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4-2-5 In the NFL

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Old 06-10-2011, 01:25 AM   #1
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4-2-5 In the NFL

Since we haven't had much to talk about on the warpath with the lockout, I was thinking the other day Why doesn't any of the teams in the NFL play a 4-2-5 base defense?

I don't get it, with teams playing more spread, and Safeties becoming more like LB's, why don't teams in the NFL use it?

I keep hearing that it isn't good against the run, but every time I see this defense play against the run it is no different than a 3-4 or 4-3 defense in terms of yards allowed.

Then I also thought, what if the skins had used this defense with a DL of Orakpo Haynesworth Gholston Carter (or even Kerrigan)

LB's of Rocky and Fletch

and Safeties LaRon Horton and Moore (or OJ)...
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:43 AM   #2
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

I'm sure there's 4-2-5 concepts in the NFL right now. It's probably in every defensive coordinators back pocket.

In fact I do seem to remember some formations in the Green Bay Packers where LaRon Landry, Reed Doughty and Kareem Moore were all on the field. I thought it was a nickel formation at first, but it seems closer to the 4-2-5.

And Aaron Rodgers more or less picked it apart whenever we were in it.

There's probably elements of it everywhere, but as a base defense, it won't be widespread until a team can use it and prove it can work every week without it being figured out.

Like the 46 defense of the Bears; more or less unstoppable, until Marino and Dolphins found that it's weakness was the short passing game and more or less made it a situational package instead of a base formation.
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:52 AM   #3
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

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Originally Posted by CultBrennan59 View Post
Since we haven't had much to talk about on the warpath with the lockout, I was thinking the other day Why doesn't any of the teams in the NFL play a 4-2-5 base defense?

I don't get it, with teams playing more spread, and Safeties becoming more like LB's, why don't teams in the NFL use it?

I keep hearing that it isn't good against the run, but every time I see this defense play against the run it is no different than a 3-4 or 4-3 defense in terms of yards allowed.

Then I also thought, what if the skins had used this defense with a DL of Orakpo Haynesworth Gholston Carter (or even Kerrigan)

LB's of Rocky and Fletch

and Safeties LaRon Horton and Moore (or OJ)...
the pats play with 5 dbs most of the time
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Old 06-10-2011, 01:54 AM   #4
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

A nickel defense isn't balanced for the run like a typical 4-3.
You could run easily for 5-8 yards a pop.
Could you imagine a cornerback trying to shed a block from a TE in a two TE set?

Thats why you typically see the nickel defense only on passing downs.
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Old 06-10-2011, 02:09 AM   #5
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

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A nickel defense isn't balanced for the run like a typical 4-3.
You could run easily for 5-8 yards a pop.
Could you imagine a cornerback trying to shed a block from a TE in a two TE set?

Thats why you typically see the nickel defense only on passing downs.
I think 3 safeties is more the concept here. Still not the same as a LB vs the run, but if competent can still get the job done.
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:48 AM   #6
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

The NFL game that I watch includes a lot of 4-2-5 concepts, even on first down. A lot of teams might play 4-2-5 on any given down. That's just good defensive playcalling, especially against someone like Peyton Manning. It keeps the offense off-balance.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:34 AM   #7
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

I've heard the [so called] experts proclaim the 4-2-5 defense to be more adaptable to modern offenses. Not true, in my opinion. The most adaptable defense is one that you understand best, and can communicate adjustments to your players off of so that they understand it.

You can be more versatile with your coverages in a 4-2-5. It's better suited to a Cover 3 base coverage with a look of 2-high safeties. You can roll down your deep safety with ease, but if you try to drop them back before the snap Ė well....tried it with my kids and they didn't prove versatile enough, at the pro level though 4-2-5 could provide some interesting concepts.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:42 AM   #8
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

Cool thread. Something to make me actually think about football strategy. Nice.

The obvious vulnerability in the 4-2-5 is defending the run. You take one big body out of that front 7 and play the extra safety even remotely removed from the box, you're begging the opposing QB to check to a power running play.

The 4-2-5 is probably the best scheme to use against a team like the Eagles, who like to spray the ball around with quick-hitting passes. They don't have the threat of the power running game, and the extra safety on the field gives you just a tad more speed to help you cope with Michael Vick.

But if I'm lining up against the Cleveland Browns with Joe Thomas leading that line and Peyton Hillis waiting back there to pound the rock like an old school John Riggins, I'm not taking that 3rd LB off the field. It's hard enough to hold that team to 4 yards per carry even with a 4-3 or 3-4 alignment as it is. And until Colt McCoy proves himself, I wouldn't worry about my base 4-man secondary getting too torn up.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:55 AM   #9
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

this thread reminds me of GW & some of the packages he put together for specific game plans that you might not see him do again that season. I can't recall him using a 4-2-5, but I remember v. Minn. in 07 he ran some 5 man D line formations to stop AP. It worked, & he kept throwing crazy looks at them. I miss those GW defenses.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:41 AM   #10
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

Safeties have multiple responsibilities, down, distance and formation being the most important. Take away the deep...play up on the short.

YouTube - ‪4-2-5 Defense: Pass Defense Coverages & Drills‬‏
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:49 AM   #11
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

The Pats run 2 TEs most of the time... I would hate to run a 4-2-5 against them. The reason they had so much success last year was because Brady was excellent at changing the play from a pass to a run based on the Defense formation/coverage. I read that the Pats only passed 54% of the time, which seems low to me, but when you have Woodhead and Green-Ellis and 2TE, you can butcher a nickle/dime or 4-2-5.
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Old 06-10-2011, 03:24 PM   #12
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

I think some of you all aren't understanding me correctly. I'm saying why isn't the defense run as a base defense in the NFL, not just a type of defense run during a game.

Today there are two base defenses that teams run, the 34 and 43 defense, I'm asking why some teams don't change to a permanent defense like the 42, like TCU. The last time I remember seeing a team run it was the Colts against the Pats in what people called Super Bowl XLI 1/2. Also the Bucs ran it against the raiders in that super bowl.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:02 PM   #13
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

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Originally Posted by CultBrennan59 View Post
I think some of you all aren't understanding me correctly. I'm saying why isn't the defense run as a base defense in the NFL, not just a type of defense run during a game.

Today there are two base defenses that teams run, the 34 and 43 defense, I'm asking why some teams don't change to a permanent defense like the 42, like TCU. The last time I remember seeing a team run it was the Colts against the Pats in what people called Super Bowl XLI 1/2. Also the Bucs ran it against the raiders in that super bowl.
I suppose my argument was that it is used as a base defense sometimes. Given the need to change things up defensively, we might want to question whether ANYONE really runs a 3-4 or a 4-3 as a "base" defense.
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Old 06-10-2011, 04:38 PM   #14
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

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Originally Posted by CultBrennan59 View Post
Today there are two base defenses that teams run, the 34 and 43 defense, I'm asking why some teams don't change to a permanent defense like the 42, like TCU.
Even within a 3-4 or 4-3 there are different types: 1-Gap, 2- Gap, Under Front, Over Front, Stunting/Slanting that allow a DC flexibility to be similar to a 4-2-5 or a 46.
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Old 06-11-2011, 04:42 PM   #15
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Re: 4-2-5 In the NFL

The 4-2-5 and 3-3-5, very popular defenses in high school these days, are mostly a creative response to the proliferation of the spread in high school and colleges.

As the pass-oriented spread begins to take in the NFL, it will eventually require a defensive response, and teams will need to start drafting more versatile "super safeties", and we'll start to see 3 safety defenses in the NFL. Right now, teams use it in packages (such as the "Cobra" used by Greg Blache and Perry Fewell). But that's still five years or so away for significant structural defensive changes. The nickel personnel package is still sufficient for stopping most teams. But, already, defensive backs are at an all time high value in pro football.
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