3-4 vs 4-3 question

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by awtysst, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. awtysst

    awtysst Draft Guru

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    I have noticed that many posters have stated one of the main reasons they would not want Bill Cowher is because he runs a 3-4 defense. This post is not advocating that Bill Cowher be hired. In fact I want the best possible person to be our head coach next year: whether they use a 3-4 or 4-3 base Defense. I think it is a mistake to not hire a potentially great coach just because we do not think we have the personal for a particular system.

    I believe we have most of the personal that can fit into either system. Here me out.

    At the moment, I think we will finish around .500. That will place us midround in each draft round. It is my belief that we could turn into a tweener D next year(kinda like what Denver is doing) and be a full time 3-4 the following year, IF we chose to go that route.

    So, what I will do is use the current roster and make draft picks to supplement.

    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 we 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 draft a player: NT Dan Williams from Tennessee. He is the prototypical NT that can occupy blockers and penetrate. He is the kind of NT we would need to pull off the 3-4. The nice thing about him is you can play a traditional (think Steelers) and non traditional (think Ravens) 3-4. The traditional 3-4 utilizes a monster NT and 2 lighter DEs(under 300lbs). The Ravens 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.

    Let's put Super Mario at one spot(he could be our Shaun Ellis or Richard Seymour?) and use a rotation at the other DE spot(Smith/okoye, Bulman etc). Putting Mario here allows him to exploit mismatches and get to the QB much easier. He can play solidly against the run and will be a nightmare to face in passing downs.


    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.

    Now, think about a 3-4 lineup where you know that Maro is coming from one side, Big Dan is gonna push up the middle, a fresh Dlineman crashing the party and then 4 linebackers that can blitz and cover? Where is the 4th rusher? Is it Cush or Barwin from the outside? Will Meco come up the middle? Intriguing possibilities.

    We could do this by simply choosing one NT. We could then use the other choices to get a starting OG and FS.

    If we want to make more changes we could draft Micah Johnson, ILB from Kentucky to play next to Meco in the 4th round. We could also grab a

    So, if we took best FS in round 1(like Earl Thomas from Texas), NT Dan Williams in the second, best OG in the third (like Mike Johnson), and Alabama Micah Johnson ILB in the 4th we would have all the pieces to transition into a 3-4/4-3 hybrid system.

    SO, basically my point is, do not eliminate a potential coach just because he runs a 3-4, we could go that way without too much difficulty if we really wanted.
     
  2. MannyFresh

    MannyFresh El Capitan

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    Can you imagine the players who would want to come play for Cowher....Casey Hampton for instance...
     
  3. Hagar

    Hagar Drink up yall, its the Texans!

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    I'd love to see his fat a$$ on our DL. He'd plug up everything.

    Unfortunately, it wouldn't be a matter of just one or two players. Besides Cush & Ryans playing ILB, I don't think any of our other front seven players would fit into a 3/4 defense. Maybe Baldwin as an OLB, but I don't know enough about Baldwin to say that with any certainty.

    Neither Mario nor Antonio Smith fit as a DT or as an OLB.
    Okoye as a DT - maybe but I think he's better suited for a 4/3 DT.
    DelJuan may fit as a NT at 320 but NT is a very specialized position. There is a lot of difference between facing two OL in the 4/3 vs. possible 3 OL in the 3/4.

    Of course who's to say Cowher can't switch to the 4/3. Bring in a specialist as the Defensive Coordinator, and bingo we've made the change.
     
  4. LonerATO

    LonerATO Hall of Fame

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    Dan Williams will be gone in the first since Miami and Denver both need NT's or even the Steelers going after him since Hampton's contract will be up.
     
  5. Norg

    Norg Hall of Fame

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    what is the advantages and dissavantge of a 3-4 verus a 4-3
     
  6. awtysst

    awtysst Draft Guru

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    So, maybe if a 3-4 coach were to come here, we go hard after Hampton. He still has a few dominant seasons left. We could then find a 3-4 NT late in this draft or one in the next one to groom to be his replacement.
     
  7. LonerATO

    LonerATO Hall of Fame

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    I wonder if the Steelers will let him go since they have had a history of only giving a guy two contracts, but that changed with Harrison this year.
     
  8. leebigeztx

    leebigeztx Hall of Fame

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    I only see a couple of players on this current squad who could make the transition to the 3-4 in the front 7.

    Mario could be the 5 technique and cushing could play outside backer and barwin as another outside backer.When constructing the 3-4, the most important players are the nt and 2 olbs. Of course when talking about defense constructing all are vital, but the nt is #1 and the 2 olb's are next.

    The war daddy(wilfolk,hampton,jenkins,and even rogers) those guys force the double team every play. When the guy playing that spot isnt getting doubled, it allows the guard to get on the lb's and and now the defense is compromised. The 5 techniques are vital also, but as long as those guys are stout bu occupying 2 blockers its cool.

    The 2 olbs. Traditionally, you would like to get at least 20 sacks betweeen then 2. I've seen coaches that have trouble getting these guys lose start to blitz the inside backers. All 4 lb's were probably de's in college. The prssure and the ability to find those guys can make or break the defense. The texans tried before with babin as one of those guys and it didn't work. It doesn't mean they shouldn't try again, but mario was draft #1 to rush the passer, not 2 gap.
     
  9. awtysst

    awtysst Draft Guru

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    If we signed Hampton, we'd be much closer than you think. I had Cush and Barwin(not Baldwin:)) as the OLBs and Meco as one of the middles. We could put Diles next to him. Diles is a sure handed enough tackler to do fine here.

    Up front we would have Hampton in the middle, mario on one side and then rotational DE next to him (Smith, Okoye, Bulman, etc). The DBs would be the same as in a 4-3. So basically it would be the matter of getting one stud NT and Hampton is that guy. We could go after another MLB or sign a true 3-4DE, but I think we would actually be ok.

    Plus you could have Cush line up as the Elephant in an elephant package.
     
  10. awtysst

    awtysst Draft Guru

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    Yeah, I know Mario was drafted to be a rusher. I am just thinking out loud. Maybe you do what the Ravens do. You have a big Hampton NT, a second Big DT(like a Cody/Robinson) and then stick Barwin as the smaller DE. Then the back 7 would be Cush-Diles-Meco-Mario?

    Or just for fun:

    Cody-Hampton-Robinson
    Cush-Barwin-Meco-Mario
     
  11. leebigeztx

    leebigeztx Hall of Fame

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    Ryans nor diles can play in the middle of a 3-4. neither are stout enough at the point of attack.
     
  12. Jackie Chiles

    Jackie Chiles Hall of Fame

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    I think Cushing would be a much much better fit inside in a 3-4 but he probably does have the versatility to play either spot. IMO Barwin is the only true OLB we would have but he is pretty close to prototype measurables for the spot. Sign Hampton for the nose, sign a journeyman FA OLB to hold down that spot and get your future OLB in the 1st or second round. Maybe draft a CB with the other top pick. I really don't think Mario loses much going to the 5 tech and if we did get 2 serviceable OLBs we would have more pass rushers on the field than we do now. Would also be fun to see Cush and Meco blitz more. If we get a DC that knows what hes doing I think it could be a fun switch, if we stick with the 4-3 I think we improve next year as well anyway.
     
  13. m5kwatts

    m5kwatts Hall of Fame

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    If we ran a 3-4, Barwin and Cushing would make for perfect OLBs in the scheme. Mario as the RDE and Antonio Smith as the LDE would be pretty great too. We'd need to find the NT somewhere. And probably another rush OLB to spell Barwin, I can't see him as a 3 down guy just yet.
     
  14. Jackie Chiles

    Jackie Chiles Hall of Fame

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    I don't agree with that assessment of Ryans at all. Diles, probably true.
     
  15. leebigeztx

    leebigeztx Hall of Fame

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    I actually thought they would be more hybrid this yr with barwin and cushing. the hardest guy to find is that 0 technique, but with wilfolk becoming a free agent, that could be the answer right there. Personally, i'd rather just put wilfolk next to okoye and in between mario and okoye and see what happens.
     
  16. awtysst

    awtysst Draft Guru

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    Top 3-4 MLBS:

    Patrick Willis: 6'1 240lbs
    Bart Scott: 6'2 240lbs
    Jerrod Mayo: 6'1 245lbs
    Ray Ray: 6'1 250lbs


    Meco is 6'1 250 and Diles is 6'2 237.

    Both of them match up just fine size wise as these top 3-4 MLBS.
     
  17. m5kwatts

    m5kwatts Hall of Fame

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    I couldn't imagine us completely abandoning the 4-3 because ultimately the RDE spot in a 4-3 is Mario's most ideal position to rush the passer. Mario will rush from that spot in nickel situations I'd imagine. We can only dream of the Wilfork scenario though huh? lol
     
  18. leebigeztx

    leebigeztx Hall of Fame

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    if demeco played the 3-4 middle, he would be the strongside. Thats means he would have to hit and standup blockers and spill them to the inside weak guy. Compare demeco to guys like david harris or farrior in pittsburgh and you will understand what i'm saying. there have been smaller guys playing inside strong in the 3-4, but not many. Ryans is a run and hit guy.
     
  19. awtysst

    awtysst Draft Guru

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    Yeah that was my original idea. Sign Hampton to be the big NT then draft or look for his eventual replacement next year.


    Mario--Hampton--Smith
    Cushing-Meco-Diles-Barwin
     
  20. leebigeztx

    leebigeztx Hall of Fame

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    All the guys are wilb. They're the spill guys. So if ryans is the will, which i have no problem with, who is the hole plugger?
     

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