A little defensive X and O nerdery from BB’s presser today. This time on the difference between the Big Nickel and Regular Nickel defenses.

Q: What’s the biggest difference scheme-wise between a big nickel, three safety secondary and a standard situation with a nickel secondary where you have two safeties and multiple corners?

BB: I would say the ability of that fifth defensive back, that third safety vs. the third corner, what the skills of that player are and what you’re playing against.

Q: Do you see less of the big nickel because of the passing games, just as a simple generalization?

BB: Again, I think it depends on the team and it depends on the player. Like the Giants, they really play the third safety. We’ve played it that way with [Patrick] Chung in the past. I think if you have a true third slot receiver, a guy like whoever it is, whether it’s [Wes] Welker or [Davone] Bess or [Jeremy] Kerley or whoever you happen to be playing, then it’s who you want matched up against that guy and what your options are, who you want to put on him. Running game can factor into that. Again, who that player is, sometimes that – like a bigger slot receiver or is it a smaller, quicker guy? Is it 12 personnel, is it two tight ends and that inside receiver is more of a tight end type player. And who are your players, who are you talking about putting on them relative to the matchup? Some teams like to put the same guy in there and do everything with one guy and then there’s continuity to the defense. Other teams like to match up to try to get the player they want matched up against the other team’s guy that he’s going to be facing. It depends, there are a lot of variables.

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