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Thread: Base 4-3 vs. Nickel vs. Dime

  1. #1
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    Base 4-3 vs. Nickel vs. Dime

    Can someone explain the defenses above other than saying there's an extra CB in the Nickel or two extra CBs in the Dime? I'm interested in both the personel and where people line up....zone, man coverage, etc.
    Last edited by jetstream23; 02-20-2006 at 03:01 PM.

  2. #2
    There is not much to say about these three defenses outside of their main uses and differences without getting into specifics...so heres the jist...the 4-3 is a run stopping d and provides a lot of versatility depending on your linebackers...if you have fast athletic linebackers you dont have to run extra db packages as often; but if they arent great in pass coverage than thats when you use nickel and dime packages because of the fact of the xtra db(s).

    Also your asking where people line up, well, all those base d's have a 4 man front so there are 4 lineman up front...now you cant really say where poeple line up because it depends on so many diff factors, its not like the DC calls a dime package and they line up somewhere...it depneds on the strength(what side TE is on) the front that was called (ie 22, 31, 33...what gaps the lineman are in), and wat type of defense tehory they have, gap or zone (does everyone have a specfic gap assignment or do they play a spot). and lastly in response to the zone/man in each scheme, it doesnt matter wat defense is called you can play both man or zone depending on down and distance or your personal...if you have a great d backfield you can play more man in w/e d was called.

    So what your asking for is actually someone that no one could tell you other than the main aspects of each defense...a 4-3 is a goo dbase b/c its versatile and primarily run stopping on 1 and 2 downs (4 DL, 3 LB, 4 DB)...the nickel is a good defense if you have two real good backers and a good nickel corner that is able to give run support, but its used with the main purpose of playing the pass on 2 and 3 downs and usually a medium dist to go while still being able to play the run effectively...the dime package is used primarily on 3 and longs and is used exclusively b/c you have two extra cb's and therfore you can cover 4 spread or play zone.

    so you can tell me that i told you everything you knew already but understand that you cant really give an answer to yoru question because there isnt one. everything depends on too many diff factors and all comes down to what personnel you have and what your philosophy.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIJetsFan87
    There is not much to say about these three defenses outside of their main uses and differences without getting into specifics...so heres the jist...the 4-3 is a run stopping d and provides a lot of versatility depending on your linebackers...if you have fast athletic linebackers you dont have to run extra db packages as often; but if they arent great in pass coverage than thats when you use nickel and dime packages because of the fact of the xtra db(s).

    Also your asking where people line up, well, all those base d's have a 4 man front so there are 4 lineman up front...now you cant really say where poeple line up because it depends on so many diff factors, its not like the DC calls a dime package and they line up somewhere...it depneds on the strength(what side TE is on) the front that was called (ie 22, 31, 33...what gaps the lineman are in), and wat type of defense tehory they have, gap or zone (does everyone have a specfic gap assignment or do they play a spot). and lastly in response to the zone/man in each scheme, it doesnt matter wat defense is called you can play both man or zone depending on down and distance or your personal...if you have a great d backfield you can play more man in w/e d was called.

    So what your asking for is actually someone that no one could tell you other than the main aspects of each defense...a 4-3 is a goo dbase b/c its versatile and primarily run stopping on 1 and 2 downs (4 DL, 3 LB, 4 DB)...the nickel is a good defense if you have two real good backers and a good nickel corner that is able to give run support, but its used with the main purpose of playing the pass on 2 and 3 downs and usually a medium dist to go while still being able to play the run effectively...the dime package is used primarily on 3 and longs and is used exclusively b/c you have two extra cb's and therfore you can cover 4 spread or play zone.

    so you can tell me that i told you everything you knew already but understand that you cant really give an answer to yoru question because there isnt one. everything depends on too many diff factors and all comes down to what personnel you have and what your philosophy.
    That helps. Sounds like its very subjective and based on the types of personel you put on the field, not just the spots they play.

    What I'm trying to understand is the following:

    The offense is lined up with with 3 WR, 1 pass catching RB and a TE. Are you better off playing a 3-4 and giving your LB's coverage responsibilities for the TE and RB coming out of the backfield, etc.?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetstream23
    That helps. Sounds like its very subjective and based on the types of personel you put on the field, not just the spots they play.

    What I'm trying to understand is the following:

    The offense is lined up with with 3 WR, 1 pass catching RB and a TE. Are you better off playing a 3-4 and giving your LB's coverage responsibilities for the TE and RB coming out of the backfield, etc.?

    In a passing situation , I would prefer to use the nickel because, in a man situation your nickel corner gets the 3rd wideout and your safeties stay over the top with the linbackers taking the rb/te. This way you are not leaving your corners out there with no help.


    This only works if your lb are good enough to cover the te/rb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetstream23
    Can someone explain the defenses above other than saying there's an extra CB in the Nickel or two extra CBs in the Dime? I'm interested in both the personel and where people line up....zone, man coverage, etc.
    I've been interested in this same thing lately. I'm doing some research. I've found this...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/America...ensive_schemes

    I will keep looking. I'm most interested in the physical formation and player alignments/responsibilities.

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    This is what I've been looking for. This website looks great. The link I'm providing is for the 3-4 defense. All defensive schemes are shown on the left hand pane. I'll definitely be adding this to my favorites!

    http://football.calsci.com/DefensiveLine3.html

  7. #7
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    Good find and very informative. Now I have a better understanding why we have to switch over to the 3-4. Ive always had a hard time understanding the logistics of formations and their versatility in the NFL today.

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