Re: Reason(s) behind the switch to a 4-3?
posted at 8/4/2011 1:46 PM EDT
Hi everyone, great to be a NE fans these days!
I did a little bit of light reading, http://football.calsci.com/DefensiveLine2.html,
and here is the problem I have with the 4-3 as quoted from the source aforementioned. Please read some snippets below that raise some good points if you agree with the source.
Here are the important points I took away.
1. Awesome DE's are key to a good 4-3 defense - the Pats don't have them.
2. The 3-4 traditionally struggles against the pass - really?
3. In the 3-4 all 4 LBs need to be good in pass coverage - how about just 1 or 2 like the Pats?
4. The 4-3 defense is better against the pass.
"It's very difficult to find two good, fast, 290 pound defensive ends to make your 4-3 work. If you do find them, they're worth $5m to $12M per year each. If you don't find them, you're in for a very long season of living and dying by the blitz. The best defenses have these guys and do very little blitzing."
"In the 4-3 defense, you need two very large and athletic defensive tackles and two somewhat large and very athletic defensive ends. These guys are very hard to find. It seems there's about one excellent defensive end prospect in each draft, which is not nearly enough to go around. If you can't find a couple of good defensive ends, you're in for a long season of living and dying by the blitz.
One reaction to this has been to develop the 3-4 defense. In this defense, you need one really large nose tackle."
"The 3-4 defense was motivated by two factors: the difficulty in getting good defensive ends, and the need to stop very fast running backs. This is the strength of the 3-4. The DTs keep the offensive linemen off your linebackers, leaving them free to roam the field and bring down runners."
"Unfortunately, the 3-4 has a weakness. Three DTs cannot reliably collapse the five offensive lineman pocket on the quarterback, so it becomes much harder to pressure the quarterback. Traditionally, the 3-4 has struggled against the pass
"If the 3-4 defense
finds itself late in a game protecting a lead, there is no need to switch to a prevent defense. Since all four linebackers are skilled in coverage
, you can just drop all four of them into zones, playing eight men in zone coverage. It's next to impossible to do this with a 4-3 defense."
"So in summary, the more traditional 4-3 defense seems better suited to the modern pass-friendly NFL rules, while the 3-4 defense seems more geared to stop the run based offenses of the 70s and 80s.
However, by mixing up the rushers and zone coverages to confuse the quarterback and by forcing the receivers to play a far more physical game than they would wish, the 3-4 has been successful at the highest levels, in spite of its apparent drawbacks."
In conclusion it appears NE doesn't have the guns to make either of these defenses work correctly. Lack of 4 down coverage LB's and/or lack of quality edge personell is a problem until BB brings in some edge help.
Back to square one and finding elite edge talent - BB needs to make one or two moves in that direction before the seaon begins.