Tennessee Titans: Jerry Gray Looks to Put Stamp on Defense with Ruby Formation

Zach Law@zach_lawContributor IMay 30, 2012

Having a full offseason to install his defense will make Jerry Gray smile.
Having a full offseason to install his defense will make Jerry Gray smile.Handout/Getty Images

A common refrain during this offseason is that defensive coordinator Jerry Gray was unable to install his defense last year. With the influx of new talent via free agency and the draft, along with a full offseason, Gray can finally make the defense his own.

The Tennessee Titans have played in a 4-3 system for years, though astute fans know the team did not show this formation all last year.

One of Gray's more exotic formations is a scheme called the Ruby package.

Tom Gower of Total Titans recently posted about the formation and why Gray's looking for an additional safety to play in it. It's a 3-2-6 scheme that requires three safeties and three cornerbacks on the field.

The usual "dime" formation includes four cornerbacks and two safeties. With an additional safety on the field, the defensive possibilities multiply. The Titans probably don't have that player on the roster at the moment. Robert Johnson and Markelle Martin are the two top options, unless the team decides to move Tommie Campbell to that third safety spot.

Music City Miracles projected the players who would fit in the scheme. Mike Martin played nose tackle at Michigan and Jurrell Casey could take on the double-team as well. Kamerion Wimbley and Derrick Morgan remain the ends. Colin McCarthy and Zach Brown are the linebackers. There's a lot of focus on Akeem Ayers getting to the QB, so he could play an end while Brown has the speed to line up at one of the safety spots. That's the spot that would cover an Aaron Hernandez or Coby Fleener.

In the secondary, it's looking like Jason McCourty's going to stay outside but Alterraun Verner will play the Cortland Finnegan role and move in to cover the slot on third downs. The third corner most likely would be Tommie Campbell or Chris Hawkins. Michael Griffin and Jordan Babineaux are the safeties.

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This new scheme can combat the pass-happy offenses of today's NFL while allowing the flexibility to blitz from many different directions. In less than 100 days, we'll see the real Titans defense.

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