2023 IDP Football: Four AFC Coaching Changes that Impact IDP

by Steve Hungarter (IDPHunter)
2023 IDP Football: Four AFC Coaching Changes that Impact IDP

In today's introduction, we will study the tape to find the significant influence competent coaching has on a team. In the article titled "2023 IDP Football: Four AFC Coaching Changes that Impact IDP," you will discover how certain coaches possess this ability to elevate their players and the entire team's performance.

These types of coaching schemes are worth noticing and bring a certain scheme that becomes practical when utilizing IDP personnel. This is an attractive talent to any team. In today's installment, I would like to look deeply at that and compare other AFC examples and how they were great.

Coaches are responsible for it all. Please make no mistake about it, folks; leadership counts, and the best teams got them; here are some of the best examples this division brings. I have a quick story for you and would like to give you a few detailed examples of coaches in the AFC that have used their talents to build a team and make a dynasty.

2023 IDP Football: Four AFC Coaching Changes that Impact IDP

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Historically, A great AFC example of great competence to consider is the 2022 Patriots, who had several deficiencies, including one of the weakest skill position groups in the league during that year. They would likely have been a two-win team at best without Bill Belichick. Yet this was the start of a dynasty winning six and appearing in nine Super Bowls.

His schemes are legendary and are what brings it all to the table. These secret ingredients are worth noticing as he brings in new players to help him cook the groceries for us every season.

On that note, let's examine another AFC example, Belichick's mentor, Bill Parcells. As Belichick's predecessor to the Patriots, he took that team to one but also won two Super Bowls in his own right with the Giants. Parcells habitually built strong teams and used special coaching schemes that worked for that day.

Bill Parcells consistently achieved similar feats throughout his coaching career. The coach turned a 3-13 Jets team into a Super Bowl contender in just two seasons. The 1998 AFC Championship game was up 10-0 at halftime to the eventual Super Bowl-winning Denver Broncos.

Perhaps that was just a coincidence, you say.

In another stop with the Dolphins, a franchise that was 1-15 before his arrival, he managed to win their division. This highlights the undeniable impact of coaching, especially in the context of IDP (Individual Defensive Players).

My point is a great coach could only get you so far; how a team is built and the strategic schemes employed by the coach greatly determine the outcome. Now, let's delve into four intriguing coaching changes that have the potential to affect IDP. Here are some current coaching changes by their respected team and how that scheme will impact IDP.

Cleveland Browns

Jim Schwartz was once considered one of the best defensive coordinators in the league. Known for his formidable pass rush and the ability to create a terrifying defense, Schwartz's coaching strategies have become somewhat outdated in today's evolving NFL. Because schemes have changed, this is often forgotten about, but he possesses the tools with the Browns to be a top-flight unit again.

Unlike most NFL schemes, Schwartz tends to leave his corners in one-on-one coverage and relies on blitzing with five defenders. However, as the league has changed, Schwartz has struggled to adapt to his old-school approach.

 

As for the Browns' defense, Anthony Walker is expected to play a significant role as an A-gap banger, while JOK's contributions might be limited. Watching the tape before his injury, you will see that Walker was quite good, and the defense stopped the run. In terms of safety usage, Schwartz typically employs a single-high safety, which means one safety will be closer to the line of scrimmage. The two players in the secondary are Grant Delpit and Juan Thornhill. In this context, it's likely that Delpit, who had an impressive 105 tackles in his first season as a starter, will play a crucial role. Thornhill, on the other hand, is better suited for a two-high safety system.

During his time with the Eagles, Schwartz employed zone coverage around 35% of the time, favoring cover-1 with a deep safety. One of his core coaching principles emphasizes generating turnovers with the mantra "See the ball, get the ball." Additionally, he often implements the wide nine scheme and utilizes rotational strategies for his defensive linemen. In an older article for NBC, Schwartz discusses this and the purpose of rotating the front four.

In short, We saw this too with Schwartz's impact on the Titans' defense last year. One constant out of this coach is the ability to rotate his defensive linemen more than before. This probably won't happen to Garrett, but the rest will have a lower snap count to stay fresh.

IDP to roster:

Myles Garrett, Grant Delpit, and Za'Darius Smith

Roster-specific leagues:

In deeper leagues, you will see Anthony Walker on waivers; if this is the case in your league, please take advantage.

Players I am trading:

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah

Miami Dolphins

By securing the services of new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, the team instantly positioned itself as a formidable contender. Fangio, who was expected to join the Eagles, was a huge hire by the Dolphins because he is widely acclaimed and highly respected in the NFL, often credited as the pioneer of numerous defensive schemes. Most teams have copied his ideas, and he has become the godfather of modern NFL Defenses.

If you have an interest in learning how this works, here is an older CBS article that is down with slides; here is Durkin's Playbook: Breaking Down Vic Fangio's Defensive Scheme - CBS Chicago (cbsnews.com)

In short, Fangio's defensive strategy focuses on creating an illusion of vulnerability against the run and adjusting post-snap to counter offensive plays effectively. He strategically covers multiple players to prevent big plays from occurring. When opposing teams attempt to exploit running plays, they quickly realize that Fangio has employed a scheme to counter such attempts.

This is done in a 3-4 scheme (three defensive linemen, four linebackers). The pros call this a "30 front," as pictured in the link above. My only concern is which player will emerge with the green dot this offseason. Jevon Holland, Jerome Baker, or wild card David Long Jr. are candidates here.

The secondary is what you want to look at. Fangio's defensive system has a lot of back-end players all in coverage, avoiding the big play, often referred to as the "Vangio 2 high safety system," you will see two Safeties playing a lot back and deeper. So you should see less of a box role for Brandon Jones.

New free agent DeShon Elliott may be the better fit here. Keep on who wins the green dot here. It is likely Javon Holland again, as there are questions of who will play call over the middle: Jerome Baker is one of the NFL's worst open-field tacklers. Look for free agent DeShon Elliot to play a larger role than first thought possibly.

IDP to roster:

Christian Wilkins, Jaelan Phillips, David Long, and Jevon Holland

Special consideration leagues:

Bradley Chubb (roster in DL/LB edge leagues)

Players I am trading:

Brandon Jones and Jerome Baker

Houston Texans

It's hard to say what a new head coach will want to do; here are a few clues for us to follow.

Under the guidance of former Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator Lovie Smith, the Texans ranked third in terms of the highest total yards allowed per game and held the 27th position in points per game allowed. In contrast, under the leadership of the newly appointed head coach of the Houston Texans, DeMeco Ryans, the 49ers boasted the lowest yards per game allowed and secured the top spot in points per game allowed.

Matt Burke might have the DC role, but I think Ryans intends to apply his knowledge and past experiences as a linebacker and the success principles he utilized with the 49ers to his current situation. Expect a 49ers scheme and approach here. The 49ers' defense was and still is widely regarded as one of the best defenses in the NFL; however, Ryans faced the challenge of not having a few crucial components integral to that successful defense and planned to utilize four-person fronts as part of his defensive strategy.

We are still unsure; however, expect good four-person fronts, starting with Will Anderson being used as a true lineman. The three linebackers units will be used more effectively also. This is more of an evaluation year to see who can play here and fits and who doesn't. Competition plenty this preseason.

IDP to roster:

Christian Kirksey, Denzel Perryman, Christian Harris, and Jalen Pitre

Special consideration leagues:

Will Anderson and Jonathan Greenard for Dynasty leagues

Player I am trading:

Shaquill Griffin and Jerry Hughes

Denver Broncos

When the Denver Broncos decided to clean house last year, they forgot that they already had a good coach on defense, ranking among the top 10 defenses; despite this, the decision to rebuild and dismiss Ejiro Evero, who was in his first season overseeing the defense, seemed odd.

However, they might come to regret this decision, as the arrival of Sean Payton to improve the offense could potentially hurt the defense under Vance Joseph's leadership. Vance Joesph is more of a name than a defensive guru, and he coached the 27th-ranked defense in Arizona, which was not very impressive here; he will have a stacked team and be under the microscope.

To be fair, he did have the 11th-ranked Defense in 2021, and this is big of him to return to Denver after being the head coach here. Ego aside, the jury is still out.

Expect a 4-3 scheme like the picture above, with plenty of two-linebacker looks (last year over 75%), but the twist leaves room to bring another defensive back/or LB3  onto the field.

IDP to roster:

Josey Jewell, Randy Gregory, Alex Singleton, and Justin Simmons

Special consideration leagues:

Patrick Surtain (if roster in CB-specific leagues)

If you have any player-specific questions, message me on Twitter or check out my IDP Redraft Rankings HERE.


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