Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mike Preston is a moron

Preston is a sports columnist for the Baltimore Sun. In this week's edition of Mike Preston is a moron, Preston wonders aloud who the Ravens will tab to replace Rex Ryan. Preston correctly observes that over the years, when DCs have left, the Ravens have had an obvious candidate in-house to replace them. But it's not so obvious this time, who the Ravens ought to promote should Rex leave.

This is a reasonable observation.

Here's how Preston makes his point:

Who's next after Ryan? Ravens not so sure this time
In Baltimore, the system has become just as important as the coordinator. Former coordinator Marvin Lewis, now the head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals, instituted it in 1996 when the Ravens moved here from Cleveland. ... When Lewis left after the 2001 season, the Ravens had Mike Nolan. When Nolan left in 2004 to become head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Ryan took over. From Jack Del Rio to Donnie Henderson, there have always been good coordinator candidates.
a system that has been extremely successful. Nolan operated a different system when he was with the Jets, New York Giants and Washington Redskins, but once he took over in Baltimore, he did it the Ravens' Way.
Look what this system has helped produce: ...
For a lot of Ravens, such as defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, linebackers Terrell Suggs, Bart Scott and Jarret Johnson, cornerback Chris McAlister and safety Ed Reed, this is the only system they've played during their NFL careers.
Is he seriously saying that the Ravens have run the same defensive system thruout the last ~10 yrs? Under Marvin Lewis, under Mike Nolan, under Rex Ryan, the same defensive system? He is!

The Ravens defense under Marvin Lewis ran a base 4-3. When Lewis left after the 2001 season, Mike Nolan became the DC for 2002-4, and he switched to a base 3-4. Nolan's D's have the rep for being sound, but not ultra-aggressive or blitz happy. Possibly a little bend-but-don't-break. When Mike Nolan left after the 2004 season, Rex Ryan took over. He's been the DC 2005-8 (and asst HC this year). Ryan's defense is – well I guess it operates mostly out of a base 3-4. But Ryan is football's foremost authority on the 46 "Bear" defense
(He wrote the book! Coaching Football's 46 Defense, the book
And made the movie! Coaching Football's 46 Defense, the DVD)
...which the Ravens run from time to time; and his D's have the rep of being crazily blitz-happy, with pressure coming from unpredictable angles. He'll use zone-blitz concepts, like dropping 340# DT Haloti Ngata into coverage; he'll run a 5-3-3 for a few plays, and then a 2-2-7 for a few more plays in the same game.

These – Marvin Lewis's base 4-3 tackling machine, Mike Nolan's base 3-4 bend-but-don't break, and Rex Ryan's multiple-front pressure cooker – these are all the same system.

Thank you, Mike Preston.


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