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brauneyz
07-22-2010, 11:52 PM
Since we weren't able to cover it in tonight's webcast, thought I'd start a thread about it. Curious to know from those who've played or have knowledge just how hard it is to switch from a 4-3 to 3-4 defense? Specifically, does Albert Haynesworth have a legitimate beef being asked to switch from DE to NT? Is it greed, laziness or insecurity about not excelling in new position?

Granted, I'd be a little ticked if I went into work tomorrow and the boss told me I'd be reassigned, but for that $, I'd probably make do. I mean, it's not like he's asked to QB, or gawd forbid, swap out a transmission or something.

Also, how wedded are HC to defensive schemes. Shanny always ran a 3-4 in Denver (I believe), but coming into a new town, would you not look at the personnel in place and perhaps adjust? Hire a DC you trust to make that call? Thnx in advance.

msclemons
07-23-2010, 12:36 AM
It's easier to find LB's than it is to find defensive linemen. There are lots of undersized college DEs that can transition to an edge LB in the NFL. It's much harder to find four legit defensive linemen and if you do, it's REALLY hard to pay them.

In the Redskin's case they have 3 good 4-3 DL players. None of those three really look like they'll do exceptional on a 3-4 line. They have a solid MLB. Although I understand the appeal of the 3-4 I don't understand the desire to jump to it in year 1 in Washington. Fix the offense first, the D was actually decent last year.

bluestree
07-23-2010, 12:44 AM
It's easier to find LB's than it is to find defensive linemen. There are lots of undersized college DEs that can transition to an edge LB in the NFL. It's much harder to find four legit defensive linemen and if you do, it's REALLY hard to pay them.

Flip side of the coin, the most important peice of the 3-4 is the nose tackle, and those are few and far between. So you have a good chance of putting together a linebacker corp and a worse chance of finding an anchor. Well, the extra linebackers you carry instead of defensive tackles should make you better on special teams. Unless you're Pittsburgh. Push. 3-4 will get big, offenses will adjust, teams will switch back to 43. Where have I seen this movie before?

GoBigOrGoHome
07-23-2010, 12:49 AM
Hayneswotrh's got one gripe -- a 3-4 will kill his stat line. He's gonna get double-teamed every down and will see his tackles & sacks dry up & go away. But the dude has a huge contract, so he should shut up & play.

bluestree
07-23-2010, 12:57 AM
Hayneswotrh's got one gripe -- a 3-4 will kill his stat line. He's gonna get double-teamed every down and will see his tackles & sacks dry up & go away. But the dude has a huge contract, so he should shut up & play.

Really, what more can they give him, more money? I mean, if I was him, why not set out to rewrite the book on nose tackle. He could try to be the goat at the position if he had character. It's sickening to think what they pay this guy for his measily production, when all the greats before him played for relative peanuts!

GoBigOrGoHome
07-23-2010, 01:13 AM
But the dude has a huge contract, so he should shut up & play.

ElShay
07-23-2010, 04:49 AM
The NT is a very crucial part of the 3-4 (as I found out last season being a Charger fan). Finding the 5-techniques and the NT is difficult for 3-4 teams because not a lot of Colleges use the formation. The 3-4 line is not glorious either, in most schemes, their primary task is to tie up blockers, although schemes like those by Arizona and Wade Phillips do allow the three men up front to penetrate more, rather than just tying up blockers.
The linebackers in a 3-4 scheme are generally bigger than linebackers in the 4-3, while the 4-3 tends to have the faster ones (tampa-2 mostly).
I'm not sure the Redskins have the personnel for an immediate shift to 3-4. Washington could probably run a Hybrid 4-3 - 3-4 that should help Haynesworth get his stats.

adamdon3
07-23-2010, 09:35 AM
Hayneswotrh's got one gripe -- a 3-4 will kill his stat line. He's gonna get double-teamed every down and will see his tackles & sacks dry up & go away. But the dude has a huge contract, so he should shut up & play.

Bingo. That is why he is mad. But he should shut up and play like you said. Big Daddy Vince Wilfork was a 4-3 Nose at Miami and the moment the Pats took him you new he was going to be a 3-4 Nose and he made a very smooth transition. That is what Haynesworth should be doing. Heck, he should probably call Vince to ask about it.

Kosar19
07-23-2010, 09:58 AM
The NT position in the 3-4 has one purpose: to tie up 2-3 blockers on the linbe and let the DEs and LBs make the plays. I know the Browns are conidering moving Shaun Rogers to the DE spot instead of the NT spot because he is actually TOO good at penetrating the line at the NT spot and is actually hurting the D by pushing up the middle too much.

brauneyz
07-23-2010, 11:01 AM
I'm not sure the Redskins have the personnel for an immediate shift to 3-4. Washington could probably run a Hybrid 4-3 - 3-4 that should help Haynesworth get his stats.

So this brings up the second part of my question about coaching. Should a HC be flexible and use the personnel he has rather than shove the square peg into the round hole? Or is the switch not that dramatic from a player's standpoint?

Andy Freeland
07-23-2010, 11:25 AM
The switch is very dramatic for a player. A 3-4 NT gets beat up, it shortens his career, and could decrease his quality of life after football. All legitimate arguments if Haynesworth hadn't just taken a $21M bonus AFTER he knew they were switching to the 3-4.


I know the Browns are conidering moving Shaun Rogers to the DE spot instead of the NT spot because he is actually TOO good at penetrating the line at the NT spot and is actually hurting the D by pushing up the middle too much.

This is an excellent point. If a NT gets too much penetration compared to the DEs, it creates HUGE running lanes on either side of him.

adamdon3
07-23-2010, 11:31 AM
So this brings up the second part of my question about coaching. Should a HC be flexible and use the personnel he has rather than shove the square peg into the round hole? Or is the switch not that dramatic from a player's standpoint?

It depends... he would have to know a lot or have a DC that knows a lot about the other defense. Imagine how hard it is to make in game adjustments in a system you are not comfortable with. You have to know your system inside and out to change things on the fly.

ReaderM
07-23-2010, 12:41 PM
So this brings up the second part of my question about coaching. Should a HC be flexible and use the personnel he has rather than shove the square peg into the round hole? Or is the switch not that dramatic from a player's standpoint?

I think the answer to this is a resounding yes, a coach shouldn't try to fit a square into a round whole but more if he wants fit it in there anyway, to start shaving a little at the edge to make it round. Here are 2 drastic different example in which a coach is rounding out his roster to fit his scheme and other one where the Coordinator tried to get his players to fit his scheme.

In Pittsburg, Tomlin was coming from a 4-3 Basis but was hired by a team with a 3-4 personnel scheme. Instead of trying do a whole sale change over from a 3-4 to a 4-3, he worked together with LeBeau and started incorporating 4-3 system coverage with his secondary and Linebackers with a variety of 3-4 Blitz packages. I don't think anyone would say the Settlers Defenses haven't be top notch, specifically after they won a SuperBowl against the hardest schedule in the league on base of their D. Now over time they have started drafting more players to fit a 4-3 if they ever decide to change over completely.

Conversely, In TB last year, most people would agree that the Tampa-2 is a Defense focused more penetrating linemen and fast coverage linebackers.The D Coordinator last year instead of gradually changing to a more formal 4-3 with bigger linemen and such, instead tried to just have his players gain weight and was still calling the plays for that typical 4-3. What followed was a terrible disaster as shown by their record & wasn't until he was fired and the head coach switched by to more Tampa-2 with some different coverage schemes did the Defense even start to rebound to form.

OverTheTop
07-23-2010, 01:52 PM
I think the answer to this is a resounding yes, a coach shouldn't try to fit a square into a round whole but more if he wants fit it in there anyway, to start shaving a little at the edge to make it round. Here are 2 drastic different example in which a coach is rounding out his roster to fit his scheme and other one where the Coordinator tried to get his players to fit his scheme.

In Pittsburg, Tomlin was coming from a 4-3 Basis but was hired by a team with a 3-4 personnel scheme. Instead of trying do a whole sale change over from a 3-4 to a 4-3, he worked together with LeBeau and started incorporating 4-3 system coverage with his secondary and Linebackers with a variety of 3-4 Blitz packages. I don't think anyone would say the Settlers Defenses haven't be top notch, specifically after they won a SuperBowl against the hardest schedule in the league on base of their D. Now over time they have started drafting more players to fit a 4-3 if they ever decide to change over completely.

Conversely, In TB last year, most people would agree that the Tampa-2 is a Defense focused more penetrating linemen and fast coverage linebackers.The D Coordinator last year instead of gradually changing to a more formal 4-3 with bigger linemen and such, instead tried to just have his players gain weight and was still calling the plays for that typical 4-3. What followed was a terrible disaster as shown by their record & wasn't until he was fired and the head coach switched by to more Tampa-2 with some different coverage schemes did the Defense even start to rebound to form.

ReaderM, because the nose tackle position is one of the hardest to fill in football, I imagine the the Steelers will switch to a 4-3 once Casey Hampton retires, especially is DC Dick Lebeau joins the retirement club around the same time. Mike Tomlin's defensive learning curve from his time as a former secondary coach and defensive coordinator in the NFL was obviously the Tampa Cover 2 as you mentioned. I think Tomlin does want to go to that system eventually but at this point he still has personnel that fits the 3-4 structure.

bluestree
07-23-2010, 02:25 PM
So this brings up the second part of my question about coaching. Should a HC be flexible and use the personnel he has rather than shove the square peg into the round hole? Or is the switch not that dramatic from a player's standpoint?

From what I read when Green Bay made the switch; one of the considerations was that they thought they had the personnel, although they knew they were projecting some guys like Kampman and Pickett as having the skill set. If you know you don't have the guys, it would be crazy to do, but if you have most of the peices, I can see where a coach might stretch his talent a little bit till he could acquire the right players. Partly having the right guys, partly telling your athletes to make it happen, you're a pro.

jmohr107
07-23-2010, 03:24 PM
The 3-4 line is not glorious either, in most schemes, their primary task is to tie up blockers, although schemes like those by Arizona and Wade Phillips do allow the three men up front to penetrate more, rather than just tying up blockers.


This is something that I have never understood about the 3-4 defense. What are the different variations and how do they differ from each other? For example how is the Dick LeBeau 3-4 different from the Bill Parcells/ Bill Belichick 3-4?

bluestree
07-23-2010, 03:41 PM
This is something that I have never understood about the 3-4 defense. What are the different variations and how do they differ from each other? For example how is the Dick LeBeau 3-4 different from the Bill Parcells/ Bill Belichick 3-4?

Really good question but almost impossible for a layman, or even one of the pro's to answer completely. So many different packages, coverages and techniques. And you're only talking base defense. Teams spend a lot of time in nickle and dime whigh are totally different than base 34 or43. The two main guys as far as dc's in the 34 today are Dom Capers and dick LeBeau. I've heard there are differences in their approaches, although they kind of came up together. Then you have Gregg Williams, who I think runs a unique hybrid system which is 43 unless it's 34. And that's just a couple of systems. Funny, all the obsession last year in Green Bay switching to 34 and first play, first game, they're in nickle.
Somebody should have an online course we could take to learn more, only thing is , without the all 22 film, you can't see what the alignments are in the back end. That's what is great about going to a game. You can watch the safeties, maybe a guy takes one step toward the middle and the other safety takes two steps forward, and you can watch the play unfold from there. One of the great experiences I've had is going to the HOF game, because you can see it all, but from the perspective of being at a high school game. You can really appreciate how precise the alignments really are without binocs.

Pattrick
07-23-2010, 06:32 PM
Hayneswotrh's got one gripe -- a 3-4 will kill his stat line. He's gonna get double-teamed every down and will see his tackles & sacks dry up & go away. But the dude has a huge contract, so he should shut up & play.

But the game shouldn't be played for the stat-line, right? You should be playing it for the love of the game and the love of your teammates. Whenever you hear an ex-player being asked what they miss most about not playing the game, the answer you hear the most is: "Just being in the locker room and being around the guys." Surprisingly, the answer: "The Paycheck", usually comes in second to that.

ncoolong
07-23-2010, 07:07 PM
...the extra linebackers you carry instead of defensive tackles should make you better on special teams. Unless you're Pittsburgh.

I hate you...hilarious, true, can't argue with it...but I still hate you.

Kosar19
07-23-2010, 07:44 PM
I hate you...hilarious, true, can't argue with it...but I still hate you.

I'm pretty sure Steeler special teamers have nightmares about Cribbs. He's the only Brown that seems to give Pit a problem.

ReaderM
07-23-2010, 08:39 PM
One of the great experiences I've had is going to the HOF game, because you can see it all, but from the perspective of being at a high school game. You can really appreciate how precise the alignments really are without binocs.

This might be one of the few admission of someone saying they actually enjoyed a preseason game. I semi-enjoy them but only because I know ever player on the team roster and it a little contest between me and others to see what the final 53 will be and preseason does def help with that.

Colts01
07-25-2010, 01:52 PM
But the game shouldn't be played for the stat-line, right? You should be playing it for the love of the game and the love of your teammates. Whenever you hear an ex-player being asked what they miss most about not playing the game, the answer you hear the most is: "Just being in the locker room and being around the guys." Surprisingly, the answer: "The Paycheck", usually comes in second to that.

That should tell you or make you ask what are Hayneworths motivations?

Wordsworth
07-25-2010, 02:32 PM
From what I read when Green Bay made the switch; one of the considerations was that they thought they had the personnel, although they knew they were projecting some guys like Kampman and Pickett as having the skill set. If you know you don't have the guys, it would be crazy to do, but if you have most of the peices, I can see where a coach might stretch his talent a little bit till he could acquire the right players. Partly having the right guys, partly telling your athletes to make it happen, you're a pro.

Definitely. Putting Aaron Kampman at DE in the 3-4 was a gross misuse of his abilities and he all but disappeared on defense last year. Instead of lining up against tight ends and RTs, he was deeper in the trench against fatty RGs and Cs and got almost no pressure on the left side. The move to 3-4 was great for guys like AJ Hawk but Kampman got swallowed up.

thephaze
07-25-2010, 02:38 PM
Haynesworth has to sack up and play.

They payed him, now play.

ReaderM
07-25-2010, 03:52 PM
Haynesworth has to sack up and play.

They payed him, now play.

I agree, I wasn't against him for being upset with him at first for him being made about switching to Washington switching to a 3-4 only 1 year after he signed there as a Free Agent to play the 4-3. It would be akin to being a specialist in interior design, joining a nice new company and then all sudden they tell you they are switching to being a landscaping company. But then it came out that the Redskins told him that if he accepted the 21 Millions Dollars in his contract and that if he accepted it, he would be expected to play as 3-4 Nose Tackle, and he still took the money and complained like crazy even though they gave him an out.

jmohr107
07-25-2010, 08:42 PM
Definitely. Putting Aaron Kampman at DE in the 3-4 was a gross misuse of his abilities and he all but disappeared on defense last year. Instead of lining up against tight ends and RTs, he was deeper in the trench against fatty RGs and Cs and got almost no pressure on the left side. The move to 3-4 was great for guys like AJ Hawk but Kampman got swallowed up.


I don't think that was what happened. Kampman played outside linebacker last year, and he wasn't able to generate the same pressure standing up as he could with his hands on the ground. But his biggest problem was in coverage because he just wasn't fluid enough to stay with running backs when they came into the flat out of the backfield. He still lined up on the outside and got pressure from time to time so I wouldn't say he got swallowed up.

jaGmen
07-25-2010, 09:42 PM
Haynesworth has reason to complain. He was told he'd be a playmaking DT in a 4-3. Stupid Dan Snyder has to make his biannual coaching change and Shanahan wants a 3-4, which Haynesworth wasn't brought in to do. The organization lied to him and he deserves to demand a trade. If I were him I would retire and take advantage of the system the way Brett Favre did. But all the same, he should have been smart and never signed with the rednecks

brauneyz
07-25-2010, 09:52 PM
Haynesworth has reason to complain. He was told he'd be a playmaking DT in a 4-3. Stupid Dan Snyder has to make his biannual coaching change and Shanahan wants a 3-4, which Haynesworth wasn't brought in to do. The organization lied to him and he deserves to demand a trade. If I were him I would retire and take advantage of the system the way Brett Favre did. But all the same, he should have been smart and never signed with the rednecks

Are you serious? So a team is not supposed to recognize a mistake (Zorn was a nice guy but no HC) and keep a subpar HC to appease Albert? Teams change all the time. He was not lied to (unless you can provide documentation proving they said they'd never switch things up that would impact Haynesworth.)

But thanks for the chuckle!

Turk Schonert
07-25-2010, 10:56 PM
Hayneswotrh's got one gripe -- a 3-4 will kill his stat line. He's gonna get double-teamed every down and will see his tackles & sacks dry up & go away. But the dude has a huge contract, so he should shut up & play.

Well said, but I think the main reason is that not only will he get double teamed, he will get cut by the center & guards constantly. His agent is telling him that the move is bad for his health & longevity. I agree with all, shut up and play !! They backed the Brinks truck up and dumped it into his lap. He could make a huge impact on this defense and help turn this team around, and somewhat justify this outlandish contract.

BayouBoys
07-26-2010, 04:13 AM
I hope albert does understand that even while playing a 3-4, they will switch back to a 4-3 on passing situations (likely). I think he was just making a stink that he just didn't feel like playing in washington anymore. That's what I've heard through the grapevine.

You can have a great 3-4 D with SPPPPPEEEEED! The outside guys, if they can move and cover a lot of ground, you can be very, very scary. But to be honest, I think making a great 4-3 defense is just as hard as making a 3-4 defense. It's all about personnel.