Scheme changes across the NFL

How teams with a new head coach or coordinator will shift philosophies

Originally Published: May 11, 2012
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
Chuck PaganoJoe Robbins/Getty ImagesUnder Chuck Pagano, the way the Colts play on both sides of the ball will shift dramatically.

Coaching changes occur every NFL offseason, and this year is no different. With new coaches, changes in philosophy and schemes on both sides of the ball appear. Let's take a look at the teams affected by this turnover with entirely new staffs plus the teams that had a shift at either offensive or defensive coordinator. As a note, it's clear that many defenses don't exist within a traditional base look -- a 4-3 defense won't be in that set all the time. What this reflects is the ideal set each coach likes to run.

Completely New Staff

Indianapolis Colts | Chuck Pagano (Head Coach)

This team will bear little resemblance to the Colts we've seen in the past on both sides of the ball. Offensively, coordinator Bruce Arians will oversee a much more physical unit, one that uses better size. The team will want a dominating run game, but Arians knows how to emphasize a sophisticated passing game. We will see bunch formations, multiple-receiver/tight end looks and the occasional no huddle -- all things that Andrew Luck can run. On defense, Indianapolis will transition from an athletic 4-3 look to a more physical 3-4 front with two-gap principles. On the back end, the trademark Cover 2 defense that we have seen for years will be replaced by aggressive man schemes with some press looks.


Jacksonville Jaguars | Mike Mularkey (Head Coach)

Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.