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Defense of the Future: 3-4 or 4-3?

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  • Defense of the Future: 3-4 or 4-3?

    I made a thread like this on another forum and I've been talking about it a little bit on here too so I thought I would go ahead and make a new thread. I'll try to give some points as to why I think that a switch to a 4-3 would benefit the Ravens, but more so in the long term than right now.

    Our depth at 3-4 end might disappear after this season. There have been hints at Pryce retiring, and Edwards and Bannan are FAs. This is one of the hardest positions to fill in the 3-4 in my opinion, and I don't see us having success running the 3-4 without 2/3 mentioned above. Ngata is great but with the age of the other guys we would need depth so they could get some rest in the game.

    Then there's the fact that we don't have any ILB's that can take on a block effectively or clog the run, except Ray who won't be around forever. We have a bunch of young ILB's that seem better suited to play the coverage role from that position, which is something that is valued in a 4-3. We will get Phillips back at some point next season but I'm not sure how good he is at taking on blocks and such.

    Now obviously there would be some drawbacks to switching to a 4-3, most notably OLB. Suggs would move to RE and I'm assuming that Kruger would be our LDE of the future, but 4-3 OLB is a concern. JJ could play the strong-side and Ray could man the middle (is it me or does he look faster this year?), but the weak side spot could bring some concern. Gooden might be able to play there, maybe Ellerbe, maybe McClain but it would definitely be a concern at the beginning.

    Having a defensive tackle that could get pressure from the inside would also be a problem because currently we have a bunch of NT's. I think Gregg plays at least another year and of course we have Ngata, but neither are really ideal pass-rushers from their position. This could be targeted in the draft of course but we also have pressing needs in the receiving corps and the secondary.

    Our secondary would probably be the same in either scheme right now, or should I say that they would get toasted either way. Mainly our corners I'm worried about, but Reed and Landry could probably play in any scheme.

    Let's argue.

  • #2
    I think a 4-3 scheme would benefite us better up front. Imagine a DL of Suggs and Johnson rotating in at DE, while Pryce mans the other and a rotation of Ngata/Gregg/Bannan/McKinney in the middle. Thats an insanely talented DL right there. As for LB Ray can play the middle on either and I think Gooden would make a very good 4-3 OLB, much better than a 3-4 ILB. As for the other LB spot it could be manned by Dannell Ellerbe, or a drafted replacement. A switch to the 4-3 could actually make Paul Kruger in some way effective on passing situations lined up on a side with either Pryce or Suggs to draw blocking away and maybe get Kruger matched up on a TE or a back.

    Xbox Live - Kevown8999


    • #3
      agree with everything said and we have the personnel for a 4-3 at the coaching level and the player level. My main reason would also be the DL we have one of the best rotations in the league from sitautional pass rushers, to run stuffers and everydown linemen. That is the crucial part to any good 4-3 and we have it. Look at NYG, titans last year, our 2000 year, philly for many years and soon to be ravens

      Doobie- Baltimore Ravens Loyalist


      • #4
        For right now, I have to go with the 3-4. Their is so much versatility in the front seven that I think running a 3-4 gives the takes more advantage of that and gives defense more flexibility. Ngata, Gregg, Bannan and McKinney all have ability to play either the DE or NT in the 3-4. Also Price can play the 5-tech and play DE or DT in a 4-3.

        The 3-4 also allows you to give 4-3 looks with Suggs with his hand on the ground and Trevor Pryce or Kruger on the other side. Have Gooden or Ellerbe take out Jarret Johnson.

        So I guess I would like a 3-4/4-3 hybrid to take advantage of all the personnel groupings. With that being said, I understand why a 4-3 may be better moving into the future. But for now, I think they should stick with the 3-4 as their base D.


        • #5
          I wholeheartedly agree that the 3-4 is better than the 4-3. It's way more versatile and it's something that our players know. That's not my issue though. Mattison just doesn't seem to take advantage of what a 3-4 brings to the table, it's like he's using plays and schemes that suit a 4-3 more. We don't have a line that can individually get pressure on the QB, yet he only seems to rush four at a time. Suggs is great, but the other guys just don't have it. Maybe we just need to blitz more so we can get pressure on the QB instead of going through a whole scheme change, but something needs to be done.


          • #6
            When we talk about the future I think guys like Pryce,Gregg,Ray Lewis will be out of here.

            Looking at our players here are some young players are recent draft picks that I think what system they fit in the best.

            Ngata-Any system that guy is a freaking beast
            Suggs-I think he is best at a 34 OLB
            JJ-He is a 43 DE or a 34 OLB, he could play Strong SIde OLB but that isnt his strong suit.
            Gooden-would be a beastly 43 LB
            Jason Phillips-34 ILB
            Jameel MacLain-34 OLB
            Dannelle Ellerbe-I am real high on this guy I think he will be fine at 43 or a 34
            Paul Krueger-Something is odd w/ him because the guy isnt even dressing but I would love to see him bulk up to 280 so he could play a 43 DE or a 34 DE role

            OVerall I feel we have enough young players to run a 34/43 hybrid I love that system I hope we do it. But it looks like as long as mattison is around we run a traditional 43 which I think may take a year or 2 to transition 2


            • #7
              I agree we can run either i think we will lean 4-3 because of the Staff. However i agree with coordinator0 that 3-4 is better and provides more and i just hope that Harbaugh realizes that.
              Front 7 wise we could have
              DE Ngata
              NT Mckinney/Gregg
              DE Price/Kruger
              OLB Suggs
              ILB Ray Ray
              ILB Ellerbe/Gooden
              OLB JJ/Mcclain
              that is pretty beastly just we need to hope Gooden and Kruger can add some weight and strength

              DE Suggs
              DT Ngata
              DT Gregg/Mckinney
              DE Pryce/Kruger
              SLB JJ
              MLB Ray Ray
              WLB Gooden
              also very strong front 7

              however having the one less guy with his hand in the dirt really helps especially with guys like Suggs, Jarrett Johnson who have alot of versatlility

              Doobie- Baltimore Ravens Loyalist



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