Warpath  

Home | Forums | Salary Cap Info | Shop | Donate | Stay Connected




Go Back   Warpath > Redskins Forums > Redskins Locker Room


Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Redskins Locker Room


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-01-2011, 04:44 PM   #1
Living Legend
 
GTripp0012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evanston, IL
Age: 26
Posts: 15,963
Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

So why did the Redskins not reap any improvement in 2010 on the defensive side of the ball?

NFL Minds Blog: The Immediate Impact Defense's Have When Switching From a 4-3 to a 3-4 Defense

To an extent, I think the Redskins ran into a player supply issue. They had more 3-4 pieces on the roster already than the Buffalo Bills did, which is why the Bills failed so spectacularly that they had to switch back to a 4-3 defense. But in 2010, about half of the league is playing 3-4 defenses, so while it still offers a medium-risk, high-reward alternative to the traditional 4-3, finding players from around the league to play in it is now costly as ever. The Redskins DID NOT invest resources into their defense (beyond 1 or 2 year contracts to relatively unwanted players such as Holliday, Carriker, and Kemoeatu).

The bigger issue for the Redskins -- why they didn't improve in the first year of the 3-4 -- has to do with reasons that aren't directly related to scheme. They got less aggregate return out of Haynesworth than before, despite the fact that Haynesworth played as well as ever on a per-snap basis. Rocky McIntosh may not have been a good scheme fit, but he was bad at the fundamentals as well as the 3-4 nuances in 2010. The other thing was that the Redskins had done unreasonably well in the injury category over the prior two years on defense. That effect regressed heavily in 2010 when LaRon Landry missed the second half of the season, when Carlos Rogers missed the end of the year, when Orakpo missed the Jacksonville game and had limited effectiveness in the second half, Chris Horton on IR, etc. The team should have been better on defense in the second half than the first given their coverage gains, and they just weren't, because of the injuries.

So in my estimation, the Redskins didn't hurt themselves with a switch to the 3-4, but if Mike Shanahan was relying on any sort of defensive bump by going to a more wide open style of defense, any element of surprise was eliminated by the fact that personnel issues from the 2009 season were not fixed in the offseason. And in 2010, the virtues of the 3-4 switch turned sharply for the worst, not just for the Redskins, but for the Bills as well. Like everything that went wrong for the Redskins this past season, you could argue that Shanahan's move would have worked out in 2004, but by 2010, the "new philosophy" he and Jim Haslett brought to the Redskins was, perhaps, outdated already.
__________________
according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
GTripp0012 is offline   Reply With Quote

Advertisements
Old 07-01-2011, 05:13 PM   #2
Special Teams
 
NLC1054's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 279
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Altogether I think the defense played (generally speaking) better in the second half of the season than they did at the beginning of the season. I also thought we had more 3-4 pieces than anyone gave us credit for (got sick of hearing the "THEY'RE TRYING TO RUN A 3-4 DEFENSE WITH 4-3 PERSONNEL RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!" crap on the NFL Network like every week).

I agree though; most players were getting injured at the wrong time of year, despite a relatively late bye week. On top of 'Los being injured and Landry being injured, D-Hall had to deal with a rib injury, Kemo was hurt all year, Albert Haynesworth was a mondo douche...

It wasn't so much not having the personnel as 1.) sometimes the best personnel weren't on the field and 2.) the defense really got worn out and banged up because of the offenses' inability to stay on the field and maintain long drives.

I think there will be more improvement in year 2 of the defense just from having some better, younger, fresher pieces, plus the vets knowing what they're supposed to do. The only--ONLY--good thing about the lockout is that it's keeping guys fresher for longer so hopefully they won't be worn out. Cruddy part is we have a week 5 bye this year, so they're really going to need to be as fresh as possible to make it through the whole season.
NLC1054 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 10:15 AM   #3
The Starter
 
30gut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,098
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

I think you guys mention some valid reasons for the state of our 3-4 last season.

I'm trying not be negative but I believe the quality of our 3-4 defense was largely the result of mismangment from our FO/coaching staff.

I cannot put the blame for the Haynesworth debacle solely on Albert b/c I believe that Mike Shanahan/Haslett/Burney did very little to sell arguably our best defensive player on our new defense. Rather it seemed they did everything possible to antagonize and isolate him.
The resulting minimal playing time and minimal impact was major factor in the quality of our 3-4.

The acquisition of Kemo and his subsequent failure at NT was equally detrimental if not more so then Albert's failure.
I thought the FO made a huge mistake in relying on Kemo at NT before the season ever started.
When Bryant finally was inserted into the starting line-up I was happy to see his immediate and obvious improvement but I was also troubled by the fact that it took them til week 14(?) to play him.

I also thought that Darion Scott and Jarmon played well during that 3 game stretch where we actually saw more of our developmental player on the field. And I thought their play warranted more playing time at RDE considering how poorly Golston played.
To my eye Golston is out of his element as a 3-4 DE.
He's not a good pass rusher, he doesn't 2-gap well and he isn't stout against the POA.
Imo he's was just filling a spot, he was just a body, just a guy.

I also think it was a mistake not playing Riley during the 3-game 'evaluation' considering Rocky's impending FA and the fact that he wasn't playing great.
I thought it would have been a good time to see him in action.

I was also impressed with OLB Rob Jackson in his one start against the Giants(?) he showed more pass rush ability then Alexander showed the entire season.

In short I think our 3-4 would have benefitted from better managment from the coaching staff.

I also think Jim Haslett's approach to the 3-4 is a bit like Blache's approach to the 4-3.
__________________
No longer were NFL coaches dealing inflexibly with spread [QBs] in ways that caused stunted development for players like [A. Smith and Vick] now, the idea is to bring what the quarterback can do, and what he should do, together as an organic whole
30gut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 11:03 AM   #4
Registered User
 
SBXVII's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 7,766
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

#1- AH was not happy with the 4-3 we ran also. Why? Because in Tenn the other 4-3 DL had jobs to do but AH was allowed to free lance. I like to think Tenn had the same problems with him and found the best way to utilize him. I think AH sees himself as a DE rushing the QB putting on pressure every down, but AH is now older then he used to be and too fat and slow to do that every down. So most teams would want to move him inside and make him take up space and blockers.

AH was adamant about wanting to be with a 4-3 defense when we picked him up. Then he was not happy under our 4-3 because every one had a job and he was not being given permission to free lance to go after the QB. So AH was already pissed if you guys recall then we switch to the 3-4. There was no selling AH on the 3-4. He wanted out so he tried to sabatouge the contract in hopes the team would see him as a problem and trade him.

#2- all teams have gotten better the second year in the 3-4. Partly because the coaching staff know the players better and knows where they need spots filled wiu better players and because the players know the system better. Everyone brings up Green Bay but keep in mind they drafted heavily on defense to help out he transition. Plus their offense was pretty much already set. The Skins could not afford to do that.
SBXVII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
The Starter
 
30gut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,098
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by SBXVII View Post
There was no selling AH on the 3-4.
To each his own and I don't mean to turn this thread into a Haynesworth debate.
I understand that some fans don't like him; and for good reason.
The man is an asshat, but he's a damn good football player.
My memory isn't so short that I forgot what type of player Haynesworth can be:
Imo you begin with and design your scheme around your best players.
Imo no real attempt was made, in fact they did everything but try to sell him.
They were playing games with him from the start.
All I'm saying is that the Haynesworth debacle was a 2 way failure between him and the staff.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Oh, make no mistake I think the defense will improve this year.
In my last post I was pointing out the mistakes I saw last year.

I think the major weaknesses on defense have been addressed via the draft and some of the other answers were stumbled upon at the end of the season.

I think Jarvis Jenkins is a huge upgrade over Golston at DE and will provide valueable rotational snaps at NT.
I think Jarmon can/(will if given the chance) add some upfield pass rush ability from the RDE spot.

I think Bryant can start at NT and provide a good number of quality snaps.
I think Kemo (if he's still on the roster) will be better as a role playing rotational NT behind Bryant.
I think Chris Nield will provide quality snaps at NT.
__________________
No longer were NFL coaches dealing inflexibly with spread [QBs] in ways that caused stunted development for players like [A. Smith and Vick] now, the idea is to bring what the quarterback can do, and what he should do, together as an organic whole
30gut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 12:26 PM   #6
Quietly Dominating the East
 
Hog1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Naples, Florida
Posts: 8,917
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

From the extraordinary player and coach's open and often criticism of.....Big, I beg to differ.
__________________
Goodbye Sean..........Vaya Con Dios
thankyou Joe.......
Win! Always win!
By fair means or foul, by soft words and hard deeds...
by treachery, by cunning, by malpractice...
but always win--Edward Teach
Hog1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 01:29 PM   #7
Playmaker
 
Defensewins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,829
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

THis quote from the article says it all:
"Bellichick’s philosophy was (and always has been) the 3-4 defense, but he didn’t implement it until 2003 when he acquired all the right pieces. "
They won their first Sb in 2000-2001 with the 4-3. A defense Bellichick historically was not accustomed to playing as his base. But he looked at his roster and wisely decided to implement the 4-3 because that is what his roster could run best. Even though he always intended to go back to the 3-4 once he had the right pieces. Bellichick put his large ego aside to do what was best for the team and winning at the time.
This is a part of the mistakes our coaching staff made in 2010.

The above article incorrectly tries to imply that if you switch to the 3-4, it is like a magic pill that over time will make your defense better. NO.
If History tells us one thing is football is an ever changing sport strategically. What scheme works best yesterday will not work as well today or tomorrow, because coaches and players learn ways to counter it. The 4-3 dominated like no other defense before it in the 60' through late 90's. The 3-4 was run over during that time in the Super Bowl big game. Embarrassing.
Now 3-4 has made a huge come back. Great. But over time that will eventually change as well.
In order to have a great defense or team you have to have the talented players and coaches to run it correctly. Thank you Vinny and Snyder! Regardless of scheme if you do not have the horses, especially up front, you will get killed. The great defense do not have any weakness (players) that can be picked on. FO and player personnel is as or more important than any single scheme. The great teams have the great players and talent.
The Bills and the Redskins were not bad teams because we ran the 4-3. We were bad because we had mostly players that were not great.

Last edited by Defensewins; 07-02-2011 at 03:35 PM.
Defensewins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 02:22 PM   #8
Living Legend
 
GTripp0012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evanston, IL
Age: 26
Posts: 15,963
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by 30gut View Post
In short I think our 3-4 would have benefitted from better managment from the coaching staff.

I also think Jim Haslett's approach to the 3-4 is a bit like Blache's approach to the 4-3.
There were similarities, at least.
__________________
according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
GTripp0012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 02:50 PM   #9
The Starter
 
30gut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,098
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
There were similarities, at least.
Quote:
Originally Posted by me
I also think Jim Haslett's approach to the 3-4 is a bit like Blache's approach to the 4-3.
Meaning they're both vanilla.

Blache's 4-3 to me was a watered down, simplified, risk averse version of double G Williams 4-3.

Haslett's 3-4 was creatively limited, bastardized version of Dick LeBeau's Steelers 3-4.(Up until the last 3 games where I still believe Spanos was more involved in the playcalling)

Imo only a DC with limited creativity would want or even attempt to play/waste a talent like Haynesworth in a non-attacking role as a NT or DE in a 2-gap scheme.
For examples the Ravens seldom play Ngata at NT the Packers don't ask Cullen Jenkins to 2-gap and the Cowboys allow Ratliff(NT) to 1-gap penetrate.

We're supposed run a version of the Steelers 3-4 yet they don't even 2-gap that much if at all along their DL front.
Our base front package much more like a classic 2-gap 3-4 front then a stunting/attacking/slanting/zone blitizing Steelers front.

Sorry about that tangent this thread got me thinking about what could have been. Imagine (I know its totally pointless)if they would have allowed Al to play an attacking RDE (essentially a 3-tech in a 5 tech split) next to Bryant at NT and Carriker as a 2-gap LDE instead of trying to get him to 2-gap in an Okie front as a NT/DE.
__________________
No longer were NFL coaches dealing inflexibly with spread [QBs] in ways that caused stunted development for players like [A. Smith and Vick] now, the idea is to bring what the quarterback can do, and what he should do, together as an organic whole
30gut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 02:54 PM   #10
Impact Rookie
 
davy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: England
Posts: 691
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Short answer. It was a dumb idea to switch in the first place.

Shanahan fell in love with the 3-4 during his year out and decided to implement it despite the obvious lack of personnel on the roster capable of playing it.

The strength of the front 7 the previous season were, Haynesworth, Orakpo, Carter and Fletcher, all of whom are ideally suited to 4-3.

I said before the start of last season that the defence would stink because of mismatched personnel/scheme and so it proved. I don't see it getting better any time soon.

Shanahan is known as an offensive coach for good reason.
__________________
“Don't ask me what I think of you, I might not give the answer that you want me to.”
davy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 03:09 PM   #11
The Starter
 
30gut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 2,098
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by davy View Post
I don't see it getting better any time soon.
Why don't you think the defense will be better?
They're in their second year and added upgrades at 3 of the most essential positions (NT,RDE,LOLB) and improved the depth at those positions in the process.
They had far below average play at 2 key spots (NT,RDE) which resulted in near league worst yards allowed virtually any moves they made at those position will be an improvement.
__________________
No longer were NFL coaches dealing inflexibly with spread [QBs] in ways that caused stunted development for players like [A. Smith and Vick] now, the idea is to bring what the quarterback can do, and what he should do, together as an organic whole
30gut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
Living Legend
 
GTripp0012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evanston, IL
Age: 26
Posts: 15,963
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Haslett at least seemed to have a clue out there whereas Blache unquestionably did not, but he made too many mistakes with his personnel in 2010, and wasn't exactly an asset with his playcalling. Haslett, I thought, came out with very good gameplans a lot of the time, and when he didn't, it usually didn't take him long to make the necessary adjustments (whereas Blache was simply not going to make adjustments). But there was hardly ever any element of surprise in the defensive play design. The offenses always seemed to have a good feel when/where the blitz would come from.

He was very meh in year one.
__________________
according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
GTripp0012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 03:50 PM   #13
Living Legend
 
GTripp0012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evanston, IL
Age: 26
Posts: 15,963
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by davy View Post
The strength of the front 7 the previous season were, Haynesworth, Orakpo, Carter and Fletcher, all of whom are ideally suited to 4-3.
Only in the case of Carter did one of those four actually look out of position in the 3-4. I think Orakpo and Fletcher benefited from the defensive switch, and Haynesworth's problems seemingly had nothing to do with the scheme and more to do with the coaches and teammates. I get that he feels that being a nose tackle is a bad career move...but I think he'd be good at it.

And to be fair, that was a big one. The scheme change might have cost us our best defensive player from 2009. But I don't think any coordinator was going to come in and build around a 31 year old Andre Carter anyway, and I don't think switching to the 3-4 necessarily shortened his career here. Just his effectiveness.
__________________
according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
GTripp0012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 03:59 PM   #14
Playmaker
 
Defensewins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 2,829
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTripp0012 View Post
Only in the case of Carter did one of those four actually look out of position in the 3-4. I think Orakpo and Fletcher benefited from the defensive switch, and Haynesworth's problems seemingly had nothing to do with the scheme and more to do with the coaches and teammates. I get that he feels that being a nose tackle is a bad career move...but I think he'd be good at it.

And to be fair, that was a big one. The scheme change might have cost us our best defensive player from 2009. But I don't think any coordinator was going to come in and build around a 31 year old Andre Carter anyway, and I don't think switching to the 3-4 necessarily shortened his career here. Just his effectiveness.
Regardless of how individuals looked, the results are undeniable. When you go from a top 10 defense to 31st and second to last, that is usually a sign of failure. In the NFL people usually lose their jobs for that kind of result.
Our defense was not a problem area and Mr. Shanahan's decision made our defense an instant weakness. The Monday Night Eagles game was one the worst defensive performance I have ever seen.
Defensewins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2011, 04:08 PM   #15
Living Legend
 
GTripp0012's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Evanston, IL
Age: 26
Posts: 15,963
Re: Recent Switches to 3-4 Defense Usually Mean Improvement

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defensewins View Post
Regardless of how individuals looked, the results are undeniable. When you go from a top 10 defense to 31st and second to last, that is usually a sign of failure. In the NFL people usually lose their jobs for that kind of result.
Our defense was not a problem area and Mr. Shanahan's decision made our defense an instant weakness. The Monday Night Eagles game was one the worst defensive performance I have ever seen.
Well, our finish and performance in 2010 weren't very good. I don't think I'd want to be caught saying that I was happy with our performance on that side of the ball in 2009 either. Our defense in 2009 was a single strong unit (the d-line) and a crap ton of often ineffective spare parts

I think the unit was aging, and I think we went from a really strong D-Line in 2009 with Carter-Haynesworth-Griffin-Daniels to a really weak-but-younger one in Carriker-Kemo-Golston. And you're right that they turned a strength into a weakness. But the strength was built around three veterans in Griffin, Haynesworth, and Carter, and I think it would have been worse for a new DC to come in and try to ride out those three players rather than bring in fresh blood.

Regardless of how the unit performed last year, we're almost certainly better up front with Carriker, Jenkins, Bryant, and whatever they can milk out of Haynesworth than with a bunch of guys in their mid thirties who were excellent players under Grilliams...in 2007.

I feel like if Gregg Williams had stayed, we would have continued to win games and make the playoffs through the 2009 season, but even then, the day which we could no longer rely on Carter and Griffin as defensive staples was quickly approaching. And the truth is: without them, we didn't really have any 4-3 specific personnel anywhere on the roster.
__________________
according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
GTripp0012 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site is not officially affiliated with the Washington Redskins or the NFL.
Page generated in 0.37535 seconds with 10 queries

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0 RC5

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25