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Old 01-11-2009, 10:09 PM   #1
The MVPlaya
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Default Mike Nolan's read and react defense...his scheme

Mike Nolan will be a good change for the defense, but we definitely need to add some talent. He obviously runs a 3-4, and we don't exactly have all the pieces to a 3-4 right now.

Mike Nolan uses a "read and react" defense. It is what it sounds, forces players to read then react. When the Niners were running this, they missed many assignments and gave up huge plays (sound familiar?). Some can possibly blame it on their lack of talent (sound familiar?).

Some might be thinking, "well aren't all defenses essentially read and react?"

No. In contrast, let's take the Ravens defense for example. They are an aggressive attack defense. Eagles are an aggressive attack defense.

I hate to say this, but our defense for the 2008 season was a "read and react" system. Those who watched most of the games should have easily seen this. For those who didn't...

Quote:
The Broncos made significant changes in the off-season, starting with a change in defensive boss from Jim Bates to Bob Slowik. Slowik installed a simpler, read-and-react system that players like more.
Nolan's system had worked with the Ravens from 01-04. He had major talent. They had an elite player at nearly every position. Bundled along with a massive pass rush... thus making it a great scheme. Here an interesting article on it October 2008 before he was fired from the Niners.

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The most famous Mike Nolan story, before he became coach of the 49ers, was about vanilla ice cream.

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, the story goes, placed a carton of vanilla ice cream in Nolan's office, where it was allowed to melt into a sticky mess. The mean-spirited prank underscored the owner's criticism of his defensive coordinator's read-and-react philosophy, which Snyder had termed "vanilla."

That story was considered just another in the Snyder-as-meddling-owner file. But it's worth remembering now. Because Nolan's philosophy and his defense's inability to make the big stop and get off the field — all of that is bringing back the images of vanilla ice cream.

When Nolan has been asked this week what's wrong with the defense, he has turned the issue back on his players, using words such as "errors" and "mistakes."

"In the last two weeks, we've made several errors on our own account and have hurt ourselves," Nolan said. "Some have been technique, some have been mental."

None, though, apparently have been scheme or coaching. In another comment Monday, Nolan said it didn't matter how well something was drawn up on the chalkboard, it comes down to execution.

But questions about Nolan's philosophy have followed him for years, through his stints in the NFC East, first in New York and then in Washington. A decade ago, Redskins players grew frustrated under Nolan's direction. After being singled out by Snyder,
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Nolan vowed to become more aggressive, and defensive players wore shirts that read "Relentless. Attack. Physical." But after the 1999 season, when his defense finished at the bottom of the league, Nolan was fired, and the complaints about his passive system went public.

We're starting to hear some of the same grumblings about read-and-react around the 49ers. Though the 49ers did blitz about a third of the time against New England, they often were burned badly by Matt Cassel when they did. And some of the key gains for the Patriots — such as the play that put them in range for the clinching field goal— came when the 49ers were less aggressive.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't?

The defensive letdowns are problematic for Nolan. Although he has a defensive coordinator in Greg Manusky, it's clear that this defense is Nolan's baby. Nolan has completely turned the offense over to Mike Martz and while that unit has its problems, it has been more entertaining than in recent years. Nolan's defense is the bigger problem and that reflects poorly on a coach already under fire.

Wednesday, a couple of the 49ers who used to play in Philadelphia — safety Michael Lewis and linebacker Takeo Spikes — talked about playing under aggressive Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson.

"That's his mentality," Spikes said. "It was a fun scheme, a scheme that I liked. You're in the attack mode all the time."

Lewis also loved the system that turns players loose, saying, "It's very aggressive. You never know where it's coming from. He's not afraid to put nine guys in the box."

When asked if the 49ers need to be more aggressive, Spikes said he thought they had a good mixture of approaches.

"It's all about what you're accustomed to running," he said. "These are two totally different mindsets. At the same time, it's personnel and what you draft people to come in and do."

Spikes was asked if he thought the 49ers' defense had an identity.

"I think we have an ID, but it's not consistent," he said.

And what is it?

"Make plays. Force turnovers."

The 49ers — tied for 21st in defense and ranked 23rd against the run — are tied with several other teams for seventh in the league in forcing turnovers. But right now the 49ers aren't making plays.

Whatever their identity is, it's very non-threatening. After five games, some might even call it vanilla.
Who knows what's happening though...

Maybe Mike Nolan won't be 100% in charge of the defense. Coming from Bill Belichick, McDaniels could instill a Patriots-esque defense.

The Patriots run a "Fairbanks-Bullough" 3-4 defense... basically the 2-gap 3-4 scheme where the dlineman take up both of the olineman's gaps. This type of defense is obviously much more on the conservative side than aggressive. However, it does create turnover's by confusing teams with disguises in coverages and such.

We'll need to start looking for more versatile Jack Will Mike and Sam's. 3-4 system's require extremely talented LB's to be competent. LB's that can blitz, pass rush, stop the run, and drop into coverage. LB's that can essentially play like elite d lineman or drop into coverage like Seymour or Harrison. Woodyard is the only player that can effectively drop into coverage and make tackles. His blitzing skills aren't too great, possibly because his size. It could be toned up with the right coaching, he definitely has the intensity.

We will see... I think as long as we get together a good staff it we can be successful regardless of what direction we go in.

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Old 01-11-2009, 10:12 PM   #2
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The 2008 Broncos defense was more like a Squint and Retreat scheme.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:19 PM   #3
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The 2008 Broncos defense was more like a Squint and Retreat scheme.

LMAO!
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:13 AM   #4
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The 2008 Broncos defense was more like a Squint and Retreat scheme.

Thats the funniest thing I have read all day...thanks buddy
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:14 PM   #5
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I could have done without reading that...
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:20 PM   #6
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I could have done without reading that...
You and me both...
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by OSKIE
I could have gone without reading that
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You and me both...
Me 3.......

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Old 01-12-2009, 01:23 AM   #8
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Me 3.......

Me 400
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Old 01-12-2009, 10:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by OSKIE!!! View Post
I could have done without reading that...

Mike Nolan as Defensive Coordinator*:
(*ranking based on yards per game, so there may be a 1 or 2 spot variation compared to the standard "total yards" ranking)

1993: NY Giants (5th ranked defense)
1994: NY Giants (11th ranked defense)
1995: NY Giants (17th ranked defense)
1996: NY Giants (14th ranked defense)

Not a good trend. But, hey, at least he made some progress in that final year.

1997: Washingon (16th ranked defense)
1998: Washington (24th ranked defense)
1999: Washington (30th ranked defense)

Ouch.

2000: NY Jets (10th ranked defense)

Not much to say here, since he was only there a year. But...

2001: Baltimore (receivers' coach)

Then Marvin Lewis took off and Nolan lucked into the easiest job ever, taking over a D that had been at the top of the league over the previous three seasons. Although it was a little rough that first year.

2002: Baltimore (22nd ranked defense)
2003: Baltimore (3rd ranked defense)
2004: Baltimore (6th ranked defense)

Then he went to the 49'ers. Their defenses, BTW:

2005: 49'ers (32nd ranked defense)
2006: 49'ers (26th ranked defense)
2007: 49'ers (25th ranked defense)

Well, it'd be hard to decline from 32nd.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by The MVPlaya View Post
Mike Nolan will be a good change for the defense, but we definitely need to add some talent. He obviously runs a 3-4, and we don't exactly have all the pieces to a 3-4 right now.

Mike Nolan uses a "read and react" defense. It is what it sounds, forces players to read then react. When the Niners were running this, they missed many assignments and gave up huge plays. Some can possibly blame it on their lack of talent.

Some might be thinking, "well aren't all defenses essentially read and react?"

No. In contrast, let's take the Ravens defense for example. They are an aggressive attack defense. Eagles are an aggressive attack defense.

I hate to say this, but our defense for the 2008 season was a "read and react" system. Those who watched most of the games should have easily seen this. For those who didn't...



Nolan's system had worked with the Ravens from 01-04. He had major talent and a massive pass rush... thus making it a great scheme. Here an interesting article on it October 2008 before he was fired from the Niners.
Oy vay!
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:25 PM   #11
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Oy vay!
I'm sure you would have been happy with my post.

However, I just wanted to inform the fans with what we were getting. The Ravens defense from 01-04 forced many turnovers. It's not like this guy doesn't have a good resume.

The Niners situation could have been different... I'm not sure.

All I know is, to run an effective defense you need a pass rush and some talent.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The MVPlaya View Post
I'm sure you would have been happy with my post.

However, I just wanted to inform the fans with what we were getting. The Ravens defense from 01-04 forced many turnovers. It's not like this guy doesn't have a good resume.

The Niners situation could have been different... I'm not sure.

All I know is, to run an effective defense you need a pass rush and some talent.

The Ravens have had rock solid defensive personnel for many years going back to before Nolan was there.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:41 PM   #13
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The Ravens have had rock solid defensive personnel for many years going back to before Nolan was there.
Who knows what's happening though...

Maybe Mike Nolan won't be 100% in charge of the defense and what will happen. Coming from Bill Belichick, McDaniels could instill a Patriots-esque defense.

The Patriots run a "Fairbanks-Bullough" 3-4 defense... basically the 2-gap 3-4 scheme where the dlineman take up both of the olineman's gaps. This type of defense is obviously much more on the conservative side than aggressive. However, it does create turnover's.

We'll need to start looking for more versatile Jack Will Mike and Sam's. 3-4 system's require extremely talented LB's to be competent. LB's that can blitz, pass rush, stop the run, and drop into coverage. LB's that can essentially play like elite d lineman or drop into coverage like Seymour or Harrison.

We will see...
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:56 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by The MVPlaya View Post
Who knows what's happening though...

Maybe Mike Nolan won't be 100% in charge of the defense and what will happen. Coming from Bill Belichick, McDaniels could instill a Patriots-esque defense.

The Patriots run a "Fairbanks-Bullough" 3-4 defense... basically the 2-gap 3-4 scheme where the dlineman take up both of the olineman's gaps. This type of defense is obviously much more on the conservative side than aggressive. However, it does create turnover's.

We'll need to start looking for more versatile Jack Will Mike and Sam's. 3-4 system's require extremely talented LB's to be competent. LB's that can blitz, pass rush, stop the run, and drop into coverage. LB's that can essentially play like elite d lineman or drop into coverage like Seymour or Harrison.

We will see...
What is a Jack?

Also will they settle for linebackers with neat hair and celebrations, and really good track skills?
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:17 PM   #15
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Too bad, I was hoping the broncos would adopt an attacking defensive scheme next year.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:22 PM   #16
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look on the bright side... 21at rank gets us in the playoffs this year.. haha
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:38 PM   #17
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The Titans have a mostly read and react style too.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:45 PM   #18
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The Titans have a mostly read and react style too.
Yes they do. They are very aggressive and have a massive pass rush, which at the end of the day you will need.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:46 PM   #19
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Yes they do. They are very aggressive and have a massive pass rush, which at the end of the day you will need.
You think Nolan and Capers can deliver that?
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:04 PM   #20
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You think Nolan and Capers can deliver that?
I'm not sure to be honest. Usually you can feel energy on a certain topic. It was pretty easy to feel that McDaniels was getting hired. I know everyone could feel the energy before it happened.

With this, I'm not sure. It all depends on responsibilities and their goals. Like I said, Nolan might not have 100% on the defense. McDaniels should be calling the shots, so we'll have to see. I'd be psyched if we keep Dennison and Bates, as far as the offense is concerned.

We have experience coming from all angles, but from what it sounds like we might be going towards a more conservative defense, at this point in time at least.
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:33 PM   #21
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You think Nolan and Capers can deliver that?
No. Nolan's time in SF is a lot like the Wash/Snyder story. With Norv as OC the Niners did ok, Alex Smith looked better. When Norv left Nolan installed Jim Hostler as OC. Jim Hostler OC = Bob Slowik DC. Smith was battered due to play calling and strategy and Nolan virtually shunned him. I don't know if Alex Smith would have ever amounted to anything but Norv got a lot out of him and the Niners were viewed as 'on the rise'. Vernon Davis used to get away with stuff under Nolan until Singletary became HC put a stop to it. The same Niner team played better under Singletary than Nolan.
Is he a better DC than HC, probably but I think the Raven defensive players and their style made Nolan look better. His defenses in SF, the ones he actually built, offered little in the way innovation or adaptation. They were just a defense. Better than Slowik, yes. Is that saying much?
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:38 AM   #22
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You think Nolan and Capers can deliver that?
If they can manage to coach up Crowder and Moss and Bowlen opening up his wallet to hotly purse Terrell Suggs and Bart Scottduring FA, sure they can deliver.
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:57 PM   #23
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Unless you are blitzing Most defenses are a read and react .... the offense dictates what the defense does , it is up to the defense to decide what they give up ...... short underneath stuff , or play tight and take chances with forcing an offense to go deep ........in other words Nolan isnt big on blitzing or being aggressive , and with the people we got on Defense , this may not be a bad thing , Webster , made so many wrong reads and got out of position so much, his nickname should be loss .........
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Old 01-11-2009, 11:12 PM   #24
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Unless you are blitzing Most defenses are a read and react .... the offense dictates what the defense does , it is up to the defense to decide what they give up ...... short underneath stuff , or play tight and take chances with forcing an offense to go deep ........in other words Nolan isnt big on blitzing or being aggressive , and with the people we got on Defense , this may not be a bad thing , Webster , made so many wrong reads and got out of position so much, his nickname should be loss .........
Sure, generally, most defenses are read and react because that's essentially what you're always doing... however it's much more detailed than that. The read and react defenses of the Titans and Bears are different than what the Broncos were running. An attacking defense is can essentially be said to read and react, since you're seeing if it's a running play or passing play. I guess you can call it aggressive vs conservative.

The problem with the more conservative is that you sometimes might not get a pass rush, and it's easier to to miss assignments.

I would like to say that the Bears and Broncos were running similar schemes at times...

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Old 01-11-2009, 11:16 PM   #25
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Sure, generally, most defenses are read and react because that's essentially what you're always doing... however it's much more detailed than that. The read and react defenses of the Titans and Bears are different than what the Broncos were running.

I would like to say that the Bears and Broncos were running similar schemes at times...
dont need to complicate this into something more , as I said it is up to the D as what they give up to the offense , but it all boils down to beating the man in front of you , Broncos for the most part ran a very soft zone , mainly cause our front 7 couldnt read a Dr Seuss book with out help , much less PAP , or the POA , we got lucky a few times , but Webster was all out of sorts .......
so in essence we gave a real soft underneath ......Bears with Urlacher didnt have to .........
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