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After Further Review: A Quick Look at the Saints Defense

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; After checking out the Saints Sunday night thrashing of the Cowboys for a second time this week, I noticed a couple things the Saints were doing on defense that are somewhat unique to NFL. They also happen to be a ...

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Old 11-14-2013, 04:06 PM   #1
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After Further Review: A Quick Look at the Saints Defense

After checking out the Saints Sunday night thrashing of the Cowboys for a second time this week, I noticed a couple things the Saints were doing on defense that are somewhat unique to NFL. They also happen to be a big reason why New Orleans is looking more like the 2009 version of the Saints, rather than the 2012 version.

The Vice

During the 2nd quarter the Cowboys’ offense had driven into the red zone. At that point the Saints instituted a piece of their game plan based on the Cowboys personnel. Whenever the Cowboys brought in 21 personnel (2 RBs, 1 TE) or 12 personnel (1 RB, 2 TE) the Saints would double-cover Dez Bryant on the outside (Figure 1). This was based on the Cowboys tendency to throw to Bryant when close to the goal line in those two run-heavy personnel groupings. This double-coverage technique is called a “vice” in NFL circles. This is commonly used as a technique during punts (Figure 2) when return teams will double-cover one or both gunnners on the outside of the punt formation.


Is it effective? Possibly, depending on the type of wide receiver you are playing against, but it takes away an extra defender to stop the run. So, the effectiveness of using a vice in coverage is different from opponent to opponent. Teams have already been using vices to defend against the Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez in the red zone with more success this season, and the Saints certainly had success against Bryant on Sunday night. As a result, look for other teams try and use the vice on playmakers such as Calvin Johnson. Unfortunately for those teams though, I think that will be effective in slowing down Megatron’s production.

Psycho Fronts

Also on Sunday we saw the Saints unveil even more blitz techniques than they have used all season. For years now, the Saints have been a pressure-heavy team, and have lived and died by the blitz. They bring 5- and 6-man pressures on almost every 3rd down situation. One the wrinkles in recent years is what’s called a “psycho” or “amoeba” front. It basically means that none of the defensive linemen or linebackers are down in a 3-point stance with their hand on the ground. Instead, every defender is walking around before the snap and rushing like a blitzer at the snap (Figures 3 and 4). The point of this is to confuse the quarterback and the offensive linemen as to who is coming and where are they going. The defense hopes that the linemen get so confused that they will block the wrong players and one of the rushers will get a free rush at the QB.


As you can see in the pictures, there are six players standing around ready to blitz or drop into coverage at the snap. When you are watching games look for teams like the Saints and the Jets to run these “psycho” fronts on 3rd downs.


After Further Review: A Quick Look at the Saints Defense | Third Down Conversion
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Old 11-14-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
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Re: After Further Review: A Quick Look at the Saints Defense

I keep waiting for Rob to unveil his "Chewbacca Defense"...

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Old 11-14-2013, 05:03 PM   #3
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Re: After Further Review: A Quick Look at the Saints Defense

Originally Posted by saintfan View Post
I keep waiting for Rob to unveil his "Chewbacca Defense"...

A Chewbacca defense......think about that

That does not......make......sennnsssse!!! lmao gotta love south park

The amoeba D is awesome
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Old 11-14-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
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Re: After Further Review: A Quick Look at the Saints Defense

What concerns me is the only times we gave up more than 17 pts was on the road.

NE - 30
NYJ - 26
Chicago 18

All the more reason to hope the hell we stay home for the playoffs and if we go on the road, make it be vs someone not out west.
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