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Understanding the 4-3 alignment
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Matts4313


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Understanding the 4-3 alignment Reply with quote

This post is to discuss the difference variations of the 4-3 alignment and how it effects the Cowboys. If you want to discuss your opinion on Monte Kiffen, please do so Here. If you want to discuss other coaches, please do so Here. If you would like to talk about Jerry Jones or bash the GM in general, please do so by posting Here.

****Again, this is a thread to discuss the 4-3 Defense. It is for us to all share our knowledge so that we can better understand it****


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Front 7 Defensive alignments:

The 4-3 "Over" (IE - What you probably picture in your mind when you hear 4-3)



The 4-3 "Under" (IE - Much more similiar to a 3-4, Almost a 3-4/4-3 hybrid. Its what the Seahawks run - and is also a Kiffin Staple)


^^^^^^ Look at how similar that is to a 3/4 alignment. Major differences are that Ware and Ratliff are in theory going to see much more single blocking. See the next image for a variation of the "under" called the "Elephant 4-3". It is a sub package that would allow Ware to move around and rush pending the offensive alignment




Quote:
All 3-technique tackles are not alike. Defensive coaches continually search for ways to make their defensive linemen more effective. One of those ways, which was later adapted to the Tampa-2 defense by Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin, was to slide the defensive tackles away from the strength of the offensive formation instead of playing them in even alignments over the offensive guards. This “undershifted” front makes it very difficult for the offensive line to double-team the 3-technique, or as sometimes referred to in this front, the undertackle.
.......................................................

Sapp wasn’t the first player to ride the undertackle position to N.F.L. fame and fortune. Before the birth of the Tampa-2, the Minnesota Vikings (under Floyd Peters and Kiffin) paired defensive end Chris Doleman and undertackle Keith Millard in a stunting under front defense. In 1989, Millard set a record for sacks by interior defensive linemen (1Cool that still stands today.

The lineage of great undertackles includes many of the league’s other most successful pass rushing defensive tackles. John Randle, the first undertackle in what would become the Tampa-2 defense, racked up nine consecutive seasons of 10 or more sacks. La’Roi Glover’s 17-sack season in 2000 came as an undertackle. Kevin Williams, Rod Coleman, Vonnie Holliday, Tommie Harris? All have had very successful seasons playing 3-technique on defenses frequently using under fronts during the last few seasons. Coordinators also often use the under front in their nickel packages, moving one of their defensive ends inside as a 3-technique.


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How does this effect the Cowboys?

In the 4-3 under, we already have near-perfect personnel. In the above diagram, the following would happen:

Ware would be lined up on the outside shoulder of the LT on every play. He would pin his ears back and rush.

Ratliff would play the Sap role - he would be SINGLED against a guard, buy alignment, allowing him to pin his ears back and rush. He would be in the same system that allowed Sapp, Glover, Williams, Harris and others to consistently have ~10+ sack seasons. Remember - Sapp went to a 3-4 and registered a 2 sack season. Once going back to the Under Tackle, he once again was a double digit sack producer (even after 30).

Lissemore/Spears would have a similiar responsibility as they do now. By alignment, they would be engaging a double team (by the C/G). Their role is to 'Clog the hole'.

Hatcher/Crawford would also be engaged in double teams (TE/RT) on a regular basis. They would play the role that Red Bryant is currently with the Hawks. Try to penetrate up field, but more to disrupt plays than to get gaudy sack numbers.
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Matts4313


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here we will discuss the coverage schemes in a 4-3. First, some terminology:

Quote:
Cover-0: Man coverage without help.




Quote:
Cover-1: Man coverage with a single deep safety playing “centerfield.”




Quote:
Cover-2: Zone coverage with two safeties responsible for their own deep half of the field. Sometimes called “Two Deep” coverage.




Quote:
Cover-3: Zone coverage with two corners and a safety responsible for a deep third of the field. Sometimes called “Three Deep” coverage.




Quote:
Cover-4: Zone coverage with two corners and two safeties responsible for one quarter of the field. Sometimes called “Quarters” coverage.




Quote:


http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/guide-to-n-f-l-defenses-part-3-the-4-3-front-continued/

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What does this mean for the Cowboys?

If Kiffin is hired, he has stated that he will likely play "Bump and Bail" coverage with our DB's. That philosophy is typically Cover 3. The Corners will jam the WR at the line, and then bail to a zone.

It should be noted, that according to my readings, Mo-Cla played mostly Cover 2 (zone, Tampa 2 variant) in college. I have not looked into Carr.

In this scenario, the Sensy can fill in the SS role, but we will absolutely need a FS with range.
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Matts4313


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reserving one more, just in case
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TheStarStillShines


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honestly, I don't think we need this thread since we've talked about the 4-3 ad nauseum in multiple threads, including this one:

http://www.footballsfuture.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=506204&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

I would suggest posting whatever information you have in that thread.
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htfryar


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of having a thread for the sole prupose of talking about the 4-3. In other threads, we have some 4-3 discussion, but it is alos about coaching changes or what Kiffin might do. I thought we should have left the other 4-3 open.
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Matts4313


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TheStarStillShines wrote:
Snip.


That is a ~5-6 week old thread discussing the idea of Kiffin. And frankly, most of the information in the last page or so is inaccurate. I have just posted diagrams showing the alignments with accurate information. I hope we can leave this thread open. It can be a great learning experience for all of us (myself included, as the last time we were a base 4-3, I was in college. Not quite as football focused at the time) Laughing .
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Desperado82


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we can leave this one open.
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Matts4313


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, based on what Kiffin and media outlets are stating, we will likely play "4-3 Under, Cover 3"

In that scenario, we actually have a lot of pieces. In fact, I would argue we fit that mold MUCH better than a 3-4 at this time.

We can absolutely have better players at several positions, but I wouldn't say any of them are playing "out of position" with the exception of a FS with range.
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matt79511


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome thread. Agreed that we have good personnel for the 4-3 under, although a comparison to Seattle's defense loses steam when you consider the disparity at safety.
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Matts4313


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matt79511 wrote:
Awesome thread. Agreed that we have good personnel for the 4-3 under, although a comparison to Seattle's defense loses steam when you consider the disparity at safety.


If we play cover 3 - I think Sensy could easily play the SS spot. He has adequate speed and tackling ability.

We really need a FS though - I agree.
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muncy54


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what are the needs for our defense now? i would assume we need a SAM? A FS is a must as it has been every year since Woodson retired but do you think we need another true pass rushing DE?
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canadaluvsdalla


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great post Matts. It makes sense to a guy that hasn't watched too much for a 4-3 defence before.

Btw can we discuss personnel for the 4-3 defence here or do we need a different thread for that?
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CowboysTilIDie


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

muncy54 wrote:
So what are the needs for our defense now? i would assume we need a SAM? A FS is a must as it has been every year since Woodson retired but do you think we need another true pass rushing DE?


Wilber/Albright will be the top candidates for the SAM. We need a NT/1 tech and another 3 tech DT. A combination of Shariff Floyd and Jesse Williams would be a good start Very Happy
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Matts4313


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

canadaluvsdalla wrote:
Great post Matts. It makes sense to a guy that hasn't watched too much for a 4-3 defence before.

Btw can we discuss personnel for the 4-3 defence here or do we need a different thread for that?


No, thats fine. I wanted to use this thread to talk about schemes and how our guys fit in. Feel free to spark any conversation you would like!

muncy54 wrote:
So what are the needs for our defense now? i would assume we need a SAM? A FS is a must as it has been every year since Woodson retired but do you think we need another true pass rushing DE?


I would say that in a perfect world, FS is the #1 need. We need a guy with a lot of speed and range.


My caveat to that is how much faith you have in Ratliff:

The 4-3 Under is designed to get QB pressure from one side of the defense, and have guys who can stuff the run on the other. In a perfect world, Rat can play the UT role - Its really been his most natural position his entire career, he has just never played it. IF we dont think he is healthy or able, I would say a pass rushing DT is the most important.

I am much less concerned about the RDE; I think we have several guys who could play there adequately.
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TheStarStillShines


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Definitely still need a pass-rushing DT, a LDE (or RDE depending where Ware plays), SOLB, and a FS. A cover-3 defence still doesn't fit with the skill sets of Carr and Claiborne. With the athletes on the team, a cover-1 would be the best scheme, although the holes listed above remain.
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