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awtysst
10-03-2009, 09:17 PM
I wanted to try out a theoretical exercise: what would the Texans look like if they went to a 3-4 Defense. First a couple of rules.
1) I will only use players on the team
2) I can choose to play players in every position I see fit.


3-4
So the basic 3-4 looks like this
DL-NT-DL
LB LB LB LB
CB SS FS CB

1) DL
If the Texans went to a 3-4, what might it looks it? This system failed in the Capers era because he did not have the prototypical NT. Compare the Capers era 3-4 without a studly NT with the Jets (Kris Jenkins), Steelers (Casey Hampton), and Ravens (Ngata). Now clearly, the Texans do not have such a player, but for the purpose of this exercise, I will start DelJuan Robinson at NT. After figuring out the NT, the next area are the two DE spots. There are two schools of thought here. The traditional 3-4(think jets and Steelers) utilizes a monster NT and 2 lighter DEs(under 300lbs). The Ravens though go with all kinds of looks. Sometimes Ngata lines up in a "DE" position sometimes he is in the traditional NT slot. Sometimes the Ravens line up 1NT, 1DT, 1 DE. So, for them its all over the place. I say lets stick Super Mario at one spot(he could be our Shaun Ellis or Richard Seymour?) and Shaun Cody at the other DL spot. Putting Mario here allows him to exploit mismatches and get to the QB. He can play solidly against the run and will be a nightmare to face in passing downs. I toyed with the idea of putting him at OLB, but I think DE is where he will be the most useful.

Mario-Robsinon-Cody

2) LB
So, in a 3-4 you need 4 linebackers. Htown has several good options, but lets get to the obvious one first. Demeco will take one of the two inside LB positions. Now, to fill it out. I would put Diles next to Meco as the second ILB. He would fill in great here. On the ends are our OLBs, the guys who need to be super studs on this D. So, whom do I choose? I would put none other than Brian Cushing and Connor Barwin at these spots. Barwin is a more natural fit at 3-4OLB and could become our version of a Mike Vrabel type of player.

Cushing-Meco-Diles-Barwin

3) DB
As always whether you play 3-4 or 4-3 you need DB help. And sadly,no scheme will help this area out for Htown. Our players are either not performing or are simply not up to it. For now, I will put Pollard for NOW at SS, but if I ha started this at the beginning of the OTAs just after the draft, I would not have allowed Adibi to put on any extra weight. I would have kept him at the 220lbs range and had him actually drop down to about 215 or so and stuck him at SS. At FS, I think Glover Quinn is the guy. I would put McCain at CB and Reeves at the other CB spot. Since Reeves is currently injured, I guess my choices are Dunta and Bennett. I will take DR.

Robinson-Adibi-Quinn-McCain

So basically our 3-4 D would look like this:

Mario-Robinson-Cody
Cushing-Meco-Diles-Barwin
Robinson-Pollard-Quinn-McCain

On first thought, the LBs once again stand out as the strength of the team. This may be one reason to consider a 3-4 front. I think Mario will be great as a 3-4 DE, but I am worried about Robinson as a NT. I think he is actually more suited as the second DT. The man who has the right size to play NT is of course Frank Okam. Sadly his looks like Tarzan plays like Jane mentality makes him to unreliable at the NT position. And of course you can ask questions about the DBs, but really, have the previous starters done ANYTHING to warrant starting status?

I suppose another thing I like about this configuration is that it gets football players onto the field. People like Barwin can get in on every play now. He may make a mistake or two, but he is a football player and we need more of them.

Any thoughts?

HouSportsWriter
10-03-2009, 09:20 PM
my head hurts.....

rmartin65
10-03-2009, 09:33 PM
Interesting idea. I like Barwin off the edge, but I dont know if it would utilize all of Mario's talent. Could be worth a look though, especially since our DT's blow.

awtysst
10-03-2009, 09:50 PM
Interesting idea. I like Barwin off the edge, but I dont know if it would utilize all of Mario's talent. Could be worth a look though, especially since are DT's blow.

Yeah, it seemed like LB is the strength of the team, so getting as many of them on the field at once seemed like an interesting idea. I actually toyed with the idea of dropping Mario to OLB, but I don't like the idea of having in drop back in coverage at all. If Mario was an OLB but always stayed at the line, that basically nullifies the surprise factor of the 3-4. By putting him at 3-4DE, he could still create havoc up front and get his sacks in. Plus he would open up space for Cush or Barwin to come up as well.

awtysst
10-03-2009, 09:52 PM
my head hurts.....

Take it section by section. I am confident you can make it through!

And yes, if you have not noticed, I have a tendency to write long, well thought out, brilliant posts!

brakos82
10-03-2009, 09:54 PM
We can't get any worse on defense, let's try it. LOL

awtysst
10-03-2009, 09:58 PM
We can't get any worse on defense, let's try it. LOL

The other thing I forgot to mention was that we could also line up Cush as the elephant in a 3-4 where he lines up as a standing DE.

brakos82
10-03-2009, 10:02 PM
The other thing I forgot to mention was that we could also line up Cush as the elephant in a 3-4 where he lines up as a standing DE.

That sounds like a good idea.

Or we could just hire an elephant. :spin:

awtysst
10-03-2009, 10:30 PM
That sounds like a good idea.

Or we could just hire an elephant. :spin:

Speaking of being silly, lets get Hakuhō Shō, the 24 year old Yokozuna! He is 340lbs and is agile. He could easily fill the NT position, occupy multiple blockers, and shove the line of scrimmage backwards. Observe how he easily pushes around another 300lb+ sumo

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e3/Hakuho_fight_Jan08.jpg/200px-Hakuho_fight_Jan08.jpg

http://virtualreview.org/img/photo/1195499.jpg,

http://www.repubblica.it/2006/05/gallerie/sport/sumo/afp121132012701133413_big.jpg

How would you like to line up and see that at the NT position
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2166/2001204117_cc6647ed03.jpg?v=1196019904

Oh and for those saying we don't have any attitude and are soft, how about this guy bringing some attitude into the locker room
http://endoru.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/asashoryuhakuho.jpg

Oh, and he became a Yokozuna at 22 so he is an uber athlete!

mussop
10-03-2009, 10:45 PM
Get ready for the "but you will be wasting Marios talent" posts. I have been saying this for awhile now. Mario would be great in a 3/4. Instead of lining him up across from other teams best pass blocker (LT), lets line him up across from guards and get him as many one on ones with them we can.

We could create so many missmatches for Mario with a 3/4 it aint funny.

V3rm0nt3r
10-03-2009, 11:23 PM
I like the idea of a 3-4 better than the 4-3 as i always have and i expect that should Frank Bush continue to fail that he will be replaced with someone who runs the 3-4. it seems to me that less talent is needed to be successful with a 3-4 and you can be a lot more unpredictable with it.

i'd also like to see a formation with Barwin and Mario standing up outside a three man front with Deljuan playing nose with Amobi and Cody lining up inside the tackles. a 3-4 by definition but straight up badass by design.

jppaul
10-03-2009, 11:26 PM
Forewarning this is one of those wasting Mario's talent that Mussop was talking about.

Mario advantages are his size and strength combined with his speed, the objective with these type of players is to get them one on one matchups on the edge.

Every play in a 3-4 he would be double teamed, thus negating the impact of one of the two best players on our team. The objective of a good scheme is to maximize the talents of personnel, the personnel is not a good fit in this case.

Although I do think Barwin would be really good in a 3-4, I think Demeco would suffer a Johnthan Vilma like decline.

Goldensilence
10-03-2009, 11:28 PM
Get ready for the "but you will be wasting Marios talent" posts. I have been saying this for awhile now. Mario would be great in a 3/4. Instead of lining him up across from other teams best pass blocker (LT), lets line him up across from guards and get him as many one on ones with them we can.

We could create so many missmatches for Mario with a 3/4 it aint funny.

Might make use of Barwin in a position he was probably destined to be used in but...nm.

You think Robinson can really hold it as a NT?

I'm really trying to remember the last real effective guy at DE in a 3-4. I know you're calling it but, that'd be a shame overall.

Could make a good argument for Adibi's athleticism at LB as opposed to Diles.

rmartin65
10-04-2009, 09:02 AM
Another problem I was thinking about was we are terrible against the run as is, and Deljuan is no where near strong enough to take a 3-4 NT spot. We would be getting gashed up the middle all day. Hell, we might as well try to get a young sumo guy and try to train him.

awtysst
10-04-2009, 09:30 AM
Another problem I was thinking about was we are terrible against the run as is, and Deljuan is no where near strong enough to take a 3-4 NT spot. We would be getting gashed up the middle all day. Hell, we might as well try to get a young sumo guy and try to train him.

Might make use of Barwin in a position he was probably destined to be used in but...nm.

You think Robinson can really hold it as a NT?

I'm really trying to remember the last real effective guy at DE in a 3-4. I know you're calling it but, that'd be a shame overall.

Could make a good argument for Adibi's athleticism at LB as opposed to Diles.


And that's the problem with the 3-4: you absolutely need a stud NT in order for it to work. Look at teams who run it well: Pittsburgh, NYJ, Baltimore, NE, and you will see that all of them have a dominating NT(Hampton, Jenkins, Ngata, and Wilfork).

That's why it was not successful here before because we did not get that stud DT. As Beerlover said in a previous thread, we had the chance to get Vince Wilfork and passed on him. How different would our team be if we had taken a true NT when we got the chance?

Basically(for me) this analysis shows that we cannot go into a full 3-4 defense right now. We need a stud NT in order to even consider it. Secondly, we need a good DB no matter what type of system we want to run and a 3-4 will certainly not cover up any DB problems.

GP
10-04-2009, 12:00 PM
No way I want the 3-4. Never.