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Old 02-04-2006   #1
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Default 3-4 harder to play against?

I was watching Quite Frankly last night and the Jones brothers were on, Julius and Thomas. As you know they are both solid NFL running backs and agreed it is harder to play aginst the 3-4 (actually talking about Pittsburgh's 3-4). They agreed it was much harder to run against the 3-4 b/c u can throw so many different blitzes at them. Julius Jones said Pittsburgh had "perfected" the 3-4. I was all for changing to the more traditional 4-3, but Julius said one of the main reasons the 3-4 is harder to play against is b/c he doesn't see it as often. So anyways I'm kinda torn between the 3-4 and the 4-3. Obviously we are far from perfecting the 3-4, but to change to the 4-3 I think we really need to get a solid DE thru draft/FA and I would definitely like to see more from Travis Johnson (prove why we drafted him in the 1st round).
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Old 02-04-2006   #2
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i think the 3-4 has a higher-ceiling (meaning potential to be better), but its also harder to have a good 3-4 defense, than a good 4-3 defense. Since i'm all about trying to be great, not just good, obviously i would have liked to have seen us stuck with the 3-4 and try to perfect it.

a well-run 3-4 defense is truly a beautiful thing to watch, and you can see the kind of damage its done this year, just look at the Colts.
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Old 02-04-2006   #3
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Default Change in Philosophy

A 3-4 defense is generally harder to prepare for due to the various angles at which defenders can attack. Additionally, as earlier mentioned less than a 1/3rd of the league run this scheme. However, it is much easier for a team to become an effective defense running the 4-3 than the 3-4. An above poster had it correct, the 3-4 has a much greater ceiling but it is also much more difficult to find players that fit into the scheme.

You cannot merely look at the defensive scheme when talking about the Texans. What you have to consider is that the team is undergoing a shift in philosophy. Under Capers the team was built to try and have a very good 3-4scheme (although this admittedly did not happen). However, Kubiak is an offensive coach and will focus his attention on making the Texans an upper-tier offensive unit.

Capers thought process: (1) have a top 5 defense, and (2) an offense that score enough points to win (think the Chicago Bears from this season).

Kubiak's thought process: (1) have a top 5 offense, and (2) have a middle of the pack defense that can hold opponents to under 17 points and can give the offense some time to rest on the sideline.

The team is looking to invest heavily in offensive talent with the hope that the offense can start winning games. If the offensive can improve significantly, then the 4-3 is the proper schem b/c it will allow for the Texans to be a middle-tier defense next season. The change in defensive scheme has as much to do with Kubiak and his philosophy as it does with the players on the roster.
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Old 02-04-2006   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdiddy
Kubiak's thought process: (1) have a top 5 offense, and (2) have a middle of the pack defense that can hold opponents to under 17 points and can give the offense some time to rest on the sideline.
Over the last few years, the offense AND the defense of the Broncos have been perennially in the top 10. I think the reasons the offense is the focus right now are:

1. He was hired for that reason.
2. This draft is shaping up to fill our voids on offense more easily than on defense.
3. The talent on offense is more black and white (you pretty much know who is good and who is not), so it is easier to remedy. The level of talent on the defense is far more difficult to determine and might need a year of evaluation/improved coaching to gauge properly.

I think that Kubiak's ultimate goal is to emmulate much of what Shanahan has done and build a team the is well-rounded in all facets.
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Old 02-04-2006   #5
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Good defensive players are harder to play against, regardless if they're in a 3-4 or 4-3.

I've never been a big fan of the 3-4, simply because you rely too much on having stud D-linemen. If you have average linemen, you can't stop the run. And if you can't stop the run, teams can pretty much do what they want against you.

Case in point: the 2005 Texans 3-4 was last in the league giving up points, which IMO is the telling defensive stat.

While I admire 3-4 defenses that dominate, like the Patriots or Steelers, we have to keep in mind that these teams have front 7s that are great talents. I've always thought that the 3-4 required above-average players to make it work, while the 4-3 can still be a solid defense even with average defenders (Mainly because of the running game against a four man front).
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Old 02-04-2006   #6
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FYI if we look at our draft history, You would think that Kubiak was the coach with all the offensive players we drafted in the early rounds.. (all the high picks)
Carr ,AJ,Gaffney,Pitts,Joppru,Hollings, Milford Brown, etc..

defensively we got Drob,Johnson,babin, trade with p-buc ... thinking about just Babin and P-buc.... we gave some picks away between those two... wow

and we still are looking for depth ..:brickwall

it isn't that I don't think P-buc and Babin can contribute, it is just that at the infant stage of this franchise, we took some gambles.
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Old 02-04-2006   #7
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Having the 3-4 gives the D.Coordinator more option with blitzes and coverageds due to the fact taht he uses 4 LBs. It also is different and makes the offense take extra time to prepare for something that they will only see probably 3 or 4 times a year max.

But it is harder to get players that fit the 3-4 defense...especially at OLB where they hae to be half LB half DE.
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Old 02-05-2006   #8
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see.. what i dont understand is that if there are SO many blitzes that the 3-4 can throw at you.. why is it that the 4-3 defenses in the league have the better sack totals?
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Old 02-05-2006   #9
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Grid on your question it is the law of averages. The more teams that run a defense you will see the greater totals for it. Other than that I think you can run any defense and get sacks. At TAMU we ran essentially a 34, but on passing downs we were in a 43 type set. For the most part it is philosophy and angles. Like Washington you can blitz your heart out in the 43 and create a lot of pressure, or you can sit back more in the style of Tampa Bay's Defense, eventhough that deals more with their Cover 2 philosophy.
I am a proponent of the 34 defense, but if our guys and coaching staff fill more comfortable with the 43 then it would be smart to run that defense. It is about putting your players in position to be successful.
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Old 02-05-2006   #10
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i think we've shown this year that a 3-4 depends on personnel- it can be v good or v.bad, a 4-3 is more solid and less spectacular
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Old 02-06-2006   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coach C.
Grid on your question it is the law of averages. The more teams that run a defense you will see the greater totals for it. Other than that I think you can run any defense and get sacks. At TAMU we ran essentially a 34, but on passing downs we were in a 43 type set. For the most part it is philosophy and angles. Like Washington you can blitz your heart out in the 43 and create a lot of pressure, or you can sit back more in the style of Tampa Bay's Defense, eventhough that deals more with their Cover 2 philosophy.
I am a proponent of the 34 defense, but if our guys and coaching staff fill more comfortable with the 43 then it would be smart to run that defense. It is about putting your players in position to be successful.

Well im not really talking "totals".. if you go and look at the top 5 defenses for the last 5 years or so(in terms of sack totals).... the majority of them are 4-3 teams.
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Old 02-06-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grid
Well im not really talking "totals".. if you go and look at the top 5 defenses for the last 5 years or so(in terms of sack totals).... the majority of them are 4-3 teams.
And during that time period the vast majority of teams played 4-3 defenses. If you look at 2005, 2 of the top 5 sacking teams played 3-4 and a third played it about half the time. Given that only 4 teams run it full time, that is overrepresented at the top, not underrepresented.
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Old 02-06-2006   #13
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im not seeing it. I mean, if we were talking total sacks by 4-3 defenses and total sacks by 3-4 defenses...that would be one thing.. but we are talking the league leaders.

The fact that there are more 4-3 defenses than 3-4 doesnt change the fact that 4-3 defenses are getting to the QB more. Actually.. considering that it is supposed to be "easier" to get 3-4 players... and that it is supposed to be so much better to blitz in so many different ways... AND that it is rarer, making it harder for QBs to prepare for it... means that the 3-4 defenses that ARE in the league should be owning the sack totals.. but they arent.
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Old 02-06-2006   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grid
im not seeing it. I mean, if we were talking total sacks by 4-3 defenses and total sacks by 3-4 defenses...that would be one thing.. but we are talking the league leaders.
Sorry, I thought you were talking about total sacks for the D and not individuals.

Quote:
Actually.. considering that it is supposed to be "easier" to get 3-4 players... and that it is supposed to be so much better to blitz in so many different ways... AND that it is rarer, making it harder for QBs to prepare for it... means that the 3-4 defenses that ARE in the league should be owning the sack totals.. but they arent.
As a whole 3-4 D's are doing extremely well. It isn't supposed to be easier to get 3-4 players, it is supposed to be cheaper. As for the individual sack totals, remember almost all the pass rush comes from the DE's in a 4-3. The point to the flexibility of a 3-4 is it can come from any of the LB's or the DE's so by its nature the sack totals get split apart more.
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Old 02-06-2006   #15
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Ahh..I was talking total D hehe.

This years top 5 sack leaders.

Seattle (4-3)
Miami (4-3)
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville (4-3)
Indianapolis (4-3)

Last Years

Atlanta (4-3)
Philly (4-3)
Indianapolis (4-3)
Buffalo
New England

2003

Baltimore
NYG (4-3)
Miami (4-3)
San Fran (4-3)
St. Louis (4-3)

2002

Philly (4-3)
Carolina (4-3)
Pittsburgh
Miami (4-3)
Atlanta (4-3)
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Old 02-06-2006   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddict5
i think we've shown this year that a 3-4 depends on personnel- it can be v good or v.bad, a 4-3 is more solid and less spectacular
yeah, just remember the Capers brand of 3-4 was to add a prevent to it and never threaten to blitz. We never seemed to have any constant pressure, and running was a breeze on our front 3.

We did alright the first couple of years, but for whatever reason(s), the coaching staff made some bad decisions both in personnel and gameplanning.
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Old 02-06-2006   #17
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I know NFL and high school are totally different but most schools in Texas run a 3-4 or somthing similar called a 5-2. What I'm getting at is that it is more structured in that you have assignments more simpler than a 4-3. D-lineman take up space and stay with the blockers to swarm the play. Alot easier than reading plays or finding a pure pass rusher or fast D-linman, which frankly not many big people are fast. You can just have average players to play in the front seven. Ends don't have to be very fast cause they get a free shot with the D-line over the tackles. Linebackers don't have to be very fast and can be a bit bulky.
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Old 02-06-2006   #18
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i dont know, ask our 2005 opponents
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Old 02-06-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdiddy
Kubiak's thought process: (1) have a top 5 offense, and (2) have a middle of the pack defense that can hold opponents to under 17 points and can give the offense some time to rest on the sideline.

I was in agreement with your post until this statement ....

I have known Kubiak for the past 29+ years .... I know for a fact he wont expect anything less from one unit than another .... Now getting both the Offense and Defense in the top 5 may be a bit of a stretch .... But I can tell you just as much effort will be put in on the Defense as will be to the Offense.... He wont settle for middle of the pack on either side of the ball .
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