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3-3-5 Nickel Formation

Discussion in 'American Football' started by boltssbbound, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    I've been frustrated with our nickel defense for the last few years. It seems when we go to a basic 4 man line, we lose alot of the flexibility and unpredictability that makes our defense successful. For this reason, I would like to see us employ a 3 DL, 3 LB, 5 DB nickel package. This nickel package would be as flexible as our base package, enabling Shawne and Shaun to play on their feet and rush or drop into coverage.

    The other benefit of the 3-3-5 is that it would enable us to improve our nickel run defense. I can't count the number of times I've screamed at the defensive coaches when I see Jamal come out on 3rd and 5 or less to counter a 3WR look. I know that bringing Jamal out on third down helps to keep him fresh, but if pulling him out enables teams to pick up first downs running the ball, we are actually increasing his playing time.

    This look would allow us a ton of flexibility. Against teams with smaller, quicker slot receivers, we could even have Shawne or Shaun split out wide to jam them off the line, before releasing them to be covered by Cro, Weddle or another secondary player. I think this is how you have to play against someone like Welker. Beat the phuck out of him off the line.

    We wouldn't even have to use this look all the time, but I definitely think it's something that we should add to our defensive arsenal.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Ride The Lightning

    Ride The Lightning Join the Dark Side, we have cookies.

    Aug 15, 2006
    Makes sense which is why we won't use it.


    Still waiting for a twin back set w/ MT and LT.
  3. sdbound

    sdbound Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2006
    Nice thought provoking post.
  4. MasterOfPuppets

    MasterOfPuppets Charger fan since 1979

    Aug 8, 2006
    Personnel please?

    I'm thinking

    DL Castillo, Cesaire and Mckinney
    LB Merriman, Phillips and Wilhelm
    DB Jammer, Florence and Cromartie
    S Weddle and McCree
  5. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Nice post. This is certainly a package that could easily work w/our talent pool & drive teams like Indy & NE crazy.

    But why not Jamal in the middle? We still need to have a run-stuffer who takes up 2-3 OL.
  6. boltssbbound

    boltssbbound Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2006
    I would put Jamal in this package for sure. The nice thing about this package is that it is more similar to our base personnel. So if a team wants to come out with 3wr, the only personnel change we'd have to make is Coop/Wilhelm for Cro/Weddle.
  7. Steve

    Steve BoltTalker

    Jul 12, 2007
    We currently don't use a nickel D. We go straight to dime.
    OLB Merriman - plays like a DE (1)
    DT Castillo (2)
    DT Cesaire (3)
    OLB Phillips - plays like a DE (4)

    LB Cooper (1)

    LCB Jammer (1)
    SS Hart (2)
    Dime S Weddle - often aligns at ILB (3)
    FS McCree (4)
    Nickel CB Flo - often plays like a loose OLB (5)
    RCB Cromartie (6)

    We use the passing downs to help keep Jamal fresh. He is one of our better pass rushers. He has no moves, but he collapses the pocket with shear bulk. But he knees can't take the pounding to be on the field too much.

    If we want to play a true nickel, pull the NT, slide the OLB down to play DE (ie let the DB adjust to formation changes and pass coverage) so the best pass rushers we have can rush.
    DE Merriman/Phillips
    DT Castillo/Igor/Cesaire/Bingham
    LB Cooper/Wilhelm
    CB Jammer, Flo, (Cromartie)
    S McCree, Hart, (Weddle)

    If I was going to use a 3 man rush line it would be

    DE - Harris - align outside the OT like a 43 DE
    NT - Castillo or Igor or Cesaire
    DE - Phillips - align outside the OT like a 43 DE

    MLB - Cooper - better blitzer then Wilhelm
    Rover LB - Merriman - play him at Rover and move him around, inside and outside to get mismatches. I would use him almost exclusively as a pass rusher. It also lets us put both Phillips and Merriman on the same side to make it tough to stop both.

    CB - Jammer
    S - Weddle - in slot so he can blitz too
    SS - Hart
    FS - McCree
    CB - Florence - in slot so he can blitz too
    CB - Cromartie

    I don't buy the idea that not knowing who is going to rush helps the pass rush at all. our pass rush in the base defense helps because we have 2 great rushers off the edge, which spreads the OL, but it is not because they don't know who is coming. Merriman and Phillips get a lot of their sacks in the rush line, when they don't drop at all. The goal should be to get the best pass rushers we have and get them on the field at the same time. Harris is not the best guy we have but he is not bad and he would allow Merriman to move around and get mismatches.

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