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 Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap)

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kirklandrules

kirklandrules

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PostSubject: Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap)   Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap) EmptyFri Feb 19, 2016 11:22 am

Moving a discussion that was popping up in another thread that was intended for a discussion on the secondary. The back and forth was focused on what defensive line scheme the Steelers employ, if it's effective and if we, as fans, think they should change.

@steelers5895 wrote:
so they are going to 1 gap and drafting and signing for 1 gap and as they have been doing it our defense has gotten progressively worse? where is the logic in that?  

I would say their d-line played better in 2015 than they did in the past 3 years. Guess that's an opinion, but I would say their run stopping and pressure generated was better. Avg yards per run: 2015 3.8; 2014 4.4; 2013 4.3. Only their secondary has gotten worse, which really has nothing to do with what gap assignment the big boys are running.

@steelers5895 wrote:
you don't draft and hold onto a player for goal line and short yardage in mind which is 2-5 plays a game.  that's a waste of a game day roster spot.  They were hoping McCullers could be that big bodies 2 gap DT.  he isn't.  

Uuuh, yes they do draft big players and hold onto them when they're running 1 gap. As I've stated a few times, you need big bodies for goalline, short yardage and obvious run situations in which they use the traditional 3-4 (again 25% of the game). Hence McCullers, a 6th round draft choice, and Thomas a lower paid FA are on the squad. And even in those short yardage situations, those big guys are almost certainly running 1 gap. The difference is they are much harder to push backwards and should be able to move the line of scrimmage backwards. There isn't a team in the NFL that doesn't have a "big" set on defense for stopping those critical situations ... you would lose too many games not stopping offenses in goalline and short yardage.

@steelers5895 wrote:
i'll believe they are transitioning to 1 gap if they don't address the DT with a big body.

They've already transitioned to 1 gap. Not sure what's keeping you from believing it. Cam Heyward was a 1 gapper in college. Stephon Tuitt was a 1 gapper in college. There's very few college teams running 2 gap technique we used to see Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton and Kimo van Oelhoffen run. Interestingly enough, I think players like Smith, Hampton and especially Keisel would have had huge careers had they run 1 gap because they were athletic enough to make plays in the backfield. But the original idea of 2 gap was to have the d-line tie up more than 1 offensive lineman while the LBs made plays. The reason the Steelers have moved away from 2 gap, IMO, is because after running that for 15+ years, the league was figuring out how to beat it (such as zone stretch blocking). Those schemes that worked well against the 2 gap defense aren't as effective against 1 gap because the d-lineman are shooting the gaps and getting into the backfield too fast to effectively run a zone stretch blocking scheme.

So, the front office (Colbert, et al), often criticized for sucking in the draft, found guys like Heyward and Tuitt who are big, but athletic enough to play 1 gap. The big issue facing the Steelers is that behind those guys, you don't have good depth to run 1 gap. Hence, the Steelers kept opponents from effectively running the ball most of the year and almost the entire game in Denver, only to see the two stud D-lineman too gassed to make a stop on one specific drive. I think Heyward played more defensive snaps than anyone else in the league. Too many games you could see him in the 4th quarter sucking wind as he lined up. Can't have that going forward. LT Walton, McLendon, McCullers, Thomas and anyone else they draft/pick up in FA need to step it up next year to help put this team into the SB.
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steelers5895
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PostSubject: Re: Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap)   Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap) EmptyFri Feb 19, 2016 11:39 am

Thank you for the detailed explanation. I'm not sure I agree but we can agree to disagree. I don't think, IMO it was a conscience decision, I think it was more lack of talent.
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El-Gonzo Jackson

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PostSubject: Re: Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap)   Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap) EmptyFri Feb 19, 2016 12:36 pm

Thought I might lend some basic info that might help the discussion or understanding of this topic.

2-Gap D lineman plays more of a read-and-react technique.  Has responsibility for 2 gaps and for instance if is lined up in B-gap he will read..."if O lineman blocks him out, he needs to lock out and maintain the gap"..."if O lineman reach blocks across him, defender needs to rip across his face and run to maintain the other gap".

1 gap lineman has responsibility for obviously the single gap.  If he is in the B gap, but on the OG outside shoulder, he has to be ready to engage the Guard if run one way, or be prepared to be blocked by the OT if running off tackle or outside.

1 gap schemes are often favored with the philosophy that D linemen and LB's will get upfield fast and make the RB have to chop step and cut.  When the RB stops running forward is when the defenders get to the tackle.  If an O lineman makes his block, the RB can often get to the secondary because the 2nd level defenders are responsible for a gap.

2 gap schemes with good D line that can manage 2 gaps will allow the ILB's to fill the gap the D lineman didn't occupy and make the tackle.  eg. if Keisel had B or C gap, then Farrior would scrape to the ballcarrier thru the C or B gap that Keisel didn't occupy.  I think a 2 gap system limits more big runs, but requires good smart football players to command their gap and read the blocks.  I think a 1 gap system just lets guys attack and accepts there will be some big runs the safety will need to tackle.
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El-Gonzo Jackson

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PostSubject: Re: Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap)   Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap) EmptyFri Feb 19, 2016 12:44 pm

BTW, zone blocking was developed to neutralize the blitz. It gives the back the option to choose his hole instead of running to a designated hole.

Steelers ran a 2 gap, then each defender has a gap which is no different in the run game than the 1 gap technique. IMO, a 2 gap system was going to limit the longer runs as the ILB was reading and flowing to the correct gap, when in a 1 gap they are responsible for their gap first and then run to the back.

A 1 gap system may end up with quicker ILB's like Shazier, Spence flowing from their weakside position and making tackles for loss....but also missing some tackles in the backfield. Its more of a risk/reward system, but if you have stout D linemen and OLB's that can set the edge, it works for a guy like Shazier.
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kirklandrules

kirklandrules

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PostSubject: Re: Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap)   Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap) EmptyFri Feb 19, 2016 1:39 pm

Another great post Gonz, many thanks!

I didn't realize the zone blocking scheme was designed specifically to neutralize the blitz. I assumed it was designed to maximize cut-back runner's abilities to locate the hole and cut back through it. Regardless, zone blocking with cut-blocks on the d-lineman created havoc for 2 gap defenders. To begin with, even without the cut-blocks, a zone blocking scheme required d-lineman to keep 2 gap responsibility while running parallel to the line of scrimmage ... very tough to do. The Steelers defenders were actually good about maintaining their gap responsibilities, but couldn't do much once teams began to cut-block. I blame the cut-block for preventing Big Snack from having another 5 years in the league (might not be a true statement, but I'm sticking with it!).
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El-Gonzo Jackson

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PostSubject: Re: Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap)   Defensive Line Scheme by Dr Seuss (1 Gap, 2 Gap, Red Gap, Blue Gap) EmptyFri Feb 19, 2016 4:41 pm

@kirklandrules wrote:
Another great post Gonz, many thanks!

I didn't realize the zone blocking scheme was designed specifically to neutralize the blitz. I assumed it was designed to maximize cut-back runner's abilities to locate the hole and cut back through it. Regardless, zone blocking with cut-blocks on the d-lineman created havoc for 2 gap defenders. To begin with, even without the cut-blocks, a zone blocking scheme required d-lineman to keep 2 gap responsibility while running parallel to the line of scrimmage ... very tough to do. The Steelers defenders were actually good about maintaining their gap responsibilities, but couldn't do much once teams began to cut-block. I blame the cut-block for preventing Big Snack from having another 5 years in the league (might not be a true statement, but I'm sticking with it!).

Yes, think of a power I or split backfield with traditional man blocking. DC and ILB does some film study and blitzes the correct gap, then piles up the run. With zone, the backer blitzed and the RB just chose the other gap the ILB wasn't blitzing thru. The "rushing lane" isn't defined by the play, its where the back reads the open hole.

Outside zone is the tradition "stretch play" and there is normally a "cutback lane" created on the back side in case there is nothing front side and yes, those RB's that can pick a hole with good vision can normally cut back there if needed. Inside is another slightly different concept.

Outside zone on a 2 gap 3-4 isn't that bad. The D lineman just gets on a shoulder of the O lineman, takes him upfield and lets the LB clean up the run, or he sheds and does it himself. Think of SBXL, there is a Seahawk stretch play left and Kimo just takes the future HOF LT Jones upfield and blows up the whole play where Alexander gets TFL.

Those teams that cut below the knees and back of legs were just douchebag teams, coaches and players. IMO, real men on the interior line maul and brawl mano a mano. They lacked balls....or they were deflated.
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