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Old 08-13-2017, 03:53 AM   #1
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Changes in the NFL -- Mike Detillier



Changes in the NFL

By Mike Detillier

Nothing stays the same in business or in sports.

One of the big changes you will see in the NFL this year is defenses trying to match-up better downfield in coverage sets and getting away from using three linebackers on the field for the most part and going with either three safeties or three cornerbacks to try and guard against the large flow of athletic tight ends and the pass catching running backs entering the NFL all in a very short time frame.

Because of injuries and design, the New Orleans Saints used a lot of 3-safety alignments in 2016. You can expect to see the Saints and the 31 other NFL teams use more of these types of defensive alignments this season.

The 2017 NFL draft put flex tight ends like O.J. Howard (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Evan Engram (New York Giants), David Njoku (Cleveland Browns), Gerald Everett (Los Angeles Rams) and Adam Shaheen (Chicago Bears) into the league, but even more troubling for opposing defenses will be the influx of pass catching running backs hitting the league all at one time.

Leonard Fournette (Jacksonville Jaguars), Dalvin Cook (Minnesota Vikings), Christian McCaffrey (Carolina Panthers), Alvin Kamara (New Orleans Saints), Joe Mixon (Cincinnati Bengals), Kareem Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs), DíOnta Foreman (Houston Texans), James Connor (Pittsburgh Steelers), Samaje Perine (Washington Redskins) and Tarik Cohen (Chicago Bears) are the top-10 halfbacks selected in the 2017 NFL draft. They combined for 278 receptions for 3,099 yards and 16 receiving touchdowns in 2016 in college football.

Saints head coach Sean Payton says the ability to adapt to the flex tight ends and halfbacks used as receivers are critical in any defensive teamís success out on the field in the future.

Full Article -- Courier

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeDetillier
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