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 TAMPA-2 DEFENSE

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MAHAM
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PostSubject: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Mon Jul 28, 2008 2:58 am

The Colts have been running the t2/cover2 ever since Dungy came to town. Its a defensive philosophy I admire and this thread is to archive some stuff I found informative.

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PostSubject: Re: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:13 pm

Tampa 2
Tampa 2 refers to a style of defense played by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and implemented by its coaches, Tony Dungy, Herm Edwards, Lovie Smith, and Monte Kiffin, in recent years. Because of its success it has become popular with many professional and college teams. It blends the Cover 2 and Cover 3 defenses by having two defensive backs, usually the safeties, in deep coverage on either side of the field, and a middle linebacker covering the medium to deep middle. Its benefit over the Cover 2 is that the sidelines and middle of the field are better protected against deep threats, with the drawback being a larger open area in the short middle of the field underneath the middle linebacker. Its benefit over the Cover 3 is that it only dedicates two defensive backs to deep coverage rather than three, allowing for better protection against short outside routes.
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PostSubject: Re: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:17 pm

Cover 2
In traditional Cover 2 schemes the free safety (FS) and strong safety (SS) have deep responsibilities, each guarding half of the field. The NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, Chicago Bears, and Detroit Lions run a variant of this defense called the Tampa 2.

Cover 2 can be run from any seven-man defensive fronts such as the 3-4 and the 4-3. (It is difficult to implement Cover 2 from an eight-in-the-box front, because the strong safety or someone replacing him is usually the eighth man.) Various "underneath" coverage played by cornerbacks and linebackers may also be implemented. For example, Cover 2 Man means 2 safeties have deep responsibility while the cornerbacks and linebackers follow their offensive assignment in one-on-one coverage. The NFL's San Diego Chargers inherited a base Cover 2 Man 3-4 from Wade Phillips. Cover 2 can also be paired with underneath zone schemes: Cover 2 Zone refers to 2 safeties with deep responsibility but now the CBs and LBs drop back into specific coverage zones where they defend passes only in their assigned area.

Teams that play Cover 2 shells usually subscribe to the "bend-but-don't-break" philosophy, preferring to keep offensive players in front of them for short gains while limiting long passes. This is in stark contrast to a more aggressive Cover 1 type scheme which leaves the offensive team's wide receivers in single man-to-man coverage with only one deep helper. By splitting the deep field between two defenders, the defense can drastically reduce the number of long gains.

The main weakness of the Cover 2 shell occurs in the middle of the field between the safeties. The safeties attempt to gain width upon the snap of the ball to cover any long passes to quick wide receivers down the sideline. This movement creates a natural hole between the safeties that can be attacked. By sending a receiver (usually a tight end) into the hole, the offense forces the safety to make a decision: play the vulnerable hole in the middle of the field or help out on the wide receiver. The quarterback reads the safety's decision and decides on the best matchup (i.e. which mismatch is better: TE vs S or WR vs CB).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_football_strategy
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PostSubject: Re: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:22 pm

I read this a while ago and was amazed. I asked to repost this. Tmack, a fellow fan, hit the nail on the head with his analysis.


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Our defense is built upon the Cover 2/Tampa 2 philosophy, which has a higher regard for speed and quickness than pure size. It's a misconception that we prefer small players, but with the way our team has been set up with regard to our salary cap allocation, Polian had to find players that other teams didn't want which resulted in us getting some undersized players and making due. This defense surely wants big, fast players over small, fast ones, but again we have to make due with what we have, what we can get, and what we can afford. Looking at our salary cap this year, 5 of the top 10 highest paid players on our roster are on the defensive side of the ball (though to be fair, only 1 in the top 5). We are starting to see some money spent on that side of the ball, but in my opinion we are still lacking quite a few "ideal" players for the defense to be at its best (think the really dominant Tampa Bay defenses of the late 90's and early 00's).

Up until this past season, we have not had prototypical Tampa 2 cornerbacks. Polian made excellent selections in the 2005 draft, getting Marlin in the first round and Hayden in the second. (This was the draft after New England beat us 20-3 in the Divisional round and Dungy was quoted as saying "we have to get more physical in the secondary.") Both players are good sized corners (6'0" 195-200 lbs each), very athletic, and have excellent striking and tackling abilities. The Tampa 2 scheme wants those larger, more physical corners because it does rely on them in run support. It also uses them to jam the receivers at the line to disrupt the timing of the patterns of the receivers, though we do jam less than more aggressive Tampa-2 teams like what Monte Kiffin does with Tampa Bay. We blitz far less than them as well, but that's another topic...

Typically, we play a zone coverage with the corner responsible for the area from the line of scrimmage up to about 20 yards past the line of scrimmage where the receiver then begins to transition into the safety's zone. (You hear a lot of analysts talk about "soft spots" or "areas to attack" in zones and a lot of times they are talking about these transitional areas that exist.) The Cover 2 calls for the two safeties to split the field in half and be responsible for the their "half" of the field that begins after corner's and linebackers zones. The Tampa-2 differs from the cover 2 in that the MIKE will frequently run back after the ball is snapped and play centerfield, virtually splitting the deep coverage into thirds. This also puts the MIKE into position to cover the Tight End if he runs the ever popular seam route, a route that is used to exploit the "soft spots" or transitional areas in the zone coverage like I talked about before.

What I have seen from Indianapolis over the last season and a half is a transition in the defense to fully take advantage of the attributes of Bob Sanders, a player with true "play-making" abilities. When Bob was drafted, the other safety was Mike Doss. This was an immediate disadvantage because both players were more comfortable as strong safeties and lacked the ideal coverage skills necessary of a free safety. Essentially, we had two of the same, and they didn't complement each other very well. In the 2006 draft, we literally stole Antoine Bethea in the 6th round. He is the perfect free safety for this system, and proved that by beating out Mike Doss for the free safety spot in the 2006 Training Camp (before Doss went out for the year with a knee ligament tear). He plays his zone very well, is fast and quick, but also possesses the ability to come up from his deep safety position and really lay a lick on the offensive player. His presence has allowed Dungy and Meeks to experiment with Sanders, and utilize him in a dynamic way depending on how we need him and who we are playing.
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PostSubject: Re: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:41 pm

The Colts run a one gap scheme. The Patriots, for instance, run a 2 gap. From msnfoxsport.com:

One-Gap vs. Two-Gap

As important as the techniques are, gap responsibilities are much more vital to the success of the defense. Depending on the play called and the philosophy of the defensive coordinator, a defensive lineman could be responsible for either one or two gaps.

One-gap responsibility is relatively simple: the defender attacks a hole and must take care of whatever business happens there. He is expected to tackle any running back who goes through that hole, or to force the running back to move laterally into the arms of another tackler. If the offense is passing, the defender's gap is his route to the quarterback.

Two-gap responsibility requires more discipline on the part of the defender. A defensive tackle may be responsible for both the A and B gaps on his side of the field. His job is not so much to crash through a gap as to read the play, anticipate which gap a running back might choose, and clog it. The two-gap defender must quickly diagnose the blocking scheme to determine which of his gaps is more vulnerable. "
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PostSubject: Re: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Mon Jul 28, 2008 5:46 pm

TAMPA - One gap, one man.

That, simply stated, is the principle upon which the Bucs run defense is based. Each player is responsible for one gap, and no gap is without a player.

If only it were that simple.

"Everyone thinks, "Oh, just play one-gap football, it's a piece of cake,"' linebackers coach Joe Barry said. "Well, you have to be in the right place, you have to whip a block and then you have to tackle a hell of an athlete. It's not always easy."

One-gap defense is a mental, physical and collaborative pursuit. It tests a player's ability to read, react, perform and, above all else, trust in his teammates to do the same.

"Trust, in my opinion, is everything," Pro Bowl linebacker Derrick Brooks said. "This defense is built on accountability. That's what the one-gap system is all about, trusting that the person will be in his gap. That's what we have to do."

Gaps are potential running lanes, labeled by the Bucs with letters. Starting from the center and working out, the A Gaps are on either side of the center; B Gaps, between the guards and tackles; C Gaps, outside the tackles; and D Gaps, outside the tight ends. In a two-tight end set there are eight gaps.

http://www.sptimes.com/2003/10/29/Bucs/In_the_gap.shtml
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PostSubject: Re: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:12 am

Below is the standard 43 Cover 2 defense. The safeties are responsible for 1/2 of the field deep. The corners and linebackers are each responsible for about 1/5 of the field in the shorter distances. This poses a problem, see the next figure.

This type of Cover 2 scheme leaves a lot of soft zones open. These soft spots in the defense can be exploited by teams that have accurate QBs. While there are very few weaknesses to the Cover 2, all zone coverages have weak spots or soft spots. The Cover 2 leaves defenses wide open to deep post patterns, seam routes, medium range hooks, and teams that like to flood a zone. Because of how much ground the safety has to cover, deep passes can easily overload his zone. It's very difficult for a safety to cover an entire half of a field. Offenses like to run a Stop or Out pattern to the sidelines. Once the receiver leaves the zone where the cornerback is covering, he will be open in one of the soft zones below. For the WR, itís about an 8 yard run, while the safety may have to run about 20 yards to tackle him. It's also a mismatch as most safeties in the NFL can not cover a receiver effectively. That's why Tamp Bay relied heavily on speedy defensive players and gang tackling. Everyone has to run to the ball and make a tackle. See the soft spots below:


The Tampa 2 attempts to plug up these soft zones and fix this problem. So how does the Tampa 2 plug these holes?

The Tampa 2 coverage scheme attempts to plug up the soft spots in the usual Cover 2. The Tampa 2 emphasizes speed and a quick pass-rush. While the normal Cover 2 has each LB and CB covering about 1/5 of the field, as you saw above, and the safeties covering 1/2 the field deep, the Tampa 2 pulls the middle LB into a middle deep zone coverage as well, making it a a Cover 3. What this does is allows the safeties to have to cover less ground, so they can cover the traditional soft zone past the corners more effectively.

Since the middle LB drops into coverage, the other two LBs and CBs each have to cover about 1/4 of the field. Speed at every position is extremely important, because the LBs have to cover more ground than LBs are used to covering.
http://www.footballtimes.org/Article.asp?ID=167
Coverage assignments:
CBs:
The CBs play a short zone in the purple zone as above. They do not follow the receivers if they go too deep or too far to the middle. They stay put in their zones.

Ss:
The safeties cover any WRs that go deep and down field past the zone that is covered by the CBs.

LBs:
The LBs are crucial. They cover the RBs, the TE and anyone else that comes at them. If it is a running play, they go up and make the tackles. If the TE goes out on a pattern, they cover him as long as he is in their zone. Once he goes too deep or too far to the sidelines, they can leave him. Some defenses will chose to cover the TE man with a LB. Find out what your coach wants to do.

Xs:

The defensive line attacks the QB. Each X is responsible for a single gap. There responsibility is to go after the QB and tackle the RBs on run plays. Very simple.
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PostSubject: Re: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:22 am

I also found an article thats a little bit older that i read a while back, but it explains basic line technique well, and uses the Colts as an example. For anyone interested, I thought it was a good read.
http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/5...:-Mind-the-Gap


Quote :
Gaps and Techniques

The various field locations are numbered. These numbers are more-or-less universal: everyone from your local high school coach up to Tony Dungy uses the same numbers:


0-Technique: The defender lines up face-to-face with the center.
1-Technique: The defender lines up on the center's outside shoulder.
2-Technique: The defender lines up on the guard's inside shoulder.
3-Technique: The defender lines up on the guard's outside shoulder, between the guard and the tackle.
4-Technique: The defender lines up on the tackle's inside shoulder, though often coaches want 4-technique linemen face-to-face with an offensive tackle.
5-Technique: The defender lines up on the tackle's outside shoulder.
6-Technique: The defender lines up on the tight end's inside shoulder or (if there is no tight end) about 1.5 yards wide of the tackle.

The 3-technique tackle is in short supply because few players leave college with the right mix of strength, explosiveness, technique, and durability. Systems like Tony Dungy's rely heavily on 3-technique tackles to disrupt the interior of the offensive line. For most defensive coordinators, heaven is a 3-technique tackle who is in the backfield on every play, a 0-technique tackle who requires two blockers and controls two gaps, and a pass rushing end (7,8,or 9 technique) who also requires a double team on every play.

Colts example: On a typical first down, DT Larry Triplett lines up in 1-technique on the weak side; fellow DT Monte Reagor lines up on the strong side in the 3-technique. DE Raheem Brock is over the tight end in a 6-technique, while Dwight Freeney is in the 7-technique, about 1.5 yards wide of the left tackle on the weak side.


Quote :
One-Gap
*snip*
Colts example: On the same first down play cited above, all of the defenders have one-gap responsibility except Triplett, who is expected to control both A gaps (the one he is aligned across from and the one on the strong side). Reagor penetrates the B-gap. Brock will loop wide of the tight end and take the D-gap. Though there is no tight end to his side, Freeney will also be considered a D-gap defender because of his wide pass rush: a linebacker will be responsible for the area directly to the left tackle's right side.

Quote:
Quote :
Rules of Engagement
*snip*
Colts example: Reagor defeats his blocker with quickness, beating the right guard on his first step. The guard's block only slows Reagor a little as he penetrates the backfield. Initial quickness also helps Tripplett, who crosses the center's face, rips with his arms to keep the center from latching on, then holds his position. Brock successfully loops around the tight end, while Freeney's wide rush puts him quickly on the far hip of the left tackle. The Colts have excellent penetration.


Quote :
Stunts, Slants, Twists and Loops
Colts Example: On the next set of downs, Dungy replaces Tripplett with the faster Josh Williams and calls a jet stunt to the weak side. Freeney takes his blocker wide, then works inside just as Williams starts to twist wide. Freeney escapes the left tackle but is picked up by a fullback. Williams is too slow to get a sack, but he flushes the quarterback from behind and forces an errant pass. The stunt works, and it gives the opposing line something new to worry about.

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PostSubject: Re: TAMPA-2 DEFENSE   Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:24 am

basic Cover 2 corner technique at Rutgers:
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