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Thread: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

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    Member Jrod Jones's Avatar
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    Default Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    The more I think about it the more I feel as if this team could make the transition to a 3-4 scheme relatively easily.

    Lets start with the linebackers.

    I see Angerer and Brackett as 2 very good ILB options. I don't see an issue with starting those 2, and then bring Kavell Connor and Philip Wheeler as solid depth.

    On the outside things get more interesting. I personally think that Mathis and Freeney could both play OLB in a 3-4. They have the speed and awareness to make the transition. I think that if they spend the offseason focusing on learning the coverage aspect of being a LB, the move could work out quite nicely. Also Jerry Hughes, Kavell Connor and Philip Wheeler all would be able to play OLB, allowing for real flexibility in certain situations.

    Now lets talk about the DLine because thats where the real issues are.

    To be honest I don't see this transition to be nearly as bad as people seem to think. Our DTs are undersized by 4-3 standards, but I could see (some of) them working out as 3-4 DEs as we transition.

    The player I think would benefit the most from this would be Jamaal Anderson. I think Anderson could thrive as a DE in a 3-4 scheme. He has the size to stay on the line with the new scheme, and has gotten much better at using his hands to work his way through and around blockers.

    I also think that both Drake Nevis and Fili Moala could hold down the spot of DE in the new scheme until we found a real difference maker to take over. Even though they were drafted as undersized 4-3 DTs I think that they are quick enough to fill the void at DE. I am not saying that this would be a position of strength, but definitely would be manageable.

    The key to this transition is drafting a NT, and there are definitely a few serious options here. Assuming that Dontari Poe will be gone before we draft in the 2nd round, Alameda Ta'amu, Josh Chapman, Hebron Fangupo, and Nicolas Jean-Baptiste are all real NT options that will be available later in the draft. If we were to reach a bit for Ta'amu in the 2nd (he is projected as a mid-late 2nd rounder) or take Fangupo, Chapman or Jean-Baptiste in the 3rd then we get a serious space eater to anchor the defense. Also, with 2 slightly oversized DEs winging our NT, there is less pressure put on the NT then there normally would be.

    While this rookie is adjusting to the NFL Antonio Johnson is big enough, and has the experience, to play the NT position.

    Obviously this is not going to be an elite defense (we won't even talk about the secondary) by any stretch of the imagination, but I definitely see this is a reasonable stopgap for Pagano to get his own people in place. I would be excited to see what Freeney and Mathis would do as OLBs. I think that throwing 2 big guys with average mobility in at DE would be balanced out by Freeney's and Mathis' explosiveness off the edge.

    Anyway this is just something that I have been contemplating recently and I was curious what others thought. Is the transition actually such a difficult one?

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    Member jeffg-body's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    I have to agree that I don't think the transition to a 3-4 would not be as harsh as people have been saying. I really like Nevis as an option for NT if he could gain some more weight and improve his strength. I think the players that would benefit the most from this transition would be Mathis and Angerer. One player I kind of question if he could be as effective in the 3-4 would be Brackett just because of his lack of size. If we could get a nice young DT in the draft in the 2nd round I would be happy.

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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    I do not see how you can see Brackett transitioning to a 3-4 ILB so well. One of his biggest problems that has always plagued him is his inability to shed blocks once an offensive lineman has engaged him.

    Ideally yes our NT and DEs should be taking up most of the blocks leaving the ILB free to attack the gaps, but we have nobody on the roster who is remotely ready to be 3-4 NT. I think Nevis could make a good 3-4 DE, but I just have not been impressed with Moala.

    I think we have pieces here and there like Angerer and Nevis, but I think we need to his this draft hard to upgrade spots.

    The key is how Freeney and Mathis do when converting to a 3-4 OLB. If they struggle this could be a disaster.

    I think we need to look at the following in the draft and or free agency:

    1) OLB
    2) ILB
    3) DE
    4) SS
    5) CB

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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    The problem is that we do not have a nose tackle and our ends pass rush every play. They would have to make tackles in a 3-4. Bracket is not going to be back and if they take Luck and let Manning go, it would be silly to bring back Mathis, Wayne, Clark, Garcon and probably more. They won't be seeing the playoffs for years and Luck will be fortunate if he lasts the first season behind the offensive line.......

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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    I think we should put Angerer and Brackett in as ILB.. Put Connor as an OLB (hes too good to bench anymore) and Mathis at the other one. Then trade Freeney (dont want to, but have no place for him).. Draft a big NT, put Nevis as a DE and whoever else at the other DE.

    It should work really well.

    We might not bring Brackett back, which would be sad, but he isn't the best fit for the new system either. We should bring Mathis back though, I really think he would make a good LB. We can sign a FA or two to take up the DE/DT or ILB spot if there isn't someone good enough coming out of the draft for us.
    Last edited by Ownagedood; 03-01-2012 at 01:15 PM.

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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    With the 3-4 defense your MLB have to be stronger and not just run around and make plays, but shed blocks and get after the run, our guys don't fit that mode as well, Brackett would have a tough time doing this especially if we do not find a good NT.

    OLB Conner can not cover, not sure about any of the other guys as well, Mathis and Freeney are so far into their career and are so dominate at the positions that they play that we would be better of trading them to a 4-3 team in return getting a 3/4 outside LB type player.

    I am with you with the assessment of our DT's though move them out to the ends and they should be perfectly fine, but we will need to get a solid NT and I think Ta'amu could be the guy if he does not get drafted before we get to him, we could also look in free agency.

    Secondary is another issue, I think some of our guys will be able especially with the help of Pagano but we won't know a lot of this until practice begins. we are still weak at the SS position and will need to address that. I think we have enough of a unqualified team to say that this will be a big transition and that we will have to find the parts that will work for us.

    P.S. I doubt Mathis will sign with us unless we overpay him a ton, I think Freeney will get traded also.
    Why so SERIOUS

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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlu View Post
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    The problem is that we do not have a nose tackle and our ends pass rush every play. They would have to make tackles in a 3-4. Bracket is not going to be back and if they take Luck and let Manning go, it would be silly to bring back Mathis, Wayne, Clark, Garcon and probably more. They won't be seeing the playoffs for years and Luck will be fortunate if he lasts the first season behind the offensive line.......
    We need to bring back Wayne, to justify this point all you need to do is look at that Panthers and what Steve Smith did for Cam last year...
    Why so SERIOUS

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    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    We were 2-16 with a 4-3 defense and couldn't stop the run or get a team off the field. ...How much worse can we be and for how long if we transition away to a 3-4?
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    Member Jrod Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    I think you guys are wrong about the role of an ILB here. Yes they need to be able to blitz, but the key to the ILB is being able to drop back in coverage while the OLBs and the Dline deal with the run. If our Dline is overall above average size (assuming we draft a full sized NT) then I don't see any issues in Brackett converting.

    And what about Freeney and Mathis at OLB, you don't think they could make the transition? I think both of them are quick enough and have good enough awareness to make the move. If Freeney and Mathis successfully fit the scheme then I think everything else just kinda falls into place as it has over the years. If Freeney and Mathis can make it work then the rest of it will work as well.

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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    Quote Originally Posted by OlBlu View Post
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    They won't be seeing the playoffs for years and Luck will be fortunate if he lasts the first season behind the offensive line.......
    Good thing Luck is more athletic than Peyton and able to move around. Plus the offense will change to more of a running game and a lot of passing to the TE.
    Last edited by RWB; 03-01-2012 at 02:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrod Jones View Post
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    I think you guys are wrong about the role of an ILB here. Yes they need to be able to blitz, but the key to the ILB is being able to drop back in coverage while the OLBs and the Dline deal with the run. If our Dline is overall above average size (assuming we draft a full sized NT) then I don't see any issues in Brackett converting.

    And what about Freeney and Mathis at OLB, you don't think they could make the transition? I think both of them are quick enough and have good enough awareness to make the move. If Freeney and Mathis successfully fit the scheme then I think everything else just kinda falls into place as it has over the years. If Freeney and Mathis can make it work then the rest of it will work as well.
    ILB do not drop back in coverage on run plays, what happens typically is that one of the guards and or full back gets up filed and try to take out the middle LB on inside runs specifically. We would get ate up with Bracket on run plays.

    Freeney and Mathis could make the switch but I think Mathis is the only one of the two that would be even close to as efficient in that new role, with freeney I think you would get more value out of him trading him than switching him to a 3-4 OLB, he is so effective with his hand in the ground.
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    Member Jrod Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    I always thought of ILBs in a 3-4 as faster guys who were good in coverage, and then could hit holes fast on run plays.

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    Default Re: Transitioning to a 3-4... Are we really so unqualified?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jrod Jones View Post
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    I always thought of ILBs in a 3-4 as faster guys who were good in coverage, and then could hit holes fast on run plays.
    Yeah they need to do that as well, find the hole, hit it, shed the blocker and make the tackle, be able to drop back on pass plays.

    The shedding block thing is big though, with 3 guys on the line spread between the tackles that leaves a blocker or a FB to tee off on the MLB, he has to be able to shed that block and get to the ball carrier.

    I am just hoping the best for the Colts in this transition, I am super excited to see what they do with this Manning situation and on draft day.
    Why so SERIOUS

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