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Charles Fischer

FishDuck Article: "A New Defensive Coordinator Brings New Opportunities"

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With change comes opportunity. As Andy Avalos leaves Oregon to take the head coaching job at Boise State, there is an opportunity for Mario Cristobal to evaluate the Oregon defense and elevate the defense to the next level. Coach Eric Boles was kind enough to give us his most recent list of top five defensive coordinator candidates, which shows us ...

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Mr. FishDuck

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You provide us with an interesting topic to ponder here David, thanks for bringing it to us. 

If we want to get to where we want to be we have to have the defense that will work against those that are there now. In other words if you want to play with the top dogs you have to be like the top dogs. "When in Rome do like the Romans"

If we want to win a National Title we should get a DC that knows how the winners play defense. If the we want to win a National Title, we will have to beat not only the lightweights of the Pac-12 but also the heavyweights that now own the National Title game.  

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Lupoi or Muschamp would be my favorites. 

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"Avalos’ defense is an aggressive bend-but-don’t-break style of defense."

Does such a scheme exist? I am sure everyone would like to be both - but does it really happen?

I understand the point about letting teams move up and down the field and tightening up in the red zone, but isn't that a common "bend but don't break" precept? You play a lot of DBs (with softer coverage), limit explosion plays, and make teams put together long mistake free drives, then as the field shortens in the red zone, then you play it more straight up when there is less field to defend? There isn't a lot of room for aggressive approaches when there are no bodies around the LOS.

Getting a lot of DBs on the field seems to be the most common approach to defending modern spread offenses. I think tOSU played a lot more traditional "cover 3" against Alabama and got shredded.

It appears the real modern approach to beating these offenses is to try to score more points with your offense. To the extent of a defensive approach, put together an elite trio on the DL and get as many uber athletes who can play in space as possible (and hope they don't have a QB capable of shredding you).

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Transitioning staff by filling a vacancy is always an opportunity to move forward and improve an organization. Back filling a key position in an organization doesn’t normally often happen. Mario Cristobal’s hire will tell us much about his management skills and priorities.

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4 hours ago, BigDucksFan said:

In other words if you want to play with the top dogs you have to be like the top dogs.

Or play defense that can stop or at the very least slow those offenses. I think Avalos' defense would slow them but not enough for the current state of our offense.

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3 hours ago, AnotherOD said:

"Avalos’ defense is an aggressive bend-but-don’t-break style of defense."

Does such a scheme exist? I am sure everyone would like to be both - but does it really happen?

I understand the point about letting teams move up and down the field and tightening up in the red zone, but isn't that a common "bend but don't break" precept? You play a lot of DBs (with softer coverage), limit explosion plays, and make teams put together long mistake free drives, then as the field shortens in the red zone, then you play it more straight up when there is less field to defend? There isn't a lot of room for aggressive approaches when there are no bodies around the LOS.

Getting a lot of DBs on the field seems to be the most common approach to defending modern spread offenses. I think tOSU played a lot more traditional "cover 3" against Alabama and got shredded.

It appears the real modern approach to beating these offenses is to try to score more points with your offense. To the extent of a defensive approach, put together an elite trio on the DL and get as many uber athletes who can play in space as possible (and hope they don't have a QB capable of shredding you).

 

I would say Avalos' defense was in a lot of ways closer to what Alioti ran in terms of philosophy of aggressiveness. Wanting to get pressure pressure behind the line of scrimmage and try to disrupt the opposing offense up-front rather than as much on the back end. If both are working in tandem as we saw last year in numerous games we really saw how that creates a lot of errant throws to be picked off.

I would say Pellum's bend-but-don't-break defense was really a more passive back-end prevent defense. Typically rushing three and dropping eight into coverage to prevent the pass. A whole lot more bending and in 2014 with a defense that was completely loaded with modern Oregon legends this worked well enough to get Oregon to the National Championship Game... though I think we can all agree that defense was far too passive and was prone to bending far too much.

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3 hours ago, AnotherOD said:

Getting a lot of DBs on the field seems to be the most common approach to defending modern spread offenses. I think tOSU played a lot more traditional "cover 3" against Alabama and got shredded.

It appears the real modern approach to beating these offenses is to try to score more points with your offense. To the extent of a defensive approach, put together an elite trio on the DL and get as many uber athletes who can play in space as possible (and hope they don't have a QB capable of shredding you).

 

I would also like to say that maybe Avalos' style of defense is the right one and the one that Oregon should continue to use and develop. That would be completely fine!

Though now is a prime opportunity for Cristobal and his staff to evaluate the current state of the defense.

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Being twice old, I might not remember this correctly...but it seems to me that Avalos had the Ducks playing a much more aggressive defense in 2019.  Blitzing and bump and run coverage was much more prevalent.  This bend but not break reliance, and I'm NOT a fan, that was on display in 2020 was deflating to me as a fan.  I'm guessing that the shortened camp and season had a lot to do with it.  The techniques and schemes take time to learn and perform well.

Edited by Mudslide
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I am pretty sure most seasoned fans will balk at any talk about a bend don't break defense, lining up way back for the line of scrimmage, or having our DB's play behind the first down markers on 3rd and long.

I look forward to hearing the new DC describe his defense. I am even more excited to see what he can do with all of this talent. I just ask that he build, don't break the defense! 

I am also hopeful the players will excited to play for the guy, probably most important. 

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20 minutes ago, Haywarduck said:

I am also hopeful the players will excited to play for the guy, probably most important. 

 This is key. As the title of the article says, this will be a new opportunity. Avalos left, this isn't a change for change sake, it has to be done. Hopefully the players will embrace the ideas the new DC brings, and carry them out enthusiastically. 

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36 minutes ago, Haywarduck said:

I am also hopeful the players will excited to play for the guy, probably most important. 

If Mario Cristobal hires them that coach is going to be oozing energy. The job requirements that Cristobal demands from his coaches require a lot of energy.

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5 hours ago, Mudslide said:

Being twice old, I might not remember this correctly...but it seems to me that Avalos had the Ducks playing a much more aggressive defense in 2019.  Blitzing and bump and run coverage was much more prevalent.  This bend but not break reliance, and I'm NOT a fan, that was on display in 2020 was deflating to me as a fan.  I'm guessing that the shortened camp and season had a lot to do with it.  The techniques and schemes take time to learn and perform well.

Bend-but-don't-break is the worst to watch as a fan. The offense is never on the field and we just watch the clock drain away from the game. Iowa State was one of the most agonizing boring games I have watched in some time... right up there with the games against Stanford several occasions this last decade.

Personally I would like a defense that is aggressive and can break the opposing team's offense. Get that ball back to our offense and lets see some more points!

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Man, the Pirate has got to be hating on Mario these days! Big Joe, Mastro, Wilson, Floppy Hair Guy - all poached from his staff in the last five years, and now his Mississippi State DC is on the clock?!

After plucking Zack Arnett away from Syracuse for his debut season in Starkville, Leach promptly enhanced his DC's contract at season's end, and was likely feeling pretty good about things with a 2021 Rivals #24 class with crystal balls still pending, and a lush transfer portal landscape beckoning his keen eye for undervalued talent.

But noooo,  now Arnett - late of Coach Boles' original 'Ten to Watch' article - is flirting with the Ducks, while also batting his eyes at Texas? At least Charles get his Rocky Long Coaching Tree chip back in play!

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4 hours ago, David Marsh said:

Personally I would like a defense that is aggressive and can break the opposing team's offense.

I agree. That kind of defense has playmakers, while the bend but don't break, was passive by comparison. 

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