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frash.exe

Getting to know the Jim Johnson 4-3

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Been doing some research and came across some valuable resources to get a better idea of what we're trying to run and the philosophies involved, since both Ron and Sean tutored under Jim Johnson. Most likely the defense will feature some personal tweaks preferred by those two, but in the general sense will be the same.

Jim Johnson's defense isn't called "aggressive" just because they blitz the poo out of you alone, no, it's a little bit more complex than that. It's also mentally aggressive in addition to it's physical blitzing form. JJ's defense is considered the 4-3 counterpart to Dick LeBeau's 3-4 in Pittsburgh, and the mismatches involved are conceived in an effort to try to get a 2nd down advantage. A written piece from probably the only Eagles fan with an IQ over -34:

DO NOT CONTINUE UNTIL YOU'VE READ THIS WHOLE THING

Finished? Are you sure? Ok. That was scouted from a game against the Seahawks in 2008, when JJ was still alive and running the defense. This tells you this isn't no bend-but-don't-break zone cover scheme. Now lets get down to the base formation:

READ THIS WHOLE THING 3 xxxTIMESxxx, then scroll scroll scroll

It says SF was running it so this might have been written prior to 2007 before they switched to 3-4, but this is the best reference I could find. I know reading this is going to galvanize the interest of Fairley fanatics, whom are automatically going to look at the diagram and assume he is going to step into that delicious looking NT spot between the center and right guard and anchor the line and ********* the QB with his big toe, instead of reading the text under it. I say this because I estimate at least 25% of the Huddle population doesn't know what a gap is and 75% don't know what a technique is. The position the NT spot is in is the 1-technique. Fairley played in the 3-technique spot in Auburn, which is exactly where the UT is lined up. A lot of scouts have speculated that he is strictly a 3-tech DT at the pro level, kinda like Warren Sapp was, or for a more recent draft comparison, Gerald McCoy, whom TB drafted to fill that spot on their Tampa 2.

Now onto the linebackers, you might think this is crazy but Beason needs to either gain 20 lbs or play WLB. The MLB is called to blitz the most out of the 3 and Beason's skills might be better suited to the Will position. Ideally in this defense you want someone that reminds you of Jeremiah Trotter playing the Mike, and he tipped the scales at well over 260. Even when they had Stewart Bradley in there he was almost up to that, Look for us to possibly draft someone like Martez Wilson (Illinois) if he falls down to the top of the third. He has the size and versatility to play either MLB or SLB, and is a solid run blitzer and pass rusher. For an enhanced look at him, watch this...

Dan Connor or Davis if we still keep him might just end up at SLB

Here's a look at why I'm emphasizing getting a bigger MLB

This was also from 2008. I realize McDermott hasn't been successful but the Eagles haven't really followed the design of that defense recently, because they sometimes skimp on linebacker talent. It's pretty much the key piece of this defense. As far as FA options go both Chris Gocong and Stewart Bradley are scheduled to drop into the open market and both have experience in this system and have worked with McDermott so I wouldn't be surprised if we picked them up.

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Interesting thoughts on Beason. I didn't think he played all that well at weakside - at least not compared to his play in the middle - last year, but I realize this is a different scheme. I'm guessing if they feel like he would fit best on the outside, that's where he'll be.

I was thinking while reading that, though, that both of our safeties look perfect for this scheme - at least on paper.

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Alot depends on FA ,but in general I don't see the FO using an early draft pick/big FA singing on our deepest position. At least not this year.

Besides the defence doesn't depend on MLB size. In 2007 the Eagles had a top ten defence, who was sixth in run and 9th in sacks. And that was with Omar Gaither who is nearly the exact size of Beason.

Personally I think Rivera and McDermott will adjust the defence to take advantage of the players we have. But as of right now anything is possible.

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I think Beason has the kind of ability to negate any sort of size disadvantage he may be at. But again, if it's that big of an issue I imagine they'll move him outside and bring in someone larger to play in the middle.

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I swore I was reading a Mr Scot post... had to double check the name... great read.

I'm excited for change.

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don't think we move beason from the middle IMO. johnson just found a way to utilize trotter's skills. beason, anderson, & davis have the speed to cover alot of field & give us versatility in our zone blitz schemes.

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Great post, but I think Beason is physical enough to be that inside run blitzer... although it may be a waste of his talents.

The real lesson Trotter provides is that JJ was resourceful enough to figure out how to use him in this scheme, rather then seeing him as limited and casting him off. I think that was one of Fox's fatal flaws, you either fit into to role he wanted you for or you sat/were gone. I suspect Rivera will be much more resourceful when it comes to the use of the personnel he has, just like JJ was.

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I agree we might go bigger in the Middle, but hands down we have the talent for OLB's. I am still thinking we trade down a little and go D with the draft.

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One thing that this shows me is that we need an NT or an aggressive big bodied DT. Hard to find someone like that.

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also have to consider that our nickel d might be run out of the 3-4 most of the time. also the eagles had average dt play most of the time which is why they run blitzed as much as they did.

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