Looking at the Dolphin’s Defense this past Monday, Nolan implemented this technique. We played a 3-3-5 Nickel Ninja Defense. This was the first time I have ever watched the Dolphins defense with excitement in my eyes. During the first half of the game, we were playing extremely well, stopping Brady and the Patriot’s Offense, only allowing 6pts.
Even though Brady was effective against our D, he did not manage to score a TD in the first half. Our new type of Defence that Nolan implemented, bended but did not break.
So let’s break down what happened here:
A Nickel defense is 5 CBs, 3 DL and 3LBs.
What we saw is that instead of our regular 3-4 Defense (3 DL and 4 LBs) we substituted a LB for a CB. In Miami Dolphin’s lingo, we took out Bobby C and put in Sean Smith.
DL – Langford, Soliai, Starks
LBs – Dansby, Dobbins, Wake
CBs – Davis, J. Allen, Smith, Bell and Clemons
Pats Call – Twin TE zebra one motion, streak go
3rd and 7 from our 24 yard line
Double TE set,
Moss – WR
and Elis Single RB
Nolan calls – 3-5 Nickel Ninja Tiger Blitz Cover 3 Jam
Basically Wake is the Tiger so he will be blitzing.
Cover 3 Jam – this is a little confusing. Your main CB (-Davis), will give the impression that he is playing man to man, but implementing the jam on the WR then dropping into a zone. For Davis, he will jam the WR, after the 5 yards he will release and play a short side zone.
Our secondary CB, play’s man to man.
This type of coverage gives off the illusion that we are in man to man, but one half is playing man, the other is playing zone.
What about the extra CB? Great question. There are only two WR lining up…so Smith and Clemons are now both playing the “robber” technique. The Robber Technique is a soft zone. Smith responsibility is to shadow the TE.
Back to the play.
Brady starts his pre set read, calls a motion for a TE to in motion
Our Defense is not even lined up. Our DLmen do not have a hand on the ground, and our DL and LBs are just hovering around the ball.
Motion is called.
Only Soliai has his hand on the ground now….in his regular stance. Dansby and Dobbins are both giving off the hint that they are blitzing, Langford is looking at the LT, and Starks is starting to creep to the line….Wake is outside of Starks just roaming the field.
Brady looks at the defense and continue to call his pre set reads, hoping that that he can see what the defense he will be facing….nothing is being exposed…..Brady know that this is the Ninja defense.
Ball is snapped.
Brady drops back to pass…
Danbsy and Dobbin drop back in their man coverage, Starks and Langford both run delay stunts to the Right and left Tackle….Tackles recognize this and try to absorb the pass rush.
But where is Wake?
RG and LG, both think Danbsy and Dobbins were blitzing so they are in blitz pass protect as opposed to their regular drop back pass protection.
Wake is coming off the corner, untouched and blam oh! WAKE QUAKE (‘Dashall term’)
Watching back the first half of the Monday’s night game was awesome. I saw a glimpse of how our new defense stopped one of the top Offenses in the game. Playing and implementing new types of defense that is uncommon from the Miami Dolphins.
I have to give credit to Nolan here. He is seriously opening up our D playbook.
Now I can understand that first point/question that will be asked…why didn’t we keep this type of defence in the second half….Well when you are down by 21 points off Special Teams mistakes, and when your QB gives away a pick 6, why use this new type of defense again….save it for your next opponent. We all know how “vanilla” our defense was in the 2nd half…reminded me of pre-season….but hey…like I said in the beginning…No need to live in the past.