Is the Tampa 2 "Tampa Gone" as the Bears's base defense?!

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by 50YearFrustration, May 13, 2014.

  1. butka

    butka Veteran

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    Exactly Ricza. And people forget that there was a window of time after Tommie Harris went down (and struggled with injuries) and Julius Peppers arrived where the defense sputtered because it didn't have a superstar raising hell in the backfield. It had the same exact symptoms we had last year, but less severe at that time because the back end talent was around and healthy. We couldn't stop anyone's passing game on 3rd down and we needed to bring 8 in the box to even think about stopping the run, even with Urlacher and Briggs healthy. Once Peppers arrived, a lot of that went away.
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  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I think we were getting away from using it as long as two years ago. Every defense has to evolve or it becomes vulnerable. Buddy Ryan's 46 Defense had it's day too but eventually is had to change or become extinct and as soon as Buddy left Vince Tobin began to alter it a bit and ended up with an even better version of it.

    I think you have to look at exactly why a scheme works in order to understand why it won't. Just like Buddy's 46 Defense the Tampa-2 Lovie ran for years was dependent on having the right players in the front seven to make it work. In Lovie's case a strong pass rush and gap control from the front four and smart, fast LB were a huge reason why it ran as well as it did. When you don't have that it won't work and we saw that last year in whatever variation of it Tucker was trying to run.

    I think under Tucker we'll see a more aggressive approach but we'll still see a basic 4-3/2 deep scheme used some of the time. One of the reasons it got undressed last year was not having a MLB who could drop to the deep middle to help the Safeties out so we really weren't playing it the way Lovie schemed it for so long because there was no Urlacher to cover that deep middle. That's just one more reason why the Safeties were exposed as much as they were. A lousy pass rush was another.

    Every team who plays a 4-3 uses a Cover-2 scheme at least some of the time but because offenses are using more 3 WR sets that alone means the defenses will use it less. When Emery was discussing the drafting of Fuller and using him as a NB he alluded to the fact that we were using a NB on roughly 50% of the defensive snaps last year. That alone alters the way you play coverage and reduces that number of plays you can use a two deep scheme. The defenses have to adapt.

    The problems stopping the run had little to do with the basic 4-3 scheme. The problems came because they weren't executing it properly. The gap control by the front seven was atrocious. Injuries, inexperience, and players unable to execute their roles had a lot to do with it. For example. The LDE and SLB have to set the edge and control the C and D gaps on the strong side of the offensive formation. They have to turn those running plays back into the backside pursuit from the line and the MLB and WLB to make the tackles. We didn't do that because McClellin was being manhandled at the point of attack and Anderson never played SLB in this scheme so he wasn't doing his job either. His role was to tie up the blocker not make the tackle and he didn't so we got steam rolled on runs to the strong right.

    You can keep the scheme if you have players who can execute. Enter Houston, Young and Izzy. All good run defenders who can play LDE and set the edge and the equation changes. We may still not have the right SLB with either McClellin or Bostic but maybe that's where Tucker alters the scheme a bit. The same thing was happening in the middle. The NT was getting blown up and blockers were getting to Bostic and he's not a guy who can stack and shed at MLB. That's not his game. So now we have Ratliff, Paea, and Ferguson to man the NT spot and clog up the A gap on the weak side or they play a 2 Tech over the OG and cover both the A and B gaps on the weak side and keep the WLB and MLB free to come up to make the tackle. We also missed having a true 3 tech last year who could penetrate into the backfield and either make the tackle or mess up the blocking scheme badly enough that the timing of the play was ruined.

    I'm not claiming we need to keep running exactly what Lovie ran but the basic scheme itself isn't a bad one and we won a lot of football games with it. But is does require exceptional execution and the right players to run it and we didn't have those players last year. We'll just have to wait and see what Tucker comes up with now that he's been given more leeway to run his schemes but to think we won't still be playing some of that same base defense we have for years is wrong. It does work if it's schemed and executed well.
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  3. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree. And the bottom-line is that you have to have the players for any scheme to work well. There's no free lunch here. Just going to the popular flavor-of-the-day defense isn't going to magically make our defense good. If you have the right players you look like a stinking genius as DC. If you don't then they want to run you out of town. Tucker will get the players he needs to run a solid defense. Emery will make sure of that. I am like you Soul, in that I am very curious to see what Tucker comes up with now that he's been given free reign to run his own schemes. It should be very interesting to watch.
  4. short faced bear

    short faced bear Assistant Head Coach DBS Writer

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    That 8 yard cushion lasted longer than Harvey Unga.
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  5. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    It's the little things that count brother and those are some of the ones I've been highlighting when I posted things about guys we signed and about the draft. Through injury and attrition we lost far too much last year to play a Tampa-2 style defense. We simply didn't have the horses. We had key weaknesses which had to be filled and it took both FA and the draft to do it. As far as the DLine goes we didn't get all the way there until this past weekend.

    Signing Houston in FA was a good move but it only works as expected if we play him at LDE so getting Allen was a key to allowing that to happen and having Young and Izzy give us the needed vet depth at both spots. Why Houston and/or Izzy at LDE? Because if McClellin is playing SLB and we're using him to attack the run and to rush then he needs to be protected and we need a DE who can control either gaps and be able to set the edge on that side.

    We also needed a true 3 tech DT to penetrate and rush so we can leave Ratliff at NT where he's most effective as a run stopper and a guy who can collapse the pocket when rushing. Ratliff can play DT but he's far more effective playing NT and Jared Allen as much as told us that after we signed him. When we start rushing those two from the right side coupled with Sutton, Izzy and Houston from the left side and maybe rushing McClellin from SLB somebody is gonna come free and cause trouble.

    Emery talked about how important it was to that defense to have a 3 tech DT which is what led me and a whole lot of others to the conclusion that we'd take Donald if he was there and I still believe we would have. But just to make sure he had a fallback they brought Sutton in and convinced themselves that he was getting back in shape and would like to play for the Bears. So he was Plan B if we missed out on Donald. DT like those guys are essential in a 4-3 defense if you expect to control the game with your front four. Ferguson was less essential now but provided he coaches up well he's the eventual replacement for Ratliff. I'm beginning to think they feel Paea is just not big enough to handle NT and if he sticks they may move him to DT.

    There was a lot of talk pre-draft about players playing out of position and while they could do that because of their versatility when you do it you only get 80% of what that guys is capable of not 100%. That's fine for depth or for scheming against another teams weaknesses but you don't want guys like Houston or Ratliff to be your starting DT. You want a guy like Donald or Sutton and a good backup behind him like Collins has been or Paea may be able to become.

    So we fixed the line. All of it and did it right. Now we have to figure out how the fits at LB need to be done and that will have to come from within. Both McClellin and Bostic need to make a major leap forward this year or we'll be searching for others next year.
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  6. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    Tampa 2 is mostly gone. Now we have the Tuck and Roll
  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Is that like Penn and Teller or Abbott and Costello?
  8. Bearsinhouston

    Bearsinhouston Position Coach

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    Which one would you say is the more inept?
  9. Warlock

    Warlock Veteran

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    Think of talent and players like such...

    Talent helps a player execute his responsibility, this is because a more talented player will find an action less difficult than a less talented player (therefore increases the odds of being successful). Scheme on the other hand, dictates responsibility, so a good scheme will improve the chances of said player executing by putting the player in a better situation to be successful... while a poor scheme will have the opposite effect, by putting the player in a worse situation to be successful.

    This is where Emery is showing foresight with his decision to go more versatile. Specialized players maybe better at their specific role, but schemes can be countered with good coaching (i.e. you can force favorable match-ups and ask players to do what they're not necessarily good at doing, especially in the NFL setting where there's a lot of parity in player talent). With versatile players, you can adapt to what your opponent is doing... albeit, they may never be dominant at any specific role.

    The bottomline is that Emery is giving his coaches the reigns, rather than asking his players to succeed in situations where the opponents can scheme to put them at a disadvantage. If the coaching staff can counter what the opponent is doing thru scheme, we should see our players execute more often, simply because they're being asked to do less by being put in a good position to be successful.
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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Exactly. Buddy Ryan's 46 Defense was a crazy high risk defensive scheme that included a lot of man coverage on the WRs and TE but it was predicated on getting to the QB before his targets came open and sacking him or pressuring him into a bad throw. How well would that scheme have worked last year? But with LBs like Marshall and Wilson blitzing and rushers like Dent, McMichael and Hampton they killed with it.

    The scheme has to be built around the talent you have not the other way around. We didn't have the players to execute it with last year and the adjustments Tucker tried to make just ended up confusing everyone even more. I'm relatively certain that won't happen again because we'll have a scheme based on the talent we have and better vet leadership on the field. There was just too much change and too few healthy players to play that Tampa-2 correctly.
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  11. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    That is a good way to look at it, and I agree. Schemes obviously require the proper player talent (matched to a given scheme) and the players need to have a threshold of talent for optimal results. But regardless of the scheme a team runs, there has to be a level of player talent there to be successful. We've all seen players drafted that simply did not meet the minimum level of talent needed to be successful and they were traded or cut from the Bears roster. Some would end up being more successful on their new team but others would not be and consequently would soon be out of the NFL. They didn't have the talent to be successful in any scheme on any team. I think we all realize player talent is important though. Over the years we've all seen NFL teams change defensive schemes, only to fail because they still didn't have solid talent to run the new scheme. Coaching and schemes are important. They can't overcome a lack of talent though.
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  12. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    I agree but I'd break talent into 2 catagories, intellegence/physical ability.

    Guys like Waddle or Welker aren't dominant athelets, but their intellegance is off the charts, they knew/know how to run their routes in such a way to get get a step on their defender and make the most out of their physical ability.
    Other guys are such physical marvels, have such great instincts that they don't need to be studends of the game, look at Moss/Ocho/TO early on in their careers.
    A few guys put it all together and you have truly special talents that are both physically gifted and students of the game they're able to blend both together to get the most out of their ability.
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  13. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    That is an excellent example. In that particular scheme it also required two shutdown corners due to the fact Buddy brought so many blitzers - leaving those two CB's on an island in man coverage against outstanding WR's. You also needed intelligent players because it was a very complex scheme that changed continually throughout a game. I rewatch those games all the time and just marvel at the complexity of that defense. The offenses facing it eventually folded in those games and the QB's were hammered relentlessly - the blocking schemes simply couldn't match up.
  14. Henry Burris

    Henry Burris Head Coach

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    I must politely disagree. For the last few years of his tenure, TE's were scoring on us like crazy
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  15. riczaj01

    riczaj01 DaBears Ditka DBS Writer

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    biggest flaw in Lovie's D was the 5-10 yard slant that teams could use at will.
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  16. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    That's a very good point, and I'm not saying the defense was perfect even though it was a top-5 defense in the NFL. We certainly were not the #1 defense in the NFL. But the offense had more issues than the D. That was the point I was trying to make. In some games the inept offense contributed to the defense having tough games. There were some games where the defense was just gassed. It made me angry to watch the 3-and-outs at times.
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  17. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    True and all the more reason for playing Safeties who have better coverage skills or even bringing in a Dime DB to cover some of these guys like Jimmy Graham who are as a much big WRs as they are TEs.

    We have always needed specific types of defenders to play that Tampa-2 defense and last year we simply didn't have them. The scheme works when you have the horses to run it with so Emery went out and got quite a few of those guys who are needed to run a solid 4-3 base defense. The two areas of concern that remain are what will the LB core looks like and did we improve our Safety positions enough. Actually I think we're far better off in the defensive backfield now than some believe but with the SLB spot and backup MLB spot still up in the air it's the linebacking that has me more concerned. Those guys are a key to making run stops and playing in coverage and we still don't know exactly what we have back there. Those are the guys that have to pull it together this year if we expect to see a top ten defense again.
  18. Warlock

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    Talent is ability. Regardless of what mechanic is primarily used to accomplish the feat, most things aren't as simple as to attributed to a single mechanic. Football is a game of individual contests between players, the greater the disparity in talent, the more likely the disparity in results of said contests. When you're put at an advantage thru scheme, you're more likely to be successful and when you're put at a disadvantage, you're more likely to fail.

    I'm not saying that talent trumps scheme or that scheme trumps talent... I'm simply stating that both feed off of one another. No scheme is without counters and in the NFL where there's a parity in talent, you can't simply gather so much more talent to have success with any single scheme (especially if it's being countered). You need versatility, because it allows you to adjust and adapt. Without such versatility, there will be certain match-ups that become unwinnable.
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  19. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    +1
    And if either is seriously deficient then it's tough to overcome.
  20. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Between the 5-8 yard slants and the 15 yard posts where the cb and S were handing off the WR was unstoppable in the cover 2. I hated the cover 2 no matter what skill level. It had natural holes in it and was designed with the intent of wait for the QB to make a mistake. It was developed for a Brett Favre and even a Jay Cutler gunslinger QB who would get impatient.

    With Brady, Manning, Brees and others who will be patient and take what the Defense gives up (the slant or Post) and not force balls into coverage the Cover 2 never worked and never will. An accurate passer with patience always beats the cover 2. Granted not many big plays but lots of 5-15 yard plays that would let you march down the field. I for one Hated it and hope it is in the distant pass. Lets see how it works in Tampa this year as I am sure Lovie will still use it, even Lovie started to play other coverage though so maybe he is seeing its prehistoric.

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