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4-3 or 3-4 defense?

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by sackman, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I've always preferred the 4-3. It creates some matchup problems for the offense if you have four guys on the DL who can rush the passer and control the running game.

    Football is a copy-cat sport, and based on what the Giants have done, I would expect both college and pro teams to start implementing 4-3 schemes.

    I have to say that I prefer the 4-3 because if you can pull it off, it allows your secondary to play much more aggressively. When your front four can account for five OL plus the QB, you free up seven guys to cover 5 players. The numbers work in your favor.
     
  2. MrFrumpylane

    MrFrumpylane Well-Known Member

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    4-3.

    As the saying goes: "Games are won in the trenches."
     
  3. btbuff

    btbuff It's an inside joke Club Member

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    I am going with what Nik says here. He called it perfect last year.
     
  4. GregInArlington

    GregInArlington Well-Known Member

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  5. FLounder

    FLounder The Buffs will rise again! Club Member

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    7-2-2
     
  6. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

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    1-7-3
     
  7. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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  8. Daaah

    Daaah Club Member Club Member

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    11-0
     
  9. GregInArlington

    GregInArlington Well-Known Member

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    I love goalline D.
     
  10. 4DemBuffs

    4DemBuffs Most admired poster Club Member

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    is this the first date thread?
     
  11. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    that would be .5 - 10.5
     
  12. JWP303

    JWP303 Active Member

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    I think the 3-4 is the superior scheme, especially as the game becomes more pass-heavy, but it's really difficult to get the right athletes to execute it properly. I think there is something to be said for deception - and when the o-line doesn't know which 4 guys are rushing every snap - I think that's an advantage for the defense.

    So - in summary - I like the 3-4 better for the NFL and the 4-3 better for college and HS. I think there is more risk with a 3-4 as it requires more gap discipline, but ultimately more reward as well.
     
  13. Jaximus

    Jaximus Club Member Club Member

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    Looks like a 4-2-5 is what is necessary to be successful in the PAC12 where you're lined up against spread offenses most of the time. You end up with smaller and faster linebackers playing a rover type position as well as corners playing safety.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. buffedup

    buffedup Cooler than a Popsicle Stand. Club Member

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    Winning Defense.
     
  15. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    Agree completely. I have always preferred the 4-3 as well. DTs are always hard to find but the number of guys who can effectively play the nose in a 3-4 is very small. It seems like we have been cycling through 3-4s since the mid 70's but the only teams that it works well for consistently are teams that have good enough athletes to play either sceme. Seems also like the 3-4 is most effective when only a few teams run it. As more teams go 3-4 and teams are preparing for it regularly it becomes easier to beat it.

    3-4 is a major liability in getting a consistent pass rush unless you have a dynamic rushing LB, that guy is even more effective blitzing in the 4-3 when he is going to get a 1 on 1 match-up.
     
  16. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    The 3-4 is more of a run defense. It relies on having defensive linemen that can tie up the OL and allow the linebackers to make tackles. In the present day more and more offenses rely on the pass and the 4-3 is better at stopping the pass. Unless you have a NT that can tie up two OL guys on every play it becomes harder to run the 3-4 because the guards can then get to the second level and over power the linebackers.

    I would say the 4-3 in preferred in the game today because of the offenses you see. If the option and a lot of running offenses were to come back into vogue then the 3-4 may be preferred.
     
  17. buffs04

    buffs04 Well-Known Member

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    A major advantage of the 3-4 is that it is easier to find pass-rushers at 3-4 OLB than it is at 4-3 DE.
     
  18. Unleash Hell

    Unleash Hell Well-Known Member

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  19. buffsyko

    buffsyko Club Member Club Member

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    In the pac 12,the 4-3 would be better. 3-4 would be more suitable for defending the run.
     
  20. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I like the 3-4 better than the 4-3 on the pro level.

    I'm still wondering whether it translates to the college level if you're the type of program that expects student-athletes to be students and you actually abide by the practice time limits imposed by the NCAA.

    To run an effective 3-4, I think you also have to have a sophisticated zone blitz scheme. I don't know that is something that a college player has the time to learn. It's the defensive equivalent to the offenses that Callahan and Weis were unable to have any success with at the college level unless they had a veteran QB running it. Playbook's too thick for a freshman to master.

    There's also the issue of teaching DEs the 5 technique and also of finding NTs that command a double-team while still being disruptive.

    I'd rather run a 4-3 base defense and then have the option to incorporate some zone blitz by dropping a DE off at times so a LB can blitz. We can also run some 4-2-5 Nickel off that for spread teams (again with zone blitz packages) as our secondary defense.

    In 2012, expect to see what I'm talking about. In fact, I don't see it changing beyond that. You don't bring in as many DL recruits as we did with no LBs if you're thinking about running a 3-4 in the long-term.
     
  21. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Also, we talk a lot about the "5" technique for a 3-4 DE vs the "3" technique for a DT in a 4-3 defense. Then, there's the CU hybrid.

    I thought people might like a quick primer on this.

    Here's the basic numbering system. "0" technique means aligned over the center, "3" means aligned in the guard-tackle gap, etc.



    765432101234567
    TELTLGCRGRTTE






    In a traditional 3-4, there's a NT playing the "0" (or shaded to a "1") to command a double-team from the center and guard to keep the MLB somewhat clean. Likewise, the two DEs are on a "5" to crash the OTs down and give blitzing OLBs a clean edge for rushing the passer.

    In a traditional 4-3, the DTs play a "2" technique in a read-and-react style defense and a "3" technique in a gap penetration defense, while the DEs play a "4" or 5" depending on the style.

    CU runs kind of a hybrid.

    We have a NT who plays a "0" or "1". That's the spot Solis was recruited for.

    Then, we have a DT who plays a "3". That's where we'll see Tupou.

    At DE, we need one bigger guy who can play a "4" on the opposite side of the DT and occupy 2 gaps for run support.

    The other DE (on the DT side) is a full "go" outside rush and contain.

    It really is a hybrid. There are some 4-3 principles and some 3-4 principles. It's also an unbalanced front that can be confusing for opposing OLs.
     
    lawdogg and Quattro like this.
  22. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    Nik has put a lot more attention into this than I ever have. I look at what the Giants have done the last several years and I recognize that it works. If you can effectively neutralize the opponent's run game with your front four, while simultaneously generating a pass rush, you can really free up your defense to be more aggressive in the backfield.
     
  23. Bass

    Bass Club Member Club Member

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    The Giants still run a non-traditional front four because they utilize 3 de type players and one dt, and on clear passing situations they have all 4 speed rushers on the field. Also, they tend to play a big nickel with 5 db's but to make up for the fact that their back 7 is small, they play 3 safeties instead of the traditional 3 cornerback look. I truly believe that the 3 safety/ 2 linebacker look is the way to go if you have the personnel. To apply this to CU, I think that a Ray Polk type player is the ideal 3rd safety because he can support the run and cover the TE. The problem is to find the other 2.
     
  24. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    All this comes back to a basic truth about the game, the scheme is less important than the guys running it. It's amazing how good a scheme looks when you have superior players and how bad that same scheme looks when you don't.

    Would Ray Lewis be a bad player in a 4-3, would the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive stars look bad in a 4-3. At the same time the Giants run a 4-3 that sometimes looks like a 3-4, they have the players that could succeed in either.

    It's fun to talk about schemes and game plans but in the end it comes down to my guys playing better than your guys. Coaches can get all excited about something drawn up on a white board but it's the players who play. The coaches just have to worry about getting the players in a position where they can excell. The great ones will excell in any scheme. The ones who aren't good enough will fail no matter what the coaches do. There are some guys in the middle who will do better in one than another but that is a question of finding the scheme for them not trying to fit them into the scheme.
     
  25. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    Ray was bad in a 3-4. His game is to pursue sideline to sideline. He had a bad year when the Ravens tried it. He's not good at taking on OLs. He lobbied hard for the team to draft Ngata so they could go back to a 4-3 with basically 2 NTs taking up blockers on the inside like they had when they won the Superbowl.
     
  26. MtnBuff

    MtnBuff Not allowed in Barzil 2 Club Member

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    He's better in the 4-3, partly as you say because of his teammates keeping him clean. At the same time if he had been given 3-4 years to adjust to the 3-4 with his speed and physicality I think he is still a perenial pro-bowler.
     
  27. BMoe82

    BMoe82 Active Member

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    If your DE's are athletic, the 3-4 and 4-3 are very interchangeable. 7 in the box either way. Personally, I would prefer to see us in a 4-2 nickel with a "tweener" nickel back (fast LB that is good in space).
     
  28. Creebuzz

    Creebuzz Club Member Club Member

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    The number of spread offenses just increased this year with all the new coaching hires. I would think the Buffs might consider a base 4-3 against teams like Stanford or USC, but convert to a 3-3 stack against the spread offenses.
     
  29. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I would assume that this is exactly why we have recruited guys like Tu'umalo, Harlos and Clark. I guess we're referring to them as linebackers this year but it would be easy to consider them as an extra safety when they're on the field.
     
  30. Darian3Hagan

    Darian3Hagan '89 Player of the Year Club Member

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    Double eagle bear
     

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