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Thread: In Transition, Is Now Time for the 4-3?

  1. #1
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    In Transition, Is Now Time for the 4-3?

    Suurprise! My favorite topic, but seriously with this team in serious transition is now the time for change?

    Facts:
    1. No true NT which is critical to 3-4. Also getting too hard to find in draft
    2. Critical OLBs are not strong performers last two years and just cut one of all time best. No player ready to step in.
    3. No depth at Safety and Troy fading which is critical to LeBeau's scheme
    4. Short one ILB to have two good ones
    5. Losing veterans fast and got to get young players into the line up faster so the Lebeau 2 year apprenticeship won't work.

    This draft seems to have more players on defense who could naturally step into 4-3 roles versus "learn" 3-4.
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  2. #2
    Hall of Famer Mister Pittsburgh's Avatar
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    I would have no issue at all with something like this if it removes Lebeau's sit and wait period and allows draftees to step in and use their athletic ability quicker where they just play football instead of mentally worrying about some complex system. 3-4 and 4-3 have both won Superbowls, but the 3-4 is much more complex and players sit for half their first contract.

    Woodley would be a good 4-3 DE where he just rushes the passer and isn't worried about dropping into coverage and keeping up with the Ray Rices of the NFL.
    Keisel could play 4-3 DE for another season or two until we draft another one.
    Ta'amu, Fangupo, Hood, Heyward, McLendon can be DT's.
    Not sure but maybe some of the backup type LB's we have on the roster could excell in a 4-3.
    Willie Gay is a good zone coverage CB.
    Drafting a FS or SS would be much easier if they don't have to come in and learn Lebeau's zone blitz and can just play like in a zone coverage system like college.
    @_Hellgrammite

  3. #3
    Don't see it happening as long as Grandpa is running the D.

  4. #4
    I think that the draft will tell the tale...

    With guys like Keisel and Clark winding down their careers, mainstays like Smith, Farrior, Hampton and now Harrison gone, and other players (Worilds, Hood) in the last year of their respective contracts, I don't think you can rule it out even with LeBeau returning for another year...

    Now, if the Steelers can pick up a viasble NT and OLB in the draft, sticking with the 3-4 becomes much easier...

    The thing is, LeBeau's defense still WORKS and WORKS WELL, schematically...

    A DC can scheme to reduce yards and point, free up pass rushers and not give up big plays...but, you can't scheme turnovers...the player has to step up and make a play on the ball...

    It isn't LeBeau's scheme that is to blame for a lack of defensive turnovers...he has coached defenses that have forced plenty of turnovers...that is a function of players not playing well...

  5. #5
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    We need help this year or next where guys are going to need to step in year one or two and start. One takes players 2 years to learn. One doesn't. Both systems work equally well.
    @_Hellgrammite

  6. #6
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    It should be investigated.

    But, it would be nice to go into the draft with an open mind.

    If we get a pass rusher, Ansah would be best in a 4-3 where he could simply get up field and use his athleticism. It might take him years to play 3-4 OLB in our system. Moore and Werner might be best in a 4-3 as well. Moore played a 3-4 OLB spot and had little success. As a DE, he was a monster. Werner seems like a better DE from a quickness/size perspective. But, guys like Mingo, Jones, and Jordan all seem like better fits for a 3-4 because of their size/strength and reliance on quickness.
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  7. #7
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    Ta'amu could be our answer for the NT position if he can clear his legal issues. For the Steelers to keep him on the roster that tells me he's still in their plans. As for making a switch to a 4-3 it could be a viable thing to do, but I don't think the Steelers would consider it when the 3-4 worked well for years.
    It may be a matter of posssibly switching players instead of scheme. I would like to see what mclendon could do playing end and Hood competing at NT with Heyward getting more playing time alternating with Keisel.
    The Steelers at one time were considering Hood to compete with Mclendon for NT, but that was before Casey took a pay cut to stay, maybe they will consider that again possibly.

    Our secondary seemed to be the strongest part of our Defense last season in the second half, just imagine if we get more pressure from our front seven, maybe the INT's and turnovers will follow. From what we read in media articles the Steelers don't have all the confidence in Jason Worlids but from what I seen in his limited play he could help us in pressuring the QB which seems to be is strong point. It's tough to develope as a player when you have limited playing time, maybe that's what Worlids needs to get better in the other parts of playing OLB.

    4-3? Maybe when Master D retires, but for now I don't see it.

  8. #8
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    I think we should take it into consideration if we really in transition. I wonder how it would effect the current roster.

  9. #9
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    One thing that seems odd to me is when switching to the 4-3 from the 3-4 is brought up people act like we would have to cut half the defense and start from scratch, yet the offensive line can switch from a man blocking to zone blocking offensive line and 4 of 5 guys that either started or played last year will be those making the switch in one offseason. Yeah, they have zone blocked a little before but its not as their base offense. Not to mention, the offense can make the switch from Arians long ball offense to Haley's conservative short passing offense and its fine, no big deal.

    Why can't the defense be expected to do the same without some total retooling? Big deal, some of their responsibilities will change. We may need to add a player or two just like we need to for Haley's offense or the zone blocking. The 4-3 tampa 2 is what Tomlin made his name running so make the switch, get rid of the 2 or 3 year learning curve, and lets get on the path for #7 sooner rather than 2 or 3 years from now.
    @_Hellgrammite

  10. #10
    The problem with sitching to the 3-4 is that Woodley has never played with his hand down in the NFL. Foote is already slow and giving him more field to cover isn't good. Also noticed that some of the best defenses in the NFL were from the 3-4 including the Steelers who were #1 again this year. I don't understand the need to change something that is obviously working. Name a great 4-3 team with average talent along the front like we would have if Woodley, Hood, Heyward, and the beard were on the line.

    Also Tomlin did run the 4-3 but he was only a OC for one year. It isn't like he designed it or was even that good with it. He was a DB coach at Tampa not the OC. LeBeau has forgotten more about defense than Tomlin knows. His passing defense when he was the OC with the Vikings was the worst in the league. Is that really what the Steelers want here?

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