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The 3-4? Really?

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  • The 3-4? Really?

    I was doing some reading on this, and it just doesn't seem like we are well-suited to the 3-4. I found this on a random site (not sure about the source, http://www.geocities.com/epark/raide...4-defense.html, but it jives with what I know of the 3-4 and I think it summarizes nicely):

    What are the personnel requirements for the 3-4 defense

    The front 7 players in the 3-4 D are significantly different from their counterparts in the 4-3. In a nutshell, the DL in the 3-4 are bigger than the DL in the 4-3. The 3-4 OLBs are bigger than 4-3 OLBs because they have to match up against OTs.

    3-4 NT is the toughest position to fill. The NT is head-up on the OC and is responsible for defending both A gaps in the running game. He faces constant double-teams and takes a pounding. He must have size, mental and physical toughness, stamina, durability, lateral quickness, and good technique in terms of playing with leverage. If the NT can not hold his ground, the defense is very vulnerable to runs between the tackles. The prototypical 3-4 NT is the Raiders' Ted Washington, who is a massive 6-5 365. Washington was the key to the Patriots win over the Panthers in the 2004 Super Bowl. Stephen Davis ran for a meager 19 yards on his first 9 carries, because Washington effectively stuffed the middle of the line. Other quality NTs include the Steelers' Casey Hampton (6-1 320) and the Chargers' Jamal Williams (6-2 348)

    3-4 OLBs are the playmakers of the D. They get the glory of picking up sacks on the QB. They must have strong pass rush skills and be able to drop into coverage. If the 3-4 OLBs are unable to consistently apply pressure on the QB, the D is very vulnerable in the passing game. They tend to weigh around 245-270, and many are former 4-3 DE/OLB "tweeners". Many 4-3 DEs are not suited to playing 3-4 OLB because they lack the ability to play in space. The more agile 4-3 RDEs, such as the Jets' John Abraham (6-4 256), are able to play both 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB. Many 4-3 OLBs are not suited to playing 3-4 OLB because they lack the pass rush skills and the ability to go toe-to-toe with an OT. Examples of solid 3-4 OLBs are the Patriots' Willie McGinest (6-5 270) and the Steelers' Joey Porter (6-2 248)

    3-4 DEs tend to weigh around 290-310, and many are former 4-3 DT/DE "tweeners". They must be able to play the run well. The 3-4 DE is responsible for the B and C gaps in the running game and lines up in the 5-technique position, so he is head-up on the OT. It's tough for a 3-4 DE to pick up as many sacks as a 4-3 DE, because a 3-4 DE doesn't have the freedom to go willy nilly upfield. He has to protect the LBs in order for the 3-4 to work. Panthers' 4-3 DE Julius Peppers said that he didn't like playing 3-4 DE, because he felt like he was essentially a DT. Unlike Peppers (6-6 290), most 4-3 DEs are not suited to playing 3-4 DE, because they lack the size and ability to hold up against the run. Examples of solid 3-4 DEs are the Patriots' Richard Seymour (6-6 310), the Steelers' Aaron Smith (6-5 300), and the Raiders' Bobby Hamilton (6-5 285)

    3-4 ILBs must be stout in run support. Because there are only 3 DL to match up against 5 OL, they must be able to stack and shed an unblocked offensive lineman in the running game. How hard is it to play 3-4 ILB? Check out this telling quote by All-Pro Ray Lewis, who is glad to be finished playing 3-4 ILB (the Ravens are switching from the 3-4 to the 4-3 and 46 for the 2005 season):

    "We're in the 46 defense now, and finally, finally again, I get to play football," said Lewis. "My job is not to take on offensive linemen, but to make running backs not want to play against me"

    Examples of solid 3-4 ILBs are the former Ravens' Ed Hartwell (6-1 250) and the Raiders' Danny Clark (6-2 245)
    There is also some good info from the MHR:

    http://www.milehighreport.com/2008/5...ity-modern-3-4

    So reading all of this, perhaps people can enlighten me, but:

    1) NT: - okay, don't mean to state what everyone else has, but we have no NT (really). I think Powell and Baker and Fields will fill this role, but we've been searching for an adequate 2-gap DT since Bates came to town, and we're still looking. So are they really going to play a traditional 3-4 2-gap technique or go with other versions of the 3-4 with 1-gap?

    2) DE: - I've reversed my thinking on this. I used to think that Thomas and Ayers would be good DE's in the 3-4, but if the main job is to protect the LB's, then that's not true. Thomas was lousy at protecting LB's in the Bates system (he's a good UT) and Ayers is a good pass rusher so he should play OLB. Who's that leave? Peterson, McBean.....anyone else think 2 perennial backups starting for us at DE is a bad idea?

    3) OLB: - At least one bright spot. As mainly short drop coverage, run support and pass rush I think the likes of Moss, Doom, Woodyard (although small), Reid, and Ayers of course are likely going to do good things

    4) ILB: - I suppose Andre Davis is okay, but my concern is DJ. He really didn't excel when he was asked to shed offensive linemen, hold up at the point of attack and make the play. He's going to be asked to do this anyway in the 3-4, and with our d-line the way it is, I think it's going to be especially hard for him. Since the 3-4 is a bend-but-don't-break kind of thing, susceptible to runs between the tackles, I'm worried it's going to be Bates revisited and teams will run on us ALL DAY. I think we needed to address this in the draft, but didn't. Worried?

    5) Defensive Backfield - not really pertinent to the 3-4 but I am a little concerned by our front 7 and getting pressure on the QB. If this doesn't happen, I'm not sure Champ, Dawkins, Hill etc can stay with a receiver with a lot of time given their age and drop-off in speed

    Boy, in general, I'd be MUCH happier with:

    DE: Ayers
    DT: Baker/Fields/Powell
    DT: Thomas/Reid
    DE: Doom
    OLB: DJ
    MLB: Andre Davis
    OLB: Woodyard

    I think that makes more sense. Any takers?
    To permit irresponsible authority is to sell disaster. (Heinlein)...like Broncos season tickets!

  • #2
    Thats why were running a hybrid. We probably will play more of a 4-3 than 3-4 till next year when our defense has the people for it through draft or free agency.

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    • #3
      I think our front seven will be bad either way. I think we will be able to stop the run better in the 4-3 but with no pressure on the qb. On the reverse side our 3-4 we will have a hard time stopping the run. Opposing guards are going to destroy on NT. Unfortunitely, our safeties will be tackling a lot of people
      I adopt Peanut, mod of the stars
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      • #4
        I think now we have players to play with a 3-4 defense. 5 guys that might be tested at NT: Fields, Parker, Baker, Powell and Thomas. I don't think Thomas can handle, but he can be a DE. Powell is undersized but so is Jay Ratliff, we don't know if he can handle. The other 3 guys have NT body.

        We have lots of guys to play DE. Thomas, Powell, Peterson, McBean, R. Davis, Pedescleaux, Askew, Clemons, Reid... There will be intense competition and the starters will be sharp. OLBs: Ayers, Moss, Doom, Crowder, Schweiger... These are the big OLBs, we don't know if we will use smaller guys like Robinson and B. Bailey on the outside.

        Lots of ILBs: DJ, Woodyard, A. Davis, Greisen, Larsen, Robinson, Kelley, B. Bailey, Haggan...
        sigpic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 22Bernard24 View Post
          Thats why were running a hybrid. We probably will play more of a 4-3 than 3-4 till next year when our defense has the people for it through draft or free agency.
          Where did you get the info we're running a hybrid? I'm not saying were not, just didn't read that anywhere.
          I adopt Peanut, mod of the stars
          I adopt Brakshow, you mess with him, you answer to me
          I adopt PAINTERDAVE, my conservative elephant
          "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." -James 1
          God Bless Our Troops!!!!!
          Adopted by the Greats: Peanut12and4, Freyaka, McSmashie Thanks Guys

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          • #6
            Originally posted by roddoliver View Post
            i think now we have players to play with a 3-4 defense. 5 guys that might be tested at nt: Fields, parker, baker, powell and thomas. I don't think thomas can handle, but he can be a de. Powell is undersized but so is jay ratliff, we don't know if he can handle. The other 3 guys have nt body.

            We have lots of guys to play de. Thomas, powell, peterson, mcbean, r. Davis, pedescleaux, askew, clemons, reid... There will be intense competition and the starters will be sharp. Olbs: Ayers, moss, doom, crowder, schweiger... These are the big olbs, we don't know if we will use smaller guys like robinson and b. Bailey on the outside.

            Lots of ilbs: Dj, woodyard, a. Davis, greisen, larsen, robinson, kelley, b. Bailey, haggan...
            +1

            ---------------------------------------

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            • #7
              Originally posted by andrewmlb View Post
              Where did you get the info we're running a hybrid? I'm not saying were not, just didn't read that anywhere.
              Umm I don't know where I would find a link to it, but ask anybody here its kinda common knowledge on these boards I guess. McDaniels has said it some of his interviews I think, but yeah we're running a hybrid this year.

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              • #8
                3-4 or the 4-3 does not matter. I see the same soft inability to rush the QB problem resurfacing this season.

                And then there is the problem with stopping the run...

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                • #9
                  Could it really be any worse than last season? With the current front 7, we aren't really looking great at either 4-3 or 3-4, so IMO we might as well do what the coaches are most comfortable with, and that seems to be the 3-4. The key to this defense is going to be how well the OLB play is. Can they adjust well and get good heat on the QB on passing downs, as well as playing stout run D? The OLBs in the 3-4 are the playmakers, if we can get these guys playing at a high level, I think we will at least be OK on defense (Of course I'm assuming the rest of the D isn't going to be terrible).

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Q-niverse View Post
                    3-4 or the 4-3 does not matter. I see the same soft inability to rush the QB problem resurfacing this season.

                    And then there is the problem with stopping the run...
                    Hater............. Wait, I agree with you. Don't worry about the D, we have "BALLHAWKS" (sarcasm). By the way, that term is way overused on this board.
                    I adopt Peanut, mod of the stars
                    I adopt Brakshow, you mess with him, you answer to me
                    I adopt PAINTERDAVE, my conservative elephant
                    "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." -James 1
                    God Bless Our Troops!!!!!
                    Adopted by the Greats: Peanut12and4, Freyaka, McSmashie Thanks Guys

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We have to hope someone can step up to play NT. Everywhere else there are questions, but, at least decent chances of answers. At NT, its a career back up, a guy that is coming off a ruptured achilles, an undrafted rookie, and a bunch of other guys that havent been anle to catch on elsewhere. If we cant get a guy to step up right away, we will play the 4-3 this year.

                      I also think that DJ will play great at thw WILB position. He was solid at MIKE for usin his seaosn there, and this position will allow him to use his speed moreso than he could then. This change will be great for DJ, if we find a nose.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by andrewmlb View Post
                        Where did you get the info we're running a hybrid? I'm not saying were not, just didn't read that anywhere.
                        McDaniels has said we will mix it up from week to week. Some weeks we will be playing mostly 4-3 and others 3-4. It depends on who we are playing I guess.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jdubv724 View Post
                          McDaniels has said we will mix it up from week to week. Some weeks we will be playing mostly 4-3 and others 3-4. It depends on who we are playing I guess.
                          Are we going to see if one works and stick with it, or are we going to game plan according to the team we are playing? That's got to be awful hard for the D-line to go back and forth, wouldn't you think?
                          I adopt Peanut, mod of the stars
                          I adopt Brakshow, you mess with him, you answer to me
                          I adopt PAINTERDAVE, my conservative elephant
                          "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." -James 1
                          God Bless Our Troops!!!!!
                          Adopted by the Greats: Peanut12and4, Freyaka, McSmashie Thanks Guys

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 22Bernard24 View Post
                            Umm I don't know where I would find a link to it, but ask anybody here its kinda common knowledge on these boards I guess. McDaniels has said it some of his interviews I think, but yeah we're running a hybrid this year.
                            He hasn't exactly said we're going to be running a hybrid. What he's said is that they'll run whatever gives us the best chance to succeed. He also stated that he wants to move to a 3-4, but if at any point that doesn't appear to be working they'll change it.
                            Only fools bet against Tim Tebow.

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                            Yards, without points, mean nothing.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by andrewmlb View Post
                              Are we going to see if one works and stick with it, or are we going to game plan according to the team we are playing? That's got to be awful hard for the D-line to go back and forth, wouldn't you think?
                              I think it's rather obvious that that's what he expects from his players: the ability to be flexible.
                              Only fools bet against Tim Tebow.

                              Team Tebow #108

                              Yards, without points, mean nothing.

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