by Aaron Schatz
Well, last week ended up a little busier for me than expected, and I think I ended up shortchanging this blog and the NFL fans who read it. So, if nobody minds, I'm going to stick around another week to discuss a few more NFL subjects, and maybe a couple other things.
Every time I come back to look at the questions asked in the comments of my first post from last Monday, I have a tendency to get stuck because there are a lot of good questions that deserve full answers. But I have come to the realization that one of the reasons I had trouble posting last week was that urge to turn each answer into a long treatise. So instead, let's see if I can answer some of your reader questions in shorter form.
At least this should be less controversial than writing about gender in the publishing industry.
What are the trends in terms of defensive formations and secondary coverage in the NFL?
Right now, the big fad in the NFL is the 3-4 defensive scheme, with three down linemen and four linebackers instead of the other way around. Showing that everything in the NFL is cyclical, this was also the big fad in the NFL 25 years ago. In 2006, only eight teams ran either a 3-4 scheme or a hybrid scheme that used both fronts, and only one of those teams was in the NFC (Dallas). This year, 15 teams will be using the 3-4 as their base scheme. In secondary coverage, the biggest trend has been the disappearance of the classic Tony Dungy/Monte Kiffin Tampa-2, which is only the primary coverage at this point for five teams: Chicago, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, and the New York Giants.