Marell Evans is being talked about a lot at that "spinner" position. It sounds like he and Brown will both play prominent roles on our defense. Both struggled mightily in the past. How much they have improved, or haven't, will tell a huge story for our defense imo.
What Is It? It's It
The more you hear about the defense, the more you hear about the 3-4. An example:
Ezeh said the team's defense under new coordinator Greg Robinson would mostly resemble a 3-4 ... One defensive player whose position has been adjusted is Stevie Brown. After playing (and often struggling) at safety last year, Brown will fill a hybrid outside linebacker-safety spot in the revamped defense
But I don't think it's an actual 3-4, by which I mean a Pittsburgh Steelers style 3-4 with big space-eating defensive linemen and havoc-wreaking linebackers. 3-4 versus 4-3 is often a proxy for a more fundamental distinction between defenses: one gap versus two. Wikipedia:
Sometimes the defensive scheme says he is responsible for only one gap - it's his job to make sure the running back can't come through his gap, and the other gaps will be someone else's responsibility. In this case we say the tackle is playing in a one gap defense. The tackle will line up right in the gap, not directly facing any offensive lineman.
In other schemes, the tackle will be responsible for two gaps. In this case the tackle will line up directly facing an offensive lineman, and his job will be to push that lineman backwards and make sure the running back doesn't run past on either side of his lineman.
If you want to play a two gap scheme, you need larger stronger defensive tackles who can control an offensive lineman or even two offensive linemen. If you want to play a one gap scheme you can use slightly smaller defensive tackles who are faster and more athletic and can penetrate into the offensive backfield more often. In a two gap scheme, the tackles are supposed to control the linemen, thus making sure that no one is blocking the linebackers behind them and the linebackers are then free to make the play and tackle the runner. So in a two gap scheme, you don't expect the defensive tackles to have a large number of sacks or tackles.
NFL style 3-4s are two-gap defenses with huge nose tackles and huge, mobile defensive ends who would probably be DTs in a 4-3. In college these sorts of folk are rare and the 3-4 is decidedly unpopular.
When it does emerge you get this a lot:
The picture is small, but that's USC in 2006. Note that the nearest defensive end is in a two-point stance.
You might recognize this defense because it's the one that blew up Michigan's zone stretch in the 2006 Rose Bowl. USC used Brian Cushing as a defensive end, but stood him up. This is basically a 4-3 defense with some extra frippery: you can back Cushing off or shift the line into another set of techniques or actually use it as a 3-4, or a 5-2 by moving the other linebacker up and loading the middle of the line:
That's what USC did in the Rose Bowl, putting one player on every gap and shooting it as soon as the line moved one way or the other.
So, it's a 3-4. Brian Cushing is technically a linebacker on the roster. But it's not a 3-4, as it's mostly a one-gap defense. In the NFL these days you're hearing a lot about "hybrid" defenses that shift from 3-4 to 4-3 based on situation, and that's what USC 2006 D was. They completely shut down Michigan's powerful rushing attack by shifting to a different front.
Given the wacky nomenclature of Michigan's Herrmann-era defensive line, which had a DE, an NT, a DT, and a "rush linebacker" I'm pretty sure that Michigan defenses from the era before I was paying enough attention to know were also flexible. This is what Robinson means by "multiple fronts."
Michigan is poised to go back to the future with three down linemen, two traditional linebackers, and a couple of hybrid folk. The "spinner" is a standup defensive end who plays on the weakside, and the "Stevie Brown isn't a safety" is a hybrid linebacker/safety sort who is probably going to function a lot like Brandon Harrison did under Ron English. Michigan had a specific spot they called nickelback; that guy always lined up over the slot receiver and blitzed a ton.
So it's going to look like a 3-4 at times, and there are only going to be three guys with their hand on the ground, and some announcers but definitely not Chris Spielman will talk about it as a 3-4, but I don't think it's really a 3-4. From my admittedly amateur perspective, it doesn't make any sense to take Mike Martin, a 290 pound penetrator, and turn him into a two-gap space eater. Nor does it make sense to take terror defensive end Brandon Graham and expose him to convenient double blocking on every play. Two gap defenses will probably be a changeup and nothing more. No matter how many people say it's a 3-4, don't believe them. It's not a 3-4.
Unless, of course, it is.
I am pretty sure that the only reason Evans is being talked about is because Mouton is injured right now.
I get an error message when I try to play it.
Embedded Video Fail
when I was in HS it was just 'cover your guy, then tackle the guy with the ball' of course I played corner, so maybe it's simpler out there.
it was basically "put one eye on your man and the other on the QB, and either 1-close to the ball if a run, or 2- stay with your guy for a pass"
You people and your defensive schemes. You want it all but you can't have it.
+5 Rock Band Stars
Damn it, beat me to it.
I'm still trying to figure out the spinner. Does anyone know if Robinson used the spinner at Texas or the Broncos (I'd like to see how he works it)? I'm also still a little confused about how far from the line the spinner will usually line up (hence I wish to view some tape).
I, unfortunately, don't know a lot about the more subtle parts of defense so I could simply be missing something obvious.
Also, I still think that we should call the "spinner" the "Deathbacker!" (exclamation point most definitely included). Childish- maybe, hilarious- yes.
childish - yes, hilarious-no
How about campbell being that space eater?
typically, you would have a guy like WC in the middle, flanked by to large and slightly more mobile DE/DT types.
This is a good post that finally explains what everyone has been talking about for years with this 2-gap guy. I agree that this doesn't seem to be a 3-4 this year, but it could become one. I like that this will become more of a 4-3 or more of a 3-4 depending on the personnel we posses on the roster.
Not sure but if you remember when Gerg was hired D. Johnson spoke glowingly about how he utilized his talents and put him in a position to succeed. He may have been the spinner.
Where he is lined up will be based on formation and the D call I would imagine. Imagine S. Crable his senior year. He would stand up and have his hand down, he was all over the field blitzing, rushing, playing standard linebacker.
He was a devastating MLB, but not this spinner type. I think Crable would have been a good body type for the role and would have the athleticism to excel.
Because then I think Death Roh will be perfect for the spinner-deathbacker! position. Every highlight I see of that dude he is spinning to the outside and to the inside. I bet he has some sick dance moves. any highlights from his Senior prom?
We ran this stuff with Woodley, Crable, through the entire mid 90's. You can call it the spinner or the SAM or the shooter, the nomenclature is really getting overplayed all over the web. There are still 11 guys to cover the field on defense and their are 11 guys on offense. If you beat the man in front of you and your teammates beat their guy, the defense wins...scheme, terminology, man versus zone, all of that shit is just to semantics to me.
We have to do two things to be better on defense this year; two!
1. Be mentally and physically tougher (make tackles, not take hits)
2. Play less than 90 snaps a game, which we had to do last year because the offense sucked so bad. You want to say the worst defense in Michigan history was based on Shafer or scheme or player x or player Y...Bullshit, it was the worst defense because it also saw more snaps than any other defense in Michigan history.
You cut 1/3 of those snaps off per game and the numbers will dramatically improve. Yeah, Yeah, I know we sucked on 3rd down, but I thought we sucked all year against the pass, not just 3rd down. Partly because the guys in the secondary didn't have a whole lot of confidence in each other(for good reason).
I am the original Spinner!!
of course i dont know what terminolgy is being used at all...
but the hybrid olb/de to the strong side is not what stevie brown is playing. if indeed that is the spinner .. I think that is one of our athletic de's, or bigger lbs' like ezeh, or herron from the look of it at the pracitce picks formt eh coaching clinic... playing the olb in a 3-4, that will come donw and play on a te if he is in the game....
brown is playing the weakside olb, that is another type of hybrid, weakside olb/safety...
and yes that is a 3-4... dont be confused just because there is more than 3 on the los...
So, it's no different than 3-4s with a bunch of zone blitzes insomuch as someone's coming; who is the question. I don't know what the Safety/LB hybrid is other than an answer to three wr sets on run downs/situations and just way to get some more athletes in the box. I don't think you see that position used in two TE sets. I know I know, you will say that a smaller more athletic guy like SB will work against power run formations, but I'll take a true LB or DE for my liking.
As for the number of snaps, I'm gonna agree that we couldn't get off the field, but I will couple that with the tale of two halves. You see 40 snaps before halftime, you've got issues. The offense always started slow and kept the defense on the field and I know that when the snaps get up there, focus, stamina, and confidence can dwindle even in Barwis' guys.
This is a 3-4 with multiple looks, but the fundametals are not something new. I get tired of people thinking a 3 or 4 man front is specifically a one gap or two gap scheme exclusively. Gap responsibility is different on different plays, irregardless of how many guys are in a 3pt stance.
I don't think you can ever have too many athletes on the field, so I'm open-minded about the coming year. I'm going to make the trek from DC to AA for the spring game to check it all out in person.
above wolv, and i too will be at the spring game...
we are saying the same thing..
and the 4th olb in the pics is the bigger lb that can play on a te if needed... (spinner, stud, strong, sam) whatever, the weakside olb is where brown is been moved, but may not neccesarliy start there..
that was my point...
wolv, there are numerous reasons for the defense being on the field a lot. one is that they were terrible on third sdowns all year. so part of the reason for being on the field so much was becasue they were bad at getting off the field. that goes back to the defense, not the offense...
but of course the offenses inablity to move the ball consistently had somehting to do with it as well
i believe i did a whole series on the 3-4 about how it is really a 50 front. how most people assume that where you line up dictates how many gaps you have (which is so wrong), and i even did a chalk talk on how stupid it is to assume that a 3-4 is a 2 gap, or that a 4-3 is a one gap. or even that a 3-4 stays a 3-4 when a te or multiple te's or in the game.
Robinson is running a 3-4 but is not neccesarily running 2 gaps, just like the majority of 3-4's around the country...
can you post a link to those?
out three and out.. my web site, 90% of it is defense oriented..
wolv, looks like after all these years im starting rub off on you...
G, can we meet up at the spring game? I'm leaving Friday from DC and driving up. I would love to get some real time break down and compare notes. I'm just a lowly volunteer position coach though.