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Thread: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

  1. #1
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    Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    With the signing of Roye the FO and coaches are obviously unhappy with the DL options. Add to that the fact that Hampton has proven himself to be unreliable. Here is my hypothesis to the board: are we starting to see the transition to the 4-3 out of necessity.

    Question to the board: Is it easier to get the players for a dominant 3-4 or 4-3 DL?

    Consider the following:
    1. A dominant NT is essential for a successful 3-4. Our best seems unmotivated and is getting older. A 4-3 seems more conducive to a rotation of smaller DTs.
    2. We have seemed to have a problem getting young talents that can play in the 3-4. Would it be easier in a 4-3? Would McBean be doing better if we played the 4-3?
    3. Do we already have our starting LDE fand RDE or a 4-3? Woodley seems like he would be a beast pinning his ears back and rushing the passer. Kiesel continues to lead the team in QB prssure. He would seem to be an excellent RDE.
    4. We seem to have the LBs to successfully play the 4-3. The 4-3 requires fewer LBs on the roster. With a decision on Farrior due, we may lose our best. Timmons seems like a classic 4-3 LB similar to Derrick Brooks. Harrison can play outside or inside in the 4-3.
    5. The 3-4 requires the SS to be closer to the line. Troy can't stay healthy doing that. Would a 4-3 extend his career and make him more effective?

    I'm just wondering whether not taking DL in this past draft when it was a clear need is part of a multi-year plan on the part of Tomlin and the 4-3 will be here sooner rather than later. It won't be this year, but what about next?
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    I was kind of thinking along those lines too.

    Timmons may be better suited the MLB in a 4-3.

    Our Front Seven May look like this:


    Smith, Hoke, Casey, Woodley

    Harrison, Timmons, Davis


    or Keissel, Smith, Casey, Woodley on the DL.
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  3. #3
    Steely76
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Hampton is too fat and too slow to play tackle in a 4-3. I'm not convinced he's even worth having on the team anymore given his attitude and lack of conditioning. He only made the PB last year on reputation, by no means did he deserve it. I don't care if a nose tackle isn't expected to make lots of tackles, you've still got to do better than 17 when other guys playing the same position in a 3-4 are coming up with double that.

  4. #4

    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    I'm surprised you guys are so hard on Hampton. Obviously, I do not condone him coming to camp out of shape. With that said, he is still a top 5 NT. He is still one of the anchors on our D. I do not believe the signing of Roye means we are switching to a 4-3. I believe this is a depth move...nothing more.

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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    I'm surprised you guys are so hard on Hampton. Obviously, I do not condone him coming to camp out of shape. With that said, he is still a top 5 NT. He is still one of the anchors on our D. I do not believe the signing of Roye means we are switching to a 4-3. I believe this is a depth move...nothing more.
    Casey is an All Pro and should be a team leader and not flaunt his defiance of the team's standards. He should be leading by example.

    I didn't mean that Roye was the next step to the 4-3. The larger question was we seem to have an incredibly difficult time getting young players who can play the 3-4. I posed the question would be be better with the 4-3? I think so.
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    I'm surprised you guys are so hard on Hampton. Obviously, I do not condone him coming to camp out of shape. With that said, he is still a top 5 NT. He is still one of the anchors on our D. I do not believe the signing of Roye means we are switching to a 4-3. I believe this is a depth move...nothing more.
    Casey is an All Pro and should be a team leader and not flaunt his defiance of the team's standards. He should be leading by example.

    I didn't mean that Roye was the next step to the 4-3. The larger question was we seem to have an incredibly difficult time getting young players who can play the 3-4. I posed the question would be be better with the 4-3? I think so.
    i agree, its a lot easier getting young players to play a 4-3 than a 3-4. i dont follow college as much as the nfl but off hand i cant even think of any college teams that play a 3-4

  7. #7

    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    I'm surprised you guys are so hard on Hampton. Obviously, I do not condone him coming to camp out of shape. With that said, he is still a top 5 NT. He is still one of the anchors on our D. I do not believe the signing of Roye means we are switching to a 4-3. I believe this is a depth move...nothing more.
    Casey is an All Pro and should be a team leader and not flaunt his defiance of the team's standards. He should be leading by example.

    I didn't mean that Roye was the next step to the 4-3. The larger question was we seem to have an incredibly difficult time getting young players who can play the 3-4. I posed the question would be be better with the 4-3? I think so.
    I don't disagree...Hampton should come to camp in shape. He should be an example. But, Cowher allowed him to (wink wink) come to camp out of shape year in and year out. People are creatures of habit and Hampton believes his play deserves some sort of special treatment.

    With all of that said, Tomlin made his point. And I believe he handled it well. I personally think all of this is a nonissue.

    As for a 4-3...ehhh I just don't see it. Why fix what isn't broken...ya know?

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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Quote Originally Posted by frankthetank1
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    Quote Originally Posted by ShawnMedGuy
    I'm surprised you guys are so hard on Hampton. Obviously, I do not condone him coming to camp out of shape. With that said, he is still a top 5 NT. He is still one of the anchors on our D. I do not believe the signing of Roye means we are switching to a 4-3. I believe this is a depth move...nothing more.
    Casey is an All Pro and should be a team leader and not flaunt his defiance of the team's standards. He should be leading by example.

    I didn't mean that Roye was the next step to the 4-3. The larger question was we seem to have an incredibly difficult time getting young players who can play the 3-4. I posed the question would be be better with the 4-3? I think so.
    i agree, its a lot easier getting young players to play a 4-3 than a 3-4. i dont follow college as much as the nfl but off hand i cant even think of any college teams that play a 3-4
    actually uva plays a 3-4, but thats all i can think of

  9. #9
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    I'm going to have to disagree with everyone here in terms of finding players for both schemes. We are still in the vast minority in terms of teams that run a base 3-4 and since we have less competition for players who can fill those particular roles, we have more to choose from than all of the other teams competing for strictly 4-3 talent. I would say the majority of all collegiate programs run some variation of the 3-4 from time to time and with the number of undersized DE's that are out there in 4-3 systems, there are always going to be 260 lb. guys who can rush the passer and drop back in short zones for coverage. You can also find a lot of 4-3 tackles who can make it either as a 3-4 end, or a nose tackle. In a 4-3 you need to have a quick single-gap tackle who can rush the passer as well as a big ol' dude who can take up space and occupy blockers; those under tackles are harder to find as are good pass rushing ends who go 270 or 280.

    What we need to have are personnel who are flexible and can give you multiple looks. Nearly every guy we have in our front seven right now is capable of that, although I think that Kiesel is not really suited for a 3-4 end (unless it's on passing downs as a situational player). Other than him there is no other player who is better suited for the 4-3 than the 3-4 in my opinion and all of them would be equally adept in both systems.

    The base 3-4 gives you more of an ability to disguise and do different things with your personnel due to the inherent increase in athleticism by having four linebackers. It's easier to match up against premiere running backs, but yeah, a little more difficult to collapse the pocket with only three big guys. But because we have the master of the zone blitz running our defense, we've been able to properly disguise our rush linebacker(s) and keep quarterbacks guessing to compensate.

    Keep the base 3-4, but mix in 4-3 looks by moving some of our guys around, especially in obvious passing situations.



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  10. #10
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Flasteel
    I'm going to have to disagree with everyone here in terms of finding players for both schemes. We are still in the vast minority in terms of teams that run a base 3-4 and since we have less competition for players who can fill those particular roles, we have more to choose from than all of the other teams competing for strictly 4-3 talent. I would say the majority of all collegiate programs run some variation of the 3-4 from time to time and with the number of undersized DE's that are out there in 4-3 systems, there are always going to be 260 lb. guys who can rush the passer and drop back in short zones for coverage. You can also find a lot of 4-3 tackles who can make it either as a 3-4 end, or a nose tackle. In a 4-3 you need to have a quick single-gap tackle who can rush the passer as well as a big ol' dude who can take up space and occupy blockers; those under tackles are harder to find as are good pass rushing ends who go 270 or 280.

    What we need to have are personnel who are flexible and can give you multiple looks. Nearly every guy we have in our front seven right now is capable of that, although I think that Kiesel is not really suited for a 3-4 end (unless it's on passing downs as a situational player). Other than him there is no other player who is better suited for the 4-3 than the 3-4 in my opinion and all of them would be equally adept in both systems.

    The base 3-4 gives you more of an ability to disguise and do different things with your personnel due to the inherent increase in athleticism by having four linebackers. It's easier to match up against premiere running backs, but yeah, a little more difficult to collapse the pocket with only three big guys. But because we have the master of the zone blitz running our defense, we've been able to properly disguise our rush linebacker(s) and keep quarterbacks guessing to compensate.

    Keep the base 3-4, but mix in 4-3 looks by moving some of our guys around, especially in obvious passing situations.
    Got to agree to disagree about the 3-4. Look at our sack totals this decade:

    2000: 39
    2001: 55
    2002: 50
    2003: 35
    2004: 41
    2005: 47
    2006: 39
    2007: 36

    Last year was the second lowest total this decade. I think we have to seriously question whether we have the players who can run the 3-4 effectively. Twice in his career Aaaron Smith had 8 sacks. Our DL doesn't get that kind of pressure anymore and instead we charge our 210lb Strong Safety into the center of the opponents OL to accomplish nothing. We aren't getting the type of pressure we need to beat the top teams in the AFC which are for the most part heavily reliant on the pass. Our 3-4 schemems don't surprise anyone anymore. The 4-3 allows you to pressure the QB and give the LBs more defined roles in pass defense. Just sayin.
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