The 1990’s Defensive Philosophy, and How I’d Fix the NFL – This is The Chop

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The 1990’s Defensive Philosophy, and How I’d Fix the NFL

This is The Chop

 

 

I found something really interesting earlier this week, and I had to share with you guys. If you head over to “footballxos.com,” you’ll find an amazing football site that really does a great job of putting out strong content. In additional to this great original content, you are also given access to a number of NFL playbooks from former and current NFL coaches and regimes. Very cool stuff.

 

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Anyway, I was paging through different playbooks and was actually able to uncover the Chief’s 1990’s 3-4 playbook. The playbook looks very poor, was obviously written on a typewriter and actually reminds me very, very much of my high school football playbook. That aside, what caught my eye was the section titled, “Philosophy of Defense.” I’ll add the screenshot and a transcription below:

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“Philosophy of Defense”

Our main objectives on defense are to keep our opponent from scoring and to gain possession of the football for our offense with good field position. The “Best” defensive unit in the National Football League is measured by the number of points scored against it. TEAM DEFENSE is the product of everyone’s “Best Effort.” Each player must know his assignment and carry out his assignment in order that the defense may function as a unit. The primary consideration is for our defense to take the ball away from our opponent in one of two was:

 

  • Force them to give up the ball on downs.
    • Hold our opponent to 3 yards or less on first down.
    • Eliminate mental errors and resulting “Big Plays.”
    • Play TEAM DEFENSE and eliminate “Big Plays.”
    • TACKLE.
  • Force a Turnover
    • Knock the ball loose by gang tackling – force a fumble or strip the ball.
    • Pressure the QB to throw early – INTERCEPTION.
    • Cover receivers tight to make the QB hesitate — SACK — FUMBLE OR INTERCEPTION.

As we successfully achieve these two objectives our ultimate goal of limiting the number of points scored against us will take care of itself.”

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__________

 

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As you can see, great insight into that 90’s team’s objectives. It’s really interesting to note that “yards” are only mentioned once, under the section “Force [the opponent] to give up the ball on downs.” All that is said, is, “Hold our opponent to 3 yards or less on first down.”

 

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Today, when someone tells you that the “Top Defense in the NFL is X,” they are referring to rankings based on either yards against, or YPG. The philosophy outlined above, however, emphasizes takeaways and points against.

 

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This philosophy sure does agree with this 2016 defense. If you take a look at the Chiefs from the perspective of the 1990’s philosophy, they look a hell of a lot better than when looking at yards. Here’s a quick look:

 

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The 90’s defensive philosophy put stake in:

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  • Points Against
  • Takeaways

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To the Chiefs, according to the 1990’s Defensive Philosophy are ranked:

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  • PPG against – 11th
  • Takeaways – 2nd

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Not bad. Here’s the rub, though. If you look at yards (not something emphasized at all by the 1990’s staff), the Chiefs look a lot worse:

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  • Passing Yards/GM – 18th
  • Rushing Yards/GM – 20th
  • Total Yards/GM – 23rd

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I’m certainly not going to jump to any conclusions here. The point is that teams emphasize certain metrics more than others. I’m sure this changes team to team, and that there are teams out there that are hyper-focused on stopping the offense from moving the ball and accumulating yards. This particular defense, however, didn’t.

 

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Does this mean that the 2016 Chiefs defense emphasizes points against and turnovers versus yardage? No, not at all. But they could. Just food for thought.

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Alrighty then. That’s done. How’s about the Chop?

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Random Thought 

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The Saints complaining about home cooking is laughable. Just goes to show how biased teams and fans can really be, right?

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That said, I think we can all agree that the NFL has become a bad product. Just terrible. Here’s how I’d fix it:

 

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  • Allow no more than 3 weeks of Thursday Night Football. – Because of an overly saturated market, poor match-ups, and not enough time for a team to truly be prepared to play high-quality football.
  • Eliminate games in London forever. – This morning game is bad for fans and bad for teams. It’s ONLY good for the league lining their pockets.
  • Flex the best game of each week to Monday Night Football, starting Week 4. – Give it a month to see who is good, and then start making sure your biggest game is hyped, and shown weekly on MNF. MNF used to be an event. Now it’s just more bad football.
  • Disband the Competition Committee – They’ve ruined the league.
  • Have a third party review all rules, define them all, remove what’s not working, etc. – I’d suggest a panel from NCAA Football.
  • Hire full-time officials and employ “bubble” players, and ex collegiate players to create a year-round training schedule using real-time, in-game scenarios. – Create an environment where rules are constantly thought through, applied, and tested prior to jumping into the big show.

 

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What would you do?

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Surprise Upset of the Week

I am so glad I was wrong last week, and I really appreciate none of you hanging me out to dry for my pick. In fact, it sounded like the Saints made most of you nervous. That’s why I’m convinced you’re all just as nervous this week as the Chiefs head to Indy to play those rascally Colts. Not picking the Chiefs to lose this week, however. Instead, I’m going to be much, much bolder:

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The Viking’s deficiencies are about to catch up with them, and this week they get figured out by the Chicago Bears. Yep. Chicago beats Minnesota this week at home 24-17. Book it.

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Sh*t My Dad Said

 

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No unreasonable outbursts from Pops last week, other than the small tirade directed towards Demetrius Harris after his big drop. And, he wasn’t wrong to be upset. I really like Harris, he plays great on special teams, is tougher than I expected him to be as a former basketball player, and he has shown the ability to make a catch and turn upfield. That said, he’s got to make that catch. I have seen a trend with Harris and dropping important passes. Not every catch is equal, and good players make the catches that mean the most. Let’s hope DH can overcome these big-catch demons, as I think when he does we could have another solid player on our hands.

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That’s it this week, guys. Until next week.

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-P

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the-chop-paul-heitman

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  • larry mckinney

    Wow. Interesting stuff you’ve unearthed. Isn’t this interweb thingie something? Solid analysis, typewritten, shows that defensive philosophy hasn’t changed much over the years. Only the means of conveyance. Easier to edit then, by scratching out and replacing some verbiage, than today? You can’t scratch the Surface. Oooooh, sorry, it’s early morning here. I’ll be over it by game time.

  • berttheclock

    Hmmm – “COVER RECEIVERS TIGHT TO MAKE QB HESITATE” By any chance could this become required reading by one Bob Sutton?

    Funny thing about the comment of “Home cookin’ ” came from the closest Saints D-back who was the one trying to tackle Conley on that 3rd and 17 pass attempt and was looking down at the white line. He told Herbie Toupe that he saw Conley’s foot on the white. He referred to the call by the refs as ‘home cookin’, but, the replays clearly showed Conley’s foot was NOT on the white. Crawley must be descended from the infamous ref who called Jo Jo White’s foot on the out of bounds mark in the NCAA March Madness game against Texas Western. That ref was very wrong, but, Texas Western went on to making history.

    Excellent suggestions concerning how to repair the NFL.

    Watch for a new toy for Andrew Luck today. He is Jack Doyle, the former six six Western Kentucky TE. He was an UDFA for the Titans in 2013, cut late in camp and picked up by the Colts. He has spent the past seasons mainly being called in to block, but, with their starter out, plus, Moncrief being sidelined, he has emerged as the other go to guy for Luck. He had his best game last week against the Titans and scored what proved to be the winning TD.

  • berttheclock

    1990 KC Chiefs defensive handbook – Marty was the HC and Bill Cowher was his DC.

    Now, if only Nick Lowery had not missed that FG in the playoffs.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Aw man! ….you said the “L” word.

      • berttheclock

        That is one legacy of the Chiefs I wish would change. Missed FGs in the playoffs.

        • Laurels and limitations

          just the tip of the iceberg.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            I can’t help it, but Santos doesn’t give me a warm trustful feeling of assuredness.

          • Laurels and limitations

            Me neither, he sure has his moments but I still grit my teeth every time he gets up to kick.

        • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

          To this day….as the camera panned over to Marty after L….. missed, I can still see the look on Marty’s face.

          • berttheclock

            I still recall the TV screen I almost broke after throwing a basketball at the set following the Stenerud missed chip shot.

          • Laurels and limitations

            I had almost blocked that memory out, thanks bro!!

          • berttheclock

            Then, there was a fellow named Elliot, eh?

          • Laurels and limitations

            Yup, the original “L” word.

          • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

            This one probably stung the most….. the year we went 13-3 and lost at home due to missed FGs

          • Laurels and limitations

            ever try watching the KC/Miami game from ’71? just ugh.

          • berttheclock

            I believe that was a stock look as it looked very much akin the moment his star RB dropped the ball before crossing the goal line for the Browns.

      • Laurels and limitations

        funny stuff.

  • berttheclock

    If the Chiefs are thinking of bringing pressure up the middle against Luck, then, Good Luck in trying to do so. Their rookie center is Ryan Kelly, by far the most talented pure center coming out of college last year. The former Alabama center has not given up any sacks this year for the Colts.

    • Laurels and limitations

      Welp, he’s going to need all those accolades in order to keep KC’s defensive front off of Luck….Poe>any rookie.

  • Laurels and limitations

    I miss the 90s defense that KC fielded, it was smash mouth, don’t look back, punch your mutha and don’t ask forgiveness defense. Lewis and Cherry? yes please.

    • berttheclock

      Steve DeBerg’s slight of hand as a QB was not too bad, either. First you see it, then……………..

      • Laurels and limitations

        Ha!!! Deberg wrote the book on play action, I used to laugh so hard when he would fake out the camera man, which seemed like it happened 2-3 times a game.

    • berttheclock

      Funny things happen when you have both your HC and DC being former linebackers coming out of the very tough football played in Western coal country Pennsylvania.

    • berttheclock

      Plus, Tony Dungy was the D-back coach, while, on the offensive side Bruce Arians was the RB coach.

      • Laurels and limitations

        It was a different league back then, as we often lament.

  • berttheclock

    Yesterday, Dorsey sent scouts to two college games. One was the UConn-East Carolina game where East Carolina destroyed UConn, 41-3. A player who might have interested the KC scout is Jamie Summers, the six three former QB turned both RB and wide out. He threw a great TD pass yesterday when he was featured as a RB. The other game was the dustup between Miami and Notre Dame which ND won on a very late FG, 30-27. There were many excellent players in that game for the KC scout to review.

  • Chiefly Bacon

    Busy mornin. I’ll have to read the full piece after church, but I’m sure it’s a delight as usual.

    • berttheclock

      Yes, it does have its moments, In fact several of them.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Hmmm….

    Over the last two games, one in every nine passing attempts from Alex Smith has resulted in a gain of 25+ yards. pic.twitter.com/P8fcno5YDA— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) October 30, 2016

    • berttheclock

      I did not know Miracle Max did arm transplants.

      • Laurels and limitations

        Child’s play, man, child’s play. Let’s in least give Max and the Mrs. something difficult to perform.

      • Laurels and limitations

        Another fine example of statistics being skewed in order to prove a point.

  • royearl

    good post and how I’d fix the NFL? To fix the rule book would be first and maybe last or the only fix. Go back about 25 years and call it good, meaning every new rule since would be disposed of. No radio’s in helmets allowed, not legal for OLine to hold, OK to mash the QB and DB’s to play defense until the ball is in the air. I really miss football of old, back when I looked forward to all the games instead of just the Chief’s. Oh well, I’m just an old man now wishing for my youthful glory days instead of all the days being the same, same old.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Cousins is going to get a WR killed throwing in that manner.

  • berttheclock

    A couple of days ago on Laddie’s thread concerning trades, Sheldon Richardson was mentioned. High priced, but, he was brought up as adding to the defensive line. However, Richardson has told a NY based paper that he wouldn’t mind switching to OLB or even the middle in a 3-4 defense. He said he could earn more money. Just reading about how Hali is trying to play with a bone on bone situation in his knee causes me to cringe. Pure guts, but, for how much longer?

    • Laurels and limitations

      Gotta believe that this is Hali’s last hoorah. In all actuality I’m extremely surprised that Tamba is back THIS year.

  • berttheclock

    When Vernon Davis went to the Broncos from the Niners and did not produce for them, many fans said he was through. In fact, fans of the Chiefs said they thought he was over the hill and too old to come to KC and reunite with Alex Smith. However, he must have found a form of the Fountain of Youth with the Redskins. He has really produced and so far, this AM, he has had 3 catches for 60 yards.

  • berttheclock

    I hope Miracle Max is yelling at the Chiefs’ players by saying “Have a good time storming Lucas Oil Stadium”.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Jones really is a large man.

    .@cjonesmsu96 arrives at Lucas Oil Stadium for #KCvsIND. pic.twitter.com/ItgR16M8Ih— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) October 30, 2016

    • berttheclock

      As Bob Sutton said about him hitting the extra point with his hand, “He is the tallest of the defensive players”.

  • Laurels and limitations

    I don’t get this line, and I don’t get the disqualification of KC coming out of Lucas with a victory today…KC is the better team by a far margin.

    Colts favored by 3. Let's prove em wrong fellas— 14-2 (@ChiefsKingd0m) October 30, 2016

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      Vegas has Chiefs favored by 3

      • Laurels and limitations

        Yeah, I get that, but I have to remind myself that Vegas is attempting to get people to wager versus a line.

        • berttheclock

          Often, Pete Prisco’s picks are based on beating the spread more than a team actually winning the game.

          • Laurels and limitations

            agreed.

    • berttheclock

      This opened as the Chiefs being favored from 2 to five points. But, perhaps, many bettors started to read into the stat that said the Colts are 13-2 straight up and 12 against the spread. However, the Chiefs have an excellent road record of beating the favorites. Bettors who favor the Colts are believing Luck to be an a roll.

      • Laurels and limitations

        only versus the spread is my argument. Everyone else knows that Indy’s o-line is porous and Pagano is an imposter. I don’t mean to come off as overconfident this a.m. but the only way that KC loses this game is if the coaching staff comes out with their heads up their butts again (which we have witnessed before unfortunately).

  • Laurels and limitations

    Just how in the hell did KC allow Houston to appear to actually have a defense? That had better be KC’s head scratcher for the season.

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      I’ve actually said that a few times, I wish we had that game back, I believe we take it easily the second time

      • Laurels and limitations

        The entire team looked disjointed from the word go. They literally would have looked better by simply staying home that day, lol.

        • berttheclock

          It is really the fault at 345 Park Avenue whose officials keep failing to remind Andy Reid that the 1st game of the season is NOT the 5th preseason game.

          • Laurels and limitations

            Yup, and I for one am one of the people that absolutely hates it when pundits say that the early games of the year are less meaningful. Every season in the NFL is a long one that transpires oh-so-quickly, but teams only have 16 games to make their impact….every, single, game, quarter, and snap matters.

          • mnelson52

            It seems as though we have a head scratcher each year, early, then end up a game behind Denver.

          • Laurels and limitations

            I believe it is covered in line three of the Chief’s organizational mission statement. I’d update it.

  • Laurels and limitations
  • berttheclock

    Forty minutes remain until I don my Red Chiefs hoodie and depart with Pat for D’s Bar in Portland to cheer on the Chiefs.

    • Laurels and limitations

      first thing I did was put on my colder weather Chief’s shirt this a.m. The grandkids simply looked at me and said “football?”.

      • Stan Colbert

        Well trained!

        • Laurels and limitations

          Lol, they’re getting there.

  • berttheclock

    Open note to Deacon Laddie. We have tried to keep it real for you until you lead all in Sunday vespers.

  • berttheclock

    Thanks again to the excellent writing of Paul Heitman for beginning our Game Day.

  • Laurels and limitations

    This makes me sad that Santos is the focus of pre-game tweets. Seriously, nobody can find Ware/DJ/Berry/Conely/the Waterboy/ a groundskeeper…

    #Chiefs Cairo Santos rocking the white jersey and red pants for today's game. #KCvsIND— Matt Derrick (@mattderrick) October 30, 2016

  • Laurels and limitations

    This is better, but it makes me wonder if Luck will attempt to qualify his name versus Peters today or if he will emulate Brees and avoid him all day today.

    Arrival in Indy. #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/yaFarljUrP— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) October 30, 2016

  • Laurels and limitations

    Speaking of the 90s, this would have been considered taking a play off the defender back in then. But it’s “cheating” in today’s league, smh.

    So much of WR/CB play is hand fighting + 'cheating'. Green tries to push off, Norman counters with a hold, almost gets INT pic.twitter.com/Lt4A6FaDt2— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) October 30, 2016

  • Laurels and limitations

    Somebody explain the Barrington signing to m please.

    #Chiefs inactives vs. Colts:QB – T. BrayCB – D. WhiteRB – J. CharlesOL – J. DeveyOL – B. WitzmannTE – R. TravisLB – S. Barrington— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) October 30, 2016

  • Laurels and limitations

    well, let’s see what comes of this…

    Today is first time LB Sio Moore is active for #Chiefs. He began the season w/ Colts & had 30 tackles, which still ranks 4th on their team.— BJ Kissel (@ChiefsReporter) October 30, 2016

    • Stan Colbert

      Needed a Captain for coin toss.

  • Stan Colbert

    Yards are only important on 1st or 3rd down. You hear Sutton talk about the play, staying the play, tackling at point of catch. One difference seems to me, the emphasis on turnovers and dependence thereon! It seems, if the Chiefs don’t get TO they have a very difficult time getting enough points together to win! It is almost like Andy uses the defense to score, the offense to keep the opponent from scoring(yes that’s an exaggeration).

    • Laurels and limitations

      exaggerated, yet an apt description nonetheless.

  • Laurels and limitations

    What a play by Reed for the Redskins!!! I seriously thought he was going to be short of the 1st down marker, then he takes it all the way to the house!!

  • berttheclock

    One last point to make for today’s game. The ref will be Craig Wrolstad. He loves to watch the QB and will call unnecessary roughness on defenders far more than most refs. He has his crew really check out false starts. But, his crew is the 2nd lowest caller of offensive pass interference in the league. Yet, another reason for the NFL to have full time refs who have been trained at the NFL Referee Academy and stop this propensities of certain crews which exists in the league today. Now, you have to not only game plan against your opponent, but, game plan for whichever ref will lead his crew into the game.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Oh my…

    @ArrowheadPride The Chiefs haven't won a game in red pants since November 9th, 2014— The Garrett (@gapaddington11) October 30, 2016

  • Laurels and limitations

    Every game matters

    #math https://t.co/G1OfrUrZOd— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) October 30, 2016

    • Chiefs-Kings-A’s

      I’ve heard of that movement. 😙

  • Laurels and limitations

    Tape on the ankle is not good for the mobility

    Wish I was close enough for a photo but Mitch Schwartz has a ton of tape on his injured left ankle— Adam Teicher (@adamteicher) October 30, 2016

  • Merlin

    The NFL needs to expand games played outside of America. It’s the best way to grow the global market for the future.

    • Laurels and limitations

      There is a belief that the NFL’s desire for constant expansion has a direct correlation with a perceived lesser value in production. Personally I have a hard time not comparing the NFL to the Roman Empire in that the more effort that is put into expanding borders allows increased rotting from within.

    • mnelson52

      I really could care less about global expansion. I like having just 32 teams, and all in the US. Of coarse I’m not a greedy billionaire owner. I’m just a fan of quality football. If I was drafted by London, I would wait and re-enter the draft so my home could stay in US. That’s just how I feel.

    • Absolutely not.

  • All points well taken including a “training league” for Refs and bubble players. There are many men who are on the cusp of making an nfl roster. Limit this to 2 years of potential participation by players(ie, keep rolling through players who really want it and develop over the two years. Like that). Much of that may be having to transition or build strength, etc). Each NFL team could have an additional 6 bubble players for this purpose. A mini-development league would be formed, ref’ed by people who want to move to the NFL as officials(development league also). Real game situations, coaching, building, etc. I agree with the competition committee wholeheartedly.

  • Laurels and limitations

    Haha!!

    Dearest mother —Chiefs are marching this way for battle. I fear they'll take my beard hair as some sort of trophy. My worry grows.— Andrew— Capt. Andrew Luck (@CaptAndrewLuck) October 24, 2016

  • Chiefly Bacon

    Ugh. That lack of pass rush.

  • Chiefly Bacon

    Can we teach someone to freaking tackle?

  • Andy

    How about keeping political correctness out of football. That is why ratings are down. People want to watch football, not what some talking head thinks about the first gay this or the Redskins name…our most importantly disrespecting our flag and county.