Originally posted by jonnydel:I do have to respectfully disagree on these points. What makes a 3-4 a 3-4 instead of a 4-3 under defense is not that you have an OLB rushing, it's that the two are interchangeable and it's not always going to be the weakside DE. What you're thinking about is a 4-3 under scheme where the weakside DE is in a two point stance and the SOLB moves head up over the TE. In this defense the weak side DE rushes the passer and never drops into coverage. It gives a 4-3 defense the edge stopping advantage of a 3-4 but only ever puts their best pass rusher in rushing situation. We definitely have more of a hybrid 3-4, but it's definitely a 3-4 as Smith and Brooks rarely switch sides. There's not strong side LB. Also, if the TE shifts or motions you don't see WIllis and Bowman trade places because there's no designated strong side or weak side ILB as there would be in a 4-3 under scheme. Also, the film does not support a gap shooting D-line. On film you see all 3 DT's primarily trying to eat up blockers to keep the LB's clean with a lot of lateral movement. The technique Dorsey uses is always a 2 gap technique and he did very well at it all last year, they even talked about the D-line's great 3 gap technique on nfl playbook.
as fr our nickel being a 4-3 scheme, I sort of agree with you. Only in that the majority of the time we use Aldon and Brooks as pass rusher. However, we do have multiple plays during a game where one of the two will drop into coverage when we blitz Bowman or Willis. Also, Smith and Brooks are never true DE's in a Nickel package, they really are OLB's. It's kind of splitting hairs, but that's what I do.... it drives some of my friends nuts.....
I think we are saying the same thing in different ways. First of all, yes, our base defense personnel is definitely a 3-4 defense. No doubt about it. The three down lineman's responsibilities are indeed to keep the LB's clear from being blocked so they can flow to the ball carrier. Also agree that RayMac and Justin don't switch sides as in a 4-3 under shift. Yes, we are basically from a personnel design point of view
a 3-4 defense. But again, schematically speaking, you can line up in a 3-4 - and again scheme-wise (not talking about personnel) and that fourth rusher (Aldon or Brooks) rushing turns it into a 4-3 scheme. Keep in mind the 4-3 is basically four down linemen rushing and not dropping back, and then the three linebackers have coverage and pursuit responsibilities. The only real difference scheme-wise is that in our hybrid system Aldon **OR** Brooks is that fourth rusher and I think that when either one rushes - that matches up with a basic 4-3 scheme. If you look at the film, it's either Aldon *OR* Brooks rushing and I think it's a rare play where you see *both* Aldon and Brooks dropping into coverage.
I think one of the reasons Fangio does that is to screw up the protection calls on offense and disrupt it and get to the QB via pressure. I also think that's why Fangio has so much success getting underperforming 4-3 DT's like Dorsey to come here and shine. If there is any disagreement here (and I don't think there is) is exactly which hair to split and how fine to split it.
Re: gap penetration. I've seen plays where Justin or RayMac, knowing they have a backside rusher coming in (Brooks for RayMac, and Aldon for Justin)to help in edge contain, they take a hard charge into the Guard/Center gap on run plays to get into the backfield. I think that's by design, when Fangio can reasonably guess where the run play is going to go (either run left or run right). So, in this example, if the run is going towards RayMac's side, I've seen Justin just jump into the Guard Center Gap and basically gumm up the blocking for the RB and Aldon comes in from the backside and gets the RB.
Re: Nickel, yep you are spot on!
and where I have a beef and a problem with Fangio is not our Base 3-4, but our Nickel Schemes. I'd like much stronger man press, run support Cornerbacks that can turn the play inside. I think Fangio does an incredible job getting Linebackers and developing a front 7. He's out of this world on that. But if there is a kryptonite weakness to Fangio it's his Cornerback development. He's always had good safeties, Bret Maxi and Gene Atkins comes to mind from the Old New Orlean's dome patrol days. But I've never heard of Fangio developing any all pro corners like George Siefert to my recollection. Maybe somebody can correct me on that.