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|George Edwards, who previously worked with Nick Saban as the Dolphins' linebackers coach, may implement Saban's 3-4 scheme in his new role as Buffalo's defensive coordinator.|
"I feel like they are very aggressive on most first and second downs with the strong safety playing a big role in run support. But they also hedge their bets by dropping into Cover 1 or Cover 3 in an effort to take away the big play off play-action. Alabama, like other 3-4 teams, can walk an outside linebacker up to the line of scrimmage, effectively giving it a four-man front.
"Finally, they excel in underneath, matchup zone coverage, which is to say players don't just let receivers catch the ball in front of them and then make the tackle. They match up and track players when they enter the area of the field they are responsible for. This requires a great deal of discipline and communication to prevent breakdowns in the coverage.
"This is why Saban is so great at what he does in my opinion. It's not only his obvious football acumen. It's also his ability to communicate with his players and minimize human error on game day."
"[Our] philosophy on first and second down is to stop the run and play good zone pass defense. We will occasionally play man-to-man and blitz in this situation. On third down, we will primarily play man-to-man and mix-in some zone and blitzes. We will rush four or more players versus the pass about ninety-percent of the time.
"In all situations, we will defend the inside or middle of the field first -- defend inside to outside. Against the run, we will not allow the ball to be run inside. We want to force the ball outside. Against the pass, we will not allow the ball to be thrown deep down the middle or inside. We want to force the ball to be thrown short and/or outside.
"Finally, our job is to take the ball away from the opponents' offense and score or set up good field position for our offense. We must knock the ball loose, force mistakes, and cause turnovers. Turnovers and making big plays win games. We will be alert and aggressive and take advantage of every opportunity to come up with the ball. ... The trademark of our defense will be effort, toughness, and no mental mistakes regarding score or situation in any game"