Tennessee Titans: Let’s Delve Into The “Ruby” Defense


A few months ago I wrote an article about Jerry Gray bringing the “Ruby” defense to the Tennessee Titans. I wanted to take some time and delve into some specifics that this defense has to offer. While I’m very excited about this alignment, it does have its weaknesses and if not played right, can be beaten like any other defense.

The 3-2-6 defense is gaining popularity in the NFL and in college. LSU runs a version of the 3-2-6 which they call the “Mustang”. So let’s get into this defense a little bit and talk about what should happen when we line up in the 3-2-6 or “Ruby”.

What’s important to know is that this defense is built to harass and confuse opposing offenses. Having two LBs and six DBs(3 of which will mainly be safeties) in this defense, there are more than a few ways to blitz the QB and create havoc on the opposing offense.

The three down lineman in this defense should be stout against the run and should also have some pass rushing skills. The biggest weakness of this defense is the three down lineman, only because they will always be outnumbered and it could be difficult to stop the run. With three down lineman most of the time your nose tackle will line up and play a 1 technique which is lining up head to head on the center. The defensive ends will play a 4 (lined up even with the tackle) or 5(slightly on the outside shoulder of the tackle) technique. Who do I see as the projected lineman this year in the Ruby defense? NT-Jurrell Casey, RDE-Derrick Morgan/Akeem Ayers, LDE-Kamerion Wimbley

The two LBs in this defense must be able to cover, provide run support, and blitz. While all three of these areas are important, in this defense the LBs must be able to cover ground and blitz. They must be smart and know when to show blitz and know when to back out. Our young LBs should provide lots of speed in this sub package. Projected LBs Colin McCarthy and Zach Brown/Akeem Ayers

The six DBs in this defense must also be able to cover, provide run support, and blitz. In the 3-2-6 defense the DBs on the field blitz often which is a little different than what Titans DBs have done before. For years the Titans have been a cover 2 defense, but with the new “Ruby” defense, look for that to change. I think we have the DBs to be good at all three facets of this defense. One of the tweaks that Gray will install into his version of the 3-2-6 is that he will have his line up be three CBs and three Safeties. Most dime defenses have four CBs and two Safeties. Who do I project to be the DBs in this defense? CB-Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner, Tommie Campbell, S- Michael Griffin, Jason Babineaux, and Robert Johnson

One of the most important aspects of this defense will be in the pre-snap reads that the opposing QB sees. What I mean by this is that the opposing QB could come to the line and read zone, then at the last second the defense could shift into a weakside blitz with man coverage on the outside and zone underneath. However, if the defense shifts too soon, the element of surprise is done and the QB may have time to audible of the called play and into something better, or be able to read where the pressure is coming from and go to the hot route.

One of the main weaknesses of the “Ruby” defense is that it relies on exotic blitzes done at the last second to confuse the QB. Sometimes these blitzes end up confusing the players blitzing more than the offense. Another weakness is the defenses obvious lack of being stout against the run with only three down lineman.

This sub package will add a level of excitement to the team and should be something that the defense falls in love with. Most of the time, defenses want to attack. In the “Ruby” defense they will have an opportunity to do just that.

What say you?

Shawn Eagle