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View Full Version : Time to switch to the 4-3?


Grid
10-05-2005, 09:46 PM
After this season, when we hopefully change some key coaching positions, perhaps we should consider changing to a 4-3.

ALot of people have been hollering for a 4-3 on this board for a long time, and ive always opposed that.. but now that our defense has started yet another season looking flat and ineffective.. and coaching changes seem to be just over the horizon.. perhaps it is time to seriously consider it.

Some people claim the 3-4 is better because 3-4 defenses have statistically been at the head of the pack every season. But statistics arent everything, and you cant deny that there have been some very effective and FAST 4-3 defenses over the past few years.

If you actually look at superbowls from the last 5 years.. you will see that there have been five 3-4 teams, and five 4-3 teams in the superbowl. If you remove the Patriots (who are a special case) then its five 4-3s and only two 3-4s.

Anyway.. the biggest reason that I think we should consider it, is because we are really lacking at linebacker.

It seems to me that it would be so much easier if we lined up Peek and Babin at DE, and Payne/Johnson and Smith at DT. Then put Wong, Greenwood, and someone else (Anderson?) at the LB spots. Lets face it... Walker is getting TOO old..really fast. And our LBs are NOT providing a pass rush.. so maybe we should throw Peek and Babin back on the L.O.S. where they played in College and see if that helps them.


Obviously any major change like this would have to come after the season is over.. and after the inclusion of a new defensive coordinator and possibly(probably) head coach (cccmmoonnn Monte Kiffen!!!)


What is your opinion? Should we switch to a 4-3? When we decided to play the 3-4.. one of the benefits was that so few teams used it thatit gave us that benefit of running an alien defense. That is no longer the case.

texan279
10-05-2005, 10:09 PM
No. For one we don't have the personnel. Second, we have enough problems going on now without having to rebuild a defense. Third, we have some of our defensive players tied up in longer higher paying contracts. TJ, Wong, Greenwood, Payne, Walker, and Smith to name a few. Switching to a 4-3 would mean either mean getting rid of some players or having to move them. I don't see us switching to a 4-3.

WILLIEG
10-05-2005, 10:09 PM
I think you said it all. Switching to the 4-3 defense does look a lot better than trying year after year on making the 3-4 defense try to workout. I think with the strength and speed that Peek has he could be just as effective as freeny (however you spell it) of the Colts. I think switching to the 4-3 is for the best with the addition of drafting a whole new offensive line and and tight end. Who knows, if the Texans keep on loosing they might be able to pull in a much better selection of O-linemen and a Tightend. I think carr is great but its just to bad he doesn't have a line to prtect him and more threats in the passing game. And with the addition of the 4-3 we might have a chance to at least win some games. On another note, the defensive play caling has been just as horrible. I mean Capers is suppose to be a defensive genius so how come I hardly ever see any kind of defensive stunts. And is it just me or does anyone else agree that whenever the linebackers blitz you can see it a mile away. They don't disquise the blitz very well. Sorry for getting a little off subject.

ledzeppelin229
10-05-2005, 10:16 PM
The 3-4 isn't the problem. Its worked for Baltimore, New England, Pittsburgh, San Diego. The problem is Fangio right now. There's a clear issue with the DC when Steve Foley can do very little in our defense and then go record more sacks than any Texan has ever had as soon as he gets to the Chargers. An aggressive defense isn't supposed to constantly drop its LBers back into coverage, it's supposed to gamble and actually scare other teams a little. And it isn't supposed to take 3 games for a turnover.

Elite
10-05-2005, 10:38 PM
Well with a new coach comes a new system so im possitive we will change unless our coach is Charlie Weis

HJam72
10-06-2005, 12:13 AM
Changing to a 4-3 is dumb. Changing to a 3-4 is dumb. Changing is dumb. We don't have all the right players (or coaches) to run the 3-4 right, but we're a lot closer to it than we are to running a good 4-3, just like the fact that our offense isn't working, but that doesn't mean we should just switch to the run-n-shoot.

We need to replace the parts that aren't working. It's a new car and it's a real waist to just send it to the junkyard.

Tedc
10-06-2005, 02:34 AM
We will adress that when we decide where we are going coach-wise at the end of the season.

The biggest issue is the O-line flux. If you ask any coach (or most fans NOT associated with the Texans) what the first thing he would do with the Texans via free agency or the draft, thier answer would be O-line.

We can't be dicussing moving Pitts here or trying Riley there DURING the season.

aj.
10-06-2005, 02:48 AM
We can't be dicussing moving Pitts here or trying Riley there DURING the season.

Why can't we be discussing it when the Texans were playing musical chairs themselves in practice all day yesterday? They had Pitts at LT, McKinney at Guard, Hodgdon at Center, etc., etc...

There's a clear issue with the DC when Steve Foley can do very little in our defense and then go record more sacks than any Texan has ever had as soon as he gets to the Chargers. An aggressive defense isn't supposed to constantly drop its LBers back into coverage, it's supposed to gamble and actually scare other teams a little. And it isn't supposed to take 3 games for a turnover.

Not to mention in this 3-4 the assignments are a bit different for the DLs as compared to say Pittsburgh and San Diego. There's been more than one case all the way back to Indy, where new guys and younger guys like Travis Johnson have had a tough time in this system. Guys like that get frustrated first, then either resign to the system -- or complain about it and get released.

TheOgre
10-06-2005, 03:09 AM
I think that will be a decision for our new head coach. :yahoo:

touttail
10-06-2005, 03:31 AM
Lincoln's address: Word of caution on the 3-4


By Lincoln Kennedy
Special to NFL.com

But there's a catch: When using the 3-4 defense, your linebackers have to be your best athletes. And you also better have some pretty strong, but very unselfish, defensive linemen up front.

I think any coach that tries to use the 3-4 defense has to be patient. Don't rush to install it before you have the personnel to play it.
http://www.nfl.com/nflnetwork/story/8792811

I posted this in an earlier post. Interesting that Lincoln stated" Don't rush to install it before you have the personnel to play it"!


bobby 119C

PapaL
10-06-2005, 04:21 AM
The problem isnt the scheme, the problem is the players. Which have do not have for a 3-4. As I said in another post about switching to the 4-3, we have the line for it. Smith had his break out year w/TEN as a DT, putting Babin/Peek at DE would allow them to not worry about dropping into coverage.

Previous Thread (http://www.houstontexans.com/fan_zone/messageboards/showthread.php?t=12507)

TheOgre
10-06-2005, 04:52 AM
I think the biggest problem is our use of the scheme. The 3-4 by nature is an aggressive style of defense. We are playing with a read-and-react approach. We added a speed to our front seven this past offseason. Why not utilize that speed to disrupt their plays instead of waiting for the plays to develop?

chuckm
10-06-2005, 04:57 AM
The new head coach of the 2006 Texans will make this decision ...

infantrycak
10-06-2005, 05:06 AM
The problem isnt the scheme, the problem is the players. Which have do not have for a 3-4.

Funny, Foley didn't have enough talent compared to our players so we cut him and he went to a different scheme 3-4--somehow along I-10 west he found a whole truckload of talent. The difference really is stark. Last year Foley had just .5 sacks less than Wong/Babin/Peek combined. He tacked on 5 FF and 2 INT's. This from a guy who couldn't beat out Charlie Anderson to back up Peek to back up Wong here.

As I said in another post about switching to the 4-3, we have the line for it. Smith had his break out year w/TEN as a DT, putting Babin/Peek at DE would allow them to not worry about dropping into coverage.[/URL]

We have a good portion of the DL but we are missing a serious pass rushing DE. If need be we could field Payne and Smith at DT and Walker and TJ at DE. Neither Walker nor TJ is the ideal guy you want at RDE though and neither Babin nor Peek have anything near the weight/strength/speed to be every down RDE's.

The much simpler solution to not worrying about the OLB's dropping into coverage is don't have them drop into coverage so much. It isn't the only way to play the 3-4. Call upon the secondary for more coverage and have the OLB's pass rushing the vast majority of downs.

PapaL
10-06-2005, 05:19 AM
I'm talking about players we have on the roster now and more then likely next year. Yeah we missed on players that have been on our roster, to bad. Obviously our version of the 3-4 is doing the opposite of its intended purpose, bring the heat. Our run D has been okay at best from time to time. You could put any of our current D-line in 3 of the 4 d-line spots and rotate Peek, Babin, and anyone else in on the other DE spot. We get a player like Smith, that had a monster year in 4-3 and what do we do? Move him to a DE in a 3-4.

infantrycak
10-06-2005, 05:31 AM
The point of Foley is not so much that we missed on his talent--it is that our system didn't show that he had any talent. The difference is the scheme he plays in and what he is allowed/called upon to do. The Chargers run a much less see and react scheme for the 3-4 and Foley is allowed to have as primary focus pass rushing, edge containment and creating disruption in the backfield. He doesn't spend near as much time dropping 3-6 yds off the line of scrimmage and passively waiting to see what happens like Peek is being told to do.

As for Smith playing DE, it is common in most 3-4's to have all 3 DL positions filled by guys who would be DT's in 4-3's. That isn't misusing him at all.

Vinny
10-06-2005, 05:45 AM
The problem isnt the scheme, the problem is the players. Which have do not have for a 3-4. As I said in another post about switching to the 4-3, we have the line for it. Smith had his break out year w/TEN as a DT, putting Babin/Peek at DE would allow them to not worry about dropping into coverage.

Previous Thread (http://www.houstontexans.com/fan_zone/messageboards/showthread.php?t=12507)We don't have 4-3 ends. We just have "tweeners" who are not really a DE or pure linebackers. RoSmith is being used as a tackle...since all the linemen in a 3-4 are tackles. imo RoSmith is overrated as well. I agree with the above sentiment that our version of the 3-4 is the problem...not the 3-4 itself.

PapaL
10-06-2005, 05:56 AM
My whole point about Smith is he played well when we had guys next to him taking up space/blockers and was going up against a guard straight up. I remember watching him in TEN his last year and thinking this guy is going to be outstanding. It seems like he has little to nil effect now.

Vinny
10-06-2005, 05:58 AM
He has his shots to play the 3 (over the guard) when we go to 4 man fronts in passing situations here...I see no pass rushing skills from him at all. Personally, I think he is a one-dimensional 2-down run player.

PapaL
10-06-2005, 06:02 AM
Thats another thing, how often are we really going to a 4 man front? I know you review each game in depth Vinny. The one formation that comes to mind is the 2 dline, 1 LB, and whole bunch of DBs. We pay our Dline tons of money, but dont put them in situations to use their talent. Seems like we are more interested in having big guys to take up space instead of big guys to make plays.

Vinny
10-06-2005, 06:11 AM
I haven't counted but in obvious passing situations we go to 4 man fronts. I think the biggest problem with our overall philosopy is that our linebackers are not elite or at least above average. If you are going to make all your linemen 2-gap pluggers you better have some fast, stud, physical linebackers. Our linebackers are average at best.

MorKnolle
10-06-2005, 06:15 AM
The main point of the DL in a 3-4 is not to create pass-rushing and sacks. Their main objective is to occupy blockers so LBs can blitz through and get sacks. Our DL isn't doing a great job at that, but they're not doing a bad job either. For the most part we only blitz one LB every play so of course we're not going to get much pressure or sacks. If we blitz Peek and Orr on the outside together, or bring one or both of them and then Wong up the middle then we could get some decent pressure on QBs. We go to a four man front against the pass when we bring Buchanon in as a nickelback, and we put Smith and Johnson at DT, Peek and Orr at DE, and have Wong and Greenwood in at LB, but we never blitz any of the LBs out of this formation, so again we only have four guys rushing the passer unless we bring an occassional corner blitz, which I might add have been pretty effective when we bother to do it. Bottom line we need to change the personnel a bit to get a more effective 3-4 but the main thing is we need to bring more consistent pressure on the QB by rushing more than four guys.

GP
10-06-2005, 06:22 AM
I see a very thin, weak defense that was built for speed...but gets shoved around on almost every play.

Our only beef is Robaire Smith. After that, the muscle (or fat) just gets less and less as you progress throughout our defensive lineup.

And with o linemen getting bigger, faster, stronger, every year...you better get some defenders that are bigger faster stronger, too.

And I just don't see it happening on our team. I see Babin who, as Vinny points out, is a tweener who isn't really a LB and isn't really a DE.

But they drafted Babin, and they made other moves with our LBs, based on their super genius idea that our three downlinemen can cause enough havoc and can tie up multiple defenders to allow the LBs to "make the play."

And what have we gotten the past four years? No pass rush, at least not a consistent one that causes offenses to change what they're doing.

Thus, the LBs are going one-on-one with o linemen twice their size during a pass rush, or they are running all over the field chasing TEs and WRs...those TEs and WRs are getting over LBs and underneath CB/S for big gains on most pass plays. It's a combination of how we use the 3-4 and our coaches' Wizard of Oz pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain philosophy of "We've got three downlinemen who can tie up multiple o linemen so our LBs can make the play." It ain't working with HOW we're doing it (which is the 3-4 by design) and it ain't working with WHO we're doing it with (Babin, etc.).

So in my mind, it's a combination of both. Same thing goes for the offense. We've got explosive, dynamic players (Carr, AJ, DD) who are being put into a vanilla offensive scheme that every now and then tries to throw the ball down the field. There's too much inconsistency on both sides of the ball, and it's why I've long stated that we should do a thorough house cleaning at the end of the year and get a head coach with VISION who can then install the OC and DC who will in-turn appoint the other assistant coaches that fulfill the new HC's vision.

This HC's vision is not working, and it's not fair to bring another HC in if we're not committed to just starting over and possibly face a 2-3 year "wait" for the new system to be fully operational and able to be evaluated.

I'm willing to take that risk because we've had 4 years of praying and hoping that Capers and Company knows what they are doing. Well, it's time to evaluate (and we are) and it's time to make a judgment (and I hope McNair makes the call).

SESupergenius
10-06-2005, 07:24 AM
I don't really think Babin is as bad as you think considering he was nursing a Shoulder injury. If I saw any player trying to dog it I would yank them, question is, why was he dogging it? Injury maybe? Babin looked totally different the last few games he played. There is reason for that.

PapaL
10-06-2005, 07:47 AM
This is the NFL, everyone is injuried weekly. So he may or may not have a shoulder injury, not like he's tackling anyone (especially on the bench). Suck it up and play on or get out.

z0rpAn
10-06-2005, 07:56 AM
the 3-4 defense and a conservative coach is an aweful mix.

Vinny
10-06-2005, 07:59 AM
I don't really think Babin is as bad as you think considering he was nursing a Shoulder injury. If I saw any player trying to dog it I would yank them, question is, why was he dogging it? Injury maybe? Babin looked totally different the last few games he played. There is reason for that.
Yeah, I agree. I saw better play out of Babin before he had his shoulder injury. He has been very passive since then.

SESupergenius
10-06-2005, 01:40 PM
Did you notice he had no "push" on his Bull rush. I don't know what the severity is of his shoulder injury or whether or not it IS a factor in his poor play, but when I saw that weak attempt of a bull rush it made me wonder what was going on with him.

eriadoc
10-06-2005, 01:50 PM
We have the players to run a 3-4. If you look back at some of the best 3-4 LBs in history, many of them were not highly regarded coming out of college. The system can make a player great or poor, depending on how it utilizes personnel. I believe if I never hear the term "read-and-react" again, I'll die a happy man. That goes as well for the Capers quote of getting to the 4th Q with a chance to win ... errr ... lose.

HardKnockTexan
10-06-2005, 02:55 PM
In Madden when I move Babin and Peek into defensive end possitions they're rated in the low 90's! I say if it works in Madden it HAS to work in real life! :texflag:

nunusguy
10-06-2005, 05:43 PM
I don't really think Babin is as bad as you think considering he was nursing a Shoulder injury.
Its really hard to understand how Capers and Fangio, 2 defensive coaches
who really know something about the 3-4 and what's needed to play it,
could be so wrong about Babin ? I dunno....he was certainly inconsistant last
year, but what else could he be with making the big jump from the Mid-Amer
conference to NFL and playing/starting a brand new position ? But he made a few plays last year and showed some flashes, gave some hope he might be a play maker. I saw nothing this year, in preseason or the first couple regular season games he played in to suggest progress. Maybe this shoulder injury is more serious than we realize ?

nunusguy
10-07-2005, 03:33 AM
I dunno....the 3-4 comes in all shapes and sizes. I've watched with interest
as Parcells has attempted thru the Draft and FA to rapidly transition the Cowboys D to his preferred 3-4. Anyway, I just took a peek at the their depth chart - their starting 3 downlineman actually average just under 280 lbs ! I know a lot of people would say that's because he's still got 4-3 prsonnel, but maybe speed and quickness are atleast as important as size and bulk in this D.