The Norv Trickle Down theroy

Dajesus

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I noticed the last 2 weeks that our defense is getting a little more creative to go along with our very creative offense. Last year both sides of the ball were extremely vanilla. The basic plan was to keep everything as simple as possible and let the best athletes win. That worked out usually because we had better athletes than 90% of the league, but it broke down every time we played a team with better athletes or a coach that took advantage of our scheme. I am curious if the arival of Norv, who is obviously a offensive genius, is inspireing Bates and Wanstedt. Last week against the Jets I couldn't beleave who well Bates disguised blitzes and bringing up Freeman on run support. I hope Bates and Dave keep burning the midnight oil trying to figue out how to keep up with Norv.
 

ckparrothead

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I doubt it. These are things that Wannstedt and Bates thought of right after our playoff loss to the Ravens, I think. Its easy for us to say, during the season last year, that the coaches need to start using more 8 man fronts and blitzes to cover for our lack of passrush and leaky run defense. Its another thing to try and install those kinds of things late in the season when the players are completely unfamiliar with them and they have been use to playing a certain way for nye on 10 weeks. I think that during the season it genuinely didn't occur to them that Daryl Gardener would be lost midseason or that our other guys filling in would be so injured and unable to do their jobs. So way back in training camp they didn't install any of those 8 man fronts or blitz packages. And they obviously felt handcuffed during the season because if they started blitzing, we weren't doing it effectively, and if they started with the 8 man fronts, the safeties weren't doing it or disguising it effectively...so it all came down to needing an offseason to teach those looks so that we could mix them in during the season.

If you remember correctly, Bates didn't just sit on his haunches after the 2000 season either. He added in a couple of new looks like the "Cloud" look, which was extremely effective in the first part of the season until our run defense unexpectedly took a turn past mediocre and straight into "kinda sh!tty" So I think after the playoff game they decided to come up with about 5-10 new looks that they'd practice and be good at, and can break out as the situation dictated. Against the Lions we were playing such inferior talent that there's no way in heck we're going to break out our entire defensive playbook NOW (which may be one of the reasons we let them score 21). And against the Colts, well they have plenty of history of games against the Colts where they show that Edge will get his yards, Peyton and Harrison will get theirs, you can let them mop the field with you between the 20's but when they get to the redzone you hit them in the mouth and always make them go 15 plays to get to the redzone, and our great secondary will always end up making plays against them and keeping the score low. I mean you can't really argue with 2-3 years of results against the Colts offense...

Against the Jets, for whatever reason (probably because of the jinx and all the talk about how they were gonna run Curtis) they felt they needed to break out a few of these new looks. Against the Chiefs some speculate they may break out 1 or 2 more of them. Thats my two cents on the subject.
 

Merman

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The Dolphins can't learn new schemes during the season but Belichick's defense can master new ones every week?? The pundits also say Belichick likes to keep crafty veterans for this purpose. Something seems wrong. The Dolphins defense has maybe two players who could be considered fairly new. Greenwood and Fletcher?? So our superior talent needs a whole off season to learn something new or for the coaches to come up with new schemes??
 

Dajesus

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The other thing that I failed to mention in my first post is I think just going against the craft new offense every day in practice would force Bates to get a little more crafty. The only thing i would disagre with you about is that Bates' D was just as vanilla in 2000, but he had alot more talent so it didn't get as exposed.
 

Surferosa

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Nice post Parrothead. I completely agree with you. Keep in mind, when Wanny came aboard in 2000, our entire team philosophy (offense and defense) was based on conservative play-calling to protect our weak offense. Remember, we were expected to finish dead last in 2000 beacuse our offense was simply laughable on paper - an unknown QB (Fiedler), a journeyman RB (Lamar) and probably the slowest, worst WR corps in the game. So one of the ways Wanny protected our offense was by pulling in the reigns on defense - calling schemes that had the safeties back and little blitzing to prevent big plays, which would take the pressure off Fiedler and Co. to produce. And by and large 2000 was a huge success for the Dolphins - Gailey got more out of the offense that anyone ever dreamed off, we won the division and were in almost every ballgame. And since this conservative team mindset worked so well in 2000, we stuck with it again last year (only to take a step backwards as it turns out).

Now with more weapons on offense and two solid years under his belt, Wanny has changed this teams mindset and playcalling- on both offense and defense. The defense actually made the switch to become more aggressive after the playoff loss (as you said). The offense followed in the defenses steps, after we acquired Norv and Ricky.

So there you have it - the anatomy of a football team - how the Miami Dolphins morphed from a conservative, predictable team to an explosive, aggressive bunch in three seasons. I think Wanny line of thinking has been commendable the last three seasons, especially after his suprise success in 2000. His only real mistake in my eyes was failing to air it out more at the end of his second year (last year), when the offense began to sputter due to the conservative approach.

But give him credit, hes made up for last years indecision by installing a completely new philosophy into this team - one that matches the immense talent we have o both sides of the ball.
 

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I think though when a defense suffers injuries and loses talent scheming can help support the talent that is in the game. Schemeing/disguising can allow a team to play an Otis Smith at CB. While vanilla may work when you have superior talent doing the unexpected can make up for a lack of tament.
 

Superself

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It is really simple guys.

This is a copy cat league. Bates didn't create those wrinkles...he copied them from another team because Dave told him to.

Now, guess which team they copied and modified last weeks scheme from. The Patroits. They are masters at disguising their coverages...especially with the safety and linebacker.

I'm sure that Dave worked on this a little bit during mini camp with the defensive team. However they didn't implement it until they saw the success that the Patriots were having with it.

See it, steal it, modify it a bit,........ there....now it is yours!
 
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I think the most important factor that has helped the defense is that by Norv being here, it takes a lot of pressure off of Wanny -- and allows him to spend a lot of his time on defense. Now we can say that we have double the talent in coordinating the defense (Wanny and Bates), a defense that by many standards has already been proven.

I don't really think we lost any talent on defense. Yes we lost experience, by Bromel/Mixon and Walker leaving, but I think they did a hell of a job replacing them. The LE position has not suffered at all IMO, and at the end of the season it may end up proving to be an upgrade. In the SS position, Freeman has been doing an oustanding job. He is in on EVERY play. This kid will have a hell of a year. So Fletcher is the only question mark, and I think he is coming along nicely. He has a lot to learn, but I think we will all be surprised by his development. At DT we can't really say we would have Daryll, even if he stayed here, I doubt he could have played due to his back, so Larry Chesters is an upgrade from what we had at the end of last season.

So with all this in mind, and Wanny having tons of more time to concentrate on Defense, it is only expected that we will see many improvements. Our coaches are good, and now have the time to make the most of the talenf that our players have and be creative. So, another good thing that comes from Norv being here.
 

dolphan39

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Originally posted by underwaterjedi
I think the most important factor that has helped the defense is that by Norv being here, it takes a lot of pressure off of Wanny -- and allows him to spend a lot of his time on defense. Now we can say that we have double the talent in coordinating the defense (Wanny and Bates), a defense that by many standards has already been proven.

So with all this in mind, and Wanny having tons of more time to concentrate on Defense, it is only expected that we will see many improvements. Our coaches are good, and now have the time to make the most of the talenf that our players have and be creative. So, another good thing that comes from Norv being here.
that is exactly what Wanne said when he hired Norv
 
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