Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Jul 2017

Ranking the NFL's Best Schemes

Our old pal Doug Farrar has a pair of pieces up at Bleacher Report looking at some of the best schemes in the NFL.

Starting on offense, Farrar looks at what teams like Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Dallas do so effectively on the ground, as well as the passing attacks of New England and Washington. He also praises what Kyle Shanahan's teams do before the snap, and how Seattle can be dangerous even when everything goes wrong.

On the defensive side of things, Doug's favorites include Jim Schwartz's Wide Nine pass-rush; Kansas City's ever-changing fronts; Arizona's "Moneybacker" and other diversity; Wade Phillips' one-gap schemes; and, as always, Dick LeBeau's zone blitzes.

Posted by: Vincent Verhei on 06 Jul 2017

5 comments, Last at 23 Jul 2017, 12:38pm by ckloster


by BobbyDazzler :: Sun, 07/09/2017 - 3:32pm

Interesting read, but I have to say I'm surprised that the Saints and arguably the best offensive mind in the NFL in Sean Payton don't feature in the offensive top 10 article.

by Topas :: Mon, 07/10/2017 - 6:33am

I was heartboreken that Jim Johnson was not mentioned on the defensive side. Then I realized that these are only current DCs, so I am fine with that. Just to give a shout-out to my all-time favourite DC, the late Jim Johnson.

by jtr :: Mon, 07/10/2017 - 10:16am

Really a missed opportunity to put together these articles without a single play diagram. Tanier would have done a much better job with this.

by Tomlin_Is_Infallible :: Mon, 07/17/2017 - 11:35am

the Steelers O was plain vanilla last year really. it is a testament to the Oline and RB crew the success they had with a lot of Safety in the box defense not honoring the deep ball after Coates mangled his hand.

if everyone stays healthy and out of trouble this year, you won't believe the insane stuff they will be able to do out of almost any personnel grouping.

LeBeau's zbs scheme would work a lot better if combined with a 1gap style like Philips but run out of a nominal 4-2 base. In this day and age of 70% passing and 4.6 TEs and 4 WR sets, you cant' rely on DE and OLB to be in coverage more than 5-8 yards past the LoS unless you have an allpro at the position or insane freak athlete situational player. There's a reason his Steelers defense fell apart after a bunch of HoF retired; there's a further reason why Titans pass D has sucked the last 2 years.

The standard is the standard!

by ckloster :: Sun, 07/23/2017 - 12:38pm

Williams, Schwartz, and Philips all got their starts with the Titans/Oilers franchise. Add in LeBeau and you have 4/10 with strong connections to the franchise. Just sayin...:)