LB Roles: Stack & Shed vs Run & Hit

I started this with regards to why Jabril Cox would not be used in the LVE role, however…

– I decided to expand it to LB roles in general.

– It includes an explanation regarding how Dan Quinn uses 3 Safety sets.

It also explains why LVE is much better than many fans believe.

  • LVE & Jabril LB Types
    • LVE plays as a Stack & Shed LB.
    • Jabril was a top coverage LB in college.
  • Those 2 skillsets are completely different.
    • A Stack & Shed LB is similar to a 2-gap DLineman.
    • A Run & Hit LB shoots the gaps and jumps around blockers when possible.
  • LVE Then and Now
    • In Marinelli's defense, LVE played as a Run & Hit LB
      • He looked terrific in this role as a rookie in 2018.
    • The Rams in the playoff game specifically targeted the Cowboys LBs
      • The Rams offensive game plan centered around getting the Cowboys LBs into the wrong "gap".
    • If LVE had played Stack & Shed like he plays in 2022, the Cowboys would likely have won that game.
      • When the Rams faced the Patriots in the Super Bowl, Belichick implemented a defensive scheme very similar to Dan Quinn's 2022 scheme.
      • It shutdown the Rams precision zone run blocking scheme.
  • Stack & Shed vs Run & Hit
    • LVE
      • LVE intentionally takes on blocks from OLinemen and then sheds the block once the ball carrier commits to one side of the block.
    • Run & Hit
      • The problem with Run & Hit when a LB ends up on the wrong side of the blocker.
      • There is no direct route back to the ball carry one that happens.
      • If there is not another defender on the other side of the blocker, then it's going to result in a big yardage run play.
    • Stack & Shed
      • By playing Stack & Shed, other defenders (Often Parsons or the Strong Safety) don't have rigid gap assignments.
        • This allows players like Parsons and D. Wilson to make big plays because they don't have to stay in a defined gap.
      • LVE playing Stack & Shed also forces the downfield OLineman to block him instead of other defenders.
        • That frees up other defenders to run to the ball without having to avoid the primary downfield OLineman.
        • It also give the other defenders a key location for reference with regards to knowing where other blockers are likely to be located.
      • By design, a Stack & Shed LB is going to give up some ground against a 320 OLineman with a head of steam running right at him.
        • The concept is LVE is the Safety net if the players he frees up don't make the play.
        • That means that it's ok that he gives up a couple of yards to the blocker on the occasions when he has to make the tackle.
    • Jabril
      • A coverage LB is the opposite of a Stack & Shed LB.
        • If Jabril plays, it would be in place of Barr or in place of the hybrid LB/Safety in the 3 Safety sets.
          • The 3 Safety set (Big Nickel) is Dan Quinn's base defense.
        • Parsons at DE vs Parsons at LB determines other LB personnel
          • When Parsons is at DE, then LVE and Barr are the 2 off-ball LBs in Nickel or Big Nickel.
          • When Parsons is a LB, then only 1 of LVE or Barr is on the field (generally).
          • In Big Nickel, Kearse or Mukuamu play a hybrid LB role.
      • In 2021, big Safety Keanu Neal played the coverage LB role.
        • In 2021, Neal and LVE were rarely on the field together because Parsons was normally the other LB.
        • The role Neal played in 2021 is the role Jabril would be best suited to play.
          • In 2022, Quinn has not really use a coverage LB per se.
          • He has occasionally used a Safety in the Neal role in 2022.
      • 3rd Safety Roles
        • Replaces the Nickel CB (2 true off-ball LBs on the field)
          • Example: Parsons at DE, LVE & Barr at LB, Kearse or Mukuamu as the 3rd Safety.
        • Plays LB with the Nickel CB also on the field (1 true off-ball LB on the field).
          • Example: Parsons at DE, LVE & Kearse or Mukuamu as the 3rd Safety, Lewis or Bland as the Nickel CB.

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