Defensive explanations requested (1 Viewer)

FWtex

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IF they could get the talent, would it be better to run the 3-4 instead of the 4-3?

What is the difference in playing MLB in the 4-3 vs being a ILB in the 3-4 if the OLB are playing a similar role as the DE's coming off the edge.

Why does Vilma have problems playing ILB in the 3-4 but would be better at MLB in the 4-3?

What pieces on the current roster do the saints have that would work in the 3-4?

Why do DC's have a hard time coaching the 3-4? It seems like it gives you more options and more ability to disguise your defense at the line.

As older saints fans we have had the priviledge to have seen the 3-4 work to perfection and the 4-3 not work much at all since Haslett made the change. I remember Haslett making the comment after the tampa game saying they needed to go the 4-3 to stop the running backs in the division, and at the time thought it was a cop out excuse for poor ability to coach.
 

Taurus

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Haslett? IIRC, Ditka ran a 4-3 as well.

Anyway, the 3-4 seems like a pretty economical defense to run. The front 3 don't usually command the type of salary that just the DE's in a 4-3 typically receive. Linebackers hardly ever see the kinds of contracts that 4-3 DT's get.

If the talent (Disruptive ends, DTs that can both hold the point and collapse the pocket) just doesn't exist out there to be had for an elite 4-3, why not switch? The 3-4 uses 'tweener' type players from a physical standpoint, though they have to be talented tweeners, to be sure.

As to why a given player might thrive in one alignment vs. another, I really couldn't say.
 

BoNcHiE

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I'd be down for the 3-4 just for the sake of trying something different for once, but I don't think we are close to having the players.

Our only good LB, Fujita, struggled and couldn't win a starting job in Dallas. The 3-4 scheme there is what is often blamed to explain him not starting. I've heard Vilma is more of a 4-3 guy. You need a kinda hybrid DE/LB kind of player to play OLB in a 3-4. Both our DE's are big and fat. I'm not aware of how different the CB/S responsiblities are in a 3-4. I think in coverage they are fairly similiar to the 4-3. The thing I love about the 3-4 is the exotic blitz packages incoporated. With fast LB's you can mix up your blitz looks and bring pressure from everywhere.
 

CoolBrees1

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You'd need speed with your OLB's in the 3-4 scheme...and we don't have that....unless you wanna move Will Smith to one of the OLB positions...perfect example was Ricky Jackson on one end and Pat Swilling on the other end...
 

basilisk

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i think smith and grant are perfect DEs for the 3/4, and thomas/clancy would be ok at NT... the run D would be pretty good imo if the 2 ILBs were decent... i think last year's 7th, mitchell, would be a decent ILB in a 3/4, but i of course don't know that for sure... i'm not sure fujita would fit, he doesn't seem quite fast enough outside or strong enough inside, but who knows... the ohio st. DE would be perfect as an OLB/DE in a 3/4 and i think niko (who the dolphins picked up) would have been ok
 
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FWtex

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i think smith and grant are perfect DEs for the 3/4, and thomas/clancy would be ok at NT... the run D would be pretty good imo if the 2 ILBs were decent... i think last year's 7th, mitchell, would be a decent ILB in a 3/4, but i of course don't know that for sure... i'm not sure fujita would fit, he doesn't seem quite fast enough outside or strong enough inside, but who knows... the ohio st. DE would be perfect as an OLB/DE in a 3/4 and i think niko (who the dolphins picked up) would have been ok
I don't see neither smith nor grant capable of being an OLB in their current form. Both would have to lose a little weight and gain some agility but they wold both have the experience to bring good pressure off the ends. dropping back into coverage is the question for them.

If it meant trading one to get additional pieces I would be up for it. Something has to change.
 

robsmith32

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I think both smith and grant would remain DE in a 3/4... especially since both seem heavier than in the past. We don't have a LB that fits that olb in a 3/4 or a ilb for the ILB. we'd have 0 LB for that scheme instead of 1 for the 4/3. i'ts better short 2 lb out of 3. than short 4 out of 4.
Cooper/wynn might be able to olb Smith 2 years ago, should be able to olb.

DT, hollis might pass.. clancy.. plausible.
we are short 2LB 2CB, 1-2 safety 1 dt from a decent 4/3.. we'd be 4LB, 2CB,1-2 safety, 1dt from 3/4
so 4-5 needed or 8-9 needed.. plus you have to consider depthwise at the positions as well.
 
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Haslett? IIRC, Ditka ran a 4-3 as well.
I thought he meant in '96, when Haslett was DC.
I don't remember if he ran a 3-4 or not, but I'd be shocked if he did.
The 1996 Saints only carried 6 linebackers, which would be rather shallow for a 3-4.
 

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I thought he meant in '96, when Haslett was DC.
I don't remember if he ran a 3-4 or not, but I'd be shocked if he did.
The 1996 Saints only carried 6 linebackers, which would be rather shallow for a 3-4.
Ok, that makes more sense. Thanks, PLF.

If I were building a defense from scratch in today's NFL, I'd build a 3-4. Rebuilding one, with the Saints current roster? I don't know. It'd depend on how I felt about Smith and Grant. Can they become pass-rushers again? If so, sure, stay with the 4-3, sign/draft a couple linebackers (Another pair of CB's is a given no matter which base style we go with) and keep searching for that ever-elusive 3-tech DT who can collapse the pocket while remaining stout against the run. If not, trade Smith for whatever he can bring, blow the whole thing up and start over with a 3-4 base. It's cheap, effective and relies on very few examples of the "planet principle".
 

'79 Saints

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Actually, Jim Mora started to move the team to a 4-3 in 1994 (Sam Mills was the Mike and Vaughn Johnson was released because of his slow recovery from a staph infection), because colleges were no longer producing quality pass rushing linebackers, but instead bigger defensive ends. Therefore, the NFL started going more to 43 defenses.

What you're seeing now are smaller defensive ends being converted to linebackers, so more defenses are trying the 34 again -albeit some are running a "hybrid" version to fit their personnel on their roster.

One defense isn't "better" than the other -it all depends on personnel. The Steelers won 4 Super Bowls in the 70s running a 4-3, and went to two, winning one with a 3-4.

Right now, I'd prefer the Saints stick with the 4-3 because that's how their roster is shaped. We don't have a true nose guard (which is the key to the defense) and except for Charles Grant, I really don't see any defensive ends that could flourish handing a two-gap/keep the linemen off the linebackers responsibility.

And don't get me started on the linebackers...
 

basilisk

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I don't see neither smith nor grant capable of being an OLB in their current form. Both would have to lose a little weight and gain some agility but they wold both have the experience to bring good pressure off the ends. dropping back into coverage is the question for them.

If it meant trading one to get additional pieces I would be up for it. Something has to change.
i don't know what you're talking about... i agree they can't play LB in a 34 and who'd want them to? but with their size they could be very good DEs in the 34, imo.. you would need help at NT though
 

DownWithDisease

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I wish we'd run the old Buddy Ryan 46 defense! Just attack the freakin QB every play like we did with Zaven Yaralien(sp?)... Even if we get burned a few times per game, at least we'd be crackin some skulls, and intimidating someone!
 

'79 Saints

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I wish we'd run the old Buddy Ryan 46 defense! Just attack the freakin QB every play like we did with Zaven Yaralien(sp?)... Even if we get burned a few times per game, at least we'd be crackin some skulls, and intimidating someone!
That's what the Titans still run -not as their base, but they do go into it every so often.

BTW, the "46" defense, for those who may wonder, was named after Doug Plank (#46 on the Bears defense), because as safety he would play the role of linebacker when the Otis Wilson would drop to end

It's a pressure defense, but again needs the right personnel to run it well. Our safeties would have to become head hunters out there with good ball skills and speed.

We'd also need better linebackers and DT's that rely on speed and quickness.
 

MJ in Calif

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It seems to switch back and fourth in cycles and it has to do with a combination of what the colleges are producing as well as rules. I remember in the very late 1970s, the 5-yard chuck rule was put in and putting the CBs at an extreme disadvantage. This rule revolutionized the passing game in the league. This led to a gradual evolution to the 3-4 as defenses had to defend the pass via rushing the passer as opposed to covering downfield. Speed rushers were needed to come out of their 2-point stances, hence the 3-4. In the mid to late eighties, the 3-4 was at it's peak. Lawrence Taylor help bring the 3-4 to it's peak and many teams began trying to copy. The Saints had two OLBs in that mold in Swilling and Jackson, and later Renold Turnbull. In the early 90's, it began to swing back the other way; due to a lack of these type of speed rushing OLBs coming out, and the offenses figuring out how to block and run agains this type of scheme. Additionally, real good cover corners were coming out at that time, which also led to the evolution back to the 4-3.

I think today it's a mixed bag. It depends on personnel, coaching philosophy, etc.
 

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