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Switch to the 4-3?


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#1 BmoreBird22

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:26 AM

I've seen this discussed in various places, so let's put a thread together for it.

With the addition of CJ Mosley, the Ravens would have three linebackers capable of flowing sideline to sideline and playing the 4-3. With the additions of Jernigan and Urban, two 4-3 DT's, aand4-3 DT being the natural position of Canty and Ngata, you have to wonder if a switch is coming.

Would you embrace the switch? Pros? Cons? Don't fix what isn't totally broken?
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#2 berad

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:32 AM

It'll still be a mixture of 4-3 / 3-4,l like we've been playing, but I think some of the personnel (Jerrigan) they brought in fit more in a 4-3 than 3-4 - although Jerrigan could play 3-4 end if he had to.

 

The FO raved about Brent Urban as being a prototypical 5-technique which leads me to believe the mixture of our defenses will remain.


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#3 flynismo

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:44 AM

When did the 43 become Ngata's natural position? Did he shed 40 pounds and significantly improve his pass rush this offseason?


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#4 The Raven

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:44 AM

When did the 43 become Ngata's natural position? Did he shed 40 pounds and significantly improve his pass rush this offseason?

 

Well, Ngata would be a solid 4-3 one technique a la Tony Siragusa or Pat Williams from the old Williams Wall. He'd be great in that role.

 

As for our base, I have no clue. It sounds to me that we're going with a single gap 3-4 or a version of Seattle's defense. It would be stupid to run a two gap system with the players we have, but we also don't quite have the personnel for a full 4-3 switch. Running a single gap scheme would also make it easier to switch between 3-4 and 4-3 fronts.

 

Also, as many have pointed out, we're in nickel for most snaps, so our base defense is relatively insignificant. Still an interesting discussion point, though.


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#5 BmoreBird22

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:46 AM

When did the 43 become Ngata's natural position? Did he shed 40 pounds and significantly improve his pass rush this offseason?


I didn't realize that Vince Wilfork was a small guy
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#6 The Raven

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:48 AM

I didn't realize that Vince Wilfork was a small guy

 

New England plays a bit of 4-3, but they still primarily run a 3-4. But even in their 4-3 sets, Wilfork is a dominant one tech.


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#7 acranfor

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:18 AM

Let's think about the future (next 5 years) since a scheme change would not just be for next year. With that said, 3-4 hybrid seems to still be the way to go based on how our LB core is trending. The next 5 years, Daryl Smith should not be a factor and Elvis should not be counted on either. With them eliminated, we still have the possibility of a great LB core. Jack/Will in Brown because of his speed and potential ability to pursue and clean up the play from the weak side and a possible great fit in CJ being the MIKE - able to be the point of attack in run defense.

 

Upshaw is a good edge setting SAM in a 3-4 - on the ball, but do not see him being as effective in a 4-3 at SAM; he would have to be made into a DE to keep him on the line - and I do not see him being effective there either because of his pass rush limitations. Finally, Suggs has been the stereotypical hybrid RUSH/WILL OLB/DE being able to set the edge AND rush the passer. He will need to be replaced in the coming drafts to complete the rebuilding of our 3-4 LBs.

 

Basically what I am saying, is that I think in order to switch to a 4-3, there are much more holes to fill to be effective as compared to sticking with our current 3-4 hybrid scheme when you look to the future. Brown and CJ can play WILL and SAM in a 3-4 or 4-3, so no problem there. Also, I think our young interior line is flexible and athletic enough to play DT/NT in a 3-4 or 4-3. However, I think our problem comes with DE and OLB in a 4-3 vs a 3-4. In a 3-4 we need to eventually replace Suggs at OLB. BUT, in a 4-3 we would not only need to replace Suggs, but also find another good DE opposite him and a SAM LB.


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#8 izvoodoo

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:24 AM

in order to really build a great defense we need a dynamic young passrusher.  


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#9 arnie_uk

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:28 AM

in order to really build a great defense we need a dynamic young passrusher.

and that along with another cb should be picks one and two next year
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#10 izvoodoo

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:31 AM

and that along with another cb should be picks one and two next year

I love how we were all like "We need help on offense"

and now that we can get back to being a seattle like defense everyone's like "I want all the defense."  Hopefully we can develop some younger CBs.  But pass rushers are genuinely tough to come by


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#11 arnie_uk

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:45 AM

I love how we were all like "We need help on offense"
and now that we can get back to being a seattle like defense everyone's like "I want all the defense." Hopefully we can develop some younger CBs. But pass rushers are genuinely tough to come by

I dont want all defense. We will need a cb so when we go three wide webb can slide in and a pass rusher. I would have no issues this year if for example we drafted dennard 1 and attachou or kony ealy in the second. I think that would have been a far better 1 and 2
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#12 izvoodoo

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:48 AM

I dont want all defense. We will need a cb so when we go three wide webb can slide in and a pass rusher. I would have no issues this year if for example we drafted dennard 1 and attachou or kony ealy in the second. I think that would have been a far better 1 and 2

Attachou interested me as well.  Thought Dennard was also a good player.  obviously we're not going to know until the season, but there must be something up with Koney Early for him to slide THAT far.


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#13 arnie_uk

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:01 PM

Attachou interested me as well. Thought Dennard was also a good player. obviously we're not going to know until the season, but there must be something up with Koney Early for him to slide THAT far.

I think those picks would be equally as good value but better impacts as in positions of greater need. I mean we only have 2 players on the roster that can pass rush, and we only have 4 cbs, one a drug failure away from a season ban, another a average to below players.
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#14 bMore Heathen

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:03 PM

Let's think about the future (next 5 years) since a scheme change would not just be for next year. With that said, 3-4 hybrid seems to still be the way to go based on how our LB core is trending. The next 5 years, Daryl Smith should not be a factor and Elvis should not be counted on either. With them eliminated, we still have the possibility of a great LB core. Jack/Will in Brown because of his speed and potential ability to pursue and clean up the play from the weak side and a possible great fit in CJ being the MIKE - able to be the point of attack in run defense.

Upshaw is a good edge setting SAM in a 3-4 - on the ball, but do not see him being as effective in a 4-3 at SAM; he would have to be made into a DE to keep him on the line - and I do not see him being effective there either because of his pass rush limitations. Finally, Suggs has been the stereotypical hybrid RUSH/WILL OLB/DE being able to set the edge AND rush the passer. He will need to be replaced in the coming drafts to complete the rebuilding of our 3-4 LBs.

Basically what I am saying, is that I think in order to switch to a 4-3, there are much more holes to fill to be effective as compared to sticking with our current 3-4 hybrid scheme when you look to the future. Brown and CJ can play WILL and SAM in a 3-4 or 4-3, so no problem there. Also, I think our young interior line is flexible and athletic enough to play DT/NT in a 3-4 or 4-3. However, I think our problem comes with DE and OLB in a 4-3 vs a 3-4. In a 3-4 we need to eventually replace Suggs at OLB. BUT, in a 4-3 we would not only need to replace Suggs, but also find another good DE opposite him and a SAM LB.


I agree 100%. If we try to make that shift, our DE spots will be very weak. Our starters would be fine, but we would have nobody to spell them and be effective. We were actually lining Upshaw up at the 3 tech on several occasions over the last 2 years. I'm not sure he has the pass rush to play a true DE in the 4-3. Our interior line depth would be ridiculous, but we don't have the depth to make that switch this year. I could defiantly see us mixing in more 4-3 looks though.

For the future though, I see a different story. Back when we were plucking Adalius Thomas out of the 6th round, there was only a couple of teams ran the 3-4. It was much easier to get those kind of players late because 4-3 teams weren't looking for a player like him. A player like that would go in the 2nd or 3rd today, because the demand is much higher.
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#15 izvoodoo

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:08 PM

I think those picks would be equally as good value but better impacts as in positions of greater need. I mean we only have 2 players on the roster that can pass rush, and we only have 4 cbs, one a drug failure away from a season ban, another a average to below players.

I think Dennard and Mosley were Similar quality players in my eyes.  I didn't see Attacho as the same quality of player as Jernigan.  Though when we pick Jernigan my initial reaction was he wasn't a scheme fit.  I still feel like he was a considerably better prospect than Attachou, who's more athlete at this point.


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#16 acranfor

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:20 PM

I agree 100%. If we try to make that shift, our DE spots will be very weak. Our starters would be fine, but we would have nobody to spell them and be effective. We were actually lining Upshaw up at the 3 tech on several occasions over the last 2 years. I'm not sure he has the pass rush to play a true DE in the 4-3. Our interior line depth would be ridiculous, but we don't have the depth to make that switch this year. I could defiantly see us mixing in more 4-3 looks though.

For the future though, I see a different story. Back when we were plucking Adalius Thomas out of the 6th round, there was only a couple of teams ran the 3-4. It was much easier to get those kind of players late because 4-3 teams weren't looking for a player like him. A player like that would go in the 2nd or 3rd today, because the demand is much higher.

Yes, that is true also. I think it will be easier to fill a #2 CB and stud RUSH OLB over the next 5 years (or however long Suggs stays effective, as well as Webb) to complete a 3-4 roster than it will to find 2 great DEs and a 4-3 SAM OLB, as well as a #2 CB for a 4-3 roster. 


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#17 flynismo

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:42 PM

Well, Ngata would be a solid 4-3 one technique a la Tony Siragusa or Pat Williams from the old Williams Wall. He'd be great in that role.

 

As for our base, I have no clue. It sounds to me that we're going with a single gap 3-4 or a version of Seattle's defense. It would be stupid to run a two gap system with the players we have, but we also don't quite have the personnel for a full 4-3 switch. Running a single gap scheme would also make it easier to switch between 3-4 and 4-3 fronts.

 

Also, as many have pointed out, we're in nickel for most snaps, so our base defense is relatively insignificant. Still an interesting discussion point, though.

 

Even being in nickel most of the time, it is still kind of relevant to the discussion considering nickel formations can have anywhere from one to four DL.

If we are running three or less DL, Ngata needs to be able to eat up as many blockers as possible, and not necessarily remaining stationary while doing so; he might be asked to get off his block and hit someone else as well. If we are running 4 DL, Ngata needs to help generate a pass rush.

While Ngata moves pretty well for a guy his size, both scenarios above are far from his ideal role. Even when he was in his prime, his pass rush was pretty inconsistent.

 

*edit*

 

That said, if we want to use him like we did the fatties back in the day, yep, he'd be good for that.


Edited by flynismo, 13 May 2014 - 12:45 PM.

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#18 flynismo

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:46 PM

I didn't realize that Vince Wilfork was a small guy

He isn't. But Wilfork has nothing to do with Ngata.


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#19 gabefergy

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:50 PM

I've been against this for a long time because we didn't have the personnel for it. I think we have it now with Mosley and Jernigan. Get our best players on the field.

 

                        Suggs - Ngata - Canty - Dumervil

 

                            Brown      Mosley       Smith


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#20 flynismo

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:56 PM

I've been against this for a long time because we didn't have the personnel for it. I think we have it now with Mosley and Jernigan. Get our best players on the field.

 

                        Suggs - Ngata - Canty - Dumervil

 

                            Brown      Mosley       Smith

 

Replace Canty with Jernigan, and that looks nasty as hell.


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