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What if BB is moving to the "3-4 Over" defense?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by MaineMan, Feb 5, 2010.

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  1. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    As per the BuffaloRumblings blog, WRT the announcement by new DC, George Edwards, of moving the defense toward a base 3-4 . . . starting out with a hybrid 3-4 "look" similar to the "3-4 Over" run by Arizona and Dallas . . .

    The theory is that it can be easier to disguise the pass rush/be more creative with it, especially important if it isn't overwhelmingly powerful to begin with . . . an edge-rushing OLB can put his hand on the ground on passing downs (or not) . . .

    ---------

    This sounds to me a lot like where BB may be taking the Pats defense - to the "3-4 Over" - but coming from the other direction. My admittedly weak justification for thinking this is plausible:
    - BB drafted THREE DTs last year (mostly one-gap guys, it seems to me) and brought three more into camp and at least one more was on the roster for a time during the regular season.
    - He traded Seymour, who fits a classic base 3-4, but not so much for the 3-4 Over (and, yes, there were other reasons for trading Seymour at the time).
    - He moved Wright and Wilfork around into one-gap positions way more than in the past.
    - He picked up TBC, Burgess and Ninkovich and used them as specialists or OLB/DE tweeners.

    STOP RIGHT HERE: If you prefer to argue against this "move to a 3-4 Over" happening at all (or merely being a temporary situation), please start your own thread. I'd like this thread to be exclusively devoted, as much as possible, to exploring this "what if" scenario. Thanks.


    The point being that, IF this is true (MAJOR CAVEAT), then it may significantly change the way we project how BB will move in FA and the Draft.

    My guesses:

    - Wilfork will be Franchised and traded.
    - Jarvis Green will be allowed to walk.
    - Bodden and TBC will be high-priority FA retentions on the defense.

    - Classic 3-4 DEs (6'5"+, 290+ lbs) will not be a priority acquisition goal.
    - A classic 3-4 NT to replace Wilfork will not be a priority acquisition goal.
    - One-gap DTs may become a higher-priority acquisition goal.
    - DE/OLB tweeners (6'1"-6'3", 260-275 lbs) with speed and good gap/edge discipline, rather than coverage skills, WILL become a higher priority acquisition. Similar requirements may also apply to ILB acquisitions.
    - Another good "coverage" safety may become a higher priority acquisition (and Brandon McGowan may be traded/cut).

    So - for the sake of discussion, let's say this "move to (something like) a 3-4 Over" is actually transpiring.

    What other player characteristics/types of players (beyond those I've mentioned above might be required?

    What players currently on the roster fit this scheme/these specs best (including, possibly, Wilfork)? Fit worst (or not at all)?
    What potential FAs would fit best? Worst? Not at all?
    What potential draft picks fit best? Worst? Not at all?

    Also, what/who might the Pats get in trade or Wilfork and, if draft picks, how might they be used?

    Again, if you prefer to argue against the possibility of this "move to a 3-4 Over" happening at all, please refrain from doing so here. If you have ideas about how this would work and/or who the Pats might try to acquire to make it work, have at it.
     
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    "- BB drafted THREE DTs last year (mostly one-gap guys, it seems to me) and brought three more into camp and at least one more was on the roster for a time during the regular season."

    Brace is a classic NT in any scheme, over, under, 1-gap, or two his sole purpose in college was to eat space (blockers).
    Pryor is indeed from a one-gap system and is a good penetrator, but he's also technically sound and has demonstrated two-gap capability - which jumped him ahead of Brace who is relearning technique.
    Richard came from a two-gap system (Georgia Tech), similar to LeKevin Smith and Adams before him (Nebraska).
    Grady is the one true anomoly in my mind when he was signed to the P-Squad, but he was also the first one cut when space was needed so it could just be BB is trying to develop him as a two-gap player.

    Arizona derives it's 3-4 from the Pittsburgh model. Dallas gets theirs from a similar school. NE experimented with more one-gap playing style last season, but went back to two-gap when they wanted to stabilize things.

    Regardless of Coach Edward's comments on DL size, NE's DL are the same size or smaller then their counterparts in Arizona and Dallas. The 4-3 speculation last year proved true, but in the end, not that effective, I'm expecting NE to draft for talent and technique, and adapt whomever they bring in into the standard NE base 3-4 multiple defense BB's always used.
     
  3. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    So, should I simply delete this thread? Since it couldn't possibly be true - and, obviously I'm way off base for even thinking so - then there's no point in exploring the "what if", is there?
     
  4. Box_O_Rocks

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    Explore all you want, your speculation is fine, but I don't see the moves to indicate that's the case.
     
  5. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Then, I'm not sure I understand . . .

    My purpose for this thread was to discuss the "what if?", as in "if this was the case, then what?" My hypothesis was that exploring this "what if" as a "given" (however fantastic it may seem to some) might be a healthy way for some of us to gain a more rounded perspective on the team and on prospective players - a mental exercise. I was hoping, therefore, to exclude debate on whether this "given" was reasonable/justifiable, etc. and I politely (I think) requested that commenters refrain from doing so. Twice.

    If this is somehow inappropriate or unreasonable, then please tell me how I go about deleting the thread and I'll do so.
     
  6. Charles Barwin

    Charles Barwin Practice Squad Player

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    Well, you could talk about what prospects might make sense for each position.

    Who would make a good nose tackle in this scheme out of the top 60 prospects?
     
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I do beg your pardon, I misunderstood your purpose.

    As to "what if;" we'd probably see more one or two dimensional OLB acquisitions, strong pass rushers, weak minors in run defense, limited to no coverage skills - think Merriman.
     
  8. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Exactly. Great example. I mean, right now (assuming Wilfork is gone), we have Pryor, Brace, Mike Wright (sorta) and Darryl Richard. Any of those guys look like they could excel at what would essentially be (maybe) a 4-3 NT spot, AND be capable of handling 3-4 two-gap duties without getting us killed? If not . . . .

    Assuming that Suh and Gerald McCoy are out of reach, that leaves us (going by current NFLDRAFTSCOUT.com rankings and projected draft slots):

    1st Round
    #24 - Dan Williams - 6'2", 329
    #29 - Jared Odrick - 6'5", 305 (seems more like a 3-4 DE to me, but who knows?)

    2nd Round
    #33 - Brian Price - 6'2", 300
    #46 - Terrance Cody - 6'4", 370 (that just seems wrong, y'know?

    3rd Round
    #72 - Tyson Alualu - 6'2", 291
    #94 - Cam Thomas - 6'4', 331 (moving up in the rankings quickly now)

    4th Round
    #106 - Lamarr Houston - 6'3", 302
    #107 - Torrell Troup - 6'3", 310
    #129 - Arthur Jones - 6'3", 295
    #138 - D'Anthony Smith - 6'2", 300

    Free Agents:
    Casey Hampton, PIT (age 32)
    Aubrayo Franklin, SF (age 30)
    Ryan Pickett, GB (age 30)

    To repeat the question, how would these guys fit in a 3-4/4-3 hybrid defense, playing two-gap at times and one-gap at others? Maybe none of them are perfect, but then, who would best fit the position?
     
  9. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    No prob. But, with the day I've been having, I don't really want to "think Merriman" in any way, shape or form, thenkyewverrahmuch! ;)

    Seriously, though, what would you think of Brandon Graham under these circumstances? How would this change your personal big board wrt potential Pats LB and D-line draft picks? Does someone like Brian Price now come in to the picture? Or Dan Williams?

    And, don't forget, under this specific scenario, we trade Wilfork for a draft pick or two. How much we'd get for him, from who, and how would it help us drafting under this scenario are also open questions. Again, not saying I want to lose Wilfork, just making it one of the constraints built into the scenario.
     
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I had Dan Williams as my #22 pick in PATSNUTMe's drafty game, that wouldn't change because he's the one in this draft getting compared to Wilfork the most. You still want a wide body in the middle and Brace hasn't yet proven he's the answer.

    Brandon Graham would be a strong consideration because of his pass rush, but I'm sure BB would still go with DL in the first and perhaps try for Pierre-Paul and/or Lane in the second. Though the more likely move is to target guys like Kampmen, Denney, and Vanden Bosch in Free Agency. Re-signing Burgess and TBC would actually be higher priorities at that point too.
     
  11. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Kampman was one of the first FAs I though of in this scenario. I considered Vanden Bosch, but I'm not sure (though I could be swayed). Denney I hadn't considered. Interesting, though?

    What would you think about giving Kearse a Camp tryout?
     
  12. Box_O_Rocks

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  13. patsfan55

    patsfan55 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #95 Jersey

  14. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Seems like he did okay in NE's. :cool:
     
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not so much, TBC and Burgess would be better.
     
  16. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't think you would prioritize getting rid of Wilfork in an Over or Under, the Lebeau or whatever. He can penetrate and certainly be more of an asset to an attackng MLB than a smaller nose. So I think Vince would stay. Green would walk. Your first round pick, if he were available would probably be Odrick. Because if you were committed to the 34 you still need an end and he would seem to fit the bill. Your also a SILB short. But you don't need a thumper, you need a physical tackler. Someone like Morrison from Oakland. Graham would definately be a fit on the outside with his ability to get upfield and turn the action inside,while going upfield.

    As a side note. I am for moving to the Bates 43. Get Brace's @ss off the pine and clog the middle, let Mayo make plays and Guyton be an asset in coverage.
     
  17. BillBelichickFan79

    BillBelichickFan79 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Great post Maine Man. I'd love to see a switch to this type of defense with a more penetrating style. I remember BB saying in a presser that they will look at changes in all aspects, and he included scheme.

    One thought could be that maybe BB is shifting philosophies a little on the defensive side of the ball and that's why he will be more involved in the game planning and playcalling. He could be looking at installing a new/modified version of the 3-4 and wants to give Johnson and Patricia some experience in it before handing the DC title to one of them. I'm not saying this is what's happening, but it's a possibility.
     
  18. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    For this scenario, I wasn't thinking that "getting rid of Wilfork" would be a "priority." It was just that his position would become somewhat easier to fill and, therefore, given the likely contract issue/Franchise tag/potential hold-out/bad blood thing, retaining him wouldn't be such a "must".

    If you'd be so kind, please give us some more of your take on the Bates 43 compared to the 34 Over.
     
  19. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

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    It's really just two fatties in the middle. Minn. runs a similar D, but they play allot of cover 2 out of it. I think I just lean more towards covering up the guards. Let our current LBs run more freely. I think teams get into a 34 over because they are impatient to find a true NT or the rest of the personnel. It's a tough transition. With our roster I think we can morph into a version of the 43 or a hybrid. Mostly because we have some big Tackles which gives us the flexibility to put or leave just two of them on the field on passing downs. So I guess for the draft we would be looking at a ROLB who primarily plays with his hand down. Not a player like Morgan or JPP more like Graham or Hughes.
     
  20. bucky

    bucky 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    I don't think you can just say "assume Wilfork is gone" because it's far from the case. And with regard to switching defensive styles, I have to believe that BB's preference for a 2-gap style has more to do with defensive philosophy than with what players he has. Wilfork came in from a 1-gap defense. Not sure whether Seymour played 2-gap at Georgia.

    In any case, 2-gap is just a technique and can certainly be taught. And any time there's a blitz or stunt, that automatically means 1-gap technique. So the DL really practices both. And I would think the only way they would switch to exclusively 1-gap is if BB has a change of philosophy.
     
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