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fordfixer
06-04-2009, 12:58 AM
Defensive coordinator rankings: LeBeau knows

http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/vi ... p?t=556104 (http://www.sportingnews.com/yourturn/viewtopic.php?t=556104)

Sporting News
Posted: June 3, 2009

It seems the whole league is changing to a 3-4 these days, and there are plenty of those system gurus on this list. But the best coordinators are the coaches who can adapt the talent at their disposal and attack an offense in a variety of ways.

RealScouts, Sporting News' team of former NFL scouts, rank their top 20 defensive coordinators:

1. Dick LeBeau, Steelers. LeBeau perfected the zone blitz, and you'll see Pittsburgh continue to run this defense as long as he's the coordinator. He likes to mix looks and bring pressure from different points on the field. He doesn't have a great matchup secondary, so he attacks offenses with all-out pressure.

2. Jim Johnson, Eagles. Another disciple of the zone blitz, Johnson likes to bring pressure from up and down the line and he asks his defensive backs to jam receivers and play physical. Typically, he prefers quicker one gap-shooting linemen and active linebackers. This is probably the most athletic front seven the Eagles have had in a while, but they still like to bring the blitz. After taking a leave of absence to undergo chemotherapy, here's hoping Johnson is healthy enough to be on the sidelines in '09.

3. Leslie Frazier, Vikings. He has the horses up front to send a nice pressure package at quarterbacks, and he likes to play some mixed zones behind it with cornerback Antoine Winfield more often in press coverage. With DE Jared Allen joining the team last year, the blitz package is a thing of the past, though it could return if the Williams Wall misses significant time.

4. Jim Bates, Bucs. Tampa Bay's new defensive leader plays an aggressive scheme that calls for playmakers to make big plays. Look for the Bucs to move away from the traditional Tampa-2 zone scheme and have defensive backs making more plays on the ball, while the defensive front will be less about stunts and twists and more about getting pressure off the edges.

5. Dom Capers, Packers. He is a diehard believer in the 3-4 defense. We wonder whether Green Bay has the pieces to make the change in '09. Capers knows the scheme inside and out and has been through the transition before. He can guide players like Aaron Kampman, A.J. Hawk and Nick Barnett through struggles.

6. Greg Blache, Redskins. He runs an aggressive scheme that relies on pressure at every level. He likes to get a big push inside from his tackles, explaining the Albert Haynesworth signing. Blache also likes linebackers who run to the ball and corners and safeties who press and play close to the line of scrimmage. With more pieces in place, expect Washington to harass the quarterback consistently in '09.

7. Mike Nolan, Broncos. He will have a challenge this season, but if anyone can turn around a moribund defense it's Nolan. An ardent 3-4 man, Nolan must employ a hybrid in '09. His priority is shoring up the run defense, a benefit of playing the 3-4 front. He must rely on a strong secondary to play well in coverage while he figures out how to generate pressure on the quarterback.

8. Dean Pees, Patriots. Pees is learning from the master, Bill Belichick. No team does a better job of adapting personnel and playing the matchup game. With upgrades in the secondary, Pees will have more options in the pass rush. He will bring a fourth rusher out of the 3-4, but that player always will come from a different spot on the field. Pees is a name to watch.

9. Mike Zimmer, Bengals. The Bengals likely will continue to employ a 4-3 scheme as it has throughout Marvin Lewis' tenure. Cincinnati has a lot of linebackers and converted college ends, so Zimmer could tinker with some 3-4 alignments. Zimmer has extensive experience mixing formations and will introduce some new wrinkles to confuse opponents.

10. Paul Pasqualoni, Dolphins. Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano love him, and after watching that turnaround last year who are we to argue? Pasqualoni has the knowledge and adaptability skills to be an asset within any scheme, but he is an old-time coach who can teach technique on a one-on-one level. Joey Porter's career was over until Pasqualoni arrived in Miami.

11. Clancy Pendergast, Chiefs. Pendergrast is unpredictable -- at times unorthodox -- and is tough to game plan against. The Chiefs will use a 3-4 scheme as their base defense, but liberal usage of the 4-3 in nickel sets keeps opponents guessing.

12. John Marshall, Raiders. Marshall, who comes to Oakland after a six-year stint as Mike Holmgren's defensive coordinator in Seattle, is all about pressure. The Seahawks were among the most prolific pass-rush teams in recent seasons, thanks to a strong outside rush and quick, gap-shooting tackles. He likes to mix coverages and formations, so versatility in the front seven is critical. There is talent on the Raiders' roster, so don't be surprised to see more success in '09.

13. Gregg Williams, Saints. He uses a lot of stunts and twists with his linemen. Speed at defensive end is important. In the secondary, New Orleans will utilize a mixture of zone and man-to-man schemes with a lot of cornerback man-to-man coverages with safety help over the top in combination schemes.

14. Ron Rivera, Chargers. He has experience coaching the 4-3, the Tampa-2 and now the 3-4 scheme. Although the Chargers will remain a 3-4 front, Rivera incorporates aspects of the other schemes. That means more aggressive play-calling in terms of blitzes and letting Shawne Merriman loose behind a more talented defensive front.

15. Gunther Cunningham, Lions. Big and physical is the way Cunningham and new coach Jim Schwartz like their defensive players. The first priority will be stopping the run and solidifying the front seven. Look for plenty of aggressive calls and blitz schemes early.

16. Perry Fewell, Bills. Fewell runs a conservative version of the 4-3 scheme. The Bills blitz sparingly, preferring to generate a push with linemen. He likes to utilize a lot of cover-2 zone schemes. Fewell uses some pre-snap movement to confuse opponents, but after the snap he keeps it pretty basic.

17. Larry Coyer, Colts. A former defensive line coach, he will emphasize the importance of line play -- in pressuring the quarterback and defending the run. Coyer has been around a long time and is a 4-3 disciple, but he is sure to address the Colts' weakness in defending the run.

18. Rob Ryan, Browns. He uses a fair amount of formations to keep opponents guessing. Look for a lot of different formations and movement within the Browns' 3-4 scheme, which will look a lot like brother Rex's hybrid scheme made famous in Baltimore. We will see a lot of press coverage by the cornerbacks and be aggressive, mostly using man-to-man. It is a fairly simple defense that relies on the guys up front to apply pressure while the back seven concentrates on coverage.

19. Greg Manusky, 49ers. He emphasizes a 3-4 press-type style with lots of different looks and frequent shifting of personnel. The key element for opponents is trying to figure out where the fourth pass rusher is going to line up. Frequent blitzing by cornerbacks and safeties is a staple -- as well as lots of man-to-man coverage -- but the main pass rush must come from the outside linebackers. He also will show a 4-3 nickel front in passing situations. This defense will resemble the Steelers at times, and don't be surprised to see Patrick Willis unleashed as a blitzer.

20. Ron Meeks, Panthers. He likes to play zone schemes behind a stunting defensive line. He likes to have constant movement that really confuses blocking schemes. The back seven play it sound and simple; they try to keep everything in front of them and prevent big plays. You are not going to beat his defense by dictating matchups on offense. They don't like to blitz much and shouldn't have to if Julius Peppers returns.

steelblood
06-04-2009, 07:54 AM
8. Dan Pees?

Really? Better than Gregg Williams? The Pats D was decent at best last year. Just because Pees works for Belicheck, doesn't mean he is a great coach. Ridiculous.

Djfan
06-05-2009, 11:24 AM
Aren't a few of these ex-Steelers coaches?

Oviedo
06-05-2009, 12:07 PM
8. Dan Pees?

Really? Better than Gregg Williams? The Pats D was decent at best last year. Just because Pees works for Belicheck, doesn't mean he is a great coach. Ridiculous.

Probably why never done nuthin Russ Grimm was rated as the #12 Offensive Coordinator. Probably just because he is working for Whisenhunt he inherits the rating.

phillyesq
06-05-2009, 02:28 PM
Aren't a few of these ex-Steelers coaches?

Dom Capers is. He was my favorite defensive coordinator except for Lebeau.

Scanning the list, none of the other names jump out at me.

skyhawk
06-06-2009, 06:03 PM
I think he is wrong when he says that the Steelers don't have a good matchup secondary and that they use all out pressure.

The 08 squad had the best matchup secondary since the Rod Woodson days.

I don't think LeBeau uses the all out zone blitz as much as he did in the mid 90's and the "blitzburgh" era. They are much more controlled and disciplined in this defense.

jj28west
06-06-2009, 08:10 PM
I think he is wrong when he says that the Steelers don't have a good matchup secondary and that they use all out pressure.

The 08 squad had the best matchup secondary since Rod Woodson.

I don't think LeBeau uses the all out zone blitz as much as he did in the mid 90's and the "blitzburgh" era. They are much more controlled and disciplined in this defense.

skyhawk,

good points.......I dont remember Troy blitzing once last year.

RuthlessBurgher
06-07-2009, 01:05 PM
I think he is wrong when he says that the Steelers don't have a good matchup secondary and that they use all out pressure.

The 08 squad had the best matchup secondary since Rod Woodson.

I don't think LeBeau uses the all out zone blitz as much as he did in the mid 90's and the "blitzburgh" era. They are much more controlled and disciplined in this defense.

skyhawk,

good points.......I dont remember Troy blitzing once last year.

And whaddaya know...he stops throwing his body into 300+ lb. linemen constantly, and he manages to stay healthy for the first time in a long time. What a concept!

grotonsteel
06-07-2009, 02:45 PM
Who invented 3-4 D?? Is it Dom Capers or Dick LeBeau???

fezziwig
06-07-2009, 03:19 PM
What defense did Buddy Ryan run ? Besides the dirty tactics that he used.

That cracks me up too. Ryans defenses had hit list for players, they took cheap shots, they have a game named after them called the "Body Bag Game " and people cry about Hines Ward being able to block as a wide receiver.

stlrz d
06-07-2009, 11:04 PM
Buddy Ryan ran the 46 Defense.


Who invented 3-4 D?? Is it Dom Capers or bad word LeBeau???

Per wiki:


The 3-4 defense declined in popularity over the years, but has found renewed use by modern professional and college football teams. The 3-4 defense is so named because it involves 3 down linemen and 4 linebackers. There are usually 4 defensive backs. However, most teams since the 1990s have been using the 4-3 defense, primarily because football is fundamentally a "rush first" game, and the 4-3 defense's 4 down linemen make rushing more difficult by adding one more down lineman to fill gaps. By the same token, fast linebackers, sitting back to survey the offensive set, can key in on an inside ball carrier and "hit the gaps" quickly to offer help to the 3 down linemen when defending the rush. In pass coverage, the 4 linebackers are already in a "sitting back" position, able to see the patterns develop and cover the short/intermediate pass.

Notable teams that use the 3-4 defense are the Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, New England Patriots, and Pittsburgh Steelers. The San Francisco 49ers use a combination of 3-4 and 4-3 defense. The Arizona Cardinals are also considering a change to the 3-4 defense in the future because their head coach, Ken Whisenhunt, was a coaching assistant for the Steelers. The Cardinals already incorporate the 5-2 defense, an older variation of the 3-4, in some of their defensive schemes. The Miami Dolphins have also incorporated elements of the 3-4 defense into their scheme, under defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, the Dolphins are said to run what is called a 'Hybrid 3-4' which incorporates elements of both the 3-4 and the 4-3 defense depending on the situation and personnel on the field. With the hiring of defensive coordinator Dom Capers, the Green Bay Packers will be also be switching to a hybrid 3-4 defense in 2009. This will result in them moving Aaron Kampman to outside linebacker. Also with Mike Nolan becoming the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos, they will also be switching to the 3-4 defense in 2009. The Kansas City Chiefs may also become a 3-4 in 2009.

The Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins are the only NFL teams which have never used the 3-4 as their base defense. Conversely, the Steelers have used the 3-4 as their base since 1982, the season after Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Mean Joe Greene and end L.C. Greenwood retired.

The 3-4 defense was originally devised by Bud Wilkinson at the University of Oklahoma in the 1940s. Chuck Fairbanks learned the defense from Wilkinson and is credited with importing it to the NFL.[4] The 1972 Miami Dolphins were the first team to win a Super Bowl with the 3-4 defense, going undefeated and using number 53, Bob Mathison as a down lineman or rushing linebacker. When the Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XV, it marked the first Super Bowl in which both teams used the 3-4 as their base defense. Also notable, the 1986 New York Giants won Super Bowl XXI with a 3-4 defense and all-time great Lawrence Taylor as outside linebacker. By the mid-1990s, only a few teams used a 3-4 defense, most notably the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers.[5]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_football_strategy

AngryAsian
06-08-2009, 04:04 AM
I think he is wrong when he says that the Steelers don't have a good matchup secondary and that they use all out pressure.

The 08 squad had the best matchup secondary since Rod Woodson.

I don't think LeBeau uses the all out zone blitz as much as he did in the mid 90's and the "blitzburgh" era. They are much more controlled and disciplined in this defense.

skyhawk,

good points.......I dont remember Troy blitzing once last year.


Lebeau is a great evaluator. When your talent pool up in the front 7 is stacked, the use of the secondary isn't necessarily a needed. We'll even be better on defense this year.

Jooser
06-08-2009, 07:40 AM
I was thinking that Ron Rivera coached special teams here under Cowher. Am I wrong?

RuthlessBurgher
06-08-2009, 08:54 AM
I was thinking that Ron Rivera coached special teams here under Cowher. Am I wrong?

Nope. Not a Special Teams Coach in Pittsburgh.

1997-1998 Chicago Bears
(Defensive quality coach)

1999-2003 Philadelphia Eagles
(Linebackers coach)

2004-2006 Chicago Bears
(Defensive coordinator)

2007 San Diego Chargers
(Linebackers coach)

2008-present San Diego Chargers
(Defensive coordinator)

RuthlessBurgher
06-08-2009, 09:10 AM
Who invented 3-4 D?? Is it Dom Capers or bad word LeBeau???

Capers and LeBeau arrived in Pittsburgh in 1992 when Cowher was hired. Plenty of teams were running a 3-4 D in the 80's, when we made our switch from the day of the old Steel Curtain four man front. For instance, the 86 Giants with L.T., Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, and Carl Banks at LB. There were also those Saints teams that had all 4 LB's make the Pro Bowl in the same year with Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson, and Rickey Jackson.

You are probably referring to who originated the zone blitz schemes that we used within our 3-4 defense. Although Capers was the defensive coordinator and LeBeau was the secondary coach for the first few years in Cowher's tenure, LeBeau was widely credited with coming up with the zone blitz schemes that we started using at that time.

RuthlessBurgher
06-08-2009, 09:19 AM
What defense did Buddy Ryan run ? Besides the dirty tactics that he used.

That cracks me up too. Ryans defenses had hit list for players, they took cheap shots, they have a game named after them called the "Body Bag Game " and people cry about Hines Ward being able to block as a wide receiver.

The Buddy Ryan defense was the 46 defense. However, the 46 in this case referred to the uniform number of safety Doug Plank, not the number of DL and LB on the field like the 4-3 and 3-4 (if it meant 4 DL and 6 LB, that would only leave 1 DB, which would be idiotic). The basic idea would be to have a regular 4 man DL, but then have both the strong side and weakside linebackers line up on the same side to create an imbalance, making it difficult to block. They would move up their strong safety up as an 8th man in the box next to the middle linebacker (in the case of the 85 Bears, it was Doug Plank moving up next to Mike Singletary)

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
06-08-2009, 09:46 AM
Wonder where the new HC of the Jets would have been ranked if he was still the DC in Ravenland.

stlrz d
06-08-2009, 10:45 AM
Who invented 3-4 D?? Is it Dom Capers or bad word LeBeau???

Capers and LeBeau arrived in Pittsburgh in 1992 when Cowher was hired. Plenty of teams were running a 3-4 D in the 80's, when we made our switch from the day of the old Steel Curtain four man front. For instance, the 86 Giants with L.T., Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, and Carl Banks at LB. There were also those Saints teams that had all 4 LB's make the Pro Bowl in the same year with Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson, and Rickey Jackson.

You are probably referring to who originated the zone blitz schemes that we used within our 3-4 defense. Although Capers was the defensive coordinator and LeBeau was the secondary coach for the first few years in Cowher's tenure, LeBeau was widely credited with coming up with the zone blitz schemes that we started using at that time.

Per the Wiki article I posted, we started running it in '82 after Mean Joe and LC retired.

RuthlessBurgher
06-08-2009, 12:28 PM
Who invented 3-4 D?? Is it Dom Capers or bad word LeBeau???

Capers and LeBeau arrived in Pittsburgh in 1992 when Cowher was hired. Plenty of teams were running a 3-4 D in the 80's, when we made our switch from the day of the old Steel Curtain four man front. For instance, the 86 Giants with L.T., Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, and Carl Banks at LB. There were also those Saints teams that had all 4 LB's make the Pro Bowl in the same year with Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson, and Rickey Jackson.

You are probably referring to who originated the zone blitz schemes that we used within our 3-4 defense. Although Capers was the defensive coordinator and LeBeau was the secondary coach for the first few years in Cowher's tenure, LeBeau was widely credited with coming up with the zone blitz schemes that we started using at that time.

Per the Wiki article I posted, we started running it in '82 after Mean Joe and LC retired.

Yeah, that's why I said "Plenty of teams were running a 3-4 D in the 80's, when we made our switch from the day of the old Steel Curtain four man front." :P

stlrz d
06-08-2009, 03:01 PM
I think he is wrong when he says that the Steelers don't have a good matchup secondary and that they use all out pressure.

The 08 squad had the best matchup secondary since Rod Woodson.

I don't think LeBeau uses the all out zone blitz as much as he did in the mid 90's and the "blitzburgh" era. They are much more controlled and disciplined in this defense.

skyhawk,

good points.......I dont remember Troy blitzing once last year.

Funny, I just flipped on NFLN and they are showing the Steelers @ Pats from '08. I joined in progress. The first play I saw was a Troy blitz. The Pats ran to the other side though. Three plays later Troy blitzed again and rushed Cassel on a throw, which ended the drive. :P

Also just saw a great downfield block by Hines that got Moore another 5 yeards rushing...man will Ward be missed when he hangs 'em up. :(

stlrz d
06-08-2009, 03:02 PM
Who invented 3-4 D?? Is it Dom Capers or bad word LeBeau???

Capers and LeBeau arrived in Pittsburgh in 1992 when Cowher was hired. Plenty of teams were running a 3-4 D in the 80's, when we made our switch from the day of the old Steel Curtain four man front. For instance, the 86 Giants with L.T., Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, and Carl Banks at LB. There were also those Saints teams that had all 4 LB's make the Pro Bowl in the same year with Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson, and Rickey Jackson.

You are probably referring to who originated the zone blitz schemes that we used within our 3-4 defense. Although Capers was the defensive coordinator and LeBeau was the secondary coach for the first few years in Cowher's tenure, LeBeau was widely credited with coming up with the zone blitz schemes that we started using at that time.

Per the Wiki article I posted, we started running it in '82 after Mean Joe and LC retired.

Yeah, that's why I said "Plenty of teams were running a 3-4 D in the 80's, when we made our switch from the day of the old Steel Curtain four man front." :P

You didn't give the year. :moon :lol:

RuthlessBurgher
06-08-2009, 03:04 PM
[quote=grotonsteel]Who invented 3-4 D?? Is it Dom Capers or bad word LeBeau???

Capers and LeBeau arrived in Pittsburgh in 1992 when Cowher was hired. Plenty of teams were running a 3-4 D in the 80's, when we made our switch from the day of the old Steel Curtain four man front. For instance, the 86 Giants with L.T., Harry Carson, Pepper Johnson, and Carl Banks at LB. There were also those Saints teams that had all 4 LB's make the Pro Bowl in the same year with Pat Swilling, Sam Mills, Vaughn Johnson, and Rickey Jackson.

You are probably referring to who originated the zone blitz schemes that we used within our 3-4 defense. Although Capers was the defensive coordinator and LeBeau was the secondary coach for the first few years in Cowher's tenure, LeBeau was widely credited with coming up with the zone blitz schemes that we started using at that time.

Per the Wiki article I posted, we started running it in '82 after Mean Joe and LC retired.

Yeah, that's why I said "Plenty of teams were running a 3-4 D in the 80's, when we made our switch from the day of the old Steel Curtain four man front." :P

You didn't give the year. :moon :lol:[/quote:uz441aek]

Forgive me. I was 7 years old back then.

It's hard to believe that my son is 7 now (and will be 8 in two weeks!)

NorthCoast
06-14-2009, 09:24 PM
I think he is wrong when he says that the Steelers don't have a good matchup secondary and that they use all out pressure.

The 08 squad had the best matchup secondary since Rod Woodson.

I don't think LeBeau uses the all out zone blitz as much as he did in the mid 90's and the "blitzburgh" era. They are much more controlled and disciplined in this defense.

skyhawk,

good points.......I dont remember Troy blitzing once last year.


Lebeau is a great evaluator. When your talent pool up in the front 7 is stacked, the use of the secondary isn't necessarily a needed. We'll even be better on defense this year.

LeBeau said as much early last year. He was a little frustrated I think in '07 because his front 7 could not get the pressure without constant blitzing. This exposed the secondary to big plays because even with the blitzing we struggled to pressure the QB. Insert Woodley & Harrison and the complexion of the defense completely changes. I still remember board arguments for drafting 'shut down' CBs or stud DEs to cure our problems back then. I was on the side of finding LBs because shut down CBs are exceedingly hard to find where we typically draft and they typically cost $$$$$$$ to keep.