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

  1. #11
    Pro Bowler eniparadoxgma's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    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?
    That true about Kiesel? I honestly have thought him a disappointment thus far.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Quote Originally Posted by eniparadoxgma
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    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?
    That true about Kiesel? I honestly have thought him a disappointment thus far.
    Pretty certain it is true for the last two seasons.
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  3. #13
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    im so sick of kiesel. he is pretty much a back up. he benefited in 05 from just playing spot duty behind kimo.

  4. #14

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
    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.
    Where were our total defensive ranks in those years. I dont know off the top of my head but I would imagine we were a top 5 D most of those years. Like I said if its not broke why fix it?

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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
    UVA plays a 3-4, but there are not many that is for sure!
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  6. #16
    Hall of Famer Flasteel's Avatar
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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 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.
    You're right and not right in my opinion big O. It's not the scheme which is to blame for the low number of sacks, it's been the personnel we have who are pushing the pocket and rushing the passer. There isn't a single player outside of Kiesel who could maybe be more effective out of 4-3 front. He's long, has a great motor and can be quick of the edge, but he's not designed to line head-up on a tackle and push him back. True, Kiesel has led the team in pressures, the past couple of seasons, which is a tribute to the skill set I laid out, but he just can't seem to finish or get close enough to actually disrupt the quarterback on a consistent basis. We need a guy at RDE who can compliment A. Smith and help collapse the pocket (which is why I was really, really pushing for Okoye or Carriker last year).

    As everyone knows, it's our linebackers who are charged with getting to the quarterback and those sack totals you posted do a great job of illustrating the inconsistent play we've had at the position. In '00 & '01 Jason Gildon was still at the top of his game and making Pro Bowls. On the other side Joey Porter was emerging as at solid compliment on the right. The main difference in those two years was the pressure we got up front as well as from our inside 'backers (Bell) and safeties in '01 which wasn't there the year before.

    In '02, we had 24.5 sacks from our OLBs and also still got great help from our line and elsewhere.

    In '03 Gildon and Porter completely faded (11 sacks between them) and aside from Kimo (eight sacks) and Bell (five), we got very little help elsewhere.

    In '04, Haggans took over full time and only put up six sacks, while Porter once again underperformed with seven... so we had another woeful season from our OLBs with 13 sacks. We got some great help from Smith (eight) and our inside 'backers, but still the lack of production from outside killed us.

    In '05 we got a lot of small contributions from everywhere, but Haggans came alive with nine sacks and Porter blew up with 10.5 (although he was very inconsistent that year). It was Porter's pressure in the playoffs however that lit the fuse for this defense and I thought it was his finest moment.

    "06 saw Porter and Haggans regress with a combined 13 sacks, but we got small contributions from a few different places to at least help us rack up 39 sacks. Kiesel had his best season with 5.5.

    Last season Haggans was pathetic and we didn't get a lot of sacks from Harrison either (8.5) despite the MVP season. To top it off we got only 4.5 sacks from A. Smith and Kiesel combined and literally no help from our secondary.

    I know it was a lot of crap I just slung, but it shows two things in my opinion. When we have two guys at OLB that get to the quarterback (Gildon & Porter; Porter & Haggans in '05), then we're effective (duh). With what we are expecting out of Woodley and Harrison, I think we have that combo in place once again; if B. Davis can start to contribute, then we'll have three guys to rush from the spot like we did in '02 with Haggans, Gildon, & Porter when we got 24.5 sacks from those three.

    The other important factor is when we get prodution from our inside 'backers, defensive line, and secondary to contribute to the mix. Kiesel might be pressuring, but he isn't finishing and that might hurt us a little. I think we can expect to see a big improvement from our inside 'backers (despite Farrior's 6.5 sacks last year) with Timmons being unleashed on passing downs more frequently and effectively than Foote was. Polamalu needs to be backed off the friggin' line of scrimmage and sent on more delayed safety blitzes and I think we'll also see a big upgrade there.

    Taking all of that into consideration, I think we'll see this defense go north of 45 sacks this year and maybe crack the 50 mark if A.Smith can return to form and Davis contributes. It's all about the personnel and not the scheme in my opinion...we've got the right people in place now, let's see what happens.



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  7. #17
    Hall of Famer AngryAsian's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    I think that Keisel's numbers will be up this year, just for the simple fact that OLB will be applying more pressure than last year. Woodley and Harrison are going to have monstrous years, but unlike FlaSteel, I'm skeptical about our middle. I hope Haggans/Timmons can be rock solid as our interior wall this year otherwise we may have a very long season. But all in all, I have to agree that our perimeter passrush will have more bite this year.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by asiansteel
    I think that Keisel's numbers will be up this year, just for the simple fact that OLB will be applying more pressure than last year. Woodley and Harrison are going to have monstrous years, but unlike FlaSteel, I'm skeptical about our middle. I hope Haggans/Timmons can be rock solid as our interior wall this year otherwise we may have a very long season. But all in all, I have to agree that our perimeter passrush will have more bite this year.
    I assume you mean Farrior, not Haggans.

    As far as the D-line, if Casey doesn't produce, we're going to have to draft his replacement this year. He's getting older and has shown that he can't be depended on to keep his body in good condition.

    And as far as the topic, I don't see what all the fuss is about the 4-3. A 3-4 gives more options and is better-suited to defend against the pass anyway. Plus, that style has worked for us for years. The only reason it's been lagging lately is because of the individual players, not the system. (As you said)

  9. #19
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    It boils down to players as regardless of scheme we're bringing 4 guys to rush anyway. Lately our rush guys haven't been as good as they've been in the past & the primary catalyst for the defensive line (Hampton) has been ordinary. Against the run, the 3-4 needs a dominant NT to be really effective & allow the LBs to attack the line or gaps. But against the pass, you need a stud OLB to bring consistent pressure & lately we haven't had that. One of the reasons Troy has been so good for us is that in that few seasons he's had to be the difference maker by attacking the LOS - which we've needed because of our inability to generate pressure with our base personnel. This is the most glaring failure of Colbert - the absolute inability to find real D-Line talent - & it may lead to this team having to become like the Bengals or Browns, where they have to outscore the opposition to win.
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  10. #20
    Hall of Famer Flasteel's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting thought on the DL--is there a plan we don't see?

    Quote Originally Posted by asiansteel
    I think that Keisel's numbers will be up this year, just for the simple fact that OLB will be applying more pressure than last year. Woodley and Harrison are going to have monstrous years, but unlike FlaSteel, I'm skeptical about our middle. I hope Haggans/Timmons can be rock solid as our interior wall this year otherwise we may have a very long season. But all in all, I have to agree that our perimeter passrush will have more bite this year.
    Still skeptical my brother? :P

    I know there's a long way to go, but you've gotta admit that Timmons has looked great so far.



    "I hate him. Everybody says I'm supposed to be polite when I talk to you all, but I hate him..." "He talks too much, he doesn't make sense, he's fat, he's sloppy, he acts like he's the best thing since sliced bread. He's ugly, he stinks, his mouth stinks, his breath stinks, and basically his soul stinks, too.

    "Not too many people have personalities like that and survive in life. I don't know how he does it."


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