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Old 04-29-2013, 09:20 AM   #1
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Default base D = nickel?

If it's a given that the NFL is a passing league, IMO it makes sense that your base D should be a nickel. Most teams have forgone fullbacks these days, instead running with 3 WR's or 2 TE's. Defenses should match personnel groupings, and that's what they usually do. I'd bet that most teams play nickel more than base.

In this paradigm, there should be 6 starting box players configured in either a 4-2 or a 3-3. Based on what Denver has been doing in free-agency and the draft, I'm thinking we will be spending lots of time in a 4-2...especially if the offense gets 1st half leads like we all think they will.

So, here's how I'm seeing it:

DL: Phillips (strong side DE), Ayers(?) (DT), Sly Williams (DT) Wolfe (weakside DE)

LB: Von at SAM and WW at WILL

This grouping would be ok vs the run for a nickel, but my god, the pass rush could be fantastic.

if you wanted to change things up, you rotate WW over to MIKE and play Phillips at WILL. Phillips can play coverage too, although that may not be his strong suit these days.

Regardless, the point is that just like FB has been de-emphasized in the modern NFL, I'm proposing FOX/Del Rio are de-emphasizing the role of the MIKE, in favor of extra secondary help. This explains why we picked up DRC and then spent a 3rd rounder on a CB, when we were returning all key players from last year, while at the same time we paid very little attention to the MLB role.

Does this all make sense?
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:23 AM   #2
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You didn't sign Knighton and Vickerson all that money not to play. Obviously they will be in a lot of nickel, but it won't look like the above. Plus, when in Nickel, Von shifts to more of a pass rusher/DE role and Woodyard/Travathan (or whoever) would man the traditional nickel LB positions.
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:34 AM   #3
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I think the pass rush would be nastier with Knighton or Vickerson clogging the middle and Sly free to rush the B Gap, with Wolfe and Ayers/Phillips on the outsides and Von free to choose his gap.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rohirrim View Post
I think the pass rush would be nastier with Knighton or Vickerson clogging the middle and Sly free to rush the B Gap, with Wolfe and Ayers/Phillips on the outsides and Von free to choose his gap.
I think I would be able to count on 1 hand how many times during the season that Vickerson, Sly and Knighton are all on the field at the same time. Not likely to happen, maybe some goal line stuff.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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I think I would be able to count on 1 hand how many times during the season that Vickerson, Sly and Knighton are all on the field at the same time. Not likely to happen, maybe some goal line stuff.
You misread. He said "or".
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Old 04-29-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
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That wouldn't be even remotely "okay against the run"
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:00 AM   #7
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That wouldn't be even remotely "okay against the run"
for a nickel?

I'm not proposing this D for 2nd and 3 - this is for 2nd and 7, 3rd and 5, etc. Traditionally, teams are in base and go to nickel in obvious passing downs - what about staying in nickel except for obvious running downs?
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:01 AM   #8
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for a nickel?

I'm not proposing this D for 2nd and 3 - this is for 2nd and 7, 3rd and 5, etc. Traditionally, teams are in base and go to nickel in obvious passing downs - what about staying in nickel except for obvious running downs?
Well if you trot this out as your base you'll facing 2nd and 3rd every series.
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Old 04-29-2013, 05:31 PM   #9
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That wouldn't be even remotely "okay against the run"
Thank you for injecting some sanity into this.

My first thought was wow! Texans, skins, all the other teams who know how to run the ball would just start salivating when they saw the proposed D set.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:03 AM   #10
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really, I'm trying to rationalize not having a stud MLB here. I trust Fox/Del Rio, just trying to figure out what they are doing.

Heck, if you look at denverbroncos.com's roster, we have only one guy listed as "MLB", and he's on his way out.

Last edited by mwill07; 04-29-2013 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:34 AM   #11
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really, I'm trying to rationalize not having a stud MLB here. I trust Fox/Del Rio, just trying to figure out what they are doing.
If Irving sucks they'll bring back Brooking, which is fine by me.

Ayers will be given a chance early on to see if he can produce in a starting roll at RDE. If not, Shaun Phillips will be ready to step in and snatch away a majority of his playing time (which I fully expect).
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:42 AM   #12
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Don't sleep on Trevathan. Once he gets an NFL body, he'll be a force to be reckoned with.

I'm also expecting big things out of Irving, but he's too slow to become an every down player.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:01 AM   #13
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Don't sleep on Trevathan. Once he gets an NFL body, he'll be a force to be reckoned with.

I'm also expecting big things out of Irving, but he's too slow to become an every down player.
I'd love to see more out if Irving, but am not going to hold my breath, seeing as how he has barely been on the field over the past couple of years.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwill07 View Post
really, I'm trying to rationalize not having a stud MLB here. I trust Fox/Del Rio, just trying to figure out what they are doing.

Heck, if you look at denverbroncos.com's roster, we have only one guy listed as "MLB", and he's on his way out.
When you are going to have over 1200 pounds of defensive line do you really need to have a true MLB or can you get away with having a smaller hybrid one? There are 4 FA's still out there that Denver could call if they don't like what they are seeing from the MLB position right away. Urlacher, Brooking, Dansby, and Daryl Smith could come in and compete in a pinch. I would imagine at least two of those guys will still be there after camp starts.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwill07 View Post
really, I'm trying to rationalize not having a stud MLB here. I trust Fox/Del Rio, just trying to figure out what they are doing.

Heck, if you look at denverbroncos.com's roster, we have only one guy listed as "MLB", and he's on his way out.
Perhaps, and certainly we will play a lot of nickel as usual this year, but regarding downplaying the MLB, keep in mind FA isnt over yet. We may well bring in a Dansby or its not totally out of the question to take a hard look at Urlacher if his knee is serviceable for another year.

However, I think they do expect a solid jump in competition from Nate Irving and Steve Johnson as well as Bradley, none are household studs as yet, but a large number of strong starting MLBs over the years were also 'no name' development guys before they got their first true opportunity.

I like it when our bench moves up into a starting role when they can prove they deserve it. Trying to draft a new 'star' from the start at every position is a great path to mediocrity in this league.

Irving has shown some flashes and Johnson could take a big leap after getting year one under his belt. For backup WILL Travethan will likely start pressing WW this year as well, and that's a very good thing as well

I really am impressed how our overall depth has really solidified a lot more over the last couple years. That's key too for every championship team.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:05 AM   #16
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Ayers will not be a base DT. I'm hoping he's not a base anything.

I don't think JDR/Fox are de-emphasizing MLB either. Mays was playing something like 98% of the snaps before he got benched.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:11 AM   #17
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I think JDR now has the DTs that he wanted all along. THAT is where his emphasis was. Maybe that's why the Broncos didn't go into panic mode over Dumervil? I agree, it will be interesting to see what he does with the LBs now.
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Old 04-29-2013, 10:36 AM   #18
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I see Phillips only in on passing downs possibly subing Miller when he needs a rest which was something Doom couldn't do.

I think they will try to let Miller play that "Hawk" formation that DT used to do and force teams to keep track of where he is at all times.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:00 AM   #19
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I see Phillips only in on passing downs possibly subing Miller when he needs a rest which was something Doom couldn't do.

I think they will try to let Miller play that "Hawk" formation that DT used to do and force teams to keep track of where he is at all times.
yeah, that's the thing that throws me for a loop here. They are both SAM's, although Phillips is about 15 lbs heavier and translates more as a DE.

I know that sometimes Von will line up as a DE on passing downs - so where does that leave Phillips? I don't think we brought him in just to spell Von...
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:04 AM   #20
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Base 4-3 Under Defense (35% of plays):

Rush LB: Von Miller
5-tech: Derek Wolfe
1-tech: Kevin Vickerson
3-tech: Sylvester Williams
RDE: Shaun Phillips

MIKE: Nate Irving (or Keith Brooking)
WOLB: Wesley Woodyard

LCB: Champ Bailey
RCB: DRC

SS: Mike Adams
FS: Rahim Moore
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:07 AM   #21
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Nickel 4-2 Defense (65% of plays):

LDE: Von Miller
1-tech: Sylvester Williams
3-tech: Derek Wolfe
RDE: Shaun Phillips

Half-Field LB: Danny Trevathan
Half-Field LB: Wesley Woodyard

LCB: Champ Bailey
RCB: DRC
Nickel CB: Chris Harris

SS: Mike Adams
FS: Rahim Moore

Last edited by pricejj; 04-29-2013 at 11:11 AM..
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Nickel 4-2 Defense (65% of plays):

LDE: Von Miller
1-tech: Sylvester Williams
3-tech: Derek Wolfe
RDE: Shaun Phillips

Half-Field LB: Danny Trevathan
Half-Field LB: Wesley Woodyard

LCB: Champ Bailey
RCB: DRC
Nickel CB: Chris Harris

SS: Mike Adams
FS: Rahim Moore
I was going to write exact same thing. Ditto for for the base D.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
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Nickel 4-2 Defense (65% of plays):

LDE: Von Miller
1-tech: Sylvester Williams
3-tech: Derek Wolfe
RDE: Shaun Phillips

Half-Field LB: Danny Trevathan
Half-Field LB: Wesley Woodyard

LCB: Champ Bailey
RCB: DRC
Nickel CB: Chris Harris

SS: Mike Adams
FS: Rahim Moore
Quote:
Originally Posted by pricejj View Post
Base 4-3 Under Defense (35% of plays):

Rush LB: Von Miller
5-tech: Derek Wolfe
1-tech: Kevin Vickerson
3-tech: Sylvester Williams
RDE: Shaun Phillips

MIKE: Nate Irving (or Keith Brooking)
WOLB: Wesley Woodyard

LCB: Champ Bailey
RCB: DRC

SS: Mike Adams
FS: Rahim Moore
No Knighton? I think that's a glaring omission. He'll be a big part of a rotation. I think the Bronco d will be plenty fluid this year and will give multiple front looks and rotate defenders based on down/distance, opponent, and other factors.

Also, I think Harris is one of the top 2 CBs on the team and I think he works his way into the starting spot & moves to the slot in nickle situations.

Last edited by BroncosfanGuy; 04-30-2013 at 08:07 PM..
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:59 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pricejj View Post
Nickel 4-2 Defense (65% of plays):

LDE: Von Miller
1-tech: Sylvester Williams
3-tech: Derek Wolfe
RDE: Shaun Phillips

Half-Field LB: Danny Trevathan
Half-Field LB: Wesley Woodyard

LCB: Champ Bailey
RCB: DRC
Nickel CB: Chris Harris

SS: Mike Adams
FS: Rahim Moore
As of day 1 training camp, I can see this line-up. I hope that Carter takes Adams spot at SS. I guess depending on who we play Harris or DRC will be the nickel. If we play a team where the TE is in the slot it will be DRC at the nickel, but if there's a smaller guy like a Tavon Austin we will use Harris.
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:07 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Base 4-3 Under Defense (35% of plays):

Rush LB: Von Miller
5-tech: Derek Wolfe
1-tech: Kevin Vickerson
3-tech: Sylvester Williams
RDE: Shaun Phillips

MIKE: Nate Irving (or Keith Brooking)
WOLB: Wesley Woodyard

LCB: Champ Bailey
RCB: DRC

SS: Mike Adams
FS: Rahim Moore
Ouch ... wish we had drafted a safety.
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