Alright...gotta say, and this is off PatsEng's thread of "Pats biggest weakness and your Solution" thread...THIS deal for Albert Haynesworth, is: NASTY good for NE and BB!
Here's why (and man, I hope this pic comes through):
THIS, is why it's good.
BB deploys the 3-4 base, right. Standard 2-gapping, Original form of the 3-4 D, right? A: Not exactly... BB more often than not, deploys a 3-4 under (as above). YET BB, unlike the Philips 3-4 D, which uses a 1-gapping technique by their 3-4 D-Lineman (in which case, rather than these 3 D-Lineman's job being to work and "maintain/contain" 2 seperate spaces between any 1, but hopefully 2 O-Lineman blockers, the Philips does what the standard 4-3 D-Lineman do- i.e. Shoot single gaps, attempting to spearhead through just 1, and disrupt the play).
Anyway, BB likes the 3-4 under as above, BUT he still wants his D-Lineman to be 2-gappers, which is to mainly occupy 2 of these holes, be selfless (blah-blah), and free up his LBs to make a more open play on the ball. This is why we still refer to BB's overall 3-4 method, as a bend-but-don't-break method of the standard 3-4 D's... Considering that, just like a 4-3 D and a 3-4 Philips D, where the lineman are 1-gappers, THESE methods of just choosing 1 single gap, ARE- well: A gambling game (at least moreso). The spearheading D-Lineman can and DO, choose the wrong gap (say on a running play for instance)...and the RB might break through the open gap, that no D-Lineman was shooting through, O.k.? Inevitably, In the Philips 1 gapping 3-4 D, you usually have to make up for this, but more often than not, using a LB on a blitz, on FAR more plays than a standard 3-4 2-gapping 3-4 D. The result being: Yea, inevitably your gonna create more pressure for the QB, but it negates really, what the 3-4 D was originally ALL about, which was/is: Containment & Versatility.
~Containment in a standard 3-4 D: By having just 3 D-Lineman, and 2-gapping D-Lineman wherein these guys are ideally eating up and occupying multiple O-Lineman, Your 4 LBs become more "free", right? They now have a more open read on the ball-carrier/direction the play's heading. The provide a greater "canopy" effect, by having 4 LBs rather than 3... 'kay? Also, your 2 OLBs are set wider than your 2 OLBs in a 4-3 D...which is another aspect that's good (ideally...IF ya can get decent sized 3-4 OLBs <usually 4-3 DEs in college />, who are big enough to set the edge, and turn plays inward).
But there's some problems of THIS 2-gapping 3-4 Defense:
1 is personell. Parcells actually called it, "The planet Theory", where he talked about getting big enough 3-4 D-Lineman, and how there's only enough guys on planet earth, that are this big, and this athletic. 3-4 OLB is a situation too...These guys, needing to be bigger w/ 1 less lineman (like a 4-3), You NOW have to convert and change the position and entire mindset and playing style of a collegiate 4-3 DE, and pray he can make this transition. So getting Richard Seymour & Willie McGinest 2.0=Not an easy thing...EVER.
A 2nd problem is that this BB 2-gapping 3-4 D, is subject to the interior power running game. By having 1 less D-Lineman right @ the los, your "playmakers" (the 4 LBs) are further back, and need to travel further just to meet & greet the ball-carrier. Hand in hand w/ above-IF your D-Lineman cannot occupy these multiple O-Lineman well enough to free your 4 LBs (esp the 2 ILBs), you're scr#wed. ALSO (here's the beginning of where it gets interesting RE: Haynesworth here), IF Belichick is deploying THE standard A#1 Original 3-4 D, (not 3-4 under), his NT is dead over center and his 2 3-4 DE's are almost dead over each OT's spot (w/ each small shifting towards the OGs inside and inwardly...maybe). Either way... The Offensive Guards... They're free... And IF ya ain't got superstar "Planet-sized" D-Lineman, they're gonna come out and blast 1 or 2 ILBs=Thus, more succestible to the power inside the field running game. And so now, w/ the increase in sheer size of RBs in The NFL...It's definately something to worry about. ALSO (more interesting)...On Passing against this standard set-up 3-4 D, these open OG's CAN and DO, I believe the term is "Molly-block", which is pulling (either on an running OR passing plays), AND they thus end up seeing where and in which direction, 1st that NT is going: Wilfork's going to 1 side, O.k....The OC and THAT sides OG, shifts him even FURTHER in the original direction he's going to. That sides 3-4 DE (the one where Wilfork's slanting to), gets taken up and slanted in the SAME direction (outside) by the 1 OT. And at the same time, The OTHER sides 3-4 DE now gets pushed the OPPOSITE way by BOTH the line's OT and that free (not helping w/ VW) OG (whom, btw, has an angle on said 3-4 DE, in order to PUSH and angle him further towards that side's OT/outside tackle direction.
~And what's the result? A: The QB now has a pocket...and a good one. So whadd'ya do IF ya ain't got Willie Mac as a weakside 3-4 OLB pass-rush nasty threat, and a big versatile guy @ 3-4 OLB, who can creep up even befpore the snap, In order to at least & perhaps even scare these O-Lineman enough, that they should worry and pay notice to HIM too, as mayyybe a 4th D-Lineman now? And whadd'ya DO, If ya ain't got just a nasty HOF Richard Seymour, who DEMANDS...absolutely 2 O-Lineman, always (in which case how many and how you deploy and try to move said 3-4 DEs big NT, becomes problematic for that O-Line). ANSWER: Ya ain't got Willie Mac, AND Seymour...then you'll do what proficient passing Offenses (LIKE The Colts) have done recently: You'll create a perfect pocket for Peyton Manning by using these Molly-blocking OG techniques.
<and b/c it's all about... />
~Versatility...being versatile is the 2nd trademark of why you'd deploy this 2-gapping 3-4 Defense. IF...YOU...CAN...Run The set 3-4 D (not "over" or "under") your Defense is and CAN be, REALLY versatile... B/c ya got your freak "Planet" personell, right? You've won the lottery, and got a HOF 3-4 DE, who's a threat in his own right), <Richard Seymour />. You got your monster NT (which is ALWAYS...i.e.-Always) <Vince Wilfork/Ted Washington />, a requirement for even a good 3-4 Defense. And, somehow, you've found a mutant sized 4-3 Collegiate DE who somehow & someway, Was able to change ALL his game-set skills he had learned throughout his football life as playing w/ his hand on the ground as a DE, AND in the pro game, somehow changed all this, And is now playing IN Space, most often off the LOS, as an OLB <Willie McGinest>.
Welllll...now your 3-4 D is just nasty. And by doing little "tweaks", Just like the 3-4 Under and the 3-4 Over, as diagrammed above (btw-3-4 "over" is just the opposite of a shift than the 3-4 "under": 3-4 Under=Your 3 D-lineman skew to the weak-side of the O-Line, while your 4 LBs shift their set-up to the TE strongside of the O-Line///3-4 Over=Your 3 D-Lineman shift to that TE strong-side, while your 4 LBs edge just a bit to compensate in the direction of the weakside). So yea...you can do things really good normally on this 3-4 standard D with the right personell, BUT by showing that Offense differing looks, you can do things nasty...
...but what IF ya ain't got these, Or ALL these freak players. What about the notion of 3-4 versatility, then...?
Albert Haynesworth and acquiring a REALLY good Inside Linebacker corp:
Ya ain't got the right personell, and the result is: Rather than it being YOUR choice to go to a 3-4 Under or 3-4 Over (for example), You NOW- sorta have to...in order to compensate for being sub-par in 1 or more areas. You've lost MUCH of this 3-4 versatility you wanted and loved about running this style of Defense...
< />I ask you ALL now to look up to that diagram of the 3-4 under (above). Now, it ain't exact, b/c your 4 LBs should and imo, WILL be shifting a bit more to the left (i.e. towards the TE strongside of the O-Line/in the opposite direction a bit more, of that diagram's 3 D-Lineman).
And make a mental image of your BB 3-4 under Defense, with Pats personell, and here's what'cha got. And it'll go like this (left to right): Ty Warren, Vince Wilfork (who is the only one whom just might not be edged weakside at all, but staying dead center eye-eye w/ the OC), Albert Haynesworth... NOTE: Someone w/ the initials of AH, is gonna be alot happier being on the weakside of 3-4 D-Line, in this 3-4 "Under" formation...ya know? He ain't dealin' with ANY 3-4 NT b.s- now. AND AH has the side w/ far & away the #1 chance w/ this 3-4 under set-up, wherein he'll be 1-1...that's it: 1-1, AH vs that weaksides OT. He's STILL 2-gapping...but he no longer (in more cases than Warren on the opposite side, OR Wilfork @ NT, Be being abused by multiple O-Lineman). And now, in terms of HOW and where (and why) you'd deploy your 4 LBs, you NEED to understand the diagram when mentally picturing these 4 LBs, shifting a bit more towards that Strongside...it's key, the difference.
(l-r) Ninkovich (whomever...your STRONG-side OLB, o.k.), Then: Mayo (yes, Mayo...NOT your SILB; Because these 4 LBs are shifted a good deal over to strongside, and ya need Spikes's deployment to now compensate on the weak-side. And BB actually DID this... When did he decide to move for the 1st time, the rotation of his LBs from <SOLB, SILB, WILB, WOLB /> TO: <SOLB, WILB, SILB, WOLB />??? He moved 'em after Cleveland and Peyton Hillis mauled NE last year. He moved VW back to NT (from 3-4 DE) and he rotated his ILBs slightly.
Where's NE coming from?
Haynesworth is gettin' less O-Line attention on that weak-side, so he could be in the backfield, right? VW might go either way, to the left or right of the OC... IF he goes right (towards Haynesworth), then man-the weakside of that O-Line might be a serious issue to worry about on that Offense... IF VW goes left (towards Warren), then man-What IF, NE's doing a "fire-blitz/zone-blitz"? Because...NOW, nowww and only now, do The Pats have the personell to really deploy such a zone-blitz, And do it successfully, AND moreso-NOT get mauled IF and when that Offense's play's direction, happens to go the opposite way, right?
Zone-blitz of sending the guy's overflowing 1 side or the other/i.e. masses of defenders overflowing 1 side of the O-Line (here: the right side): Warren, Wilfork, Mayo, Ninkovich, or now drop Mayo or Ninc, and send in one of these bigger, tougher press CBs you've loaded on your team, and are physical and line up right at the LOS. <don't wanna do anything w/ your CBs, fine; Because they're still jamming the WR at the LOS, and then they're quickly moving back into zone-coverage due to the amount of defenders your zone-blitzing on 1 side...and now NE CAN do THIS too...b/c they got some nasty, physical press CBs, who are BOTH physical if the play goes their way, and are fast enough to zone-cover too.And anyway...NOW deploying such a zone-blitz, it's not about the sheer skills of the guys you're sending as pass-rushers...It IS about the sum-collection of the sheer NUMBER OF guys you're overloading against 1 side of said Offense.
But hold on now... What happens on the non TE side (the weakside)? Well, IF Pats zone blitz by sending Warren, Wilfork, Mayo, and Nink, to that strongside...maybe the Offense actually simply runs the ball wide the OTHER way (IF and when the QB reads it, and audibles after sniffing out a zone-blitz). Well...Now ya got a problem IF you're the O...because the strongside of this D ain't got the SILB over there. Spikes and Mayo have flipped. So ya got your run-stuffing SILB over in THAT area. So, ya can't do that (Haynesworth ain't tiny either). But what IF, NE SHOWS/or that Offense is THINKING zone-blitz, but BB wants to send guys the OTHER way (weakside). Hmmm, THAT- that'll be problematic for the Offense... Cunningham...NE's weakside OLB pass-rush specialist... Haynesworth...a better pass-rushing DE than Ty Warren, and a guy who's slanted (3-4 under) in a manner of the d-line set-up, where less O-Lineman are gonna hinder him. Spikes...Hmmm, At Fla, they'd send him right up the middle to collapse the passing pocket many times. And he's big enough and strong enough to not get as caught up in the trash of the OL as a weakside ILB would be (more of a pass-rushing potential threat @ SILB, than Ted Johnson was).
So...what's gonna happen? Is Stroud AND Cunningham just gonna come at us? How about Stroud, Spikes, AND Cunningham (with the rest of the 3 LBs now moving back over to the spots they vacated)? How 'bout Cunningham moving up to show a potential standard weakside OLB blitz, but then he moves back, and everything looks normal for 1 second, and w/ Haynesworth going a lil' wide around tackle, Wilfork eating up that his 2 O-Lineman...hmm: What happens w/ ANY crease now available for Spikes to slam in (between OT and OG-Haynesworth going wide/Or up middle between OC and OG...that OG's now much more confused-Stay w/ Wilfork if he's going my way? Try to angle Haynesworth? How much of a gap will open up for Spikes to slam into and through depending on my choice (and THEIR choice of angles!!?)? And good gahd?!? What's happening on that strongside?!? The 1 where these LBs have slanted towards ANY-way?!?