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Thread: Should Jets change D against Manning?

  1. #1
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    Should Jets change D against Manning?

    Against arguably the NFL's smartest QB, will Gang Green tweak blitz-heavy scheme?

    By Rich Cimini
    ESPNNewYork.com

    FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Dwight Lowery called it "the weirdest thing I've ever experienced on a football field." It was a moment from the AFC Championship Game last January, when Peyton Manning performed one of his brainiac feats on the New York Jets.

    Standing at the line of scrimmage on one particular play, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback pointed to each member of the defense and called out the player's specific assignment before the snap, alerting his teammates what to expect.

    Manning had it down cold -- every player, every assignment, according to Lowery.

    "What should I do?" the Jets cornerback remembered thinking to himself.

    Great question for this week: What should the Jets do?

    In case you haven't heard, Manning is a smart dude, an X's-and-O's savant. He always outsmarts Rex Ryan's defenses, leading some to believe that the Jets should change their blitz-oriented approach for Saturday night's wild-card game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Former Colts coach Tony Dungy, for one, said Manning is too smart to be affected by pressure schemes.

    "I've always felt that when Peyton Manning sees blitzes, and Tom Brady, they know where the one-on-ones are," Dungy, an NBC studio analyst, said on a conference call. "Then it's just a matter of finding the mismatch and exploiting it. I always thought it was a lot more effective to mix coverages and not let him know where the one-on-ones are, make him work for it."

    Thing is, the Jets aren't a coverage kind of team. Statistically, they're one of the most blitz-heavy teams in the league. In last season's AFC title game, they unofficially sent more than four rushers on 26 of Manning's 41 dropbacks. They confused Manning for a couple of series, but he eventually figured it out and wound up passing for 377 yards and three touchdowns in the Colts' victory.

    Ryan believes in pressuring the quarterback. He learned that style from his father, Buddy, who ran the celebrated '85 Bears defense. The joke around the Jets is that if Rex ever played zone, he'd be removed from Buddy's will.

    It's who he is, but part of being a good coach is adapting. Can Ryan put aside his ego, his get-the-quarterback mentality, and take a conservative approach in a high-stakes game?

    "We can't change who we are in a week," defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said. "We're a pressure defense. We're going to pick and choose when we go after the quarterback, and I don't think this week should be any different. That's our personality. That's what we do."

    It's a proven system, not a flavor-of-the-month gimmick, but it doesn't seem to work against Manning. In six games against Ryan-coached defenses, starting in 2005 when Ryan was the Baltimore Ravens' defensive coordinator, Manning is 5-1 -- and the loss really wasn't on Manning. He was pulled with a third-quarter lead last season in Week 16 because the Colts wanted to rest their starters for the playoffs.

    "I'm not the only coordinator Peyton has destroyed," said Ryan, defending his rep. "It's being written like I'm his punching bag. Mine, at least it has arms on it. Some of the other guys he plays against, they've got no arms on it. But I plan on swinging back."

    By Saturday night, Manning will have studied every Jets game on video. Before facing a Ryan-coached defense for the first time, in the 2005 opener, he actually dug up old videos of Buddy Ryan's Chicago and Philadelphia defenses, looking for clues. Call that the apple-doesn't-fall-far-from-the-tree premise.

    In an attempt to throw off Manning, Rex Ryan purposely blitzed throughout the '05 preseason, switching to a coverage-based plan in the opener. Ryan figured it was the perfect setup.

    But Manning hit that curveball out of the park, passing for 254 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-7 win.

    The key is to vary the plan of attack, mixing pressure with coverage. Pettine acknowledged that although it might be difficult to confuse Manning, it's possible to confuse those around him, disrupting the pass plays that rely on timing. Easier said than done.

    "You're not going to stop Peyton Manning," Ryan said, "but we're going to make enough plays, in my opinion, to win this game."

    Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Follow him on Twitter.
    http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/n...ich&id=5994950

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    I'm certain I can count on one hand, the number of times Manning has been cleanly hit. The Jets sacked him twice in the first half last year, and on both occasions, he turtled, and didn't take a lick.

    Even if its not a sack, I'd love to see someone smack him in the chin hard - for all we know, the dude's got a glass jaw. He's never been tested.

    I'm not suggesting a dirty hit, but if they take a 15 yarder, I'm OK with that.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    I'm certain I can count on one hand, the number of times Manning has been cleanly hit. The Jets sacked him twice in the first half last year, and on both occasions, he turtled, and didn't take a lick.

    Even if its not a sack, I'd love to see someone smack him in the chin hard - for all we know, the dude's got a glass jaw. He's never been tested.

    I'm not suggesting a dirty hit, but if they take a 15 yarder, I'm OK with that.
    Manning lays down faster than a Las Vegas hooker at a trucker convention

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    I believe I have read several times that the Saints had a different defensive game plan for each quarter of the Super Bowl.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetlifer View Post
    Manning lays down faster than a Las Vegas hooker at a trucker convention
    Right, which is why I'm hoping for a Calvin Pace or JT blindside smashing.

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    Just find a way to cover the TE and the Indy 3rd WR and we win. Our top two CB's can do the job but if the likes of Drew Coleman can't cover Blair White and the safeties or backers can't cover Tamme we lose again.

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    Just tell Ihedigbo to "ignore" the stoppage of play whistle on some blitzes in the first half. A few personal fouls and 15 yard penalties might be worth it.

    In all seriousness, I think this is a case of having to "dance with the one that brung ya." Tweak some blitzes here and there and put the onus on some of our down linemen to get at Peyton when we're not bringing the house, but on the whole do what we do best.

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    Manning = planning
    Brady = execution

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    White and Tamme can't sniff Collie and Clark in terms of talent. Manning will always be Manning, but he doesn't have the weapons he had last year...plus we have Cromartie to at least slow down Garcon this year.

    Stop living in the past people. The Jets are better than the Colts this year.

  10. #10
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    Just another reason why Manning is the greatest QB that ever lived.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamaicanJetFan View Post
    White and Tamme can't sniff Collie and Clark in terms of talent. Manning will always be Manning, but he doesn't have the weapons he had last year...plus we have Cromartie to at least slow down Garcon this year.

    Stop living in the past people. The Jets are better than the Colts this year.
    But Peyton Manning is Better than the JETS *every* year, though. And that's the problem.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamaicanJetFan View Post
    White and Tamme can't sniff Collie and Clark in terms of talent. Manning will always be Manning, but he doesn't have the weapons he had last year...plus we have Cromartie to at least slow down Garcon this year.

    Stop living in the past people. The Jets are better than the Colts this year.
    Agreed however the big question is not whether White and Tamme can sniff the missing players jock straps but moreso can our low end db's stop them. Garcon was nothing but a 3rd wr last year and he torched us.

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    The worst thing we could do against Indy is change our scheme and stop blitzing. Shouldn't we learn our lessons from the last New England game where we did the same thing and got killed? Rex should have never listened to Rob and played coverage like the lowly Browns. We beat the Patriots 3 of the last 4 games before that for a reason, including in Week 2 this year: we blitzed and attacked BRady!

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    I'm not suggesting a dirty hit, but if they take a 15 yarder, I'm OK with that.[/QUOTE]


    +1 million

  15. #15
    the jets could really use leonhard out there on saturday to call the defensive signals. eric smith seems a little useless in this regard and i'm not sure if harris can do them either. the jets defense can make it hard for peyton as long as they play their a game. win the battle for field position with good special teams plays and score a few points and the jets can win this game.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by escamoter2 View Post
    The worst thing we could do against Indy is change our scheme and stop blitzing. Shouldn't we learn our lessons from the last New England game where we did the same thing and got killed? Rex should have never listened to Rob and played coverage like the lowly Browns. We beat the Patriots 3 of the last 4 games before that for a reason, including in Week 2 this year: we blitzed and attacked BRady!
    But we really haven't been blitzing much this year. Rex was starting to throw in the towel on the blitz earlier this year and once Leonhard went out he pretty much raised the white flag on his crazy blitzes. I think the Jets are mainly just bringing in 3 and 4 guys and playing zone in the middle of the field.

    I would not be surprised if Rex has been studying Chargers tapes and seeing what they do against Manning. They probably have had more success against him than any team in the league.

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    I kind of started a thread about this...I mean, for an NFL Defensive "Guru" like Rex and his guys like Pettine and Sutton along with the types of players they have, how hard would it really be to establish two differing types of gameplans for each half of the game?

    Seriously? First half, mix your coverages one way, maybe mix some zone in, blitz the interior Linebackers rather than the Overload DB blitzes, and show a look the Jets don't show much...

    Then in the second half, realign your defense, mix in different coverages (with guys like Revis and Cromartie, the Jets have plenty of flexibility in the secondary). Maybe pull Revis off Wayne, double him, set Revis on Garcon, Cro on Tamme or whatever....

    Throw in some of those Corner blitzes or maybe some zone blitzing...

    I don't know, I'm not a DC, all I know is if Rex gets stubborn again and tries to just go 3-4 base and blitz the crap outta manning, hes inviting a replay of last year. They MUST mix it up and not let Manning adjust and decipher what the Jets D is doing. They need to change things up and stay aggressive but flexible.

    I thought that was what the Ravens have been doing for 10+ years?

  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by crasherino View Post
    I'm certain I can count on one hand, the number of times Manning has been cleanly hit. The Jets sacked him twice in the first half last year, and on both occasions, he turtled, and didn't take a lick.

    Even if its not a sack, I'd love to see someone smack him in the chin hard - for all we know, the dude's got a glass jaw. He's never been tested.

    I'm not suggesting a dirty hit, but if they take a 15 yarder, I'm OK with that.
    Quote Originally Posted by jetlifer View Post
    Manning lays down faster than a Las Vegas hooker at a trucker convention
    i like the concept..establish early this is gonna be a chippy game..

  19. #19
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    we should drop 8 and rush 3 alot...and mix in a late corner blitz. indy cannot and will not run the ball, they will do it to keep our defense honest but they are pass happy and have proved that they will kill the blitz almost every time. so i say yes....change up the defense.

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