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D Formations with our current roster

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by JSn, Sep 7, 2009.

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  1. JSn

    JSn Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    OK, I'm not here to play expert, because I'm still learning. But I DO hope this thread will draw some of our X&O guys in.

    There's a mound of argument between 4-3 and 3-4. Probably until the Seymour trade, it seemed like 4-3 was destiny.

    What I want to know is what line-up's make a solid 4-3, which make a solid 3-4 and which grouping can best morph when facing a hurry up offense.

    BTW, I'm looking for thoughtful conversation, not a bar-brawl.

    DL - Brace, Wright, Pryor, Green, Warren, Wilfork (these guys are DL in either formation, correct?)

    DE/LB - Burgess, Banta-Cain, AD (the last being spec, but he could drop to end in a 4-3, I think)

    LB - Guyton, Mayo, Ninkovich, Thomas, Woods, Alexander


    I think my questions are:

    1) Can TBC or Burgess play OLB in a 3-4 since that won't hide anything from the offense?

    2) Have my eyes and ear deceived me, or is Alexander actually a serviceable LB, unlike former LB/ST ace Izzo?

    3) How do you assign the DL group? Older projections had Wright as a backup NT and Brace coming in to Back up NT. Obviously those guys can move around - where to?

    4) Is the 1-2 down 3-4 now a line of Brace/Wilfork/Warren?

    5) In the 4-3, are we less likely to have 2-down players or is that unchanged by the formation?

    I feel like the 4-3 is risky, improved DB's or not. With so many teams switching to 3-4, is there a reason we are showing a lot of 4-3 beyond personnel? After all, it's not like BB and co. don't choose the team they field.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  2. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    The base d on 1st down will still be a 3-4 to stop the run. The starters

    Warren Wilfolk Brace, Pryor to rotate at NT, Green, Wright To rotate at DE

    AD MAyo Guyton Woods.




    However with the # of pts the O will score we will spend > 50% of our time in a nickle or dime package. In the nickle we will play 4-2-5, AD & Mayo will be the LB's. Take your pick on the DL lots of rotation to keep the big guys fresh.


    DT rotation: Wilfolk, Pryor, Brace, Wright take 2
    DE rotation: Burgess, BantaCain Take 1
    DE Green Wright Take 1


    The depth on the DL (especially the surprise emergence of Pryor), allow the trading of Seymour without (Hopefilly IMO) too much damage to the D overall.
     
  3. Shockt327

    Shockt327 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    ^^^

    The Jumbo set will not be used on 1st down. In today's NFL, 1st down is not a running down anymore. The jumbo will be used in 3rd/4th and short situations.
     
  4. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    We do not have a 290 LB speed edge rusher like pepper,freeney ,will smith ,mario william , Dumerville etc etc ...


    Burgess is 260 and so in banta .In oakland burgess regressed as at 260 he got hammerred in the NFL. He could not stay healthy.

    We can play out 300 LB DT at END but then forget about Rush as our Speed guys from the edge are slow DT.
     
  5. Fencer

    Fencer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    Seymour, Warren, and Green all started at NT but transitioned more to DE fairly soon. I believe the same has happened w/ Wright.

    I think any of Green, Wright, or Brace could wind up as the RDE starter.
     
  6. flasox27

    flasox27 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    Just check the weights on the people you cited. Aside from Peppers and Williams, the other rushers are within 5 pounds of Burgess's weight.
     
  7. Trocadile

    Trocadile On the Roster

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    The 4-3 that BB used in the preseason and practices, which some have called a jumbo 4-3, was basically his 3-4 with one of the ILB replaced by a DT. So, Warren-Wilfork-Seymour were still on the field with one of Brace, Pryor or Wright playing next to Wilfork. I think he was either toying with this or committing to it because he doesn't feel he has an ILB to play next to Mayo who can reliably take on a guard. This is basically the same reason he switched to it in 2001 - Cox and Johnson got injured, leaving him short of ILB, so he moved Bruschi to MLB and went to a four man line. But the line remained basically the same, except for the added DT, i.e., he had Hamilton and Pleasant at end, even though they were really 3-4 ends. The 4-3 also made sense that year because he had no true nose tackle (although Seymour did well playing there).

    Whether he goes 3-4 or 4-3 this year (and, as in 2001, he'll stick with whatever works) I think you'll still see Warren and Wilfork at their usual positions along with whoever replaces Seymour (Green, Wright and Brace all being options). He'll then either insert a tackle or play Guyton inside rather than outside and add Woods.

    Burress and TBC I don't see playing in the base defense much. They seem destined for sub packages (4-2-5, etc.) for now.

    Along with the weakness at ILB, I think he's intrigued by the 4-3 because of the games he can play with his DTs. Wilfork, Brace and Pryor all have unusual size/athleticism and BB had them playing different techniques on different snaps, i.e., he would switch who was over center (if anyone) and who was 2-gapping versus 1-gapping. Wright while not as big, can also be part of this.

    All this could change if he acquires or converts (Ninkovich?) someone to be an ILB who can take on a guard head-up or if Guyton proves more capable of it than I think he will.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  8. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    exactly, freeney took 2 yrs to recover from him foot injury ,dumerville has missed a bunch of games and so had smith who has slowed down.
    people do not hold up there. Take burgess he was in probowl and after 2-3 yrs could not stay on the field . Its the pounding these guys take.
    I have idea how suddenly burgess is going to morph into a healthy 4-3 end .
     
  9. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    TBC and Burgess will be playing ~ 30 snaps per game, If they were trying to play 65 snaps durability would be an issue, we're not going to ask them to do that. Also they won't be on the field for plays that are more likely to be running plays.
     
  10. satz

    satz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    But on off tackle runs you are asking them to block a 300 LB tackle and then not get push around. I can see them effective in passing down but in base packaged where a team pulls a gaurd you are asking them and a LB at 240 lb to block 2 300 lb guys running at them and then get to the 220LB rb behind them.Just ask the colts why their Run defence is so bad. they have too many lighter people and big team will push them around.

    Team might just pull their atheletic tackles for a big bruser and run behind a FB knowing they have a good chance to get to the secondary on tackle runs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  11. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    The base 3-4 will most likely be Warren - Wilfork - Green/Wright.
    -- Wright plays better at RDE, he and Green rotating will keep them fresh.
    -- Brace will spell Warren and Wilfork.
    -- Pryor would most likely work in at NT in a 3-4, but I don't ever recall seeing him used in a base 3-4 in the preseason games (he was used as a NT in a 3-3 Nickel).
    -- LDE depth chart looks like: Warren - Brace - Wright
    -- NT: Wilfork - Brace - Wright/Pryor
    -- RDE: Green - Wright - Wilfork/Pryor/Brace

    Base 3-4 Linebacker is Thomas - Mayo - Guyton - Woods/TBC.
    -- Ninkovich looked very good against the run as an OLB, he might move ahead of TBC in this formation to keep TBC fresh for the edge rush role.
    -- Burgess is crosstraining to be capable of playing 3-4 OLB, that's a depth development measure and not a primary assignment.
    -- Ninkovich will probably be crosstraining at ILB, again a depth issue.
    -- Alexander is primary Special Teams, but he is a more capable position player at 3-4 ILB than Izzo.
    -- I would expect BB to give Woods the odd practice rep at ILB for crosstraining purposes.
    -- LOLB depth chart: Thomas - Wood - Ninkovich - TBC - Burgess
    -- SILB: Guyton - Mayo - Thomas - Alexander
    -- WILB: Mayo - Guyton - Thomas - Alexander
    -- ROLB: Woods - TBC - Ninkovich - Thomas

    A base 4-3 line would look like Warren - Wilfork/Brace/Pryor - Pryor/Wright/Brace - Green/Wright.
    -- With six DL the Pats aren't planning on running a 4-3 any more often than they are the base 3-4. Seven DL wouldn't have made much more difference.
    -- LDE depth chart: Warren - Wright - Burgess/Ninkovich
    -- NT: Wilfork - Brace - Pryor
    -- 3-tech: Pryor - Wilfork - Wright
    -- RDE: Green - Wright - TBC/Woods

    Base 4-3 Linebackers:
    -- SLB depth chart: Thomas - Guyton - Woods - Ninkovich - Alexander
    -- MLB: Mayo - Guyton - Thomas - Alexander
    -- WLB: Guyton - Thomas - Woods - Ninkovich - Alexander

    A Nickel/Dime 40 front would look like Burgess - DL - DL - TBC.
    -- The DL are interchangeable, any combination works.
    -- LDE depth chart: Burgess - Thomas - Ninkovich
    -- RDE: TBC - Woods - Ninkovich

    Nickel Linebacker: Thomas - Mayo.
    -- Guyton plugs in at either LB.
    -- Woods, Ninkovich, and Alexander can plug in at either as needed.

    Dime Linebacker depth chart: Mayo - Thomas - Guyton.

    3-3 Nickel is simply the 4-3 Nickel with one less DL, just don't expect Brace to draw the DL assignment.
     
  12. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Since most of the other threads are rehashing stale topics, I'm bored enough to answer your questions directly.
    Yes. TBC can play today, however, like Thomas, he's a better edge rusher than run defender off the edge. Burgess is in development, the goal isn't to turn him into a 3-4 OLB, but to improve depth by developing so he can play upright and remain effective if needed.

    Always was, unless you belonged to a subset of complainers who need one scapegoat to take the blame for a loss.

    Done.

    Done.

    3-4 or 4-3 there will be two-down players, it's the nature of situational football.

    There's a "Defending the Wildcat" thread running around here somewhere, it specifically notes the need to penetrate into the backfield to disrupt the plays. Further, there's another thread which resurrected the article from this past February which discussed Green Bay's conversion to a 3-4 and noted how NE was in the 3-4 around 15% of the time - NE spent most of it's time in Nickel/Dime packages. As I see it:
    3-4: 15%
    4-3: 15%
    4-2 Nickel: 50%
    3-3 Nickel: 5%
    4-1 Dime: 5%
    1-4 Dime: < 1%
    3-2 Dime: < 1%
    Goal line: < 1%
    Something new the coaches have cooked up: < 1%
    etc.

    That gives you a rough idea of where the emphasis is needed. BB built a D-line known for being tall to clog the passing lanes and strong to clog the running lanes. He had a Specialist - Jarvis Green - who could do it all, but was excellent at penetrating into the backfield to pressure the QB. Seymour and Warren and Wilfork and Green and Wright are all good at collapsing the pocket - either through penetration or pure strength/leverage pushing the OL back into the QB's face. Pryor has been an outstanding pass rusher in preseason, he's an inch shorter than Wilfork and a little lighter, but not so much as to limit his anchor in the run game. Brace is the only DL who isn't really explosive, but he's very strong and one heck of an anchor, he's more limited to the run game for now, but give Coaches Woicik and Nash a couple years and he'll be surprising everyone with his explosiveness. The three DL on the practice Squad are more of the same. What you have are DL drafted and developed to two-gap in any formation to close the rush lanes, penetrate the backfield against Wildkitty formations to disrupt the play, and penetrate against the pass to collapse the pocket and pressure the QB into a mistake. If one is available, I expect BB to draft another Seymour/Warren type, and Brace may turn into that despite our thinking he was to be a lesser Wilfork, but BB hasn't let the shortage of prototype 5-Technique players stop him from taking advantage of other skill sets which can also get the job done.
     
  13. Frezo

    Frezo In the Starting Line-Up

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    Box, I recall in past years Green being an effective pass rusher from NT. Do you think we might see a bit of that or has the talent at the position surpassed him?
     
  14. fester

    fester On the Game Day Roster

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    Re: D Formations with our current roster.

    IIRC Dumerville is a small fireplug who weighs no where close to 290 pounds.
    Freeney is about 265 to 270 (max), Jevon Kearse was in the same weight area as Freeney, Will Smith is ~280.

    Pepper and Williams are the only two DEs that are legitimate 290 to 300 lb quasi-speed rushers, although both of them can be better categorized as power guys with a lot of speed instead of speed guys with some power.

    Most good 4-3 defenses don't have as their primary pass rusher a 290lb DE --- the reason is that the only place to get that end is with a Top 10 pick in the draft. The standard speed rusher is 250 to 270 who is vulnerable to get run at.
     
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Green is good anywhere along the line on passing downs.
     
  16. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Follow up :D

    do you think that Green projects as more Valuable in the current (apparent) way he'll be used in this system then he did, in the last one (understanding that the changes and value are incremental as well).

    In other words, can he be utilized more effectively in the way we appear to be going here as he is slightly smaller, faster and aggressive, and also More valuable, as in compared to the way he was primarily used before, not as to other personnel

    Thanks :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  17. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    There's no doubt. Green excels in a 4 man line, but gets eaten up in a 3 man line.
     
  18. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Green is just as good 3-4/4-3, first, second, third down, doesn't matter. He may not be a Seymour, but he's very close. People whine because his cap hit is currently $5.4M, but that's signing bonus amortization, he was and is a very cost effective DL, to go along with being very effective as a DL.
     
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