Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

EA Presents: Making the Transition to a 3-4 Defense (AKA Defense 101, Updated 2/21)


Enter Apotheosis

Recommended Posts

Changelog:

1/15/10 - General edits, Compensating for Weaknesses (w/coverage schemes!)

2/21/10 - Brief foreword noting the timeline of the thread (in case of confusion).

Please note: this topic was started on January 10th, 2010 and speculates upon how we might implement a 3-4 defense with our current personnel. This was a good month or so before we started getting strong indications of any such transition actually occurring. Keep that in mind as you read the rest of this post and thread.

Rumors of Mike Shanahan's interest in hiring Mike Zimmer as defensive coordinator coupled with a visit to Pittsburgh this past summer have raised some interesting questions regarding the defensive direction of the franchise. Speculation has since intensified greatly following the hiring of Jim Haslett and former Steelers assistant LB coach Lous Spanos, with a partial implementation of the 3-4 seemingly imminent. Could a scheme change actually be in our future? What's more, would we be setting ourselves further back by switching things up? Hell, what do we even need to run the 3-4? What does a 3-4 even do?

The first question I can't answer as, unfortunately, I am not omniscient at this point in time. I'm working on it, though... I promise. As for the remaining questions, I figured I would do a little research and try to tackle them in my own unique, rambling manner. Before I begin, however, I feel compelled to give the following disclaimer:

In no way am I suggesting in any of the below that the Redskins would explicitly benefit from changing defensive schemes. That's a decision best left up to the coaches. This is simply an exercise in thought regarding what is - at the moment - a purely hypothetical situation and an excuse to educate ourselves on defense as a whole.

The Fundamentals

Most of us with more than a cursory knowledge of football understand that when we say a team runs a 4-3 defense their base defense consists of four down linemen and three linebackers. Similarly, the 3-4 defense denotes a base defense with three down linemen and four linebackers. It's standard nomenclature at all levels of football (and for the record, the 46 defense is just a 4-3 with a radically altered alignment that somewhat resembles a 4-4). Beyond that basic fact, however, things appear to get very fuzzy for the vast majority of ES posters. So we're starting with the basics to compare and contrast schemes...

(Note: I won't be getting in to DB play or coverage schemes as it doesn't differ significantly between between the 4-3 and 3-4)

The Stereotypical, Vanilla 4-3 Alignment

43te.png

So here we have a fairly generic example of the 4-3 defense. Each of the four down linemen are lined up at a specific position relative to the offensive line referred to as a technique and thusly labeled in the diagram (e.g., 0-technique is over the center and 3-technique is over the guard's outside shoulder). In this example, every player is responsible for a single gap in run support. The weakside DE is responsible for the weak C gap, the weakside OLB has the B gap, the NT has the weak A gap, the MLB has the strong A gap, the DT has the strong B gap, the strongside OLB has the strong C gap, and the strongside DE has the strong D gap. Each player either has to stop the runner and make the tackle in their gap or clog the gap and force the runner to bounce the play to the outside, extending the play and increasing the likelihood of a short gain or loss. In the event of a pass, the linemen will rush the passer and the LBs will have an additional responsibility in coverage or as a blitzer. I will point out that NT is an arbitrary distinction in the 4-3 defense and usually refers to the DT lined up in a 1-technique with the goal of taking on the double-team from a center and guard. Taking on the double-team is important as it means that the four defensive linemen are effectively occupying all five offensive lineman, preventing them from being able to get to the next level and manhandle the much smaller LBs and DBs.

It should be easy enough to grasp but it is, of course, an overly simple example. There are literally thousands of ways the defense can be varied in terms of pre-snap alignment and post-snap movement. As an example, defensive linemen can run stunts at the snap or slant across the face of an offensive lineman to cover a different gap than the one they line up over. It's also possible for linemen to have a 2-gap assignment in which they are responsible for the gap on either side of the offensive lineman they are lined up over, inevitably freeing another player on the field from their gap assignment. That said, let's have a look at what qualities players in the 4-3 need.

4-3 Personnel

DTs: Must be strong enough to take on double teams and collapse the pocket on passing plays. Quickness is a major asset for a 3-technique tackle. Ideally 300+ lbs.

DEs: Require sufficient strength to match up one-on-one with OTs against the run and sufficient speed and quickness to beat OTs to the edge and get to the QB. Ideally in the 270-290 lb range and arguably the most difficult position to fill in the 4-3.

OLBs: Should be athletic enough to cover TEs and RBs, play the run, and get to the passer on blitzes. Ideally 235-255 lbs.

MLBs: The key cog of the 4-3 defense. Must be fairly rangy and a sure tackler but specific skillsets can very dramatically based on scheme. Ideally 245-265 lbs.

Prototypical Players:

DT - Kevin Williams (6'5", 311 lbs), Pat Williams (6'3", 317 lbs)

DE - Jared Allen (6'6", 270 lbs), Dwight Freeney (6'1", 268 lbs)

OLB - Jon Beason (6'0", 237 lbs), Brian Cushing (6'3", 260 lbs)

MLB - DeMeco Ryans (6'1", 250 lbs)

The Stereotypical, Vanilla 3-4 Alignment

26149613.png

In this alignment the NT is lined up directly over the center in the 0-technique and the DEs play a 4-technique directly over the OTs. Each of the defensive linemen is typically responsible for two gaps in the run game with the NT playing the A gaps and the DEs playing the B and C gaps on their respective side. Their job is primarily to occupy as many blockers as possible, ideally nullifying the entire offensive line and allowing the four LBs to make plays. On any given down, at least one of the OLBs is going to be rushing the passer while the others will have various responsibilities in coverage or as additional blitzers. This is the defense that played a critical role in the Patriots' three Super Bowl victories in the first half of the decade.

Once more, though, this is just one very, very basic example of what you can do. A lot of 3-4 teams don't run a base 2-gap defense. The Steelers, for example, tend to mix it up and will have their linemen play both 2-gap and 1-gap with a fair amount of stunting involved as part of their complex zone blitz schemes. The Cowboys and Chargers predominantly play a 1-gap defense, which allows linemen to shoot their gap and disrupt at the snap. This leaves LBs with more gap responsibility but it also relaxes some of the personnel requirements on the lines. A 1-gap 3-4 is more similar to the traditional view people have of the 4-3 from a conceptual standpoint, the primary difference between the two is simply a matter of personnel.

3-4 Personnel

NT: The key cog of the 3-4 defense. Extremely strong and quick for his size, capable of consistently handling double or even triple-teams. Durability is very important. Having the smarts to diagnose the play at the snap and play 2-gap is a major plus. Ideally 320+ lbs and arguably the hardest position to fill in football.

DEs: Similar skillset to that of a 4-3 DT. Again, being able to play 2-gap is a major plus. Ideally 285+ lbs.

OLBs: Jack-of-all-trades, typically falls in between the mold of a 4-3 DE and a 4-3 OLB. Must possess the ability and athleticism to drop into coverage, pursue the RB, or rush the passer and take on an OT one-on-one. Ideally 255-275 lbs.

ILBs: Somewhat of a blend of the 4-3 OLB and MLB. Strong in coverage, must be quick in pursuit and able to shed blocks in the run game. The ability to effectively rush the passer is a plus. Ideally 245-265 lbs.

Prototypical Players:

NT - Vince Wilfork (6'2", 325 lbs)

DE - Richard Symour (6'6", 310 lbs), Ty Warren (6'5", 300 lbs)

OLB - Demarcus Ware (6'4", 262 lbs), LaMarr Woodley (6'2", 265 lbs)

ILB - Ray Lewis (6'1", 250 lbs), Bart Scott (6'2", 240 lbs)

Changing Schemes

So now that we know a little bit about what is required out of players in the 3-4, let's take a look at how a team would transition to it from the 4-3. Two teams successfully made the conversion for the 2009 season in Green Bay and Denver while our own most hated rival changed to the 3-4 starting in the 2005 season. They've all done fairly well with it so lets take a close look at what changed for each of those teams during those transitional years.

Denver Broncos

2008 Roster

2009 Roster

The Broncos are a fairly unique case when you consider just how much roster turnover occurred in a single offseason to get the defense in place. In total, six out of eleven starters this year are veterans who were not on the team for the 2008 season (Ron Fields, Ryan McBean, Andra Davis, Renaldo Hill, Brian Dawkins, and Andre Goodman). Fields, McBean, and Davis all came out of 3-4 systems in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland respectively. On top of that, Mario Haggan (OLB) and Kenny Peterson (DE) were first time starters. They managed to cobble together the number 7 overall defense entirely out of spare parts and the remnants of the number 29 overall defense from 2008.

Green Bay Packers

2008 Roster

2009 Roster

Green Bay took an approach that was somewhat the opposite of Denver's, relying heavily on the talent they had in place and the draft to make the transition. They had the benefit of already having a massive DT on their roster in Ryan Pickett to man the NT spot while they groom BJ Rajii (2009 first round draft pick) to take over. They took their other starting DT (Johnny Jolly) and a backup DT (Cullen Jenkins) and put them on the ends. Their starting front seven is rounded out by Nick Barnett (former 4-3 MLB) and AJ Hawk (former 4-3 OLB) as ILBs and a pair of rookies at OLB in Clay Matthews (1st round) and Brad Jones (7th round). Using existing talent and the draft, Green Bay improved from 20th overall to 2nd in defense.

Dallas Cowboys

2004 Roster

2005 Roster

2006 Roster

2007 Roster

The Cowboys fall somewhere in between the Broncos and Packers. Going from 2004 to 2005 they took advantage of two first round picks, starting Marcus Spears (DE) and Demarcus Ware (OLB) from the outset. They brought in Jason Ferguson (former 4-3 DT) from the Jets to play NT but were forced to start an undersized La'Roi Glover there for most of the season. Greg Ellis played DE opposite Spears although he would later prove to be more effective as an OLB. Rounding out the group backup LBs Scott Shanle and Bradie James became starting ILBs and Scott Fujita was brought in from the Chiefs to play OLB. Most importantly, they drafted their NT of the future in Jay Ratliff (7th round). These changes propelled the Dallas defense from 16th to 10th, a solid improvement and about where they would hover from year to year. Since then they have continually replaced pieces of the puzzle to address the holes that prevent them from being a top 5 defense and haven't had a ton of year-to-year stability among the starting unit.

Washington Redskins (Hypothetical)

So taking into consideration all of the above, how can the Redskins pull off a transition knowing that our draft picks need to go towards fixing up the offense? In the past I would have said flat out that we couldn't make the switch but I firmly believe that getting Orakpo and Haynesworth last offseason changes things a little bit. It seems to me that a lot of the skeptics on here aren't very flexible in their views of the 3-4 and tend to only thing in terms of the 2-gap version. There's obviously no way we could pull off a 2-gap front with the talent we have in place and slim free agent pickings. A 1-gap, however, is within the realm of possibility so with that in mind lets take a look at what we've already got to work with.

NT Candidates: Haynesworth, Griffin, Golston, Montgomery

This is going to be the hardest position to fill. We already have a player with the physical capacity to play NT but there are two big problems in that he is not durable and may be averse to the role. We know Big Al wants to be a disruptor and if you look at a guy like Jay Ratliff you'll realize that a NT can be that kind of player in a 1-gap system. That said, perception is everything and DE is probably the safer bet for the big guy. Golston and Griffin would both be undersized and better suited to DE overall but represent potential stopgap solutions. Montgomery is a wildcard because he has the size for the position and is reasonably strong but he also has a questionable work ethic and has been in Blache's doghouse for some time.

DE Candidates: Haynesworth, Griffin, Daniels, Golston, Jarmon, Alexander, Montgomery

We have plenty of choices here. I think any of these guys could play the position if called upon with Daniels, Griffin, and Haynesworth being leading candidates. From what I recall of Jarmon's scouting report, he has the frame to get up to 285 lbs or so and could conceivably become an effective situational 4-3 DT if he learns a thing or two from Phillip Daniels' workout regimen. I wouldn't count on him to be ready next season but he could be a future starter for us even in the 3-4.

OLB Candidates: Orakpo, Carter, Wilson, Jarmon

Less options here but Orakpo is the model of the 3-4 OLB and after a year as a backup 4-3 LB I suspect Wilson could actually be an effective starter as well. We know Carter didn't adjust well when the 49ers switched over several years ago but his 10 sack season may give him some trade value despite his age (a 3rd or 4th rounder, perhaps). He could also be a serviceable backup if necessary. Another intriguing option here that has come up over the course of this thread is the possibility of Jeremy Jarmon moving outside. He may have the straight line speed and explosiveness to be effective in the position despite being an almost certain liability in coverage. When it comes to the prospect of starting Carter or Jarmon opposite Orakpo it may be wise to look to the Steelers, whose OLBs are both tremendous pass-rushers with limited coverage ability. With Jarmon's recent statements that he is trying to drop from 277 lbs down to about 260 lbs, his destiny as an OLB on the roster seems much more likely.

ILB Candidates: Fletcher, Blades, McIntosh

I'll be damned if Fletcher couldn't be a great 3-4 LB. The real question here is what to do with that second spot. I've liked what Blades has done in limited action and while he isn't the biggest guy around he is fairly thick (as is Fletcher). Rocky I don't think fits very well as he'd be small for the spot and I question his ability to shed blocks. He may also best serve us as trade bait.

I do believe we have most of the pieces we'd need to field a competent (not necessarily world-beating) 3-4 defense in 2010 assuming we use those pieces intelligently (I know, that's an awfully big assumption to make knowing this franchise). It's important to remember that you aren't going to have a lot of marquee names starting out, all you really need is some serviceable linemen to free up your playmakers. You may be able to find them in unusual places and you may not be able to do everything you want with them but you can at least strive to do a few things well.

Compensating for Weaknesses, Playing to Strengths

We've already determined that our best bet would be to adopt a 1-gap system akin to that used by the Ravens, Cowboys, and Jets. This removes decision-making from the equation on the defensive line and will make it easier for our guys to perform their role. However, simply saying we should run a 1-gap 3-4 and calling it a day doesn't sufficiently address the greater picture. Can we isolate Big Al on his man? Can we put him in a 3-technique as he's so fond of? Can we reduce the coverage responsibilities of our OLBs (Orakpo/Carter/Wilson/Jarmon)? Of course we can.

For the continued sake of simplicity and reducing the amount of writing/diagramming I have to do, we'll restrict the conversation to our ideal base alignment against a simple 1 TE, 2 WR set. Early on in the discussion jtyler42 identified the 3-4 under as a fairly ideal alignment for our prospective starters with one DE playing weak side 3-technique, the NT playing a 1-technique on the strong side, the other DE playing a strong side 5-technique, and the strong side OLB over the edge and up tight on the LOS. The primary advantage of this lineup being that we can stick Haynesworth at his best spot on the weak side and have the option of putting either DE in a one-on-one situation depending on which of the two OLBs we send on a blitz. This is huge in terms of satiating our star disruptor on the line and setting us up for some serious pressure from the QB's blindside. That leaves us with one more major hurdle, the lack of coverage ability amongst our OLB prospects. There is absolutely no way we can depend on any of those guys in man coverage or dropping into deep zone coverage as a MLB would in the Tampa 2, so where do we look for answers? Easy, we look to a team two of our defensive coaches have a history with (the Steelers) and the zone blitz.

The zone blitz is predicated entirely on getting to the passer quickly while being unpredictable and chaotic enough to cause the QB to hesitate at the snap. An aggressive zone blitz scheme would allow us to effectively limit the amount of field our OLBs have to cover and, ideally, limit the time they spend in coverage by forcing the QB to make a quick (and hopefully poor) decision. With all that in mind, lets have a look at some generic plays that might suit our defense:

Cover 2 (Strong Side Rush)

34cover2alt.png

Fairly vanilla example of a 3-4 Cover 2 defense.

Cover 2 (Weak Side Rush)

34cover2.png

Same as the above but with the rush coming from the opposite OLB. Note how the flow of the entire LB corps changes depending on who is blitzing.

Cover 2 (Overload)

34cover2overload.png

An overload blitz on the strong side. The strong DE draws the RT inside while the strong OLB pushes outside on the TE, allowing the strong ILB to come on a (delayed) blitz and get to the QB unblocked.

Cover 3 (Fire Zone)

34cover3fire.png

Same style of blitz as above but in a Cover 3.

Cover 3 (Fire Zone, Ex. 2)

34cover3fire2.png

Same principle as the above but with both OLBs coming on the blitz.

I fully intend to continually edit this for clarity if at all possible and will gladly take any suggestions on stuff I possibly botched (this whole thing is the result of a quest for knowledge of sorts). All comments/questions welcome in addition to the inevitable debate ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems like you worked really hard on typing this up. I'm happy that you're power didn't go out before you pushed 'submit', that would have sucked. But anyway, there is no need to switch to the 3-4. Our defense is fine. It's time to build the offense.

It was an exercise in thought and concept, not a supposition. I'm not at all convinced that a 3-4 defense would benefit us significantly over a 4-3. With the right coach it might make us worlds better but the right coach could make us worlds better out of any scheme. For the most part, I also believe people vastly overestimate the differences between the schemes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's way too much info. Couldn't you have just started a thread title "(fill in the blank) sucks" or "Let's sign (fill in the blank)"?

Seriously, nice work. But the part that people over-look so often when they talk about not wanting to change the defense because we have a good one "in place" is where those players will be by the time the O gets re-built. By 2012, Fletcher will be 37, Carter, a speed rusher, 33, and Haynesworth, a guy carrying a lot of weight and with constant injury problems, 31 (2012 will also be the realistic last year of his contract). Griffin and Daniels will surely be gone by then.

A lot of the guys people are worried about not being able to transition to a 3-4 won't be around, or will be in serious declie, by the time the team realistically could be ready for a title run anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there were ever a time, now would be it. I think with the addition of Haynesworth, Jarmon, and Orakpo, we are poised to make the transition. Having guys like Alexander and Wilson certainly help.

The offense is in line for a serious overhaul and the defense needs to be revamp to some degree.

This team is at least 2-3 years from getting to the playoffs. If they bring in a coach he cun run it well, I'll be for it. I do think it takes a GOOD coach to run it effectively.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good thread, very informative.

It will be interesting to see who we pick up in free agency and in the draft and where they might play into this, if we go in this direction.

(For instance if we somehow end up with Suh in the first round.

Not that I'm saying we should or that it's too likely, considering our needs on offense)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of the guys people are worried about not being able to transition to a 3-4 won't be around, or will be in serious declie, by the time the team realistically could be ready for a title run anyway.

This is a great point. As Redskins fans I think we're all a little bit afraid of certain changes that may require a "rebuilding period" but the simple fact of the matter is that if we're doing things right we will constantly be rebuilding and replenishing our roster. These guys won't be starters forever and we'll be bringing in new players regardless.

Still doesn't change the fact that Mike Shanahan hasn't won anything since John Elway.
Or Terrell Davis.

Sonofa... :doh:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In a 34, the OLB can be much more limited than you seem to think; the DC only has to give him limited assignments or can adjust to cover limitations more effectively (for instance, confuse his oppositions blocking schemes). Yes, having one whose good at everything makes it easier on the coordinator but a good DC can also get good use out of a limited OLB and even make them look great. ILB responsibility is about half of what a MLB in a 43. Most MLBs could play ILB although only some could be great. The 34 was originally developed to allow a DC to effectively use small, slower LBs inside. It can allow a defense to play faster but to play it really well means you need a good NT, at least on good ILB and a smart, hard-working DC who knows how to run a 34.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One Gap, Two Gap

Red Gap, Blue Gap

Very nice post on the actual setup of a 3-4 defense. The thing about the 3-4 defense is it gives more varied looks and gives the QB more reads he has to make pre-snap. The downside is the personnel requirements are more stringent at Nose Tackle. If Big Al refused to play the position then we would be in serious trouble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My god make the 3-4 madness stop. All seriousness very nice research and info but its a total waste of the talent we have to go to a 3-4. Allen and Shanny both have stated we are not in full rebuild we have young talent and vet talent to make some changes and be successful. We had 2 different coordinators here, one offensive and one defensive who tried to make the players fit their scheme and neither were successful. Why is Dallas successful? Because Jason Garrett has been on record saying he built their scheme around his players talents and plays to their maximum strengths. Thats what Mike and Kyle said they want to do. Making players fit a scheme is not the way to build a team. If we were TB, KC, DET, OAK, or STL it might be worth it since they are in total chaos. We are not as bad as our record states.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Appreciate the effort you put into the OP.

It boils down to us needing to find starters not currently on the roster at NT (which is critical), one ILB spot and one OLB spot plus depth at those spots. We would also have two of our better defenders from last year, Carter and McIntosh as surplus to requirments.

Meanwhile on the other side of the ball we need to totally overhaul our O'Line, probably find a potential QB of the future for Shanny to groom and a running back to at least be ready to take over from Portis. 4, maybe 5 new starters.

Given the needs on the offense and the call on draft picks and free agent dollars required it would be crazy IMO to change defensive schemes this year. We need to focus on fixing the O.

We have talent on Defense and the personnel to run a very good 4-3 scheme. We just need a DC who will call a more aggressive game and take advantage of Haynesworth, insist Landry tackles correctly and stop playing off coverage on 3rd and medium downs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now for my serious post in this thread.

First off, thanks for the write up EA, good work.

Anyway, one of the things I like personally like about the 3-4 is its aggressive nature. It seems like teams who run it attack much more than what I feel is the case in a 4-3 scheme. It also seems to be a more confusing defensive scheme, anyone can be coming from anywhere—more unpredictable if you will ... and you shall.

The main problem with converting the Redskins to such a scheme is certain players aversion to playing in such a scheme (Haynesworth and Carter specifically). But the fact of the matter is that Andre Carter (and arguably Haynesworth) isn't the future of this defense, and we have some young pieces that may actually do well in a 3-4 scheme.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very nice work

The 3-4 needs 2 elements as well, unpredictability and speed.

I am not sure we have the speed at LB to run it, unless significant changes are made

I am not sure that Zimmer is well versed enough in the 3-4 to make it unpredictable.

Those 2 elements are the difference between a "Vanilla 3-4" which is easy to run on, and a destructive 3-4 like the Steelers had last year

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My god make the 3-4 madness stop.

My fault :hysterical:

In truth, I'm not a big fan of the should we or shouldn't we debate. I am interested in the can we discussion, though. Sure there's probably not much of a difference... I'm just hoping more X's and O's are involved in this discussion.

In a 34, the OLB can be much more limited than you seem to think; the DC only has to give him limited assignments or can adjust to cover limitations more effectively (for instance, confuse his oppositions blocking schemes).

One of the things I couldn't really figure out how to work in was how overvalued player size and versatility can be. Probably shot myself in the foot by even attempting to paint a picture of personnel "requirements" and giving examples of "ideal" players. You don't need a Ted Washington type to play NT and your OLBs don't need to be great multidimensional threats.

It boils down to us needing to find starters not currently on the roster at NT (which is critical), one ILB spot and one OLB spot plus depth at those spots. We would also have two of our better defenders from last year, Carter and McIntosh as surplus to requirments.

NT is the real hold-back here. I think we can get away with the LB situation being what it is with some UDFA/cheap free agent depth.

Given the needs on the offense and the call on draft picks and free agent dollars required it would be crazy IMO to change defensive schemes this year. We need to focus on fixing the O.

I am absolutely against spending any of the draft picks we have right now on defense. If we acquire more, I could maybe justify it a pick or two for that task. I pointed out Denver for a reason, though, they signed some marginal players out of free agency along with Brian Dawkins and churned out a great defense this year. They didn't have any serious cap concerns for the season that I've heard of, so they obviously didn't break the bank doing it.

We have talent on Defense and the personnel to run a very good 4-3 scheme. We just need a DC who will call a more aggressive game and take advantage of Haynesworth, insist Landry tackles correctly and stop playing off coverage on 3rd and medium downs.

Agreed on all counts.

Anyway, one of the things I like personally like about the 3-4 is its aggressive nature. It seems like teams who run it attack much more than what I feel is the case in a 4-3 scheme. It also seems to be a more confusing defensive scheme, anyone can be coming from anywhere—more unpredictable if you will ... and you shall.

I disagree with the idea that the 3-4 is more aggressive by nature. That mostly depends on the guy doing the scheming and calling plays on the sideline. It is a little bit more dynamic by nature, though.

The 3-4 needs 2 elements as well, unpredictability and speed.

I am not sure we have the speed at LB to run it, unless significant changes are made

All defenses need unpredictability. What kind of speed are we talking about? My memory may be a little bit off but I don't recall the Patriots ever being especially fast as much as they were physical.

I am not sure that Zimmer is well versed enough in the 3-4 to make it unpredictable.

Those 2 elements are the difference between a "Vanilla 3-4" which is easy to run on, and a destructive 3-4 like the Steelers had last year

I'm probably due to take a more in-depth look at Zimmer's coaching career. He did fairly well for one season in the 3-4 but that was with Parcells over him.

Anything different is better than the most recent iteration of 4-3-3-----1

(the 1 being Landry, lined up 30 yards behind the LOS)

Ain't it the truth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im not opposed to a 3-4 at all. In fact I like 3-4 more then 4-3. I love the different looks and the attacking nature but I love this team more then a 3-4. I believe we have our 2 DEs for the next 10+ years. Orakpo and Jarmon are both extremely talented and young which we havent had the fortune to have in a long long time. Rocky is one of the best WLB in the game, extremely underrated. Haynesworth would be a complete terror when turned loose. We have too much talent on this defense to just tear down for a whole new set of players who might not be as good.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My god make the 3-4 madness stop. All seriousness very nice research and info but its a total waste of the talent we have to go to a 3-4. Allen and Shanny both have stated we are not in full rebuild we have young talent and vet talent to make some changes and be successful.

Vinny Cerrato: This is a playoff team. Well Cerrato was wrong, and if Allen and Shanahan truly believe that then they aren't better at evaluating this team than Cerrato was.

You know what a waste of talent is? London Fletcher playing the next three years for .500 Redskins teams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If we weren't in need of an offensive overhaul we could trade back to the middle first for a second and third, grab Rolando McClain (can you imagine him, Fletch, and Rak in the same LB corps??), and use the two seconds and third to find an NT and add depth suited to the 3-4 across the front seven.

Wishful thinking though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the 3-4. I think that it is more versatile than the 4-3. You can do more with that additional LB.

As an offense, when you line up against a 3-4, you know that one of those LB's (likely OLB) is going to be blitzing. You just don't know which one. That right there is enough to throw off many QB's.

I don't think our 1st rate talent on D is best suited for a 3-4 defense though. Our star players (mostly) are much more suited for a 4-3. Main exception being Orakpo. I think he would be a glorious OLB in the 3-4 scheme.

Either way, I'll accept what ever Shanahan gives to us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the work EA, good stuff.

In my opinion, the biggest problem for us would be making Andre Carter an obsolete player in our scheme. It's tough to imagine the guy relegated to a back-up role when he does what he does for us. People tend to just look at the sacks, but Carter has been an absolute beast in the running game as well. Guy has been, in my mind, the MVP of our defense this year though he continues to be overlooked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...