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4-3 Defensive Sets

 
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jargin


Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 7038
Location: Houston, TX
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:23 am    Post subject: 4-3 Defensive Sets Reply with quote

I read on a Pancakes live chat recap that the Texans could potentially use some 4-3 with Reed-Watt-Smith-Mercilus on the DL and Cushing-Barwin-James at the LB. I know we have already discussed the nickel package plenty of times on here, I just want to know if anyone is for or against a base 4-3 package. If we are going against pass heavy teams I wouldn't mind it. Usually if you are going against a run heavy team you want to have at least one true DT on the field and even though Watt and Smith are strong 5-techs and 3-techs they still aren't true DT's. With our DT's not even being that much different than Watt and Smith in terms of size, I can see the benefit of having them inside with a 4-3 set because they can rush the passer better at any moment.

I'm not against a 4-3 or a 3-4, I just want to see the best playmakers on the field at the same time. Right now I think we are better suited to stick with the 3-4 base and not have Mercilus start, just rotate in than we are to try to force him into a starting role by going with a 4-3 just to get him on the field.
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dsorc


Joined: 16 Jan 2008
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Location: St. Louis
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That doesn't make sense to me. First of all, Reed and not Barwin would likely be the one left at LB as Barwin is best pass rusher right now. Second, if we're going against a pass heavy team, we might as well go with nickle 4 man front instead of this. That front just looks like doing things halfway. Stick to base against the run then go to nickle against the pass. No reason to complicate things. (It also doesn't help that neither Reed nor Bradie James are good in coverage so your LBs are exposed against the pass in that set.)
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ServantofYHWH


Joined: 25 Jan 2010
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only person who could cover in that set would be Cush and I would think that James would play MLB and Barwin play OLB.
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EliteTexan80


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The interior of that DL would get pushed around. I like Watt and Smith a whole lot, but I can't see those two serving as DT 1 and DT 2 effectively.

I'd much rather sub out Smith and put Earl Mitchell or Shaun Cody.
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texansfan


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's just another wrinkle to throw at teams. That formation would essentially be a 5-2, as Barwin would be moving around the line and would attack from different angles. On certain plays Cushing would attack and Barwin would stay at LB, or perhaps Cush and Barwin would attack and Reed would drop off the line into coverage.

Sometimes we will run a 4-2 with 5 DBs, sometimes we will run a 5-2 with 4 DBs. It's just a wrinkle.
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kenney


Joined: 24 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I mean, as texansfan said, we basically ran a 4-3 Nickel package on 3rd and/or passing downs. It's a very versatile and volatile personnel package, and it really gets our best players on the field. It's a shame more can't be done with the nose position, as it seems like our 3-man front is more or less a formality until we can safely get Watt, Smith, Reed, Barwin, Cushing, and now Mercilus on the field together.

Perhaps I'm overlooking something, but am I wrong in my perception that our nose guard is even less useful than our Mo/Meg linebacker?
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CAS22


Joined: 06 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kenney wrote:
I mean, as texansfan said, we basically ran a 4-3 Nickel package on 3rd and/or passing downs. It's a very versatile and volatile personnel package, and it really gets our best players on the field. It's a shame more can't be done with the nose position, as it seems like our 3-man front is more or less a formality until we can safely get Watt, Smith, Reed, Barwin, Cushing, and now Mercilus on the field together.

Perhaps I'm overlooking something, but am I wrong in my perception that our nose guard is even less useful than our Mo/Meg linebacker?

It's actually a 4-1-6. Quin acted as the second LB playing up while Manning was behind. In man, McCain took the slot while Joseph/Jackson took the outside guys. Troy Nolan took Quin's spot. Zone was different obviously.

Reed --- Smith --- Watt --- Barwin

Cushing

Jackson------Quin------------------McCain-------Joseph

Nolan--------------------Manning

It seems pretty illogical for us to get all 7 fearful pass rushers on the field at the same time. I find it much more likely for the Mercilus/Reed/Barwin rotation to be used to see which two guys are fresh and energized.
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Grasspike


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 12:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We'll likely talk it up in preseason, play a few snaps with it in games that don't matter, and have offenses waste practice and film time trying to make sure we don't burn them with that and take away some focus from our meat and potatoes set. Nothing more than that.
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amazingandre


Joined: 16 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We basically played this set last year. Most of the time we would bring 5, you just never knew where it would come from. This is the same thing. Just because Barwin dropped down at end doesnt mean he will come at you, he could still drop back. All of these guys are versatile enough to play with their hand in the ground or standing up. Use that to confuse opposing offenses.
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AntiSuperstar


Joined: 07 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Texans defense in terms of gap concepts already is a 4-3 defense. Essentially all you're doing is replacing a Nose Tackle with another non-pass rushing Linebacker and have both 3-4 Outside Linebackers being put in a three-point stance as opposed to standing up. That's it. It seems entirely pointless and only makes the run defense worse while adding little to the pass rush. I don't understand the benefit of using this as a base set.

Also, Reed at Linebacker and Barwin at Defensive End makes more sense.
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Dawgtx


Joined: 12 Mar 2007
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Location: La Porte, TX
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AntiSuperstar wrote:
The Texans defense in terms of gap concepts already is a 4-3 defense. Essentially all you're doing is replacing a Nose Tackle with another non-pass rushing Linebacker and have both 3-4 Outside Linebackers being put in a three-point stance as opposed to standing up. That's it. It seems entirely pointless and only makes the run defense worse while adding little to the pass rush. I don't understand the benefit of using this as a base set.

Also, Reed at Linebacker and Barwin at Defensive End makes more sense.


Yep......our run defense kinda sucked last year?! Hopefully it will improve this year?!
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AntiSuperstar


Joined: 07 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess what I'm getting at is that if all you want is to get all three of the team's Outside Linebacker pass rushers on the field, you could easily just play Brooks Reed at Inside Linebacker and run the same Phillips scheme. That seems a much simpler solution.

Obviously in sub-packages I could see different alignments(and with all the pieces the Texans have, don't forget Crick as another threat, they could use all sorts of 4 man pass rushing alignments if they choose to in their sub-packages) but I don't quite understand the benefit of a 4-3 set with this personnel. I mean why is it so important for example to have Bradie James out there in this set and not a Nose Tackle? Is the thought that perhaps he could be a significant pass rushing threat too? Otherwise I don't understand.

I have complimented the Texans before on their depth and how it allows them to excel in many different sub-package alignments. I'm only now grasping that next year's team could potentially be even more versatile in that regard(front 7 wise at least) with the addition of Crick and further development of young players. I can't remember Wade ever having so many pieces to work with. Having 5+ good pass rushers on the field is not unrealistic for the Texans if they really wanted to.
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