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Jaquan Johnson and the FS position under Diaz

FrancisSawyer

Senior
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
4,989
To all the defensive gurus here. Now that Jaquan Johnson will be at FS, what exactly do you think will change in terms of how that position is used as opposed to last year when Jenkins was manning that spot.

They are obviously 2 very different players and I would guess that Diaz will use JJ in different ways than he used Jenkins. Will Diaz design things to allow JJ to use his instincts, roam around and make plays on the ball more than he did with Jenkins or will it be a case of both guys playing one predefined role? It seems to me that JJ could be a huge beneficiary of the mayhem that our front 7 will most certainly create.



I love learning about the detailed intricacies of defensive football and we need to kill some time before game 1. Any insight or commentary that leads to intelligent football discussion is most welcome.
 
Last edited:

Arehel

Redshirt Freshman
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
761
To all the defensive gurus here. Now that Jaquan Johnson will be at FS, what exactly do you think will change in terms of how that position is used as opposed to last year when Jenkins was manning that spot.

They are obviously 2 very different players and I would guess that Diaz will use JJ in different ways than he uses Jenkins. Will Diaz design things to allow JJ to use his instincts, roam around and make plays on the ball more than he did with Jenkins or will it be a case of both guys playing one predefined role? It seems to me that JJ could be a huge beneficiary of the mayhem that our front 7 will most certainly create.



I love learning about the detailed intricacies of defensive football and we need to kill some time before game 1. Any insight or commentary that leads to intelligent football discussion is most welcome.

I've given my opinion of what I think he's setting up this defense this year to be, on several occasions, and the specific use I haven't looked at yet.

I think he's setting up this defense to be the Dan Quinn (former Seahawks DC) Cover 3 defense. With JJ playing that ball hawking instinctual player like Earl Thomas III is/was.

The interesting thing that many people, including you have said, is Rayshawn and Jaquan are two vastly different players, and you're likely right, BUT I'd have to say where do they really differ that much other then physical size?
I recall seeing Rayshawn come down on Safety blitzes on several occasions, and I think JJ can do the same thing, I've seen RJ man the middle deep third and then attack a sideline deep route, JJ can do that.

Basing on the the type of DBs Diaz and Rumph have recruited, and have stated, they want DBs that can play every DB position is crucial for this type of analysis and that's the fun thing about this. You talk about a predefined role in this defense, that's exactly what Diaz's defense doesn't lend itself to for this position or any other on the DB end. The DBs in this defense can do it all, tackling, covering, blitzing etc. and that tends to lend itself to a defense that is extremely flexible, no matter what the offensive formation or defensive play call.

All in all, JJ roles will be defined by what the offense that week is doing. I think based on the above commentary that he'll the back end chess piece of taking away what the offense WANTS to do (i.e., if they wanna throw deep he's job is to take it away, if they're a quick throw team with screens slants etc, he'll be a physical guy at the LOS with the receivers, etc).
 

QSTOKES

Sophomore
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
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969
JJ is so versatile, I think he will be an upgrade at FS when he lines up there. He has incredible anticipation and play recognition. Great football IQ
 

FrancisSawyer

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[MENTION=3390]Arehel[/MENTION]

Very interesting points and I am especially interested in your Seahawk cover 3 comparison. Also I'm very much looking forward to having flexibility and being able to matchup with a variety of offenses.

Seeing the tremdous talent and depth on our front 7 do you anticipate more off coverage from our CBs particularly out of a Cover 3 shell? I would expect press in certain situations obvioulsy but would you agree that we will see more off coverage by our CBs than we saw last year?
 
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FrancisSawyer

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Jan 15, 2012
Messages
4,989
JJ is so versatile, I think he will be an upgrade at FS when he lines up there. He has incredible anticipation and play recognition. Great football IQ

Great point and this what I envision JJ will provide more of. Great key and diagnose to go with instincts and anticipation.
 

Arehel

Redshirt Freshman
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
761
[MENTION=3390]Arehel[/MENTION]

Very interesting points and I am especially interested in your Seahawk cover 3 comparison. Also I'm very much looking forward to having flexibility and being able to matchup with a variety of offenses.

Seeing the tremdous talent and depth on our front 7 do you anticipate more off coverage from our CBs particularly out of a Cover 3 shell? I would expect press in certain situations obvioulsy but would you agree that we will see more off coverage by our CBs than we saw last year?

Really depends on the coverage, but I would expect the DBs to get their hand son the vertical routes regardless of coverage, that's typically the low man responsibility.

As we heard/saw base don Diaz's comments, the starting 4 are M. Jackson, JJ, Redwine and Delaney, but in another package we have Young, Bandy, JJ, Redwine and Delaney in nickel package. With that being said, the base 4 seems to have a better skill set to do more press but once agian refer to my above paragraph.

Typically, in man coverage the goal is incomplete passes via batted down balls or just off throws, while in zone your looking to make the big plays, like picks, so there's room for both.

Regarding more off-coverage or not, ehh I dunno, that's a tough call, the skill set of these guys don't ask for it.
You've got a lock down guy in Delaney, so you can roll coverage opposite of him and that's where the big plays would happend. I think you'll see combo coverages (i.e., man on one side with zone on the other) or fire zone coverages (i.e., blitzes with zone behind it).
 

DrStrange

Sophomore
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Messages
675
Jaquan is the FS Redwine is the SS.

I expect to see A LOT OF base defense and nickel because of the lack of depth at CB. More importantly, Both guys have CB skills. Jaquan played nickel last season. I would even expect Redwine to line up on the outside receiver at times.

Even more importantly, Diaz will disguise more. He disguised more and more toward the end of last season and I expect that trend will continue.
 

252cane

All-ACC
Joined
Jul 11, 2013
Messages
12,633
To all the defensive gurus here. Now that Jaquan Johnson will be at FS, what exactly do you think will change in terms of how that position is used as opposed to last year when Jenkins was manning that spot.

They are obviously 2 very different players and I would guess that Diaz will use JJ in different ways than he uses Jenkins. Will Diaz design things to allow JJ to use his instincts, roam around and make plays on the ball more than he did with Jenkins or will it be a case of both guys playing one predefined role? It seems to me that JJ could be a huge beneficiary of the mayhem that our front 7 will most certainly create.



I love learning about the detailed intricacies of defensive football and we need to kill some time before game 1. Any insight or commentary that leads to intelligent football discussion is most welcome.

I've given my opinion of what I think he's setting up this defense this year to be, on several occasions, and the specific use I haven't looked at yet.

I think he's setting up this defense to be the Dan Quinn (former Seahawks DC) Cover 3 defense. With JJ playing that ball hawking instinctual player like Earl Thomas III is/was.

The interesting thing that many people, including you have said, is Rayshawn and Jaquan are two vastly different players, and you're likely right, BUT I'd have to say where do they really differ that much other then physical size?
I recall seeing Rayshawn come down on Safety blitzes on several occasions, and I think JJ can do the same thing, I've seen RJ man the middle deep third and then attack a sideline deep route, JJ can do that.

Basing on the the type of DBs Diaz and Rumph have recruited, and have stated, they want DBs that can play every DB position is crucial for this type of analysis and that's the fun thing about this. You talk about a predefined role in this defense, that's exactly what Diaz's defense doesn't lend itself to for this position or any other on the DB end. The DBs in this defense can do it all, tackling, covering, blitzing etc. and that tends to lend itself to a defense that is extremely flexible, no matter what the offensive formation or defensive play call.

All in all, JJ roles will be defined by what the offense that week is doing. I think based on the above commentary that he'll the back end chess piece of taking away what the offense WANTS to do (i.e., if they wanna throw deep he's job is to take it away, if they're a quick throw team with screens slants etc, he'll be a physical guy at the LOS with the receivers, etc).

Diaz defense is different from what seattle does.
 

KrazyCane

SAVAGE
Joined
Sep 11, 2016
Messages
9,686
Based on the depth chart it does look like Redwine is the SS... I guess he's shown to be better in run support bc I doubt JJ is better in coverage.
 

g8rh8rMD

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Joined
May 21, 2016
Messages
4,976
To all the defensive gurus here. Now that Jaquan Johnson will be at FS, what exactly do you think will change in terms of how that position is used as opposed to last year when Jenkins was manning that spot.

They are obviously 2 very different players and I would guess that Diaz will use JJ in different ways than he uses Jenkins. Will Diaz design things to allow JJ to use his instincts, roam around and make plays on the ball more than he did with Jenkins or will it be a case of both guys playing one predefined role? It seems to me that JJ could be a huge beneficiary of the mayhem that our front 7 will most certainly create.



I love learning about the detailed intricacies of defensive football and we need to kill some time before game 1. Any insight or commentary that leads to intelligent football discussion is most welcome.

I've given my opinion of what I think he's setting up this defense this year to be, on several occasions, and the specific use I haven't looked at yet.

I think he's setting up this defense to be the Dan Quinn (former Seahawks DC) Cover 3 defense. With JJ playing that ball hawking instinctual player like Earl Thomas III is/was.

The interesting thing that many people, including you have said, is Rayshawn and Jaquan are two vastly different players, and you're likely right, BUT I'd have to say where do they really differ that much other then physical size?
I recall seeing Rayshawn come down on Safety blitzes on several occasions, and I think JJ can do the same thing, I've seen RJ man the middle deep third and then attack a sideline deep route, JJ can do that.

Basing on the the type of DBs Diaz and Rumph have recruited, and have stated, they want DBs that can play every DB position is crucial for this type of analysis and that's the fun thing about this. You talk about a predefined role in this defense, that's exactly what Diaz's defense doesn't lend itself to for this position or any other on the DB end. The DBs in this defense can do it all, tackling, covering, blitzing etc. and that tends to lend itself to a defense that is extremely flexible, no matter what the offensive formation or defensive play call.

All in all, JJ roles will be defined by what the offense that week is doing. I think based on the above commentary that he'll the back end chess piece of taking away what the offense WANTS to do (i.e., if they wanna throw deep he's job is to take it away, if they're a quick throw team with screens slants etc, he'll be a physical guy at the LOS with the receivers, etc).

You should post more often.
 

Arehel

Redshirt Freshman
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
761
To all the defensive gurus here. Now that Jaquan Johnson will be at FS, what exactly do you think will change in terms of how that position is used as opposed to last year when Jenkins was manning that spot.

They are obviously 2 very different players and I would guess that Diaz will use JJ in different ways than he uses Jenkins. Will Diaz design things to allow JJ to use his instincts, roam around and make plays on the ball more than he did with Jenkins or will it be a case of both guys playing one predefined role? It seems to me that JJ could be a huge beneficiary of the mayhem that our front 7 will most certainly create.



I love learning about the detailed intricacies of defensive football and we need to kill some time before game 1. Any insight or commentary that leads to intelligent football discussion is most welcome.

I've given my opinion of what I think he's setting up this defense this year to be, on several occasions, and the specific use I haven't looked at yet.

I think he's setting up this defense to be the Dan Quinn (former Seahawks DC) Cover 3 defense. With JJ playing that ball hawking instinctual player like Earl Thomas III is/was.

The interesting thing that many people, including you have said, is Rayshawn and Jaquan are two vastly different players, and you're likely right, BUT I'd have to say where do they really differ that much other then physical size?
I recall seeing Rayshawn come down on Safety blitzes on several occasions, and I think JJ can do the same thing, I've seen RJ man the middle deep third and then attack a sideline deep route, JJ can do that.

Basing on the the type of DBs Diaz and Rumph have recruited, and have stated, they want DBs that can play every DB position is crucial for this type of analysis and that's the fun thing about this. You talk about a predefined role in this defense, that's exactly what Diaz's defense doesn't lend itself to for this position or any other on the DB end. The DBs in this defense can do it all, tackling, covering, blitzing etc. and that tends to lend itself to a defense that is extremely flexible, no matter what the offensive formation or defensive play call.

All in all, JJ roles will be defined by what the offense that week is doing. I think based on the above commentary that he'll the back end chess piece of taking away what the offense WANTS to do (i.e., if they wanna throw deep he's job is to take it away, if they're a quick throw team with screens slants etc, he'll be a physical guy at the LOS with the receivers, etc).

You should post more often.

If game analysis or play analysis need to be done, sure. Outside of that, I typically window watch. Dmoney does a pretty good already.
 

No_Fly_Zone

Not a scientist or engineer
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
5,363
Based on the depth chart it does look like Redwine is the SS... I guess he's shown to be better in run support bc I doubt JJ is better in coverage.

The depth chart I saw just says Safety for both positions. Last year, it was Field Safety and Rover (i.e., Boundary Safety). The difference is whether you are aligning respective to personnel or the position on the field. So basically, the Field Safety needs to be able to cover more ground (both in run support and pass pro). This article from last year might be helpful (or not):

Ephraim Banda Breaks Down Safety Philosophy at Miami

Basically, Quan learned both the field safety and boundary safety positions last year.
 

Arehel

Redshirt Freshman
Joined
Mar 12, 2012
Messages
761
Based on the depth chart it does look like Redwine is the SS... I guess he's shown to be better in run support bc I doubt JJ is better in coverage.

The depth chart I saw just says Safety for both positions. Last year, it was Field Safety and Rover (i.e., Boundary Safety). The difference is whether you are aligning respective to personnel or the position on the field. So basically, the Field Safety needs to be able to cover more ground (both in run support and pass pro). This article from last year might be helpful (or not):

Ephraim Banda Breaks Down Safety Philosophy at Miami

Basically, Quan learned both the field safety and boundary safety positions last year.

Being from Canada, this whole boundary and field thing comes from the 3 down world up here and this follows suit.

Essentially you want athletic freaks on the boundary side and more rangier smarter players on the field side. Based on this system it asks more of the FS to do and Boundary safety plays more downhill at times.

As stated above, JJ will be playing Field Safety, in my opinion, event though its clear he can play both.
 

LuCane

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Administrator
Joined
Oct 21, 2011
Messages
13,813
We should wait to see how they align when the games start, but I think it's natural to oversimplify this topic. We don't really play with traditional "strong" and "free" safety roles. It has been discussed on here a number of times. From what was seen in the Spring, Redwine often played the boundary safety, which based on his more slender/wirey frame, you'd think "wait, that doesn't make sense?"

However, the position allows us to be really flexible with what we want to do against spread offenses. We can throw Jaquan over the top to the field side, which allows him to use his instincts and feel in zone coverage, while Redwine may get matched up against an inside WR in man coverage to the short side of the field. Being that Redwine is a former corner, has decent feet and it's the short side of the field (less space and route combination opportunities), we're leveraging attributes to fit our defense.

I haven't watched a single snap of Fall practice this year, but my guess is you'll see Diaz roll out very specific packages. We'll probably even see Finley/Carter work as Safeties with Jaquan at Nickel against specific run teams. The concern is obvious: will we tip our hand based on who we have out there. My answer is Diaz has been excellent at adjusting and, remembering how the game is played with substitution permissions for the defense, he'll have an answer to the offense's personnel groupings.
 
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WestEndzone

Retired staff
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Dec 13, 2013
Messages
1,672
Here's something I wrote during the spring. It's relevant by implication, I think.

Just a random thought from watching the scrimmage:

I'm pretty sure we play with field and boundary safeties. I noticed Redwine playing to the short side most of the time during the scrimmage. Considering we're a single high team, I can see us being able to play match coverage (man to the boundary; zone to the field). This means we would be rolling our safety coverage to the boundary and allowing Redwine to match up in man coverage with a slot receiver. If we roll safety coverage to the field under that same configuration, it probably means we're blitzing or playing some form of a checked coverage according to the formation displayed by the offense. Either way, it would allow Redwine to play matched up in the slot or in center field. In both situations I think he is being utilized according to his strengths.

The point of what I'm saying is that it's an interesting decision to move a cover guy like Redwine to boundary safety. There's no right answer on what body types and skill sets you're supposed to play at safety as long as your base coverages and assignments play to their strengths. Some teams like to put their bigger bodied player there and play him like an extra linebacker while primarily asking him to play underneath coverages or narrow deep quarter or half zones. Diaz and Banda have obviously put thought into this and I think it's a good fit.

In our system, F$=Field Safety; and S$=Boundary Safety

Wider college hash marks allow teams to specialize safeties in such a way. You're able to specialize skill set/body type according to field and boundary since offenses are limited by shorter boundaries and benefited by wider fields. In the NFL the ball is pretty much always in the middle of the field, so safety alignment rules need to be adjusted to more be efficient considering that NFL offenses are free to attack either side of the field almost equally.

The F$ in our configuration absolutely needs to be our best tackling and most instinctive player in the secondary. Depending on coverage, the F$ is a primary run defender to the field (including in the perimeter screen game), and is a cutback player on runs to the boundary. As to coverage, the inverse of what I said about the S$ applies. He's primarily a deep middle, inside quarter, deep half player and will occasionally invert late and become an underneath defender (this usually occurs during blitz or some sort of a trips check).

Jaquan would thrive at F$ or Nickel (Sam linebacker). In my opinion, the F$ and Nickel in this system are linebackers with defensive back physical attributes. Jaquan fits the bill. The S$ can be any number of options. It's almost like the miscellaneous position you just need to make sure you're calling the right coverages for the guy you have in there.
 
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