New Head Coach Eric Mangini and new Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan have me excited about our

defense. With promises to "attack" and to be a hard working unit coming from Rob Ryan, one of the few tactical changes we have heard about has been the addition of the 46 defense to the Cleveland Browns' repertoire. Rob Ryan's father, Buddy Ryan, ran the 46 with great success, most notably with the 1985 Chicago Bears. Buddy Ryan is credited as the creator of the 46 defense. When looking at the 46 defense, it will be important to keep a few things in mind. Theoretically, every player on the field can attempt to do any number of things on a given play after the snap. They can blitz shooting through a gap, they can attempt to take up any number of blockers, they can drop into any number of zone coverages, and they can play man to man defense on any of the five position players, etc. This goes for any formation, not just the 46. Our coaches seem intent on turning this theory into reality. A true "hybrid" defense is one in which multiple players are not only assigned a wide variety of responsibilities, but are actually versatile enough to do everything asked of them and to do those things well. The 46 is a tool in the arsenal of a defensive playcaller. It is just like any other formation in that it has strengths and weaknesses. Without creative and brave play design and playcalling, and without talented, intelligent and disciplined players, those strengths are negated and those weaknesses highlighted.

In Part I of this survey of the 46, I will discuss the 46 alignment against a normal Iformation offense with 2 wide receivers, a tight end, and two running backs (either one RB and one FB or two of either). To counter, a normal 46 defense uses 4 down linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 safeties, and 2 cornerbacks. The 46 begins with a big shift of the defensive line to the "weakside" (non-TE side) of the field. Right End: The RE lines up way wide at what some coaches call the "9-technique". This should be at least 1 yard wide (horizontally) of the weakside offensive tackle (here, the Left Tackle). Desired Skills: speed rushing, some coverage ability NFL ideal: Dwight Freeney, Colts Probable Brown playing the position: Kamerion Wimbley Left End:

The LE lines up much more like a DT than a DE. He begins head-up over (directly in front of) the strongside guard (here, the Right Guard). Desired Skills: strength, power, explosion. Ability to be an effective rusher in a small area and to push the pocket needed. Ability to stunt around other defensive linemen required for optimal blitzing. Zone coverage ability a plus but not needed. Probably at least 290lbs. NFL ideal: Haloti Ngata, Ravens Probable Brown playing the position: Robaire Smith Left Defensive Tackle/Nose Tackle: The Left Defensive Tackle lines up directly over the Center. Desired Skills: same as Left End, but bigger. Can sacrifice some mobility for strength/size. Probably at least 320lbs and strong. NFL ideal: Shaun Rogers, Probable Brown playing the position: Shaun Rogers Right Defensive Tackle: The Right Defensive Tackle lines up directly over the weakside offensive guard (here, the Left Guard). Desired Skills: same as Left End NFL ideal: Sedrick Ellis, Saints or Kevin Williams, Vikings, Probable Brown playing the position: Corey Williams

So, the line should look like this:

which is why the change in names occurs.Now that the defensive line has shifted to the weakside of the play. or. Desired Skills: Same as the "Jack". where do you think the linebackers are going? Yep. Ravens or Patrick Willis. with his outside foot on the inside foot of the tight end. some blitzing ability. Having two guys with identical skills makes your defense more unpredictable. It wouldn't make sense to call a linebacker on the left of the formation a "right outside linebacker". having two with different sets of skills makes your defense more versatile as a whole. Chargers Probable Brown playing the position: David Veikune "Middle" Linebacker--The "Mike": The third linebacker--the "Mike" linebacker--lines up about 4 yards off the line of scrimmage. NFL ideal: Ray Lewis. they are shifting dramatically to the strong side of the play. They shift so much. that the Outside Linebackers are no longer called the "Sam" and "Will" (strongside and weakside. speed NFL ideal: DeMarcus Ware. and the "Will" linebacker changes his name to "Charlie". coverage. Desired Skills: Mike: tackling. The artist formerly known as the "Sam" linebacker is called a "Jack" linebacker in the 46. Cowboys Probable Brown playing the position: David Bowens "Right" Outside Linebacker--The "Charlie": The "Charlie" linebacker lines up right next to the "Jack" on the line of scrimmage. coverage. speed. in fact. with his inside foot on the outside foot of the tight end. intelligence. run-stopping ability. the 46 looks like this: . play-reading. The positioning of these two "outside" linebackers means that the tight end will have a difficult time getting a free release off the line of scrimmage if he isn't staying in to block. "Left" Outside Linebacker--The "Jack": The "Jack" linebacker lines up on the line of scrimmage. alternately left and right) linebackers. NFL ideal: Shaun Phillips. strength. in front of the strong side offensive tackle. 49ers Probable Brown playing the position: D'Qwell Jackson So with the LBs added. Desired Skills: pass rushing.

Ability to hold up in man coverage like a CB a definite plus. NFL ideal: Ed Reed. some blitzing ability. Needs to be a good actor. Broncos (via 3-5 years ago) Probable Brown playing the position: Abe Elam "Weak" or "Free" Safety: The weakside safety lines up about 8-10 yards off the line of scrimmage. Should be a good actor. He walks up to 4 or so yards off the line of scrimmage (even with the Mike LB) over the weakside offensive tackle. the better. horizontally speaking. Ravens Probable Brown playing the position: Brodney Pool . coverage."Strong" Safety: The strong safety in a 46 plays in a spot traditionally occupied by a linebacker. ball-hawking. Steelers or Brian Dawkins. NFL ideal: Troy Polamalu. Desired Skills: "centerfielder". coverage. tackling. play-reading ability. and can be anywhere from the center to the weakside offensive tackle. The more versatile this player is. Desired Skills: tackling.

Cornerbacks: The cornerbacks line up 7 or 8 yards off the line of scrimmage. Desired Skills: coverage. If this is the case (and in the vast majority of cases even when it isn't the case). Hitting ability and run stopping a plus. corners will try to remain inside the receiver to force the receiver outside. Broncos Probable Brown playing the position: Rod Hood and Eric Wright . 7 yard "out" route). This allows DBs to use the sideline "as the 12th defender" to make potential receiving area much smaller. and they need to be in position to get inside of the wide receiver in front of them. and forces the QB to plant and step into his throw (and hopefully a rush). NFL ideal: Nnamdi Asomugha. especially the ability to hold up one on one vs. It is common to see cornerbacks in man-to-man coverage "on an island" (with no help) in a 46. Raiders or Champ Bailey. gives the DBs an opportunity to break up the pass. It also forces throws that will be in the air longer (think 7 yard "in" route vs. a WR.

Even if the players that become the RE. T. Also. trading a strong safety (who the offense should be able to block 1-on-1 with a running back) for a rush linebacker (who the offense shouldn't be able block 1-on-1 with a running back) and putting an extra player's hand on the ground is an indication that a whole lot of man is going to be coming at the QB after the snap. Putting more potential pass rushers at the line of scrimmage is one of the main changes from the 3-4 or 4-3 formations to the 46 formation. Since different players do different things well (say. For example. Brandon McDonald's relatively good coverage and poor ability to shed blockers) the 46's changes in player positioning give the offense a different "look". and Sam represented here by letters W. it will come very quickly. Ted. and the Jack are all going to blitz after the snap anyway. Doing this implies to the offense that a rush is coming and that if it does. the Charley. Shaun Rogers' ability to beat blockers and poor coverage ability vs. compare and contrast the full 46 formation above with a common 3-4 alignment with the SS as the 8th man in the box.Considerations More pass rushers.or 7-step drop. (side note: the linebackers in this 3-4 are named Will. A true hybrid defense would be able to show the offense this kind of look and still drop 8 or 9 players . one additional player has his hand on the ground in a 46. and S from left to right). closer to the line of scrimmage The 46 isn't a huge change from more common defenses because of where the players line up (with the exception that in the 46. M. Mike. In the 46. there is almost always only one safety deep before the snap). putting them all at the line means if they do blitz they are going to be that much closer to the QB as he plants to throw on a 5. The players are aligned in the exact same spots! The difference is which players are where.

once the offense has no idea what to expect--the defense has the advantage. When one safety is deep and the other is in the box.into coverage. a defense is "showing" a Cover-1 or Cover-3 shell. 8 men in the box and showing a Cover-1/Cover-3 shell I alluded to another important thing about the 46 earlier: there is only one safety deep. Once an offense isn't expecting what the defense is about to do--or potentially even better. It is pretty easy to see how a defense would settle in to either after the snap: Cover-1 Cover-3 .

just because the 46 gives a more aggressive "look" does not mean that the defense will play aggressively after the snap.If a defense stays predictable and only utilizes a Cover-1 or Cover-3 shell from the 46. the quarterback will know what to expect after the snap. From any given "look". That's bad news for the defense because the quarterback then does not have to read the defense after the snap. vs. So. the only limiting factor in a player's ability to complete any assignment is his speed (and sometimes strength. just because the 46 gives the offense a Cover-3 look does not mean a Cover-3 defense is coming. a smart and empowered QB can exploit that information by changing the play or a few routes that work well against the defense he knows is coming. i. and the defense loses precious seconds in the race between the quarterback attempting to deliver the ball and the pass rushers trying to sack him before he does. which should buy them time after the snap and allow their pass rushers slightly more time to get to the QB. Done effectively. even better. Similarly. though. A creative and brave defensive coordinator can run a lot of different coverages out of the 46. a defense can act like they will be in one coverage and then do something different. Additionally. Here are a few more complex coverages: Cover-2 . If they have versatile and skilled defensive players. the offensive line).e.

and more on how we can use the 46 today. . Here in Part II.Mixed Man/Zone Stay tuned for part II on the 46. I will address more of the defensive concepts related to the 46 and the Nickel 46 formation. including more "considerations" and how the 46 lines up against a 3 WR package. In Part I I broke down the "normal" 46 formation. and later in Part III I will cover some of the offensive innovations since the dominant '85 Bears' defense.

The offense can't block everyone: if the RG still pulls. bad down linemen directly over the offensive guards and the center. Less run blocking options One reason the T-N-T front poses problems for offenses is that it is pretty hard for a guard to pull effectively when there is a defensive lineman right in front of him. explosive. It was pretty genius. the defense changes the effectiveness of the play. In my understanding. By dropping the 8th man into the box and placing a defensive lineman directly over the RG. lined up over the Guard and he can overpower an offensive lineman. but it really doesn't matter what we call him. get in the backfield. the offense can account for every player in the box: they pull the RG to the left. He is big.A key area in the 46 is deep down in the trenches. the LE gets in the backfield to make the play: . the concept is the same. This "T-N-T front" (for tacklenose-tackle) can be explosive. Here. This defensive lineman should be ready to use the space vacated by the guard. I have called one of those "tackles" the left defensive end. Buddy Ryan was among the first in the NFL to put three big. the RB can run untouched into the secondary. and if they win their one on one matchups (a big "if"). and swallow a running back or a fullback whole. In the 46.

potentially because against a traditional 4-3 front they are uncovered and in position to get up to the second level to block linebackers (who are traditionally smaller and quicker than defensive linemen). the RE goes unblocked. the defense can strand the Center with no one to block. and only five offensive linemen. On this play. The 46 also has great potential for what I will refer to here as "selective overload". Centers are traditionally smaller than other offensive linemen. Also. if that DT/NT is fast enough to either at least kind of play zone coverage or to stunt around the LE or RDT. For example. if a QB knows that his center is isolated against a guy like Rogers. center trying to block Shaun Rogers! Even if Rogers can't get a hit on the QB.000ish lbs. Just imagine a 305lb. the Charlie goes unblocked. the "gotta get rid of the ball" clock in his head ticks a little faster. The potential to overload an offensive line in the 46 should be pretty clear: there are six defenders on the line of scrimmage. More on this in the next section. If the RT can make it over to handle the LE. in fact versatile enough to drop in to zone coverage and not be a complete liability. If no skill players stay in to block those six pass rushers (and the defense does indeed send all six). leaving the Center with .If the RG stays to block the LE. Selective overload occurs when a defense sends a number of pass rushers that the offense could potentially block (let's say five). Running up the middle against the 46 is tough because of the 1. lets take a look at that T-N-T front again. of man there to clog things up. the defense can potentially overload the offense with only four rushers. but does so such a way that a particular area of the line is outnumbered. Running outside can be tough because it is hard for guards and centers to pull. the NT drops in to coverage as both the LE and the RDT attack the OG in front of them with a bull rush. If our DT/NT is. the center has trouble getting any help in dealing with a massive DT/NT. Stranded Another reason the T-N-T front poses problems for an offense is that because both guards are covered. and so on. This colapses the pocket a little. Furthermore. he can still push the pocket so that the QB has nowhere to step up (which might give a Kamerion Wimbley-esque pass rush a chance). there will be one unblocked rusher coming at the QB and five skill players being covered by five defenders. Overload "Overloading" an offensive line means simply bringing more pass rushers than an offense can effectively block.

If we run this blitz effectively on one play and show the same look again later in the game. But. there are 3 blitzers to only 2 blockers: .no one to block. The key is to be unpredictable and to set an offense up. the RE blitzes wide and the SS blitzes through the B gap between the LT and LG. the Charlie and the Jack. The Left Tackle is left with a choice between blocking the RE or the SS and the other gets a free path to the QB. Even if the offense kept the TE in. Now it would be pretty easy for the offense to block the SS with either the running back or the fullback and the QB could probably get the ball out. the offense may think it has learned from it's mistake and shift the pass protection to the left. Then we can blitz the Mike. that quarterback is probably taking a big hit. if the offense sends both backs out on pass routes or sends its pass protection to the right. Meanwhile.

while the Charlie rushes wide of the RT. who gets through the line untouched between the OC and RG. The seas part for the Mike. and the Charlie shifts to be over the strong OT: . The LE penetrates the B gap between the RG and RT. Nickel When the 46 goes up against a 3WR offense. The Mike aligns over the weak OT where the SS was. The SS aligns over the third wide receiver with a varying depth. looking to draw the LG and OC's blocks.Another possible overload: The RE fakes a wide rush. the formation changes. then drops off in to pass coverage. The RDT and LDT shoot the gaps to the weakside of the play.

Because the new coaching staff seems to trust LB David Veikune to play either position. Different coaches will probably call this different things. and stop the run. The nickel version of the 46's similarity to the 3-4 also demonstrates that we could use the "T-N-T" defensive line and other 46 concepts out of our normal 3-4. they "pick him up" by covering him if he goes on a pass route. Blitz reads One concept I really hope we employ is what I will call the "blitz/pickup" assignment. and then shift outside in the nickel version of the 46 to cover a WR man to man (and can do both at a very high level). which may require us to bring one safefy up to the line against running formations (I would guess Elam) and the other against 3WR sets (I would guess Pool. he might be a great choice for the Charlie. What is really important isn't what its called. but what happens: Two defenders are assigned to "blitz/pickup". They both read the running back and react based on what he does: "Is the RB moving to my half of the field?" If "yes". who has played some cornerback for us). I don't trust Brodney Pool or Abe Elam to be this versatile at a high level. play centerfield. they continue to rush the passer. or attacking his block if he stays in to pass protect. then awesome. This formation looks even more like a version of the 3-4 defense. On the snap. If either is versatile enough to cover a slot WR. but it is important to remember that hypothetically both the Charlie and the Jack would ideally be able to rush the passer like a 3-4 OLB (as in: we would have 3 OLBs and 1 ILB on the field with one of the OLBs playing as the RDE). those two defenders are the Jack LB and the Right Defensive End: . and a team could even name it something unique. both rush wide and get in the backfield. If "no". Here. A guy like Polamalu or Dawkins can play in the "normal" 46 like an inside linebacker.This simply highlights the usefulness of a versatile safety.

they drop in to zone coverage. If "no". This will usually result in a DE/OLB being blocked by a RB. the Jack drops off into . often with any pass protecting backs shifting the other way.The "blitz/pickup" isn't the only read-and-react blitz that a defense can employ. the line shifts to the right to pick up what it thinks are blitzing Mike and Jack linebackers. One thing offenses do is to "slide" their protection one way or the other. A smart defense can send a blitz and assign the outside two rushers to read the pass protection: "Is the OT on my side of the field sliding to block me?" If "yes". they continue to rush the passer. The Right Defensive End and the Jack linebacker read the shift in the line: since the RT is in position to pick up the Jack. meaning the whole line will shift one way or the other on pass protection. a matchup he should always win (at least eventually): In the above play.

the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation. three linebackers. on a regular basis by the New York Jets and coached and defensively coordinated by Ryan's son. but that doesn't neccesarily mean that they are passive. these defensive concepts are a way of responsibly blitzing. who was a starting safety for the Bears when Ryan developed the defense. Yes. The name "46" originally came from the jersey number of Doug Plank. the 46 defense is currently used. search 46 Formation. staying aggressive. Since the LT is not in position to block the RE. The formation comprises four down linemen. and keeping enough defenders in coverage to defend the pass. he continues his blitz. Even if they aren't run perfectly or even if the offense is making the correct guesses (as to who is blitzing and who will be open). Originally developed and popularized by Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. Done perfectly. They should always leave an offense under pressure and guessing where the rush is coming from.[1][2] Contents [hide] • • • • 1 Description 2 Lining up 3 See also 4 References . and typically played in that formation as a surrogate linebacker. The Mike was never going to blitz and drops in to coverage. the defense can effectively always have the perfect play "called" (really it is just adjusting it's play to become the perfect play) and get a whole lot of pressure on the QB. and four defensive backs. Rex. as of the 2010 NFL season. vanilla defensive concepts like we saw under Romeo and Mel Tucker.coverage. who later became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. these concepts require some read and react. 46 defense From Wikipedia. original 4-3 base set The 46 defense is an American football defensive formation.

The linebackers line up behind the linemen somewhere between one and three yards from the line of scrimmage. leaving opposing tackle 'on an island' when trying to block the pass rush. trapping and pass protection in general. by Rex Ryan and Rob Ryan. Buddy's sons). Another major key to the 46 is the ability of the cornerbacks to play man-free and bump-and-run coverage. To avoid confusion. the strong and weak side linebackers (who are no longer lined up on opposite sides) are often renamed the 'Jack' and 'Charley' linebackers. making it considerably harder to execute blocking assignments such as pulling. respectively. This is largely because of the popularity of the West Coast Offense. if we need to send eight we'll send eight but we're not going to let you sit back there and pick us apart all day. Another key feature of the 46 is that both outside linebackers tend to play on the strong side of the formation. This front forced offenses to immediately account for the defenders lined up directly in front of them. The 46 defense was designed to confuse and put pressure on the opposing offense. the weak side defensive end would be aligned one to two yards outside the left offensive tackle. "to stop a passing game you had to put pressure on it. the 46 dramatically shifted the defensive line to the weak side (the opposite end from the offense's tight end).• 5 External links [edit] Description Buddy Ryan once said in an interview (while he was with the Chicago Bears). The primary tactic is to rush between five and eight players on each play. with both guards and the center "covered" by the left defensive end and both defensive tackles." The 46 defense was an innovative defense with a unique defensive front. some teams are good enough do it with a three man rush. especially their quarterback. either to get to the quarterback quickly or disrupt running plays. although dropping some players back into pass coverage after seemingly indicating that they will blitz (see zone blitzing) is another method of creating confusion.[3] The formation was very effective in the 1980s NFL because it often eliminated a team's running game and forced them to throw the ball. in fact I don't know if we can do it with a four man rush. Moreover. but we're not. Bump-and-run can allow the defense to take away the quarterback's immediate decision-making ability. a situation that often favored the defense even further with the quarterback lined up to receive the snap from directly behind the center. used successfully by San . by disrupting the timing of short routes needed to make a quick throw to beat the 46 defense. who are coached and coordinated on defense. respectively. This was difficult for many teams at the time because most offensive passing games centered around the play-action pass. Bill Walsh himself said that the 46 defense was the single most important innovation on the defensive side of the ball in the last 25 years. A hyperaggressive variant of the 4-3 base set. Buddy Ryan would use all of these rushers to out-man and overwhelm the offense. Currently. the 46 is rarely used in professional and college football (with the exception of the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.

(October 2009) This is where defensive players would line up against a normal I formation offense. Another problem is that most teams do not have enough impact players to run the 46 as effectively as the 1980's Bears and late 1980's Eagles did. [edit] Lining up This section does not cite any references or sources. A minor weakness of the 46 defense can be too many defensive players lining up near the line of scrimmage to blitz. The ideas of the 46 defense are more often used in today's game by bringing a fourth defensive back (usually the strong safety) up closer to the line of scrimmage. Richard Dent. and included such players as Mike Singletary. The object of the weak side defensive end against the run is to protect against reversals and counters. The strong side defensive end lines up directly in front of the strong side guard. Dan Hampton. Otherwise on pass plays he goes after the quarterback. Up front. • • . short. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Francisco 49ers head coach Bill Walsh. Clyde Simmons. The middle linebacker will line up about four to four and a half yards off the line of scrimmage and directly in front of the strong offensive tackle. lines up on the line of scrimmage. The strong side defensive end is to make sure the offensive guard in front of him does not push him inside and does not get released to block the linebacker. • Defensive ends: The weak side defensive end lines up one to two yards outside the weak offensive tackle. leaving areas wide open for receivers to catch passes. The charley linebacker will line up on the line of scrimmage and on the inside shoulder of the tight end. like a defensive lineman. to cover the tight end or making it difficult for the tight end to release easily. Reggie White. Defensive tackles: The weak side defensive tackle lines up in front of the guard. The other defensive tackle essentially becomes a nose guard and lines up in front of the center. as an eighth man in "the box" to help stop the run. teams still use the concept of the "T-N-T" front. timed passes from formations with multiple receivers. This makes it difficult for the interior linemen to reach any of the linebackers on the second level. Linebackers: The jack linebacker lines up on the outside shoulder of the strong tight end avoid being pinched inside or let the guard release to block the linebacker. Also. Defenses today may also run safety blitzes and corner blitzes at crucial moments without committing wholly to the "46" defense. and other offensive schemes that rely on short. He ensures nothing gets outside of him on the run. He can do multiple coverages on the pass or he can blitz. Those teams fielded some of the best front-seven defenses ever. where defensive linemen are lined up over the center and the two guards. and Wilber Marshall. timed passes can be thrown before the players blitzing have a chance to reach the quarterback. The main objective for the weak side tackle is the same as the strong side defensive end . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources.

the defense makes what is called a jayhawk adjustment. If the offense uses a fourth receiver. April. We went 9-3 and finished second defensively in our conference with a 175. One of the major things was the Bear or 46 defense. The free safety will stand about ten to twelve yards away from the line of scrimmage and will stand directly in front of the weak side guard.5 yards allowed per game average.S. we kept a few things from the 4-3 playbook. the middle linebacker lines up in front of the center and the charlie linebacker would cover the fourth receiver. Even though we abandoned the 4-3 for the 3-3-5. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] One of the first changes was to switch from a 4-3 defense to a 3-3-5. Installing the Bear or 46 defense from the 3-3 Coach and Athletic Director. 2006 by Kenny Ratledge • • • 1 2 Next After several years of mediocrity at Sevier County H. The charlie linebacker will step back to where the middle linebacker was in the normal alignment. More Articles of Interest • • • Football's attacking 46 bear defense The 46 Bear Defense vs no-back sets Pro Style Multiple Defense For High School Football . the middle linebacker will move to where the strong safety was aligned and the strong safety will move out to cover the third receiver. When three or more receivers are used by the offense. It had been very good to us in the past and we couldn't see abandoning it. Cornerbacks: Corners will line up seven to eight yards off the line of scrimmage in front of their receivers in man-free coverage or they will play up on the line of scrimmage in bump and run coverage. surrendering only 9 points per game. It was a winner. and leading our region in run defense.• • Safeties: The strong safety will line up four to four and a half yards off the line of scrimmage and will stand directly in front of the weak side tackle. Highlight: Sevier County High held the conference champions to 77 total yards and held the #1 offense in the conference to a field goal. the coaching staff decided to shake things up.

Tackle * N. 2 shows what happened when we shifted into the 46 look.Nose * E.Mike (Middle LB) * W. Included is a compendium of 3-3 personnel. 3 shows the base 3-3 alignment and Diag. 1 illustrates our old 4-3 look and Diag.Stud (end) * N.Strong Safety * FS.Mike . [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] * S.End * B.Will (Weak Outside LB) * SS. 4 the Bear look in the 3-3.Corners Diag.• • Stack 3-3 five-man zone blitzes Defensive line play in the 3-3 Stack Diag. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] 4-3 PERSONNEL * S.Bandit * M. Following is an overview of 4-3 personnel.Free Safety * C.Bandit (Strong Outside Linebacker) * M.Nose * E.End * B.Stud (end) * T.

* The 3-3 allows the defense to declare to the numbers. The 4-3 required the defense to declare to the tight end.Edge Rusher * Free Safety-Hole. The 3-3 uses a defensive back on the tight end. he can get lined up. The 4-3 look required an outside linebacker to cover the end. * The Mike stays on the strong side in the 3-3 as opposed to sliding to the weak side in a 4-3 configuration. Should a coach choose to match up. and as we evolved defensively.Will * D.#2 man to man * Rover.#3 man to man * Bandit. and that the 3-3 had many inherent advantages over the 4-3. . we discovered it was much easier to get into the Bear from the 3-3.Dog * R. Corners don't have to cross the formation to match up with receivers.Free Safety * C.Rover * FS. THOSE ADVANTAGES INCLUDE: * A better athlete is on the tight end.Edge Rusher * Will. Spin to #3 on any 3X1 formation Diags. Adjuster vs two back motion * Mike. * Alignment rules are easier.#1 man to man * Dog.Corners COVER RULES FOR THE 3-3 INCLUDE: * Corners.# 2 man-to-man motion. he can do so but isn't required to do so as a basic rule. 5 through 10 show some basic formations with defensive reactions. As we learned more about the 3-3.* W. If an athlete can count to three.

by the tight end. Diags. puts the defender in a quandary. or bringing Rover across the formation to man up on #3. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The problem with this alignment is that it is sometimes hard to tell if the tight end is blocking inside or running a drag route. The Free Safety will take the #3 man to man while the Rover replaces him in the hole. . Diag. the Free Safety takes the tight end man to man with the original defender working under the dig route. By Kenny Ratledge. but in reality. can be incorporated in the 3-3. This angle. Should the tight end block. the Free Safety will give a "spin" call to the Rover. 14 shows this. it is a three-man rush with eight defenders dropping into a three. 13 exhibits this. when we first started using the Bear look. This adjustment keeps us from having to assign Mike to #3. 11 illustrates this. We found there were many inherent disadvantages to playing a 7 technique. Sevierville (TN) County H. the defender responsible for the tight end would walk down and play tight man to man coverage from a 7 technique. Combo is a read by the defender covering the tight end and the Free Safety. out of the Bears look. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] SPIN When the defense is confronted by 3X1 formations.deep zone. Diag. which could result in a defensive mismatch. The assigned defender will take the end man to man on any outside or vertical routes with the Free Safety working to the hole. 12 shows this. the defender will fit where needed and the Free Safety will run the alley. Many years.* A three-deep zone. On inside cuts. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] BEARS COMBO Years ago. The defense gives the illusion of pressure with man free coverage. Diag. 8 and 9 illustrate the spin call. Diag.S. Defensive Coordinator. We have now gone to lining up the defender on the tight end at a three to four yard cushion. The problem has been solved by using a combo technique on the tight end. we didn't have the personnel to play this technique and enough quality practice time was just too hard to find.

The defense was known as the "46. a style that Ryan loved. The scheme’s name derives not from the position of players on the field – like the 4-3 and 3-4 – but from the jersey number of one of Ryan’s favorite players. which led the Chicago Bears to a crushing victory in Super Bowl XX. Ryan felt it proper to name the system after the player who most exemplified its all-out attacking style. aren’t you?" The 1985 Chicago Bears defense is considered by many to be the most dominant defensive unit in the history of the NFL. the NFL has had many incredible defenses over the years. 2007 | More From the Steel Curtain to the Purple People Eaters. eight-man front. He played in integral part in coordinating the Jets’ defensive unit of Super Bowl III. "You are going to audible. . 1986. Seeing arguably the greatest defensive front in the history of the game hovering around the line of scrimmage. Plank was a hard-hitting safety who played with reckless abandon. Ryan accepted the defensive coordinator position for the Bears. Dickerson turned to quarterback Dieter Brock and said. He then moved on to the Minnesota Vikings in the 1970s. The Rams’ running back. the Los Angeles Rams lined up for a first-down running play in the NFC championship game." and its creator was then defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan. where he developed the intimidating defense known as the "Purple People Eaters. It was then that he began developing the famed 46 defense. But Buddy Ryan's 46 defense. what made it so successful.Chalk Talk: the 46 Defense Ryan went on to coach the Eagles and Cardinals By Jeremy Stoltz BearReport. which held the highpowered Colts offense to only seven points. and why it essentially Correspondent Jeremy Stoltz breaks down the birth of the 46." In 1978. Hall-of-Famer Eric Dickerson. Ryan broke into the league in the 1960s with the New York Jets. On January 12. BearReport. It caused legendary athletes like Dickerson to shake in their cleats and gave opposing offensive coordinators nightmares for over a decade. As the foundations of his new defense were taking shape. is perhaps the most memorable. saw through the cold air of Soldier Field that the Chicago Bears’ defense had lined up in a Correspondent Posted May 24. Doug Plank.

and a "rush" end. By putting constant pressure at the line of scrimmage. two ends. His job is to line up a yard or two wide of the tackle and rush hard off the edge. On another. The middle linebacker and strong safety round out the eight players in the box. in essence. and two safeties.The 46 philosophy was designed around a simple concept: pressure wins games. Try and get through us. "There are eight of us here. attempting to exploit a weakened secondary. in-your-face defense that looks to put constant pressure on the quarterback and makes running the football difficult if not impossible. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images Two outside linebackers act as the fifth and sixth down linemen. The nose tackle and ends line up over the center and guards. any combination of these eight players may rush the quarterback. . or the side without a tight end. only the four linemen will rush. two cornerbacks. The 46 base defense consists of four linemen. all eight may come on a blitz. three linebackers. the offense will not be able to run the ball and the QB will not have enough time to throw. At the snap of the ball. These four pass-rushers alone can cause problems for an offensive line. These are the basic goals of any defensive coordinator. becomes the fourth linebacker. It is critical that he be a powerful run-stopper. beginning each play 4-5 yards off the line of scrimmage. Now is when the fun starts." The four down linemen are composed of a nose tackle. respectively." instead of 10-15 yards off the ball. Many times. It basically states. They line up side by side on the opposite end of the field from the rush end. but Ryan’s new system took that line of thinking to an entirely new level. but the 46 does not stop there. It differs from a base 4-3 in the fact that the strong safety lines up near the line of scrimmage. It is a gambling. On one play. the opposing offense’s only choice is to pass the ball. The strong safety. or "in the box. for this defense is not reliant upon deception. like Plank and his successor Dave Duerson. The rush end is normally positioned on the weak side of the field.

Rex Ryan utilizes middle linebacker Ray Lewis in the same way his father used Hall-of-Famer Mike Singletary. If the receiver gets behind them. It revolved around a vertical. It is this overwhelming pressure on the secondary that eventually led to the demise of the 46. Rex Ryan. eventually retiring from coaching in 1995. It is no coincidence that Baltimore’s defensive coordinator. normally in a tight.The two cornerbacks in the 46 play man-to-man coverage." . Says Lewis. That’s what the 46 defense lets me do. Ryan moved on to coach the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals. their only hope is that the free safety roaming the middle of the field can provide sufficient deep support. My thing is bashing running backs. is the son of the 46’s famed creator. and he’s gotten outstanding results. and they know that. Since then. With eight men constantly in the box. opposing offenses began mimicking the short passing game of Bill Walsh’s West Coast Offense. quick-strike passing attack that did not allow opposing defenses time to reach the quarterback. Spreading receivers all over the field forced most 46 units to move to a more conventional package. only one team has attempted to resurrect Ryan’s 46 defense: the Baltimore Ravens. Both must have the coverage ability to stay locked on to a receiver for the duration of a play. "No running back in this league wants to face me. offenses soon learned that the short passing game could have great success against the 46. After the 1985 season. bumpand-run fashion.

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