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CloakNNNdagger
09-13-2011, 11:01 PM
Stick around the NFL long enough, and you can expect to see everything.
From THE BOSTON HERALD:

Changing times always seem to fit the Bill (http://bostonherald.com/sports/football/patriots/view/2011_0913defense_always_fits_bill_coach_unafraid_t o_change_with_times/srvc=sports&position=also)


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — When Bill Belichick first arrived in New England he brought with him an endangered football species. Now he may be the one that’s endangering its future.

Twelve years ago, only two NFL teams — Pittsburgh and Buffalo — were using the 3-4 as their base defense, but Belichick long had been both an advocate of it and an innovator with it during his years as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants.

He, like most of its advocates, believed the flexibility of the 3-4 gave a defense more ways to attack an opponent while more consistently stopping the run if properly executed because it plugged every gap along the line of scrimmage. As the Patriots [team stats] became the first dynasty of the 21st century, Belichick’s reliance on the 3-4 brought it back into vogue to the point where today 14 teams use it as a base defense.

But the Pats may not be one of those teams.

This season Belichick appears to be favoring a 4-3 front that was once the primary base defense.

Although the coach minimized preseason speculation about such a change, he explained last week that the traditional approach to defense has to be altered to react to what has gone on in pro football during the past 20 years, especially the last five seasons.

“There are so many things now (offensively) you didn’t see in the 1970s and the ’80s,” Belichick said before last night’s season-opening 38-24 win against the Miami Dolphins [team stats]. “With so many formations today it makes it harder on the defense. The tight end is most often another receiver, not a blocker. One-back formations proliferate, and often it’s empty (backfields, with only the quarterback behind the line). All hell broke loose 20 years ago. Today, half the plays are with three or more wide receivers on the field, so half the time you’ve got more than four defensive backs on the field. Half the time (last year) we had five.”

What Belichick has done to counter the offensive change is return to football’s past, adding a multitude of veteran defensive linemen who can get to the passer from a four-man front on most downs. The 4-3 allows them to attack rather than play the more controlled two-gap approach in which each 3-4 lineman is responsible for two gaps, holding up offensive linemen to allow the linebackers to make plays.

The problem is the 3-4 requires bigger linemen to plug those gaps and favors bigger and often less mobile linebackers. Thus, while it allows a defensive coach more flexibility in how he attacks an offense, the 3-4 often leaves him with less agile players to drop into coverage, a disadvantage with today’s proliferation of spread offenses.

Even Miami coach Tony Sparano and New York Jets [team stats] counterpart Rex Ryan have gone away from the pound-and-ground philosophy. Sparano admitted as much last week on Miami radio as he explained his decision to open up the offense and give quarterback Chad Henne more flexibility and passing opportunities.

Ryan has been less forthcoming, but Sunday night against the Cowboys the Jets threw 44 times while running only 16, and it was not because they fell so far behind before winning that they were forced to pass. They chose to play pitch-and-catch, a decision that has swept across football due to rule changes favoring the pass and affecting at least the short-term future of the 3-4.

Belichick’s response was to sign Albert Haynesworth, Shaun Ellis, Andre Carter and Mark Anderson this summer while shifting inside linebacker Jerod Mayo outside to utilize his speed both as a rusher and in coverage and thus make the 4-3 a defensive staple this season.

Truth be told, the 3-4 was a front used more on running downs even with the Giants, but now, Belichick concedes, because any down can seem like third down, it required an adjustment in thinking.

“Most 3-4 advocates will tell you it’s a superior run defense,” Belichick said. “You can go round and round on that, but in the passing game most 3-4 teams rush four guys any way. The only question is who is it and from what direction? Does it give you more options? Yes. But with so many formations today it’s harder on the defense.

“When we ran the 3-4 with the Giants, Lawrence (Taylor) rushed 85 percent of the time, so most teams treated us as an over or under front. Not much different than they would a 4-3 team. We’d drop Lawrence into coverage just enough so they had to account for that possibility but most of our opponents expected he’d be rushing.

“Whoever you have that’s good (at his job) is an issue (for the opponent), but what you see more now is specialization. What do they do with their skill players? More receivers, more backs that catch.” As that change became so prevalent as to, in the opinion of some, make the running game all but obsolete, it demanded a defensive response. Last night the Dolphins were the first team to learn what Bill Belichick’s is.

nero THE zero
09-14-2011, 09:42 AM
The problem is the 3-4 requires bigger linemen to plug those gaps and favors bigger and often less mobile linebackers. Thus, while it allows a defensive coach more flexibility in how he attacks an offense, the 3-4 often leaves him with less agile players to drop into coverage, a disadvantage with today’s proliferation of spread offenses.

That's a pretty gross mischaracterization of the 3-4. The whole purpose of the 3-4 is that you get more athletic LB on the field and less big linemen. Thereby, by default, being more athletic.

Would anyone in their right mind contend that James Harrison or Tambi Hali is less athletic than Charles Johnson or Julius Peppers?

That's ridiculous.

It's simply that with the number of 3+ WR formations, teams are going into nickel and dime more.

As a side, who does this sound like?

“When we ran the 3-4 with the Giants, Lawrence (Taylor) rushed 85 percent of the time, so most teams treated us as an over or under front. Not much different than they would a 4-3 team. We’d drop Lawrence into coverage just enough so they had to account for that possibility but most of our opponents expected he’d be rushing.

Rey
09-15-2011, 12:42 AM
That's a pretty gross mischaracterization of the 3-4. The whole purpose of the 3-4 is that you get more athletic LB on the field and less big linemen. Thereby, by default, being more athletic.

Would anyone in their right mind contend that James Harrison or Tambi Hali is less athletic than Charles Johnson or Julius Peppers?

That's ridiculous.

It's simply that with the number of 3+ WR formations, teams are going into nickel and dime more.

As a side, who does this sound like?

It depends on who the coach is. Sure the hybrid olb is more athletic than your typical de, but the article specifically mentioned a lot of 34 teams going with bigger lbs to hold up better against the run. Think about it. Instead of saying you replaced a de with a lb, it is probably more appropriate to say you replaced a lb with a de.

Look at us, we have 5 guys who are basically d-linemen and two true lb's.

Also, a lot of 34 teams essentially use 3 dts. And most use big fat nt's.

I'm a fan of the 34 simply because of alignment. 34's also take a bit longer to read for o linemen and qb's if you are mixing up your defensive play calling.


And honestly, the league becoming more of a passing league means all base sets have become less relevant. You have to play at least 5 DB's for a lot of the game anyways.

That's another reason I didn't get the many people who expressed disgust with Mario at olb. The guy still has his hand on the ground for much of the game.

HJam72
09-15-2011, 07:44 AM
Do I want 2 Knights and 2 Bishops or 3 Knights and 1 Bishop or 3 Bishops and 1 Knight or 4 Knights or 4 Bishops?

Me? I'll take 4 Mario's....and a bunny... :)

Mr teX
09-15-2011, 11:09 AM
"The problem is the 3-4 requires bigger linemen to plug those gaps and favors bigger and often less mobile linebackers. Thus, while it allows a defensive coach more flexibility in how he attacks an offense, the 3-4 often leaves him with less agile players to drop into coverage, a disadvantage with today’s proliferation of spread offenses."

That's the basic way to run it although i don't agree with the bigger lumbering lbs being needed to stop the run. but every solid DC who's been running the 3-4 for years (wade, ryan etc) has been able to put their little twist on it to make it more adaptable to the game & how it has changed over the years. For instance, Wade has been somewhat able to put to rest the notion that you need a monster NT in the middle as he has coordinated very good defenses with & without that trademark monster NT in the middle.

This is a classic case of Belicheat just trying to be contrarian and overthinking. On 1 hand, he says the 3-4 gives you more options but on the other, he says that offenses are more specialized these days with more formations etc. Well if that's the case, wouldn't more options in the 3-4 be best? He should know better. The crux of any scheme boils down to personnel & talent & the reality of it is he's found it harder to find that top 3-4 in-the-box talent that made his schemes successful b/c everyone else is now snagging it all up.

Lol at Lawrence Taylor being used as some sort of proof of anything. Uh, That's LT dude, a once in a generation talent the normal anything goes out the window with him.

Wolf
09-15-2011, 04:15 PM
http://static.nfl.com/static/content//public/image/nfl-network/nflAFL_985x122_belichick.jpg

he was mic'd up for a full year and I don't like the guy(not a pats fan one bit), but it would be interesting to see him work behind the scenes

HJam72
09-15-2011, 05:44 PM
It's all relative. :clown:

BattleRedToro
09-15-2011, 07:32 PM
From THE BOSTON HERALD:

Changing times always seem to fit the Bill (http://bostonherald.com/sports/football/patriots/view/2011_0913defense_always_fits_bill_coach_unafraid_t o_change_with_times/srvc=sports&position=also)

Twelve years ago, only two NFL teams — Pittsburgh and Buffalo — were using the 3-4 as their base defense, but Belichick long had been both an advocate of it and an innovator with it during his years as defensive coordinator of the New York Giants.

Buffalo had Wade Phillips as their head coach then, so they ran his version of the 3-4.

Pittsburgh was still running the Dick Lebeau version of the 3-4.

New England had Pete Carroll as their head coach and he ran the 4-3 Under. The following season Bill Belichick was hired and he installed the Fairbanks-Bullough version of the 3-4.

Those are all 3 variants of the 3-4 in use in the NFL.

Wolf
09-15-2011, 08:34 PM
Interesting show

Wolf
09-15-2011, 08:55 PM
This is the Titan blow out game and he is mic'd