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Excuse my dumbness...but what do you guys mean by 2 Gap and so on? I'm not too informed about the lingo of the D-Line.
Another question, what variation of the 3-4 does the Niners run under Nolan?
The terms 1-gap, 2-gap, are in relation to the individual gap responsibilities. "Gaps" are the spaces in between the O-Lineman.
D [TE] C [OT] B [OG] A [OC] A [OG] B [OT] C [TE] D
There is also a numerical system, as well.
That's why so much importance is put on having that 'eighth' man in the box. Which is why dangerous passing teams open up holes in the running game. If you have an eight man defensive front, using a 1-gap scheme, you can have a man in every gap to stop the run. When you see a RB break a big run, it's almost always because someone messed up his assignment and wasn't in his gap.
In a 2-gap system, your D-Lineman have to control two gaps. Which is why the scheme is predicated on dominant players. Teams that play the 3-4, without the D-Line to support it, are lousy. Look at New England (Wilfork, Seymour, Warren), Pittsburgh (Hampton, Smith, Keisel), San Diego (Williams, Olshansky, Castillo) as an example of how great 3-4 teams are based on the D-Line.