Breakdown of Saints defensive alignments. (1 Viewer)

PurpleBlack&Gold

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I posted this in another thread but I figured more people would see it this way. Enjoy. :9:

I will call the plays with McCray standing the elephant for the sake of this post. I will only refer to the 3-4 when 4 linebackers are on the field in which case Mitchell was the 4th guy each time they used this formation.

The Bills had 12 possessions and ran 65 offensive snaps.

By possession:

P1 - 9 plays in 3-3-5 punt.

P2 - 2 plays in elephant, 6 plays in 3-3-5 fake FG TD.

P3 - 6 plays in 3-4 punt.

P4 - 3 plays in elephant, 1 in 3-3-5 punt.

P5 - 6 plays in 3-3-5 punt.

Halftime.

P6 - 4 plays in elephant, 1 in 3-3-5 punt.

P7 - 8 plays in elephant, 1 in 3-3-5 INT by Smith.

P8 - 2 plays in 3-4, 1 in 3-3-5 punt.

P9 - 2 plays in 3-4, 1 in 3-3-5 punt.

P10 - 5 plays in 3-3-5 punt.

P11 - 4 plays in 3-3-5 turnover on downs.

P12 - 3 plays in 3-3-5 punt.

Game over.

So the break down looks like this.

I would not call the elephant package a 3-4. So in that case they only lined up in the 3-4 with 4 linebackers for 10 snaps.

They used the elephant with McCray standing and moving around 18 times. He almost always rushed the QB and only dropped in coverage a few times. I would consider this closer to the 4-3 with the same principals as dropping a lineman in coverage occasionally rather than a 3-4. Ellias talked about this earlier in the thread. >>http://www.saintsreport.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124717&page=2<<

So if you want to call the elephant a 3-4, they had 28 snaps combining the elephant and the true 3-4 look with 4 backers.

The base defense for this game was the 3-3-5. They ran 37 snaps and the Bills did not have an answer for it. I think many of you may have thought they used the 3-4 more because many times Harper looks like a LBer if you do not look closely.

The beauty of this was they generally rushed only 4 or 5 guys, but they came from all over the field. Edwards never got comfortable because they blitzed from every position on the field. I did not notice if Sharper came, I think he pretty much played center field.

I think this team is one above average rush linebacker away from being utterly dominant on defense based on this game. I can't remember the last time I saw so many plays with guys coming free. Edwards did an outstanding job of recognizing it and throwing the ball away but he was never able to see where the pressure would come from before the snap.

Interestingly, they never lined up in the traditional 4-3 at all. Not once did they have 4 guys with a hand in the ground on the line. Although as stated earlier, the elephant package looks just like the 4-3 except McCray moves around before the snap.

Not many formations were used, only 3 looks but man, they brought pressure from everywhere! :9:

This is going to be a fun year if you like defense.:ezbill:
 
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SaintSeb

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Thanks for the analysis. I didn't know much about this :elefant: package.

nbc_the_more_you_know.jpg
 

duckjr78

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Excellent breakdown. Thank you very much. I wonder if the lack of 4-3 had to do with our current injury concerns at DT or our pass rushing issues? Either way, it worked like a charm. That said, the real reason we can do all this is because Ellis, Smith, and Grant are very, very good against the run. We beat on them for lack of pressure, but they really do hold up very well on run downs. Considering that I don't think anyone can beat us in a shootout, stopping the run should always be our first priority and they make that happen.

Also cool that the Elephant can morph into a 4-3, 3-4, or almost a big nickle with Vilma playing the deep "tampa 2" center field.

Lastly, and this is in no way meant to be rude, but I wonder if Gary Gibbs is watching on Sundays and silently berating himself. But then again, he didn't have Greer, Porter, or Sharper.
 

Ltr0x

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we need an extended breakdown ... but thanx man

to see how well the the system worked agaisnt run .. rush pass ... hits
 

GameBreaker

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That's good stuff PB&G!!! :9:

I would really like to hear Vilma's thoughts on the defense and Gregg Williams' philosophy.
 
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PurpleBlack&Gold

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It was effective against the run. They had a few nice plays on us but overall they could not sustain anything into the redzone. Every drive ended with us in the 3-3-5 for at least one play except the third series where we ran the true 3-4, the 3-3-5 was usually on third down. When we came out in the 3-3-5 we used it for the entire series.

The second half was interesting.

There was seven possessions. The first two started elephant and closed with the 3-3-5. The next two were three and outs with the 3-4 and third down in 3-3-5. The last three were exclusively 3-3-5 with pressure coming from all over the field. I don't think we will see many prevent alignments unless we are up big like the first two games.

This was a statement game for this defense. They put the rest of the league on notice.
 

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