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Hankmoody

All 32 defensive schemes and key players within them

24 posts in this topic

Coaching changes and scheme nuances are two great topics for this forum.  We have a lot of good info scattered around a few threads, so I thought we needed one central place to hold it all.  I encourage anyone in the know or with sources they want to cite to please contribute.  This isn’t my thread, it’s our thread so don’t hold back.  I have a lot of guesses or questions posed below and would welcome any answers, corrections, or clarifications.  I will keep this updated throughout the pre-season with anything others want to toss in.

One of the most astute observations I have ever seen in IDP was regarding Corey Graham.  Despite not externally changing DC’s, there was a great nugget posted in week 3:

http://subscribers.footballguys.com/apps/article.php?article=16guru_Wk3

In my preseason article I talked about how the Bills used a mix of Ryan's 3-4 and Jim Schwartz 4-3 last year, but would be strictly running the Ryan 3-4 this year. It is this change that I believe has ruined Corey Graham for us. After blowing up for 95 solo tackles a year ago he is on pace for 48 through two games. Graham has different responsibilities in this scheme and is playing off the line much more than last year. The time has come to cut our losses and move on.

Although the AFC East Preseason EoTG article mentioned didn’t actually predict the extent of Graham’s demise, it did warn to expect a drop off – just not as drastic as we’ve seen.  This is the kind of info we need more of!

 

BUF

**HC and DC change**

Head Coach Sean McDermott was the DC in Carolina and ran 4-3

Adolphus Washington to DT could be a nice impact for DT-required leagues.

Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson to DE?  Lorenzo Alexander too?   Can they all contribute?

Does Graham’s role rebound?  Does someone else’s?  Coleman was a journeyman previous, became a stud in CAR.

 

MIA

**DC change**

New DC was LB coach last year and doesn’t expect to make many changes. 

 

Both Gase and Burke stressed the advantage of continuity for the players after having to learn entirely new offensive and defensive systems when the staff arrived a year ago.

“They’ll have an idea what we’re looking to do,” Gase said.

Burke described his defensive philosophy in almost identical terms to Joseph’s.

“We want to be an attacking defense,” Burke said. “It’s sort of what we started to try to build here this past season. Be aggressive.”

But Burke said he wants the scheme to fit the players, not the other way around, so he’s unsure the best fit for linebacker Kiko Alonso — inside or out.

“Obviously we see him as an important piece of the future,” Burke said.

 

Please no messing with Alonso.  He was my first ever IDP trade and I waited 3 years for this kind of production from him.

 

NEP

Any significant change?

Who knows with these guys.  I make it a point to get out of NEP as much as possible.  Logan Ryan struggled and I think got mini-benched at one point, but that’s good for corners since when they struggle they get thrown at and make a lot of tackles.

 

NYJ

Any significant change?

 

BAL

Any significant change?

 

CIN

Any significant change?

 

CLE

**DC change**

Big impact, going to Greg Wiliams’ attacking defense.  Only question is alignment.  He’s mixed things up a lot at previous stops, playing whatever fit the personnel.  Played a base Big Nickel in LOS last year.

Is it a 4-3 with a traditional Mike?  How do they use Collins?  Does Kirksey fit the bill?  He seems like JAG that plays a lot, but not great, and gets run at all the time because of it.

DT required leagues love teams moving to a 4-3.  This creates a brand new opportunity for a guy that used to be worthless at DL to all of a sudden get a huge uptick in value with the new position designation.  8.5 PPG might be pretty meh for a DE, but that's DT1 territory if all he does is maintain.

Ogbah, Orchard, Cam Johnson, who else are DE candidates?

Last year’s safeties were a mess, what happens here?

 

PIT

Any significant change?

 

HOU

Any significant change?

 

IND

Any significant change?

 

JAX

**HC change**

DC Todd Walsh is being retained.  “Todd will bring his own ideas and changes to our defensive unit and will make this a strength of our team going forward,” Coughlin said.

Any insight on impact? 

 

TEN

Any significant change?

 

DEN

**HC and DC change**

Head coach ran a 4-3 in prior stop, DC was the LB coach in Denver as a 3-4 team.   Will there be a scheme identity issue?

Von Miller being classified at DE would be dreamy.

 

KCC

Any significant change?

 

LAC

**DC change**

Gus Bradley hired as DC.  Gus is a pure 4-3 guy after the Chargers have run 3-4 since the Seau days.   Is a change in the works?

Melvin Ingram getting classified at DE would be a dream.   He’s UFA though.

Lieuget moving inside would make him more valuable in leagues requiring a DT.

Can Bosa thrive as a pure 4-3 DE?  He won with speed a lot inside last year when he could go two directions, but does he threaten the much more athletic LT’s he’ll face regularly?

Jatavis Brown and Perryman both seem like Will guys, does either have the chops to play Mike or will one get the dreaded Sam role?

 

OAK

**John Pagano hired as Assistant Head Coach/Defense**

Pagano was DC in San Diego when they still had an NFL team, and ran a 3-4 there.  Ken Norton Jr. is the returning Defensive Coordinator and has been in a 4-3 thoughout his career.  Oakland prior to Norton ran a lot of 4-3/3-4 hybrid fronts but I don't think there's anyone still around with that history.

Khalil Mack is the one everyone is holding their breath on.  Going to a 3-4 and (back to) classifying him as LB is a disaster in all but the most big-play scoring IDP leagues.  At least we got one year at DE.

I think as long as Edwards can get healthy he can thrive in a 3-4 at a DE statistically.  I didn’t catch much of Jihad Ward, what’s his skill set?  Anyone that might be a nice DT candidate in those leagues that play it as a separate position?

Rut-roh Raggy

http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/69311/72/position-review-pass-rushers

Khalil Mack

The Raiders’ pass rusher was a hot topic last offseason and it looks like that will continue. The signing of Bruce Irvin, who made a name for himself at SAM linebacker in Seattle’s 4-3 "under" defense, brought a scheme change to the Raiders and a huge IDP value increase to Mack. It was a highly-debated topic since the Oakland front seven runs a variety of alignments, but it was accurately predicted last season that the Raiders would run 4-3 "under" on most of their plays.

I charted every single play from the 2016 season, and in the first nine weeks the Raiders employed some type of 4-3 defense for 58% of their base snaps. This included 4-3 "under," which places Irvin on the line of scrimmage opposite Mack in a two-point stance next to a five-technique defensive end, in addition to 4-3 looks with Irvin covering slot receivers. There were also a few plays of standard 4-3 with Irvin as an off-ball strong-side linebacker. Everything was going great from an IDP perspective, but it didn't work well for the Raiders. Oakland sported a 7-2 record entering its bye, but not because of the defense, which was constantly stomped by offenses to begin the year. In five of the first seven games, Oakland allowed opponents to produce at least 400 yards of total offense, two of which were over 500 yards. As the Raiders came out of their Week 10 bye, they made an obvious change: They were going to run more 3-4 looks.

Brace yourselves Mack owners. In Weeks 11-14, the Raiders used Mack at outside linebacker on 127-of-137 base snaps (92.7%) in a 3-4 alignment. This was not pretty for Mack's future IDP value, but it worked on the field. Mack ended up playing outside linebacker on 84% of snaps in eight games post-bye (including Oakland's Wild Card loss) and the Raiders did not let a single opponent hit the 400-yard mark. An eye-popping stat is that in Week 5, the 4-3 Oakland defense surrendered 423 yards at home to the Chargers, yet completely dominated Philip Rivers in a Week 15 matchup in San Diego while playing 3-4, allowing a season-low 262 yards. Looking at the season as a whole, Mack played linebacker on 63% of base defensive snaps.

Mack's IDP position designation is far from safe, and all fantasy owners need to take note. Add in the fact that the Raiders brought in 3-4 mind John Pagano as assistant head coach/defense, and it’s not only a possible scenario that Mack will be moved to linebacker for IDP in 2017, it’s the most likely one.

TL;DRP version - the defense stunk when lined up in true 4-3, it stunk a whole lot less when in a 3-4 and Mack at LB.  Zoinks!

DAL

Any significant change?

 

NYG

Any significant change?

 

PHI

Any significant change?

 

WAS

**DC change**

Greg Manusky promoted from LB coach.  Is anything expected to change?

 

CHI

Any significant change?

 

DET

Any significant change?

 

GBP

Any significant change?

 

MIN

Any significant change?

 

ATL

**DC change**

Who the heck is Marquand Manuel?  Does anyone have any insight?  Can we expect Beasley to have his hand in the dirt more (and a DE designation plox) or will he be running more of the same?

CAR

**DC change**

Another promotion from within here. 

 

NOS

Any significant change?

 

TBB

Any significant change?

 

ARI

Any significant change?

 

LOS

**DC change**

Wade Phillips comes in from Denver.  Potentially a significant impact, assuming they change to 3-4 which Phillips has run everywhere. 

Robert Quinn could get ruined with an LB tag, and Aaron Donald’s dominance as a DT is likely at and end for those leagues.  He could still be a quality DE, we’ll see how he fits.

Ogletree and Barron should remain dominant LB’s.

 

SEA

Any significant change?

 

SFO

**HC and DC change**

As expected, Kyle Shanahan is the new HC.  He's not hiring an OC, he'll call all plays himself

Some guy named Robert Saleh has been hired at DC.

Any word on scheme?  They ran a 3-4 last year.  Either way Bowman's health is the big key for him, he'll be on the field as soon and as much as the achilles allows him to be.  At least one more LB should be a mainstay in lineups.  We'll have to wait for word on scheme Saleh is going to run before getting too excited about any particular DL. 

A rare mention of offense here, but I think that the lack of hiring an OC is going to have a big impact on IDP.  I think Shanahan is drastically underestimating how much time he will (or should, anyway) spend managing the overall team functions and it's going to affect how much time he ends up having to prepare the game plan.  Even if this was a good offense I'd say this means the defense is going to be on the field but given how little effective time he'll have, I think this is a disaster in the making.  I'm buying Tartt, Bethea, Reid, Bowman, and any LB that shows a pulse in any OTA or pre-season action.  Heck even without knowing the scheme their DL should be cheap enough to just stockpile them all and see who breaks out.  Someone's going to, because they are going to be on the field A LOT.

Edited by Hankmoody
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Great thread concept, and definitely one I'll follow through the offseason.  The early alert on Aaron Donald is the sort of difference-maker that can give a savvy owner a leg up in a startup draft.  (Used to be you could get gems like that all over with extra research...now info overload has levelled the traditional playing field a lot, but IDP isn't getting the same attention.  Good find!)

Also...what HC change in Tenn?

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DC won't change in Pittsburgh, but they are in a position to lose Timmons(probable), Harrison(possible) and Jones(almost certainly) to FA at LB.

 

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Edited for Shanahan hire - hopeully we'll have a DC there soon.

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I decided that as I make additions or edits I will do so in red text.  There's a lot to digest here and if people have to re-read the entire thing to see if they notice anything new it's going to be too much time to spend.  So if you've been here already it should be much easier to find new stuff.

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Adam Schefter ‏@AdamSchefter  5h5 hours ago

More

Dolphins gave Cameron Wake a 2-year, $19 million extension that includes $11 million guaranteed, per source

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Not a fan of Buckner in a 4-3 honestly, he's 6-7. Him and Armstead dominate with brute force, not by running around guys or making double moves, I see him inside a lot. For the price I'll take Lynch over them all.

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2 hours ago, Robar said:

Not a fan of Buckner in a 4-3 honestly, he's 6-7. Him and Armstead dominate with brute force, not by running around guys or making double moves, I see him inside a lot. For the price I'll take Lynch over them all.

But in a league with DT required, his new designation could be key. 

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Oh I agree with that. I was,saying if they stay de's in real life and ff, I'm not a fan

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On 2/14/2017 at 7:05 PM, drewd_21 said:

http://www.rotoworld.com/player/nfl/11273/deforest-buckner

Sounds like 49ers may be switching to a 4-3

Digging into this a little more.  Most of what I have found is educated speculation that they will play a Bradley version of the 4-3.  Assuming this is how it plays out, who's the beneficiary at DE?  Ahmad Brooks led the team in sacks with just 6.  Can someone else step up here?  Eli Harold?  Lynch?  You gotta figure one of Armstead/Buckner will play DT and the other strong-side DE but neither of those is a pass rush focus in this D. 

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Posted (edited)

Falcons page has a new DC listed, but I can't find anything about him actually being hired - http://www.atlantafalcons.com/team/coaches.html

They also list a Defensive Passing Game Coordinator - Jerome Henderson.  Who are these guys and what is going on down there?

Edited by Hankmoody

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Posted (edited)

Timmons to MIA.  Vince Williams slides into a prime FF opportunity

Quote

PIT

Any significant change?

 

 

Edited by Bronco Billy

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Any chance Brandon Marshall becomes relevant again.  He was massively disappointing last season

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On 3/10/2017 at 8:22 PM, Bronco Billy said:

Timmons to MIA.  Vince Williams slides into a prime FF opportunity

Gulp. Alonso pushed outside? 

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14 hours ago, onionsack said:

Gulp. Alonso pushed outside? 

i think he's moving to WLB. 

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On 2/3/2017 at 2:34 PM, Hankmoody said:

Coaching changes and scheme nuances are two great topics for this forum.  We have a lot of good info scattered around a few threads, so I thought we needed one central place to hold it all.  I encourage anyone in the know or with sources they want to cite to please contribute.  This isn’t my thread, it’s our thread so don’t hold back.  I have a lot of guesses or questions posed below and would welcome any answers, corrections, or clarifications.  I will keep this updated throughout the pre-season with anything others want to toss in.

One of the most astute observations I have ever seen in IDP was regarding Corey Graham.  Despite not externally changing DC’s, there was a great nugget posted in week 3:

http://subscribers.footballguys.com/apps/article.php?article=16guru_Wk3

In my preseason article I talked about how the Bills used a mix of Ryan's 3-4 and Jim Schwartz 4-3 last year, but would be strictly running the Ryan 3-4 this year. It is this change that I believe has ruined Corey Graham for us. After blowing up for 95 solo tackles a year ago he is on pace for 48 through two games. Graham has different responsibilities in this scheme and is playing off the line much more than last year. The time has come to cut our losses and move on.

Although the AFC East Preseason EoTG article mentioned didn’t actually predict the extent of Graham’s demise, it did warn to expect a drop off – just not as drastic as we’ve seen.  This is the kind of info we need more of!

 

BUF

**HC and DC change**

Head Coach Sean McDermott was the DC in Carolina and ran 4-3

Adolphus Washington to DT could be a nice impact for DT-required leagues.

Jerry Hughes and Shaq Lawson to DE?  Lorenzo Alexander too?   Can they all contribute?

Does Graham’s role rebound?  Does someone else’s?  Coleman was a journeyman previous, became a stud in CAR.

 

MIA

**DC change**

New DC was LB coach last year and doesn’t expect to make many changes. 

 

Both Gase and Burke stressed the advantage of continuity for the players after having to learn entirely new offensive and defensive systems when the staff arrived a year ago.

“They’ll have an idea what we’re looking to do,” Gase said.

Burke described his defensive philosophy in almost identical terms to Joseph’s.

“We want to be an attacking defense,” Burke said. “It’s sort of what we started to try to build here this past season. Be aggressive.”

But Burke said he wants the scheme to fit the players, not the other way around, so he’s unsure the best fit for linebacker Kiko Alonso — inside or out.

“Obviously we see him as an important piece of the future,” Burke said.

 

Please no messing with Alonso.  He was my first ever IDP trade and I waited 3 years for this kind of production from him.

 

NEP

Any significant change?

Who knows with these guys.  I make it a point to get out of NEP as much as possible.  Logan Ryan struggled and I think got mini-benched at one point, but that’s good for corners since when they struggle they get thrown at and make a lot of tackles.

 

NYJ

Any significant change?

 

BAL

Any significant change?

 

CIN

Any significant change?

 

CLE

**DC change**

Big impact, going to Greg Wiliams’ attacking defense.  Only question is alignment.  He’s mixed things up a lot at previous stops, playing whatever fit the personnel.  Played a base Big Nickel in LOS last year.

Is it a 4-3 with a traditional Mike?  How do they use Collins?  Does Kirksey fit the bill?  He seems like JAG that plays a lot, but not great, and gets run at all the time because of it.

DT required leagues love teams moving to a 4-3.  This creates a brand new opportunity for a guy that used to be worthless at DL to all of a sudden get a huge uptick in value with the new position designation.  8.5 PPG might be pretty meh for a DE, but that's DT1 territory if all he does is maintain.

Ogbah, Orchard, Cam Johnson, who else are DE candidates?

Last year’s safeties were a mess, what happens here?

 

PIT

Any significant change?

 

HOU

Any significant change?

 

IND

Any significant change?

 

JAX

**HC change**

DC Todd Walsh is being retained.  “Todd will bring his own ideas and changes to our defensive unit and will make this a strength of our team going forward,” Coughlin said.

Any insight on impact? 

 

TEN

Any significant change?

 

DEN

**HC and DC change**

Head coach ran a 4-3 in prior stop, DC was the LB coach in Denver as a 3-4 team.   Will there be a scheme identity issue?

Von Miller being classified at DE would be dreamy.

 

KCC

Any significant change?

 

LAC

**DC change**

Gus Bradley hired as DC.  Gus is a pure 4-3 guy after the Chargers have run 3-4 since the Seau days.   Is a change in the works?

Melvin Ingram getting classified at DE would be a dream.   He’s UFA though.

Lieuget moving inside would make him more valuable in leagues requiring a DT.

Can Bosa thrive as a pure 4-3 DE?  He won with speed a lot inside last year when he could go two directions, but does he threaten the much more athletic LT’s he’ll face regularly?

Jatavis Brown and Perryman both seem like Will guys, does either have the chops to play Mike or will one get the dreaded Sam role?

 

OAK

**John Pagano hired as Assistant Head Coach/Defense**

Pagano was DC in San Diego when they still had an NFL team, and ran a 3-4 there.  Ken Norton Jr. is the returning Defensive Coordinator and has been in a 4-3 thoughout his career.  Oakland prior to Norton ran a lot of 4-3/3-4 hybrid fronts but I don't think there's anyone still around with that history.

Khalil Mack is the one everyone is holding their breath on.  Going to a 3-4 and (back to) classifying him as LB is a disaster in all but the most big-play scoring IDP leagues.  At least we got one year at DE.

I think as long as Edwards can get healthy he can thrive in a 3-4 at a DE statistically.  I didn’t catch much of Jihad Ward, what’s his skill set?  Anyone that might be a nice DT candidate in those leagues that play it as a separate position?

Rut-roh Raggy

http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nfl/69311/72/position-review-pass-rushers

Khalil Mack

The Raiders’ pass rusher was a hot topic last offseason and it looks like that will continue. The signing of Bruce Irvin, who made a name for himself at SAM linebacker in Seattle’s 4-3 "under" defense, brought a scheme change to the Raiders and a huge IDP value increase to Mack. It was a highly-debated topic since the Oakland front seven runs a variety of alignments, but it was accurately predicted last season that the Raiders would run 4-3 "under" on most of their plays.

I charted every single play from the 2016 season, and in the first nine weeks the Raiders employed some type of 4-3 defense for 58% of their base snaps. This included 4-3 "under," which places Irvin on the line of scrimmage opposite Mack in a two-point stance next to a five-technique defensive end, in addition to 4-3 looks with Irvin covering slot receivers. There were also a few plays of standard 4-3 with Irvin as an off-ball strong-side linebacker. Everything was going great from an IDP perspective, but it didn't work well for the Raiders. Oakland sported a 7-2 record entering its bye, but not because of the defense, which was constantly stomped by offenses to begin the year. In five of the first seven games, Oakland allowed opponents to produce at least 400 yards of total offense, two of which were over 500 yards. As the Raiders came out of their Week 10 bye, they made an obvious change: They were going to run more 3-4 looks.

Brace yourselves Mack owners. In Weeks 11-14, the Raiders used Mack at outside linebacker on 127-of-137 base snaps (92.7%) in a 3-4 alignment. This was not pretty for Mack's future IDP value, but it worked on the field. Mack ended up playing outside linebacker on 84% of snaps in eight games post-bye (including Oakland's Wild Card loss) and the Raiders did not let a single opponent hit the 400-yard mark. An eye-popping stat is that in Week 5, the 4-3 Oakland defense surrendered 423 yards at home to the Chargers, yet completely dominated Philip Rivers in a Week 15 matchup in San Diego while playing 3-4, allowing a season-low 262 yards. Looking at the season as a whole, Mack played linebacker on 63% of base defensive snaps.

Mack's IDP position designation is far from safe, and all fantasy owners need to take note. Add in the fact that the Raiders brought in 3-4 mind John Pagano as assistant head coach/defense, and it’s not only a possible scenario that Mack will be moved to linebacker for IDP in 2017, it’s the most likely one.

TL;DRP version - the defense stunk when lined up in true 4-3, it stunk a whole lot less when in a 3-4 and Mack at LB.  Zoinks!

DAL

Any significant change?

 

NYG

Any significant change?

 

PHI

Any significant change?

 

WAS

**DC change**

Greg Manusky promoted from LB coach.  Is anything expected to change?

 

CHI

Any significant change?

 

DET

Any significant change?

 

GBP

Any significant change?

 

MIN

Any significant change?

 

ATL

**DC change**

Who the heck is Marquand Manuel?  Does anyone have any insight?  Can we expect Beasley to have his hand in the dirt more (and a DE designation plox) or will he be running more of the same?

CAR

**DC change**

Another promotion from within here. 

 

NOS

Any significant change?

 

TBB

Any significant change?

 

ARI

Any significant change?

 

LOS

**DC change**

Wade Phillips comes in from Denver.  Potentially a significant impact, assuming they change to 3-4 which Phillips has run everywhere. 

Robert Quinn could get ruined with an LB tag, and Aaron Donald’s dominance as a DT is likely at and end for those leagues.  He could still be a quality DE, we’ll see how he fits.

Ogletree and Barron should remain dominant LB’s.

 

SEA

Any significant change?

 

SFO

**HC and DC change**

As expected, Kyle Shanahan is the new HC.  He's not hiring an OC, he'll call all plays himself

Some guy named Robert Saleh has been hired at DC.

Any word on scheme?  They ran a 3-4 last year.  Either way Bowman's health is the big key for him, he'll be on the field as soon and as much as the achilles allows him to be.  At least one more LB should be a mainstay in lineups.  We'll have to wait for word on scheme Saleh is going to run before getting too excited about any particular DL. 

A rare mention of offense here, but I think that the lack of hiring an OC is going to have a big impact on IDP.  I think Shanahan is drastically underestimating how much time he will (or should, anyway) spend managing the overall team functions and it's going to affect how much time he ends up having to prepare the game plan.  Even if this was a good offense I'd say this means the defense is going to be on the field but given how little effective time he'll have, I think this is a disaster in the making.  I'm buying Tartt, Bethea, Reid, Bowman, and any LB that shows a pulse in any OTA or pre-season action.  Heck even without knowing the scheme their DL should be cheap enough to just stockpile them all and see who breaks out.  Someone's going to, because they are going to be on the field A LOT.

 

Thanks Hankmoody and others. Fantastic work.

J

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Yes, Thanks Hankmoody for putting this together and maintaining it. Good stuff.

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