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Old 01-29-2008, 09:31 PM    (permalink
FinChase
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Default 3-4 vs. 4-3 - After 3 Yrs

Since the Senior Bowl's history and the Combine's still weeks away, I thought it might be interesting to start a new discussion. I was lurking in the background during the months leading up to the 2005 draft and I remember all the discussions about the 3-4 versus the 4-3. There were some members of the board then that were vehemently against the move, particularly because it wouldn't be making good use of people like Laroi Glover and Ellis.

Well, how does everyone feel about it after three years? Has the move been a success? Are we a better defense? Obviously, DWare is great, but would we be as good or better a defense if we'd invested the same draft picks and FA moves in the 4-3? Has the Phillips 3-4 really been more successful in Dallas than BP's version?
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:43 PM    (permalink
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I will say this -- Roy Williams went from very good to very bad with the scheme change.

The smaller, faster LBers in a 4-3 helped take better advantage of Williams' skills.

No surprise that even after Woodson retired he still played well but really went downhill after 2005.

Williams would still make a helluva SS in 4-3 IMHO.
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Old 01-29-2008, 09:56 PM    (permalink
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I will say this -- Roy Williams went from very good to very bad with the scheme change.

The smaller, faster LBers in a 4-3 helped take better advantage of Williams' skills.

No surprise that even after Woodson retired he still played well but really went downhill after 2005.

Williams would still make a helluva SS in 4-3 IMHO.
Hmmm.... you may be onto something. Please elaborate.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:11 PM    (permalink
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Since the Senior Bowl's history and the Combine's still weeks away, I thought it might be interesting to start a new discussion. I was lurking in the background during the months leading up to the 2005 draft and I remember all the discussions about the 3-4 versus the 4-3. There were some members of the board then that were vehemently against the move, particularly because it wouldn't be making good use of people like Laroi Glover and Ellis.

Well, how does everyone feel about it after three years? Has the move been a success? Are we a better defense? Obviously, DWare is great, but would we be as good or better a defense if we'd invested the same draft picks and FA moves in the 4-3? Has the Phillips 3-4 really been more successful in Dallas than BP's version?
Ahh.... back to the Legendary newkwhy versus D-Unit War days... T'was an era of NFLDC that I'll never forget. We were soooooo on opposite sides in this debate and anything that dealt with Parcells. We were Ying and Yang, yet I had and to this day have mad respect for him.

He and Ward were vehemently against going to the 3-4. Myself and to an extent JJJ, were all for it.

Now where are we after 3 years? We haven't had a losing season yet. 32-16 record in the last 3 years. 9-7, 10-6, 13-3.... Nice progression with each developing year. What's the latest count? 5 Pro Bowlers on D this year? I'd have to say the transition is a success. Plenty of upside to look forward to.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:37 PM    (permalink
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I would say we cannot fully evaluate the 3-4 until we use the appropriate players in it.

We're still in a bit of a mix 'n match with personnel, whether it be guys who are better suited for the 4-3 (Ayodele) or guys who may have been BP guys, but don't work with Wade's scheme (Carpenter, Spears)

Ridiculously big holes in the secondary (Reeves) have also prevented us from doing some things. I would include Roy Boy, but benching him really isn't an option and now we have Campo claiming he can revive Roy's career...We'll see big 38...
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:41 PM    (permalink
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I will say this -- Roy Williams went from very good to very bad with the scheme change.

The smaller, faster LBers in a 4-3 helped take better advantage of Williams' skills.

No surprise that even after Woodson retired he still played well but really went downhill after 2005.

Williams would still make a helluva SS in 4-3 IMHO.
I'm not buying this. Coverages are the same in a 3-4 or a 4-3. His run support and big hits may have had something to do with the switch, but even then, I don't personally see the difference.

I think its a combination of a few things. The NFL is becoming more pass happy by the year, which works against Roy. He has NO confidence. He is FAT and SLOW.

Change his number, drop his weight, and pray for the best.

Fun Fact: Hamlin is taller than roy, yet weighs 20 pounds less and still brings the wood. Get a clue Roy, drop a few lbs.
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Old 01-29-2008, 11:28 PM    (permalink
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Even outside of Roy Willy I don't think our defense speed is good enough. Maybe I just miss the days when we had the smaller, faster LBs.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:32 AM    (permalink
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If we had better personnel I think our defense could be more attacking, thats what im looking forward to...I love the 3-4 over the 4-3 myself in general because its more aggressive in how you can attack, I like the idea of having more lb's on the field then D lineman anyway, gives you more options of blitzing or sitting back and gives the offensive linemen hell trying to figure out who to pick up instead of the same reads every play...


If we had a safety like ed reed that could play centerfield with some range and make plays, we would see some better results...pressure forces bad throws, if we had just one guy to sit back and read the qb it would make a big difference...I feel like in the 3-4 its just as important as a NT, take the ravens for instance...Take out Ngata and they struggle up front, but take out ed reed and thats the guy coming up with turnovers from the hurried throws...
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:31 PM    (permalink
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its impossible to say really. every system can work if you have the players for it. me personally, my favorite schemes have always been the 3-4 and 46 scheme. many of you know im not the biggest fan of Tampa 2, although i don't mind some of the hybrid variations of the scheme.

3-4 ILBs are not going to be the best in coverage. Thats why its important to have a dominant SS in the 3-4 scheme. Its vital. The most important pieces to a 3-4 scheme are NT, DE, OLB, SS, and CB in that order.
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:41 PM    (permalink
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its impossible to say really. every system can work if you have the players for it. me personally, my favorite schemes have always been the 3-4 and 46 scheme. many of you know im not the biggest fan of Tampa 2, although i don't mind some of the hybrid variations of the scheme.

3-4 ILBs are not going to be the best in coverage. Thats why its important to have a dominant SS in the 3-4 scheme. Its vital. The most important pieces to a 3-4 scheme are NT, DE, OLB, SS, and CB in that order.
What do you think of our NT situation?
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Old 01-30-2008, 01:54 PM    (permalink
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What do you think of our NT situation?
its a little different with the Phillips 3-4. He doesnt run a true 3-4. It can work with a rotation with Tank, i question whether Ratliff can hold up fulltime for an entire season.

Heres the thing though. Ideally, you'd love to get a true NT in there and move Ratliff to DE. That would improve the front 3 significantly. But theres no legitimate solution in executing this. Theres no Ngata in this draft. Rogers is a shell of his former self. I just don't see it.

Can you improve the NT position? Absolutely. Just not this year, i don't see a realistic way of doing that. For the shortterm, its gotta work the way it is right now.

Heres the deal with Ratliff. He does provide some great things. He's more athletic at NT, so you can drop him in coverage in ZB more. On passing downs, he can penetrate great as a one gapper and provide a good interior pass rush.

But heres the downside. Because he's undersized, you need those bigger ILBs to make up for his inadequacies in the run game. Ever wonder why Burnett doesn't see the field in your base? Thats why. A bigger NT would allow you to sacrifice one ILB for more athleticism. You don't have that luxury however.

Wade masked his weaknesses by running bigger ILBs in the base. On passing downs, he provided a different kind of push up the middle, but while it was different, it was still very effective. On passing downs, it was Spears who was the problem. On running downs, it was Ratliff indirectly.

So for the short term since theres no legit solution to NT, id recommend getting a better pass rushing DE. And to help with coverage weaknesses of the ILBs in the base, improve the secondary's coverage ability. That can be done by moving Hamlin to SS, Watkins to FS, and draft a CB, maybe even 2.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:02 PM    (permalink
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What do you think of our NT situation?
We need some beef up the middle at NT. I think Fergie will get released this year. I like Tank as a back-up, but it will be interesting to see if he progresses after a full off-season w/the team. I really like Jay Ratliff and glad that we locked him down for a few years, but I strongly feel he's out of position. However, until we can get a legitimate starter at NT we have to keep Ratliff there.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:20 PM    (permalink
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BBD, to say Rodgers is a shell of him former self is a lie. He has all the talent to be dominant again. He was playing for Detriot, and was hurt this season. If we do trade for him, he will turn out just like leonard davis.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:25 PM    (permalink
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its a little different with the Phillips 3-4. He doesnt run a true 3-4. It can work with a rotation with Tank, i question whether Ratliff can hold up fulltime for an entire season.

Heres the thing though. Ideally, you'd love to get a true NT in there and move Ratliff to DE. That would improve the front 3 significantly. But theres no legitimate solution in executing this. Theres no Ngata in this draft. Rogers is a shell of his former self. I just don't see it.

Can you improve the NT position? Absolutely. Just not this year, i don't see a realistic way of doing that. For the shortterm, its gotta work the way it is right now.

Heres the deal with Ratliff. He does provide some great things. He's more athletic at NT, so you can drop him in coverage in ZB more. On passing downs, he can penetrate great as a one gapper and provide a good interior pass rush.

But heres the downside. Because he's undersized, you need those bigger ILBs to make up for his inadequacies in the run game. Ever wonder why Burnett doesn't see the field in your base? Thats why. A bigger NT would allow you to sacrifice one ILB for more athleticism. You don't have that luxury however.

Wade masked his weaknesses by running bigger ILBs in the base. On passing downs, he provided a different kind of push up the middle, but while it was different, it was still very effective. On passing downs, it was Spears who was the problem. On running downs, it was Ratliff indirectly.

So for the short term since theres no legit solution to NT, id recommend getting a better pass rushing DE. And to help with coverage weaknesses of the ILBs in the base, improve the secondary's coverage ability. That can be done by moving Hamlin to SS, Watkins to FS, and draft a CB, maybe even 2.
+rep. Thanks for the response. You hit everything right on the head.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:25 PM    (permalink
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BBD, to say Rodgers is a shell of him former self is a lie. He has all the talent to be dominant again. He was playing for Detriot, and was hurt this season. If we do trade for him, he will turn out just like leonard davis.
it could happen, but generally im hesitant against FAs. Im a bigger believer of that was then this is now type of situations. Davis was played out of place, and thrived after being moved.

Rogers will play the same position essentially. So I don't know if he can rejuvenate himself. It can happen, but Im not banking on it. He'd demand a lot more interest if he really was as good as the public thinks he still is.

We heard similar stuff about Chris Jenkins last year. Look how that turned out.

I don't see Rogers at this point being anything more than Ferguson was. Not saying thats bad at all, but thats also not what youre looking for.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:27 PM    (permalink
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+rep. Thanks for the response. You hit everything right on the head.
no problem bro. im just giving my honest assessment of the situation.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:34 PM    (permalink
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As for KingJames and the "Roy Williams is better in a 4-3" statement, that is completely false. On Talkin' Cowboys last season, Terence Newman was the guest on one of the shows, and Mickey asked him if the 3-4 is any different than a 4-3 for the secondary. And he said not at all. That is the best cover CB in the game telling you it isn't any different. Roy just got fat, and sucks because of it. Hopefully Mr. 38, as I will call him now, gets his ASS in gear.
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:50 PM    (permalink
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The most important pieces to a 3-4 scheme are NT, DE, OLB, SS, and CB in that order.

New England has elite players at every one of those positions, San Diego is pretty close as well...Then in our scheme we dont have any elite players on the d line, or a SS, and we are limited at db, so its not a surprise to see the different results with both units...Jamal Williams, Vince Wilfork, those guys make a difference on their defense that we dont have now, Shaun Rogers is the "size" to do it, whether or not he gets in gear is one thing but a winning environment has shown it works for alot of disgruntled players...


We have guys I like on the ends, but giving them a force in the middle is going to make everyone else that much better...and BBD good call on the issue with not having burnett in base defenses, having to stay bigger at ILB without a huge NT, makes alot of sense now...
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:58 PM    (permalink
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New England has elite players at every one of those positions, San Diego is pretty close as well...Then in our scheme we dont have any elite players on the d line, or a SS, and we are limited at db, so its not a surprise to see the different results with both units...Jamal Williams, Vince Wilfork, those guys make a difference on their defense that we dont have now, Shaun Rogers is the "size" to do it, whether or not he gets in gear is one thing but a winning environment has shown it works for alot of disgruntled players...


We have guys I like on the ends, but giving them a force in the middle is going to make everyone else that much better...and BBD good call on the issue with not having burnett in base defenses, having to stay bigger at ILB without a huge NT, makes alot of sense now...
How can you say the Chargers and pats have elite SS? Rodney harrison is a dirty joke of a player, and I don't even know who the chargers SS is. The pats have samuel, chargers have cromartie, and we have newman. Both of their 2nd CBs and FS suck. We have Hamlin.

We are a NCB and true NT away. That's all.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:09 PM    (permalink
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Our needs... RB, LT, LG, WR, DE, NT, ILB, CB, NB, FS, SS.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:14 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Achilles33 View Post
How can you say the Chargers and pats have elite SS? Rodney harrison is a dirty joke of a player, and I don't even know who the chargers SS is. The pats have samuel, chargers have cromartie, and we have newman. Both of their 2nd CBs and FS suck. We have Hamlin.

We are a NCB and true NT away. That's all.
I didnt say the chargers had an elite SS, relax, you get so offensive as soon as something is said about Dallas thats not relatively close to "were the most super talented team in a gazillion years"

You can argue Harrison all you want, but at the age that he's at, still coming up with cluth interceptions(which his playoff game streak of picks is at 8 or so and counting)...and on their line they have 2 elite lineman, makes a huge difference...
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:54 PM    (permalink
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I didnt say the chargers had an elite SS, relax, you get so offensive as soon as something is said about Dallas thats not relatively close to "were the most super talented team in a gazillion years"

You can argue Harrison all you want, but at the age that he's at, still coming up with cluth interceptions(which his playoff game streak of picks is at 8 or so and counting)...and on their line they have 2 elite lineman, makes a huge difference...
I'd even put Ty Warren as an elite lineman. So make that 3.

I consider Canty elite. If anyone wants to sue me, sue me. He's a badass. I put him on par with Warren.. perhaps even slightly better due to age.

Harrison is a intelligent maniac. Roy isn't even as close to as smart or as instinctive as him.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:40 PM    (permalink
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Canty is a beast. We need a true NT, bottome line. Move ratliff back to DE, and we have a badass D-Line.
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Old 01-30-2008, 04:54 PM    (permalink
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Canty is a beast. We need a true NT, bottome line. Move ratliff back to DE, and we have a badass D-Line.
Ratliff and Canty at DE with Bowen and Hatcher as back-ups. I like that as our DE's are concerned. Then a beat at NT with Tank as a back-up. I like this line-up.
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Old 01-30-2008, 05:05 PM    (permalink
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I think were fine at DE as well, Canty has showed me he can be dominant, he just needs someone in the middle to take the pressure off, Ratliff is an athlete out there as well, I love both those guys at end over Spears...

But we still have major upgrades in the secondary because for now everyone picks on our #3 corner and SS, wherever they are at the ball is thrown, until we upgrade Im pretty sure teams still throw right into Roy's coverage
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