3-4 and 4-3

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    We seem to have plenty of personnel for all positions and backups using a 3-4, 2-gap.

    If Mayo, Spikes and Hightower are our starters, who are the backups. Ppatriots.com lists Rivera and White. In a 4-3 it seems that we have 11 linemen and 5 linebackers, including Rivera and White.

    I suppose if one of the starters were injured, Scott or Ninkovich would be the backups.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  2. miDeuce

    miDeuce Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #50 Jersey

    I don't really see the 3-4 being that prevalent anymore, only in specific situations like in Denver last year where they whipped it up on the fly after getting gashed by Tebow. They just don't have the 5-techs anymore. Deaderick is the closest thing. Outside of him it's basically nosetackles and hybrids.

    Cunningham, Ninkovich and Scott have all played outside linebacker, and can fill in there if needed. But I think the defense now is less about 4-3 and 3-4 and more about getting athletes on the field who can rush the passer on every down. Really it almost looks more like a double nose and five linebacker defense that they showed in the preseason.
  3. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I don't care how many guys are standing up. If there aren't three guys that are at least 290 pounds, it's not a 3-4 in my mind. Considering that we didn't see that at all this preseason, I think it's safe to call the Pats a 4-3 team.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  4. Gwedd

    Gwedd PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #11 Jersey

    Or a 2-5. I guess we'll see what transpires this Sunday.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    So, we didn't run a 3-4 last year with Andre Carter as DE? We have replaced him with Jones at 260. We still have Wilfork (325), Love (315), Deaderick (305), Brace (330), and rookie Forsten (305).

  6. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Carter from Jones doesn't change anything. The big change is from Ellis/Deaderick to Ninkovich at left end.

    In simple terms, that left end spot was filled by a big DL but is now filled by a small DL.

    In slightly more complicated terms, the left end spot went from a player who is a 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT, or 4-3 Under LE to a 3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE, or 4-3 Under Sam.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  7. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I think it might be time for a new set of designations. 3-4 and 4-3 seem to be referring to just whether the player has his hand on the ground or not, which doesn't really tell the whole story (as evidenced by the fact that different 3-4 teams run some very different styles of defense).

    What you basically have is:

    2 Big Linemen
    2 DE/OLB tweeners
    3 Linebackers

    That's the base. In any given play, this front could play a 3-4 (with one undersized DL), a 4-3, or a 2-5. I think in theory, it's designed the same way they've tried to design their offense: You can have the same set of personnel on the field but run a huge variety of plays and looks, making it harder to exploit weaknesses or gameplan against.

    That's the theory anyway, and it all depends on how well the players themselves play. But I think 3-4 and 4-3 are somewhat antiquated designations. The defense needs a new name.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  8. yukon cornelius

    yukon cornelius Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #87 Jersey

    antiquated is a good way to put it

    the game has evolved rather quickly on the defenisve side (in response to the offensive changes......the heavy use of a TE being one of the newest changes)

    it's more about putting bodies out there to create mismatches while trying to minimize mismatches.....so many tweeners, so many multiple front teams, its hard to characterize this defense, or many defenses league wide, as 4-3 or 3-4.....everyone mixes fronts, throws out hybrid fronts and hybrid athletes, its becoming way too complex to characterize with a simple designation

    what's nice is it still comes down to the simplicity of creating that bad matchup and exploiting it.......the getting that matchup has just becomethat much more complex
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Ninkovich is the 4th LB. The patriots.com depth chart is not done by the coaching staff it is guessed at by the website.
  10. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I will caution that this is what was seen in the preseason, and that was the first time in BBs career he has shown such a personnell grouping, so be careful with the certainty.
  11. SwedishPat

    SwedishPat Banned

    The game has evolved far from the running game. That is the reason, I believe, that BB has moved more towards faster/agile guys. There Really is'nt as important to stop the run anymore. Is more important to have a good pass rush and I believe that we have moved very much towards a 4-3. Our personel is very good for a 4-3, much better than it is for a 3-4.

    Our middle is still very good with the middle triangle being, Wilfork, Love and Spikes, three guys who have no problem stopping the run. Chandler is also big enough to hold the tackle and close the B-gap with him and hold contain at the same time.
  12. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    There are certainly more players on the roster now who are 4-3 capable, but I think the Pats have enough guys who are experienced enough to play the 3-4 two gap when necessary. Brace, Deadrick, Wilfolk and Love are all big and experienced enough Also Mayo, Hightower, Spikes and Rivera are big enough to play the 2 ILB spots if necessary.

    So while I would agree that this roster is more geared to play a 4-3 more than in previous years, I doubt BB has completely abandoned more than a decade of 3-4 philosophy because of a perceived notion that the "game has changed".

    In fact we might see a lot more of the 3-4 in this next game. The 3-4 is a superior run defense alignment, and guess what the Titans best offensive weapon is? It is also better structured to keep running QB's inside the pocket. Coincidentally The Titans 2nd best offensive threat is their QB's legs. Look for Jones et al standing at OLB in those situations, especially running downs.
  13. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    A fair point for sure, though BB (more than most coaches) seems willing to try new ideas if he thinks it will fit the current situation better. Still, you're right, the preseason can be a bit of a mirage, to put it lightly.

    My opinion though is based more on the types of players we have, their versatility (conceptual though it may be for some of them at the moment), and who appeared to be the "starters" throughout camp and the preseason. The potential is there for a tremendous amount of flexibility, with the disclaimer always being: Let's see how it actually shakes out on the field when it counts.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Ninkovich played LE in the 4-3 last year. He is the starter in the 3-4, unless Cunningham ahs beaten him out.

  15. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I disagree to an extent.
    It is not less important to stop the run. It is important less often.
    If you cannot stop the run,. you will get gashed, and put the other team in favorable passing situations. The best pass defenses are usually ones that can't be run on well.
    With the continuing increase in passing in the NFL, there are fewer runs to defend, but the importance of defending them is still as vital to defensive success.
    This is the big risk we will take if we try to play with 2 Tampa2 style DEs. We could get gashed on the ground, which will cause the secondary to be more vulnerable, and in worse down and distances more often, and may be playing into the hands of teams who feel the best way to beat us is to keep Brady on the sidelines.
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    No he did not.
    He played some in sub, but Deaderick and Ellis were the LDE in the 43 base exclusively.
  17. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Truly the difference IMO is the LDE spot. Using a 260 lber there is essentially saying the base and the nickel are being merged to an extent.
    If we do see that lineup, we probably will see more base than we have in the past, because it is a concession to sacrifice run D in order to better defend the pass.
    It may very well be that we have a base with 3 big DLs that is used even less often than last year, perhaps even 20% or less, and a second version of the base that plas 2 small DEs, and is used the other 20% of the time we used base last year plus up to another 20% that we used nickel.
    There are many possibilities.
  18. Bhelmet

    Bhelmet Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    A bit if a mix - mostly 4-3
  19. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    No doubt. It will be interesting to see how they come out on Sunday, though even then it may not be terribly representative of the norm. They're likely focusing on the run more this week, where against a better pass offense they might look totally different.
  20. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Last year's base defense:
    LE: Ellis/Deaderick
    DTs: Wilfork and Love, with some Haynesworth early
    RE: Carter
    Sam: Ninkovich
    Mike: Spikes
    Will: Mayo

    This year's base defense:
    LE: Ninkovich
    DTs: Wilfork and Love
    RE: Jones
    Sam: Hightower
    Mike: Spikes
    Will: Mayo
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