Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
The 3-4 has been said to be a better defense against the read option, but did we lose because we ran a 4-3 in the playoffs?
The two teams that were in the Super Bowl ran a 3-4 defense. That's all fine and good, but the Falcons were indeed 10 yards away from representing the 4-3 in the NFC.
Now, my question to you today is whether or not switching to the 3-4 is a good idea.
Personally, I don't think it's the right move. If we wanted to switch over, we should've done it last year, because not only did we have a new DC last year, we had new terminology and new looks, and now you're asking the defense to essentially learn an entirely new defense again? I don't like it. That doesn't spell success for me, at least not while our window is as open as it'll ever be.
We did well for a team that had new coordinators on both sides of the ball, but we still ran the same base 4-3 that we've been running since '08.
Many fans have said we don't have any true 4-3 DEs on the roster, but rather 3-4 OLBs. What does that even mean? 3-4 OLBs rush the passer; they still have to get around an offensive lineman (or nobody, in our OL's case. see DAL game) to get to the quarterback. Is it positioning? Because we tried that already (though it worked brilliantly against non-mobile QBs). Is it size? We don't have a true space-gobbling NT, so we'd have to draft or sign one. Why is a 3-4 OLB, who is the same size (theoretically) as a 4-3 DE, going to suddenly be more successful at rushing the passer when the avenue to get there is the same?
Is it coverage ability? We ran Biermann all the way home to free safety on more than one occasion.
A 3-4 is almost what we ran anyway when we ran our three DT formation with an Abe as a stand-up rusher. The personnel required would be a little different, of course, but techinically you could say it was a 3-4ish 4-3.
I ask this not because I know the answer, but because I'm not 100% sure. I don't think learning a whole new D (if it could be considered that, which I think it is) is the recipe for success for this team.
However, many of you have also said that this draft is lacking in 4-3 edge rushers, but wealthy in 3-4 OLBs. If that's the case, then a switch makes more sense.
But remember, the offense can only carry the team so far, so we need to be careful if we're going to change defenses, because thinking while playing means not playing fast, and that means disaster.