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4-3 defence vs 3-4 defence

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4-3 defence vs 3-4 defence

Postby JasonSeahorn » Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:07 pm

i know that having a 3-4 defence gives a team advantages because the extra linebacker can be more helpful in defending passes. Also, the big D names like Baltimore, SD and Dallas use the 3-4.

so what's the advantage of using 4-3 then? simpler?
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Postby mystykoekaki » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:17 pm

defense.
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Postby JasonSeahorn » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:21 pm

ty for the grammar lesson :-B

but i'd appreciate it more if you answered my actual question :-b
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Postby Matthias » Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:40 pm

I'm sure there are better students of the game that can answer it better, but I always thought the 4-3 was just more of a rushing defense. More pressure on the QBs, trying to force quicker passers. Also more of a run defense.
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Postby beanoX3 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:06 pm

I'm no great authority of this topic, but the 4-3 seems easier to run with a great range of player abilities. 3-4 defenses need very specific personnel to run effectively IMO, which is why only a few teams can run it real well. But the 3-4 is great at confusing the crap out of opposing QBs, because any of the 4 LBs can blitz from any direction.
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Postby A Fleshner Fantasy » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:16 pm

The main thing is your depth at each position- more depth at LB means u should play a 3-4, whereas if a team has more depth at DL they should play a 4-3.

Also, this is more common in college than in the NFL, but there are a few teams that can get a good pass rush from their front 4 (i dont think any can from their front 3). For those select teams, playing a 4-3 is really beneficial, because then they can drop 7 and still get a good rush on the QB.
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Postby Munboy » Thu Nov 30, 2006 10:29 pm

One thing about a 4-3 is run stopping. When you have a 3-4, most like at least one, if not more of those LBs are going to pass rush, if you guess wrong and rush the wrong side, the run can gain more yards. Where as, in a 4-3 you have 4 players who's job is it rush the pass or stuff the holes for a run.

LB depth doesn't really have anything to do with what scheme to use, it's the ability of the LBs and Dlinemen. 3 Dlinemen HAVE to be able to stand up against the run and properly fill their gaps to allow the LBs to make the tackle. In turn, the LBs have to have the strength to pass rush and the agility to drop back in pass defense. ALL the LBs on the field have to be able to do this.
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Postby dgan » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:00 pm

Munboy wrote:One thing about a 4-3 is run stopping. When you have a 3-4, most like at least one, if not more of those LBs are going to pass rush, if you guess wrong and rush the wrong side, the run can gain more yards. Where as, in a 4-3 you have 4 players who's job is it rush the pass or stuff the holes for a run.

LB depth doesn't really have anything to do with what scheme to use, it's the ability of the LBs and Dlinemen. 3 Dlinemen HAVE to be able to stand up against the run and properly fill their gaps to allow the LBs to make the tackle. In turn, the LBs have to have the strength to pass rush and the agility to drop back in pass defense. ALL the LBs on the field have to be able to do this.


Many teams only carry a handful of linebackers, much less have 4 on the field every play. Linebacker depth is critical in being able to run the 3-4.

If you have 5 O-lineman, you have 4 inside gaps. That's why 4-3 is more 'traditional', because one large body to fill each gap, and linebackers to come up and make the tackle.

The 3-4 is an interesting scheme, because you're basically saying we're not going to fill all the gaps. At least not with a large body. What you do in the 3-4 is disrupt the offensive strategy. It makes pass protection a nightmare because you have to account for so many people, yet you don't have to drop a lineman into coverage (as in a 4-3 zone blitz). It also can disrupt the running game because linebackers may be unaccounted for and get penetration in the backfield. It is speed instead of strength. You may get bullied at times, but you are counting on your 240 lb. linebacker to run around a 340 lb tackle and still make the play.

I love the 3-4 for the flexibility, but you need good athletes that can get off blocks and make tackles. A 3-4 just creates chaos, which has been Peyton Manning's achilles heel, and really swarms to the ball.
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Postby buffalobillsrul2002 » Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:39 pm

3-4 also needs stout defensive ends... because they have to cover up the full lineman in the run game (meaning that the DE and NT are responsible for both sides of the OL, as opposed to the 4-3 where they are only responsible to stop 1 gap.) Also, you need OLBs that are essentialy DEs. At least one of the LBs, and usually it's an OLB, basically has to blitz, otherwise it's nearly impossible to stop the run or get a good pass rush.

As everyone else said, the advantage to the 3-4 is confusion. The advantage to the 4-3 is that it's easier and you don't need such versatile personnel.
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Postby Cowboys 4 life » Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:17 am

On the front seven of a 3-4 scheme you have a nose tackle and two defensive ends on the line of scrimmage with four linebackers that can line up in a variety places. Conversely in a 4-3 you have two defensive tackles and two defensive ends on the line of scrimmage with three linebackers playing two to five yards off of the line of scrimmage.

The roles of the secondary are interchangeable between the two defensive fronts and they use their own set of terms to designate coverage (cover two, cover one, man-to-man, etc). However, let me also make it clear that the two halves of the defense are not independent of one another. In fact whatever the front seven is asked to do in a play call will usually effect the type of coverage that is called in secondary as well (this is especially true for the safeties).


I'm not even going to get into allignment and gap assignments.

A 3-4 is 3 lineman and four linebackers. In this defense the linemen must be able to engage blockers to free up the linebackers to make plays. To succeed on offense against a 3-4 you have to force the front 3 to be man on man so your blockers can engage the linebackers. The 3-4 is a more flexible defense meaning there are more things you can do with it to confuse the offense. See the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Colts in last years playoffs for a good example. Its is so versatile of a defense that you could be in what appears to be a 5-2 defense on one play and then drop back in to a 4-2-5 zone on the next. You almost have endless combinations of the zone blitzes you can call it makes this defense unpredictable. The only weakness of the 3-4 is the lack of bulk and power so if you can control the nose guard and block the middle linebackers you can run all over them.

The 4-3 is a more common alignment, with four defensive and three linebackers. In the 4-3, the lineman are required to penetrate and shoot into the offensive backfield to make plays. If they can't get to the qb quickly the fullback or TE will be able to take the middle linebacker out of the play. Since the middle linebacker is typically the most physical player on the team the guards, fullbacks, centers, and te's typically see a bullseye on his chest. The main reason they want to take him out of the play is his ability to make plays and because a 4-3 D tends to try and force all the plays back inside towards the MLB. Both outside linebackers are supposed to fill the running gaps to force the play inside.

If you continue having success on a 4-3 D they are forced to bring a safety into the box. Most people tend to think this is good because it is a better defense against the run but this is the last resort for most 4-3 defenses because it opens up the pass.


Hope this helps.
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