Alignments and Rebuilding

One of many experimental iterations ...

Bulldog

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While the Redskins are facing an overhaul of scheme and personnel on offense, the recent speculation that Shanahan and Haslett may be looking to do the same on defense I hope is just that, speculation.

IMO, an attempt to change from a 4-3 to a 3-4 would be a mistake given the team's current personnel and the lack of draft picks.

With 5 picks and a truncated class of free agents this year due to the end of the CBA, the Redskins need to concentrate resources on the OL and settle on QB and RB.

For this defense to be more effective it would appear as if some positional changes and one or two mid-tier free agents at SAM and CB may be enough to get the job done here.

Richie Petitbon used to say on defense you needed 3 playmakers to lead the way and then to find solid role players to fill out the unit.

If used properly the Redkskins have playmakers in Haynesworth, Orakpo, Hall and Landry.

The draft pick and free agent investment in those players has been made and none are older than 28.

All are better suited to a 4-3.

Let's improve from within as Shanahan and Allen indicated in their news conference.
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Jimbo

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Landry, a playmaker? I assume you mean as long as he's playing SS and NOT FS. ;)

I have to agree with all your points. I'm not a fan of Haslett and I'm even less a fan of changing this Defense to a 3-4.
 

MisterPinstripe

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Landry, a playmaker? I assume you mean as long as he's playing SS and NOT FS. ;)

I have to agree with all your points. I'm not a fan of Haslett and I'm even less a fan of changing this Defense to a 3-4.
Has it been confirmed that he will be running a 3-4? He has just as much if not more experience with a 4-3 to my knowledge.

I think Landry can be a playmaker with the right coaching. He has not been as awful as he was last year. Someone just needs to know how to use him correctly and coach him up. Something I do not trust the previous staff to even know how to do.
 

Jimbo

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Has it been confirmed that he will be running a 3-4? He has just as much if not more experience with a 4-3 to my knowledge.

I think Landry can be a playmaker with the right coaching. He has not been as awful as he was last year. Someone just needs to know how to use him correctly and coach him up. Something I do not trust the previous staff to even know how to do.
As far as I know, it hasn't been confirmed that we'll be running a 3-4 but it's been more than hinted at that it's the reason Shanny is bringing in Haslett. I'd prefer we stick to what works with the current personnel.

As for Landry, he was pretty bad all year. Not sure how much of it was poor coaching, poor play or simply playing out of position. It will be interesting to see how he's used going forward.
 

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Has it been confirmed that he will be running a 3-4?
Nope. It is all rumor and speculation based on Peter King's report of a discussion with Shanahan at Steeler's camp last summer where Shanahan said he was "considering" it. As best I can tell, every other news source running with this story is basing it off King's original report. I have seen nothing solid on this anywhere this is more recent than 5+ months old.
 

riggins44

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Rumor has us switching to a 3-4. I also read where Shanahan excels at using personnel he has at his disposal. I know Haslett is very familiar with the 3-4 and 4-3. We were built as a 4-3 and will take some time to make the switch.

My guess (may be wishful thinking) is we will use a combination of the two. If you look at the Patriots there are times they run 4-3 and even line up with only 1 or 2 down linemen.

I'm want to see if they move Orakpo to a full time DE and Landry back to SS.
 

Hog Fever

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I have my doubts about us switching to a 3-4 for the same reasons you guys mentioned. I'll save that for another post though.

From what I’ve been able to gather from my reading on the subject most teams that run a 3-4 place the most value on a pass rushing OLB. That runs counter to what I have heard before I started doing some real research. I had always though the biggest factor was the NT. That’s in the mix but a distant 2nd to a pass rushing OLB. Anyway here’s the breakdown of what we will need from each position from several sources. Let’s assume we have the same roster from last year just for the sake of this post.

D- Line

NT – The nose tackle will need to be a person of unusual size and strength and must command a double team and be able to control the gap to either side of the center. Pass rushing ability is a bonus but not a necessity.

+ At NT we clearly have Haynesworth but you also have Montgomery who has the size and maybe Griffin. So it could be done.
- Nobody would expect Haynesworth to last 16 games as a NT so we better have a good rotation in place. Griffin is a little light, getting older and has injury concerns. Would Montgomery command a double team? I’m not sure. Do we waste Haynesworth’s ability to pressure the QB in this scheme?

DE – Bigger DE’s than in a traditional 4-3. Pass rushing ability is a bonus but ability against the run is more important.

+ We have a lot of options here. Wynn and Daniels would seem like naturals for this scheme as both are stout run defenders. Jarmon and Golston would seem to fit into the DE slot in a 3-4 well too. Jarmon might be able to add a little spark as he should be able to rush the QB some.
- Wynn and Daniels are old but other than that….we look good here. Lots of depth.

The LBs

ILB – the ILBs in a 3-4 has to be able to stop the run. Lateral speed is important because they need to cover for blitz packages that involve the OLB to their near side. This position is not that much different from MLB in a 4-3.

+ Fletcher is a tacking machine and has good speed. Blades has decent speed and has shown some promise. Macintosh might be a fit here as well.
- Both guys who could be potential ILBs are under sized.

OLB – The guys traditionally called “tweeners” by defenses running a 4-3 are almost prototypical 3-4 OLBs. The highest value is placed on getting after the QB especially from the ROLB (usually the QBs blind side). These players will also need cover skills as they are asked to do that in passing situations when they are not rushing the QB.

+ We have Orakpo who should fit nicely into the ROLB position. He has some cover skills and has proved he can get after the QB. Andre Carter has some experience in the 3-4 playing this position. This is an easier position to draft for than a 4-3 defensive ends who are asked to do more and must be bigger to play up on the line. Macintosh might be able to play here too.
- Carter has experience, but was less productive playing in a 3-4. None of the other LBs have experience in this scheme.

The Corners and Safeties

CB and S in the 3-4 are no different from a 4-3 scheme. Both zone and man schemes can be run.

+
- it's a wash

So to sum it all up I don’t think we are as far away from being able to run a 3-4 as I thought we were. We would definitely be thin to start with but the addition of two or three players over the next year or two would probably be all we need. For the time being we could make do. The key factor in my mind is getting buy in from some players, primarily Haynesworth. Is he going to be a headache or will he give up all the glamor stats and play a position instead? We should be solid at DE (but the importance of the position will be diminished) and I think we should have enough bodies to throw at the ILB position to be ok there. The issue is OLB. Orakpo should be fine, but everyone else has questions. Carter didn’t do well in a 3-4 before. Macintosh might work. Wilson maybe?

Thoughts?
 

Sarge

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With as many problems as we have with the offense, it baffles me as to why we would even be considering messing with the D. It's just more players we'll have to bring in to run it properly
 

MisterPinstripe

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This strikes me as comparable to wanting to implement the WCO last year...square peg, round hole.

If we go this way, we're basically writing off next year. The number of 'holes' we have on the team instantly double...because, we don't have a true NT and we don't have big enough, DURABLE linebackers.

What a disaster this could be...:(
even if that is indeed the case, does anyone really feel we will be that effective next year?
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Ax

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Why couldn't Daniels play NT as well. He's as big as the guy in Dallas, Ratliff. Strong as an ox too. If we could get 1 year out of him there, it could work.

Maybe by rotating him with Big Al, and maybe Montgomery. Al would still get some time at end, along with Griff, Jarmon, Golston, and Jackson.

Of course if Suh were to fall in our laps, problem solved.
 

brandies

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How far away are we if we sign a NT in free agency?
 

Call me Ismail

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The 3-4 itself is a very good scheme in the current NFL.

Speed and unpredictability are a must, running a "vanilla read and react 3-4" like Parcells did is asking for disaster.

I'd think it would easily be a 2-3 year project based on the current personnel we have on the defense

This could be a sign of willing to trade down from t hat number 4 pick to get more picks
 

Hog Fever

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The 3-4 itself is a very good scheme in the current NFL.

Speed and unpredictability are a must, running a "vanilla read and react 3-4" like Parcells did is asking for disaster.
The more I read about it and the more I'm starting to come around to this way of thinking. I also think we could cobble together a workable 3-4 with the players we have now. Not ideal, but workable. Over half of the remaining playoff teams run a 3-4.

By its very nature a 3-4 has to be more aggressive than a 4-3 to work. That seems to be what we all are asking for. Maybe it's time to bite the bullet and start making it happen.
 

Cycleans

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SS or FS Landry has very poor tackiling skills. I'd prefer if the Skins find a way to trade him.
 

Call me Ismail

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The more I read about it and the more I'm starting to come around to this way of thinking. I also think we could cobble together a workable 3-4 with the players we have now. Not ideal, but workable. Over half of the remaining playoff teams run a 3-4.

By its very nature a 3-4 has to be more aggressive than a 4-3 to work. That seems to be what we all are asking for. Maybe it's time to bite the bullet and start making it happen.
The aggression is key in particular with a division where we will face Manning and Romo for the next 5-7 years, and maybe McNabb for 2-3 more years

Being able to send pressure at them from different directions and different looks is what the 3-4 affords. While it would be ideal to build a stellar d-line that can rush with 4 guys, its difficult to get to Manning and Romo in particular with the quick release they have.

Just that 1-2 seconds of hesitation that a well executed, and well designed 3-4 COULD bring , could be the difference in our pass rush actually getting to Romo and Manning over the next 5 years
 

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