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Old 01-06-2011   #1
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Default The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

All 3-4 fronts are not the same, however. While the 3-4 front is traditionally thought of as a 2-gap front, there are two major families of 3-4 in use across the league today.
**
But the 2-gap 3-4 front is more difficult to play in today’s N.F.L. Those planet-like defensive linemen are getting harder and harder to find.
**
As a result, a majority of the 3-4 fronts today are based on the 1-gap schemes designed by Bum Phillips or those that use other wrinkles to bring pressure and disguise coverage. Other than Parcells’ Dallas and Miami teams in recent seasons, every other contemporary 3-4 defense mixes in 1-gap techniques liberally, some exclusively. The true 3-4 front has become a dinosaur of sorts as an every-down defense.
**
That attacking style of play has stood the test of time better than the read-and-react style for much the same reason that the 4-3 with an under or over shift has. It allows players to attack the offense, specifically by disguising the defense’s fourth (and fifth or sixth) pass rusher and the coverage behind. In fact, there are a lot of under front concepts in the Phillips 3-4.
http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2...the-3-4-front/
&&
This is a very lengthy article in the NY Times, but it not only lays out the different "families" of 3-4s, it describes the history and development and evolution of the defense by many coachs including Bum Phillips and Bill Parcells.
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Old 01-06-2011   #2
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Love me some Jene Brammel. Guy's a defensive encyclopedia.
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Old 01-06-2011   #3
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

If I'm not mistaken, when Capers was here he ran the more traditional 3-4 with 2-gapper Seth Payne at the nose while Wade's 3-4 in Dallas was like his fathers front back in Bums days with the Oilers. Wade had the very quick Jeff Ratliff at nose-tackle but in the gap so that he really played more like a 3-technique DT in the 4-3.
I think this is gonna be very interesting, that is what Wade does in terms of who he keeps, who he adds (thru the Draft & FA), and where he plays everybody in his 3-4 ?
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Old 01-06-2011   #4
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

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Originally Posted by IDEXAN View Post
If I'm not mistaken, when Capers was here he ran the more traditional 3-4 with 2-gapper Seth Payne at the nose while Wade's 3-4 in Dallas was like his fathers front back in Bums days with the Oilers. Wade had the very quick Jeff Ratliff at nose-tackle but in the gap so that he really played more like a 3-technique DT in the 4-3.
I think this is gonna be very interesting, that is what Wade does in terms of who he keeps, who he adds (thru the Draft & FA), and where he plays everybody in his 3-4 ?
I have the 2002 Texans-Cowboys game (19-10) that I will take a longer look at when I have time.
On brief looks of a few snaps, it sure looks like Capers' was a 2-gap system.

Thanks for the article!
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Old 01-06-2011   #5
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

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Repped for the informative article, thanks for finding it.
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Old 01-06-2011   #6
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDEXAN View Post
If I'm not mistaken, when Capers was here he ran the more traditional 3-4 with 2-gapper Seth Payne at the nose while Wade's 3-4 in Dallas was like his fathers front back in Bums days with the Oilers. Wade had the very quick Jeff Ratliff at nose-tackle but in the gap so that he really played more like a 3-technique DT in the 4-3.
I think this is gonna be very interesting, that is what Wade does in terms of who he keeps, who he adds (thru the Draft & FA), and where he plays everybody in his 3-4 ?
The 3 tech lines up between a guard & a tackle, he sees no part of the center. Jay Ratliff did not ever line up as a 3 tech while playing NT.


Dallas did move their people around a lot. Can't remember his name, but they had a big guy for NT the first year they went to the 3-4. Ratliff subbed at DE with Canty, Spears, & the other guy.
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Old 01-06-2011   #7
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

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The 3 tech lines up between a guard & a tackle, he sees no part of the center. Jay Ratliff did not ever line up as a 3 tech while playing NT.
Understood. I did use the term 3-tech too loosly, but the point I was trying to make was that Ratliff lined between the center & guard, or atleast "shaded" the center as opposed to lining head-up on him where he'd have true 2-gap responsibily as with the "traditional" role of 3-4 NTs.
The way Ratliff played the positon it was more in the "role" of the 3-Tech
4-3 DT if not aligned as the 3-Tech would be.
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Old 01-06-2011   #8
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Excellent article. Thanks for the read! Rep coming your way!
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Old 01-06-2011   #9
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Glad you guys like this 'Guide" for the 3-4, I know I do and believe it will be very useful in the coming weeks and months to us with Coach Phillips now on the scene.
Who knew the NY Times had such a football expert on its payroll ?
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Old 01-06-2011   #10
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

I wonder if this article will be parroted across Houston airwaves this afternoon like the blog on the 3-4 that was tweeted by Houston Diehards yesterday.
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Old 01-06-2011   #11
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

I posted this early this morning.
I'm just going to merge it here for anybody who wants another read.

A very nice and simple read on different 3-4 systems.

http://www.milehighreport.com/2008/5...ity-modern-3-4

This confirms my thoughts sometimes ago, that the Texans can run very well against the 3-4, thank you!
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Old 01-06-2011   #12
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by nero THE zero View Post
I wonder if this article will be parroted across Houston airwaves this afternoon like the blog on the 3-4 that was tweeted by Houston Diehards yesterday.
It should be.

One of the things I take from the NY Times series is that part of a coaches job is to find a way to make his players effective, not just plug them into a a system or force a system on them.

Phillips is a 3-4 guru with a deep heritage. But he has a history of adjusting the scheme to empower the player. He is already buzzing about his excitement at putting Williams in a position to dominate. We will see.
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Old 01-06-2011   #13
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by 76Texan View Post
I posted this early this morning.
I'm just going to merge it here for anybody who wants another read.

A very nice and simple read on different 3-4 systems.

http://www.milehighreport.com/2008/5...ity-modern-3-4

This confirms my thoughts sometimes ago, that the Texans can run very well against the 3-4, thank you!
Link isn't working 76.
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Old 01-06-2011   #14
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by nero THE zero View Post
I wonder if this article will be parroted across Houston airwaves this afternoon like the blog on the 3-4 that was tweeted by Houston Diehards yesterday.
Could be ?
But lets all just be thankful we can still access the NYT gratis, for soon it's
expected to become a fee site.
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Old 01-06-2011   #15
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwitexansfan View Post
Link isn't working 76.
Let's try again!

http://www.milehighreport.com/2008/5...ity-modern-3-4

This one works for me.
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Old 01-06-2011   #16
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by 76Texan View Post
Let's try again!

http://www.milehighreport.com/2008/5...ity-modern-3-4

This one works for me.
Winner!
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Old 01-06-2011   #17
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDEXAN View Post
All 3-4 fronts are not the same...
Good stuff, thx.
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Old 01-06-2011   #18
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Quote:
...Most coordinators identify the weaknesses of an upcoming opponent and game-plan to take advantage. Belichick specifically seeks to take away the strength of an offense, forcing it to operate out of its comfort zone. In a league where you may face a power offense one week and a spread offense the next, the versatility of the multiple front playbook is the only way to pull off such a philosophy.

Belichick isn’t the only coach with a multiple front playbook. Coordinators like Mike Nolan, Rex Ryan and Dick LeBeau thrive on a confusing mix of fronts, both conservative and aggressive, from which a variety of man and zone coverage and any number of designer blitzes can be generated...
Now we're talking!
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Old 01-06-2011   #19
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Just an FYI, we've combined that article along with 4 or 5 others over at TBB. It's quite a bit of reading, but there's some great stuff in there if you're looking to saturate yourself with the 3-4.

Much debate will surely ensue as more and more people chime in with their thoughts on the decision for the Texans to switch to the 3-4. It can't hurt to learn as much as you can for your pending argument either for or against the idea.

I'm really looking forward to the offseason as we figure out how Phillips is going to make this work (or not work).
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Old 01-06-2011   #20
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Default Re: The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Scouts, Inc says the Texans don't fit 3-4. LZ put this on twitter

http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/pos...s-dont-fit-3-4

Quote:
Transitions from 4-3s to 3-4s can be tough and take time.

Understandably, there are questions about jamming Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Brian Cushing, Antonio Smith and Amobi Okoye into the new scheme.

I asked Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. for his thoughts on the move and how the Texans current key front seven personnel could work.

Let me say if you fear outspoken or want only rah-rah right now, cease reading here.

Here's Williamson:

“I hate it. Some guys certainly could work in the 3-4 and a player like Williams would probably be very effective no matter what the system. But, to me, the Texans have a franchise type defensive player in Williams -- and Williams is a great 4-3 defensive end and probably an ordinary 3-4 defensive end. Not to mention, they invested the first overall pick in the guy.

“Wade uses more of an attacking 3-4 rather than a pure two-gapping -- like Jay Ratliff vs. Casey Hampton. Still, I don't see Williams as a difference maker in that system, as most ends in such a system are just role players and not top notch resources. Antonio Smith would be fine at end and Okoye might be okay as a quicker nose tackle, but I also don't like Okoye to hold up against constant double teams. And the Texans won't have the heavier take-on inside linebackers behind the nose tackle to attack guards and the run game in general.

"Cushing is ideal 4-3 strongside linebacker and could fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he isn't the pass rusher of a DeMarcus Ware or Anthony Spencer. Again, it would work, but a waste of an ideal candidate for the 4-3.

“The 3-4 inside linebackers are generally a heavy banger and more of a free flowing guy. Ryans would be fine as the weakside free flowing inside linebacker -- but he isn't a banger.

“To me, instead of changing systems, I would keep the 4-3 (4-3 defenses can work in this league) and draft/sign secondary help like crazy and maybe another defensive lineman or two. Now, the secondary problems are just as massive as they were with a 4-3 system, but they have to find new pieces to make the transition even feasible.

“Is Wade THAT good of a coach to make all of this worth it – especially with Mario? I highly doubt it.”
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