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: January 30, 2007, 10:28:02 PM

The UT is the most important position on the DL in the Tampa 2 defense. John Randle defined the position before Warren Sapp refined it. Basically, the three-technique requires a very active guy who can move and create pressure up the middle. You want that, because on passing plays he disrupts the QB's vision and forces him to step out of the middle of the pocket and forces him toward your defensive ends.

But it doesn't end on passing downs. The three disrupts running plays as well, because it's hard to double him. Since the three plays shaded on the guard, if you want to double him you're going to have to have your tackle step down or you're going to bring up a back to hopefully get a chip on him. On a running down, that's a lot more difficult to do, so if you have a really active player at the UT position, he's going to get/force a lot of tackles for loss on running plays, and he's going to create a lot of sacks for other players on the DL by forcing the QB out of middle.

There is no question that the three technique is the position that drives the productivity of the DL. Couple a real active, real good UT with a quick, strong DE and an adequate NT and your defensive statistics improve dramatically.

Accurate.  In addition, it affects the play of your LB and secondary.  People seem to underestimate the impact of this.    The line plays one gap, and the backers have to get to their holes fast, and hope the right ones were called.  Speed to prevent a big play if they weren't.  It's a guessing game, and that's why we were never a dominant inside-rush Defense.
The design of the defense is really built around crippling the pass, and defending the outside run.  Fast LB's to make plays outside, and who can drop into coverage.  CB's who aren't necessarily great cover guys, but who can make plays and react to the ball.  Safeties who can both stop the run and cover.  And it all revolves around the pressure.  Whether you call it a NT or UT, you need that inside pressure.  If they team the UT, the NT needs to step in.

The Tampa-2 is a zone defense.  Given time, any competent QB will pick it apart.  That's why the pass rush is so important.  And with the way the coverage is split here, it is more important than with most defenses.  The secondary isn't going to be able to cover forever, or even long.  And the players you put there aren't cover guys.  You want guys who'll be able to jump routes, anticipate, and help with the run.  THey're positioned to make plays, not prevent them.  The Tampa-2 DB's are guys who will get that pick, not man that guy.  Without the pressure they are screwed.  And pressure needs to be full, not just outside, as was mentioned, or they'll just step up.  That's why CHI is lagging without Harris, and Tony can't get that D shaped up in Indy even with Freeny.  Why we were abyssmal this year, but superhuman in the '99 NFCCG.  That's why a lot of us want a UT, not just another Rice.  When the pieces are there, it's an awesome D.  When they're not, it's fairly solid but rough.  Look at last year.  We got an incredible job from Rod, and some big-time play from individuals, but we spent a helluva long time on the field.


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#1 : January 29, 2007, 01:39:20 PM

Just a quick question here.  People always like to talk about how the most important position in the Tampa 2 is the under tackle.  Is the defense built around that position from design or was it built around that position because we had Warren Sapp? 

Seems to be that a defense built around the idea that you're going to have a Warren Sapp is doomed since a guy like him comes along maybe once a decade.

All this talk about Okoye got we wondering.  Seems to me that a pass rush is more important than what position it comes from.

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#2 : January 29, 2007, 01:43:24 PM

Just a quick question here. People always like to talk about how the most important position in the Tampa 2 is the under tackle. Is the defense built around that position from design or was it built around that position because we had Warren Sapp?

Seems to be that a defense built around the idea that you're going to have a Warren Sapp is doomed since a guy like him comes along maybe once a decade.

All this talk about Okoye got we wondering. Seems to me that a pass rush is more important than what position it comes from.

Actually, the position is important.  For the Tampa-2 to work at full efficiency, you need a pass rush both from the outside and up the middle.  The outside rush from the DE forces the QB to step up in the pocket, while the DT rush up the middle collapses the pocket and forces the QB to take a sack or make a bad throw that our LBs and DBs can take advantage of.  Without that inside presence, the QB can just step up in the pocket and pick apart the zone.  That's why after Sapp left it wasn't long before the sack/TO streak came to an end.




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#3 : January 29, 2007, 01:45:49 PM

Just a quick question here.  People always like to talk about how the most important position in the Tampa 2 is the under tackle.  Is the defense built around that position from design or was it built around that position because we had Warren Sapp? 

Seems to be that a defense built around the idea that you're going to have a Warren Sapp is doomed since a guy like him comes along maybe once a decade.

All this talk about Okoye got we wondering.  Seems to me that a pass rush is more important than what position it comes from.

I think UT is very important, but really the key is generating pass rush with your front four.  Having an inside force to collapse the pocket makes that alot easier.

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#4 : January 29, 2007, 01:46:25 PM

It is built by design and Sapp is the perfect engine to the entire machine that is this defense.  The Bears defense was absolutely dominating when they had Tommie Harris at undertackle.  Right now they are a very good defense but not the same without Tommie.

If an undertackle can create quick penetration it causes disruption everywhere else.  It is the quickest path the QB and it takes away the QB's ability to step up and make throws.  At the same time if the QB tries to shuffle to the left or right your DE's will be there waiting for him as a result.  The undertackle is also valuable in sabotaging a running game beacuase if the gap is attacked correctly it can wreak havoc for an offensive line.  

Without an undertackle causing penatration even if your DE's beat the OT's the QB can step up to avoid them to make a throw or run for a few yards.  If the undertackle can not beat his man one on one the nose tackle can not make a tackle against (very difficult for the nose to do so) the ball carrier up the middle becuase he will most likely be double teamed.  The undertackle is a play making spot just like weakside linebacker while strongside linebacker and nose tackle are mainly about gap discipline.

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#5 : January 29, 2007, 01:46:58 PM

Just a quick question here. People always like to talk about how the most important position in the Tampa 2 is the under tackle. Is the defense built around that position from design or was it built around that position because we had Warren Sapp?

Seems to be that a defense built around the idea that you're going to have a Warren Sapp is doomed since a guy like him comes along maybe once a decade.

All this talk about Okoye got we wondering. Seems to me that a pass rush is more important than what position it comes from.

Actually, the position is important. For the Tampa-2 to work at full efficiency, you need a pass rush both from the outside and up the middle. The outside rush from the DE forces the QB to step up in the pocket, while the DT rush up the middle collapses the pocket and forces the QB to take a sack or make a bad throw that our LBs and DBs can take advantage of.

I get that that's the theory and for the D to work to optimal targets that's what's wanted.  My only point is that some people seem to think that the defense is doomed if we don't have that.  The odds of us having that year in and year out are very very long.  

It just seems like a lot of people expect that we're going to have this when in reality there are maybe 3 pass rushing DT's that are dominant, and one of them is still Sapp.

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#6 : January 29, 2007, 01:51:35 PM

You are not doomed if you do not have an undertackle.  But reality is there is no point in playing this type of defense long term if you do not intend to acquire an undertackle at somepoint.

Even a defense Eagles who use a lot of blitzes they still picked up an undertackle like Bunkely.  He did not show much his first year but the idea of adding Bunkely is to cause disrusption along with the blitzes that JJ likes to use.  Seymour of the Patriots is another example but he is used as the playmaker out of a 3-4 and 4-3 formation.  Jenkins of Carolina is essentially the undertackle for the Panthers.


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#7 : January 29, 2007, 01:52:26 PM

The reason it is critical is because the defense is set up to free that guy up one on one. The NT is there to suck up two blocks and with a DT and DE on the same side of the formation it means that UT should get on one as lot and so if he can consistently win that match up you get havoc.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

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#8 : January 29, 2007, 01:55:07 PM

As I said, if you do not have a playmaking UT, the zone defense gets exposed.  If that's the case, you really have to upgrade your DBs.  So the idea here is that you can put a lot of $$ into one position (UT), or into four (DBs).


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#9 : January 29, 2007, 01:57:17 PM

I think the Bucs will resemble more of the Eagles and JJ's defense if they do not acquire an undertackle.  Monte will install a lot more blitz packages in the off season and expect the Bucs DB's to play more than 50% of the snaps man to man. 


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#10 : January 29, 2007, 02:42:13 PM

You are not doomed if you do not have an undertackle. But reality is there is no point in playing this type of defense long term if you do not intend to acquire an undertackle at somepoint.
Exactly. It's like playing 3-4 with a good nose tackle. San Diego wouldn't be the same without Jamaal Williams.

FRG is the most logical poster on this board.  You guys just don\'t like where the logical conclusions take you.

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#11 : January 30, 2007, 09:05:31 AM

Disagree.

Pass rush is the cornerstone of ALL defensive schemes.

In particular a zone scheme is all about the pass rush and particularly the pass rush from the down four. If you have to start committing more than 4 you can't play the same suffocating zone behind it. This defense is at it's best, and few aren't, when QB's have 7 men in coverage against4 or 5 guys and the pass rush is making the clock in the QB's head go off right away. If that doesn't happen you get what happened this year.

All posts are opinions in case you are too stupid to figure that out on your own without me saying it over and over.

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#12 : January 30, 2007, 12:02:21 AM


Without an undertackle causing penatration even if your DE's beat the OT's the QB can step up to avoid them to make a throw or run for a few yards.  If the undertackle can not beat his man one on one the nose tackle can not make a tackle against (very difficult for the nose to do so) the ball carrier up the middle becuase he will most likely be double teamed.  The undertackle is a play making spot just like weakside linebacker while strongside linebacker and nose tackle are mainly about gap discipline.


See Colts, Indianapolis

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#13 : January 30, 2007, 12:04:50 AM

Just a quick question here. People always like to talk about how the most important position in the Tampa 2 is the under tackle. Is the defense built around that position from design or was it built around that position because we had Warren Sapp?

Seems to be that a defense built around the idea that you're going to have a Warren Sapp is doomed since a guy like him comes along maybe once a decade.

All this talk about Okoye got we wondering. Seems to me that a pass rush is more important than what position it comes from.

Actually, the position is important.  For the Tampa-2 to work at full efficiency, you need a pass rush both from the outside and up the middle.  The outside rush from the DE forces the QB to step up in the pocket, while the DT rush up the middle collapses the pocket and forces the QB to take a sack or make a bad throw that our LBs and DBs can take advantage of. Without that inside presence, the QB can just step up in the pocket and pick apart the zone. That's why after Sapp left it wasn't long before the sack/TO streak came to an end.

Exactly.  If the pressure comes soley from the gut, the QB would just step outside and still have 2/3rds of the field to work with. 

Good post.




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#14 : January 30, 2007, 02:31:10 AM

A good pass rush in general is very important buut the actual defense is never really built around a DL. They are just the engine. The defense was built to funnel rush plays to Derrick Brooks. So this version of the Bucs Tampa 2 with D Brooks in it, is designed to have Brooks in and around every play
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