The Jets, The 46 Defense, and Why the Jets Will Succeed With It

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Jan 26, 1986; New Orleans, LA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Chicago Bears defensive end Richard Dent (95) in action against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XX at the Superdome. The Bears defeated the Patriots 46-10. Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Jets are entering a new season, with a mantra of “one step faster”. With that, the Jets have drafted a bunch of guys on the front seven, and have a new defensive line coach, Karl Dunbar. He, and coach Rex Ryan, have talked a bit this offseason about using the “46” defense more this season. This is a good idea, and will set the Jets up for success.

First, a bit of a description of how the defense works, along with the diagram above. For those who don’t know, the defense was brought to the forefront by Rex’s dad, Buddy. He made it famous with his Chicago Bear teams in the 1980s. The name came from the Bears Doug Plank, who played on these teams at safety, and wore the jersey number “46”. No, I am not going to compare our guys to Richard Dent, Mike Singletary, ..etc. Just going to show how it will work with the “type” of player the Jets have.

Basically, the defense is an extra-aggressive version of the 4-3 base defense, four linemen, three linebackers. The defense shifts the line to the weak side of the offensive line, the side without the tight end. Both guards and center are taken up by both defensive tackles and the left defensive end. The weak side defensive end lines up one to two yards outside the LT, leaving them all alone when trying to block. The alignment makes it difficult to double team, trap..etc., because you have to account for everybody.

Another part that confuses offenses is that the 46 takes the outside linebackers, and lines both of them up on the strong side of the offensive line. The point is, the defense confuses the offense, and gives a lot of opportunity for rushing the pass rusher, an idea that we all know makes Rex Ryan salivate.

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