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Dolphins switch to 4-3 as expected with new DC

Discussion in 'NFL Football Forum' started by Palm Beach Pats Fan, Jun 1, 2012.

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  1. Palm Beach Pats Fan

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  2. mayoclinic

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    I posted this under the "random news" thread, but it's probably deserving of it's own thread.

    Koa Misi seems like the odd man out right now. Pats' fans scream about how Jermaine Cunningham struggled last year, but Misi was a top-40 pick and really struggled as well, and has had off-field issues as well (3 felony counts stemming from an incident in California). It's not clear where he fits right now.

    I'm also a little dubious of Jared Odrick playing the Jonathan Fanene role of a 4-3 LDE moving inside on sub packages. I'm not sure he's quick enough to play outside in a 4-3, though obviously Red Bryant could do it at 323#.
  3. Guimond3434

    Guimond3434 Rookie

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    When I read news like this, it makes me happy the Patriots are who they are. So many teams try year in and out to find a "scheme" that works. From a 3-4, to a 4-3, to a Tampa-2....every off season I read about teams "switching" their personnel around. And every year, those teams that switch things around struggle, because they are constantly having to do different things every year.

    It really highlights why BB is considered a "defensive mastermind". Teams are always switching things around because they can't figure out what works. Yet BB just sits back....picks a player or two here and there, and has a defense that is successful as a 3-4, 4-3, Sub-Package, Hybrid....even that "roaming cow" defense we saw a few years ago. And on top of that, he can switch between any form of defense almost instantly...during a game between plays even. NO team in the NFL can do that.

    So while Miami "changes things up" again, trying to find a defense that works, BB and the Patriots are sitting back, laughing.
  4. mayoclinic

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    At 250#, I'm not sure how Cameron Wake will hold up playing full-time DE in a 4-3 scheme. A lot will depend on how he is used. But Wake was a liability against the run as a 3-4 OLB, much less as a 4-3 DE.

    I'm always a little suspicious when teams try to adapt their personnel to a new scheme, as opposed to building the scheme around their personnel.
  5. Deus Irae

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    Some teams struggle, some teams don't. Houston didn't struggle when they switched.
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Very true, and it remains to be seen whether the Dolphins struggle. But one key difference is that Houston went out and drafted a top 3-4 DE prospect in JJ Watt, and had guys in Barwin and Reed who were pretty well suited to play 3-4 OLB. I'm not as convinced that Miami's personnel will be as well suited to their new scheme, but we'll have to see.
  7. Guimond3434

    Guimond3434 Rookie

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    Houston is a special case...they went from 31st in the league to 1st in one offseason...I put a chunk of their success on having an outstanding draft (JJ Watt and Brooks Reed where instant stars) and Wade Philips personally. So I don't put so much weight on their defensive success on their philosophy switch then I do on other factors.
  8. Deus Irae

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    So, what's your argument for the 2009 Packers?

    If you make a claim that teams struggle when they switch, and you then rule out the examples that show teams not struggling when they switch, you'll find that your initial argument is always going to be correct.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  9. mayoclinic

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    My only observation would be that the 2009 Packers, like the 2011 Texans, went out and used 2 high draft picks on players who were excellent schematic fits for their new scheme - NT BJ Raji at #9 and OLB Clay Matthews at #26. I believe that it does help to have talent that projects well to your scheme. Again, I'm agnostic as to how the switch works out for Miami. But I'm not as convinced that their personnel is as good a fit for their new scheme as was the case with Houston or Green Bay.

    Houston and Green Bay were also teams who were already very good on offense and who could afford to invest in their defenses when making a schematic shift. The Dolphins, in contrast, had a woeful offense and used 3 of their top 4 picks this year on that side of the ball (Ryan Tannehill, Jonathan Martin and Michael Egnew, with Olivier Vernon the lone defensive pick day 1 or 2). They also didn't go after any potential impact defenders in free agency. Again, it helps to be able to target players who fit your scheme. Maybe the Phins thought that they already had the pieces in place, but I'm a bit dubious. Again, time will tell.
  10. Palm Beach Pats Fan

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    Wade Phillips and Dom Capers can put in new schemes and make it work, given good personnel.

    Kevin Coyle? Bengals? Longtime defense backs coach team never having much of a defense or overall, consistent success over his tenure?

    I have no idea what positives he brings to the table. Not much, I hope.
  11. Deus Irae

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    I agree with the last sentence, especially because we're looking at a Dolphins team that was 6th in points allowed last season. I just don't buy the initial argument about teams struggling with the switch. It seems pretty clear that struggles, or lack thereof, have mostly to do with whether or not teams have the personnel to handle the switch, and not just the switch itself. I think the Patriots have been a pretty good example of that throughout BB's tenure. Example (obviously simplified):

    Steve Martin = bad defense
    Ted Washington = good defense

    I think the Dolphins are going to suck. I also think the switch is a bad idea because their focal point defender, who just signed a $49 million extension, isn't good enough against the run to make the 4-3 work without the help of an offense that forces opponents to pass most of the time (i.e. Patriots, Manning-led Colts, Saints, Packers). I just don't buy the automatic "Switch = struggle" argument. We've seen too much that runs counter to such a notion.
  12. mayoclinic

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    I think we're in general agreement that teams struggle with a schematic switch when their personnel are weak and aren't suited for the schematic change, and do better when their personnel are stronger and are better suited for the switch.

    I also don't buy an automatic "switch=struggle" argument. But I do question the switch for the Dolphins, in 2 regards:

    1. Their defense was decent in 2011. It was the offense which let them down. So why switch defensive schemes on something that's working fairly well?

    2. Are their personnel well-suited to the switch? Particularly (1) does it expose Cameron Wake's poor run defense more, (2) where does Koa Misi fit, and (3) is Jared Odrick versatile enough to play 4-3 LDE?
  13. Kjmass1

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    So are you saying you were happy with the performance of the Patriots Defense last year? While they came together at the end, I would say most people were laughing at us with that defense we put out on the field.

    Did BB coach up the players he had to work with? Yes. But overall, big picture, drafting, etc, the defense was nothing to boast about.
  14. The Gr8est

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    Overall big picture?

    It's a team effort, an asset used to acquire an offensive player is unavailable to acquire a defensive player.

    The goal is to win a SB.

    Big picture, the Pats were a hair away from winning the Superbowl.

    That IS something to brag about.
  15. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But didn't BB totally switch schemes his 2nd year with the Patriots once he had a chance to mold the roster? And didn't last year's 4-3 heavy defense look mighty different from the Willie-Tedy era? Etc.

    I think what you're really talking about is not keeping the same SCHEME but keeping the same COACH! And of course, consistency at the HC position is as much a product of success as an engine of it.

    Or to put it another way, which would concern you more for this season's defense, switching to a whole new scheme but keeping coach Belichick or keeping the same scheme and switching to coach Sparano?
  16. Palm Beach Pats Fan

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    If that was a poll question, it would be the first 100-0 poll in forum history. Well, at least until some Jet interloper came along to leave a turd in the punch bowl.
  17. captain stone

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    I agree about Odrick; and as far as Red Bryant being mis-cast at 4-3 DE is concerned,
    well that just Pete being Pete. I predict double-digit losses for Seattle this season.
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Except that Bryant actually does a pretty good job as a 4-3 jumbo DE. The Pats made a run at him this offseason, but Seattle paid him $35M / 5 years to stay, so the Pats went for Jonathan Fanene instead. I'm very high on Fanene, but Bryant would have been a total beast for us.
  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This may deserve it's own thread, but the Jets are apparently also moving towards using more 4-3 fronts:

    Notes: Sparano isn't Captain Crunch Time - Jets Blog - ESPN New York

    As with Jared Odrick in Maimi, I'm not sure I see 315# Muhamad Wilkerson being able to play 4-3 LDE. They'll certainly have plenty of beef up front with Coples, DeVito, Pouho and Wilkerson.
  20. AndyJohnson

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    That could be the worst 43 DL in the NFL. And the LBs behind them aren't exactly world beaters.
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