Defense under Barry

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Yeah forgot about that...Z plays inside on passing downs!!! Haha
Somewhere I heard that mentioned (possibly Packers app?) ZaDarius is very capable at being used inside or outside. He has shown to be a disruptive force where he lines up at either. While you don’t think of him as a pure Run stopper.. being all up in the backfield creates disharmony in the play design. It’s when opposing runners have to improvise because he’s in their path, thats exactly where many get themselves in trouble and get away from their blocks. That’s exactly where a guy like Campbell can do the mop up work and limit to minimal gains. That disruption upfront is what we have been missing and 1 more All Pro is all it takes.

I obviously don’t know what type of work load he can get game one? But Z getting just 30 snaps in the Divisional (very doable) gives us a better consistency in both the Pass sets and Run that will be a pleasure to witness. Expect a lot of dreads to be flying around on D this next match.
 
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Voyageur

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Somewhere I heard that mentioned (possibly Packers app?) ZaDarius is very capable at being used inside or outside. He has shown to be a disruptive force where he lines up at either. While you don’t think of him as a pure Run stopper.. being all up in the backfield creates disharmony in the play design. It’s when opposing runners have to improvise because he’s in their path, thats exactly where many get themselves in trouble and get away from their blocks. That’s exactly where a guy like Campbell can do the mop up work and limit to minimal gains. That disruption upfront is what we have been missing and 1 more All Pro is all it takes.

I obviously don’t know what type of work load he can get game one? But Z getting just 30 snaps in the Divisional (very doable) gives us a better consistency in both the Pass sets and Run that will be a pleasure to witness. Expect a lot of dreads to be flying around on D this next match.
You're absolutely right. When Gary began showing he had the ability to be an outside force, they moved Zadarius inside on passing downs. I can't back this up with stats, but I believe it created a much better rush.
 

captainWIMM

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Yeah, but neither one of them really help stopping the run. IMO that is this defenses achilles heal.

Alexander playing might allow the Packers to put an extra defender into the box though.

But that is not always the formula for winning. In 2020 we faced Jacksonville, Houston, Indy, and Tenessee. In 2021 we faced Cincy, Cleveland, Pitt, and Baltimore, AND Mahommes and KC. In 2020 we faced Atlanta, Carolina, New Orleans, and Tampa. In 2021 we faced SF, Seattle, LA, and AZ. The SF we saw in 2020 was totally decimated. And in 2021 our defense came up with big plays and stops to save games. AZ, Baltimore, LA. Cleveland, Seattle, Chicago, Cincy, Washington. In 2020 I do not recall much in the way of our defense saving games because our offense put up enough points to make it easier.

The Packers played six opponents that ranked outside the top 20 in points scored both this and last season. I agree that the team's offense wasn't as dominant this year for all of the season compared to 2020 though.
 

gopkrs

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Yeah forgot about that...Z plays inside on passing downs!!! Haha
Z has pass rushed successfully from the inside. He is probably better on the inside (next to Clark) against the run than what we have also.
 

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Alexander playing might allow the Packers to put an extra defender into the box though.



The Packers played six opponents that ranked outside the top 20 in points scored both this and last season. I agree that the team's offense wasn't as dominant this year for all of the season compared to 2020 though.
Good point on the Alexander effect.
 

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Good point on the Alexander effect.
With all the returning defenders, the schemes are going to look a little different. Players Alexander give you the dimension of playing man defense, whereas the guy he was replacing would have needed help. That creates changes in coverage.

I think we're going to see more of the potential this defense had come out over the course of these playoffs. Then again, they'll need to get the rust off of their games.

Now, if the offense will cooperate, and put up some great numbers! Our goal?

14
 

thequick12

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Add Edge Whitney Mercilus to the list of players returning from injury fir the divisional round...
 

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Last season's offense was better than this year. They really miss Tonyan and losing Jenkins really hurt.

when i think back on last season, it seems like we almost always scored on our opening possessions. agree on tonyan and jenkins being the biggest factors in the drop in our offensive production. but i would add that the losses of bakh and myers were also huge. myers was doing a great job of replacing linsley. and losing bakh meant shuffling everyone around. the number of ol players that we lost to injury, and the amount of lineup changes we had to do were big factors. six returning pro bowlers from 2020 – rodgers, adams, smith, alexander, bakhtiari and jenkins have missed a combined 58 games this season.
 

Voyageur

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when i think back on last season, it seems like we almost always scored on our opening possessions. agree on tonyan and jenkins being the biggest factors in the drop in our offensive production. but i would add that the losses of bakh and myers were also huge. myers was doing a great job of replacing linsley. and losing bakh meant shuffling everyone around. the number of ol players that we lost to injury, and the amount of lineup changes we had to do were big factors. six returning pro bowlers from 2020 – rodgers, adams, smith, alexander, bakhtiari and jenkins have missed a combined 58 games this season.
Which points out how well the offense did under even those conditions. This team could well be on their way to a Lombardi Trophy. Three to go.
 
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Which points out how well the offense did under even those conditions. This team could well be on their way to a Lombardi Trophy. Three to go.
That sounds so much easier when you say it like that. It really is 3 games. We get a pass this weekend.

One thing that we’ve seen come to fruition is Joe Berry getting the best from his LB crew. That is his specialty, Linebackers. So that’s what makes getting back both ZaDarius and Whitney so formidable.

My hope is that once they are reacclimatized? Getting groups of 3 of those 4 regularly together. Maybe even 4 of them together occasionally in specific packages.

One of the best moves by Dom in 2014 was moving Clay inside. That brought a resurgent Perry on the field opposite Peppers and gave us the best simultaneous talent together. The Run Defense dramatically changed overnight, simply because of that cumulative raw talent on the field together.
That is my wish.
 
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captainWIMM

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One of the best moves by Dom in 2014 was moving Clay inside. That brought a resurgent Perry on the field opposite Peppers and gave us the best simultaneous talent together. The Run Defense dramatically changed overnight, simply because of that cumulative raw talent on the field together.
That is my wish.

In 2014, the run defense mainly improved with Clay moving inside because they faced terrible rushing offenses for the rest of the season. He was average playing the position at best.
 

milani

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That sounds so much easier when you say it like that. It really is 3 games. We get a pass this weekend.

One thing that we’ve seen come to fruition is Joe Berry getting the best from his LB crew. That is his specialty, Linebackers. So that’s what makes getting back both ZaDarius and Whitney so formidable.

My hope is that once they are reacclimatized? Getting groups of 3 of those 4 regularly together. Maybe even 4 of them together occasionally in specific packages.

One of the best moves by Dom in 2014 was moving Clay inside. That brought a resurgent Perry on the field opposite Peppers and gave us the best simultaneous talent together. The Run Defense dramatically changed overnight, simply because of that cumulative raw talent on the field together.
That is my wish.
Pack was not very good against the run then either.. Moving Clay had a lot to do with trying to stop the run. Had Berry had ANOTHER Kenny Clark up front this season as we needed for a long time I believe none of the Bucs, Boys, or Niners could plow through us.
 

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Let's be honest. The Packers haven't been great against the run since the day they went to the 3-4 defense. They've never quite gotten it right when it came to the talent level needed across the board to make it work effectively.

I've hoped, since the 4th year of this defense, that we'd go back to the 4-3, and quit pretending we're the Steelers.
 

milani

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Let's be honest. The Packers haven't been great against the run since the day they went to the 3-4 defense. They've never quite gotten it right when it came to the talent level needed across the board to make it work effectively.

I've hoped, since the 4th year of this defense, that we'd go back to the 4-3, and quit pretending we're the Steelers.
I love what you just said. What I have been saying for years. Stopping the run in the 3-4 takes a special group. The 4-3 with a decent MLB and a couple studs at tackle can force a lot of 3rd and longs. When Capers came to play Holmgren's Packers in the NFC championship he could not stop Edgar Bennett or Dorsey Levens even with Kevin Greene. It made it a lot easier for Favre to go downfield. Someday I hope we do go back to 4-3.
 

gopkrs

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In 2014, the run defense mainly improved with Clay moving inside because they faced terrible rushing offenses for the rest of the season. He was average playing the position at best.
I liked him moving inside at the time because he could not beat an average OT from the outside. And he could wriggle himself up the middle. Not that he was a great inside LB but he was done as a pass rusher from the end position.
 

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Let's be honest. The Packers haven't been great against the run since the day they went to the 3-4 defense. They've never quite gotten it right when it came to the talent level needed across the board to make it work effectively.

I've hoped, since the 4th year of this defense, that we'd go back to the 4-3, and quit pretending we're the Steelers.

I'm going to pick on you since you said it first.

Please explain how and why a 4-3 would be a better run defense than a 3-4. Conventional wisdom says the 3-4 is the better run defense.

Ignore the position labels.

A 3-4 trots out 3 linemen of defensive tackle size. Keke is the light man in our DT group at 288. He's still a 3T technique tackle in any 4-3.

Our two "outside linebackers" are 4-3 defensive ends. Hell, our top 2/3 are oversized 4-3 ends. Gary and Z at 275 could be strong side DEs each. And we can and do play them on the weak/open side. At worse, one 3-4 OLB is slightly undersized (and they are not with our roster!) than a 4-3 DE, but our other OLB is bigger than the matching 4-3 strong-side OLB. And on running plays, most 4-3s are effectively 5 man fronts--All 4 down lineman and the SOLB. Thats 4-3 SOLB is most typically on the LOS to jam and attack the TE...just like our SOLB.

And then we get into gap assignments. When we shade (find our NT. If he is truly head up on the center, he's a 0. If he's in the A gap/outside shoulder of the center, he's a shade or 1 technique) his responsibilities are the gap he's lined up in. Just like modern 4-3s. From there, find the gap the lineman is lined up in. That's his gap. If there isn't a lineman in a gap, look for the off the ball linebacker. 4-3 calls them Middle (MIKE) and Weak Outside (WILL). In a 3-4, they are called Strong Inside (MACK) and Weak Inside (BUCK). MIKE is a 1:1 to MACK.

WILL is almost a 1:1 to BUCK. Personnel wise, they are 1:1. The only real difference is where they line up/which gap is their responsibility. BUCK will typically line up 1 gap closer to the ball. Most schemes I've seen have the BUCK covering a B gap while WILL has the C gap and/or outside contain. Pass responsibilities, man-to-man for the back that releases to their side, are the same.

In a similar thought, gun to our head if we had to run a 4-3 tomorrow, we'd trot out the same grouping of personnel we do today.

So what's the difference?
 

Voyageur

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I'm going to pick on you since you said it first.

Please explain how and why a 4-3 would be a better run defense than a 3-4. Conventional wisdom says the 3-4 is the better run defense.

Ignore the position labels.

A 3-4 trots out 3 linemen of defensive tackle size. Keke is the light man in our DT group at 288. He's still a 3T technique tackle in any 4-3.

Our two "outside linebackers" are 4-3 defensive ends. Hell, our top 2/3 are oversized 4-3 ends. Gary and Z at 275 could be strong side DEs each. And we can and do play them on the weak/open side. At worse, one 3-4 OLB is slightly undersized (and they are not with our roster!) than a 4-3 DE, but our other OLB is bigger than the matching 4-3 strong-side OLB. And on running plays, most 4-3s are effectively 5 man fronts--All 4 down lineman and the SOLB. Thats 4-3 SOLB is most typically on the LOS to jam and attack the TE...just like our SOLB.

And then we get into gap assignments. When we shade (find our NT. If he is truly head up on the center, he's a 0. If he's in the A gap/outside shoulder of the center, he's a shade or 1 technique) his responsibilities are the gap he's lined up in. Just like modern 4-3s. From there, find the gap the lineman is lined up in. That's his gap. If there isn't a lineman in a gap, look for the off the ball linebacker. 4-3 calls them Middle (MIKE) and Weak Outside (WILL). In a 3-4, they are called Strong Inside (MACK) and Weak Inside (BUCK). MIKE is a 1:1 to MACK.

WILL is almost a 1:1 to BUCK. Personnel wise, they are 1:1. The only real difference is where they line up/which gap is their responsibility. BUCK will typically line up 1 gap closer to the ball. Most schemes I've seen have the BUCK covering a B gap while WILL has the C gap and/or outside contain. Pass responsibilities, man-to-man for the back that releases to their side, are the same.

In a similar thought, gun to our head if we had to run a 4-3 tomorrow, we'd trot out the same grouping of personnel we do today.

So what's the difference?
For openers, dropping Keke down as the 4th D-lineman shouldn't happen. He's not a linebacker, but a DT. If he's in there, offenses would automatically believe we have a 4-3 defense On the other hand, Gary and Zadarius Smith fit that category quite well. Keke, at best, is a 2nd level DT. The objective, in a 3-4 is getting the two defensive tackles and NT to occupy blockers, and allow the linebackers to make plays. That means generate the pass rush, handle outside containment, cover short passing routes over the middle, and stop the running game, tackle to tackle, without getting into specifics. So, with the Packers, the weakest link is the passing game thrown against us between the hash marks, to a max depth of 15 yards. We are very vulnerable.

The 4-3 relies on the 4 down linemen to generate the pass rush, not taking on blockers directly, but using the lanes between them to gain access to the offensive backfield. You can add a myriad of different blitz packages to this defense. The objective is to generate enough pressure on the QB that the MLB is not overpowered by a speedy receiver, and can control the middle of the field in that short passing zone. Once again, not getting into specifics on assignments.

The reason I believe the 4-3 is a better defense than the 3-4 is that it's easier to find players who fit the mold of those positions who can be effective, and it allows you to spend more draft capital on getting offensive help, and you aren't reaching to get a player who "fits" into the needs of the 3-4, even though he's far from being the best player on the board. As far as running a 3-4, **** LeBeau is the only coach that I know of who could effectively create from it, and knew exactly how to groom players to play in it.
 
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In 2014, the run defense mainly improved with Clay moving inside because they faced terrible rushing offenses for the rest of the season. He was average playing the position at best.
This wasn’t a conversation about Clay Mathews. It’s ok to let it go ;)
 
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I'm going to pick on you since you said it first.

Please explain how and why a 4-3 would be a better run defense than a 3-4. Conventional wisdom says the 3-4 is the better run defense.

Ignore the position labels.

A 3-4 trots out 3 linemen of defensive tackle size. Keke is the light man in our DT group at 288. He's still a 3T technique tackle in any 4-3.

Our two "outside linebackers" are 4-3 defensive ends. Hell, our top 2/3 are oversized 4-3 ends. Gary and Z at 275 could be strong side DEs each. And we can and do play them on the weak/open side. At worse, one 3-4 OLB is slightly undersized (and they are not with our roster!) than a 4-3 DE, but our other OLB is bigger than the matching 4-3 strong-side OLB. And on running plays, most 4-3s are effectively 5 man fronts--All 4 down lineman and the SOLB. Thats 4-3 SOLB is most typically on the LOS to jam and attack the TE...just like our SOLB.

And then we get into gap assignments. When we shade (find our NT. If he is truly head up on the center, he's a 0. If he's in the A gap/outside shoulder of the center, he's a shade or 1 technique) his responsibilities are the gap he's lined up in. Just like modern 4-3s. From there, find the gap the lineman is lined up in. That's his gap. If there isn't a lineman in a gap, look for the off the ball linebacker. 4-3 calls them Middle (MIKE) and Weak Outside (WILL). In a 3-4, they are called Strong Inside (MACK) and Weak Inside (BUCK). MIKE is a 1:1 to MACK.

WILL is almost a 1:1 to BUCK. Personnel wise, they are 1:1. The only real difference is where they line up/which gap is their responsibility. BUCK will typically line up 1 gap closer to the ball. Most schemes I've seen have the BUCK covering a B gap while WILL has the C gap and/or outside contain. Pass responsibilities, man-to-man for the back that releases to their side, are the same.

In a similar thought, gun to our head if we had to run a 4-3 tomorrow, we'd trot out the same grouping of personnel we do today.

So what's the difference?
To keep my answer simplified. When you play a 3-4 let’s face it that’s just the base structure. There far more alignments that end up being variations than a perfect 3-4. Si it’s more concept.
What you will notice is a significant number of 6 in the box when the snap happens. That essentially means you’re starting by playing on your heels trying to prevent the big downfield play. Often in doing so (rushing 4 and 2 immediately behind or 6 box sets) you allow lots of 1 on 1 scenarios at or past LOS. Good RBs (and good pulling blockers) feast on that setup.
You’ll see us getting eaten piece by piece underneath 5-10 yards by TE’s and above average RBs, those guys that are good YAC just take big bites. I bet if you asked Brady he’d say he loves our soft boxes and playing 5 yards off Receivers. He can bleed is slowly.

There’s much to be said about LOS congestion. Drives me crazy when it’s 3rd n 1 or goalline and we have 3-4 guys at the Line inside 6T area and no one over Center! Pettine was famous for this. A Massive gap etc.. There should be 5-6 on that Line, even if you’re going to peel one into coverage post snap.

Totally different if it’s 2nd n 13, let them have 4-5 yards up the gut
 
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milani

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I'm going to pick on you since you said it first.

Please explain how and why a 4-3 would be a better run defense than a 3-4. Conventional wisdom says the 3-4 is the better run defense.

Ignore the position labels.

A 3-4 trots out 3 linemen of defensive tackle size. Keke is the light man in our DT group at 288. He's still a 3T technique tackle in any 4-3.

Our two "outside linebackers" are 4-3 defensive ends. Hell, our top 2/3 are oversized 4-3 ends. Gary and Z at 275 could be strong side DEs each. And we can and do play them on the weak/open side. At worse, one 3-4 OLB is slightly undersized (and they are not with our roster!) than a 4-3 DE, but our other OLB is bigger than the matching 4-3 strong-side OLB. And on running plays, most 4-3s are effectively 5 man fronts--All 4 down lineman and the SOLB. Thats 4-3 SOLB is most typically on the LOS to jam and attack the TE...just like our SOLB.

And then we get into gap assignments. When we shade (find our NT. If he is truly head up on the center, he's a 0. If he's in the A gap/outside shoulder of the center, he's a shade or 1 technique) his responsibilities are the gap he's lined up in. Just like modern 4-3s. From there, find the gap the lineman is lined up in. That's his gap. If there isn't a lineman in a gap, look for the off the ball linebacker. 4-3 calls them Middle (MIKE) and Weak Outside (WILL). In a 3-4, they are called Strong Inside (MACK) and Weak Inside (BUCK). MIKE is a 1:1 to MACK.

WILL is almost a 1:1 to BUCK. Personnel wise, they are 1:1. The only real difference is where they line up/which gap is their responsibility. BUCK will typically line up 1 gap closer to the ball. Most schemes I've seen have the BUCK covering a B gap while WILL has the C gap and/or outside contain. Pass responsibilities, man-to-man for the back that releases to their side, are the same.

In a similar thought, gun to our head if we had to run a 4-3 tomorrow, we'd trot out the same grouping of personnel we do today.

So what's the difference?
Not to be old fashioned but the teams of the 60s who gave the Twin backfield of the Packers trouble had a solid front four. And remember the Packers were at the top in rushing yards over the decade. The Lions, the Rams, and the Vikings of the 60s were tough to run at even with a blocking FB and TE. They were strong and beat you off the ball. Of these 3 groups of defensive lines, guess how many are in the HOF? The key is acquiring the right players. Petine was a pass first DC. With a 4-3 you think run first but expect your back 7 to cover the pass individually.
 

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Z has pass rushed successfully from the inside. He is probably better on the inside (next to Clark) against the run than what we have also.
It they move Z to the inside it would be Gary, Z. Smith, Campbell and P. Smith. Sounds pretty good to me.
 

milani

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It they move Z to the inside it would be Gary, Z. Smith, Campbell and P. Smith. Sounds pretty good to me.
Barry has not had all these pieces this year. He will probably rotate and rotate.
 

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With a 4-3 you think run first but expect your back 7 to cover the pass individually.

I don't think run first when I think 4-3. 4-3 is fundamentally a pass-first defense.

Tracking the history and evolution of defense is hard. What lead to what is often lost to the history of time. And even when we can track it, or parts of it, we don't know why.

One common story as to how the 4-3 came to be, at least one I heard, as a team running a 5-2. The team they were facing keep completing short routes over the middle. As this is an old story, the route wasn't clearly explained. The middle man in the defense, somewhere between a NT and MLB, had the assignment of jamming the center and the dropping to cover the middle. After getting burned for a few plays, he stopped jamming the center. At the snap of the ball, he just dropped. Proceeded to collect a bunch of interceptions, and the game was won.

That history aside, let's talk about *why* the 4-3 is a more pass-centric defense.

1. You have fewer and/or smaller defenders closer to the ball. In a 3-4, both "ends" are lined up no wider than the outside shoulder of the tackle. In old-school, 2-gapping 3-4s, they were headup on the tackle. In modern, shaded 3-4s, you have a 3T, a 1T, and a 5T, which matches most 4-3 under defenses. However, the weak ILB is closer to the ball.

2. The biggest 3 of a 3-4 are typically bigger than the biggest 3 of a 4-3. 4-3's NT, 3T, and strong end vs. 3-4 3 down linemen.

3. In a 4-3, your defensive ends are typically lined up wider to give them better rushing lanes. That's good, but it does create some softer spots in the front 7.

Regarding your second point:

In both a 3-4 and 4-3, 4 is the base rush. You always expect the back 7 to clean up the pass. Your linebackers are involved with run defense (otherwise play action wouldn't work) in either scheme. So again, what's the difference?
 

mradtke66

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What you will notice is a significant number of 6 in the box when the snap happens. That essentially means you’re starting by playing on your heels trying to prevent the big downfield play. Often in doing so (rushing 4 and 2 immediately behind or 6 box sets) you allow lots of 1 on 1 scenarios at or past LOS. Good RBs (and good pulling blockers) feast on that setup.

The problem with that being a 4-3/3-4 argument is we're into nickel defense now. A 6 man front is nickel, which is typically dictated by down and distance and/or offensive personnel.

If the offense comes out with 3 WRs, I want 3 CBs out there, period.

This is a common, modern approach. (Though not that modern. we did the same thing when I was in high school 20+ years ago.) Come out in a pass set, force the defense to defend the pass. And then run the ball. If they do not defend the pass by alignment and/or personnel shifts, take the easy 5 yard completions until they do.

You’ll see us getting eaten piece by piece underneath 5-10 yards by TE’s and above average RBs, those guys that are good YAC just take big bites. I bet if you asked Brady he’d say he loves our soft boxes and playing 5 yards off Receivers. He can bleed is slowly.

But now you're talking about backend coverage. You can play soft or tight in either scheme. You can play man, cover 1, cover 2, cover 3, quarters from any front.

There’s much to be said about LOS congestion. Drives me crazy when it’s 3rd n 1 or goalline and we have 3-4 guys at the Line inside 6T area and no one over Center! Pettine was famous for this. A Massive gap etc.. There should be 5-6 on that Line, even if you’re going to peel one into coverage post snap.

For short yardage, I have no objection on going with a 5-6 man line. There is certainly some risk to it, but yes, it should cover up the easy yards on the ground.
 

mradtke66

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The objective, in a 3-4 is getting the two defensive tackles and NT to occupy blockers, and allow the linebackers to make plays. That means generate the pass rush, handle outside containment, cover short passing routes over the middle, and stop the running game, tackle to tackle, without getting into specifics. So, with the Packers, the weakest link is the passing game thrown against us between the hash marks, to a max depth of 15 yards. We are very vulnerable.

This is somewhat accurate and somewhat not.

In the run game, yes, the intent is to keep the off the ball linebackers clean. However most modern 3-4s are still gap defenses. Or they play hybrid games where the strong side 2gaps and the weak side single gaps. Or just the NT 2-gaps.

The 3-4 does not depend on blitzing to generate pressure on a down in, down out basis. They, just like a 4-3, expect to generate pressure with 4 rushers. I can't talk to specific teams, but that typically means the 3 down lineman and the weak side (to be clear, away from the tight end) linebacker.

The 4-3 relies on the 4 down linemen to generate the pass rush, not taking on blockers directly, but using the lanes between them to gain access to the offensive backfield.

That is the true in 3-4s as well. Now your NT might bull rush in a 3-4, but he's likely doing the same in a 4-3.

You can add a myriad of different blitz packages to this defense.

Ditto 3-4. If anything, one could argue that the 3-4 makes the option easier, as you have 4 pieces to pick and choose to send extra in your front 7, rather than 3.

The objective is to generate enough pressure on the QB that the MLB is not overpowered by a speedy receiver, and can control the middle of the field in that short passing zone.

If you are calling zone coverage, but schemes work to this point. If you are calling man coverages, MLBs shouldn't be in man against many recievers.

Once again, not getting into specifics on assignments.

Ah, but we have to talk specific assignments. How can you honestly compare and contrast the two if we don't?

The reason I believe the 4-3 is a better defense than the 3-4 is that it's easier to find players who fit the mold of those positions who can be effective, and it allows you to spend more draft capital on getting offensive help, and you aren't reaching to get a player who "fits" into the needs of the 3-4, even though he's far from being the best player on the board.

I disagree with this assessment entirely. It's cyclical. Whatever most of the teams in the league are running will make certain players more or less in demand.

I'd also say there isn't all that much different between 4-3 and 3-4. Both want a big ole run plugger nose tackle. Both want two long, strong, and deadly edge defenders. Both want a sideline to sideline clean up tackler.

As far as running a 3-4, **** LeBeau is the only coach that I know of who could effectively create from it, and knew exactly how to groom players to play in it.

Because Bill Belichick is such a scrub ;-)
 
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