Seth Jones: I believe that overuse of the exotic defense is a recipe for disaster. If you bring the crazy out every 4 downs, as opposed to every other down, then the offense is still expecting the possibility of false reads. Exotic defensive plays are like lard. Yes, a few glasses of warm lard is delicious. But after consuming 4 gallons of it in under 30 minutes, it just becomes a problem.
C. Joseph Wright: Yes, I do think that Ryan’s defenses have looked much more conventional over the last month or so compared to what we saw in September. I have also noticed that the number of substitutions has also seemed to decrease. As some of you likely know already, I have commented about these phenomena in my weekly articles for the last few weeks. Every time I watch a Rob Ryan interview, I keep expecting someone to ask him, “Why?”, but no one ever does. To my knowledge, Ryan has never publicly addressed the issue. I have to admit: I am stumped; I have no idea why. Every week I keep hoping to see the “chaos” we saw in September, but every week I am disappointed. Since I do not have a reasonable explanation, I am going to tell you what I HOPE it is.
I hope that Ryan’s recent tendency to play a more ‘vanilla’ defense without all the pre-snap motion that confuses OL’s and QB’s and disguised coverages that confuse WR’s and QB’s is because he figured that his defense was good enough to beat the last 4 opponents without getting complicated. I am hoping that he is “saving” all the unusual formations and ‘chaos’ for the teams like the Giants that have a much more talented offense. Perhaps he did not want to ‘tip his hand’ to the OC’s of teams like the Giants and Eagles.
If I am correct, we will see the defense go back to the ‘chaos’ of massive substitution, unusual coverages, and a flurry of pre-snap motion this week. If I am wrong, then we will likely continue to see a fairly conventional scheme from Ryan.
To answer your last question, I sure hope that the basic schemes and game-plans change down the stretch. Given the mediocre performance of the defense over the last month, one would expect that Ryan will have something new for the Giants.
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