View Full Version : What's the purpose of a 3-4?

08-22-2011, 10:30 AM
One of the things that makes NFL football so great, is that the game is always evolving. Defensive Coordinators may be winning one season, the OCs adjust & they start winning. DCs adjust & this just goes on & on & on.... passing league, running league, new rules, etc... etc..

Remember when a WCO never won a Super Bowl? Seems like so long ago.

But I heard someone on the radio talking about "the whole purpose" of the 3-4. I though he flat out got it wrong.

So I figured I'd ask you guys what you think. Why did teams first start using the 3-4 alignment? Has anything changed in the game so that the purpose of the 3-4 alignment is different today, than what it was in years past?


The Pencil Neck
08-22-2011, 10:58 AM
Well, I mean, the 3-4 has been around since the 40's and the game has changed a lot over the years. The "purpose" of the defense has changed as time has gone by. Ultimately, it gets more athletic guys onto the field than the 4-3 because you've got 4 linebackers instead of 4 dlinemen.

The 3-4 is more of a speed defense than a power defense. The 4-3 should be more stout against the interior run game because you've got more guys clogging up the running lanes at the point of attack. The 3-4 should be better against edge runs because you've got more fast guys able to read and react to the ball carrier.

With the 3-4 you've got more guys able to drop into zones or drop into coverage but in recent years, more of those LBs are blitzing from different positions. So it becomes easier to overload your blitzes from a 3-4 so it becomes more of an attacking defense.

08-22-2011, 06:44 PM
The PURPOSE of a 3/4 is to confuse the QB, presnap, to disguise it's intent, confound the decision maker and capitalize on his hesitation.

08-22-2011, 06:49 PM

08-22-2011, 06:49 PM
To sack your enemies, see them fumble before you and to hear the lamentations of their fanboys.

08-22-2011, 08:54 PM
To sack your enemies, see them fumble before you and to hear the lamentations of their fanboys.


08-22-2011, 10:37 PM
Different 34s have different goals much like different 43 teams.

Some are penetrating, some are read and react. Some use mostly edge rushers, some like a lot if production from their interior blitzes.

Some focus on stopping the run, some focus on getting after the passer.

But all defenses want to keep points off the board by any means necessary.

08-23-2011, 03:57 PM
The 3-4 is effective in creating a pass-rush for teams that struggle getting after the quarterback in a traditional 4-3 scheme. It can also confuse the hell out of opposing offensive linemen because they don't know who or where the blitz will be coming from.