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2009's scrapped 4-3

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by miDeuce, Apr 5, 2010.

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  1. miDeuce

    miDeuce Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I was rewatching some of the early games from 2009 and I never remember the unique 4-3 defense the Pats ran coming up for discussion. I had asked the guys at Smart Football about it... here was what they had said.

    The 4-3 they appeared to want to run was a little different than usual 4-3s in that it was basically a 6 man line, with Guyton and Adalius standing up on the ends with 4 down lineman and then Mayo as the only linebacker. I wonder what the philosophy for this defense was... my best guess would be to keep Mayo free while generating pass rush (or trying to) from the d-line.

    This defense was seemingly scrapped around halfway into the season in an effort to simplify things and they returned to more of a 3-4 base. Perhaps they went back into from time to time, but I remember training camp reports that they spent a lot of time working on this defense.

    I'm wondering if they try to go back to this defense again this year, especially with the lack of a true RDE in the mold of Seymour, but they were working on this defense before Big Sey was traded, so it couldn't be all based on lack of 3-4 personelle. Any X and O gurus out there that have any thoughts on this?
     
  2. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, they definitely were using a 4-3 for the first half of last season; they didn't switch until after the bye week or so.

    Even when Mayo was out, they still stayed in that defense. Guyton shifted to MLB and the OLBs were Woods and Thomas.

    Eventually those OLBs proved to be ineffective, and the 3-4 made a comeback by November or so, and Woods and Thomas were phased out and we saw more of Ninkovich and Burgess by the end of the season. This was even when there were injuries along the DL - Wilfork, Warren, Green - leading the Pats to start Brace at NT for the Bills game and Burgess at 3-4 LDE for the Bills and Texans games - obviously undersized.

    In the end neither defense was all that effective, as we saw with the 4-3 against the Bills in September and the 3-4 against the Ravens in January. Probably one of the contributing factors to Pees' demise in New England.

    For this year, a lot hinges on what the Pats do in the draft. I personally think they're going to try and get Odrick in the 1st round, and he will solidify that RDE spot for years to come, with Warren and Wilfork tied up at the other two spots. Inside Mayo has one spot, and preferably I think the team would like to see another guy to rotate with Guyton at ILB, since he is more effective against the pass. McKenzie could be that guy, but we don't know yet. That leaves OLB, where the Pats will undoubtedly focus some of their attention on draft day; Banta-Cain makes one, but ideally you're looking for two more good bodies at that position.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2010
  3. miDeuce

    miDeuce Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    The interesting thing will be to see what they do if they don't get Odrick, and lack a true 6' 5"/300lb DRE as they enter camp. I am hopeful that McKenzie can win the SILB job, I think Guyton would be far more effective as a passing down coverage LB. He can run, but I think he's miscast in early downs. Regardless I think Guyton should be improved next year, and better at whatever he's asked to do.

    The thing to me is that while everyone thinks we need to draft a pass rushing DE/OLB conversion guy (like Graham/Hughes/Kindle), wouldn't we actually need more of a run stopper/coverage OLB to replace Thomas at LOLB?

    Not to say passrusher isn't a need but I think you could get by drafting a second rounder to replace Burgess' hand-down pass rushing role (assuming he doesn't re-sign).

    I guess by the time the season starts BB will see what he has and scheme his defense to make best use of it's strengths and hide it's weaknesses.
     
  4. pats1

    pats1 Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think you need both. Belichick said at the coaches' breakfast two weeks ago that they'd address Burgess in the coming week; that week has come and gone so I'm presuming they will not re-sign him. Even if they did, he didn't prove to be a consistent pass rusher last season. In either case you're looking for both a pass rushing and run stopping OLB, because it's only a matter of time until Thomas is traded (maybe on draft day, like Hobbs).
     
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