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Thread: Will we see the Big Nickel Sunday

  1. #1

    Will we see the Big Nickel Sunday

    Just about every season for a long time now there are threads about the 4-3 D. Are we ready to switch? It's here etc. blah blah! Then some poster who knows something about things will post that the Steelers use some 4-3 D's throughout the season at times.

    But the past couple weeks there has been talk about the Big Nickel which is a 4-2-5 D. The talk is not only by fans but by the coaches. Here are some of the comments I found this past week talking about the variations in the Steeler D.

    The Steelers have more defensive wrinkles in addition to the Big Nickel 4-5-2 alignment that features four large linemen and no outside linebackers. Tomlin said it wasn’t designed to discourage Jets quarterback Tim Tebow from running. “We tend to lean on it from time to time because it provides versatility for us. It allows us to match, from a personnel standpoint, in the secondary with skill but also maintain our big body presence in the run game,” Tomlin said. “Another answer that we have is a personnel group where we use three corners and one safety with a base defense. It’s really a different way of addressing the same issue.”

    Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz27BuiXFz9
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    The very-large Casey Hampton’s nickname is Big Snack. Not coincidentally, the 4-2-5 alignment the Steelers showed off Sunday against the Jets is called the Big Nickel because it pairs four big defensive linemen with two linebackers and five defensive backs. “A lot of teams try to put us in the nickel defense and try to run the ball,” Hampton said. “It’s our way of combating that and doing something different.”

    Read more: http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz27By8Zy3S
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    Dick LeBeau also unveiled a controversial new scheme that took Woodley out of the game. On third down no less. Woodley never comes out of games, but in what coaches call the Big Nickel, the Steelers took both outside linebackers out, and went with four defensive linemen in a 4-2-5 alignment.
    LeBeau explained:
    "We always have an eye for down the road and make sure we have enough packages in place. When we get thin at any one position as we are right now at outside linebacker, we make sure we have enough defenses that if we lose a guy or two on Sunday we have something to go to.
    "They did a good job. They're getting a few snaps in practice, but it's just making sure we have enough people at enough spots to go through a 16-game season."
    The coaches only ran that defense three times, but don't look for Woodley to leave the field again anytime soon. After all, they had to play defense too much without him last season.

    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz27BzeNI8z

    ---The above snatches were okay I guess but left a lot of questions. Who was in the big N. No Woodley? Get real. I did read some of the explanations but I also had my own. But anyway I kept looking and did come up with some plausible answers to my questions. This stuff was found in another new site[for me] which I will now check out more often since this info was impressive:

    From Steelblitz.com

    The Steelers have been forced into a lot of nickel defensive packages in recent years. It comes with the territory of the new NFL. Offenses, including the Steelers, are now being built around quarterbacks and big play wide receivers. With three and four wide receiver sets becoming the norm for offenses the Steelers use a lot of nickel which puts five defensive backs on the field.
    The nickel defense uses two defensive ends as defensive tackles, two outside linebackers as defensive ends, two inside linebackers over the line, three corners and two safeties. This leaves the middle of the defense more susceptible to the run with the lack of a nose tackle on the field. Guys like Casey Hampton and Steve McLendon demand double teams and are run stuffing lineman, but aren’t included in the nickel defense. This leads teams, like the Broncos in week 1, to run against the smaller front of the nickel package.
    That is where the “big nickel” comes into play. The “big nickel” includes one of the nose tackles and three defensive lineman. On these occasions Cameron Heyward, Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood and Casey Hampton were on the line. Behind them was Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote at linebacker and the five defensive backs. With Ryan Mundy (usually Troy Polamalu) and Ryan Clark at safety and Ike Taylor and Keenan Lewis at corner the Steelers usually add Cortez Allen to the package as the fifth man in the secondary. Will Allen has also seen some time in the “big nickel” package as the fifth man.
    There are good and bad aspects to this plan. First, it helps to protect against the run which forces the offense to short runs or passing attempts when the defense goes to the nickel. It also is a solid third down defense protecting against the draw play. However, this set takes LaMarr Woodley off the field and did so five times on third down against the Jets. That means for five plays the Steelers took their best pass rusher off the field to protect against the run. Woodley is big enough to be in the “big nickel” as one of the edge defenders, but was not used as one in the game Sunday.
    The Oakland Raiders like to use their running backs in the passing game and run them out of passing sets so the “big nickel” package may see more time on Sunday. However, with the lack of quarterback pressure being applied early in the season the Steelers may want to put Woodley on the edge to force Carson Palmer to get rid of the ball quicker and potentially force him into some bad throws or interceptions.

    The Steelers have been forced into a lot of nickel defensive packages in recent years. It comes with the territory of the new NFL. Offenses, including the Steelers, are now being built around quarterbacks and big play wide receivers. With three and four wide receiver sets becoming the norm for offenses the Steelers use a lot of nickel which puts five defensive backs on the field.
    The nickel defense uses two defensive ends as defensive tackles, two outside linebackers as defensive ends, two inside linebackers over the line, three corners and two safeties. This leaves the middle of the defense more susceptible to the run with the lack of a nose tackle on the field. Guys like Casey Hampton and Steve McLendon demand double teams and are run stuffing lineman, but aren’t included in the nickel defense. This leads teams, like the Broncos in week 1, to run against the smaller front of the nickel package.
    That is where the “big nickel” comes into play. The “big nickel” includes one of the nose tackles and three defensive lineman. On these occasions Cameron Heyward, Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood and Casey Hampton were on the line. Behind them was Lawrence Timmons and Larry Foote at linebacker and the five defensive backs. With Ryan Mundy (usually Troy Polamalu) and Ryan Clark at safety and Ike Taylor and Keenan Lewis at corner the Steelers usually add Cortez Allen to the package as the fifth man in the secondary. Will Allen has also seen some time in the “big nickel” package as the fifth man.
    There are good and bad aspects to this plan. First, it helps to protect against the run which forces the offense to short runs or passing attempts when the defense goes to the nickel. It also is a solid third down defense protecting against the draw play. However, this set takes LaMarr Woodley off the field and did so five times on third down against the Jets. That means for five plays the Steelers took their best pass rusher off the field to protect against the run. Woodley is big enough to be in the “big nickel” as one of the edge defenders, but was not used as one in the game Sunday.
    The Oakland Raiders like to use their running backs in the passing game and run them out of passing sets so the “big nickel” package may see more time on Sunday. However, with the lack of quarterback pressure being applied early in the season the Steelers may want to put Woodley on the edge to force Carson Palmer to get rid of the ball quicker and potentially force him into some bad throws or interceptions.

    ---Dammit! This last article was the only one that I really wanted to see a link posted. The first two posted the link itself. Well anyway, the site was called Steelblitz.com. This article was reprinted on a site something about yardbarker. I got the idea they reprint articles of interest from numerous sites.

    http://steelblitz.com/big-nickel-big...093/2012/09/19

    Okay! I did find the site and am not sure if the link will work. It is too risky to preview the post to see if the link is live. But if not, that is the correct site. If that is an example of the quality of the posts there, then I would think it is a site worth going to now and then.













  2. #2
    I know I won't. I mean even if the Steelers do use it I won't notice it. That is really what this thread is about. What do us casual fans actually see when watching these games. Not very much I suspect.

    For example: There is always a lot of talk about these different formations the Steelers use. But I have a hunch that about the only one the average fans notices is the 3W 1TE 1RB setup that many think is the best one. But, since there are no easily found stats on this stuff the conclusions fans make are not necessarily correct.

    After maybe 5 or 6 games someone should take a look at this and come up with the actual results gotten from these various formations. I would guess it is the #1A--- 3W 1TE 1RB that does the most damage. However, in the past several years there were a number of games that the -#2B--- 2WR 2TE 1RB did the brunt of the work. The #3C 2WR 1TE 1FB which is very similar to the #2 formation and used to be the #1A also gets a lot of action.

    There are of course numerous other possible personnel groupings. 4 or 5 WR or the one many fans get bummed out about the 3TE formation. But the facts are, at least prior to this season, those sets are really not used as much as fans think. When the games are on the line the ABC formations are on the filed I'll bet 85% or more of the time.

    This could change now so I will start watching for it. But I doubt it. Although surprisingly, one well known Steeler blogger said they are using more 3TE sets now than ever. IDK?

    The reason I brought this up was after watching last weeks game several times it occured to me that other than the #1A formation I never ever notice or give it any thought what the setup is. I asked a group of Steeler fans the other day. What formation were the Steelers in when Wallace caught the long TD pass? What formation was used when Dwyer made the 1st down run to the 2yd line in the 4thQ. What was the setup when Antonio Brown caught that pass where he got belted and still somehow held on to the ball? [No one could remember] IDK either. But I am not going to watch the game for the fourth time now to find out. But Sunday I am going to start paying attention to that stuff. [Yeah sure]

  3. #3
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    Defense still searching for 1st interception

    By Ralph N. Paulk
    Published: Saturday, September 22, 2012

    The Steelers proved last season that numbers are often overrated.

    They led the AFC in pass defense (171.9 yards per game) but had only 11 interceptions. Only five other conference teams had fewer picks. In contrast, New England led the conference with 23.

    The Steelers committed to being more aggressive this season, and they recorded five interceptions in the preseason. They haven’t been nearly as aggressive during the regular season, partly because safeties Ryan Clark and Troy Polamalu have yet to played together, and still are looking for their first interception.

    “Everybody wants to get an interception because it’s a game-changing play,” said cornerback Keenan Lewis said. “We’re going to make our share of plays. We’ve to find a way to make (Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer) put that ball up so we can make our share of plays.”

    All in the game

    Cornerback Ike Taylor has been preparing for the Raiders all season e_SEmD on “Madden NFL 13.”

    “I play with the Raiders on ‘Madden,’ so I know what kind of team they have. I like that team,” Taylor said. “They have three receivers who can fly. When they get it together, it’s going to be (trouble) for a whole lot of people.”

    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz27GbYE9cA
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  4. #4
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    I hope to see more innovative looks to confuse the opponents versus the same template. However, I would never take Woodley off the field. I would find someway to keep him out there and force the opposing QB to account for him either as a LB or a DE.

    I would like to see a front four of:

    Woodley--Hood--McLendon--Kiesel with Heyward the guy rotating in at DE.

    I'd also like to see Woodley moving from the left side to the right side forcing a change in the opponents blocking schemes. I hate how LeBeau keeps Woodley on the left and Harrison on the right.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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