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The Importance of NT in tampa blue and with all we signed, only Mookie Johnson can fill it


bayone
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ONLY AN EXCERPT OF LONG ARTICLE

Chicago, Tennessee, Detroit, and now, apparently, New England understand how these strategies work if one wishes to understand why the Colts are still very thin at the defensive tackle spot despite the additions of players like Tommie Harris and Drake Nevis.

Joe Dolan of FantasyGuru.com recently wrote an outstanding explanation on how basic NFL defensive alignments work, and he dedicated a good portion of his article to 'Tampa-2' defensive line fronts.

4-3 Fronts – In the early part of this century, Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin popularized something that had been around since the 1980s: the "under front" in their Tampa-2 defense (which we’ll get to a little more in depth in a little bit). Essentially, the under front shifted the entire defensive line away from the strong side of the offensive line. In the under front, one defensive tackle is shaded directly over the center (a nose tackle), while another, more athletic interior lineman – the undertackle or 3-technique – lines up in the B gap in a more traditional DE position (think Warren Sapp). Then, the team’s best pass rusher (think Simeon Rice) is free to rush from the extreme edge of the offensive line. If each player maintains his responsibility, run plays can be filtered to the LBs.

.

The "over front," which shifts the line toward the strong side of the offense, is also common to see in today’s NFL. The idea is to create mismatches and get athletic players in their best position to succeed. It’s an example of the constantly changing NFL in that coaches will tweak the traditional 4-3 to best reflect the talent that’s on the field. As an undertackle, more athletic defensive tackles like Detroit’s Ndamukong Suhcan overpower slower offensive guards and put up huge sack numbers from the interior line. While different coaches do different things with their 4-3 fronts, the important thing to remember is they’re all trying to create mismatches. That’s how games are won in today’s NFL.

They made a big trade in 2006 for Booger McFarland, who was the gold standard of Tampa-2 nose tackles back then. No coincidence that Indy won a Super Bowl that year. Their run defense in the playoffs was dominant. Booger blew out his knee in camp the following year, and his career was finished.

So, when look at this roster, outside of Mookie, the Colts have no one who can effectively play the NT spot in the Tampa-2. Should Mookie get hurt (and odds are, he will), teams will simply bash the football down the Colts throat by exploiting their weakness at the NT spot.

Lack of depth here is a big reason why kooks like me are SCREAMING that the Colts sign Pat Williams, formerly of the Vikings.

Like Booger McFarland, Williams is considered gold standard of Tampa-2 NTs. He's a free agent right now, and at 38-years-old, he's likely looking for reserve role on a championship caliber team that plays Tampa-2.

[uPDATE] I neglected to mention Ricardo Mathews, DT for the Colts at 6'3, 295. He is playing a lot of NT in camp. So, maybe he can do it, but I have my doubts.

A Stampede Blue Article

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I've been saying the same thing for months now. I read that article just the other day, in fact. I thought it was quite informative. Sapp was a GREAT athlete, but his numbers were b/c of Booger taking double teams at the NT position. That's Exactly why I made a thread for Pat Williams to come here and take Vet Min. Because, unlike others, I see the importance of the NT position in our 4-3 D and it hasn't been filled (properly) since McFarland had to retire.

Good post Bayone

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I've been saying the same thing for months now. I read that article just the other day, in fact. I thought it was quite informative. Sapp was a GREAT athlete, but his numbers were b/c of Booger taking double teams at the NT position. That's Exactly why I made a thread for Pat Williams to come here and take Vet Min. Because, unlike others, I see the importance of the NT position in our 4-3 D and it hasn't been filled (properly) since McFarland had to retire.

Good post Bayone

Months??? I've been saying it for yrs.. The Colts since Dungy came here have been very weak at the NT posistion. Aside from very short stints with Cory Simon and Booger, the Colts haven't had anybody that could handle the posistion. Mookie is an ok player but he should be a backup to a much more dominant player.

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The three of you have my vote for "He/She Gets it!"....Our ONLY True NT is Mookie. Btw, the cover two has been around way before the 80's. It is the prevent defense that most teams utilize at the end of games.

According to Dungy (and he should know) it's a variation of on the system Chuck Knoll and Bud Carson employed during the "Steel Curtain" days.

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According to Dungy (and he should know) it's a variation of on the system Chuck Knoll and Bud Carson employed during the "Steel Curtain" days.

Yep, that's where he learned it in the 70's when he was a Steeler and it is pretty much the prevent defense that most teams play at the end of games since then.

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Months??? I've been saying it for yrs.. The Colts since Dungy came here have been very weak at the NT posistion. Aside from very short stints with Cory Simon and Booger, the Colts haven't had anybody that could handle the posistion. Mookie is an ok player but he should be a backup to a much more dominant player.

I agree totally !! Mookie is an OK player, but he should be a backup for a Dominant player. The NT position is VITAL to how the front 7 play in the Tampa-2. I would think that the FO would have figured that out and replenished that position when McFarland had to retire.

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Well we better get Pat Williams then. But can we afford him?

I was hoping Tommie Harris was the answer, or Nevis, now this has me worried. We need a good NT. :(

Only thing we can hope for is AJ develops into the best nose tackle ever signed off a practice squad unless we make a move or have already signed a guy I'm unaware of that can fill the role of Booger's one year rental, and subsequent Super Bowl win. The insertion of Rob Morris for Gardner (still have nightmares of him getting run over, and for the life of me can't understand why Rob rotted on the bench when he was an upgrade the whole time for us outside), and Bob Sanders' timely return, both were key as well. That year was magic the way everything aligned. Almost like it happened because technically it couldn't. The worst run defense ever statistically couldn't win the Super Bowl and shut down good running teams in the process could they?

I'm hoping Simms can fill the Morris role, only better. Hopefully that will narrow the effect of the talent gap at strong safety between Bullit and Sanders. Bullit is adequate, but will never be near the level of a healthy Bob Sanders. Essentially Simms is our Bob Sanders now. A great pick-up. All we can hope for is a dominant defensive tackle rotation. If we can keep AJ healthy by playing him, Moala, or Harris on run downs, and sub in Nevis on passing downs, we could see improvement. I expect Harris to demand triple teams at some point this year like he did against the Vikings week 16 of 2009. If he can return to form, we have a pro bowl caliber defensive tackle. That will get you a long way at the other tackle spot, and even the end spots will have it easier because he will be demanding a double team or there will be sacks, or tackles for loss.

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Guest BlueShoe
So, when look at this roster, outside of Mookie, the Colts have no one who can effectively play the NT spot in the Tampa-2. Should Mookie get hurt (and odds are, he will), teams will simply bash the football down the Colts throat by exploiting their weakness at the NT spot.

I disagree.

I think Moala is going to play NG soon.

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I disagree.

I think Moala is going to play NG soon.

No thank you. I don't understand why anyone would take a player who does a good job at his natural position and try to turn him into something else. Moala is a very good three-tech tackle. Trying to convert him to nose is a mistake.

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Wow...it is so not the same, or even similar to the prevent defense. lol..straight up L.O.L.

I think he meant prevent-the-big-play defense, not the prevent defense where all LBs and DBs drop into coverage. Tampa 2 is good at preventing the big play because of the 2 deep safeties. If the other team is on their own 35, down by 6 with 35 seconds left and no times outs, any coach would be glad to give them a 7-12 yard gain through a pass in the underneath zone rather leave the deep zones vulnerable.

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How unhappy a person do you think Big Blue Shoe is?

He spends a great deal of his life blogging about the Colts and Polian, both of which only seem to be a source of misery for him.

I'm not sure what his issue with the front office is, but just about everything he writes has to put them down somehow. It's a shame because StampedeBlue has a lot of content and the other writers seem to be pretty decent. I can't comment on his articles anymore because I'm banned. And if you ever read my posts here or other places, I'm never abusive or insult anyone.

As far as his article, there's some truth but what people should take from it is that the type of player we need for that position is very rare. It's not about being 300lbs, it's about having the talent.

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in 2009 we had Antonio Johnson (started played in 15 games), Muir (16 games), Kenyata Dawson (12), Eric Foster (16, Raheem Brock (16) and the team went 14-2 (should have been 16-0) and went to the super bowl. I think the DT rotation we have this year could be WAY better. I love when a guy who blogs thinks he knows how to field a team... very funny to me. There is a reason he is a blogger and not running a NFL franchise. Give me Polian any day of the week.

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Posted Yesterday, 11:38 PM

jskinnz, on 08 August 2011 - 10:56 PM, said:

How unhappy a person do you think Big Blue Shoe is?

He spends a great deal of his life blogging about the Colts and Polian, both of which only seem to be a source of misery for him.

I'm not sure what his issue with the front office is, but just about everything he writes has to put them down somehow. It's a shame because StampedeBlue has a lot of content and the other writers seem to be pretty decent. I can't comment on his articles anymore because I'm banned. And if you ever read my posts here or other places, I'm never abusive or insult anyone.

As far as his article, there's some truth but what people should take from it is that the type of player we need for that position is very rare. It's not about being 300lbs, it's about having the talent.

I have been asked ,, not sure by whom to note above my link if its a stampede blue article so members can be prepared for controversy or just not read it

So I did & understand & agree Big Blue has it in Vs the organization but at times makes some good points

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Look moala is coming into his third year.ithink many of us can agree he improved a lot last year.plus he wasnt drafted to be warren sapp..he was drafted for the booker role..he was a monster playing the run at usc..plus hes got that samoan strength ...u watch with nevis and harris as our "sapp" role moala will be our run plug...and besides size isnt whats important most 3-4 nt are huge but that doesnt make them good.I belive jay ratliff of dallas is the smallest 3-4 nt but hes also one of the best..know we play 4-3..just saying

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I think he meant prevent-the-big-play defense, not the prevent defense where all LBs and DBs drop into coverage. Tampa 2 is good at preventing the big play because of the 2 deep safeties. If the other team is on their own 35, down by 6 with 35 seconds left and no times outs, any coach would be glad to give them a 7-12 yard gain through a pass in the underneath zone rather leave the deep zones vulnerable.

Yes, thanks Super for clarifying and it is very similar though I am glad I made Ogre laugh :highfive:

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Look moala is coming into his third year.ithink many of us can agree he improved a lot last year.plus he wasnt drafted to be warren sapp..he was drafted for the booker role..he was a monster playing the run at usc..plus hes got that samoan strength ...u watch with nevis and harris as our "sapp" role moala will be our run plug...and besides size isnt whats important most 3-4 nt are huge but that doesnt make them good.I belive jay ratliff of dallas is the smallest 3-4 nt but hes also one of the best..know we play 4-3..just saying

Personally I agree Meola is getting better, hope u r right, buit as was [pointed out hes a good 3 tech

u can play just with 3 tech players & no NT but gap control, execution etc is trickier & harder but can be done, I am hoping Nevis steps up early & agree with help we got the D line should be better

for those interested

Pat Williams, DT

Walter Football (Williams ranks 2.5 stars out of 4)

A two-down run-stuffer, Pat Williams still got it done this season despite playing at 38 years old. He'll try to help a contender.

For Walter Football, Williams is their highest rated DT still on the open market. From Stampede Blue:

Due to his 14 years in the league, Williams might just be wanting to hook up with a team and play a role, possibly as a back-up. What is looming over Williams, and the likely reason why no one has signed him, isthe Star Caps case. I won't go into boring details, but it seems as if Williams will indeed be suspended when he signs with a team. The suspension will likely be four games, but it could be reduced.

Williams recently stated he would like to play two more seasons. The Vikings play a very similar defensive system to the Colts.

Blue States

I still hold out hope the Colts will sign Williams. He is exactly what they need at the DT position in terms of quality depth in the rotation.

again Stampde blue but quote from Walter football

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MORE FROM BLUE , all of below is from him

Pat Williams. formerly of the Minnesota Vikings

He's one half of the famed 'Williams Wall' that anchored the Vikings defense for roughly six years. At 38 years old, he isn't the player he once was. But, if ever a player personified 'durability,' it's Pat Williams. In six seasons in Minnesota, he missed just two regular season games. At 6'3, 320 pounds, the man is a mountain to move. He doesn't get sacks and he doesn't collapse the pocket.

What he does is prevent runningbacks from advancing.

Due to his 14 years in the league, Williams might just be wanting to hook up with a team and play a role, possibly as a back-up. What is looming over Williams, and the likely reason why no one has signed him, is the Star Caps case. I won't go into boring details, but it seems as if Williams will indeed be suspended when he signs with a team. The suspension will likely be four games, but it could be reduced.

Williams recently stated he would like to play two more seasons. The Vikings play a very similar defensive system to the Colts.

***

For me, bringing in someone like Williams makes the most sense. The Colts need depth and toughness at the DT spot, particularly the overtackle spot, which is similar to a nose tackle. Williams excelled in this spot in Minnesota, and with the Colts he could help the team by providing solid depth and leadership behind Mookie Johnson. Since this is a move to shore up much needed depth, a four-game suspension because of the Star Caps case could be handled. Indy might also be desirable for Williams because, at the end of his career, working in a rotation could keep him fresh for late in the year.

Again, these options are just that, options. Like many of you, I think the Colts need to so something to even the playing field. Adding a few more low risk, high reward free agents could do that

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ONLY AN EXCERPT OF LONG ARTICLE

Chicago, Tennessee, Detroit, and now, apparently, New England understand how these strategies work if one wishes to understand why the Colts are still very thin at the defensive tackle spot despite the additions of players like Tommie Harris and Drake Nevis.

Joe Dolan of FantasyGuru.com recently wrote an outstanding explanation on how basic NFL defensive alignments work, and he dedicated a good portion of his article to 'Tampa-2' defensive line fronts.

4-3 Fronts – In the early part of this century, Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin popularized something that had been around since the 1980s: the "under front" in their Tampa-2 defense (which we’ll get to a little more in depth in a little bit). Essentially, the under front shifted the entire defensive line away from the strong side of the offensive line. In the under front, one defensive tackle is shaded directly over the center (a nose tackle), while another, more athletic interior lineman – the undertackle or 3-technique – lines up in the B gap in a more traditional DE position (think Warren Sapp). Then, the team’s best pass rusher (think Simeon Rice) is free to rush from the extreme edge of the offensive line. If each player maintains his responsibility, run plays can be filtered to the LBs.

.

The "over front," which shifts the line toward the strong side of the offense, is also common to see in today’s NFL. The idea is to create mismatches and get athletic players in their best position to succeed. It’s an example of the constantly changing NFL in that coaches will tweak the traditional 4-3 to best reflect the talent that’s on the field. As an undertackle, more athletic defensive tackles like Detroit’s Ndamukong Suhcan overpower slower offensive guards and put up huge sack numbers from the interior line. While different coaches do different things with their 4-3 fronts, the important thing to remember is they’re all trying to create mismatches. That’s how games are won in today’s NFL.

They made a big trade in 2006 for Booger McFarland, who was the gold standard of Tampa-2 nose tackles back then. No coincidence that Indy won a Super Bowl that year. Their run defense in the playoffs was dominant. Booger blew out his knee in camp the following year, and his career was finished.

So, when look at this roster, outside of Mookie, the Colts have no one who can effectively play the NT spot in the Tampa-2. Should Mookie get hurt (and odds are, he will), teams will simply bash the football down the Colts throat by exploiting their weakness at the NT spot.

Lack of depth here is a big reason why kooks like me are SCREAMING that the Colts sign Pat Williams, formerly of the Vikings.

Like Booger McFarland, Williams is considered gold standard of Tampa-2 NTs. He's a free agent right now, and at 38-years-old, he's likely looking for reserve role on a championship caliber team that plays Tampa-2.

[uPDATE] I neglected to mention Ricardo Mathews, DT for the Colts at 6'3, 295. He is playing a lot of NT in camp. So, maybe he can do it, but I have my doubts.

A Stampede Blue Article

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GOOD READ

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How unhappy a person do you think Big Blue Shoe is?

He spends a great deal of his life blogging about the Colts and Polian, both of which only seem to be a source of misery for him.

Exactly. He's writing an article about some meaty stuff, and still throws a dig in at Polian, baseless and arbitrary:

In 2009, Antonio Johnson solidified the role of 'overtackle' in the Colts Tampa-2. However, last year, for reasons we really still don't know (injuries? coach's doghouse? stupidity? edict from Bill Polian?) the Colts sat Mookie for much of the year used Daniel Muir as the overtackle and Fili Moala as the 3-tech.

How does that make any sense? AJ was the best nose tackle for the Colts in 2009, but Bill Polian instructed the coaching staff to nail him to the bench for the first half of 2010? For no reason? Couldn't be injuries, couldn't be because he wasn't in shape at the beginning of the season... No, it had to be an(other) attempt by Bill Polian to sabotage the team he's been running for over a decade by taking their best nose tackle off the field, for no reason in particular. Just because.

I think it's a shtick at this point. It's BBS' gimmick that has to be woven into all of his articles, his calling card. He doesn't really believe it. He's just doing it for kicks and giggles.

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