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View Full Version : Vikings may want to think twice about the 'Tampa-2'



Muggsy
01-17-2006, 06:28 PM
After dispatching New York, John Fox's Panthers crushed the Bears' version of the defense, with Seattle next facing the steamroller.
by Mark Craig

CHICAGO - Carolina's John Fox is the most underrated coach in the NFL, and he's wreaking havoc on peers as he marches across the country in what he jokingly referred to as his team's postseason "around-the-world tour" of hostile environs.

Last week, the Panthers blanked the Giants 23-0, causing normally mild-mannered Giants running back Tiki Barber to publicly question the ability of his own coach, Tom Coughlin. He wasn't too thrilled and supposedly had it out with Barber behind closed doors.

Sunday, Fox moved to the middle of the country and schooled reigning NFL Coach of the Year Lovie Smith in a 29-21 NFC divisional victory over the Bears.

At one point during receiver Steve Smith's 12-catch, 218-yard, two-touchdown thrashing of Chicago's vaunted "Tampa-2" knockoff scheme, Lovie Smith called his starting defense together on the sideline. It appeared from the press box to be 50 percent pep talk and 50 percent "What the heck is going on out there?"

Whatever Lovie said, it didn't work. The defense, which ranked No. 2 overall and No. 1 in scoring, continued to give up one big play after another to the same team it had defeated 13-3 two months earlier.

"Carolina just wanted it more than we did," Smith said.

Next up for the Panthers: The left side of the country, Qwest Field, Seattle. Not even Mike Holmgren's Super Bowl ring and the Seahawks' No. 1 seed are safe from being out-Foxed in Sunday's NFC Championship Game. Remember, Fox won at Philadelphia two years ago to reach the Super Bowl.

Needless to say, Sunday was not a good day for two versions of the "Tampa-2" schemes the Vikings covet. Indianapolis, which has used the scheme since Tony Dungy arrived from Tampa in 2002, also gave up too many big pass plays -- a serious no-no in the "Tampa-2" -- in a 21-18 AFC divisional loss to visiting Pittsburgh earlier in the day.

So what happened?

"Steve Smith," Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher said when asked that question. "He kept making plays. He's the best offensive player in the league."

Vikings coach Brad Childress said last week that it's an oversimplification to label the Bears defense as a "Tampa-2" or "Cover-2" scheme. Upon closer observation Sunday, we get his drift.

Like the other "Tampa-2" defenses, the Bears don't sit in the same defense throughout the game.

For instance, when Smith caught his 58-yard touchdown on the second play of the game, free safety Chris Harris dropped near the line of scrimmage, leaving strong safety Mike Brown alone deep.

Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme said he read the shift, realized Smith would be single covered and threw the ball. It didn't help the Bears that cornerback Charles Tillman fell down in coverage, or that Brown missed a tackle.

Can't blame that one on the scheme.

On Smith's 46-yard reception to set up the Panthers' first field goal, Brown blitzed from the right side, leaving Harris as the lone deep safety. Harris was late in doubling Smith, who outleapt and outmuscled Tillman for the ball.

Again, the execution failed the scheme.

In a desperate attempt to contain Smith later in the game, the Bears went to a three-deep scheme. But injuries and execution were to blame when Smith raced downfield and grabbed a 39-yard touchdown pass.

With Brown (calf), Harris (cramps) and cornerback Jerry Azumah (hip) on the sideline, third-string cornerback Chris Thompson was summoned from the bench and ended up across from Smith. Delhomme spotted the mismatch immediately and, well, that was that.

Lovie Smith said the corners should have been playing deeper in the "Cover-3" scheme. However, he offered no convincing argument to explain why Thompson was on Smith while Pro Bowl cornerback Nathan Vasher was on the other side of the field.

Sunday's game in Chicago also magnified the importance of a pass rush in a "Tampa-2" scheme.

In their 13-3 victory over the Panthers, the Bears registered eight sacks. Sunday, they notched one.

"We just changed some things scheme-wise to account for stuff they like to do," Carolina guard Mike Wahle said. "On some of our bread-and-butter plays, we just moved one guy back, the off guard or the center, and were able to pick up their stuff.

"Plus," Wahle added, "our coaches had seen them once before. We could tell when they were going to stunt and things like that."

Did the Bears change anything from that first game?

"Nothing whatsoever," Fox said. "But we only scored three points the last time. I didn't expect them to do much different, and they didn't."

Look out, Mr. Holmgren. The league's most underrated coach will be on his way soon.

MnFan_in_Canada
01-17-2006, 06:31 PM
I think once we have the right personnel in place we will be fine. Just a matter of getting the proper players.

The big question is going to be, will Childress be able to make adjustments on the fly?

NodakPaul
01-17-2006, 06:35 PM
"OldManVike" wrote:

(Edited by NodakPaul)

... Can't blame that one on the scheme...Again, the execution failed the scheme...Delhomme spotted the mismatch immediately and, well, that was that...Lovie Smith said the corners should have been playing deeper in the "Cover-3" scheme. However, he offered no convincing argument to explain why Thompson was on Smith while Pro Bowl cornerback Nathan Vasher was on the other side of the field...Sunday's game in Chicago also magnified the importance of a pass rush in a "Tampa-2" scheme..

The most important thing to take from that article is that the execution failed, not the defensive scheme. The Cover-2 is still going to be a good fit fot the Vikes.

ultravikingfan
01-17-2006, 06:39 PM
Any defensive scheme can fail. It is about execution, personnel, and coaching. There is not a scheme that will make a team domiante forever. You have to be able to make adjustments based on the teams you are playing.

Obviously, the Bears did not make the correct adjustments.

snowinapril
01-17-2006, 06:42 PM
I think that the COlts could have used Phat Pat to help stop the run.

Also, the Bears should proved in the first meeting with Fox & The Panthers that the Tampa Hybrid of cover 2 does work. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. IMO, the more complete team won on Sunday.

Mr. Purple
01-17-2006, 06:42 PM
The Bears over-raited secondary was exposed against the Panthers.Thier Line didnt get any pressure, and that left thier secondary to get picked apart bye Jake and Smith.

snowinapril
01-17-2006, 06:49 PM
"WilliamsonOfTroy" wrote:

The Bears over-raited secondary was exposed against the Panthers.Thier Line didnt get any pressure, and that left thier secondary to get picked apart bye Jake and Smith.

I think we must give credit to the O line of the Panthers also. They are a great group of linemen that are playing well right now. The first meeting, they struggled with the ChiTown D and this time they picked it up a notch.

Ddawg84
01-17-2006, 06:52 PM
Yeah.. but it is tough to say that our cover 2 scheme might not work once we get the right personnel based on what happened to the bears on sunday. They were not the #1 Defense in the NFL with Tampa right up there too, while running the cover 2 for nothin! Timlin will do fine... and the Bears destroyed Carolina during the regular season with there defense... so just relax... Carlonia, and a good game plan and executed it to perfection and the bears didn't, plain and simple!!!


good ridance cotrell!!!

Mr. Purple
01-17-2006, 07:18 PM
Just like Ultra said...thier is no Defense that cant be beat. The cover 2 has its flaws just like the 4-3, and 3-4. (both we ran this year) The Panthers just like the steelers came into thier game and executed thier game plan.

SKOL
01-17-2006, 07:22 PM
"MnFan_in_Canada" wrote:

The big question is going to be, will Childress be able to make adjustments on the fly?

This gets back to an earlier quote of Childress:

"Brad Childress" wrote:

"When you prepare (for a game) at this level, it's all laying in front of you right there. It's not appropriate to go out of the box and pull something that's not on the game-plan sheet. This is such a segmented game now that you've got your calls on third-and-3 or 4, or third-and-short, or inside the five-yard line.

I just hope he wasn't serious. Good coaches make adjustments as the game goes on, like a chess match.

MnFan_in_Canada
01-17-2006, 07:27 PM
"SKOL" wrote:

"MnFan_in_Canada" wrote:

The big question is going to be, will Childress be able to make adjustments on the fly?

This gets back to an earlier quote of Childress:

"Brad Childress" wrote:

"When you prepare (for a game) at this level, it's all laying in front of you right there. It's not appropriate to go out of the box and pull something that's not on the game-plan sheet. This is such a segmented game now that you've got your calls on third-and-3 or 4, or third-and-short, or inside the five-yard line.

I just hope he wasn't serious. Good coaches make adjustments as the game goes on, like a chess match.

This is the first quote from BC that actually makes me wonder if we go the right guy. He has said all the right things up to now but geez come on someone with his years of experience has to realize that once the game starts he has to make adjustments.

collegeguyjeff
01-17-2006, 11:45 PM
randy moss is the best offensive player in the league not smith; urlacher just said that cause he made them look bad and he's looking for excuses

cajunvike
01-18-2006, 12:42 AM
"MnFan_in_Canada" wrote:

"SKOL" wrote:

"MnFan_in_Canada" wrote:

The big question is going to be, will Childress be able to make adjustments on the fly?

This gets back to an earlier quote of Childress:

"Brad Childress" wrote:

"When you prepare (for a game) at this level, it's all laying in front of you right there. It's not appropriate to go out of the box and pull something that's not on the game-plan sheet. This is such a segmented game now that you've got your calls on third-and-3 or 4, or third-and-short, or inside the five-yard line.

I just hope he wasn't serious. Good coaches make adjustments as the game goes on, like a chess match.


Oh, come on! Childress knows that good coaches make adjustments...heck, he coached under Reid, who's no slouch...what he was saying is that the good coaches pre-plan for as many situations as possible, so that when the situations arise they already know what their decision should be...this is what facilitates the "thinking on the fly". Think about your particular job...if you think ahead, you already know what you are going to do when something bad happens. Those coaches that can't "think on the fly" are mostly unprepared...those that can are the most prepared. The chess analogy is a good one...the best chessmasters know all the moves ahead of time...the adjustments that they make during a game are just small variations on the same theme!
This is the first quote from BC that actually makes me wonder if we go the right guy. He has said all the right things up to now but geez come on someone with his years of experience has to realize that once the game starts he has to make adjustments.

Rastak
01-18-2006, 12:52 AM
Yea, I think he's saying you don't pull stuff out of left field in the middle of the game. At least I HOPE that's what he's saying.