch. What on earth warranted this unjust criticism. 

That you’re leaving what he had to work into the equation?  
That taking a roster that wasn’t expected to be solid to begin with and taking away key players through injury might be part of it? Make it difficult to know how much blame is on the DC?

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6 minutes ago, kevinc855 said:

2021 Jets Defense allowed a record over 500 points, last in Points allowed per game, last in pass yards allowed, bottom 5 in rush yards allowed, and last in total yards allowed. 

Yes poor innocent Jeff Ulbirch. What on earth warranted this unjust criticism. 

It’s true. Finding scapegoats is just easier than examining an issue and realizing that the problem is probably much more complex. 

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Who on this Dline should get more snaps over the other guy?  Quinnen Williams?  What has he ever done to demand more snaps then anyone else?  Carl Lawson?  Hes never taken a snap for this team.

A player who earns it will get more snaps.  But right now, they all play 35 snaps until they show they are head and shoulders above their teammates.

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1 hour ago, peekskill68 said:

Not challenging you but rather than looking at % of snaps, a better measure might be total # of snaps.  2021 defense were out there an inordinate number of LONG drives extended over and over again by dumb penalties/missed assignments, plus frequent 3 and outs by our largely inept offense (except of course when Mike White was out there @T0mShane)

i was about to bring up the same point.  also are they counting special teams plays in the mix?  30-35 snaps per game is probably a lot closer to is right than 45-50.  i don't know the average number of plays there are in an actual game but i'm guessing is close to 100 total, 50 defense and 50 offense.  and let's not forget that an improved offense should help reduce the defensive snap count by chewing up the clock.  

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46 minutes ago, Joe W. Namath said:

Who on this Dline should get more snaps over the other guy?  Quinnen Williams?  What has he ever done to demand more snaps then anyone else?  Carl Lawson?  Hes never taken a snap for this team.

A player who earns it will get more snaps.  But right now, they all play 35 snaps until they show they are head and shoulders above their teammates.

But that's not what he said. He didn't say the limit is due to lack of merit. He even said if we have a Bosa or Donald, they would still get 35 snaps.

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5 minutes ago, GreenFish said:

But that's not what he said. He didn't say the limit is due to lack of merit. He even said if we have a Bosa or Donald, they would still get 35 snaps.

I believe he made a sly comment about aaron donald which I took as those rules wouldnt appy to him.

 

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6 hours ago, LIJetsFan said:

 

New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich revealed a plan for the defensive line that might not be the wisest approach.

By Michael Nania  06/02/2022

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich revealed how he plans to distribute snaps amongst the team’s defensive linemen.

Ulbrich said that “30 to 35 snaps” is approximately the maximum total that he wants any of the team’s linemen to play per game, citing the “level of fatigue that is associated with how we play.”

“We don’t catch blocks, we don’t read blocks; things are on our terms,” Ulbrich said. “And when you play like that, when you play with your hair on fire, and you play with the energy and the strain that we demand of them, asking them to play any more than 35 snaps I think is detrimental to their health and to the quality of play.

It would be much too extreme of an approach if the Jets really do end up sticking to that hard limit of 35 snaps per game.

Look, I get the thinking here. The Jets want their defensive linemen to play fast, aggressive, and downhill. That is a taxing playstyle. More rest can be beneficial when you play that way.

But a 30-to-35-snap limit is going way over the line. At that point, your best players are yielding far too many snaps to lesser talented backups. Rest is only worth so much – it is not worth trading 15 Quinnen Williams snaps for 15 Nathan Shepherd snaps. You are making your team worse by distributing reps in this fashion. The cost outweighs the reward.

Going with a rotation-heavy approach is perfectly fine in regards to your second and third-tier players. But you cannot be handcuffing your stars like that. They need to be on the field for a high percentage of the snaps.

It’s Ulbrich’s exact estimation of “30 to 35 snaps” that bugs me. I would completely understand if he just generally stated “we want to rotate our guys a lot” or something of that nature, but this specific number is ludicrous and I needed to let it be known how bizarre it would be if the Jets adhere to it.

Let’s put it into perspective how incredibly extreme it would be if the Jets truly did limit all of their defensive linemen to no more than 35 snaps per game.  How extreme is a 30-to-35 snap limit for defensive linemen?

The Jets defense was on the field for 1,189 snaps last year, or an average of 69.9 snaps per game. This means that if a player averaged 30 snaps per game throughout the season, he would have played about 43% of the snaps, while an average of 35 snaps per game would make up a snap ratio of about 50%.

It’s worth noting that the Jets defense did play a lot of snaps last year (because they were bad), but the numbers don’t change much even if you look at teams that played fewer snaps. The Bears defense played the fewest snaps of any team with 62.2 per game. At that rate, 30 snaps would be 48% and 35 snaps would be 56%.

Come on. You’re really going to play Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, and Carl Lawson for only about half of each game?

This would be a drastic decline for all three of these players.

Williams averaged 40.9 snaps with a 59% ratio in 2021, and in 2020, he averaged 45.2 snaps with a 64% ratio. Even those numbers were relatively low for a top-tier defensive tackle like Williams. Many of his similarly-talented peers have snap ratios of over 70%, or sometimes even 80%.

Critics like to compare Williams’ production unfavorably to Tennessee’s Jeffery Simmons, but guess what? Simmons averaged 54.8 snaps on an 85% ratio last year. He got substantially more chances to make plays than Williams did. On a per-snap basis, they produced at basically the same level. Williams had a sack once every 102.2 snaps (6 on 613) while Simmons had a sack once every 103.6 snaps (9 on 932).

Williams should be playing more, not less. He’s a star-caliber talent who has been coughing up too many snaps to substantially less talented players. Now he is going to be yielding even more snaps to backups? That’s not a smart move, especially when you consider that the Jets don’t have much defensive tackle talent behind Williams (especially when it comes to run defense).

Franklin-Myers averaged 44.8 snaps with a 64% ratio in 2021. After a solid year and with a cap hit of $12.5 million in 2022, you’re telling me that he is going to see his snap count sliced to the point where he plays no more than about 50% of the snaps in any game this year?

Lawson averaged 45.2 snaps with a 68% ratio in 2020 for the Bengals. Sure, he is coming off a major Achilles injury and a slight cut to his snaps at the beginning of the year would be wise to help him ease back into action, but a dip to “30 to 35 snaps” is still too much.

Even in the 2019 season, coming off a torn ACL in 2018, Lawson averaged 38.1 snaps with a 57% ratio, and he had a very productive season. By the end of 2019, Lawson was averaging 44.4 snaps and a 68% ratio over his final five games.

Nobody in the NFL does what Ulbrich is proposing the Jets will do

Not only would this limit be an enormous change for the Jets’ top stars, but it would be a completely unheard-of strategy in the current NFL.

There were 132 defensive linemen who averaged at least 35.0 snaps per game in 2021 – an average of 4.1 players per team. Every team in the league had at least one player surpass the mark. All but one team (Buffalo) had at least two, and 30 teams had at least three.

This idea seems to be very much Ulbrich’s doing, as Robert Saleh did not employ such a strategy during his days as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator. During San Francisco’s dominant 2019 season, Saleh had DeForest Buckner at 50.6 snaps on a 79% ratio, Nick Bosa at 48.6 snaps on a 76% ratio, and Arik Armstead at 48.5 snaps on a 75% ratio.

Another key point in this equation is the fact that the idea of resting defensive linemen is already ingrained in the sport of football. Every team’s defensive linemen get plenty of rest. Teams know these guys need more rest than players at other positions and the sport is built around that.

No defensive linemen in the NFL plays every snap or even close to it, whereas many cornerbacks, safeties, and linebackers do play 100% of the snaps on a weekly basis. Even the most heavily-worked defensive linemen in the league are resting for about one-fifth of the snaps or more. While a snap ratio of 70 to 80 percent may be relatively high for the position, it still includes plenty of rest. Great players don’t need to sit for half of the game to get adequate rest.

The philosophy of heavy rotation pertains to the non-star players. Your stars need to be playing as many reps as they can handle.

The Jets should not stick to the numbers that Ulbrich laid out

Setting a hard cap of 35 snaps per game for a defensive line that features three top-end players in Williams, Franklin-Myers, and Lawson is flat-out silly in my opinion. There is little clear-cut evidence that cutting a defensive lineman’s snaps makes them play better or keeps them healthier. Look no further than Williams, who played better on a larger workload in 2020 than he did on a smaller one in 2021.

Part of this strategy is likely to avoid injuries as well. We need our DL players to stay healthy, which is more important than some of them to take 90% of the snaps in games.

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its another gameplan complication to manage for these coaches, and for the players, running on and off the field multiple times during a drive, getting cold and stiff on the sidelines and having to rev back up, would these adversely disturb the pace of the reps, the intensity level,  focus, and perversely add to injury risk?

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2 hours ago, slats said:

It’s true. Finding scapegoats is just easier than examining an issue and realizing that the problem is probably much more complex. 

The jets D scheme was awful last year.  pure awful.  You can put aside as many things as you want but they were epically bad and I do not think they had epically bad talent.

If the tact is not to put any blame on the coaching then in the same breath you had better be blasting the players and the gm for not getting good players.

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I am willing to see how it works out. 

College football is not the same as NFL, but a heavy rotation of DL worked out pretty well for the Dawgs last year.  Jalen Carter, Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis all played about 40% of our defensive snaps last year.  Some of that was skewed by blowouts where guys rested in the second half, but a heavy DL rotation worked out pretty well for us.

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46 minutes ago, Beerfish said:

The jets D scheme was awful last year.  pure awful.  You can put aside as many things as you want but they were epically bad and I do not think they had epically bad talent.

If the tact is not to put any blame on the coaching then in the same breath you had better be blasting the players and the gm for not getting good players.

the scheme isn't bad in and of itself

what's bad is switching from 20 years of 3-4 through Parcells - Groh - Herm - Rex - Bowles and then going 4-3 with players like CJ Mosely who aren't a 4-3 fit at all, but also have to play due to contract  

that switch from 3-4 to 4-3 was always going to be epic and to be honest it's still a work in progress at NT and LB. I don't see how the middle of this defense stops the run in 2022. It's probably going to be a sieve again up the middle because of guys like CJ Mosely playing out of position and Nathan Shepherd showing up in obvious run downs. These guys shouldn't be anywhere near a 4-3 

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23 minutes ago, bitonti said:

the scheme isn't bad in and of itself

what's bad is switching from 20 years of 3-4 through Parcells - Groh - Herm - Rex - Bowles and then going 4-3 with players like CJ Mosely who aren't a 4-3 fit at all, but also have to play due to contract  

that switch from 3-4 to 4-3 was always going to be epic and to be honest it's still a work in progress at NT and LB. I don't see how the middle of this defense stops the run in 2022. It's probably going to be a sieve again up the middle because of guys like CJ Mosely playing out of position and Nathan Shepherd showing up in obvious run downs. These guys shouldn't be anywhere near a 4-3 

I agree with part of this but the 4-3 scheme itself was not good imo, in reality we played a lot of 4-2-5 type of thing.

My biggest beef is the absurdly wide splits we asked our 4 dline to take.  We had teams running down our throats because our dline had two yard splits between each player, opposing oline were only having to make half a block to stop us or get a running crease.

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34 minutes ago, Beerfish said:

I agree with part of this but the 4-3 scheme itself was not good imo, in reality we played a lot of 4-2-5 type of thing.

My biggest beef is the absurdly wide splits we asked our 4 dline to take.  We had teams running down our throats because our dline had two yard splits between each player, opposing oline were only having to make half a block to stop us or get a running crease.

that's the "wide 9" concept and it can work if you have slashing DE (they should this year with JJ and Clemons) and sideline-to-sideline linebackers (uh... still nope). the linebackers are key to stopping the run in that scheme, as are the safeties 

a Kwon Alexander signing would improve matters, as would getting CJ mosely off the field entirely. Ashtyn Davis was especially terrible at run fits hopefully the Whitehead/Pinnock whoever combo can be better 

they are still probably a legit year away on both sides of the ball tbh and Jets fans don't want to hear that right now 

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9 hours ago, slats said:

I don’t believe that 30-35 number to be a hard number, but I do expect a heavy rotation along the lines of teams like the Bills and Pats; neither of which had a single DL play 60% of their team’s defensive snaps last year. Game situations will certainly dictate players being on the field more than 35 plays some weeks. Maybe even many. They did last year, with JFM playing more than 60% of the team’s snaps. This is a brouhaha about nothing, imho. 

I think you’re probably right.

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10 hours ago, kevinc855 said:

2021 Jets Defense allowed a record over 500 points, last in Points allowed per game, last in pass yards allowed, bottom 5 in rush yards allowed, and last in total yards allowed. 

Yes poor innocent Jeff Ulbirch. What on earth warranted this unjust criticism. 

What record?   They gave up 504 points.  Three teams have given up more than that.  The 1981 Colts gave up 533.  The 2020 Lions gave up 519,  Those teams only played 16 games.  The 1966 Giants gave up 501.  In 14 games.  The Jets D was terrible, but not worst ever.  They added Joyner, Lawson, Curry and Jarrad Davis.  Davis is the only one that played any real snaps.  More than that, he is running Saleh's system.  I get not liking this plan, but it is silly to think that it would work to scapegoat this guy and get some other Saleh lackey in place.

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13 hours ago, slats said:

I don’t believe that 30-35 number to be a hard number, but I do expect a heavy rotation along the lines of teams like the Bills and Pats; neither of which had a single DL play 60% of their team’s defensive snaps last year. Game situations will certainly dictate players being on the field more than 35 plays some weeks. Maybe even many. They did last year, with JFM playing more than 60% of the team’s snaps. This is a brouhaha about nothing, imho. 

I hope so. Your post brought me comfort (seriously).

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On 6/3/2022 at 5:39 AM, LIJetsFan said:

 

New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich revealed a plan for the defensive line that might not be the wisest approach.

By Michael Nania  06/02/2022

Speaking to the media on Wednesday, New York Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich revealed how he plans to distribute snaps amongst the team’s defensive linemen.

Ulbrich said that “30 to 35 snaps” is approximately the maximum total that he wants any of the team’s linemen to play per game, citing the “level of fatigue that is associated with how we play.”

“We don’t catch blocks, we don’t read blocks; things are on our terms,” Ulbrich said. “And when you play like that, when you play with your hair on fire, and you play with the energy and the strain that we demand of them, asking them to play any more than 35 snaps I think is detrimental to their health and to the quality of play.

It would be much too extreme of an approach if the Jets really do end up sticking to that hard limit of 35 snaps per game.

Look, I get the thinking here. The Jets want their defensive linemen to play fast, aggressive, and downhill. That is a taxing playstyle. More rest can be beneficial when you play that way.

But a 30-to-35-snap limit is going way over the line. At that point, your best players are yielding far too many snaps to lesser talented backups. Rest is only worth so much – it is not worth trading 15 Quinnen Williams snaps for 15 Nathan Shepherd snaps. You are making your team worse by distributing reps in this fashion. The cost outweighs the reward.

Going with a rotation-heavy approach is perfectly fine in regards to your second and third-tier players. But you cannot be handcuffing your stars like that. They need to be on the field for a high percentage of the snaps.

It’s Ulbrich’s exact estimation of “30 to 35 snaps” that bugs me. I would completely understand if he just generally stated “we want to rotate our guys a lot” or something of that nature, but this specific number is ludicrous and I needed to let it be known how bizarre it would be if the Jets adhere to it.

Let’s put it into perspective how incredibly extreme it would be if the Jets truly did limit all of their defensive linemen to no more than 35 snaps per game.  How extreme is a 30-to-35 snap limit for defensive linemen?

The Jets defense was on the field for 1,189 snaps last year, or an average of 69.9 snaps per game. This means that if a player averaged 30 snaps per game throughout the season, he would have played about 43% of the snaps, while an average of 35 snaps per game would make up a snap ratio of about 50%.

It’s worth noting that the Jets defense did play a lot of snaps last year (because they were bad), but the numbers don’t change much even if you look at teams that played fewer snaps. The Bears defense played the fewest snaps of any team with 62.2 per game. At that rate, 30 snaps would be 48% and 35 snaps would be 56%.

Come on. You’re really going to play Quinnen Williams, John Franklin-Myers, and Carl Lawson for only about half of each game?

This would be a drastic decline for all three of these players.

Williams averaged 40.9 snaps with a 59% ratio in 2021, and in 2020, he averaged 45.2 snaps with a 64% ratio. Even those numbers were relatively low for a top-tier defensive tackle like Williams. Many of his similarly-talented peers have snap ratios of over 70%, or sometimes even 80%.

Critics like to compare Williams’ production unfavorably to Tennessee’s Jeffery Simmons, but guess what? Simmons averaged 54.8 snaps on an 85% ratio last year. He got substantially more chances to make plays than Williams did. On a per-snap basis, they produced at basically the same level. Williams had a sack once every 102.2 snaps (6 on 613) while Simmons had a sack once every 103.6 snaps (9 on 932).

Williams should be playing more, not less. He’s a star-caliber talent who has been coughing up too many snaps to substantially less talented players. Now he is going to be yielding even more snaps to backups? That’s not a smart move, especially when you consider that the Jets don’t have much defensive tackle talent behind Williams (especially when it comes to run defense).

Franklin-Myers averaged 44.8 snaps with a 64% ratio in 2021. After a solid year and with a cap hit of $12.5 million in 2022, you’re telling me that he is going to see his snap count sliced to the point where he plays no more than about 50% of the snaps in any game this year?

Lawson averaged 45.2 snaps with a 68% ratio in 2020 for the Bengals. Sure, he is coming off a major Achilles injury and a slight cut to his snaps at the beginning of the year would be wise to help him ease back into action, but a dip to “30 to 35 snaps” is still too much.

Even in the 2019 season, coming off a torn ACL in 2018, Lawson averaged 38.1 snaps with a 57% ratio, and he had a very productive season. By the end of 2019, Lawson was averaging 44.4 snaps and a 68% ratio over his final five games.

Nobody in the NFL does what Ulbrich is proposing the Jets will do

Not only would this limit be an enormous change for the Jets’ top stars, but it would be a completely unheard-of strategy in the current NFL.

There were 132 defensive linemen who averaged at least 35.0 snaps per game in 2021 – an average of 4.1 players per team. Every team in the league had at least one player surpass the mark. All but one team (Buffalo) had at least two, and 30 teams had at least three.

This idea seems to be very much Ulbrich’s doing, as Robert Saleh did not employ such a strategy during his days as the 49ers’ defensive coordinator. During San Francisco’s dominant 2019 season, Saleh had DeForest Buckner at 50.6 snaps on a 79% ratio, Nick Bosa at 48.6 snaps on a 76% ratio, and Arik Armstead at 48.5 snaps on a 75% ratio.

Another key point in this equation is the fact that the idea of resting defensive linemen is already ingrained in the sport of football. Every team’s defensive linemen get plenty of rest. Teams know these guys need more rest than players at other positions and the sport is built around that.

No defensive linemen in the NFL plays every snap or even close to it, whereas many cornerbacks, safeties, and linebackers do play 100% of the snaps on a weekly basis. Even the most heavily-worked defensive linemen in the league are resting for about one-fifth of the snaps or more. While a snap ratio of 70 to 80 percent may be relatively high for the position, it still includes plenty of rest. Great players don’t need to sit for half of the game to get adequate rest.

The philosophy of heavy rotation pertains to the non-star players. Your stars need to be playing as many reps as they can handle.

The Jets should not stick to the numbers that Ulbrich laid out

Setting a hard cap of 35 snaps per game for a defensive line that features three top-end players in Williams, Franklin-Myers, and Lawson is flat-out silly in my opinion. There is little clear-cut evidence that cutting a defensive lineman’s snaps makes them play better or keeps them healthier. Look no further than Williams, who played better on a larger workload in 2020 than he did on a smaller one in 2021.

My God... People are reading way too far into this... 

He said ideally he only wants 30-35 snaps... Because he probably ideally only wants the defense to be on the field 45-50 snaps or less... Not the 70+ they have been averaging... 

So yeah that would be great... Not realistic but ideal. 

People are breaking this down too far using terrible Def they had for the last few years as a baseline 

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33 minutes ago, Skeptable said:

My God... People are reading way too far into this... 

He said ideally he only wants 30-35 snaps... Because he probably ideally only wants the defense to be on the field 45-50 snaps or less... Not the 70+ they have been averaging... 

So yeah that would be great... Not realistic but ideal. 

People are breaking this down too far using terrible Def they had for the last few years as a baseline 

Generally I post articles that I myself find interesting.  I post them here figuring the debate and the boundaries of that debate will further my understanding of the game  and my entertainment while watching.  This message board almost never fails me.  :)      

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That depends on if you value winded snaps as much as fresh snaps. If you have talent past the ones you don't lose as much by giving your one's more breather time so they have some gas in the tank when they need it at the end of games instead of being gassed as you get to the end of the fourth and you need a third down stop. I'm also not opposed to a player's number being slightly lower when it comes to contract negotiations. 

 

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I don’t remember seeing DL’s coming out the game like the Steel Curtain, Purple People Eaters, Fearsome Foursome, Doomsday, NY Sack Exchange etc - the great DL’s always seemed to be on the field 💁🏻‍♂️

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