Another Clue Indicating Bears Will Do Some Two-Gapping On Defense

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BSBEARS, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Adam Hoge’s Bears Blog

    Another Clue Indicating Bears Will Do Some Two-Gapping On Defense

    By Adam Hoge-
    The extent of the Bears’ changes on defense probably won’t be known until the regular season starts, but there continues to be evidence that the defensive line will play some two-gap technique despite remaining a 4-3 base defense.
    [​IMG]
    Jared Allen and Lamar Houston are a part of a new-look defensive line.
    The first clue came back in May when rookie defensive tackle Ego Ferguson said defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni told him he wanted him to play some two-technique. The two-technique is typically a two-gap technique with the defensive tackle lining head-up over the offensive guard. The tackle is then responsible for filling two gaps — one on each side of the opposing guard.
    Another clue came in Friday when defensive tackle Stephen Paea was asked about defensive coordinator Mel Tucker’s scheme changes.
    “It’s more about the linebackers,” Paea said. “It’s just the way we play now is less penetration and more of no (offensive) linemen can touch the linebackers. If all three of the linebackers make the Pro Bowl, that means our D-line is doing great things. That’s our goal. That’s how we’ll get better defensively and that’s how we’ll win a championship.”
    That sure sounds like two-gapping.
    In a one-gap front (which the Bears have been using for years), the defensive linemen shoot a gap in between two offensive linemen. That allows them to get into the backfield faster, but it also leaves offensive linemen to block the linebackers, which can result in big running plays. Sound familiar? That was a common problem last year when the Bears allowed a franchise record 2,583 rushing yards.
    In a two-gap scheme, the defensive linemen are essentially occupying the offensive linemen, which allows the linebackers to come in free and make the tackles.
    Generally, two-gapping is associated with 3-4 defenses and one-gapping with 4-3 defenses, but that line has blurred more in recent seasons. The New Orleans Saints (3-4 front) and Seattle Seahawks (4-3 front) both used one-gap and two-gap techniques last year despite technically operating out of two different fronts.
    This “hybrid” style of defense is exactly what was expected from the Bears this year, so it’s not surprising to hear Paea describe the changes the way he did Friday.
    It will be interesting to see how this impacts the way the Bears rush the quarterback. Two-gapping can be very effective against the run, but it also leads to less penetration from the defensive linemen. That’s why you’ll often see edge rushers coming out of a two-point stance, something that seems likely with linebacker Shea McClellin this year.
    Given that the Bears will remain in a 4-3 front, you’ll probably see both one-gap and two-gap techniques. How Mel Tucker finds the balance between them will be fun to watch.
  2. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Keeping the Offensive Linemen off the Linebackers by 2-gapping.

    I found this very interesting. Last year everyone was down on the young LB's and yet it sounds like the change in scheme is to take a perceived weakness and turn it into a strength.


    Side Note: I understand the desire for keeping a thread by positions to make it easy to read but personally I do not like the concept. You will not know what is and is not posted and the potential discussisons will center on a given topic while other topics get passed over. If y'all want single threads by position I respect that, I will chime in with my thoughts but have no intention of scanning threads to see if an article has been posted. It is much easier to scan Titles than a 4 or 5 page thread. Just my opinion.
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  3. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    But all the know it all's insisted that we would never run a hybrid or any 3-4 b/c we don't have the players to do it; we're a 4-3 Cover 2 they said!!! How could this be!!!! Oh b/c 2 drafts and 2 FA's later the team isn't the same and they've got Ratliff/Houston/Ego up front for 3-4 and 4-3 and DJ Williams and Bostic, and hopefully Shea, can all play multiple LB positions.

    Good to see the team's D is getting w/ the new NFL and not relying on outdated schemes.
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  4. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    There is definitely a trade-off. On the one hand, I do like the big guys on the big guys, leaving the LBs to do damage. On the other hand, I like penetration (insert your favorite joke here). I like to see linemen shoot the gap and be after the QB. Sutton does this and we got him for a reason, so as the auther says, it will be interesting to see how Pasc strikes a balance. I think we will have a much more aggressive defense and to me that means pressuring the QB much more than we have.
    It will be fun to watch
  5. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    It will be both though. If you've heard Emery, they want guys that can do multiple things so they don't have to do a lot of sub packages that tip the teams hand pre snap. Should be fun to watch.
  6. BearDownUnder

    BearDownUnder Veteran

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    I know schemes are important. But really I think you could run whatever scheme you want as long as you have the versatility to cover up the weaknesses of the scheme.

    What's really important this year is our team are:
    1. On the same page with the calls
    2. Have the ability to make basic plays - get off blocks, tackles etc

    No scheme would've worked last season, we couldn't tackle!
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  7. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    With all the injuries we could not look good at anything last year. The LB's were smothered by linemen last year with the street FA DL we were forced to assemble. Many discussions on the board over the off season on the LB's and how poorly they played, yet the Bears put in a 2 Gap scheme to take advantage of LB's.

    This is just one of many Hybrid looks they plan on using. Saw a Tweet earlier about todays practice and how the LB's are the only ones changing outside of Briggs. Sounds like the new Punter got a standing ovation for a 70+ yd 5+sec hang time boot.

    dan durkin@djdurkin 28m
    #bears 1st team d-line and secondary isn’t changing in base or nickel. a lot of rotation at linebacker outside of briggs.
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  8. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It's not so much an overall change in the scheme as it is an addition or a variation we can use because we have the players to play either. Ratliff and Ferguson are both guys who should be able to play in two gap scheme pretty effectively and because of his strength Paea as well. Sutton and Collins are more one gap type guys.

    It's about different looks and different gap assignments by design. Earlier this spring I posted an article by Matt Bowen that illustrated how those gap assignments work in both 4-3 and 3-4 fronts using one gap and two gap schemes. That would be a great source to study the difference between the two.

    In essence though Paea explained the main difference. In a one gap the linemen are filling a single gap each with the LBs each filling another. When the two interior linemen in a 4-3 play a two gap scheme the LBs can free lance a bit more without a specific assignment and without an OG in their face.
  9. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Thats the key, the Linebackers are no longer locked in on a linemen, or responsible for the gap on the line. I would consider that a change in scheme but call it what you want.
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  10. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    I could be wrong but I don't recall anyone saying we wouldn't run some "hybrid" looks or do some occasional 2-gapping. I do recall a lot of people, me included, saying that we weren't going to a BASE 3-4 defense because that requires having a beefy run stopping true 0-tech NT (Ngata, Wilfork, Raji a few years ago) and pass rushing OLBs (Von Miller, Matthews, etc). We don't have those personnel.

    Our LBs are primarily cover and fill players not rush specialists (Shea may change that a bit if he's successful in his transition). We definitely don't have the prototypical 330+ lb 2-gap NT. Our "NTs" like Paea, Ratliff top out at around 310. Again, maybe Ego can become that guy but that's probably a year away if it happens.

    My guess is that the "hybrid" scheme thing is about shaking things up after last years disaster, reflects what Tucker is most experienced with, and a lot about trying to get Shea OLB rush opportunities. Jmo
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  11. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    MP, most talked of a hybrid before a straight 3-4. Many said they didn't have the personnel to run a hybrid and wouldn't. All the moves they made since Emery was here screamed multi facet D, but that wasn't happening w/Lovie, and last year Tucker was asked to keep everything the same, but the drafts and FA moves have all been about this change. It was only a matter of time.

    I never saw them going straight 3-4 either, but I did think they could run SOME 3-4 depending on who they went w/in the drafts and FA.
  12. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Been no mention of any 3-4 alignments out of camp. I was hoping to see some looks in a 3-4. Before the draft Emery pretty much put the 3-4 to bed stating we would remain a 4-3 base, the Hybrid has always been spoken just not sure how the Bears would do it. The 2-gap was the first indication as stated in the article. I am still hoping to see some 3-4 looks out of camp. If nothing else it is one more thing opponents have to prepare for. I know the Bears always have to spend considerable time preparing when going up against a 3-4 as it is not the look they are most familiar with. Just the potential of a 3-4 will distract opposing teams some.
  13. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    I've been on staff here for 8 years. No matter what threads exist, people want their own threads to garner discussion, because they have their own twist on any/every subject.

    I laugh every time I see the strategy (...the official this or that, the LB thread).
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  14. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    I believe that pre snap alignment means less and less in today's NFL. Disguise and deception is the only constant.
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  15. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Thats probably very true as I think about it. DE's often drop back into coverage nowadays in 4-3 schemes and a LB will pass rush. Still not the norm but still done more and more. Just when it seems you have seen all the variations of a defense somebody comes up with a new one. Sure be nice if the Bears came up with the new one this time. Been a long time since the 46 defense and when we actually lead the way.
  16. Bearstuff

    Bearstuff Yes, in the woods. Staff Member SuperFan

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    I'd expect to see more CB blitzes this year. W/ Jennings playing the slot, we have extra capabilities. Few likely know just how much Fuller blitzed at VaTech. That is part of the reason Emery cited in picking him.
  17. Ojibway Bob

    Ojibway Bob Veteran SuperFan

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    I do hope we do some unconventional stuff...move Houston up to LB for a 3-4 look....maybe slide Shea to the line or swap him out with Houston or Allen...why not line up 5-2 with a blitzing DB....heheh exterminate!!!!!!!
  18. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    We could have some interesting flexibility on Defense.

    If Adrian Willson makes the starting line up it would be like having another LB at the Safety position who is good in coverage. You interchange Vereen and Fuller who both played CB and S in college and I believe I read somewhere Vereen was a good blitzer also to go with Fuller. Tillman has not been asked to Blitz much but I remember him getting a few sacks so he is capable as well.

    The front seven also has lots of flexibility. Briggs may be the only LB who does not play multiple positions. Houston use to drop in coverage in Oakland occassionally and I am Allen is well capable.

    With the Dline now keeping the Oline in place (in theory) the flexibility on these players would allow an Adrian Wilson to slide up from S position and cover for a blitzing LB. Wilson also has the size to pop the TE in the middle of the field from the S position or any other WR for that matter.

    All the CB's can blitz but Vereen could cover the CB role on a given play. May take a while to see more of this as I suspect they want the rookie to be comfortable at a single position before they start sliding him around.

    In the end though have players at multiple positions who on a given play can slide into another role. This will allow for potentially more blitzing, Confusion by opposing QB's on presnap reads, and hopefully more turnovers in our favor.
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  19. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Only if you use it on every single down and I don't get that from reading what Paea said or from what Tucker and Trestman have said. You're nit picking semantics here and nothing more. The basic "scheme" is a still a 4-3 front but you can employ that in both ways.

    Tucker uses the term "run fit". Lovie called it gap control. It's the same f'n thing which is why I posted those tutorials for everyone to refer to. The basic "scheme" is still a 4-3 but with one gap and two gap variations for "run fits". All that changes are the gap assignments. The 4-3 "scheme" itself remains the same.

    To say the LB are not longer responsible for a gap is also incorrect but which gap depends on the how that DT and NT are used. We aren't playing a 3-4 where the NT is playing a zero technique and covering both A gaps so what he's referring to is that 2 technique style where the NT plays heads up on the OG and plays the A and B gap on the weak side of the formation. The DT may still be playing one gap style.

    It's just variations on a 4-3 scheme is all. Assignments shift but the entire scheme doesn't. We aren't playing it the way Jauron did when he had Washington and Traylor both playing pretty much as two gap NTs or at least they've never indicated that. We don't really have the size for it anyway.
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  20. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    This is the correct way to see it. Paea is a NT. All he's talking about is how he's being used where at times he may be asked to play a 2 technique over the weak side OG and handle both one A gap and one B gap. He's not talking about the way a 3-4 zero technique NT plays both A gaps and the ILB each play a B gap.

    Pasqualoni asked Ferguson about the 2 technique NT spot specifically before we drafted him telling him they intended to play the NT that way at times as opposed to being a Shade NT playing just one A gap. It's all about options and variation on the same 4-3 scheme.

    We seldom played our DEs positioned at a Wide 9 either but they've talked about that as well. All of these things change gap assignments for everyone or as Tucker likes to call them, run fits, but they don't change the basic defensive scheme.

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