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  • #31
    Originally posted by str8jacket View Post
    What? Are you telling me BALLHAWKS won't make this defense better???????????????????????????????????????????? ??
    It will not, you give a QB all day to throw the ball and even Champ won't be able to fully cover the receiver...we need pass rush and run stop...

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    • #32
      Originally posted by MileHighInNY View Post
      Reading that summary of what type of players you need for a 3-4 got me thinking; is the 3-4 successful because it's a "better" scheme somehow than the 4-3, or is it effective because you essentially need more talented and versatile players all along your front seven in order to run it correctly? Reading that MHRP article, it seems like every single position in a 3-4 requires players to have a wider skill set or be able to handle more responsibility than the counterpart in a 4-3. I can't say that I'm 100% sure this is true, but from that article it seems to be the case. So maybe the "system" still isn't as important as the players you put in it; if you have really talented players with many skills who can handle important assignments, you should have an effective defense regardless of the scheme, it just seems like the 3-4 puts more emphasis on this type of player.
      From what I understand, the 3-4 doesn't require any more variety of skills from particular players inherently. The difference here is that the culture and team that McDaniels is trying to build is one that values versatility and intelligence over most other measures. So, our version of the 3-4 will require that players have the ability to do more things than they would normally be asked to, but it's in the interest of adding immense flexibility to the defense. 3-4 or 4-3 doesn't matter so much. Neither is better than the other, but each has some inherent strengths and weaknesses that make them different. The two most important factors, IMHO, are that your players are suited for the positions they would be asked to play in the chosen front, and that your coaching staff is comfortable with that scheme. McDaniels and Nolan are from 3-4 backgrounds, and they are working to build a defense that plays that way.

      The biggest change this year from last (and even the one before) will be a consistency of approach. The defense will have a defined and articulated vision that the players will understand, buy into, and work to accomplish. Slowik had none of the above. Again, in this case it wouldn't matter if we were playing a 3-4, 4-3, or dredging up the old 46 defense. Consistency and message will improve this defense almost as much as the improvement in personnel.
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      • #33
        Originally posted by broncobruj View Post
        It will not, you give a QB all day to throw the ball and even Champ won't be able to fully cover the receiver...we need pass rush and run stop...
        But the Ballhawks don't hurt the defense, so therefor they do help. What you are saying is we could have any old corner back there and it wouldn't matter, even if it's Champ. I get what you're saying because we do need a pass rush, they work off of eachother, but still the Ballhawks will help.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Loyal2Royal View Post
          But the Ballhawks don't hurt the defense, so therefor they do help. What you are saying is we could have any old corner back there and it wouldn't matter, even if it's Champ. I get what you're saying because we do need a pass rush, they work off of eachother, but still the Ballhawks will help.
          Champ is one of the better all time ballhawks. That didn't help this team much last season. I'm just hoping that they know what they are doing. I hope they see some talent that was already on this team and just wasn't being used correctly. If we have bad front 7 play again, no amount of great corners will help this team.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by jhns View Post
            Champ is one of the better all time ballhawks. That didn't help this team much last season. I'm just hoping that they know what they are doing. I hope they see some talent that was already on this team and just wasn't being used correctly. If we have bad front 7 play again, no amount of great corners will help this team.
            No i'm just saying it's better to have a ballhawk then to not..

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            • #36
              BALLHAWK....................... The over/under on the word ballhawk in the rest of these posts is 150 times........ i'll take the over. Listen, we could have pat bowlen in the secondary with his forgetful memory, but have the sickest front 7 and we would be successful. (maybe an exaggeration) But the point is coverage sacks are few and far between. But most interceptions are a result in early pressure from the front 7. Not to mention the amount of fumbles you recover. The turnover battle is one of the most important battles to win in the course of the game. BALLHAWK
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              • #37
                What is the real concern here? Is it the scheme or the talent?

                I think it's the talent. I think people are concerned about the level of talent and decide that they are going to make assumptions about how well the defense will play this season.

                It's been proved that a defense can be good or even great, whether running a 3-4 scheme or a 4-3 scheme. The real question concerning the Broncos is whether they have the players to effectively run a 3-4 defense. That's something the coaches probably won't know until at least a few more OTA's if not until training camp.

                The way I see it, there are only 3 legitimate contenders for the NT position: Fields, Parker, and Baker. Powell and Thomas will probably get a look but they will likely move to DE or be cut.

                I don't know why there is concern about Ayers playing DE when it will most likely only be when the defense is lined up in a 4-3 front. Most of his time, so far, has been spent at the linebacker position, but he has practiced some at DE.

                McBean and Peterson have apparently been getting most of the reps with the first team defense at DE, a clear sign that they are looking to get bigger at the line.

                I think it's obvious that the Broncos have players that have the physical stature to play the 3-4 defense. We just don't know if they have the talent to make it work effectively.

                It's not a given that they will struggle against the run or the pass. We don't know how these players will play together.

                McDaniels has made it clear that game planning will be affected by the team they are playing in a given week. They will do whatever they believe will give them the best chance to win the game. I think that's why versatility is so important to McDaniels and why the Broncos preferred Ayers to Orakpo. They will be playing the 3-4 and the 4-3 depending on what gives them the best chance to win the game. They will probably even switch between the two fronts within a single game..

                There's a new way of doing things in Denver now. It's seems completely ridiculous to make assumptions about how bad the defense will be this season. The players they have, might in fact be the kind of players they need to at least make the defense effective. We can't expect dominance in one season.
                Last edited by broncolee; 05-05-2009, 11:23 AM.
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                • #38
                  Originally posted by broncolee View Post
                  What is the real concern here? Is it the scheme or the talent?

                  I think it's the talent. I think people are concerned about the level of talent and decide that they are going to make assumptions about how well the defense will play this season.

                  It's been proved that a defense can be good or even great, whether running a 3-4 scheme or a 4-3 scheme. The real question concerning the Broncos is whether they have the players to effectively run a 3-4 defense. That's something the coaches probably won't know until at least a few more OTA's if not until training camp.

                  The way I see it, there are only 3 legitimate contenders for the NT position: Fields, Parker, and Baker. Powell and Thomas will probably get a look but they will likely move to DE or be cut.

                  I don't know why there is concern about Ayers playing DE when it will most likely only be when the defense is lined up in a 4-3 front. Most of his time, so far, has been spent at the linebacker position, but he has practiced some at DE.

                  McBean and Peterson have apparently been getting most of the reps with the first team defense at DE, a clear sign that they are looking to get bigger at the line.

                  I think it's obvious that the Broncos have players that have the physical stature to play the 3-4 defense. We just don't know if they have the talent to make it work effectively.

                  It's not a given that they will struggle against the run or the pass. We don't know how these players will play together.

                  McDaniels has made it clear that game planning will be affected by the team they are playing in a given week. They will do whatever they believe will give them the best chance to win the game. I think that's why versatility is so important to McDaniels and why the Broncos preferred Ayers to Orakpo. They will be playing the 3-4 and the 4-3 depending on what gives them the best chance to win the game. They will probably even switch between the two fronts within a single game..

                  There's a new way of doing things in Denver now. It's seems completely ridiculous to make assumptions about how bad defense will be this season. The players they have, might in fact be the kind of players they need to at least make the defense effective. We can't expect dominance in one season.
                  The only thing I would say in disagreement with this post is that the improvement in coaching talent alone should pay dividends in the production of this defense. Motivation and good play calling could have gone a long way toward making them somewhat respectable last year, and should help out this year. There is nowhere to go but up.
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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by broncobruj View Post
                    It will not, you give a QB all day to throw the ball and even Champ won't be able to fully cover the receiver...we need pass rush and run stop...
                    Someone doesn't get sarcasm.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by broncolee View Post
                      There's a new way of doing things in Denver now. It's seems completely ridiculous to make assumptions about how bad defense will be this season. The players they have, might in fact be the kind of players they need to at least make the defense effective. We can't expect dominance in one season.
                      http://www.footballoutsiders.com/fo-...es-change-help

                      A very interesting article on how the scheme change does not neccasarily affect the defense as opposed to just adding more talented players does.
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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by draco193 View Post
                        http://www.footballoutsiders.com/fo-...es-change-help

                        A very interesting article on how the scheme change does not neccasarily affect the defense as opposed to just adding more talented players does.
                        Getting better talent is a way to go. That works when you aren't committing yourself to doing things a particular way. You go out get the most talented players you can find and then you figure out how those players will best work together.

                        The thing is though, when it comes to the 3-4 or the 4-3, there seems to be a belief that certain types of players are required for each scheme and they aren't always interchangeable. So it would seem, that if you want to improve a 4-3 defense, you have to find the best players that fit a 4-3 defense. If you want to improve a 3-4 defense, you have to find the best players that fit a 3-4 defense. So it appears that no matter what you do, you are still trying to find players that fit your scheme and not simply trying to find the best football player.

                        I think it's common place in the NFL for a head coach to commit himself to playing a particular scheme though. Shanahan insisted on a 4-3 scheme, that's why he had to wait two years before he could get the head coaching job in Denver because when he was first offered the job, he wanted to fire Wade Phillips but Bowlen wanted Phillips to stay. Whisenhunt insisted on a 3-4 scheme when he went to Arizona. Fortunately for Clancy Pendergast, Whisenhunt apparently didn't have a particular DC in mind and was allowed to keep his job and did a pretty decent job of getting that defense capable of playing the 3-4.

                        The bottom line is, the coaching staff has to decide what scheme the defense is going to run and then build on that. They are making the change. Once that change is complete, they will improve on it by drafting or signing the best players available to play their scheme.
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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Humberg View Post
                          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):



                          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?
                          I do agree with the last part. We do have the makings of a good 4-3, especially if Ayers and Baker can pan out.

                          A line of Dumervil, Baker, Thomas and Ayers should be quite decent with an improved secondary and a healthier LB corps.

                          The draft would suggest that we would be playing a lot less pure 3-4, as others have pointed out.
                          Hoping for a defensive-minded head coach and a return to the ZBS on offense. At the very least, no more cheaters for head coach.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by draco193 View Post
                            http://www.footballoutsiders.com/fo-...es-change-help

                            A very interesting article on how the scheme change does not neccasarily affect the defense as opposed to just adding more talented players does.
                            Great discussion everyone, and thanks for helping me understand this better. Draco, the linked article is VERY interesting. Although it would seem that if you don't mind an adjustment period, switching schemes does actually pay off in the long run (since things got better as teams became acclimated to the new scheme).

                            The MHR article mentioned in the original post is interesting too. I assumed that we would be running a Bullough-style 3-4 since McD is from Pats land, but as someone mentioned Dallas plays a smaller d-line in the 3-4 quite well (Phillips style). It would also be interesting to see if we are going to play some Lebeau/zone-blitz. You just have to wonder, looking at our personnel moves, if the coaches are planning something a bit different than the conventional 2-gap 3-4.

                            The thing about running a hybrid 3-4 and 4-3, is that it might be too complicated to be complicated. What I mean is, the beauty of the 3-4 is all the different combinations you can run out of it, which keeps the offense guessing and confused. However, if defensive players have to learn 2 different defensive styles (4-3 and 3-4), then you can't make it too complicated because you are already throwing double the fun at them. If this is true, it would really take a lot away from what the 3-4 has to offer. This was one problem last year when teams just ran it down our throats whenever we would switch to the 3-4 and we didn't have a 3-4 scheme complicated enough to account for this. In a full-blown 3-4, you can shift your d-line and LB's, scissor them etc. and really mess up blocking lanes (I think) and overcome this.

                            I think there is an old adage that says it is better to be really good at one thing than mediocre at many things. Perhaps they should think about this....
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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by andrewmlb View Post
                              BALLHAWK....................... The over/under on the word ballhawk in the rest of these posts is 150 times........ i'll take the over. Listen, we could have pat bowlen in the secondary with his forgetful memory, but have the sickest front 7 and we would be successful. (maybe an exaggeration) But the point is coverage sacks are few and far between. But most interceptions are a result in early pressure from the front 7. Not to mention the amount of fumbles you recover. The turnover battle is one of the most important battles to win in the course of the game. BALLHAWK
                              It goes both ways. If you have garbage corners and safeties that create easy mismatches for the offense, they will rarely give the DL an opportunity to impact the game. If you have a garbage DL, they will rarely get enough pressure to allow playmaking corners to impact the game. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have ballhawks (yes, ballhawks...that's 2). You just need to create decent pressure as well.

                              Originally posted by Humberg View Post
                              I think there is an old adage that says it is better to be really good at one thing than mediocre at many things. Perhaps they should think about this....
                              I'd prefer the team be good at a lot of things than great at just one. It's one of my main sources of frustration over the past several years. Smart teams always adjust. If you only do one thing, you can't. It's very difficult to plan for a team that can give you just about any look. Besides, most 3-4s can and do switch to a 4-3. If you're overpowered at the line, you can always switch it up.
                              Last edited by Lomax; 05-05-2009, 10:08 PM.
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