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Change to the 3-4 "hybrid" defense under Capers

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by newman79, May 11, 2009.

  1. newman79

    newman79 Cheesehead

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    What's everyone think of the change from the 4-3 base D to the 3-4?

    I'd like to learn a little more about the 3-4. I found some interesting basics on it at wikipedia American football strategy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Does anyone have any thoughts on how Dom Capers will use it? Is there anything in particular he likes or dislikes?

    I read some articles and quotes where he refers to it as a "hybrid", which I guess means that they will still mix in some 4-3 looks? What exactly is the meaning of "hybrid"? When can we expect to see the different looks?

    If anyone has any info on this type of stuff, please post or link to it. I love the X's and O's strategy stuff. thanks
     
  2. croxeye

    croxeye Cheesehead

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    the "hybrid" part means that we will incorporate elements of the 4-3 in our base 3-4 occasionaly in other words we will have Kampy/matthews line up on either side and moving around, ala Dallas.

    I like the fact that we will have the flexibility to play both schemes, and it'll create havoc on opposing offenses. I played DE myself last semester on the football season (where my basis for kampman not playing great against the run comes from).
     
  3. cyoung

    cyoung Cheesehead

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    I dont know, I've always been a 4-3 guy. I'm still skeptical about the 3-4, and if Kampman has the skill to handle it. Hopefully the veterans can make the transition and the rookies learn fast, and the pack will have a badass D.
     
  4. danielchile

    danielchile Cheesehead

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    I'm more of a 3-4 guy and I can wait for ours to get on the field and kick some ***.
     
  5. IrishCheeseHead

    IrishCheeseHead Cheesehead

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    reading about the hybrid defense we could be playing just makes me wish we still had Corey Williams. Although if Pickett beats Raji out of the starter job which i think will happen a front 3 of Jenkins - Pickett - Rajii looks very nice indeed.
     
  6. croxeye

    croxeye Cheesehead

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    Hmm I don't think Corey Williams really FITS into a 3-4 scheme in general, too big to be a DE, and too small to be a DT, and as we see, he did a whole lot of nothing in cleveland, plus with his playing style, there were probably going to be a lot of fines in it for him.
     
  7. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    Actually, the DE in the 3-4 needs to be big, and the NT needs to be smaller than in the 4-3, to gain leverage... That said I wouldn't want him, not for the money he got...
     
  8. croxeye

    croxeye Cheesehead

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    PackersRS, actually the NT needs to be the biggest man in the front line in the 3-4, and corey williams lacks the size and strength (IMO) to play in the NT, and the DE requires big guys too, however they need to be able to move more, and shift well and play the screen well, and Corey Williams is simply too "big" to do that.
     
  9. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    Ah, you're talking about weight! Yeah, I was thinking about size. The best 3-4 DEs have 6-5 and large arms to hold up the O-line, and the NTs are usually 6-1, 6-2, so they can bend and get leverage on the interior linemen and collase the pocket. But about weight, 280-300 for the DE and 320-340 for the NT...
    But I don't know if he's too big to play DE... he was the fastest DT we had IMO...
     
  10. croxeye

    croxeye Cheesehead

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    yes PackersRS I was talking about the weight and as you brought up the weight levels for DE's and NT's, Corey Williams falls squarely into the middle of both of those catagories,(310 i think) I would only use him when we used the 4-3 but that probably won't be a lot, so he would just be a wasted space on our roster.
     
  11. IrishCheeseHead

    IrishCheeseHead Cheesehead

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    Yes i suppose so, forgot about that wages he would have demanded. I think we should be perty set on the D-line now anyway. Raji, Pickett, Jenkins, Jolly? and hopefully Harrell can do something. Cant wait to see wait these guys can do with this 3-4 scheme.
     
  12. newman79

    newman79 Cheesehead

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    In case anyone didn't see it, I ran across this article from a couple days ago at CBS Sports relating to the 3-4 and Capers: After 6-10 season, Packers bank on Capers' 3-4 being D cure - NFL - CBSSports.com Football

    I'm not exactly sold on this change at this point, but I think it will be interesting to watch how it all plays out. It seems like Capers has had real mixed success with this D. And, if they want to stop the run, primarily, the Vikings were pretty good at it with the 4-3. But, I'm looking forward to seeing how Capers does.
     
  13. Sunshine885500

    Sunshine885500 Cheesehead

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    Personally I am very happy about the transition that Green Bay is making to the new 3-4 defense. I've had to watch it repeatedly year after year. I wrote TT a letter back in October, 2008 because I got so fed-up with watching Green Bay's Defense being sorry to good and get pushed around at critical times. I (in effect) pleaded with him to build a Defense similar to what Baltimore & Pittsburgh have because Defenses win Championships (You will always be in the game if the other team can't score). I also, listed several players coming out in the draft which included (Raji & Mathews). I figure it to be luck on my part that two of the 10 college players I listed were drafted.

    I have been a life long Packer Fan, but a realist in what needed to happen in order for GB to go to the next level. I believe this transition will be one that pleases all Packer Fans. Like I said I currently live in Baltimore and am currently doing a little work for the Ravens. As a matter of fact I have to go to the Airport this afternoon and pick up the incoming players because their OTA's begin on Monday. I took DJ Hackett around a little but they didn't let him tryout so he flew out and went down to Houston during their mini-camp weekend last week. I also took Willie Anderson over to the Raven's facility to speak with Ozzie Newsome when he retired. He told me what he did when he got back in the Van which was about about 6 days before they actually announced it.

    Anyway, I believe in what TT and Mike McCarthy are doing. They are trying to build a championship team and are well on their way to accomplishing that. McCarthy is an Offensive Genius which is why GB can score with the best of them. Don Caper's is a Defensive Genius that can catapult the Packers to a Championship Level. It will be like having two Head Coaches each specializing in their areas so just be a little more patient and enjoy this season because it's gonna be fun for all.
     
  14. Mark007

    Mark007 Cheesehead

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    Playing defense in the NFL is nt something you just pick up and play. I expect us to get worse before we get better. This year will be tough and by tough I mean we will be near the bottom in the NFL on defense. We were 20th in defense last year and I would be happy with 20th this year.
     
  15. robdog

    robdog Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    We some of the pickups we made this year, I can see us being better than 20th ranked defense. We are going to need to be higher than 20 if we want to make a good playoff run.
     
  16. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    That would be the natural way to go, EXCEPT that in almost all of Dom Caper's past jobs as DC, the very next year he changed the D's philosophy his defense improved A LOT.

    Pittsburgh
    before Dom 1991 - 22th
    after Dom 1992 - 13th

    Carolina
    with Dom 1995 - 7th

    Jacksonville
    before Dom. 1998 - 25th
    after Dom. 1999 - 5th

    The exception is Miami in 2007, where in 2006 it ranked 3rd, and in 2007 it ranked 23rd. That may indicate a drop in his coaching production (something I don't believe), but also may indicate that the whole 2007 Miami team just plain sucked...
     
  17. Dizzle498

    Dizzle498 Cheesehead

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    I really don't like the idea of switching back and forth between the 3 -4 and the 4 - 3. It will screw with the flow of the game defensively. Not to mention the fact that you need specific types of players for both. It will kill the D to do this.
     
  18. newman79

    newman79 Cheesehead

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    To whomever said that Capers was a "defensive genius", ... could you let me know why? I'd like to believe that but in looking at his record, it seems very mixed. There's no doubt he's experienced and knows what he's doing. And, although he's had some real successes, he's also had a number of flops.

    In my looking at his football coaching background, he has always been a defensive guy having held a number of defensive asst positions for many years before being hired as the DC for the 1992 Pittsburgh Steelers. This was his first DC position. It was also Bill Cowher's first year as HC of the Steelers. Cowher was himself a very defensive minded coach who served successfully as the DC at Kansas City from 1989-1991 before being hired as the HC at Pittsburgh for 1992. Capers served as the DC for the Steelers from 1992-94 and the Steelers D was very good:

    1991 (before Cowher/Capers - PIT ranked 22nd in pts given up & 22nd in yards given up
    1992 (Cowher/Capers 1st yr) - PIT ranked 2nd in points, 13th in yards
    1993 - PIT ranked 8th in pts and 3rd in yds
    1994 - PIT ranked 2nd in pts and 2nd in yds

    But, I just wonder (and think it likely) that Cowher had a lot to do with that D's success.

    In any case, Capers took the success at PIT and parlayed it into a HC job with the expansion Carolina Panthers in 1995. This was the first year for that franchise. The first year, the team went 7-9 with the D ranking 8th in pts, 7th in yds. That seems really good to me, esp for an expansion team. In '96 the team made the playoffs going 12-4 with a D that ranked 2nd in pts and 10th in yds. After those initial great successes, a decline occurred. In '97 the Panthers went 7-9 with its D ranking 13th in pts and 15th in yds. Further decline in '98 with the team going 4-12, and the D ranking 27th in pts and 30th in yds. Capers was gone from Carolina after that year.

    In 1999, he was the DC for Jacksonville where he seems to have done his best job. JAX had ranked 17th in pts and 25th in yds in 1998. Under Capers in 1999, they improved to 1st in pts and 4th in yds. In 2000, the D there ranked 16th in pts and 12th in yds. It was enough to get Capers another HC job with another expansion team, Houston.

    Capers was HC of HOU from 2001-2005 with 2002 being the first year they played. In '02 the D there ranked 20th in pts and 16th in yds. Not bad at all for a first year expansion team. In '03, the ranking fell to 27th in pts and 31st in yds. In '04 HOU's D ranked 15th in pts and 23rd in yds. Finally, '05 was Capers' last in HOU with the team's record declining to 2-14 with the D ranking 32nd in pts and 31st in yds.

    In '06 he was a special asst at Miami under Saban and took over the DC duties in '07 under Cameron. The D there ranked 30th in pts and 23rd in yds before almost the entire organization was gutted.

    Capers spent '08 as a secondary coach for the Patriots.

    I'm not sure why he is or would be considered a "defensive genius," but I'd like to know. It seems like he's had mixed success. He seems to come in and get some quick success, but doesn't sustain it. I think I'd be okay with that pattern cause it would mean quick success here. But, why is he considered a "defensive genius"?

    (fyi, ... I got my records and rankings off of Team Encyclopedias and Records - Pro-Football-Reference.com
     
  19. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    Well, as you posted yourself, everytime he was a DC he was sucesfull. Except in Miami where the whole team was awful, and the last year with Carolina. 2 bad seasons with a lof of great ones is positive IMO. He wasn't a very good HC, for sure, but a lot of great coordinators fail at HC. Just look at Cam Cameron, Romeo Crennel, and such...

    Dom Capers GREAT DC POOR HC
     
  20. newman79

    newman79 Cheesehead

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    I'm not sure that I'd go along with discounting his subpar and worsening defenses when he was a HC versus a DC. If anything, a HC has more say than a DC. That's why I question how much credit he should get when he was DC at PIT when Cowher was HC.

    He seems to have been somewhat successful in his first years at JAX, CAR, and HOU, but then tailed off in the ensuing few years at each place to the point he was gone. He was bad in his first year at MIA.

    Oh well, it'll be interesting to see how this all plays out.
     
  21. Sunshine885500

    Sunshine885500 Cheesehead

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    It is good that you got your records from the (Team Encyclopedias and Records - Pro-Football-Reference.com), but what you are stating is only a part of the game. Yes he was able to have success initially, but I never said that he was a great Talent Scout or Head Coach. I believe that he is a great coordinator, but as with any professional sport if you don't get an infusion of talent each year to work with then eventually things will go downhill. Injuries, lack of competition, & coaching styles will all play into success & failure.

    I strongly believe in TT as a talent evaluator and MM as a HC. Anyone that watched GB's defense last year has to believe that they have one of the most talented if not best Defensive Coverage Units in the NFL. Just look at the number of Pick 6's they've had last year and two Pro Bowl DB's. Okay they played Press Coverage in a Base 4-3 Defense, but this is do-able in a 3-4 which is what Baltimore plays or they can run a Zone Coverage 3-4 which is what Pittsburgh's base Defense is and mix in some Zone Blitzes. It's all about disguising coverages and throwing different blitz packages in order to pressure the QB.

    GB's defense which sports:

    (7 -1st Round Picks, Raji, Harrell, Pickett-Rams, Hawk, Mathews, Barnett, & Woodson-Raiders)
    (2 - 2nd Round Picks, Collins, & Harris(traded 2nd Rounder to Phil), Pat Lee - reserve)
    (1 - 5th Round Pick, Kampman)
    (1 - FA, Bigby)

    There are also other premium picks on this defense. So in other words Capers has plenty to work with which is why I believe he wanted to come here to GB. I believe he is as talented of a Defensive Coordinator as MM is as a Offensive Coordinator. So may people are critical of Coaches but don't always look at why Coaches succeed or fail. If he is good at adjusting to what the personnel does well to take advantage of match-ups then GB's Defense will do well. He will adjust from 3-4 to 4-3 during situations which will make our defense very tough.

    Let me give you an example of a Coach that could not adjust to what he supposedly did well. Brian Billick of the Baltimore Ravens was built up as an Offensive Genius however his teams couldn't score any points so they change QB after QB and still could find anyone to run his so called version of the West Coast Offense. Their Super Bowl Year Baltimore went about 4 Games without scoring a TD. It wasn't until his Starting QB was injured and they inserted Trent Dilfer where they so called Dilferized the Offense ( started to run the ball much more with an occasional short pass to the TE or RB) did they start to actually win. This was the only year he adjusted his play calling. The next year they were convince that it was the QB's problem so they got rid of Dilfer and brought in Elvis GrBac - 4000 yd passer from KC. Well that didn't work out very well did it. In other words he didn't adjust his play calling to what his players did well. This is the opposite of what both MM and DC will do.

    Anyway, enough with perceptions because only time will tell. I will leave you with this - even though GB will go through some growing pains in their transition to the 3-4, their defense is very fast, young and very athletic so don't discount what they are capable of. This should be a fun & exciting year to watch so let's have some fun.

    TT, MM, & DC could be a winning combination that should propel GB into the playoffs. I've drunk the Cool-aid - won't you have a sip?
     
  22. newman79

    newman79 Cheesehead

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    I would like to drink the Cool-aid, but will keep myself on the wagon for a while. thanks for the responses, btw, .. I enjoy your posts.

    I'd like to see the Packers play some more coverage zone. You mentioned Pittsburgh with their zone play over their 3-4 versus Baltimore with their mostly man over the 3-4. The Packers seem to really like the man coverage, and I can't recall the exact games from last fall at the moment but there were a couple or several where they got burned real late in the game when one or the other of the DB's got beat on man coverage. Those were killers, as I recall. I thought if they would play a little more zone late in the game that perhaps they wouldn't have given up those late, huge, game-losing big plays.

    I remember seeing some guys on tv analyze the Steelers 3-4 defense prior to the Superbowl. (IIRC, it was on the NFL Network's Playbook show) and they were showing and explaining how the Steelers play zone coverage behind their 3-4. They showed how it allows the secondary players to keep their eyes forward towards the ball and everything is in front of them, as opposed to being turned away from the ball playing man. The analyst explained how the Steelers players could see the play and the ball clearly in front of them and that it would allow them to make a lot of plays (of course, Polamalu was highlighted).

    I'd think I'd like to see the Packers use some of this at times behind the 3-4, as opposed to all the man coverage.

    any thoughts?
     
  23. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    My thoughts on the man coverage X the zone coverage.
    The man coverage gives you more security against the big plays, but you need to have elite CBs, like Baltimore used to have with McAllister and Rolle, Denver used to have with Bailey and Bly, and Philly or we have for that matter. You still need to pressure the qb, but not as much.
    If you don't have those elite CBs, like pittsburgh and the giants don't have, you need to figure out a way so that the wr can't get the time to be open. That's where the zone blitz comes in. BUT you need elite pass rushers to execute it properly. If the wr can get to the free spot in the coverage, which ALL zone coverages have, you're gonna get killed.

    That being said, I think we have proven CBs to execute the man coverage, and we have a capable pass rush for it to work (the wr won't get 10 seconds anymore).
    BUT I don't know if our pass rush is elite enough to make a full zone coverage scheme work. My take is that we should still use primarily the man coverage, but, depending on the progress of Kampman and Matthews, we could incorporate more zone coverages than we used to.
    Ps.: Also, for the zone coverage to work better, Collins cannot get beat deep that often...
     
  24. newman79

    newman79 Cheesehead

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    I'm not sure I agree that man coverage gives more security against big plays. Maybe if you double cover an opposing top WR, then you might be able to limit his effectiveness, but it comes with a cost as the other receivers have one less DB to go against.

    There were a couple key times last season that I remember the Packers secondary playing their man coverage and getting burned late in the game that really cost them. One I recall was against Carolina when late in the game Woodson got beat by Steve Smith with about a minute and a half left or so in the game. As I recall, it was something like a 40-50 yard completion with Smith being downed by Poppinga or Chillars at the one yard line. The Panthers scored to take a 4 point lead and that was a back breaker. It really cost any shot at the playoffs as well.

    I just thought to myself at the time "HOW in the heck can you allow yourself to be beat like that in that situation, when you are up by 3 points with less than 2 minutes to go?" I thought why weren't they playing some type of prevent or zone to really take away any chances of giving up a long pass play like that. I seem to remember the announcers saying how Collins was somehow out of position as well to give any help to Woodson.

    There were one or two other times where the same or similar things happened late in the game. Maybe another one was late in the game vs JAX?
     
  25. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    We were being beaten last year, specially late in games, because our pass rush (Kampman was our pass rush last year...) was tired and couldn't get to the QB, so the wr got 10 seconds to get open against our elite but old CBs. In man coverage you don't need so much pass rush as in zone, but you still need to be efective.
     

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