How all that studying during the week pays off when Saturday comes
Every team installs new plays during the week leading up to a game. The key is whether the players are able to learn their assignments by Saturday and then execute properly. One reason for the recent dominance of the Miami defense is middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma's ability to quickly absorb X's and O's and complete his assignment to perfection. Case in point: Tight End Fire, a play drawn up by the defense for last year's game at Rutgers. Here's linebackers coach Vernon Hargreaves's description of the play and Vilma's role in it.
"Tight End Fire is a blitz out of our nickel package with this twist: If the running back is in motion, that triggers Jon  to cut through the open gap for a sack. It requires a middle linebacker who is not only quick but also understands exactly when and how to blitz. Jon, with his ability to read and execute, fits the bill. We introduced the play to the guys on the Wednesday before the Rutgers game, and it worked pretty much to perfection near the start of the second quarter: The tailback moved and Jon exploded, forcing the quarterback to throw the ball away before getting hit."