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CoachOwen
08-01-2008, 12:25 PM
I've Noticed That Alot Of Teams Are Now Moving To The 3-4 Defense. Everyone From The New England Patriots And Pittsburg Steelers, To West Virgina, Tulsa , And Byu. Now It's Becoming Very Popular In High School. What Are Some Strengths And Weaknesses Of The 3-4. I Ran The 3-4 In 8 Man Football And It Made My Defense Alot Better, But How Affective Is It In 11-man Especially Against 2 Te Sets Compared To The 4-3??

KT2000
08-01-2008, 01:13 PM
It is becoming more popular in Texas high school football because of the proliferation of spread offenses. I've noticed high schools turning to the 3-3-5 in recent seasons as well.

I think the primary strength is strong gap control. When executed correctly, this defense is very good at limiting big plays on the ground because of the disciplined gap control techniques required to effectively execute the defense. It lends itself well to stringing plays out with the extra LB.

Flexibility is another strength. The 3-4 can easily morph into other fronts, especially with versatile OLBs who can put a hand down for extra force up front and also walk out on slot receivers.

The main weakness is it can leave you prone to getting overpowered against downhill offenses with only three linemen usually. The LBs must be able to handle OLs running at them, and also find the ball without running themselves out of position. The NT and middle backers are obviously key in this regard. If the NT can effectively and consistently hold his ground, that'll make the MLBs jobs a lot easier.

I like the 3-4 over the 4-3 against the spread because you can walk out or blitz the OLBs without leaving a big hole in the middle with just one middle backer. I also think it is a more versatile front than the 4-3.

Of course, talent and the intelligence of that talent determines the ultimate effectiveness of any scheme

mojoguy
08-01-2008, 01:25 PM
I've always been a fan of the 3-4, because it tends to be more aggressive. For whatever reason, a lot of coaches in the 4-3 really put too much read and react into their scheme. I think it's a two sided coin though, because to run a successful 3-4 you have to have that big DT that can take on two or even three linemen at a time and you have to be deep at every front 7 position. It also requires that the defensive coordinator watch a lot of film to guess those blitzes at the right time. Against the spread it's better because you have more speed on the field theoretically. You just have to be careful against running teams that you don't sit on your heels on the playcalling and let them run over you. If they line up in a tight set like you mentioned, I would make sure I had one or both of my OLB's walked up on the LOS. I would think the biggest problem set you could see if you're running the 3-4 scheme would be a Tight set that is totally balanced. If they don't give you any clues, you sure can't bring the pressure with a lot of confidence.

I like the old Wrecking Crew 50 Defense. It's a 3-4 look, but it's all about pressure. Also, if you look at some of the defensive coordinators that run the 3-4, they tend to be the best and the brightest. Belichick may be a cheater, but his defenses have always gotten the job done when necessary.

CoachOwen
08-01-2008, 01:42 PM
mojoguy do u coach for Permian??

Maroondog
08-01-2008, 02:33 PM
It is becoming more popular in Texas high school football because of the proliferation of spread offenses. I've noticed high schools turning to the 3-3-5 in recent seasons as well.

I think the primary strength is strong gap control. When executed correctly, this defense is very good at limiting big plays on the ground because of the disciplined gap control techniques required to effectively execute the defense. It lends itself well to stringing plays out with the extra LB.

Flexibility is another strength. The 3-4 can easily morph into other fronts, especially with versatile OLBs who can put a hand down for extra force up front and also walk out on slot receivers.

The main weakness is it can leave you prone to getting overpowered against downhill offenses with only three linemen usually. The LBs must be able to handle OLs running at them, and also find the ball without running themselves out of position. The NT and middle backers are obviously key in this regard. If the NT can effectively and consistently hold his ground, that'll make the MLBs jobs a lot easier.

I like the 3-4 over the 4-3 against the spread because you can walk out or blitz the OLBs without leaving a big hole in the middle with just one middle backer. I also think it is a more versatile front than the 4-3.

Of course, talent and the intelligence of that talent determines the ultimate effectiveness of any scheme

I would agree, but the linebackers are key. They must be able to play up front against the run or the 3 def. linemen are overwhelmed. They must also be fast enough to cover or blitz so IMO the athletes you have here are really going to determine your success or failure.

mojoguy
08-01-2008, 04:04 PM
mojoguy do u coach for Permian??

No, I'm just a fan these days. I once had coaching aspirations, but had second thoughts with about a year left in my Kines degree.

mojoguy
08-01-2008, 04:06 PM
I would agree, but the linebackers are key. They must be able to play up front against the run or the 3 def. linemen are overwhelmed. They must also be fast enough to cover or blitz so IMO the athletes you have here are really going to determine your success or failure.

Yep, those outside backers better be capable of playing defensive end when they need to. If not, then the scheme is totally inflexible and really can't help you.

2smooth07
08-14-2008, 08:08 AM
I used to hate going up against 3-4 because of the scheme we were running...it took away our angles to run certain plays and at the time I didnt know what to do against it...Weakness of that defense comes right up the middle. You can also play games with the 4 tech's in certain formations...weakside power (arc release the PS tackle to what we call the Lousy (weak OLB), double the nose to BS ILB, pull the BS Gaurd playside, base the strong 4 tech, FB loads the weak 4 tech...VERY STRONG point of the 3-4 is that you never know where they might blitz from...you can do funky stuff out the 3-4 that you cant do with 4 down...

AHSeagles
08-15-2008, 07:53 PM
Yep, those outside backers better be capable of playing defensive end when they need to. If not, then the scheme is totally inflexible and really can't help you.

It depends on what level you're using the 3-4. In Abilene we've run the 3-4 for the last several years and have had some good defenses with only 230 lb. nose guards and 180 lb. outside linebackers. If we need to add a 4th defensive lineman we normally bring out weak side inside backer to the defensive tackle spot. In college and pro you would see 300 lb. noses and 250 lb. outside linebackers who can bring a big pass rush with their hand on the ground.

d-train
09-10-2008, 05:16 PM
I've Noticed That Alot Of Teams Are Now Moving To The 3-4 Defense. Everyone From The New England Patriots And Pittsburg Steelers, To West Virgina, Tulsa , And Byu. Now It's Becoming Very Popular In High School. What Are Some Strengths And Weaknesses Of The 3-4. I Ran The 3-4 In 8 Man Football And It Made My Defense Alot Better, But How Affective Is It In 11-man Especially Against 2 Te Sets Compared To The 4-3??
WV runas the 3-3-5.

CACoach
10-18-2008, 12:53 AM
In my opinion what makes the 3-4 so great is how multiple it is. With the same personnel you can align in just about any front you so wish as well as having the infannant possibility of coverage behind it weather it be man man free, two deep man under and all zones with the ability to match up or spot drop underneath.

But really as a defensive coach what I like the most about the defense and this is what you see the Steelers, Ravens and chargers do so effectivly with it is fire zone. Or bring 5 man pressure with 3 deep 3 under zone protection. It is nails if you have not invested the time into learning about this i highly recomend you do. If you become a member of the FCPGA's video Library you can pick up tapes of such coaches as Dave Aranda, Bob Elliot, and of course Kyle williams speaking on the topic.

Of course you can fire zone out of the 4-3 also but the 3-4 allows you to hide where your pressure is coming from and send alot of different players from alot of different locations. If your interested in discussing the topic id love some messages. I coach in california but id love to hear about how things are done in texas ive always been interested.

WoodzDad
10-27-2008, 05:24 PM
WoodZ runs the 3-4 with a 270lb NT and 225lb ends. The OLBs are in the 215 range and can fly. Works for us against most Os -- switched some against option teams.

d-train
10-31-2008, 08:39 PM
I've always been a fan of the 3-4, because it tends to be more aggressive. For whatever reason, a lot of coaches in the 4-3 really put too much read and react into their scheme. I think it's a two sided coin though, because to run a successful 3-4 you have to have that big DT that can take on two or even three linemen at a time and you have to be deep at every front 7 position. It also requires that the defensive coordinator watch a lot of film to guess those blitzes at the right time. Against the spread it's better because you have more speed on the field theoretically. You just have to be careful against running teams that you don't sit on your heels on the playcalling and let them run over you. If they line up in a tight set like you mentioned, I would make sure I had one or both of my OLB's walked up on the LOS. I would think the biggest problem set you could see if you're running the 3-4 scheme would be a Tight set that is totally balanced. If they don't give you any clues, you sure can't bring the pressure with a lot of confidence.

I like the old Wrecking Crew 50 Defense. It's a 3-4 look, but it's all about pressure. Also, if you look at some of the defensive coordinators that run the 3-4, they tend to be the best and the brightest. Belichick may be a cheater, but his defenses have always gotten the job done when necessary.
I played for Austin Reagan in the 80s, we ran a 5-2, Judson ran a 50 eagle and neither of us had big NGs and neither did Westlake, we all usually had a quick guy that penetrated and disrupted plays.