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Sunday Morning Topic - What kind of defense do we run?

When Fangio first came to the Niners all the talk was how he runs a zone-blitz defense similar to Capers in GB. However, last year rarely did we seem to rush more than four and often times LBs were assigned to man coverage (RB & TEs). In fact, it seemed as if we ran a 4-3 with 3-4 personnel on the field. Obviously it was very effective, but not very exotic. I wondering if this year we'll see a change or we'll just stick to what works? Is there any team out there that runs a comparable defense, in the past or present? I'm curious to hear your guys input.
We tend to forget that we may not have run the defense (or offense) that we will be running going forward because of the lockout last year. We may see a completely different version of each, although I wouldn't mess with what works defensively - at least not much.
Fangio made a comment that Willis' only weakness was blitzing and Bowman was very young. So, I would imagine both have been working on this aspect of their games, but also...I think Fangio was blown away by our three down linemen. They often held the run and put pressue on the QB without help, or late help. J Smith even defended passes out in the flat!

Great coaches develop the plan according to the strengths of the players, which is what happened last year. Both inside LBs are incredibly fast and athletic so why allow offensive linemen to beat them up when rushing the passer? Just a thought. Good question and thread.
[ Edited by dtg_9er on Jun 17, 2012 at 9:12 AM ]
Originally posted by dtg_9er:
Fangio made a comment that Willis' only weakness was blitzing and Bowman was very young. So, I would imagine both have been working on this aspect of their games, but also...I think Fangio was blown away by our three down linemen. They often held the run and put pressue on the QB without help, or late help. J Smith even defended passes out in the flat!

Great coaches develop the plan according to the strengths of the players, which is what happened last year. Both inside LBs are incredibly fast and athletic so why allow offensive linemen to beat them up when rushing the passer? Just a thought. Good question and thread.

Fangio said that, but it seemed at times last year and the year before that teams throw AT willis, because of his pass coverage (imo)
too early for this s**t.
It's a base 3-4 but we played vanilla last year d/t to the none offseason. This year, I would expect more wrinkled with more exotic coverage and pass rushing schemes. I would expect much more utilization in movement (esp. pass rush) with Brooks, Aldon Smith, Willis & Bowman. The front 3 will continue to kick azz as always and the back end should be able to play more aggressively and take more chances and benefit from a more exotic blitz scheme. The 4 LBers will really come into focus even more this year than last...
Originally posted by NCommand:
It's a base 3-4 but we played vanilla last year d/t to the none offseason. This year, I would expect more wrinkled with more exotic coverage and pass rushing schemes. I would expect much more utilization in movement (esp. pass rush) with Brooks, Aldon Smith, Willis & Bowman. The front 3 will continue to kick azz as always and the back end should be able to play more aggressively and take more chances and benefit from a more exotic blitz scheme. The 4 LBers will really come into focus even more this year than last...

But was there anything "Zone" about our D last year? The only guy that was allowed to roam was Goldson (I think). Have you heard of a 3-4 - man coverage scheme?
Originally posted by niners4lyfe:
too early for this s**t.

No doubt. Way too early in the year for Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy, Defensive Coordinator,
Originally posted by unst4bl3:
Fangio said that, but it seemed at times last year and the year before that teams throw AT willis, because of his pass coverage (imo)

I think Willis was asked to do the coverage more because of Aldon's lack of it last year. Not sure that coverage is Haralson's strong point either. Once they get Aldon up to speed on the coverage side, between Aldon and Willis -- it might just be a TE free zone on that side.
Originally posted by qnnhan7:
Originally posted by unst4bl3:
Fangio said that, but it seemed at times last year and the year before that teams throw AT willis, because of his pass coverage (imo)

I think Willis was asked to do the coverage more because of Aldon's lack of it last year. Not sure that coverage is Haralson's strong point either. Once they get Aldon up to speed on the coverage side, between Aldon and Willis -- it might just be a TE free zone on that side.

seem like Willis was already to cover TE's a lot last year. I think Bowman will be thrown into that role more so that Aldon.

Aldon will probably role i think will be expanded more to run stopping and some zone.
we run a dominating defense that beats the s**t out of the opponent.
It seems like we run a 3-4 base with a quarter/man shell. The reason Vic wanted Willis to improve his blitzing is so that zone/blitz scheme of his could come to fruition. I doubt Vic had any idea that our 3 down linemen could create pressure and stuff the run with such proficiency. I don't expect us to get cute with the zone/blitz (mostly because we dont ned to) unless we have such command of a game that we can afford to experiment in gametime situations.
  • mike
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Meh I think you keep the linebackers the way they were, Willis did a fine job in coverage. Bowman is a beast of a tackler and should continue to solidify the middle. Like Fangio said, Aldon will play more often in coverage IF he proves he can be better than Haralson at it. It's not like Aldon isn't worth having in an identical role as last year providing as many sacks as he did.

We definitely have more time this year to work on maybe sending a light hidden blitz(one the QB doesn't see coming until it's too late), but we don't really need it against most teams. The thing about sending any guy on a blitz is it usually leaves someone wide open and if they can spot who that is you can get burned hard. A beautiful thing about our D last year was that we'd force a quick throw with just our front 4 and then someone who on some teams would be a blitzer like maybe goldson, would be running around making plays on that ball.

So for the most part you keep it the same. But there's nothing wrong with practicing for the day when we meet an OL that our defense can't seem to break through with just 4.
one that beats the s**t out of people
We ran a base 3-4, but the base designation isn't as applicable as it used to be the the frequency of offenses running three and four receiver sets.

The 3-4 is preferable in this era IMO b/c your hybrid DE/OLBs stay on the field across different formations.
[ Edited by PopeyeJonesing on Jun 17, 2012 at 12:20 PM ]