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Ideas on How To Beat ATL

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; from Falcoons message boards- Stack the box and run various zone blitzes. Go after Vick immediately and force him to make quick reads. Dont let the Falcons offense dictate what the defense does. Blitz Blitz Blitz. The only thing that ...

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Old 09-18-2006, 12:15 PM   #1
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Ideas on How To Beat ATL

from Falcoons message boards-

Stack the box and run various zone blitzes. Go after Vick immediately and force him to make quick reads. Dont let the Falcons offense dictate what the defense does. Blitz Blitz Blitz. The only thing that stopped the "option play" was a weakside blitz by Dbs. Mix that blitz in with zone coverage so that the people Vick thinks will be open wont be. Blitz the outside LBs straigyht up the field and float the DEs out into the flats for coverage and Vicks running to the outside. Oh yeah and lots of prayer.
I think you must have a fast OLB on the right side who runs staight up the field every play to meet Vick in the case that he bootlegs. If he does not bootleg, and the play is a pass, the LB must play a short zone in the case that the play is a screen or the RB comes that way for a swing pass. Basically, the LB is useless on a run play but that is the gamble you must take to keep outside contain. The RCB plays man on his reciever and can run up the field without worrying about support on the bootleg. In order to not lose a defender in normal run support, you essentially must field a 4-4 defense.

Alternatively, you play a short zone on the right side, with the RCB releasing a reciever who runs more than 5 yards. Therefore, there must be a safety dedicated to the right side, starting very shallow off the line. This is kind of an augmented cover 2. The RCB releases the reciever and can come after Vick if Vick bootlegs his way.

The problem with either of these ideas is that you are suddenly a man down on defense. Defenses do that anyway with the "spy", but the MLB spy simply does not work this year because the MLB is frozen by the handoff/fake handoff to Dunn, and cannot constantly vacate the field to run to the sideline after Vick.

But we are executing the run with the RBs too well to afford losing a run support defender. Therefore, you are going to have to play man coverage on the left side to add another run defender to the box. We are executing so well that the run might still work, and deep passes to Lelie should also work or get interference calls like on Sunday.

Basically, as long as we execute well it cannot be totally shut down. But I do think you have to sell out to stop this run/bootleg combo or you are going to get totally steam-rolled.
Definately would play man against the recievers and have eight in the box. Thats about all. I'd have to see how that worked first.
The Saints are going to have to play in "lanes". They have to cover most of the field to prevent Vick from running on them. A single spy will not do the trick.
one thing, when the falcons get into the gun formation, try to get vick to misread some of those zone read plays it looked like he was reading the outside backer last week.When the falcons get into gun have the outside backer to dunns side crash to the inside then bring the safety blitz outside of that and hope that the falcons don't have any gun action passes.
While '8 in the box' is generally the immediate response to trying to stop a rushing attack, it is only useful against teams who are using max-protect formations most of the time, and who do not have a mobile quarterback who can make you pay for jumping on a play fake. The biggest issue with '8 in the box' defensive schemes is that, on passing plays, you will be suddenly looking at having a zero coverage scheme out there, with no deep help. Against the Falcons, who theoretically have 2 true deep threats in Lelie and White, would LOVE to see you do that.

Which leads me to how I think you need to defend the Falcons...1st off, you need a lot of team speed. Unlike the Falcons rush defense, which needed a big road grater to eat up space in the middle, teams trying to defend the Falcons will actually be hurt with bigger guys in the middle. The Alex Gibbs philosophy eliminates the natural advantage a bigger guy typically has, because size doesn't matter when you're rolling around on the ground. Since teams can't just go sign fast guys, instead you need to trot out a 1-down lineman front. I've seen Bill Belichick do this, so it does happen in the NFL. Depending on your roster, I would either be using a 1-5-5 or a 1-6-4, preferrably the latter.

Now that we've established a base formation, what methods do we use to slow down the Falcons' attack? First off, I would NOT use much man coverage. You simply cannot have a defender turning his back on the offense, and I don't recall Knapp running a lot of Floods and Overloads, so zone coverages should be safe. I would probably have each of my CBs up in press coverage, looking to disrupt timing and/or be in a position to help out with run support. Beyond that? I'd only be running a Cover 1, since the Falcons typically only send one route runner deep at a time. Even more, I would generally shade that Safety help to Vick's left, since he throws more deep routes to the left than to the right (at least, that's my impression). The strong-side OLB would have to man up with Crumpler on shorter routes, releasing to the safety on deeper routes. Beyond that? Pursuit, pursuit, pursuit. Backside safety/linebacker has to stay at home, and will have help from the DB on that side of the field. The rest of the defenders need to flow to the point of attack. The hope is that by keeping defenders off of the line, it disrupts the cutting style of blocking that is so effective in reducing back-side pursuit.

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