Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
RpMc

Multiplying the Multiplicity of Mister Zimmer's Multiple Defense

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

I mentioned this as the draft was happening, but a lot of the pieces that we drafted could be used within multiple defensive fronts - going through NFL game pass, we were already quite multiple in our front - over, under, 3-3 stack, 3-4 looks with the 4-3 over defense being our base.  Instead of a full shift to an under-front as has been speculated based on the addition of a single senior defensive coach, I would expect us to have a few more specialized subpackages.  Here's what I have in mind

4-3 Over
LE - Hunter & Wonnum
3T - Stephen/Johnon & Lynch
1T - Pierce & Watts
RE - Odenigbo & Willekes

WLB - Wilson & Dye
MLB - Kendricks
SLB - Barr

4-3 Under
LEO - Hunter & Wonnum
3T - Lynch & Odenigbo
1T - Pierce & Stephen
5T - Watts/Johnson & Willekes
SLB - Barr

MLB - Kendricks
WLB - Wilson & Dye

3-3 Stack
Base End - Lynch & Willekes
Nose Tackle - Pierce & Watts
Open End - Hunter & Odenigbo

SLB - Barr & Wonnum
MLB - Kendricks
WLB - Wilson & Dye

3-4 Base
Base/Boundary End - Lynch & Willekes
Nose Tackle - Pierce & Watts
Open/Field End - Hunter & Odenigbo

Buck/Boundary Backer - Wonnum
Jack Backer - Wilson & Dye
Mike Backer - Kendricks
Will/Field Backer - Barr

----------

I just recently gave a presentation to the coaches in our league about "personneling" your defense for success, so this has been something that's been fresh on my mind, and would be an interesting thing to track this off-season. Because of the narrow NFL hashmarks, there really isn't as much Field/Boundary work as there is in high school and college, but it can still give a reference point

Edited by RpMc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is pretty cool. Any chance you could elaborate of the position/role differences?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the new pieces, I believe it would be a mistake to try to install too many fronts. I would rather they pick one and learn to do that really well first. You are right that they have the personnel to mix in other fronts as needed. I would do it sparingly until the base set is tight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Dolmonite26 said:

This is pretty cool. Any chance you could elaborate of the position/role differences?

Absolutely

4-3 Over
This has been our base defense under Mike Zimmer - in this defense, the ends stay pretty static to their sides of the field and the NT/UT and inside backers are the adjusters.  The "over" designation means that the 3T (lined up on the outside shoulder of the guard in the b-gap) is to the offensive run strength (typically to a TE).  This means that your 3T needs to be able to hold up well in the run game to keep lineman from getting to the second level.  This defense is predicated on having good linebackers who can cover ground.

4-3 Under
Made popular by the Seahawks and the legion of boom.  The LEO position is the open (non-tight end) side end and is much more of a pass rushing type (Bruce Irvin/Frank Clark/Cliff Avril) and would be something that players like Hunter (even though he's a good run defender too) and Wonnum would fit in to.  In an under front, the 3T is away from the offensive strength instead of to it, so you can get by with smaller/quicker, and less run dominant players.  The nose tackle and 5T are heavy run defenders and need to be immovable.  Red Bryant played the 5T for Seattle on their super bowl team; much bigger than your typical even front end.  I've got Watts there as he's an bigger/agile defender.  I've also got Kenny Willekes there as he's someone who was one of the better run stuffing ends in college football last year.  In an under front, the SAM backer also aligns on the line of scrimmage in a base defensive set, on the tight end, to help set the edge.

3-3 Stack
Is a nickel defense that relies on the three downline players to control run gaps, and good athletes (like Kendricks/Barr/Dye) to be able to run and cover at the linebacker spots.

3-4 Base
The outside backers in a 3-4 are often thought of as rush players, but the biggest support they provide is as overhang players to force cut backs on any outside rush attempts, because of where they line up, it's harder for tackles and tight ends to reach them, and easier to play stunt games with the OLB and Ends.  The way I have it broken down into Field/Boundary includes having your better athletes Barr/Hunter to the field (wide) side  and your lesser athletes Wonnum/Lynch/Willekes to the boundary (tight) side of the formation.  Given the prevalence of nickel defenses in the NFL, there isn't much distinguishing a 4-3/3-4 anymore because both tend to have interior players in the A/B gap (which goes where depends on if it's an over or under front), and Edge players (whether that's a DE or a stand up backer). 

-----

The defensive front players that we added in Wonnum, Dye, Lynch, Willekes have characteristics/playing experience that fit a wide variety of fronts, and Zimmer and crew could have some fun playing with some subpackages.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 4-3 Under, what about Barr as the LEO and Hunter as 3-technique? I think Hunter would give IOL nightmares with his strength, quickness and length, and that would let Barr get after the QB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Cearbhall said:

Given the new pieces, I believe it would be a mistake to try to install too many fronts. I would rather they pick one and learn to do that really well first. You are right that they have the personnel to mix in other fronts as needed. I would do it sparingly until the base set is tight.

It's counter initiative, but I actually think being more multiple and only asking young players (who are more limited in their scope) to perform the task they are already good at will do more to maximize the defense than asking everyone to be as fundamentally sound as possible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Heimdallr said:

In the 4-3 Under, what about Barr as the LEO and Hunter as 3-technique? I think Hunter would give IOL nightmares with his strength, quickness and length, and that would let Barr get after the QB.

You're counting on Barr to be a primary run defender against offensive tackles then; not ideal. Having him as the SAM lines him up against TE's in base.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Heimdallr said:

KC runs variations of this, 3 safety defenses are starting to become more and more common in High School, which means that will trickle up to college, and eventually the pros.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, RpMc said:

You're counting on Barr to be a primary run defender against offensive tackles then; not ideal. Having him as the SAM lines him up against TE's in base.

correct me if i'm wrong but don't the seahawk usually have their "LEO" play SLB in base and then move them to LEO on passing downs? at least that's what my seahawks'-fan friend told me they do with bruce irvin and his replacements between his two stints there. 

 

so in the same scenario Barr would only get moved to LEO on passing downs i guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, whitehops said:

correct me if i'm wrong but don't the seahawk usually have their "LEO" play SLB in base and then move them to LEO on passing downs? at least that's what my seahawks'-fan friend told me they do with bruce irvin and his replacements between his two stints there. 

 

so in the same scenario Barr would only get moved to LEO on passing downs i guess.

Sounds like a sub package; which is something the Vikings could absolutely do with Barr
 

The Leo, is the position on the field, not the player. Leo is the open side end regardless of who you have playing there. Based on this, Irvin played as their SAM, and then in pass rushing/nickel situations they’d kick him down to the LEO, pull out a defensive lineman and insert another secondary player/linebacker.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we should all get autographs from @RpMc now, before we have to pay for them after he becomes an NFL coach...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I think the draft did a lot to dissuade the notion that we will be moving to a base under front. They would have had to prioritize getting more of a penetrating 3T for me to believe that to be the case. Lynch is a good prospect, but switching the defense around for a fourth round pick seems unlikely. 
 

wrinkles, as the Vikings have used in the past between the stack looks, under looks, and even odd front looks is the way we will likely continue to go. 
 

I would expect some more zone pressure looks given that’s how Capers made his name. 

Edited by RpMc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Virginia Viking said:

Remind me...why did Zimmer bring in Capers???

I don't have the quote from Zimmer but basically his experience in the league was a big part of it. He's seen a lot of different looks on the field and scouted a lot of players. I believe it is something along those lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×