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What kind of defense does Vic Fangio run? (Hint: You might have seen it today)

  • Oscar
  • Hall of Fame
  • Posts: 10,234
Originally posted by FiatGlory:
Originally posted by PTulini:
Quote:
January 9, 2011

Fangio, Capers have similar 3-4 origins

Anyone wondering what a 49ers defense might look like under Vic Fangio -- assuming the Stanford defensive coordinator joins Jim Harbaugh in Santa Clara - ought to hit re-wind on today's Green Bay Packers game. Fangio and Green Bay's defensive coordinator, Dom Capers, have a long history together. Fangio twice has served as Capers' defensive coordinator when Capers was head coach in Carolina and Houston.

The two started coaching professional football together under Jim Mora for the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars of the USFL. That team's famed "Doghouse Defense" blitzed often and was one of the first to bring pass rushers from an array of angles. Many of the blitzes Capers uses today had their origins in the USFL 25 years ago and the experience influenced both men. The Stars appeared in all three of the league's championship games and won two of them.

When the USFL folded, Mora was hired as the Saints head coach. Fangio followed him to New Orleans where he coached linebackers. The Saints initially used a 4-3 defense but eventually turned to a 3-4 system that featured the "Dome Patrol" - a fearsome linebacking corps that included All-Pro linebackers Rickey Jackson, Pat Swilling, Sam Mills and Vaughan Johnson. (Incidentally, where have all the good nicknames gone?)

Fangio was Mora's defensive coordinator in Indianapolis from 1999-2001. Mora was fired after the 2001 season in part because he refused to fire Fangio after the defense finished 29th in the league. (More rankings below). The next season Fangio was hired by Capers as his defensive coordinator in Houston.

Fangio has operated both 4-3 and 3-4 schemes but, like Capers, he seems to prefer the latter. Last year he took over Stanford's wobbly 4-3 system, transformed it into a 3-4 (the Cardinal actually played out of both formations at times) and allowed opponents 17.8 points per game this past season, the best average in the Pac-10 and 11th in the nation.

And, of course, Fangio would take over a 3-4 defense should he join the 49ers. The team's current defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky, interviewed for the Panthers head coaching job on Saturday.

Fangio spent 11 NFL seasons as a defensive coordinator. The Panthers and Texans were expansion teams when he joined them. Here are the respective rankings of Fangio's defenses.

Carolina
1995: 7th
1996: 10th
1997: 15th
1998: 30th (last in the league)

Indianapolis
1999: 15th
2000: 21st
2001: 29th

Houston
2002: 16th
2003: 31st
2004: 23rd
2005: 31st

Monday: 3-4 or 4-3; What should the 49ers run?

-- Matt Barrows


Funny how a lot of the "articles" on the webzone happen to pop up shortly after nearly identical articles by real journalists named Barrows or Maiocco are posted on the web.

Funny how people throw out assertions trying to slam people without actually doing research. I posted my after press conference thoughts on Jan 7 (http://www.49erswebzone.com/commentary/902-give-credit-where-due-post-press-conference-thoughts/) and this had all of Fangio's defense DVOA ranks year by year. And as I was doing research for some more background on Fangio, I came across the Cheesehead article which breaks down a cover 7 scheme. Where does Barrows talk about the nuts and bolts of a cover 7? Oh, that's right, he doesn't.

The fact is that the salient topics are the same for anyone who covers the 49ers. When the salient topics are filling a coaching staff, most articles are going to be about potential staff hires, with Fangio being the most talked about.

If you're going to try to sling crap, at least try to make it crap that sticks.
  • Oscar
  • Hall of Fame
  • Posts: 10,234
Originally posted by AKfanster:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
I hate to break the news to some of you guys, but Manny isn't a very good pass rusher. Never has been and it appears he never will be.

That said, if the Niners move to a 4-3 system I think Manny could be very successful as an OLB. He's great vs. the run and he can cover a TE,FB,RB etc.

Agree on that but compared to what we have at OLB, Manny should be retained.

Man, I hope Harbaugh sees that our DL apply a lot of pressure and we move to a 4-3.


I agree that Manny should be retained, no doubt. The dude is a football player, no doubt. He just doesn't pass rush very well and that can hurt a 3-4 defense.

In regards to moving to a 4-3, I think that will depend on Franklin. If the Niners keep Franklin, either franchise tag or resign, the Niners should continue using the 3-4. If Franklin leaves then the Niners will be without a legit NT. If the Niners don't replace him with a valid NT, then the Niners SHOULD look at moving to a 4-3 a little closer.
I don't know if RJF can replace Franklin, but he didn't look so hot in limited playing time this season.

I think Franklin would be great in a 4-3. We use him to shoot gaps as is which is why we really don't run a true 3-4 up front.

A "true" 3-4? Either 1-gap or 2-gap, it's still a 3-4. The Niners just happen to use a 1 gap scheme, which has worked rather well IMO. The Niners haven't allowed a 100yd rusher in how long?
I assume what type of NT a defense is using will determine if they run a 1-gap or 2-gap.

I'm not really sure how Franklin would perform in a 4-3 defense. I assume if all he has to do is pick a gap and shoot.......then he'd be fine.

Our problem has never really been the run game, it's always been our secondary. We've been trying to hide our players in zone coverage for a while. I think we need to upgrade our secondary in some key areas in order to play more man schemes so we can blitz creatively.

Dick LeBeau always said that your secondary dictated your front. He, as a former defensive back, always started there then worked inside. Maybe, due to Manusky's background, he starts with the linebackers and doesn't pay attention to secondary schemes all that much?
Originally posted by Oscar:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
I hate to break the news to some of you guys, but Manny isn't a very good pass rusher. Never has been and it appears he never will be.

That said, if the Niners move to a 4-3 system I think Manny could be very successful as an OLB. He's great vs. the run and he can cover a TE,FB,RB etc.

Agree on that but compared to what we have at OLB, Manny should be retained.

Man, I hope Harbaugh sees that our DL apply a lot of pressure and we move to a 4-3.


I agree that Manny should be retained, no doubt. The dude is a football player, no doubt. He just doesn't pass rush very well and that can hurt a 3-4 defense.

In regards to moving to a 4-3, I think that will depend on Franklin. If the Niners keep Franklin, either franchise tag or resign, the Niners should continue using the 3-4. If Franklin leaves then the Niners will be without a legit NT. If the Niners don't replace him with a valid NT, then the Niners SHOULD look at moving to a 4-3 a little closer.
I don't know if RJF can replace Franklin, but he didn't look so hot in limited playing time this season.

I think Franklin would be great in a 4-3. We use him to shoot gaps as is which is why we really don't run a true 3-4 up front.

A "true" 3-4? Either 1-gap or 2-gap, it's still a 3-4. The Niners just happen to use a 1 gap scheme, which has worked rather well IMO. The Niners haven't allowed a 100yd rusher in how long?
I assume what type of NT a defense is using will determine if they run a 1-gap or 2-gap.

I'm not really sure how Franklin would perform in a 4-3 defense. I assume if all he has to do is pick a gap and shoot.......then he'd be fine.

Our problem has never really been the run game, it's always been our secondary. We've been trying to hide our players in zone coverage for a while. I think we need to upgrade our secondary in some key areas in order to play more man schemes so we can blitz creatively.

Dick LeBeau always said that your secondary dictated your front. He, as a former defensive back, always started there then worked inside. Maybe, due to Manusky's background, he starts with the linebackers and doesn't pay attention to secondary schemes all that much?

There are many here that say otherwise. A pass rush is vital to the secondary's success and to somewhat, I agree. However, there is no mistaken the lack of success of our secondary for some time, years in fact. That is why both CB and pass rush are key this off season. Fangio would need those additional pieces to reek havoc on opposing offenses a la Don Capers, aggressive and non-relenting.

A balance is needed. We need to expend the resources to get that Peppers, Matthews, Ware type of player while landing a Nnamdi type of ...wait, he's available right?

Well, there you're answer to begin with. At least a start.
  • Oscar
  • Hall of Fame
  • Posts: 10,234
Originally posted by ninertico:
Originally posted by Oscar:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
I hate to break the news to some of you guys, but Manny isn't a very good pass rusher. Never has been and it appears he never will be.

That said, if the Niners move to a 4-3 system I think Manny could be very successful as an OLB. He's great vs. the run and he can cover a TE,FB,RB etc.

Agree on that but compared to what we have at OLB, Manny should be retained.

Man, I hope Harbaugh sees that our DL apply a lot of pressure and we move to a 4-3.


I agree that Manny should be retained, no doubt. The dude is a football player, no doubt. He just doesn't pass rush very well and that can hurt a 3-4 defense.

In regards to moving to a 4-3, I think that will depend on Franklin. If the Niners keep Franklin, either franchise tag or resign, the Niners should continue using the 3-4. If Franklin leaves then the Niners will be without a legit NT. If the Niners don't replace him with a valid NT, then the Niners SHOULD look at moving to a 4-3 a little closer.
I don't know if RJF can replace Franklin, but he didn't look so hot in limited playing time this season.

I think Franklin would be great in a 4-3. We use him to shoot gaps as is which is why we really don't run a true 3-4 up front.

A "true" 3-4? Either 1-gap or 2-gap, it's still a 3-4. The Niners just happen to use a 1 gap scheme, which has worked rather well IMO. The Niners haven't allowed a 100yd rusher in how long?
I assume what type of NT a defense is using will determine if they run a 1-gap or 2-gap.

I'm not really sure how Franklin would perform in a 4-3 defense. I assume if all he has to do is pick a gap and shoot.......then he'd be fine.

Our problem has never really been the run game, it's always been our secondary. We've been trying to hide our players in zone coverage for a while. I think we need to upgrade our secondary in some key areas in order to play more man schemes so we can blitz creatively.

Dick LeBeau always said that your secondary dictated your front. He, as a former defensive back, always started there then worked inside. Maybe, due to Manusky's background, he starts with the linebackers and doesn't pay attention to secondary schemes all that much?

There are many here that say otherwise. A pass rush is vital to the secondary's success and to somewhat, I agree. However, there is no mistaken the lack of success of our secondary for some time, years in fact. That is why both CB and pass rush are key this off season. Fangio would need those additional pieces to reek havoc on opposing offenses a la Don Capers, aggressive and non-relenting.

A balance is needed. We need to expend the resources to get that Peppers, Matthews, Ware type of player while landing a Nnamdi type of ...wait, he's available right?

Well, there you're answer to begin with. At least a start.

I agree that a pass rush is a good thing to have for a good defense. But the link between pass rush and secondary success isn't as solid as everyone thinks. There's an article I read about this on Football Outsiders but I can't find it now. Ugh.
I'm curious as to why this is NinerTalk.
Originally posted by Oscar:
Originally posted by ninertico:
Originally posted by Oscar:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
Originally posted by Joecool:
Originally posted by AKfanster:
I hate to break the news to some of you guys, but Manny isn't a very good pass rusher. Never has been and it appears he never will be.

That said, if the Niners move to a 4-3 system I think Manny could be very successful as an OLB. He's great vs. the run and he can cover a TE,FB,RB etc.

Agree on that but compared to what we have at OLB, Manny should be retained.

Man, I hope Harbaugh sees that our DL apply a lot of pressure and we move to a 4-3.


I agree that Manny should be retained, no doubt. The dude is a football player, no doubt. He just doesn't pass rush very well and that can hurt a 3-4 defense.

In regards to moving to a 4-3, I think that will depend on Franklin. If the Niners keep Franklin, either franchise tag or resign, the Niners should continue using the 3-4. If Franklin leaves then the Niners will be without a legit NT. If the Niners don't replace him with a valid NT, then the Niners SHOULD look at moving to a 4-3 a little closer.
I don't know if RJF can replace Franklin, but he didn't look so hot in limited playing time this season.

I think Franklin would be great in a 4-3. We use him to shoot gaps as is which is why we really don't run a true 3-4 up front.

A "true" 3-4? Either 1-gap or 2-gap, it's still a 3-4. The Niners just happen to use a 1 gap scheme, which has worked rather well IMO. The Niners haven't allowed a 100yd rusher in how long?
I assume what type of NT a defense is using will determine if they run a 1-gap or 2-gap.

I'm not really sure how Franklin would perform in a 4-3 defense. I assume if all he has to do is pick a gap and shoot.......then he'd be fine.

Our problem has never really been the run game, it's always been our secondary. We've been trying to hide our players in zone coverage for a while. I think we need to upgrade our secondary in some key areas in order to play more man schemes so we can blitz creatively.

Dick LeBeau always said that your secondary dictated your front. He, as a former defensive back, always started there then worked inside. Maybe, due to Manusky's background, he starts with the linebackers and doesn't pay attention to secondary schemes all that much?

There are many here that say otherwise. A pass rush is vital to the secondary's success and to somewhat, I agree. However, there is no mistaken the lack of success of our secondary for some time, years in fact. That is why both CB and pass rush are key this off season. Fangio would need those additional pieces to reek havoc on opposing offenses a la Don Capers, aggressive and non-relenting.

A balance is needed. We need to expend the resources to get that Peppers, Matthews, Ware type of player while landing a Nnamdi type of ...wait, he's available right?

Well, there you're answer to begin with. At least a start.

I agree that a pass rush is a good thing to have for a good defense. But the link between pass rush and secondary success isn't as solid as everyone thinks. There's an article I read about this on Football Outsiders but I can't find it now. Ugh.

I agree! Look what Walsh did with the 81 draft.
Originally posted by jrg:
I'm curious as to why this is NinerTalk.

Hush, and go to bed.
Originally posted by Hopper:
Originally posted by Niners99:
Originally posted by Hopper:
Originally posted by Niners99:
Originally posted by Hopper:
Wouldn't mind having Manusky back. We get no pass rush from Haralson and Lawson plus a horrid secondary and we still ranked 13 in total defense.

http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2010/11/19/pass-rushing-productivity-whos-making-the-most-of-their-opportunities/

wait we get no pass rush from Manny Lawson?

or we get the most efficient pass rush from anyone in the NFL through week 12 from Manny Lawson...hmm....

I wouldn't take those stats at face value. Manny is not a good pass rusher.

lol so the guys that watched all the film and broke down the play per play stats are wrong, and the guy who just watched the 49ers on the couch and didnt remember Lawson getting that many sacks is right?

I've watched Manny every game just like any of those guys. He has no burst off the LOS to(Not a speed rusher) get around a tackle. He doesn't use his hands well to disengage a tackle and get to the QB. His strength is setting the edge against the run, not pass rushing and no one will convince me other wise.

He might not be back... but there will be enough GMs out there to bid up his value to suggest that he will be one of the biggest FAs sighed in the offseason. So you might not think he is good, but the stats and NFL GMs think he is... Hmmmm who's right?
I think Scott McCloughan/Nolan f**ked up our Secondary. He went for physicality over speed and coverage.

We don't need LB's in the secondary, we need speed. Our Safeties got laughed at for their lack of speed. What's the point of being a good tackler if you aren't fast enough to get the proper angles?

I wouldn't be upset if we go for fast, fast, and even faster in the first two rounds.

And I don't mean Taylor Mays lumbering Cadillac fast, I mean quick sportscar fast. I don't care if they are 5'10" 180. Merton Hanks and Deon Sanders in the same secondary is proof that you don't need to tackle worth a crap in the secondary. Just let them run a little by you and chase them down from behind which was the Merton Hanks specialty.
[ Edited by Joecool on Jan 12, 2011 at 2:32 PM ]