NFL – Jersey number changes create on-field advantages for NFL defenses

When talking about the culture change in Jacksonville, most of the talk is about the offensive side of the ball and how new head coach Doug Pedersen has made things easier and better for Trevor Lawrence and all of his goals.

There’s certainly a lot to do – it’s hard to do worse than last season, calling the urban mayor “responsible” and the two-headed monster dramas of Darrell Bevel and Brian Schottenheimer.

But it’s the Jacksonville defense that we should see more often. Last season, the Jaguars ranked 31st in defensive DVOA. This season, after two games, that defense ranks third, behind only the Bills and Buccaneers.

Yes, the addition of Trayvon Walker to the defensive line for the first time helped a lot, but there are a lot of guys on this list who were there last season, as well as major acquisitions in the draft and free agency. . Freshman defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell is clearly dialing things right — our own Laurie Fitzpatrick recently wrote about that defensive front and how it brings “Saxonville” back to Duval County. East.

But this season, the Jaguars are bringing a hidden advantage on the pitch, and it’s confusing a lot of people. Athletic’s Robert Mays recently pointed this out.

Yes, we are talking about jersey numbers.

In 2021, the NFL passed a rule proposed by the Kansas City Chiefs allowing tight ends and receivers to wear any number 1-49 and 80-89, with defensive backs wearing any number 1 at 49. for, and linebackers were allowed to wear any number. From 1-59 and 90-99.

The jaguars take full advantage of this. He announced the new shirt numbers for several of his players in early September. So what if you were looking for the safety of Andre Cisco as the preseason No. 38, and now you see Andre Cisco as the No. 5? I don’t care how smart you are, it will cause some hesitation.

Why would that be an advantage for the defense? When you’re the quarterback reading a defense before and after the snap, you more or less use jersey numbers to identify who’s doing what, where. You will hear the identity of the quarterback [Jersey Number] mike is [middle linebacker] Pre-snap, and that’s just one of many things that help define security.

Some quarterbacks are not developed enough in their procedures to surpass him. and if tom brady Talking about how that complicates things…there’s something to that.

(Stephen Lew – USA TODAY SPORTS)

“The numbers rule is crazy,” Brady said. The last until september Tampa Bay Weather and “Literally, people changed their numbers today. I play against two guys who had different numbers in pre-season. So, yeah, you have to watch the movie and know what you’re studying, but then go back. They need to know who to block. The offensive line too. The same goes for receivers who adjust their routes based on the blitz.

“So a boy has a 6, a boy has an 11, a boy has a 9. And they change every game when you make your way through and get home. It’s so hard that Talk is about to happen. It’s a good advantage for the defense, which is what it is.

You could say that college players have to deal with it all the time, but since college players haven’t been in the process for 10-20 years, offense and defense aren’t that complicated. The same would be true for the NFL preseason. There are a lot more players and a lot of people are trying to build a roster in small schemes. Brady’s deadly grip on his own process could put him at a disadvantage in this case. The same may be true for other supercomputer quarterbacks.

“There’s a reason you do everything in football,” Brady concluded afterwards. “And you work hard to stay in shape. Now you’re in the game and you’re going to be confused all the time because you’re spinning to look like a linebacker against a D-line. Or what the safety looks like here. Very unnecessary.

Afterwards, Brady also mentioned that it would be as if the offensive lineman was allowed to wear, say, number 82 and number 9. Brady brought up a very valid point that you wouldn’t know who it was eligible and who did not. , which is why the NFL may be more hesitant to go crazy quilting on that side of the ball.

But it’s definitely something to think about. Because throughout the history of professional football, when the defense has some sort of advantage, rule makers have tended to do whatever they can to at least push things back in the middle.

Helen J. Jimenez