The definitive, comprehensive Guide to the 3-4 Front

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by IDEXAN, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    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/2010/09/09/guide-to-n-f-l-defenses-part-4-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.
     
  2. nero THE zero

    nero THE zero Hall of Fame

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    Love me some Jene Brammel. Guy's a defensive encyclopedia.
     
  3. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    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 ?
     
  4. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    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!
     
  5. painekiller

    painekiller Hall of Fame

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  6. thunderkyss

    thunderkyss Salem Poor

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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.


    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.
     
  7. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  8. Insideop

    Insideop Hall of Fame

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    Excellent article. Thanks for the read! Rep coming your way!
     


  9. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    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 ?
     
  10. nero THE zero

    nero THE zero Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  11. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    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!
     
  12. MojoX

    MojoX Veteran

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    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.
     
  13. kiwitexansfan

    kiwitexansfan Site Contributor

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    Link isn't working 76.
     
  14. IDEXAN

    IDEXAN Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
  15. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    barrett likes this.
  16. kiwitexansfan

    kiwitexansfan Site Contributor

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  17. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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    Good stuff, thx.
     
  18. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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    [​IMG]Now we're talking!
     
  19. barrett

    barrett Hall of Fame

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    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).
     
  20. HoustonFrog

    HoustonFrog Dallas Frog

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

    http://espn.go.com/blog/afcsouth/post/_/id/20157/scouts-inc-texans-defenders-dont-fit-3-4

     

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