Re: Front seven next year: 3-4 or 4-3?
posted at 2/16/2012 12:29 PM EST
The first number indicate how many defensive tackles/linemen are on the field.
The second number indicates how many linebackers are on the field.
The third number indicates how many players are in the defensive backfield.
So this argument has progressed from "BB is changing his base defense to a 4/3" to "he ran a 4 man front a bunch of times?"
Surely an indicator that he will cut every outside linebacker on his squad (Ninc, Anderson, Carter, Cunningham etc) since they no longer fit in this 4/3 system and he will start drafting defensive ends (JJ Watt, Carlos Dunlap, Jason Pierre Paul) like he had every opportunity to in over a decade worth of drafting?
Also we will no longer see any two and three man fronts again because he is moving to the 4/3, so from now on only four man fronts with all four athletic D linemen rushing upfield and dominating the opposing O line across from it exactly like the Giants run. By that rationale Vince Wilfork will never line up at nose tackle again...
Again you may see this as arguing semantics about whether Anderson is an end or linebacker, but if you ask the offensive lineman across from him whether Anderson has the skill set to hold up at the line of scrimmage when that 330 pound tackle comes crashing into his 250 pound frame on an off tackle run play than I say it really does make a difference.
The Pats defense didn't really start improving until 3/4's of the season was over and BB starting running with one more defensive tackle on the field consistently, a three man front. Not until he pulled Warren out of retirement and Brace and Deadrick off the PUP did they start getting into the opposing teams backfield by crushing the pocket, did the outside linebackers like Anderson and Ninc really get freed up to sack the QB and did we started seeing the defense stop the opposing offense on downs more consistently.
The reason I suggested on an earlier thread that this was planned, that BB was running the vanilla defense early on, was because we saw the 3/4 during pre-season and it overwhelming the opposition.
The regular season starts and we run this 2/4/5 with two D linemen, Carter and Ninc (or Anderson) playing down in a three point stance on the ends, two standing linebackers behind them with a full defensive backfield. This defense was ran all over, passed all over, it got no pass rush and was the ridicule of every NFL analyst from A-Z. But when they got down near the end zone very often BB would put the 3 man front back in and hold other teams to a field goal which kept scoring relatively low, so even though opposing teams were racking up yards on us they didn't score a lot.
He was keeping his 300 pounders healthy and ready for the playoffs, even then, we still needed more for the Giants power run game. BB needs to use a #1 pick on a D tackle and maybe two.
The front of Seymour, Warren and Washington or Wilfork was the main reason our defense was so dominant during the early Super Bowl runs, the reason we got off the field, got so many team sacks and caused so much havoc.
BB doesn't have enough true defensive linemen to run a 3/4 so I don't know what makes you think he'll switch to a 4/3, it would take a complete makeover, it won't happen.
Saying BB plays linebackers at end to create a four man front is a world of difference than saying he is switching to a 4/3.
It won't happen, didn't happen this season despite everybody saying it would, or in this case still insisting it has happened.
Using three #1 picks to take Seymour, Warren and Wilfork was necessary to create a nasty 3 man front, until we get another tackle that can compete like Wilfork and Gerrard Warren and stay healthy, you'll continue to see Belichick fill holes in his roster the only way he knows how, by playing people out of position.