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in Deutsch in Medien und Literatur 12.11.2018 02:36
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Seattle didn’t make the playoffs Leonard Fournette Jersey , but its defense essentially did.

The scheme that carried the Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowls (2013-14) has become increasingly popular around the league. It helped Atlanta get to the big game last year and was the catalyst for Jacksonville’s stunning turnaround this season. It also got rave reviews down the stretch in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

In a copycat league, this is the one being emulated right now.

And for good reason. The Seahawks rode the scheme to six straight playoff berths between 2012 and 2016, and as more of Pete Carroll’s defensive assistants moved on to become coordinators and head coaches elsewhere, they brought it with them.

Now, it spans coast to coast.

”It really takes on the flavor of the coaches that are doing it, so they have their uniqueness,” Carroll said. ”But there are a lot of similarities.”

Similar results, too.

The Jaguars ranked second in the NFL in yards and points allowed this season, relying on their defense to mask offensive deficiencies. The Chargers ranked third in scoring defense, allowing just two opponents to top 21 points in their final 11 games. The Falcons (eighth) and the injury-riddled Seahawks (13th) weren’t far behind. The 49ers finished 25th at 23.9 points a game, but were considerably better over the final five weeks of the regular season. They allowed 19.9 points during a five-game winning streak that included victories against three playoff teams.

Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Atlanta defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn and Jacksonville defensive coordinator Todd Wash all spent time in Seattle under Carroll.

Bradley, Manuel, Saleh and Wash were on the same staff in 2012. Former Oakland defensive coordinator Ken Norton also was there and had the Raiders playing the Seattle scheme until he was fired in late November.

”It’s good. It’s nice Andrew Norwell Jersey ,” Carroll said. ”I love that the guys are getting the opportunities and they are doing stuff.”

Seattle players don’t seem as ready to credit anyone for doing it as well as they did while picking up the ”Legion of Boom” nickname in 2012.

”There is only one Seattle Seahawks,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said.

Maybe so. Seattle allowed the fewest points (14.4) and yards (273.6) in the NFL during the 2013 season and forced a league-high 39 turnovers. The Seahawks emphatically stated their case as a generational defense – right up there with the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 2000 Baltimore Ravens – with a 43-8 drubbing of Denver in the Super Bowl. The Broncos shattered an NFL record with 606 points during the regular season but were overmatched on the NFL’s biggest stage.

That same season, thousands of miles away, Bradley and Wash were building the foundation for Jacksonville’s current defense.

Two years later, Quinn was implementing it in Atlanta with some help from Manuel. Quinn’s offensive coordinator at the time was Kyle Shanahan, who saw the defense every day in practice and knew he wanted it to be part of his rebuild with the 49ers this season. He hired Saleh. And former Jaguars head coach Bradley resurfaced with the Chargers.

”It’s a very sound scheme that starts with stopping the run,” Shanahan said. ”It makes you work all the way down the field, so it’s extremely tough to get explosives on. It’s tough to go against. They make you work for everything, and it’s something that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every week. It’s something that if you just do over and over and over again, it’s hard not to get better at it.”

The premise of the Seattle defense is that it uses an eight-man box to stop the run (one safety positioned close to the line of scrimmage) and a single-high safety who can get sideline to sideline in ”cover three” (a three-deep zone in which defensive backs split coverage areas into three sections). Cornerbacks play a lot of aggressive, bump-and-run coverage that works best when the four defensive linemen are pressuring quarterbacks. Linebackers are usually undersized and fast.

It’s a 4-3 base defense that incorporates many elements of the popular 3-4.

”We are all different in our own ways,” Manuel said. ”But … just the understanding of methodically making a team have to go 13, 14 plays to score and play with great red-zone defense and understand that taking the ball away is the most important thing. Plays are going to happen that are big, but if you eliminate the ones that you know are about to happen, offenses have to do something else.

”You call plays that guys understand. You can get exotic (and create) paralysis by analysis; guys are overthinking on the field. That’s part of what you see in this defense. I guarantee you in each one of these (Seattle-influenced) defenses, guys are flying around and playing fast because they’re not thinking.”

Regardless of the schematics and subtleties Austin Seferian-Jenkins Jersey , the common thread is solid – more like star – players.

Seattle has Wagner, cornerback Richard Sherman, free safety Earl Thomas and strong safety Kam Chancellor, among others.

The Chargers boast disruptive pass-rushers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, linebacker Denzel Perryman and cornerback Casey Hayward. They tied for fifth in the NFL with 43 sacks.

The Jaguars had the second-most sacks (55) in the league thanks partly to Pro Bowl defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Malik Jackson and budding star Yannick Ngak For those who think game plans and play calls are complex, it would be helpful to take a behind-the-scenes look at the medical setups that go into an NFL game.

Talk about multi-faceted.

The league provided such an opportunity at US Bank Stadium this week, and it was enlightening.

From the spotters’ booth upstairs to the exam rooms, locker rooms and ETM facilities in the bowels of the building to the blue tent on the sideline, dozens of people are involved in health and safety protocols.

They range from neurotrauma physicians and athletic trainers to data technicians to ambulance drivers and emergency personnel, with perhaps 30 medical folks on the sideline.

Even the game referee is a part of the procedures.

The league has been criticized for years that it rarely has had player safety and health as a focal point, and it’s placed a high priority on upgrading every such area.

Game day includes a pregame meeting, new this season, held 60 minutes before kickoff that involves everybody on the health side of football.

”It’s a big group,” said Dr. Allen Sills, the league’s chief medical officer.

That group goes over the Emergency Action Plan, an exhaustive outline that describes who does what in virtually every case of injury or emergency. It’s so detailed that it includes arm or hand signals to help all involved determine what action is needed.

”The collaborative effort between teams is where it should be … seamless and flawless Niles Paul Jersey ,” said Vikings head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman.

The emphasis, of course, is on immediate treatment whenever an injury occurs. The hour-long meeting’s value became apparent when Bears tight end Zach Miller dislocated his left knee and tore an artery that supplies blood to the lower leg in a game at New Orleans. Miller could have lost the leg had it not been for the quick action by the well-schooled medical staffs.

”These are the kind of situations we’re practicing for,” Sills said. ”They’re incredibly rare, but we want to be prepared for it.”

They need to be prepared for injuries large and small, ranging from situations when a visit to the blue tent is enough – a retaped ankle, perhaps – to sending a player inside to an examination room, or even to the hospital for particularly major issues.

U.S. Bank Stadium has a specific ”quiet room” for examining concussions – all stadiums must have an area for such exams. Naturally, with revelations in recent years about the dangers of concussions in football, more attention is paid to head trauma than ever.

In that ”quiet room” are the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant and a team physician or member of the team medical staff. They compare the player’s baseline test to his current status. Sugarman said he has never seen a disagreement between them about a player’s condition after the 10-12 minute exam.

”Sometimes, after two minutes you know they’ll fail the test,” Sugarman said.

No one from a team – coaches, executives, owners – is allowed into any of the exam areas, not even the blue tent just a few yards away on the sideline.

”I don’t have owners telling me to get him ready … sooner,” Sugarman added.

The roles of the concussion spotters have increased in importance and attention after a handful of players Donte Moncrief Jersey , most notably Houston quarterback Tom Savage, clearly were hurt but didn’t get the immediate care required. There will be four UNCs – unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants – at this Super Bowl. Typically, each sideline is staffed by one. After the protocol changed in December following the Savage case, an additional one was added for the playoffs, as well as a centralized UNC based at the league. That central UNC will be in the spotter booth for the Super Bowl.

The jobs are usually filled in each city by certified athletic trainers charged with noticing player head injuries from their upstairs booth. The spotters are paired with video technicians who watch the broadcast feed and tag plays that result in injuries – although they’re not always easy to spot.

A spotter can communicate with sideline medical personnel in a variety of ways. If there’s a reason to stop the game to get an injured player off the field, he has that power, often shouting into his device: ”Medical Timeout.”

The referee will stop the game when so instructed; Sills estimated it occurred eight to 10 times this season.

A sideline monitor then can show video of the play to team or unaffiliated medical personnel. A decision can be made more quickly and accurately about the next steps, if any are needed, and the medical staff has a better idea of what happened than how the player might describe it.

Sugarman is more than grateful for the assistance and the technology that makes it possible.

”People like me might have looked at it with a crooked eye,” he said with a smile. ”Big Brother looking over your shoulder. But it’s been invaluable. You can’t see everything. It’s very protective to know they’re looking out for you.”

Last summer for the first time the league brought together all sorts of medical staffers from each team, plus unaffiliated consultants and spotters for a training session dedicated to head trauma and concussions. Those sessions will continue.

Sills bristles when he hears that the NFL is not doing enough regarding head injuries. Standing in a specialized X-ray room underneath the Super Bowl stadium, he vigorously defends the NFL concussion policy.

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