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Exascor
10-28-2005, 03:21 PM
Pat Kirwan NFL.com
(http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9008317)
Heading into 2005, all we heard was that many teams were experimenting with the 3-4 defense. Bill Belichick and his Patriots team had won three of the past four Super Bowls using the 3-4, so the rest of the league was supposed to follow their lead.

Not so fast! The top four teams in the NFL in sacks play the 4-3 defense and have no intention of jumping ship with the results they're getting.

Indianapolis, Atlanta, Seattle and Tennessee get to the QB better than anyone. It's only Week 8 and these four teams already have 95 sacks combined. The most impressive stat is that 79 of the 95 sacks belong to guys who start out with their hand on the ground. Indianapolis leads the NFL in sacks with 26, and 24 of them are by the front four.

A few years ago, Charlie Weis and his Patriots offense, with a complete understanding of the 3-4 defense from Bill Belichick, spread out the Steelers' 3-4 defense with "spread sets" and empty formations. The result was outside linebackers could not get to the QB. In the 4-3 package, the front four stayed intact.

As one Patriots coach said, "You will never see (Colts defensive end) Robert Mathis leave the rush box because of offensive alignments."

Another 4-3 coach said, "With the proper stunting up front -- which the 3-4 can't do, but the 4-3 can -- it's not hard to get your best pass rusher on the right offensive lineman."
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Thought since we tend to discuss the 3-4 and if it should be turned into a 4-3 if a new coach takes over that this article may draw some interest.

Sorry if this has been posted somewhere else.

SESupergenius
10-28-2005, 03:41 PM
If we get a new coach there is not doubt we run will run a 4-3 since there are more 4-3 coaches out there. I guess SD, Patriots and Pittsburgh will be scrapping this 3-4 this year based on this article that is 7 games deep into the season. How many 3-4 teams made the playoffs last year? What percentage is that?

ArlingtonTexan
10-28-2005, 03:42 PM
It has been discussed, but not from this angle. One thing to note is that three of those teams have played the Texans.

Honestly, both defense have their weakness and strengths. IMO, it matters more that you have really good pass rushers and put in a position to succeed than the name of the scheme.

Double Barrel
10-28-2005, 03:53 PM
Finding solid D-linemen is the tough part about running a consistent 4-3. Obviously, getting LBs is supposed to be easier, but to have a dominant 3-4 (ie. like the Patriots), those LBs have to be fast, aggressive, and most important, GOOD.

I'd love to see the 4-3 here, but again, it depends on obtaining decent D-linemen.

mean mark8
10-28-2005, 04:48 PM
I'd like to add that the best pass rushing front of the Indianapolis Colts has Robert Mathis @ 6'2" 235 lbs as one end and Dwight Freeney @ 6'1" 268 lbs. Those two would be outside linebackers in our 3-4 system and would have to worry about coverage schemes rather than just getting after the QB. How limiting would our scheme be on them? Heck, they'd probably be benched because they couldn't cover.

Simeon Rice, another of the most feared pass rushers in the league is 6'5" 268 lbs. He too likely couldn't cover so would be a bench riding OLB with our team. Does anyone see a trend here?

Jason Babin is 6'2" 259 lbs and had 15 sacks in each of his Jr. and Sr. years in college as a defensive end. This only in 12 game seasons. In his Jr. year he had 26 tackles for loss total and in his Sr. year he had 33. Obviously, he was playing out of position.:sarcasm: Don't give me anything about coming from a small college program either, Robert Mathis played for Alabama A&M.

Antwan Peek is 6'3" 250 lbs and had 27.5 sacks, 14 forced fumbles, 10 fumbles recovered, and 6 blocked kicks playing the strong side defensive end in college.

Sounds to me like we have the makings of a killer front 4 if you move Payne, Smith, Travis, and Walker into the mix. Personally, I think Walker's done. The guy was once good but is just too knicked up to play a full season ever again.

Then we can have Wong at inside linebacker where he played and excelled for the Vikings while putting Polk at outside linebacker along with Greenwood where they both feel more comfortable.

In the secondary, D Rob and Faggins at the corners with Coleman and Earl at safeties.

Imagine this, everyone playing the position they actually played before.

I would actually switch Phil Buchanon to offense where he doesn't have to try to hit anybody. I think an opponent's secondary would have to play a little more lose if you had AJ, Mathis and PBuch lined up wide against them.

I think we already have the horses we just have fools running things.

eriadoc
10-28-2005, 04:58 PM
It's good to see a 4-3 discussion based on something other than our team's woes. The 3-4 works fine, the 4-3 works fine. Neither work fine here. My only concern with running a 4-3 is getting a rushing DE. In the 3-4, you have to have a NT that gets no glory, no attention, and chews up double-teams. That sets the table for what goes on from there. We have that in Payne. In the 4-3, you really need a stud down lineman that can rush the QB. Atlanta has Rod Coleman, the Colts have Freeney, the Seahawks have Wistrom, and the Titans have the leading sacker (forgot his name). The Jags have a slightly different approach, with Stroud and Henderson, but I would think it's even harder to find a duo of players with that skill level.

If we can come up with the end rusher that we need and he can still stop the run, we're golden. Babin's our best shot, IMO. He covers the run well and isn't totally lost in space. His rush is somewhat suspect to this point, however.

College Texan
10-28-2005, 05:07 PM
Why would you think DD always has a great game vs. Indy? cause their d-line is undersized

mean mark8
10-28-2005, 05:09 PM
Why would you think DD always has a great game vs. Indy? cause their d-line is undersized

We had net 139 yards against their defense. The entire NFL credits their D for their terrific start not their O. Disrupting the timing on offense is what it's all about. You do that by putting pressure up the field.

Indianapolis' defense is ranked 6th in the league, 6th against the pass and 16th against the run. They have 26 sacks, 12 INTs and have given up only 5 TD passes. Our vaunted 3-4 with the 300 lb linemen is 32nd against the run, with 9 sacks, 2 INTs and 9 TD passes. I think the math is pretty simple

College Texan
10-28-2005, 05:18 PM
Also, a 4-3 end is hard to find, he needs to have the size to handle the run and be a pass rush specialist. A 3-4 defense is suppose to be easier to pass rush in, since the de are on top the tackles the olb is suppose to have a semi-clean shot at the qb depending on a te or rb blocking on them, but in either case they should blow past RB's trying to block them. Iv'e also noticed our 3-4 inside linebackers are a little deep on first and second downs, they are idealy suppose to be up close to seal the gaps and the ss and ilb to whom the play is opposite is suppose to make all the tackles. the 3-4 is suppose to stop people from getting wide also, making the olb a critical position in a 3-4.
think of the successful 3-4's. LT!!!, Dallas has a young LT prototype in ware, nosetackle has to be a hamptons steeler type NT. ILB should be peak and babin, cause of size to seal gaps.

mean mark8
10-28-2005, 05:27 PM
If we can come up with the end rusher that we need and he can still stop the run, we're golden. Babin's our best shot, IMO. He covers the run well and isn't totally lost in space. His rush is somewhat suspect to this point, however.

I think Babin's been ruined by this coaching staff and philosophy. I can remember his first preseason game with all the starters in and he looked like a man possessed to get to the QB. These coaches drained that out of him. He has to play outside LB and make a bunch of reads rather than just get after the ball. Then he goes to the sideline and gets yelled at for not using proper LB technique. Put him at end and let him start ripping heads off.

nunusguy
10-28-2005, 05:34 PM
I noticed at Sundays game the Texans were running a defense at times
which only had 2 down lineman and this would have been on 1st or 2nd downs
and not necessarily 3rd and long. But on the 4-3 here in Houston, all of the
Texans downline would be tackles in the 4-3, with some of our OLBs being the only players on the team who could be potential 4-3 DEs and they are
all smallish for that position (4-3 DE). They don't call people like Babin and Peek tweeners for nothin.

ArlingtonTexan
10-28-2005, 05:37 PM
ILB should be peak and babin, cause of size to seal gaps.

No...they need true LBs at the two inside spots. There are only a couple of guys in the league who have successfully made the transition from DE to ILB. One of the issues with the Texans defense is that they have drafted zero LBs who have the basic skills of the inside position.

College Texan
10-28-2005, 05:38 PM
Have ya noticed we are in our nickle package alot, and still the OLB's peak and Babin( Orr now) would still not line up in a 3-point stance, they are uppright and are trying to pass rush, I wonder if this has something to do with us not getting too the QB. Our four man front is really a 2-man front.

rmartin65
10-28-2005, 05:38 PM
Some of the smaller DE's are best. This is because they have better leverage and explosion.

mean mark8
10-28-2005, 05:42 PM
I noticed at Sundays game the Texans were running a defense at times
which only had 2 down lineman and this would have been on 1st or 2nd downs
and not necessarily 3rd and long. But on the 4-3 here in Houston, all of the
Texans downline would be tackles in the 4-3, with some of our OLBs being the only players on the team who could be potential 4-3 DEs and they are
all smallish for that position (4-3 DE). They don't call people like Babin and Peek tweeners for nothin.

The point I was trying to make about Freeney, Mathis, and Rice is that they are all undersized "tweeners" to most teams but legitimate defensive ends in the NFL that opposing offenses have to address in their game plans. JMO but I think both Babin and Peek could be defensive ends in the same mold. Might they get pushed back on some running plays, yes. Can they also blow past the OT trying to block them and make plays in the backfield, yes. Our defense hasn't blown anything up in the backfield since its first year.

College Texan
10-28-2005, 05:53 PM
I think a 4-3 would be best for TJ, have ya seen his college clips, he was making muffins in the backfield. Peak is the only one that can be a 4-3 end, Babin wouold be good at LOLB assuming we blitz alot from the 4-3, Wong is a good MLB, Robair would be a good DT and if peak is the end he can be replaced by payne on goaline situations. Finding another end and ROLB would eb our main concerns.

Bassinguy
10-28-2005, 10:05 PM
It has been discussed, but not from this angle. One thing to note is that three of those teams have played the Texans.

Honestly, both defense have their weakness and strengths. IMO, it matters more that you have really good pass rushers and put in a position to succeed than the name of the scheme.
I'll go along with that statement. Most of all, play to your players' strengths. Put them in a position to succeed. What is it the coaches don't understand about that statement?

Scooter
10-28-2005, 10:52 PM
The point I was trying to make about Freeney, Mathis, and Rice is that they are all undersized "tweeners" to most teams but legitimate defensive ends in the NFL that opposing offenses have to address in their game plans. JMO but I think both Babin and Peek could be defensive ends in the same mold. Might they get pushed back on some running plays, yes. Can they also blow past the OT trying to block them and make plays in the backfield, yes. Our defense hasn't blown anything up in the backfield since its first year.

i've said it before and completely agree. add javon kearse, jason taylor, leonard little, and many others to that list of "tweeners". granted, each of them (peek, babin, & orr) may want to put on 5-15lbs in the offseason, but they're prototypical pass-rushing DE's IMO. this strengthens our DT depth with smith, payne, walker, & TJ ... and with a couple second day picks or offseason signings makes adding depth to the ends easier. besides that fact, it eliminates the confusion that our current players apparently cant overcome with the current scheme and turns them back into players instead of thinkers.

El Tejano
10-28-2005, 11:07 PM
Great thread. I've never liked the 3-4. I remember the success the Oilers began to have once they ditched it.

Vinny
10-29-2005, 02:55 AM
Great thread. I've never liked the 3-4. I remember the success the Oilers began to have once they ditched it.Um, they were very successful with it. We went to two championship games with the 3-4 (we played a team named the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC title games)....we never got to that AFC title game in the era you are talking about.

texan279
10-29-2005, 03:04 AM
IMO we have bigger problems to worry about right now than switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3. I have seen numerous posts on this already and haven't even seen any good reasons really to change to a 4-3. It's not the 3-4 that doesn't work, it it OUR 3-4 that doesn't work.

Scooter
10-29-2005, 05:24 AM
IMO we have bigger problems to worry about right now than switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3. I have seen numerous posts on this already and haven't even seen any good reasons really to change to a 4-3. It's not the 3-4 that doesn't work, it it OUR 3-4 that doesn't work.

utalization of personnel. payne and maybe wong are the only players on the defensive front 7 that are well suited for the system. outside of that, we have a whole slew of players coming from 4-3 systems who obviously arent able to excell in our 3-4 ... although a lot can be said for lack of coaching and fangio's "impossibly complex" system. when looking at our roster however ... we have 10 linemen & 4lb's (wong & greenwood as the only ones anybody not frequenting this site has ever heard of). our olb's tentatively rush the qb, only AFTER the play is 3 steps in, and for all intents & purposes we dont really blitz at all. how is that using personnel to their potential when most of the front 7 of our roster needs to be in a 3-point stance? having 5 de's on the field for atleast half of the plays on defense trying to read & react or having them in pass coverage doesnt seem to work. if we had the coaching of new england, or the aggressiveness of pittsburgh, then yeah with proper veterans on the team we might be able to be competant with the system. until either of those things happen though, it's my opinion we'd be better off changing.

yes, we do have bigger problems on the field though ... i agree. namely our offensive front being worse than our defensive. but we're losing the battle in the trenches on both sides and i think this change would be a step in the right direction.

GP
10-29-2005, 09:56 AM
It's OUR version of the 3-4 that isn't working?

I think we're seeing an era in the NFl where teams like Indy and New England are primarily passing and then running the ball off of the pass because of the ability to spread defenders and create space for the running game.

So, in my opinion the 3-4 spreads out the field from the beginning and allows the run game to get going from the very start of the game. I think we saw that in the Seattle game didn't we?

The 3-4 is horrible. Sure, if you have a defense full of Pro-bowlers like New England did...you can make it look great. Their star players are hurt and New England is getting whacked this year.

I feel that the 4-3 gives a defense a better shot each Sunday because it puts an extra guy on the line, and those guys in a typical 4-3 are beefy and not these lean, "fast" tweeners that we have (Peek, Babin). I'm talking about four guys that all look like Robaire Smith. I wonder how much running room Shaun Alexander would have had against seven guys in the box who are all about the size of Robaire Smith?

That's my two cents.

YoungTexanFan
10-29-2005, 10:59 AM
most of you seem to be interested in a pure pass rushing DE.

now lets just assume for a moment: in the upcoming draft, we take the best LT in the 1st round.
In the second round, i feel we should be looking TE and i still feel pope will fall to early second...(thats our que)


so that brings us to the third. assuming we switch to the 4-3 w/a new coach, a guy to watch is Elvis Dumerville out of Louisville. He is considered slightly undersized, but is compared often to freeny of the colts. Elvis is a pass rushing expert with a nack for the ball. He is quick off the ball with excellent explosion. He is a speed rusher who produces.
Some say he has not faced top talent but then neither did babin...a division II prospect. Mathis of the colts went to A&M...not TEXAS A&M...but alabama A&M.

and then with the other third we take a center or guard.

ArlingtonTexan
10-29-2005, 11:58 AM
It's OUR version of the 3-4 that isn't working?

The 3-4 is horrible. Sure, if you have a defense full of Pro-bowlers like New England did...you can make it look great. Their star players are hurt and New England is getting whacked this year.

.

Yeah, the 3-4 scheme which placed these guy in the proper position to highlight their talents had nothing to do with those guys being pro-bowlers. Go tell the Steelers how much the 3-4 sucks while you at it.

It is ALWAYS about the players doing what the scheme requires. If you have really good players, it is amazing how much the scheme works. Neither 4-3 or 3-4 works without players playing it well.

powda
10-29-2005, 11:59 AM
we already have a couple of guys on the roster who excelled as de's in college. babin and peek get 06 to prove they can do it on a pro level.

somewhere in those top 3 rounds we'd better select a cb.

p-burnt and faggins are miserable.

mean mark8
10-29-2005, 02:07 PM
IMO we have bigger problems to worry about right now than switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3. I have seen numerous posts on this already and haven't even seen any good reasons really to change to a 4-3. It's not the 3-4 that doesn't work, it it OUR 3-4 that doesn't work.

That's our point in this thread. The players we have run the 3-4 worse than any other team in the league. For how long did we hear the Peek was just not following the technique necessary to be a starting OLB in our 3-4? The guy is a DE with a motor that won't stop and SPEED. Stop the insanity of trying to make him play out of position and let him go after some people with abandon. LBs have to make more reads than DEs, see L. Arrington, so let's get our sack machines in the game to get penetration into the backfield. We're ranked dead last in the league against the run and have one of the worst Ds all-around. We have huge problems on both sides of the ball. What's wrong with seeking to address one of them by utilizing our players to the best of their abilities?

Coach C.
10-29-2005, 02:13 PM
Our personel is built for the 3-4. The 3-4 scheme that we are utilizing is what makes our defense so bad. Dropping passrushers into zones and sending inside LBs that weigh 235 is not gonna get it done in the 3-4. Payne, Walker, Ioane, Smith, and Johnson are all quality 3-4 lineman. Have you all not noticed the push that Smith and Payne have been getting the last 3 games. The 3-4 is a quality defensive system when used correctly, but when you run a 3-4/Cover 2 system you will not have success. By the way we run a decent amount of 4-3 sets.

College Texan
10-29-2005, 03:26 PM
we don't really ever run 4-3 sets, we run 4-2 sets which is our nickle package and is really, a 2-4 set since our olb/de dont get into a three-point stance, so we only have two down lineman in our so called four man fronts.

Coach C.
10-29-2005, 04:58 PM
We run 4-3 sets if you watch the game. There are several times on second down where Peek has had his hand on the ground and we have had T. Johnson line up at the other DE position. This is not done in Nickel, because we do run a nickel set were peek does not put his hand on the ground. Just watch our games we run 4-3 sets about 6times per game.

Kaiser Toro
10-29-2005, 05:01 PM
We run 4-3 sets if you watch the game. There are several times on second down where Peek has had his hand on the ground and we have had T. Johnson line up at the other DE position. This is not done in Nickel, because we do run a nickel set were peek does not put his hand on the ground. Just watch our games we run 4-3 sets about 6times per game.

Thanks for the insight. Will look for it tomorrow.

mean mark8
10-29-2005, 05:14 PM
We run 4-3 sets if you watch the game. There are several times on second down where Peek has had his hand on the ground and we have had T. Johnson line up at the other DE position. This is not done in Nickel, because we do run a nickel set were peek does not put his hand on the ground. Just watch our games we run 4-3 sets about 6times per game.

6 times? I'd like to see Babin and Peek on the corners with their ears back and hands on the ground 40 plays a game. How often do you see Freeney and Mathis lined up in the upright position? How often do you see Maurice Green line up for the 100 meter sprint in an upright position? Our standard 4 man front is with TJ and Smith at the 2 tackle positions in 3 point stances and Peek and Babin, when healthy, lined up outside standing up. Behind this we have nickel or dime packages, not 3 LBs. This game is about leverage and speed. We're not confusing anyone with our coverages by dropping Peek and/or Babin. Make the offense react to them coming play-in and play-out with speed and stunts to confuse the blocking schemes.

Coach C.
10-29-2005, 05:21 PM
Mark I aggree that I would rather see Peek going everytime, without having to read anything but pass or run. Understand that is not a definition of 3-4 or 4-3. You can get pressure with both. I am a big supporter of the 3-4 because that is what I played in college and have seen it work for years in the NFL. You look at Dallas who is running the 3-4 for the first time this year, but they get a hell of alot more pressure than we do, why is that? That is due to the way they use their personel. D. Ware goes after the QB 90% of the time compared to Peek's 80%. That is not how you win. I guess in the roundabout way I am saying that our Defensive Coordinator's and Head Coach 3-4 system is not going to work.

texan279
10-29-2005, 07:11 PM
It's OUR version of the 3-4 that isn't working?

I think we're seeing an era in the NFl where teams like Indy and New England are primarily passing and then running the ball off of the pass because of the ability to spread defenders and create space for the running game.

So, in my opinion the 3-4 spreads out the field from the beginning and allows the run game to get going from the very start of the game. I think we saw that in the Seattle game didn't we?

The 3-4 is horrible. Sure, if you have a defense full of Pro-bowlers like New England did...you can make it look great. Their star players are hurt and New England is getting whacked this year.

I feel that the 4-3 gives a defense a better shot each Sunday because it puts an extra guy on the line, and those guys in a typical 4-3 are beefy and not these lean, "fast" tweeners that we have (Peek, Babin). I'm talking about four guys that all look like Robaire Smith. I wonder how much running room Shaun Alexander would have had against seven guys in the box who are all about the size of Robaire Smith?
That's my two cents.

Just because there is an extra man on the line doesn't mean you "have a better shot". In a 4-3, you know which 4 for sure are coming, when you run a 3-4, you disguise who your 4th rusher will be, it could be any of the 4 LB's, and I have said it before, but if you don't send that 4th rusher then of course the 3-4 will not work. The only time I have seen a LB sent is in a blitz. You said the guys in a typical 4-3 are "beefy" and should look like Robaire Smith, but are Dwight Freeney and Javon Kearse "beefy" or built like Robaire?

Cincinnatikid
10-29-2005, 07:15 PM
I have to agree with you, this system has been awful. You cant sit in a zone that is 30 yards deep and the width of the field every play and expect to stop a passing attack. You also cant stop the run by doing that. Its clear that these players have some talent but it is not used. If the texans ran the same 3-4 the steelers do, i would almost guarentee the defense would have at least twice as many sacks, ints, and some points. This defense is soft. It is a shame they waste these players. Dunta would be in the probowl, peek could be becoming the next joey porter, you let earl run some blitzes like polomalu, and the team is completely different. Maybe they could even win a game from defensive points and not have to worry about offense