Why We Shouldn't Freak Out About the 3-3-5
Nothing I can do will change it, so why get so worked up?
(full disclosure, I don't think the 3-3-5 is a bad idea)
unless they go to a 1-10 defense. In which case they will probably go 1-10.
Seriously, what the fuck do I know about whether we should be a 4-3 or a 3-4 or a 4-2-5 or a 3-3-5? I can hardly balance my checkbook.
if at any time the team runs one of the following:
4 - 3 - 5
4 - 3 - 3
2 - 3 - 4
4 - 1 - 5
6 - 2 - 5
I like those numbers for the trifecta for race 1 at churchhill downs.
NCAA 09: I run the 3-3-5 and it's just as efficient (or inefficient in my case) as the other packages. Here's to the 3-3-5!
I dunno man, I mean, GERG hates kittens, and we love kittens here, so, well, what does that really leave us with?
Yeah, I guess, if you want the package deal with this one:
but it looks like...
What I would be uneasy with is changing defenses again. I don't disagree with the 3 options that you listed but like you said it comes down to execution, and the more the players see the same plays, the better they know their assignments and theoretically they execute better. From last year you guys lost your 2 starting corners and a DE, but return 8 guys who ran the 4-3 for most the season last year.
I can see the switch being the better option if the coaching staff has zero confidence in running the 4-3 with the personnel available, but I just don't see it. Correct me if I am wrong but the 3-3-5 is a 2 gap defense, while the 4-3 was a 1 gap defense, doesn't that make the ILB's (Ezeh) decision making at the line even more important? and that wasn't really a strong point.
My impression of the switch right now is 2 fold: RR knows his job is on the line this season and is directing the switch to a scheme that he was successful with in the past and is also familiar with. If he is unsuccessful this year he wants to make sure he put everything he could on the field to win. Also I think they plan to use a lot of zone in the secondary with all the young talent and will try to create the pressure up front, with the disguised looks you were talking about.
I've actually read that 335 is a 1 gap defense (both according to Brian and elsewhere), thus making it easier on the LBs. It'd be great to get some clarity on that one way or the other though.
DEs go outside the OTs, is the DT supposed to cover both sides of the C? that would leave the OLB to cover the final gaps between the OG and OT. If thats right about the DT, I was probably wrong,
Yeah I think that's right except the DE's are in a 4 tech rather than a 5 tech. So, Nose Tackle lines up right over the ball and ends line up right over the tackles. The d-line then stunts or whatever depending on play-call.
ok that makes sense
play a 1 tech rather than a 0? i thought 0 tech was generally a goal line only technique.
im lost about ur DT comment. with how i first read it i thought u mean that the DT will play a 0 tech. but the "ends line up right over the tackles." i dont understand that part. that would mean hes lined up as a 4 tech...unless im misunderstanding wat u mean. if i am, then sorry.
First you need to know that I'm way over my head here. Magnus or some other coach would be better served to answer this but, I'll give it a shot.
NT lines up over the ball. From what I understand, that's a 0 technique. This is just what I read in a few spots; don't know if its right or not. A 1-tech would be the inside shoulder of one of the guards.
The DE's line up directly over the OTs; a 4-tech.
about 0 tech. 1 tech lines up on either eye of the center. 2(eye) is inside eye of guard. i reread ur comment about 10 times and i finally made the connection that u were talking about the d ends and not that the NT ends up on the tackles. im pretty sure that the DEs line up in a 4(eye) or 5 tech rather than heads up, but im not 100% positive.
The way we play the 3-3-5 at my school (and it's only a package, not our base defense) is the following:
NT = 0 technique, head up on the center, plays both A gaps
DEs = 4 techniques, head up on tackles, play B gap
MLB = 0-off, 4 yards off center, reads and reacts, plays both A gaps
OLBs = 4-offs, 4 yards off tackles, responsible for C gap
Spurs = 4 yards outside last man on LOS, 3 yards off LOS, responsible for outside contain
So the only "2 gap" players are the nose tackle and the MLB, but it's a fairly easy read for the MLB.
Obviously, you can run all kinds of slants and stunts, but in our standard 3-3-5 package, those are the alignments and run responsibilities.
Where do you coach at?
I prefer to keep the exact location to myself, but I'm within a couple hours' drive to DC.
Do you usually have a kid good enough to play a true 2 gap responsibility? We usually use a quick little shit to disrupt plays in the backfield. We stunt on every play so our MLB has the hole opposite where the NT is going. Makes it easier for our MLB to step up and fill quick.
For the past couple years, we've had a couple 270- to 280-lb. monsters to put at nose tackle. One was all-district on offense and defense, and his backup was all-district on offense only (but still a good defensive player). A few years ago, we had a kid who had FBS offers but chose not to play football in college.
Before that, I don't know because I didn't coach here.
However, this year we won't have a big guy to play there. We'll probably end up playing a 185-lb. wrestler at nose tackle and slant him one way or the other.
thanks for clearing that up
this'll be the last time i say anything about this. they're not changing the defense, they're adding to it. they won't run just the 3-3-5 and even if it is the base defense, that doesn't mean they'll be in that formation every play. i've said my piece
I don't disagree and I don't expect them to run out of the 3-3-5 exclusively but there wasn't a revolution in execution when UM ran the 3-3-5 previously. This year was either 8 starters who ran a 3-4 a lot or 0 starters who ran the 3-3-5 or another new D.
The huge difference being that the last time Michigan ran a 335 was while there was still a huge buy-in issue on the team and after only 1 week of installation. I don't care how simple a scheme is, you need more than 1 week to debug.
I think the differences between the 344 and 335 are being overblown...from my lay perspective it seems like a simple change in nomenclature.
I do not know enough Xs and Os wise to be sure myself, actually trying to learn it as we go along
I agree that we won't be exclusively 3-3-5, but Brian usually has good info, and he said that from what he's heard, that's all they've been practicing.
Anyway, whether it's a package or our base defense, I'm not too concerned.
Perhaps they've been exclusively been practicing the 3-3-5 because it is the defense that needs the most work?
If you have Defense A that the team is pretty familiar with, and you have Defense B that the team has very limited experience with, and both will be used in the fall, why would you be practicing Defense A this early into Spring?
right now could be lack of DTs and trying to put it in. In reality if you consider Roh a LB and Stevie Brown a box safety this looks the same as last year without the stack. Per Sam Webb on WTKA (3/25 podcast) this is a tweak not the base D.
I would suspect it to be the primary D against ND and other teams that spread the field and throw it.
It's not the scheme (necessarily) it's the change that bothers me. With young players, and players whose decision making skills are um, questionable, continuity and as little decision making as possible is best, IMO.
hes gonna play shallow zone in coverage or put his hand in the ground and go wide? similar to sergio kindle and orakpo for texas? basically a 4-2-5 then? or is roh gonna be completely moving to a OLB. i feel that, while hes explosive, he doesnt have the elite speed necessary to cover guys on a consistent basis. he is of course plenty fast to play DE and be extremely effective. i feel that it would be too much of a change to ask a young man to do over a season when he can be put at another position and be much more effective(if he moves to OLB).
i think that the change could work. its not like u had much success(no offense, i dont think any will be taken tho) with the 4-3 defense. might as well get ur most talented players on the field(ur secondary).
i'd imagine since Roh was a freshman last year, he'll have plenty of time to become more explosive. he did as good a job as you could ask of him last year, and was one of the few defensive players to have several positive games in the UFRs (scores and comments designed specifically to analyze how each player did by reviewing every play, all done by Brian)
EDIT: Read Magnus's blog. Answered own questions. In its place, I offer melon cat:
... in a fight?
Melon cat or hover cat?
Neither. Piano Cat would play them both off.
if we are going with a 3-3-5 defense. It could possibly cut down on the big run and pass plays?
There's a huge difference between switching near the end of the season (when you've presumably practiced it relatively little compared to your base defense) and using it from from spring onward...
Yeah, they switched to the 3-3-5 for ONE WEEK late in the 2008 season. We really shouldn't judge by that game alone, since it was an experiment. Having an entire off-season to implement a defense or a package is a little better situation.
And Michigan didn't have the right personnel for it. The key to a 3-3-5 is the NT and if your NT is under 300 pounds you're in trouble. The NT needs to eat 2 blockers (center and guard) allowing the MLB free access to the RB. If the center or guard can handle the NT by himself then the other lineman can get to the 2nd line and block the MLB. That leaves a huge hole up the middle and if you have a fast RB you can split the deep safeties (or run up and out at the diagonal between a deep safety and a CB). The key is the NT and if he can take 2 guys with him the MLB is sitting their clogging up the middle, which forces the RB outside, which then allows the speed (5 DBs) to swarm.
Has been playing well too and will see a lot of playing time.
I am under the impression that it isn't going to be completely new to us as you mention the 2008 switch and also this quote from the front page.
"Michigan used the 3-3-5 from time to time last year, most prominently in the Ohio State game when it was an effective base set that shut down Ohio State's I-formation"
That, plus this team has been practicing the majority of the spring in this formation. These guys know their responsibilities. We just need them to execute on the field.
The fan in me will follow whatever this team/staff does and assume that whatever decisions are made are the best options for the guys we have in there. I agree that it's more about he Jimmy's and the Joe's than the X's and the O's. However, the rational part of me is screaming, "Another new defense???" - I don't know what is really going on, but don't you have to give your schemes a chance to gel in the minds of your players? I feel a bit schitzo about this topic becuase I have so many conflicting thoughts. If they get Dorsey, Woolfolk, and Turner all playing at the same time out there at Safety, it could become a ballhawking secondary. Then again, great football players react on defense, and bad ones have to think and then move. How can our defensive players build up good instincts if they keep changing responsabilities every year? I can't really articulate how I truly feel about the change, but I hope it's for the best.
Your points about the pro teams are interesting, but those teams also have or have had some absolute studs (all-pros) on the dline. I think UM has some solid dlineman but at this point nothing that makes me think 2010 All-American.
That being said, I could not care less what they run (4-3, 3-4, 3-3-5, 2-9) just as long as they have a decent defense.
Well, one thing about those Steelers defensive linemen I mentioned:
They're well respected because people know they're good, but not necessarily because they rack up all kinds of tackles and sacks. Their job is to take up blockers and be disruptive. The ones who are supposed to make plays are the linebackers and strong safeties.
Yeah this is key. I remember the Michigan 97 defense did this too. The d-line didn't put up huge numbers but they were respected because they made sure the LBs had nobody on them. As a result our linebackers that year racked up tackles.
If any Michigan D-lineman has near 10 sacks then something isn't right. I know Graham last year had near 10 but the scheme is different. The 3 d-lineman (RVB, Campbell, and Martin) need to clog the gaps first, then worry about the RB/QB. As a result none of these guys should have big days (10 tackles/2+ sacks) unless we abandon this scheme, we are playing an awful o-line, or a team decides to throw 80% of their offensive plays. If the d-line does their job then Roh, Mouton, and the box safeties should have huge years (75-120 tackles and 4-8 sacks).
'97 was a very odd year in that all three defensive linemen (Glen Steele, Josh Williams, and James Hall) were future NFL players. They were much better than the no-name "pluggers" usually thrown out there in the BoMoCarr years (Norman Heuer, anyone?). That changed near the end of Carr's run with the arrival of Gabe Watson, who was the first dominant DT in many years (when he bothered to show up, anyway).
I think it was pretty normal for us to churn out NFL-bound D-linemen at the time. It was more that our DL recruiting in subsequent years fell off.
BTW, don't forget Rob Renes, our NT that year. Hall was technically a LB.
I agree with Magnus on this one in that I don’t think this is all that big a deal. I’m sure he’s relieved about that. I don’t know very much but, from what I’ve read, it sounds like this could work out given the make up the team this year. Obviously the scheme has its advantages and disadvantages.
To the good: it’s supposed to be simple to implement, versatile, get’s athleticism onto the field, provides pressure from many different positions without creating a huge hole in the D, and guards against the big play.
I think the simplicity is huge because of the fact that it’s a new enough system that it could get confusing as well as the fact that a lot of the recruits we’ll need to play early are not on campus yet; hopefully they can pick up the base D quickly and start refining technique and the finer points right away.
The versatility will come in handy for making in-game and week-to-week adjustments. So that should help the young guys spool up quickly and not have to remember different assignments; the game plan should work out the necessary adjustments as opposed to relying on player experience and specific coaching points for a particular opponent.
Hopefully the multi-directional pressure and athleticism will combine with an emphasis on sound fundamentals (read: sure tackling) to produce more TFLs and improve our TO margin.
As for guarding against play, all I can say is: yes please. I can see this as good and bad in that while it forces other team to play mistake free for a long stretches, it has the distinct sound of a prevent D. It could get annoying if our blitzes don’t get home in time.
To the bad, it sounds like you’re screwed if the players don’t identify and shift correctly; that doesn’t mesh well with an overall lack of experience but hopefully the simplicity should leave more time for drilling and coaching.
Also the over aggressiveness could lead to containment issues or backside gashers. Again, I think coaching could mitigate some of this concern.
Finally, the biggest weakness is what many have mentioned already: power running teams and double TE formations. That means Wisconsin and OSU for the former and Iowa and MSU for the latter. Here again, versatility should go a long way to neutralizing this issue and, in MSU’s case at least, they typically shoot themselves in the foot enough that we should be able to make them pay for those mistakes.
Again, I’d like to hear from some coaches on this because, all of this is just from some reading I’ve done and while I think it makes sense, I have no idea how valid those strengths and weaknesses are.
The hope going into this season was that retaining our DC and scheme would lead to significant improvement in year 2. Now, that may be a complete pipe dream, but that's why some people (not I) are upset.
Since I don't really understand defensive schemes, I look at the players on the field and since the 3-3-5 keeps the same guys as last year's D, I'm fine with it.
I don't have a coach's knowlege of football, but I did notice that the Saints played some 3-3-5 in the Super Bowl. It worked out pretty well for them, IIRC. As more offenses start to spread the field, whether they are playing the spread option or just variations of the NFL "two-minute offense," the 3-3-5 should be more appropriate in more situations.
This team will be better than last year, and we will probably all be quite entertained by the end of the season by both sides of the ball.
What we were doing wasn't working. Will this? I sure hope so.
My gut tells this this won't work, but I am not on the field, I don't spend my life designing football defenses professionally, so I really hope they are right in doing this.
I love defenses that give flexibility. The zone blitz gained so much prevalence in part because it confused quarterbacks. Ends and Tackles started making INT's because the were standing where the QB never bothered to look. Uncertainty can create hesitation, happy feet, and trying to place the ball instead of throwing it. All of these are good for the D. When the field is full of folks who could be twisting, stunting, blitzing, dropping, or playing straight up the OC can't necessarily call plays against personnel groupings (4 wides v. 4 down, power v. 3 down, etc) and the QB has extra mental pressure put on him. Add to that the fact that bad decisions are more likely to become turnovers or even points and it's beautiful.
For reference, think of the punt block formation the Broncos successfully pulled on key third down stops two years ago. The QB and O Line had no way of knowing who was coming and who was dropping, since there were 9 guys within two yards of the LOS, all capable of blitzing or covering effectively.
That being said, I also love having speed on the field so that winged helmets can fly more quickly to the football. Having more speed on the field marginalizes the ability of the Offense to get wide. The effectiveness of the screen to the RB is minimized, since the athletes rushing the QB can more quickly reverse course and locate/track down the receiver.
Think like a junkie: the more speed, the better.
IMO, Michigan will more than likely run more of the 4-2-5 and the 3-3-5 depending on which team we face. Your Purdue, Minn., Northwesterns would get the 3-3-5 look where as O. State, Michigan St. and Penn. St. would get more of a 4-2-5 look.
When watching TCU or Nebraska's defense, the 4-2-5 works really good, but has some holes for spread type offenses. When Rich was in the Big East, the 3-3-5 worked well because almost everyone ran the spread in that conference.
With the class that we had I was almost betting we were gonna be converting to this defense full time, we have ALOT of athletes at DB coming in.
The biggest reason why we shouldn't freak out is it is just a package that they are adding to the mix for the Purdue and Illinois of the world, or anyone else that decides they want to spread it out on a given day.They are not running it exclusively. Sam Webb has mentioned it various times on his radio program that it was just a package, when people were calling in with mass hysteria on that program.
Now I'm not certain, but didn't Florida (the number 1 or 2 defense in the country last year) run a 3-3-5??
Or: How I learned to stop worrying and love the 3-3-5
(insert MS Paint here, I'm wise enough to leave that to the pros)
I see what you did there...and I like it.
My Simple worry is this...when Gerg arrived last year we were told he is the master of the 4-3 under defense and we spent all of last year for the most part implementing this defense. So now we are putting in a defense our D coordinator is unfamiliar with and has never used on a consistent basis in his career which has spanned, what 30 years? Freaking great! This is honestly the first time I have a real concern about this staff, I am still confident things work out, but putting in a new defense for the umpteenth year in a row seems like a joke to me...
The only thing is it's the easiest to teach and for alot of new freshman coming that we want to contribute, it is the easiest to learn aswell.
We taught the 4-2-5 and 3-3-5 to our little league football team in 9 practices and they did very well with it. You as a player have 1 or 2 assignment and it allows you to play faster but gives you alot disguises and crazy blitz packages you can put in.
but I think there is simply way too much anxiety and stress about defensive scheme. Our issues on D have mainly revolved around tackling (or lack thereof), lack of talented depth (and depth could possibly explain poor tackling late in games) and mental lapses in the back seven. How much of this stuff can be attributed to scheme? Not much, IME.
When we win the Rose Bowl, you will all forget we ever had this conversation.