March 24, 2019, 06:58:22 PM

Author Topic: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure  (Read 1164 times)

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Online Uncle Josh

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3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« on: January 05, 2019, 10:17:28 AM »
Question to all-- If the Packers do in fact replace Pettine and switch to a 4-3 defense-- Who fits best at which positions and who transitions to others? I'm thinking primarily DL and LBs. How does this affect our overall approach to the draft and FA? If I recall correctly, we used to keep roughly 5 DEs, 5 DTs, 4 OLBs and 2 MLBs when we used to run the 4-3 system. Who would fit where? Who would not fit at all? I would think that our current ILBs would likely transition to OLBs and most of our OLBs would become traditional DEs. This would leave us looking for mostly LBs and maybe a DE or two in FA and the draft, IMO. Would this approach be more difficult than sticking to the 3-4? Is it worth it? This draft is rich at DL and your typical 4-3 LBs are becoming more rare, in my estimation. I see Fackrell as probably a LOLB, as well as Martinez and Burks. Perry could be a perfect fit as a hand-in-the-dirt DE on either side-- but he would almost certainly require a drastic salary re-structure if we were to keep him, and with his injury history would that even be worth consideration? What do you all think? Would would stay, who would go and what would we need to address for this switch?

Offline bmaafi

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2019, 12:00:33 PM »
Martinez would definitely fit better in a 4-3, he would have two DTs in front of him which would allow him to flow to the ball a little more and not have to deal with blockers as much. I think Daniels would play well as a 3-tech. Lancaster could be a NT. Kenny Clark would be OK, might see his sack numbers go down a little. I think Lowry would be an iffy fit. Adams could back up Daniels at 3tech. Burks would move to WLB which he could be decent at. Fackrell could move to SLB but i'm not sure how he would do at it. I don't think gilbert would fit unless he moved back to DE. I don't think Donnerson would fit. Morrison could play MLB. Nick Perry would have to move to DE but I don't think they keep him either way.

Offline Fox_NFLs_GG

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 01:44:11 PM »
The packers do have the talent to switch from one to another in game. However they don't have the depth to maintain it when injuries happen.

Offline Gregg

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 12:15:34 AM »
If we do decide to do this, we are going to have to be active in the FA market, and also draft at least one, and maybe two DL for depth.

The good news is that there are many front seven guys who are good in this draft.  Especially in the DL.

IMO, we have Wilkerson at DE, Clark and Daniels inside, Lowry and Lancaster as depth guys outside and inside.  We would need to either draft or sign a starting DE.

At linebacker, Burks could play WLB, and I would ask CM 3 to shift inside since I think this would rejuvenate his career.  I am not sure about Fackrell at SLB. 

With Clark and Daniels inside, we would be able to get inside pressure, which is not easy to do.  And Wilkerson is a good outside speed rusher.  Can you imagine CM 3 on the delayed inside blitz?

I have always liked this defense since I saw what the Giants did with it against us.

Offline Shinesman

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2019, 02:50:51 AM »
If we do decide to do this, we are going to have to be active in the FA market, and also draft at least one, and maybe two DL for depth.

The good news is that there are many front seven guys who are good in this draft.  Especially in the DL.

IMO, we have Wilkerson at DE, Clark and Daniels inside, Lowry and Lancaster as depth guys outside and inside.  We would need to either draft or sign a starting DE.

At linebacker, Burks could play WLB, and I would ask CM 3 to shift inside since I think this would rejuvenate his career.  I am not sure about Fackrell at SLB. 

With Clark and Daniels inside, we would be able to get inside pressure, which is not easy to do.  And Wilkerson is a good outside speed rusher.  Can you imagine CM 3 on the delayed inside blitz?

I have always liked this defense since I saw what the Giants did with it against us.

Good assessment.  There was a time we could have transferred seamlessly to a 4-3. But the TT train everyone loved was averse to change, even though it was s perfect fix. It's time to see if Gute is a chopped liver product if TT or not. He did double down at DB last year in rounds 1 and 2, which was a stupid move, but he could decide to be his own man, and make green bay great again....  if he doesnt screw the pooch.
"Tradition! Just because we've always done it that way, doesn't mean that it isn't incredibly stupid."

Online PackerJoe

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2019, 05:28:33 AM »
Enjoy the responses and I have been saying the last three years, Martinez, Ryan and Burks are second and 3rd string linebackers.  No speed, a little talent, tenacity, strike fear in opponents fear etc.  How do I know compare them to other linebackers.  Ever see Martinez, Ryan, burks make a play in the backfield?  Any interceptions,  One simple answer no.

Khalil Mack agree with two new pass rushers (Josh Allen from Kentucky is a beast!!!  Reminds me alot of Khalil Mack, only faster and stronger!  I don't think Wilkerson will be around, ditto Perry and Mathews.  Defenses have to be smart, speedy and intimidate.  Did our defense intimidate Detroit at Home?

Kevin White from LSU would be a tremendous pick at MLB.  Deondre Walker from Georgia would be another pick in the 2-4 rds.  LB's tend to drop in value much like running backs.  We need one or two intimidating safeties.  An FA coupled with Jonathon Abrams would do wonders!  William from Alabama and Ferrell from Clemson would address the DE position if we do a switch to the 4-3.  Tillery from ND or Wilkins from Clemson would be beast in the middle.  Clark, Daniels, Allen, and Tillery would be a giant step forward.  Don't forget Fackrell!  He had a great year with ten sacks making ten time less that Perry!!!!!!!

Offline TAYLORBOY

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2019, 05:43:32 AM »
I think the best Defense to run.....is the one the new HC and DC like

There really isn't much difference anymore

Offline B

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2019, 06:20:03 AM »
I think the best Defense to run.....is the one the new HC and DC like

goodpost clap) goodpost
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They just ran out of time.
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Offline Gregg

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2019, 11:26:42 AM »
The best defense to run is one that works.  And for which you have the players to make it work with.

If you recall, we have been in this Capers 3-4 defense now for about 10 years.  That is, from when McCarthy decided to fire just about his entire defensive staff in 2009.

In most of that ten year span, I thought our defenses were middle of the pack.  This year it was more of the same.

I mean, these teams remind me a bit of what Sherman used to trot out there.  We were going to win with offense and a mediocre "bend but don't break" defense.

Well, that is OK when you have a HOF QB playing at an All Pro level.  It has not worked the last two years since that has not been the conditions on offense.

Now, when McCarthy brought in Capers, he brought him in for just that purpose.  That is, he wanted to get away from the 4-3 Bates defense Sanders and Nunn were running.  He wanted Capers to install a 3-4 defense because he thought that would stop the run better. And BTW, there was no question this was an MM decision, because it was MM who personally fired about six people that day and wrote the press release.  TT, a defensive man, was not in on it.  But, IMO, this is what happens when you get an offensive guy making defensive decisions.  IMO, and the opinion of many, Capers did not pan out.  And all of his promises of bringing a protean, ever changing type of defensive front, one that would be switching all the time from a 4-3 to a 3-4 etc?  Well, where was it?  I sure as heck did not notice it, at least not very often.  I mean I swear sometimes the guy ran a 2-5 front seven.

If you ask any DC around today, most will tell you that the best pure DC of the last 20 years was the late Jim Johnson of the Eagles. What that guy did with what he had was amazing.  He ran the 4-3 featuring the A gap blitz.  Which I think CM 3 would be good at. The guy who runs that defense the best today is Spagnola.  We should all remember it since that was the Giants defense that beat us twice in the playoffs.

If, by some miracle, we decided to go to it, you have to find the right DC and you have to commit to it.  You have to find the right players to man it.  If you do, you have a good basic system, from which you can get pressure and  cover with seven guys a lot of the time. Which is necessary in the pass mad days of the NFL today.   But if you are not going to really commit to it, then I would almost prefer to stick with the smorgasbord approach of Capers/Pettine.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 12:39:57 PM by Gregg »

Offline skcusICH

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2019, 01:45:55 PM »
Kenny Clark is going to be a 1 Tech NT in either system. He has the strength, size, and double team requirement to be successful plugging the middle in a 3-4. He also has the burst and the pass rush ability to be a successful 1 Tech NT in a 4-3 under. His sack numbers could potentially go up in a 4-3 under. He’ll be a star in either system. Really, he has the makeup to play any interior position in any front. Lancaster is a prototypical 3-4 NT. Extremely strong and run defense is his strength. He’d really be only an early down rotational player unless he improved his pass rush ability. Not a bad option as a backup. The guy seems out to prove he’s more than that though.

Daniels would be a 3 Tech in either system. A younger Daniels would be a no brainer in either system. The question today is does he have enough pass rush left in him. Adams shares a lot of similar traits as a young Mike Daniels. Likely not nearly as strong and able to win with sheer power. But he has that slippery penetrating quality that you look for in a 3T. He’s shown the ability to get in the backfield, but hasn’t learned to finish with consistency. The traits are there though.

On paper, Wilkerson & Perry are tremendous options as 5 Tech DE’s. You need a guy who can set the edge strongly in run defense and also provide plus pass rushing ability. Wilkerson in his prime and a healthy Perry are really strong options here. Problem is, Wilkerson isn’t in his prime and Perry is never healthy (perhaps also threw in the towel after getting paid). Lowry doesn’t provide the pass rush ability needed at this position and I feel he would severely handicap the team’s pass rush if he were put into a significant role in this scheme. This would be a position that would need to be addressed through free agency or the draft if the team feels there is nothing left in the free agent Wilkerson or Perry. Not all too different than the team’s current need at OLB.

I’m not sure a proper weakside pass rushing DE is on the roster. You’re ideally looking for a premiere pass rusher here that isn’t a complete liability against the run either. Matthews clearly isn’t the guy anymore as his top pass rushing days are clearly behind him. I’m not sure that Fackrell is anything more than a 3rd down pass rush specialist in a 4-3 scheme with his hand in the dirt. With either scheme that’s run, this type of player is a huge need in the draft or free agency. Gilbert is a decent backup option here, but barring a big year to year jump, isn’t the full time answer here.

At SAM OLB, you’re looking for someone who is big enough to take on tackles and TE’s in the run game, yet have enough mobility to play in coverage. A little blitzing ability is a plus. A mid-career Clay Matthews would have been a great option here, but based on his film from this past year, he doesn’t move well enough anymore in space. When out in space, he struggled changing direction and wrapping up on tackles. Really overmatched athletically. I think current day Clay would be a huge liability in the passing game if resigned and plugged into this role. Martinez isn’t big enough to be playing over on the strong side. His game has been about flowing to the ball, not fighting through blocks. Perhaps Fackrell would be worth a look here, but that seems like a very odd fit. Can’t imagine he’d have success one on one with a TE in the passing game. Morrison lacks the coverage ability to have success here. He’d be a liability in coverage or GB’s defense would be incredibly predictable from the coaches trying to leave him out of coverage. Not really an option. With today’s spread offenses, this player is going to see a limited number of snaps compared to the WILL and MIKE LB.

At MLB, you’d stick with Blake Martinez. He’d be doing much of the same things he’s doing now. Cleans up in the run game and shows the ability to find the RB on outside zones, stretches and toss plays. Ideally, I’d prefer someone who is stronger in the passing game and an authoritative figure who is forcing fumbles. Can’t have it all, but he’s not the Pro Bowl level player some like to think he is.

At WILL OLB, Jones and Burks fit the profile from a size/athlete standpoint. Fast enough to run with RB’s, athleticism to shoot gaps and make plays in the backfield. You’re looking for a playmaker here. On paper, they both look like excellent candidates, but that’s on paper. Burks was benched early in the season and really never heard from again. Jones has actually played a lot of LB in his 2 years in Green Bay now. I’d argue that towards the end of the year, he was flashing plays that were expected of him when he was drafted for that role. He’s not there yet, but there are signs that something is there. Perhaps handing him the keys his rookie year left the work ethic going into year 2 at an unacceptable level. After falling down the depth chart this past summer and being benched to start the year, perhaps it was a wakeup call and he’ll show up in year 3 ready.

Either scheme leaves this team in need of defensive starters...yet again...With the draft capital invested in the defense over the last 5 plus years, this team should be loaded with defensive talent.

Offline footballdad

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2019, 02:27:17 AM »
Agree. Once the new staff is brought in we will know. Either way puzzle pieces are missing, but that is what free agency and the draft are for. Hopefully most of the needs will be addressed, unlike previous years. No more first round corners please. Between Alexander, Jackson, and Breeland (I hope), corner should be solid moving forward.

Offline TAYLORBOY

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2019, 12:24:27 PM »
It's never about the x's and o's but always about the Jimmies and Joes..

Real life example of how to fix something that doesn't include changing schemes or Coaches

Indy Colts averaged 9.9 sacks per game last yr


This yr they drafted the best OG at #6 in 1st round


2nd round they took a OT


I think last yr they signed a FA OT


average sacks per game in 2018 1.1...…


Luck also gets the ball out much quicker

Online claymaker

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2019, 01:02:12 PM »
It literally doesn't matter at this point.

Defense is played in sub packages like 80% of the time across the NFL. Nickel is your base defense in the NFL right now.

3-4 or 4-3 does not matter. It doesn't change your philosophy or scheme in today's NFL, 4-3 can actually be limiting in some ways.

The players coming out of college are seldom thought of as DEs or OLBs, just edge players. There might one or two prototype DEs in a draft class. This hurts the ability to play an actual 4-3 defense.

For most of us it comes down what stance do your edge players play out of it. Personally, I find the 2 point stance more in line with today's NFL because of all the misdirection and it helps their ability to play in space. We see a good mix of players listed as DEs and OLBs among the sack leaders, so neither really gets the edge.

Offline Gregg

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2019, 11:36:25 PM »
This is what Capers tried to sell us on before he began his disappointing reign.

There is a difference between the two.  And its basic.  And it can dictate the coverages you plain the backfield.

As I have said, the Jimmy Johnson 4-3 was an effective coverage and sacking defense that was taken by Spagnola and the Giants and slightly modified since he had an even better front four than Johnson did.

We night not have the players right now to run it well, but if you commit to it you can staff it within a year or two.  And if you can do that, and get  coach who knows how to run it, you will have a really good base defense to blitz and cover from.

Offline craig

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Re: 3-4 vs. 4-3 fits and roster structure
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2019, 06:39:57 AM »
The "if you commit to it" is part of the issue, of course.  A couple of possible negative outcomes with "commit":
1.  You spend two years of your high draft choices on it, but you don't draft well.  If the Jimmies and Joes don't end up being good, it's not going to work.  (See the Randall and Rollins draft as an example of committing unsuccessfully....)
2.  We've got a deteriorating offense with an aging QB and an aging o-line.  The offensive talent has been ignored in the draft for the last ten years.  If we commit to the 4-3, wouldn't that again mean ignoring the offense for another couple of years?  Perhaps the former thought wasn't so wrong that a bend-but-don't-break defense can put you in the dance every year, *IF* you've got a great offense?