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The Saints are proof that the 'nickel' has become the new base defense of the NFL

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The idea of a base defense being stacked with seven men in the box and four defensive backs is making a brisk march toward extinction. For evidence of this trend, one needs to look no further a television set on ...

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Old 09-12-2014, 07:51 AM   #1
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The idea of a base defense being stacked with seven men in the box and four defensive backs is making a brisk march toward extinction.

For evidence of this trend, one needs to look no further a television set on Sunday afternoon. The 3-4 and 4-3 defenses that once populated the NFL during the smash mouth era, back when teams actually drafted running backs in the first round and rewarded those players with second contracts, are no longer the preferred defensive sets for defensive coordinators.

Over the last few years, the preferred base defense for many – if not all of the 32 franchises – has become the nickel defense. In an effort to most effectively match up with the spread offenses and hybrid tight ends that have popped up around the league, many defensive coordinators feel their best chance at survival is to pull a linebacker off the field and replace him with a fifth defensive back.

According to Pro Football Focus, 45 percent of the defensive snaps played across the league last season were out of a nickel package. A dime package (six defensive backs) was deployed on another 12 percent of those plays. The remaining snaps were played out of a base defense.

Locally, the New Orleans Saints used five or more defensive backs on 65 percent of their plays in 2013. During Sunday’s 37-34 overtime loss to the Atlanta Falcons all but two snaps were played out of these packages.

The idea of the 3-4 or 4-3 defense being the base personnel grouping is no longer accurate.


Read more: The Saints are proof that the 'nickel' has become the new base defense of the NFL | Sports | The Advocate — Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Old 09-12-2014, 07:56 AM   #2
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Re: The Saints are proof that the 'nickel' has become the new base defense of the NFL

all the rule changes to the defense has resulted in increased scoring which results in higher revenue. no different than what was done in the MLB and NBA. Limit the defense and watch the money pour in.
Without the rule changes spread offenses would not have the impact they do.
So teams really have no choice in the matter to tell you truth.
It all boils down to the money.

Last edited by hagan714; 09-12-2014 at 07:59 AM..
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:14 AM   #3
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Re: The Saints are proof that the 'nickel' has become the new base defense of the NFL

With all teams frequently going 3 and 4 wide, and athletic pass catching TEs, and all the rule changes favoring pass, it's no wonder you need 3 CBs in your base defense
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