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Coffee & Cigarettes: Educational links for Sunday

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Rob Carr

While I'm away from the blog for a couple of weeks, I've set up some posts that point you in the direction of some interesting or educational links about football. Today's expert analysis comes from Matt Bowen, a former NFL player and now columnist for

NFL 101: The Basics of the 3-4 Defensive Front | Bleacher Report
The 3-4 defense consists of three defensive linemen (two defensive ends, one nose tackle) and four linebackers (two outside linebackers, two inside linebackers).

NFL 101: The Basics of the 4-3 Defensive Front | Bleacher Report
In the 4-3 front, there are four defensive linemen and three linebackers. Here is a quick breakdown of how you can identify the personnel in the playbook.

Chip Kelly Continues to Assemble Offense Full of Nightmare Matchups | Bleacher Report
Darren Sproles may no longer have the same explosive talent we are accustomed to seeing from him at this point in his career, but given his skill set and the role he could play in Chip Kelly’s offense, the new Philadelphia Eagles running back can still create positive matchups within the game plan.

Patriots' Secondary Additions Prove Bill Belichick's Ability to Adapt | Bleacher Report
Going back to the tape from the 2013 season, the New England Patriots were a heavy man-coverage team on the defensive side of the ball.

Why Are NFL Safeties Making More Money Than Ever? | Bleacher Report
After seeing the money handed out to safeties such as Jairus Byrd, Donte Whitner and T.J. Ward during the opening days of NFL free agency, is it fair to say the position is becoming a premium spot in today’s game?

Why 2nd-Year NFL Players Tend to Make Big Leaps | Bleacher Report
Throughout their first seasons in the NFL, the majority of rookies are reminded (daily) that they aren’t on scholarship anymore. The game is faster, the demands are much greater and the talent level surpasses anything they’ve seen on the field in the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC, etc.

How the Seahawks Dominated Peyton Manning and the Broncos | Bleacher Report
The Seattle Seahawks dismantled the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl XLVIII because of their defense's ability to play with speed, challenge routes and win one-on-one matchups.

Film Room Takeaways from the 2013-14 NFL Season | Bleacher Report
With the Seahawks’ win over the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII wrapping up the 2013-14 season, let’s go back inside the film room to break down some of the schemes and trends that shaped the year.

The Second Level: What You Need to Know Heading into Super Bowl XLVIII | Bleacher Report
Former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen goes inside the film room to get you ready for Super Bowl XLVIII in "The Second Level."

Breaking Down Marshawn Lynch and the Seattle Seahawks Running Game | Bleacher Report
Marshawn Lynch’s ability to run the football effectively in Super Bowl XLVIII versus the Denver Broncos will be key to establishing the line of scrimmage, dictating tempo and creating second-level throwing lanes for quarterback Russell Wilson.

Tale of the Tape from NFL Championship Sunday | Bleacher Report
Former NFL defensive back Matt Bowen takes you inside the X’s and O’s of the game with his five key plays from NFL Championship Sunday.

What Makes Seattle's Secondary Such a Dominant Group? | Bleacher Report
When studying defensive secondaries, I look for a certain style that jumps off the tape. Give me a unit that dictates the flow of the game, intimidates and competes consistently at the line of scrimmage.

Tale of the Tape From NFL Divisional Playoffs | Bleacher Report
Running back Marshawn Lynch (28 carries, 140 yards, two touchdowns) showcased his power, cut-back ability and edge speed in the Seahawks' 23-15 win over the Saints on Saturday.

The Second Level: What You Need to Know Heading into NFL Championship Sunday | Bleacher Report
During the divisional playoffs, we saw the Patriots and 49ers lean on the Power O scheme (fullback kick out, backside guard pull) out of both Regular/21 (2WR-1TE-2RB) and Tank/22 (1WR-2TE-2RB).

Why It's Harder Than Ever Before to Play DB in the NFL | Bleacher Report
The standard fade route in today’s game follows a specific pattern for NFL wide receivers: vertical stem off the line of scrimmage, initiate contact, push-off to create separation and catch the ball on the back shoulder.