View Full Version : Annual 3-4 Talk Thread

02-13-2008, 04:45 PM
It's been mentioned a few times this offseason, ESPN did a thing on it. This is from Marvin:

In an interview in preparation for next week's NFL scouting combine, Lewis also said the team is currently still in a 4-3 base defense but indicated that could change in the next month as personnel changes.

OLB - Robert Geathers / Eric Henderson
ILB - Landon Johnson / Odell Thurman
ILB - Ahmad Brooks / Dhani Jones
OLB - Rashad Jeanty / Eric Henderson / David Pollack
DE - Domata Peko
NT - Draft/FA
DE - Frostee Rucker / Johnathan Fanene

Probably won't happen but hey, might as well go over it like we do every offseason it seems.

02-13-2008, 09:21 PM
i bet we are more of a hybrid d now if anything. a full on switch is very unlikely. peko could also prolly play NT with rucker and fanene at DE.

Why the Bengals
02-14-2008, 09:18 AM
as long as they do something and play hard who cares how they line up

02-14-2008, 03:10 PM
i agree to an extent but our scheme was horrible, i have never really questioned our defense's effort, but in this league its more than just that. hell on any level of football whatsoever its the same way. at some point the defense has to dictate what they do to the offense instead of just letting them take away what they give every down.

02-14-2008, 09:53 PM
I agree that Peko is capable at NT, I think we'd be well off to sign/draft a real big boy for the middle and put him outside. I think Peko would make a killer 3-4 DE, I also like Rucker/Fanene at 3-4 DE WAAAAY more than I like them at 4-3 DE.

I agree completely about not letting them dictate the game. Our defense always just lays back and lets them make the plays hoping they mess up. Any good defensive game we ever have is because either they're aggressive or the other team just blows (See Rams w/ Brock Berlin).

I like our players in the 3-4.

In the end... Our biggest problems seem pretty simple: Play smart and TACKLE!

Why the Bengals
02-15-2008, 08:40 AM
play hard. All the good defenses are nasty SOB"S who knock the snot out of people and are arrogant about it. That swagger and aggresive attitude is what we need, hopefully Zimmer instills that into our young guys

02-15-2008, 08:47 AM
I don't think it will happen for a few reasons:
1.) We are already struggling with depth at linebacker, and two of the projected returning players haven't played in 2 seasons. Brooks hasn't played an entire season either.
2.) The talent on the defensive line is already non-existent, so giving them more responsibility isn't going to work. I don't think any of the players we have currently are good enough to play in the 3-4.
3.) Landon and Dhani aren't very good fits in the 3-4.
4.) We don't have the pass rushers at linebacker. Geathers is not a proven pass rusher, and Pollack shouldn't be counted on in his first season back. Jeanty is a solid player, but not a threat to the QB.

02-15-2008, 01:10 PM
regardless i think we will see some 3-4 looks. we should at least let them try it, who knows it could work pretty well.

02-15-2008, 02:00 PM
I think Henderson could be a good 3-4 pass rushing OLB. While Landon isn't a great fit for the 3-4 I think he could be servicable.

I agree about LB depth, regardless of which scheme is chosen LB must be addressed.

02-16-2008, 10:40 PM
jeanty/henderson and geathers outside looks pretty nice. guess we'll have to wait and see.

Mr. Stiller
02-16-2008, 11:07 PM
I think Cincinnati has the tools to play the 3-4. Short a 3-4 NT (Peko?) and WOLB.

If I were in their situation. I'd run the roster a bit like this (Sorry about guys I'm not really familiar with.)

Which I'd say draft:

1) Vernon Gholston, 3-4OLB/4-3 WDE, Ohio State
1*) Malcolm Kelly, WR, Oklahoma
2) Fred Davis, TE, USC
3) Marcus Howard, ROLB, Georgia
4) Robert Felton, OG, Arkansas
5) Curtis Johnson, LOLB, Clark-Atlanta
6) BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Mississippi

*I'm taking a risk in saying CJ will be an Eagle.

LDE: Domata Peko -> Bryan Robinson
NT: Sedrick Ellis(1st) -> Richard Clebert (UDFA)
RDE: Frostee Rucker -> Jonathon Fanene

LOLB: Robert Geathers -> Curtis Johnson
LILB: Ahmad Brooks -> Rashad Jeanty
RILB: Odell Thurman -> Landon Johnson
ROLB: David Pollak -> Marcus Howard (3rd)

Probably suck your first year or 2, but your defense will be solid and pretty tough after then (Fix the DL with a new DE the following season. David Pollaks return would be a huge help)

02-17-2008, 01:33 PM
I'm not going to count on Pollack for anything at this point given how long it's been plus he hasn't been cleared. Things seem very positive with Odell. I think we would need another OLB and either a DE or NT depending on what they do with Peko. We should have 2 3rd rounders with our comp pick for Steinbach for adding depth at LB.

Bottom line is in the 4-3 our Dline still blows, we have no UT and I think Smith is allowed to walk so we would need another DE. Then the trouble of what to do with Odell since he seems to be in shape and motivated. Odell and Ahmad in the middle is just filthy.

I'd rather see a 3-4 move, our defense blows now anyway so it can't get worse. I think it's easier/cheaper to generate a pass rush out of the 3-4 given our lack of premier 4-3 pass rushers (see Giants), you can find a 3-4 OLB in the 3rd round.

With that said, I doubt the move is made... There's potential for more 3-4 sets, last year Peko was our DE in the 3-4.

02-17-2008, 03:09 PM
I think that unless Sedrick Ellis falls to us at 9, we will attempt to make the switch to the 3-4. You just can't run an effective 4-3 without at least one very good pass rushing DT. I'd also argue that the physical run-first teams in our division make the 3-4 more desirable. Pitt and others just wear down our undersized front 7.

Akili, I disagree with many of your arguments about why we shouldn't change. First, since moving to the 3-4 would mean that Geathers would be moving to LB, we are looking at finding 3 other starters LBs either way. Arguably, since Pollack will be a 3-4 LB, we are closer to having 4 3-4 guys than we are to having 3 4-3 guys. Especially since it allows you to get both Odell and Ahmad on the field on the inside instead of having to try to move one to the outside.

I actually like our depth at the outside with Pollack, Geathers, Henderson and Jeanty. All 4 of those guys are talented and well suited to the position. Inside, Brooks and Thurman could be special but we could really use another guy for depth, either a mid round draft pick or a FA.

The key will be to improve the D line and I think we devote serious FA and draft resources to doing it. Something like Merling in the first round and Sims or one of the other big DTs in the second would be a great start.

02-17-2008, 07:44 PM
I think the fans of Cinti have alot more respect for Landon Johnson than those outside of Cinti. I like him because he makes tackles and somebody has to make them but I would bet most of his tackles are made 5 yds dowfield or even further. I see Odell moving ahead of him real qucik in the ILB dept if we go to a 3-4. Landon is small and gets banged up rather easily although he tries to tough it out. He's a smart try hard guy but he needs another 15 lbs to play ILB in the 3-4 and I just think Odell is way more physical. When I checked the list of available FA LBers, Landan is mentioned as an afterthought, not one that will be sought after.

02-18-2008, 01:35 AM
i agree. landon is decent but he will not be the reason that will keep odell from starting this year.

Mr. Stiller
02-18-2008, 07:35 PM
to be completely honest you guys might be better staying 4-3.

All you need is a premier WDE (Gholston/Harvey) and a UT... Trevor Laws.

RDE: Derrick Harvey.
RDT: Trevor Laws
LDT: Domata Peko
LDE: Robert Geathers

WLB: Landon Johnson
MLB: Ahmad Brooks
SLB: Odell Thurman

I would trade your first for a mid round pick to someone desperately wanting a guy like Ryan Clady, the Top CB or QB... there will likely be someone there that wants up.

If you trade your first to Chicago (Matt Ryan). It's worth their 1st and 2nd round draft pick. I could see them realistically making that move too.

If you get an extra first or 2nd, and without Pollak, I'd take Keith Rivers, The guy is the prototype WLB.

1) Keith Rivers, WLB, USC

Moving to your second:

Still need a WDE/UT

2a) Trevor Laws ~ Prototypical 3-tech and would give you guys an exceptional interior Justin tuck like passrusher.

2b) Earl Bennett ~ I think this guy is the best WR in the draft. Standard size at 6'1 205lbs but he's one of the smartest and most physical WR's. Maybe a Hines Ward-esque / Larry Fitz-esque WR. Perfect especially if you're considering trading Chad Johnson. Getting an additional 1st for CJ and Bennett in the 2nd. I think Bennett could be #2 as a rookie, but with Housh moving to #1 and Henry to #2 I think he'd be fine at #3 as a rookie as well.

3) Chris Ellis, DE, Virginia Tech ~ Marvin seems to ignore defense year after year. Well If I were him and I got these guys that would not only give you one of the youngest front 7's in the league, but one of the most athletically gifted and football talented. With the front 4 you guys have, you could instantly swing 3-4 Either way.

Standard 4-3;

Geathers ~ Peko ~ Laws ~ Ellis

Thurman ~ Brooks ~ Rivers


Geathers ~ Peko ~ Laws

Thurman ~ Brooks ~ Rivers ~ Ellis


Peko ~ Laws ~ Ellis

Geathers ~ Thurman ~ Brooks ~ Rivers

If not Ellis, then Johnny Dingle might be an exceptional idea. He's 6'3 278lbs and is pretty quick for a big guy. He's got a high motor and plays all over the field. He could be an outstanding WDE in a 4-3 or part-time ROLB in a 3-4.

02-18-2008, 08:45 PM
Nice overview Stiller.

I think the bottom line is the draft will dictate what base formation we take. Kind of like trying for Manny Lawson 2 years ago. If the right pieces fall together the change is made, if not then 4-3 it is. Either way I think we're missing the same amount of pieces, I just think it'd be easier to generate a pass rush out of the 3-4 given our players.

Mr. Stiller
02-20-2008, 12:55 AM
Nice overview Stiller.

I think the bottom line is the draft will dictate what base formation we take. Kind of like trying for Manny Lawson 2 years ago. If the right pieces fall together the change is made, if not then 4-3 it is. Either way I think we're missing the same amount of pieces, I just think it'd be easier to generate a pass rush out of the 3-4 given our players.

It could.. But you still only have 1 DE, no 3-4 WDE or NT.. 2 EXTREMELY vital parts. Add to that you have no Weakside Passrusher as well.

Geathers is you're only passrusher as of right now.

And Frankly, from experience, it's easier to dictate a 4-3 DL than a 3-4 DL/OLB because of the fact they have to make a change in philosophy.

Trade back and get Rivers/Harvey, get Laws and round 2, and you've just fixed your front 4 with a top notch 3-tech and Very talented and Athletic WDE.

Then if you want to upgrade Johnson at WILL...

Geno Hayes in 3
Ezra Butler in 4
Alvin Bowen in 4
Jordan Dizon in 5
Nick Watkins in 7...

I'd go with Bowen... big and fast.

giving you:

1) Harvey (Trade back a few slots)
2) Laws
3) ?
4) Bowen

I think Harvey and Laws could start as rookies and Bowen could be a ST extraordinaire while slowly taking reigns of the weakside.

And you guys from that set could STILL rotate 3-4 Either way.

Playing 4-3 Set, 3-4 Over/Under. Which makes you ultimately versatile, aka a Miami/Baltimore Hybrid.

The addition of Bowen and Laws should help your run stopping and Harvey/Laws should upgrade your passrush significantly.