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Member Since 11 Sep 2012
Offline Last Active Sep 12 2012 09:02 PM

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In Topic: Official Saints* at Panthers Prediction Thread...

12 September 2012 - 08:34 PM

Here are some scouting reports on New Orleans that were originally made for the Redskins, but provide good insight on the schemes and philosophies that New Orleans uses on both offense and defense. Just in case anyone was interested.





In Topic: Ron Riveria can't coach..

11 September 2012 - 01:01 AM

Hey everyone, Redskins fan here. We just finished playing the Saints*, and as the Saints* are up next on your schedule, I figured you could use the Scouting Reports I created for the Saints*-Redskins game. Not to toot my own horn too much, but everything in the report pretty much played out how I wrote it. Hope you enjoy.

I would have started a new thread for this, but I wasn't allowed to due to being a new poster. Feel free to move this to a new thread if you think it's deserved.



A snippet:

For this reason, it’s difficult to take New Orleans’ 24th ranked defense in 2011 and translate it into what should be expected this year. Although Steve Spagnuolo and Gregg Williams both run a 4-3 alignment, the philosophies of the two schemes could not be more different. Redskins fans are well-aware of the blitz-heavy, Buddy Ryan-influenced defense that Gregg Williams ran. Spagnuolo, by contrast, runs a zone-pressure scheme predicated on three simple concepts.

Many thanks to TCUDan and the Saints* Report for the helpful information on Spagnuolo’s defense as it pertains to the New Orleans Saints*. This breakdown below (the three tenets of Spags’ defense) comes from his excellent post, which you can find using the link above:

(1) Split-coverage: When most people think of a zone defense, they picture a simple cover-2, cover-3, or cover-4 as it’s drawn up in Madden. Most understand the basic concepts; a cover-2 drops two players deep; a cover-3 drops three; cover-4 drops four. The assignments are assumed to be basic, and the zones equally parsed out amongst the defenders. In reality (and particularly in a zone-pressure defense), the zone coverages are much more complicated. A split-coverage divides the field in half, with each half of the field offering a different coverage scheme.

How would you depict a split-coverage? Well imagine the playcall “Over Base 24 Solo.” Over describes the alignment; Base is the front call, which tells the defensive line to play their aligned gaps (i.e. no stunt); 24 Solo is the coverage. “24 Solo” breaks down more specifically into this: cover-2 to the read side (passing strength), cover-4 to the away side, and “Solo” for the trips check (a coverage designed to specifically match up against 3 WRs aligned to one side of the field. An example would be cover-4 to the trips side and man-to-man on the single WR side).

What the split-coverage does is force the quarterback to diagnose the coverage he’s seeing multiple times per play. A quarterback can no longer take his drop, see a cloud cover-2 to the strong side, and automatically assume that the defense will be playing a cloud cover-2 to the weak side as well. If the QB is unable diagnose the entire defense, he’ll be living very dangerously because more often than not, the defense will not end up where the quarterback initially reads it to be. A QB can see the strong side CB covering the flat while the strong-side safety covers that deep half of the field, then turn his head and notice the weak-side CB bailing on the flat. The QB fires the ball into the vacated space, thinking he has an easy completion. He realizes his mistake when the weak side safety (playing in “Robber” coverage instead of the “Cloud” the QB saw to the strong side) breaks on the ball in the flat for the easy INT.

This is particularly troubling for a rookie QB who is seeing everything at twice the speed that he’s used to. Progressing through reads become exponentially more complicated, and the confusion of the quarterback can be overwhelming if the QB is not prepared for what he is going to see (and given that Steve Spagnuolo is entirely new to the Saints* defense, RGIII will have little to work with in terms of film specifically from the Saints*).

(2) Read Zone vs. Area Zone: Read zone refers to...



A snippet:

An offense this proficient (again) cannot be completely broken down in a single post, but in an attempt to organize what is going on, I’ve tried to break down the Saints’ offensive philosophies below:

(1) Spread concepts out of base personnel packages. One of the things that make the New Orleans Saints* the most difficult team to defend in the NFL is their versatility and unpredictability out of almost any personnel grouping. Two players in particular make this versatility unmatched: Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham. A base personnel package consists of 2 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FB, and 1 RB; however, when Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham are the RB and TE, that base package can go from being a typical I-formation into a 4-WR set in a heartbeat. Both Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham are fully capable of running the entire route tree, creating match-up nightmares for any defense in the NFL.

If a defense was to bring its base personnel (in the Redskins’ case, 3 DL and 4 LBs) in an attempt to stop the run, the Saints* are fully capable of lining up Graham in the slot to the strong side and motioning Sproles to the slot on the weak side. This forces matchups of LBs or safeties on guys that, realistically, they should not be covering (such as Kerrigan vs. Graham and/or Orakpo vs. Sproles). Of course, the Redskins could anticipate this by substituting nickel and dime packages to combat the spread concepts, but the Saints* have the simple option of running the ball down their opponents’ throats against a much smaller nickel or dime front-7. In a way, New Orleans is able to create an advantageous pre-snap scenario on any down.

Darren Sproles is not the only capable receiver in the Saints’ backfield either. Pierre Thomas ended his 2011 season with 50 receptions (especially impressive considering the amount of snaps Darren Sproles receives in passing situations), which puts him in the camp of some of the best receiving backs in the NFL . Thomas will not be split out wide nearly as much as Sproles, but he is fully capable of taking advantage of mismatches out of the backfield.

(2) Building protection from the inside-out. This is a basic concept that all NFL teams preach and practice (blitz pickups are always done from the inside-out), but so few implement when it comes to the philosophy of building the roster. The New Orleans Saints* are the exception.

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