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Pff: Nickle And Dime Packages Are Being Used More Than Base Defensive Alignments In The Nfl

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http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2012/04/11/fantasy-defensive-personnel-packages-%E2%80%93-part-1/

Far and away the most popular package is the 4-3-4, but notice the progressive decline. After being utilized on 40% of all plays back in 2008, the figure fell to 34% in 2009 and to 29% in 2010 and 2011. This is certainly related to the league-wide passing explosion, which is good news for cornerbacks and bad news for run-stopping linebackers.

The second-most popular formation is the standard nickel package, with four lineman, two linebackers, and five defensive backs. Usage is actually down overall from 2008, but after trending down two years in a row, its back up to 20% in 2011. Next up, we see the base 3-4-4 package staying relatively consistent, but it did follow a similar pattern to the aforementioned 4-2-5. The 3-4-4 is at an obvious disadvantage to the 4-3-4 because the latter is the more popular base defense. We’ll break that down further later on when we check to see how often teams stick to their base defense.

None of the other listed packages were used more than 10% of the time over the last four seasons. We do see an increase in the 2-4-5 and 3-3-5 nickel packages, but the three dime packages shown have stayed pretty consistent.

This basically means that because of the increase in spread offenses, defenses are having to adjust by putting more defensive backs on the field. Being that we have one of the least talented groups of defensive backs in the league (and that is saying a lot considering Gamble is a top 5 corner) I believe this information to be very pertinent.

What you see here is the teams that stick to a base defense the most and the least. To save space, I’m only showing the top and bottom seven teams here, but you can do the math from the earlier chart if you’re interested in the results for all 32 teams.

...

The Superbowl champion Giants are at the bottom of our list, having stuck to their 4-3 base on only 22% of their snaps. Interestingly, we see four 3-4 defenses in the bottom seven. If we look at a list of all 32 teams, there are 11 teams who would call the 3-4 their base (if they had to pick between 4-3 and 3-4). Of those 11 teams, seven show up in either the top or bottom seven.

Hmmm. Coincidentally the team with the deepest defensive line in the league and a strong secondary put linebackers on the field less. Moar giants stuff here

Next up, I’m looking at the teams who went to the nickel defense the most and least often. Leading the way, not coincidentally, is the Giants, The champs went with the nickel 68% of the time, which is significantly higher than the use of their “base” 4-3 (22%). In fact, the Giants had, at least, five cornerbacks on the field 75% of the time, which also led the NFL.

The NFL will always be a league of fads and trends. Remember the fullback? Yeah, me neither. Now the two-tight end set and using, at least, one of those tight ends as a wide receiver is the cool thing to do. At the same time, we’re also seeing the forward pass utilized like we never have before. And, although, passing is sure to drop off a bit at some point, the odds are that it hasn’t reached its peak yet. There’s no question that the pass game is a much more effective way of moving the ball down the field and, until defenses figure out a way to slow it down, the quarterbacks will continue to chuck it all day long.

I hope Luke can defend the pass like Polamalu. Like our defensive line, we have one good starter and barely anything else proven in the secondary. Charles Godfrey was terrible last year as well as the year before, and somehow makes more money than Reggie Nelson and Laron Landry combined, Sherrod Martin is Sherrod Martin, Captain Munnerlyn is too small to be a starter and let teams throw on him all year long, and there's been barely any investment in depth. The fact of the matter is despite our stellar linebacker core, Ron and Sean McDermott still have their work cut out for them this year. When you go willy nilly BPA in the draft and don't spend money in free agency to bring in guys from other teams, it's nearly impossible to get better where you're hurting the most.

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To be fair to Rivera, outside of Asante, there wasn't any defensive back available that I can think of that would have really improved our secondary much. We're better off putting faith in Hogan.

But, while I agree with you Godfrey was bad in 2011, he did not suck in 2010. I think his biggest issue was he had to take on more roles in this defense, especially with Beason out. It was a complete mismatch whenever they put him on Graham or Gonzalez. Martin does suck though.

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yay i got pedo pie

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To be fair to Rivera, outside of Asante, there wasn't any defensive back available that I can think of that would have really improved our secondary much. We're better off putting faith in Hogan.

the giants certainly didn't think that when they took Hosley

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the giants certainly didn't think that when they took Hosley

Think what?

I meant in free agency. And even in the draft, Rams took Jenkins before we had a chance and we didn't have the ammo for Morris nor would anybody have supported a trade up like that in the first place. It's not like we ignored our issues there; we signed 3 safeties and drafted Norman.

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Yeah this is true and I'm surprised that it's news to anyone. Luke will stay on the field on all 3 downs. He's probably our best covering LB now, if there's any LB who's gonna be in sub-packages, it's him.

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Godfrey to me is not a SS. He is not built for it and he's not a ballhawk. His frame and speed lean more towards a corner. Pretty sure that's what he played at Iowa. I can see him being a nickel guy over Capt or the dime CB

Sherrie Martin = ....Herp derp

Captain has played well on special teams and that's where he belongs

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He can defend the Pass. He drops back pretty good as well.

We've signed plenty of safeties. Something has to come of it.

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What is not mentioned in this article is that zero teams have five good defensive backs. Most teams are lucky to have one (like we do) and even a team that had three excellent DBs (like the Eagles) still got torched at times. So, while everyone wants good DBs, they are incredibly hard to find, and still aren't wildly effective because if they're any good quarterbacks just avoid them and pick on the other parts of the secondary.

In other words, don't mistake the Giants heavy use of the nickel as actually being effective: their ability to bring pressure did far more for their coverage than the players they had back there.

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well we have like four nickel backs on this team so yay us

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I'm really not worried about what other teams are doing. Especially the 9-7 Giants. The bottom line is Ron Rivera and Sean McDermot run our defense. If they would rather have Kuechly than a corner so be it. They are putting their jobs and reputation on the line for him.

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Man if this article is true, we really could use two fast LB's that can cover and tackle well enough to stay on the field for 3 downs.

What a stupid draft!

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