In Response to Re: Pats Draft Talk
BB is actively looking for a massive defensive tackle to play defensive end. He put 350 pound Vince Wilfork out at end against Miami's Jake Long, which neutralized Long pretty well, but when Wilfork is busy, someone else has to play the nose. The three rivals in the AFC East don't have a single great quarterback between them, so the Patriots need to think about stopping three running games cold to win the division handily. Around the NFL, everybody is thinking in terms of a fast but shrimpy defensive end. That just isn't a BB guy. BB wants 3 massive and preferably tall guys to hold the line and an extremely tall, lanky outside linebacker or two to blitz. 2010 is a great draft year for defensive tackles, BB collects them like gold coins, and a great year for inside linebackers, which BB also needs, but an ordinary year for outside linebackers. If Belichick starts looking at OLBs, that's a sign that Shawn Crable has pretty much been crossed off the list due to injuries and thrown away. If he doesn't look twice at an OLB, that's a sign that Crable is healthier than we think.
Posted by Paul_K
Excellent often overlooked or ill-understood insights throughout entire post here Paul
~O.k., Beginning with the 3-4 Defensive End Position. Alright, Don't even know why it's called a DE in the 3-4 except for the obvious superficial aspect of yes, In a 3-4 those 2 D-Lineman on each side of the nose, yea...they ARE the guys that happen to be on each of the ends of the D-Line...Or heck, maybe it's a little bit a' the whole prestige aspect of DEs being hailed as a little more glitzy and perhaps impacting on those big-plays just a tad more than those grunt interior D-Lineman (DTs)...
Some Football 102: THAT being said above, 3-4 DEs are NOT the same as 4-3 DEs...They are far more like, well DTs, perhaps better-those 3-4 DEs are far more akin to DE/DT hybrids. Alright, ya want the insane strength of an interior 4-3 DT, because these 3-4 DEs, just like a 3-4 NT (ALL those 3 D-Lineman of a 3-4 D), Are known as 2-gappers. Picture this, on each side of each of those 5 Offensive Lineman is a gap, alright? -OT-G-C-G-OT- See that, this makes for 6holes in the Offensive Line.
Now, when you put a TE on the side of one of those OT's, You're gonna move to having even an extra hole on that O-Line (because the end is moved out 1 place -TE-OT-G-C-G-OT-). Count each hyphen as a hole, or "gap", so there's 7 gaps when a TE lines up on 1 side of an Offensive Line (that's known also as the "strong side" of the LOS). See, some people mistake the "strong side" as being the side of the field pertaining to the width of where the ball is marked, It IS only in the case of having NO TightEnd on the offensive LOS, OR obviously actually having that TE lined up on the side of the field that has more room, O.k.?
Now, HERE are your 3-4 D-Lineman. These dudes gotta be some sort of freaks... Those 3-4 DEs gotta be just as fast as 4-3 DEs, but BIGGER. They gotta be as strong as 4-3 DTs, but faster. Oh, they gotta be BOTH: Intelligent AND Selfless too.
3-4 D-Lineman INTELLIGENCE: Those three, 3-4 D-Lineman gotta be smart enough to know that depending on IF it's a passing OR running play, IT'S going to effect the way I play these gaps/holes. Running Play: Gotta be heads up & strong...Ideally heads up enough to turn the play inside and not let the RB get to the outside often. Passing Play: Gotta be attacking the pocket more and differently, Caring far less about occupying MULTIPLE O-Lineman, and far more about getting by these O-Lineman and getting to the QB/collapsing the pocket by shooting by these O-Lineman.
More on Intelligence: Unlike in a 4-3 D, where each D-Lineman (DE-DT-DT/NT-DE), cares far more regularly with shooting through single gaps/holes between those Offensive Lineman against BOTH the Offensive Team's Running Plays and the same against the Offensive Team's passing plays, O.k.? Those 4-3 D-Lineman figure to themselves (at least moreso), "Hey, I shoot between these gaps of the O-Line, and I'll either disrupt the backfield in at least some way...I'll either get to the QB if he's passing, meet the RB if he's goin' through that particular hole that I'm spearheading through, OR If I'm good enough, I can disrupt either the passing/running play entirely before it trully forms. Besides, there's 4 of us D-Lineman, 4 dudes, each shootin' through a hole...Let's see if I can do the math? 4 D-Lineman goin' through 4 holes, Now IF there's NO TightEnd on the Offensive Side, that makes 4 dudes shootin' through 6 Holes/Gaps. IF there is a TE, that still makes for us 4 D-Lineman spearheading through 4 out of 7 gaps... Either way, I like those 4 outta 6 or 4 outta 7 odds with our 3 LBs coverin' our backs IF the RB happens to go through just one of those 2 or 3 gaps, that us 4 D-Lineman aren't goin' through."
AND, These 3-4 D-Lineman gotta know Yup, WHERE and WHEN 1 of any of those guys behind them (most often an OLB, but at times a blitzing ILB or Safety), Is going to come to the Line of Scrimmage (again usually that OLB as an extra D-Lineman), and thus those D-Lineman gotta change their gameplan accordingly...Piece of Cake, huh?
ALSO, Recall 3-4 D-Lineman SELFLESSNESS: There's only 3 of them and they're attempting to take on MULTIPLE OffensiveLineman...Dat ain't easy OR fun. These guys are playing 2 gaps between 1 of any of those 5, 6 lineman (with a TE), So that they're trying to occupy 2 guys...Think, less attack aggresively attack the ball mentality, and more attack the O-Lineman themselves mentality. These 3 D-Lineman want to effect the play of as many O-Lineman as possible...SO that, ANY of those, now 1 extra Linebackers of a 3-4 Defense, has freer (ideally, Totally Free) reign to make the play on the ball-carrier, O.k.? No HUGE stats, NO ESPN cameras.
And man, to make it even harder In NE especially (in terms of "selflessness), New England uses a variation of 1 form of an original 3-4 Defense, called I believe "The Fairbanks-Burroughs 3-4 Defense." Which is, less crazy "zone-blitzing" from the secondary/LBs (like Dallas does in a 3-4 D-more on zone-blitzing later), and less crazy "stunting" (like Pittsburgh does in a 3-4 D). Pittsburgh, If anyone who's watched them avidly, Has their D-Lineman shootin' gaps regularly...But man ONLY 3 D-Lineman for 6 or 7 gaps/holes between each of those O-Lineman...that ain't great odds, right? Well, Pittsburgh gets awy with it, by being...ummm, insane. The Steelers will do stuff like have one 3-4 DE shoot between maybe a OG-OT, then have their 3-4 NT shoot on the OTHER side of the O-Line shooting a hole between the OC-OG (the other OG), Steel will send that third D-Lineman DE out into the flat against noone, covering a zone area, 1 of the OLBs will be sent wide on the exact same side as that first 3-4 DE (the DE who's going between the OG-OT), with that OLB going all the way around the OT on the end. Sheez, they'll throw 1 of their 2 ILBs towards the outside of that NT who was spearheading between the OC-2ndOG, with that ILB going between the OG-OT on the NT side... Everyone with hat insanity, sorry. LOOK, All that Pittsburgh's doin' is essentially doing what I just did to ALL of you people...CONFUSE the livin' heck outta the offense.
But again, see...nope, NE doesn't do that insane Steeler 3-4 Defense stuff. New England plays more of a prevent Defense. We've ALL heard the phrase, "Bend don't break Defense." That's in essence, 1 of the beauties (and uglies) of any 3-4 Defense, and especially the way NE carries it out... In any 3-4 Defense, yup you guessed it...Obviously you'll have more guys anywhere in the secondary. 4 LBs and those 4 DBs (2 CBs 2 Safeties). 1 GOOD: Don't gotta change it up in a game, when protecting a lead. You're playin' a game of numbers ya see. Those D-Lineman are occupyin' multiple gaps/holes, ideally multiple O-Lineman=NO big gains in the running game. The Offense WILL eventually MAKE Some Mistake on downs, Turnover, Failure to convert, etc.. 1 BAD: Not the same pressure as a 4-3 D on that D-Line. Those D-Line ain't gettin' to the QB as good, and here-in terms of the running game, NE's particular 3-4 Defense ("fairbainks-burroughs" or something), they ain' stuntin as much as Pittsburgh and they ain't doin these crazy zone-blitzes of Dallas. A number's NO big gains-game in terms of those D-Lineman in the run game also=MANY short yards gains. And THAT=Continued & Longer drives by the oppossing Offense=More exhaustion by the Defenders, possibly More frustration by the Defenders...and potentially, more potential Defensive Mistakes...
Man...I'm jumpin' around here, didn't want it to be a treatise on 3-4 Defenses, but scr#w it, I've gone this far so bear with me... I'll be quick on the 3-4 ILBs. IN a 3-4 Defense, you're gonna have 2 differing, and far more specialized ILBs than what's found amongst that 1 single 4-3 ILB.
1 is going to be (or has been), more of a smaller, faster ILB...Awesome at sheer-tackling prowess-NO miss attiude. This guy's the weakside ILB, and he's known adequately as the "WILL," o.k.? We're talkin' smaller & faster...far more like that single 4-3 ILB-Still though, you're gonna need at least a 6'0 footer and at least a 220 lber outta the deal (hopefully). You're makin' up for the size, strength, and bulk of that weakside ILB, with speed, quickness, intelligence to read the play, and the sheer fundamental tackling technique to get it down.
The other ILB, is known as the Strongside ILB (dubbed, The "MIKE"). Now, He's gotta be a good tackler with good speed too...BUT he absolutely can lessen these qualities, IF he's got the more important qualities of being a smash-mouth psychopathic brute ready to take on either an Offensive Guard/Offensive Tackle and/or Fullback charging staright at him from the Offense (only 3 D-Lineman), So this dude's gotta play total smash-mouth in order to attack that first or multiple and freer when running a 3-4 Defense, Oppossing Offensive blocker, In order to give that weakside guy TOTALLY unimpeded access on the ball-carrier. You want a big, tough dude, Still smart, Still Decent Tackler, and lmao-Still fast enough to get into zone on a passing play/cover some flanking RB, even a slot WR at times, in the short area of the passing field. Ha-ha, oh yea-These guys ideally BOTH have to be able to attack the QB on an inside blitz, Fast, Big enough not to be swallowed up by O-Lineman. More guys, very specialized considering finding 2 ILBs that have the speed, ackling prowess of that weakside ILB with that bigger, tougher, smashmouth bulk and some decent enough speed/tackling skills too, IS next to impossible (it seems)...
Examples: Weakside ILB, Bruschi vs. Mayo: Same speed & tackling prowess, Mayo just a little bigger, But Bruschi far more vet savy & intelligent and knowing his D and oppossing O (as it stands now)...Bruschi gets it so far. Strongside OLB, T. Johnson vs. G. Guyton: BOTH decent, but not amazing tacklers, Guyton has him on speed by just a bit, But Johnson far more willing with size (weight and height), and effectiveness to play utter smash-mouth, concussion-causing taking on the O-Lineman...Ted Johnson gets it so far.
SO, onto OLBs here... Recall that, back on that TE side of the offensive team (-TE-OT-G-C-G-OT-), 1 of those 3-4 OLBs (4 LBs obviously), known I believe as the "Sam" or the Strongside Outside Linebacker, That's where he's gonna line up (to deal with more men on that offensive side, and deal with more room on the field of play for the offense to run a play towards). ON the "weakside" of that oppossing offensive team (the side with no TE/the side with less field room), You're gonna want to line up your Weakside Outside Linebacker, usually known as the "Jack", but in NE it's been nicknamed the "Elephant Position." In BOTH cases of those two 3-4 OLBs, very often you're seeing some College 4-3 DE, or sometimes former 4-3 D playing pro Defensive End, Who is a 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB convert. For a couple reasons: 3-4 OLBs gotta be BOTH adept at "holding an end" for when a running play is going to their side, considering ya got 1 less D-Lineman to help in the running game, alright? AND Both those 3-4 OLBs gotta ideally be Big and Still fast enough, to both either: Blitz the QB/crowd that LOS as an extra D-Lineman. ALSO, Both those OLBs gotta be decent at dropping back like a standard 4-3 OLB to cover an area in the passing game. BOTH, you're gonna want to ideally be at least 6'2 and 255lbs at least... Certain differences though:
That weakside OLB can be somewhat smaller, but accounting for that difference by being quicker, considering HE is the guy that is less prone to having the play run towards his side, and HE is the guy more prone to rush the QB as a pass-rushing specialist (attacking the QB from the "weaker" side of the QB's O-Line). That strongside OLB can be somewhat slower, but accounting for that by being stronger & more stout, considering HE is the guy that is more prone to having the play run towards his side of the field, HE then is a little less prone to rush the passer, and more prone to Both Stay Put, AND take on another O-Lineman (OT/TE), and/or cover that TE in the pass. But again, man...You ideally want BOTH of those OLBs to be able to do EVERYTHING, in order so that the Offense won't exploit a perceived weakness in 1 of their abilities, and so likewise, You can mix up defensive looks and schemes even better against that offensive team...
Examples: Weakside OLB, Willie Mac vs. TBC: Mac bigger/more bulky, and just as fast...So, Willie Mac. BOTH are equally be fast enough to get to QB, BUT Willie Mac is big/fast enough to crowd the D-Line as an extra D-Lineman in both attacking QB/run support, and big enough to stay put and not be exploited when the Offense exploits his lack of size by runnin' towards that weakside of the field. Vrabel vs Adalius...So, Vrabel. BOTH are stout & bulky-Vrabel has him maybe by an inch or 2 but that doesn't matter because/BUT Vrabel had at one time those extra pass-rushing skills/intelligence/speed, to himself be a pass-rushing threat to the QB/crowding the LOS in attacking a QB passing/help in run support.).
Overall, excellent versatility, Are we clear? BTW, dese dudes ain't too easy to find that are BOTH Big, BOTH fast, can stop the run, crowd the LOS, drop back to cover a guy/zone against the pass...Ha-ha, yea good luck.
And lmao, You're lookin' for a BIG guy, that's STILL fast, good against holding an end against the run, fast enough to cover alota ground against the pass, AND smart enough to play in this more complicated Defense & more complicated OLB position. These guys gotta be consumate teammates, considering the 3-4 D relies more on knowing where your defensive buds are and what they're doin': Standard reading of what the offense might do, AND reacting accordingly. See, this all breaks down to that 3-4 Defense being amazingly versatile. That OLB can mix it up as an extra D-Lineman to again, either be another D-Lineman against the run or attack the QB against the pass. BUT see, those standard 3 D-lineman gotta both know the play, know when there's gonna be 1 of their buds as an extra D-Lineman, AND thus switch their job details up...probably play less of that multiple 2-gap, control-and-occupy-the-multiple-OLineman, and switch more to 1 gap, spearheading THROUGH these O-Lineman.
ALSO, man...ALL those other 3-4 LBs gotta switch their game up and usually "cheat" their standard zone areas over to account now for 1 less OLB in his zone area (because he's at the D-Line). And dear lord, IF No 3-4 OLB is rushing the passer, These D-Lineman (unlike having a 4th D-Lineman in a standard 4-3 Defense), Have a much, much harder time getting to the oppossing QB... And we saw this over and over on NE's Defense this past season, right?
So, what can you do? Ya can't ALWAYS have the very same weakside OLB pass-rushing specialist attacking the passer as an extra D-Lineman, can you? WhatTH would be the point of runnin' a versatile 3-4 D, just run a 4-3 D instead, ya know? SO, ya gotta do something OR anything to get to the oppossing team's QB, So he can't sit back in that pocket for 12 hours with ANY decent enough O-Line dealing with just the 3 simply "multiple gap-control" D-Lineman of a 3-4 D, rather than that QB having to deal with 4 "single-gap-shooting" D-Lineman of a 4-3 D. I mean, sure...In a 3-4 D, ya got an extra defending LB back somewhere to defend another area/an extra eligible receiver on offense, But WhoTH cares IF ya can't get to the QB? I don't care HOW many guys ya got back there somewhere in the secondary, IF that oppossing QB has ZERO pressure whatsoever, 1 Pro Receiver WILL get open, and any decent NFL QB, WILL find 1 open receiver with enough time in the pocket...right?
Well, ya can scissor your 4 LBs and 3 D-Lineman... Right before the snap, the 3 D-Lineman will shift to 1 side of the O-Line more, and the 4 LBs will shift their direction to counter that difference the other way, en mass. So the O has little time to react, But see ya gotta have the personell. IF AD ain't a good pass-rusher like TBC is, and TBC ain't a good run defending OLB like AD, The O will simply know that IF you scissor and shift your D-lineman, TBC is probably gonna be the one coming from the open side. Same goes for the D-Line where Ty Warren is no true pas-rushing threat, so WhoTH is gonna be scared on Offense, IF NE scissors their D-Line over where Ty Warren as the DE is now on the side of the O-Line with less O-Lineman?
Either way, NE simply can't do THAT. Dallas kinda does something like this, called "The Philips 3-4 D." More scissoring, more of those D-0Lineman shooting through single gaps/holes in the O-Line, with 1 LB blitzing from 1 of the sides...But again, Need personell, and man...Ya gonna run a 4-3, just have that other D-Lineman, and 1 less LB, IF that LB is ALWAYS going to blitz...Don't sell your D-Line short like that, and disguise your Defense in other ways...
~SEE ALL, IF you undertsnad 1 single thing about the 3-4 D, Make it this: It's more versatile, but that versatility don't mean squat, IF you don't have these insanely freakish players with both those physical skills, and that total and complete game in their skill-set...More versatile than a 4-3, far more complicated in both scheme and each player doing their jobs perfectly.~
Second, Ya can do what I previously talked about what Pittsburgh does with those crazy stunts...Called "The Lebeau 3-4." The good thing is that you're attacking the Offense and moreso confusing the Offense, and since it's a specialized overall defensive play, Each defender has less responsibility, not in roles, BUT in how each of those roles could be possibly varied by what another defender does/what type of play the offense does. The bad thing is that you're giving up some of the varied role versatility of that 3-4 Defense, and exploiting yourself to unbelievably massive potential game-changing plays IF the Offense picks/executes the play correctly. BUT Pittsburgh, often includes zone-blitzes too...
So what on earth can a 3-4 team do to attack the QB? Well, Ya can have what's called a "zone blitz". In any real "normal blitz" defensive package, You're throwing 5-6 guys at an Offense, alright? So, those remaining 6, but as low as 5 dudes are left covering a huge expanse of the secondary...Zone=Not a good idea with that much room for a smaller number of defenders to cover so much ground. Man-Man Coverage=Better idea, but someone fails, bu-bye, TD. In comes the "zone blitz" by a 3-4 team. Gotta add pressure to the QB, but don't wanna give up a TD. In a zone blitz, either a LB and/or a Safety (or BOTH) is comin' on 1 side of the field, and See-ALL those other Defenders gotta know it and react accordingly with differing their roles by shifting (cheating) to fill in those area gaps from any and all of those defenders trying to put pressure on the Offensive QB... Yet again, The BIG thing this equals for a 3-4 D trying to limit a QBs passing time, Is MORE complications...more perfection. ~CONCLUSION
: 3-4 Defense-Insanely Versatile, Insanely complicated with it being run adequately in a fashion to stop things the Offense can do. NEEDED: Personel with unreal total skill-sets and physical-prowess. Everyone needs to do BOTH their job as a consumate intelligent team-player and accomplish it selflessly as a team in whole part
...yea, that's great. I started this thread wanting to talk about Jared Odrick's versatility as a 3-4 DE, Oh-and it's a draft thread...sweet.