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View Full Version : Did the San Diego game demonstrate a change in Nolans MO?


lex
10-22-2009, 12:28 PM
Anyone remember the responses to Cincy's go ahead drive where blitzing was concerned? A lot of people were lamenting being so conservative after the blitzes were so effective from the 2nd qtr up until Cincy's game winning drive.

Now fast forward 5 weeks and Denver goes up 11 points. As San Diego's gets past midfield, suddenly Denver unleashes a sequence of blitzes that totally overwhelmed San Diego's offense to effectively slam the door shut on San Diego's hopes of winning.

So, what changed? Was it being up 2 scores that made Nolan feel safer about blitzing? Was it mismatches scheming they devised against SD? Or was it a preoccupation with not being predictable (anticipating SD would be playing against our tendencies) that led to blitzing? Regardless it was very impressive. It also seemed to highlight the fact that our defense has and continues to improve.

atomicbloke
10-22-2009, 12:30 PM
I noticed this too. There was no prevent defense on Sd's last drive. They were continuing to go after Rivers. I thin it demonstrates a certain confidence among the coaches.

WolfpackGuy
10-22-2009, 12:33 PM
After San Diego notched a couple first downs on their last drive with the Broncos in a prevent look, Nolan brought the heat, and the Chuggers couldn't handle it.

It was funny to see Phyllis running for her life.

Eldorado
10-22-2009, 12:35 PM
We were never in anything that resembled a prevent. It was the same until the TD, then the leash came off.

Crushisback
10-22-2009, 12:38 PM
I think it was just more of an overall gameplan. SD runs so many routes that are double and triple moves. These are very hard to cover but take along time to complete. This is one reason you typically see so many big plays from SD's offense. I think he just prefered to get to the QB as oppposed to giving them the time to run these exotice routes.
They probably noticed this with the Pittsburg game. SD didn't do anything until they stopped blitzing Rivers. Hopefully we showed the league a good blueprint for beating the Chargers, esp. in the 4th quarter where they are typically so good.

socnorb777
10-22-2009, 12:43 PM
It wasn't working in the first half, as they were Blitzing on weird downs like 3rd and 9, and getting burned by the obnoxious Rivers, but in the 4th quarter when the Chargers were forced into having to score twice with hardly any time left, it worked like a charm.

I think Mike Nolan is the best thing to happen to this defense in a decade.

dbfan21
10-22-2009, 12:51 PM
Lex, I think you hit ona good point in your final comment. I believe our defense playing alongside each other, week after week, has made big improvements along the way.

More time together = better team defense. Just my .02

cutthemdown
10-22-2009, 12:55 PM
Broncos been sending blitzers on 2nd down a lot. Sort of a stop the run, or just go on to QB if its a pass sort of thing.

It looks to me if the Broncos feel the RBS not blocking well they send people up the middle. If they feel Doom has mismatch they sort of overload the other side forcing the team to leave doom 1 on 1.

Seems like Fields, Peterson, Mcbean are not being asked to Rush passer. They are buying into there roles off setting the edge, and taking up blockers.

Just a well coached defense so far. I love how Broncos seem to be fluid and all know what they are going do. I don't see guys confused. IMO Nolan keeping it simple by telling a guy exactly what to do and not giving him 3-4 things to think about.

Bronx33
10-22-2009, 01:04 PM
The delayed blitzes were sweet! the chuggers were helpless after nolan threw that at them.

gyldenlove
10-22-2009, 01:10 PM
I think Nolan saw that the inside blitz was working well against Rivers and it is a lot easier to take one guy out than covering 4 or 5 players at the same time.

I am not sure why he went prevent against the Bengals, but that is the only time this season we have really seen him do that for an entire drive. He started the last San Diego drive with 3 prevent type zone plays and then let lose with some serious pressure.

My feeling is that he didn't trust our secondary as much against Cincy as he does now, that is why he is blitzing more aggressively because he knows we can shut down most things long enough for a massive blitz to get some pressure.

PRBronco
10-22-2009, 01:11 PM
The delayed blitzes were sweet! the chuggers were helpless after nolan threw that at them.

It's the perfect use for DJ! Finally we get to see them take advantage of his superior athleticism.

Peoples Champ
10-22-2009, 01:14 PM
I noticed this too. There was no prevent defense on Sd's last drive. They were continuing to go after Rivers. I thin it demonstrates a certain confidence among the coaches.

Ya, maybe the coaches have more confidence in the DB's now then week 1.

baja
10-22-2009, 01:17 PM
I think you are right with your first suggestion. It was being up by two scores with around 3 minutes to play and a trust that the O could move the chains enough to run out the clock if SD managed to score on that drive.

Tombstone RJ
10-22-2009, 01:21 PM
Anyone remember the responses to Cincy's go ahead drive where blitzing was concerned? A lot of people were lamenting being so conservative after the blitzes were so effective from the 2nd qtr up until Cincy's game winning drive.

Now fast forward 5 weeks and Denver goes up 11 points. As San Diego's gets past midfield, suddenly Denver unleashes a sequence of blitzes that totally overwhelmed San Diego's offense to effectively slam the door shut on San Diego's hopes of winning.

So, what changed? Was it being up 2 scores that made Nolan feel safer about blitzing? Was it mismatches scheming they devised against SD? Or was it a preoccupation with not being predictable (anticipating SD would be playing against our tendencies) that led to blitzing? Regardless it was very impressive. It also seemed to highlight the fact that our defense has and continues to improve.

It was a calculated gamble on Nolan to go blitz happy on SD. SD had been killing the Broncos with their screens but the Broncos seemed to adjust to this by the 4th quarter. Still SD could have gouged the Broncos defense in the 4th if they would have stuck with the screens. However, Norv kinda got away from the screens...

Tombstone RJ
10-22-2009, 01:22 PM
The delayed blitzes were sweet! the chuggers were helpless after nolan threw that at them.

This was huge. Perhaps Nolan went to a delayed blitz because the screens were working so well in the first half.

Once the LBer knows it's not some kind of funky screen, he unloads or Rivers.

cmhargrove
10-22-2009, 01:23 PM
Anyone remember the responses to Cincy's go ahead drive where blitzing was concerned? A lot of people were lamenting being so conservative after the blitzes were so effective from the 2nd qtr up until Cincy's game winning drive.

Now fast forward 5 weeks and Denver goes up 11 points. As San Diego's gets past midfield, suddenly Denver unleashes a sequence of blitzes that totally overwhelmed San Diego's offense to effectively slam the door shut on San Diego's hopes of winning.

So, what changed? Was it being up 2 scores that made Nolan feel safer about blitzing? Was it mismatches scheming they devised against SD? Or was it a preoccupation with not being predictable (anticipating SD would be playing against our tendencies) that led to blitzing? Regardless it was very impressive. It also seemed to highlight the fact that our defense has and continues to improve.

Maybe Nolan just thinks Rivers is a douchebag and wanted to tool him?

NYBronco
10-22-2009, 01:48 PM
After San Diego notched a couple first downs on their last drive with the Broncos in a prevent look, Nolan brought the heat, and the Chuggers couldn't handle it.

It was funny to see Phyllis running for her life.

:spit:

NYBronco
10-22-2009, 01:50 PM
Ya, maybe the coaches have more confidence in the DB's now then week 1.

And confidence in the Offense to answer a SD score.

oldustyballs
10-22-2009, 02:02 PM
maybe nolan just thinks rivers is a douchebag and wanted to tool him?

+1

boltaneer
10-22-2009, 02:32 PM
Until the o-line can show that they can stop the pressure up the middle and until Norv decides to stop calling those 7-step-drop, slow developing plays, all teams should be blitzing the hell out of the Chargers.

jhns
10-22-2009, 02:44 PM
Until the o-line can show that they can stop the pressure up the middle and until Norv decides to stop calling those 7-step-drop, slow developing plays, all teams should be blitzing the hell out of the Chargers.

Norv is the best thing to ever happen to the chargers. He took any chance at a SB they had and is now closing the window.

It did look like we blitzed more than normal. I love the game plans. Nolan has to be the best ever at making in-game adjustments also. That alone makes us a serious threat in the playoffs. I really hope we don't lose him in the next few years.

Ambiguous
10-22-2009, 02:49 PM
Maybe Nolan just thinks Rivers is a douchebag and wanted to tool him?

I can't speak for Nolan, but I buy in to this line of thinking. :)

lex
10-22-2009, 02:58 PM
Until the o-line can show that they can stop the pressure up the middle and until Norv decides to stop calling those 7-step-drop, slow developing plays, all teams should be blitzing the hell out of the Chargers.

I could be wrong on this but I think it has more to do with stopping stuff up the middle. I think there was maybe a little more to it than that. I think that Dumervil getting to Rivers earlier, perhaps led Nolan to anticipate sending help at Doom. If SD sends help toward Doom, where does that leave an opportunity to put pressure? Up the middle.

UberBroncoMan
10-22-2009, 03:34 PM
I noticed this too. There was no prevent defense on Sd's last drive. They were continuing to go after Rivers. I thin it demonstrates a certain confidence among the coaches.

Actually we did have a preventish defense on the Chargers final drive until Rivers drove it past our 50 after hitting a few easy passes in an extremely comfortable pocket.

Once he did that we started blitzing every down and boom, won the game.

baja
10-22-2009, 03:41 PM
Actually we did have a preventish defense on the Chargers final drive until Rivers drove it past our 50 after hitting a few easy passes in an extremely comfortable pocket.

Once he did that we started blitzing every down and boom, won the game.

I think the beginning of the all out blitzes were initiated by the amount of time left. When it was determined there was likely not enough time left for SD to make 2 scores (behind by 11) than we brought the house willing to risk giving up the one score trusting our O to run out the clock. Good plan.

boltaneer
10-22-2009, 03:43 PM
I could be wrong on this but I think it has more to do with stopping stuff up the middle. I think there was maybe a little more to it than that. I think that Dumervil getting to Rivers earlier, perhaps led Nolan to anticipate sending help at Doom. If SD sends help toward Doom, where does that leave an opportunity to put pressure? Up the middle.

Teams have been killing the Chargers up the middle all year long so far (Baltimore did it, Miami did it and Pittsburgh did it). It's nothing new that Nolan suddenly discovered. That's all I'm saying.

The weak link of the o-line is in the middle. I thought Mruczkowski played pretty well having to come in off the bench against the Raiders but he has struggled a lot ever since. They miss Hardwick big time. Vasquez has a bright future but he's gonna struggle a little bit in the short term, which he has done. He's probably still not 100% from his knee injury and missing time hurt his development as well (he missed some time in pre-season also). Dielman has struggled all year long. Don't know if it's an effect of having Mruczkowski next to him or what but he looks bad. McNeill and Clary are clearly the most consistent of the o-line. Clary has improved quite a bit since week one but struggled with Dumervil this week.

listopencil
10-22-2009, 04:16 PM
As others have said, we did do it early on. The thing is that Rivers did amazingly well against it. He did have guys all over him at times and he just kept making plays. He's a pretty damn good QB-I'm glad we finally have a D to match him.

listopencil
10-22-2009, 04:18 PM
To the OP though: I'm thinking it was all about the game situation. Time remaining and score differential let Nolan gamble a bit.

mwill07
10-22-2009, 04:34 PM
One thing Nolan did differently was move Champ around...suprised that hasn't gotten more notice. He seemed to be following VJax. I've never noticed Champ moving around before Monday.

listopencil
10-22-2009, 04:43 PM
One thing Nolan did differently was move Champ around...suprised that hasn't gotten more notice. He seemed to be following VJax. I've never noticed Champ moving around before Monday.

I think he was moved from Moss to Welker against NE at halftime.

Bronx33
10-22-2009, 04:52 PM
As others have said, we did do it early on. The thing is that Rivers did amazingly well against it. He did have guys all over him at times and he just kept making plays. He's a pretty damn good QB-I'm glad we finally have a D to match him.


It will be interesting to see how other teams handle rivers defensively we did some first class exposing.

listopencil
10-22-2009, 04:58 PM
It will be interesting to see how other teams handle rivers defensively we did some first class exposing.

I hope so. They're going to have to be able to bring that pressure though. Look what we did against Brady and then he goes out and pummels the crap out of a weak D.

Bronx33
10-22-2009, 05:04 PM
I hope so. They're going to have to be able to bring that pressure though. Look what we did against Brady and then he goes out and pummels the crap out of a weak D.


But but but tommy terrific is back!!! to his old self! the media said so!!

listopencil
10-22-2009, 05:19 PM
But but but tommy terrific is back!!! to his old self! the media said so!!

That was crazy wasn't it? Brady gets going against a crappy team and suddenly he's back to his old self. That also helped the media downplay Denver's success. Yeah-Denver beat New England but it was before Marsha got her groove back so it doesn't count.

_Oro_
10-22-2009, 05:53 PM
One thing Nolan did differently was move Champ around...suprised that hasn't gotten more notice. He seemed to be following VJax. I've never noticed Champ moving around before Monday.

And everyone around here said Champ stays on his side of the field and that's it.

cutthemdown
10-22-2009, 05:58 PM
Until the o-line can show that they can stop the pressure up the middle and until Norv decides to stop calling those 7-step-drop, slow developing plays, all teams should be blitzing the hell out of the Chargers.

Tomlinson made some weak blocks and sproles just isn't big enough.

Tomlinson can't watch the tape and feel he gave a good effort in that part of his game.

cutthemdown
10-22-2009, 05:59 PM
And everyone around here said Champ stays on his side of the field and that's it.

He usually does. If you were in the chat room you would have heard us talk about it a lot.

Bronx33
10-22-2009, 06:00 PM
That was crazy wasn't it? Brady gets going against a crappy team and suddenly he's back to his old self. That also helped the media downplay Denver's success. Yeah-Denver beat New England but it was before Marsha got her groove back so it doesn't count.

Yep the bias is still alive and well i just took a look at NE schedule lets see what the colts and new orleans do to them.

Garcia Bronco
10-22-2009, 06:01 PM
I think some of you are making this way to complicated. We blitzed early in the game and sometimes we got there and Rivers would make a play. Once he was down by two scores though...the greedy ****er needed more and held on to the ball. In addition their oline was wore out and couldn't hold the LOS or keep a pocket. It was complete ownage. A desperate SD team just couldn't hold on.

lex
10-22-2009, 08:49 PM
That was crazy wasn't it? Brady gets going against a crappy team and suddenly he's back to his old self. That also helped the media downplay Denver's success. Yeah-Denver beat New England but it was before Marsha got her groove back so it doesn't count.

Dont you remember 2007 when Brady completed 90% of his passes?

Mediator12
10-22-2009, 10:47 PM
DEN held the best for last. They tried all kinds of blitzes in that game and the only ones that were very effective were the double A gap ones. These were also exposed versus the teams boltaneer mentioned earlier. SD's weakness is that replacement level interior OL. Also, the quickest route to the QB is Route 1, right up the middle.

There is an old Pass rushing maxim that says do not show an OL your best move until you have set him up with another one. And then, bring it out when it counts the most. That is what DEN did to SD. They saved the best blitz package for when it counted the most!

Kaylore
10-22-2009, 10:56 PM
DEN held the best for last. They tried all kinds of blitzes in that game and the only ones that were very effective were the double A gap ones. These were also exposed versus the teams boltaneer mentioned earlier. SD's weakness is that replacement level interior OL. Also, the quickest route to the QB is Route 1, right up the middle.

There is an old Pass rushing maxim that says do not show an OL your best move until you have set him up with another one. And then, bring it out when it counts the most. That is what DEN did to SD. They saved the best blitz package for when it counted the most!

Attacking their weak center was huge. However it was also done to reset Rivers' launch point. McDaniels and some of the players spoke about it, but Rivers likes to step up into the pocket to make his throws. When that area was no longer there you saw his timing and accuracy suffer. He wasn't comfortable. There were throws he missed pretty badly on where there wasn't a ton of people near him, but his launch point was filled with linemen so he had to throws from the end of his drop back. I thought that was very clever and was also nice in that it identified a very large weakness in Rivers' game.

broncocalijohn
10-22-2009, 11:08 PM
I noticed this too. There was no prevent defense on Sd's last drive. They were continuing to go after Rivers. I thin it demonstrates a certain confidence among the coaches.

Finally! Keep putting the pressure. Plus, if that is your major strength, go to the end with it. If there is a weakness in the opponent, exploit it regardless of what minute of the game is at.

baja
10-22-2009, 11:10 PM
DEN held the best for last. They tried all kinds of blitzes in that game and the only ones that were very effective were the double A gap ones. These were also exposed versus the teams boltaneer mentioned earlier. SD's weakness is that replacement level interior OL. Also, the quickest route to the QB is Route 1, right up the middle.

There is an old Pass rushing maxim that says do not show an OL your best move until you have set him up with another one. And then, bring it out when it counts the most. That is what DEN did to SD. They saved the best blitz package for when it counted the most!

If that was what happened that is dialed in planning and the way the players are raving every chance they get about the level of preparedness they get it's likely correct .

Old Dude
10-23-2009, 05:00 AM
There was an article in the Post yesterday that touches on how Denver is arriving at its defensive schemes and adjustments:

http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_13613757?source=commented-

Assuming this is accurate we can expect to see different "modus operandi" every week and many more halftime adjustments than we've ever seen before.

cutthemdown
10-23-2009, 05:05 AM
Attacking their weak center was huge. However it was also done to reset Rivers' launch point. McDaniels and some of the players spoke about it, but Rivers likes to step up into the pocket to make his throws. When that area was no longer there you saw his timing and accuracy suffer. He wasn't comfortable. There were throws he missed pretty badly on where there wasn't a ton of people near him, but his launch point was filled with linemen so he had to throws from the end of his drop back. I thought that was very clever and was also nice in that it identified a very large weakness in Rivers' game.

Really that is what you try to do with any pure pocket passer. Guys like Manning will also be less effective not being able to step up in the pocket. Actually Orton as well.

Really no QB does well with pressure up the gut, just that some of them really good at avoiding it and making a throw.

meangene
10-23-2009, 06:50 AM
I don't think it was so much a change in philosophy as it was the game plan for the week. Just like with our offense, the coaches change what we do defensively depending on the opponent. This week we came off the bus blitzing and, as SD wore down and got one dimensional, the blitzes got there. Rivers is not a mobile QB, is not a threat to escape the pocket and likes to throw downfield on routes that take time to develop. I think we just stuck with the philosophy. I do think there is more confidence in the coordination of our secondary now that they have been playing together more which allows a little more of this type of risk. Last week we really didn't go after Brady with a lot of blitzes because he is much better at reading the blitz and hitting his check downs. I think you will see much of the same attacking style against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. I am curious to see how we approach Indy from a defensive perspective.

Jason in LA
10-23-2009, 07:46 AM
After San Diego notched a couple first downs on their last drive with the Broncos in a prevent look, Nolan brought the heat, and the Chuggers couldn't handle it.

It was funny to see Phyllis running for her life.

I got kind of worried when I saw the soft coverages, but then he went right back to the blitzes.

Bronx33
10-23-2009, 12:40 PM
I got kind of worried when I saw the soft coverages, but then he went right back to the blitzes.


Unlike slowick nolan is willing to change things up to adapt to the situation ( which is a good thing) slowick would have givin it up all the way to the touchdown.