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Alex

Argument for 4-2-5 defense

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Posted (edited)

I think it's a little foolish to say we don't have the personnel to run a 4 man front. I think we absolutely do. 

My ideal fron 4 looks like:
Watt - Heyward - Hargrave - Tuitt

You can switch Tuitt and Heyward around sometimes. Is that the best defensive line in terms of getting to the passer? Nope, but that's fine. Run that out on first and second down. We'd need to draft a 4-3 end, though. Rotate Watt around as a stand up guy and a down lineman. He seemed to put his hand in the dirt quite a bit this year to rush. Dupree can play on his feet in a similar position to Barr in Minny. Use constant rotation for Tuitt - Hargrave - Heyward to go along with our pass rushers to keep them all fresh. All we need is a drafted pass rusher who is solid and can play 4-3 DE. Linebackers can be a competition of Dupree, Watt, Bostic, Burnett, Williams, and Fort. Use 3 linebackers during base formations and take the worst cover guy off the field in passing situations. Keion Adams will be there to compete with Ola. These guys can compete with the rookie and Watt for playing time. Adams and Ola could be rush specialists. We've got the pieces. I think what I'm sort of calling for here is a hybrid front moreso than a typical 4 man front, but I think it would work well. in fact, it already has worked well with us. Our defense improved greatly when we starting running our proto 4-2-5. 

EDIT- Or sign a 4-3 pass rusher like Brandon Graham. We just need a few more guys who can get after the QB and we're set(so does everyone lol).

Edited by MOSteelers56

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IMHO we would need to trade Tuitt to make a true 4 man front work. 

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7 minutes ago, warfelg said:

IMHO we would need to trade Tuitt to make a true 4 man front work. 

And a DE other then the 250lb Watt. And another DT as that isn't Heyward's best position. Sure maybe he could be OK but he is one of the top 3-4 DEs so why move him. So, 2 DEs and1 DT needed for a successful 4 DL front. So we have 1 guy...Hargrave. That doesn't even include what they have at the LB spot. Maybe Bostic translates. Why is this a good idea again. 

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40 minutes ago, Chieferific said:

And a DE other then the 250lb Watt. And another DT as that isn't Heyward's best position. Sure maybe he could be OK but he is one of the top 3-4 DEs so why move him. So, 2 DEs and1 DT needed for a successful 4 DL front. So we have 1 guy...Hargrave. That doesn't even include what they have at the LB spot. Maybe Bostic translates. Why is this a good idea again. 

Why isn't Heyward good in the interior of the line? Tuitt? All of these guys can play DT and I'd say at a fairly high level. 

Also, in my ideal world we run a hybrid front. I like 4 guys on the line on passing situations. 

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...Have any of you guys really dug into the 4-2-5 concept? I mean, we are just a 4-3 defensive end away. In the scheme, you want one 5-tech on the end, it's actually similar to Gus Bradley's 4-3 only it's with more safeties. 

I see people argued against Defensive backs, I'll give you on the cornerbacks' depth, but we DO have safety depth. 

If anything; we probably should draft a 5-tech defensive end ALSO. 

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13 hours ago, Alex said:

...Have any of you guys really dug into the 4-2-5 concept? I mean, we are just a 4-3 defensive end away. In the scheme, you want one 5-tech on the end, it's actually similar to Gus Bradley's 4-3 only it's with more safeties. 

I see people argued against Defensive backs, I'll give you on the cornerbacks' depth, but we DO have safety depth. 

If anything; we probably should draft a 5-tech defensive end ALSO. 

We have depth, but do we have quality depth at safety? Our entire defensive backfield is pretty lacking, so asking to have more of them on the field is not the best idea.

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13 hours ago, Alex said:

...Have any of you guys really dug into the 4-2-5 concept? I mean, we are just a 4-3 defensive end away. In the scheme, you want one 5-tech on the end, it's actually similar to Gus Bradley's 4-3 only it's with more safeties. 

I see people argued against Defensive backs, I'll give you on the cornerbacks' depth, but we DO have safety depth. 

If anything; we probably should draft a 5-tech defensive end ALSO. 

I have.  It takes much more change than that.

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6 minutes ago, warfelg said:

I have.  It takes much more change than that.

If you have the time, would you mind explaining? I love reading about schemes and stuff. 

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7 minutes ago, MOSteelers56 said:

If you have the time, would you mind explaining? I love reading about schemes and stuff. 

Heading into the gym, and some has been covered, but I can rehash a bit later. 

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As said before, they do not have the LB talent.  Perhaps Dupree could be a OLB in the 4-3 but no guarantee.  No Mack on the roster.  At best you make due with Fort.  VWill is cut.  Tuitt would be cut because they do not need 2 good 5 techs being paid that much money.  You need a real NT and a real 3 tech plus a 9 tech. 

 

So yes you could play a 4-2 but it would suck until they got the players to go with it.

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2 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

If you have the time, would you mind explaining? I love reading about schemes and stuff. 

To go a little more in depth here (sorry for the long post):

The techniques you often hear about with down linemen relate to where they line up against the opposing team.  An example of where that would be:

9 -  - 7 - TE (6) - 5 - OT (4) - 3 - OG (2) - 1 - OC (0) - 1 - OG (2) - 3 - OT (4) - 5 - TE (6) - 7 - - 9

Ok, not that that's established, think of your traditional 3-4 alignment; i3T / 0T / o3T/4T - 9T, Mack, Buck, 7T.  So what that means:

i3T - One down lineman lines up in the 3 gap with inside leverage, meaning he's lining up with his helmet on the guards outside shoulder.  So that man is the 1-gap player.  In the past it was Kemo Von Olhoffen, then Brett Keisel, now Cam Heyward.  This is the position of your most disruptive interior defensive lineman in a 3-4 scheme.

0T - The down lineman that lines up right over the guard.  This is a man with a 2 gap responsibility, which means he's responsible for the OC, and keeping the 1 gap (or A gap) open on both sides of him for run/rush lanes.  This is what Casey Hampton was so good at.

o3T/4T - This is the other down lineman with 2 gap responsibility.  In some 3-4's he lines up over the OT like an edge rusher (Think JJ Watt in Houston).  In other defenses he's more in the 3 gap (B Gap), on the inside shoulder of the OT and has 2 gap responsibility despite that.  His primary job is to take on the double team of the OT and OG.  Aaron Smith and Stephon Tuitt do this well.  Ziggy Hood did not, as he was not apt at taking on the double.

Then the way our 3-4 worked we had a 9T OLB and a 7T OLB.  The difference?

9T - This is our OLB more likely to drop into coverage, but does rush.  When he is rushing he's more likely to be 1-on-1 with a TE, RB, or free rusher.  Keeping him further for the OL box makes sure he's clean when he drops into coverage.  This was Clark Haggins, LaMar Woodley, now Bud Dupree's spot.

7T - This is our OLB more likely to rush the passer, but does drop.  He's lining up closer to the OL Box, more on the TE shoulder.  He's more likely to see OT's on a rush and doubles from a TE.  This was the position of Porter, Harrison, now Watt.

All of that said:

When we were good at getting at the QB with 4 rushers, it was because out 9T and 7T LB's could both rush, and our DE's could play o3T and i3T.  Say they think that the ROLB lining up in the 7 slot will rush.  The defense can execute a flip, the DE's swap responsibility, and the LOLB in the 9T rushes while the ROLB in the 7T drops.  That confuses the OL to not know where the rush is coming from without having to blitz.

Despite being in a 2-4-5 alignment, the best example of that in practice is this:

 

James Harrison was supposed to rush, but with 3 skill position players on his side, and the TE on the line on Woodley's side means they flipped responsibility, James dropped, and Warner and the OL were not expecting it.

 

Now.....going to a 4-2 (or 4-3) front:

9 -  - 7 - TE (6) - 5 - OT (4) - 3 - OG (2) - 1 - OC (0) - 1 - OG (2) - 3 - OT (4) - 5 - TE (6) - 7 - - 9

A 4-3 or 4-2 front would line up with a 5T, 1T, 1/3T, 5/7T with a Will, Mike, Sam alignment behind them.  So lets go through that one:

5T - He's going to lineup outside the OT and he has 2 responsibilities (well really more depending on the play, but that can be covered if needed).  1 is to get the OT upfield enough to contain a run play, but then be able to beat the QB if needed.  He is to give the Will/Sam the ability to play the RB in the 5 (C) or 3 (B) gap.  Best example of that player is a guy like Michael Bennett or Carlos Dunlap.

1T - A DT that's lining up in the 1 gap (A gap), who's job it is to take on the OG and OC in a double team, but needs to be able to shoot the gap when it's called upon.  Arby Jones is a great example of a player like this, as is Lawrence Guy.

1/3T - This is your jack of all trades interior position.  Can be lining up in the 3T and take a double.  Can line up in the 1 and shoot the gap.  Can line up in the 3 and shoot the gap.  Can even line up in the 2 and bull the man.  The greatest at this was Warren Sapp.  Modern Day this is how Aaron Donald is used, along with Geno Atkins.  Michael Bennett is used in this way when he moves inside.

5/7/9T - This is your 'speed rusher' or just pure rusher spot.  Yes they are to contain on run downs, but for the most part they are there to rush the passer.  Think your classic pass rusher.  Michael Strahan, Jason Pierre-Paul, Khalil Mack, Cliff Avril.  This was their spot.

 

So talking how our guys fit into this:

Stephon Tuitt:  Well He could play the 1T, but believe it or not, his height gives him a BIG disadvantage here.  OC's would have so much leverage on him that they would easily move him.  You could play him as a 3T, but he would be coming off the field for a more versatile guy which is a waste of salary cap space.

Cam Heyward:  He's the one guy on this DL that could make the switch.  Think of how I described the i3T when talking about the 3-4 alignment.  That's very similar to the 1/3T in the 4-3 front.  For him to transition to a 4-3 would actually be very easy.

Javon Hargrave:  Could he make the transition to play full time 1T?  I think so.  But I also think that he would have his talents wasted there.  He's actually better off as an "oversized" 1/3T, or as a rotational 1/3T, for when you want to put both of those guys on the field at once.  Think of when Philly goes to the front with Graham - Cox - Bennett - Long.  Except instead of bumping someone from the outside in, you take out the 1T, put in Hargrave.

Alualu, Walton, McCullers:  All of them would be a square peg in a round hole.

TJ Watt:  At best he could play the Wide-9T, but that leaves you very vulnerable to run plays.  He's a guy best off having space to operate, and his lack of bulk would be an issue.

Bud Dupree:  Again, a guy that at best would be your 7T or Wide-9T, and his lack of development means he would be a waste out there.

Anthony Chickillo - Another guy who's not best suited for anything here.

 

And I didn't even get to the Buck/Mack to Sam/Mike/Will conversion.

 

So think of that shopping list.  We have 2 guys that can play the 1/3T.  That would mean needing to find a 5T, 1T, 7T, backup 5T, backup 7T, backup 1T.  Trading Tuitt, dumping Alualu, Walton, McCullers.  Watt likely becomes your Sam.  Bostic and Williams are out as neither can get the depth on pass plays to play Mike, and neither are athletic enough to play the Will.

That's 5 starters you would have to find.

Could you cobble together for a year or two this:

5T - Heyward

1T - Hargraves 

3T - Tuitt 

7T - Watt

Sure.  But that gets gashed by outside tackle zone runs, stretch runs, pitch runs, and against the pass doesn't likely generate enough power.  Then if you go:

7/5T - Dupree

1T - Tuitt

3T - Heyward 

7/9T - Watt

That really gets you gashed against the run.  And both of those become worse if you take the OP's suggestion and play Morgan Burnett at one of the LB positions on the field, meaning you really only have 5 defenders in the LB/DL positions.

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Excellent. 

 

I think you switched Woodly/Harrison.  Harrison was the ROLB as he lined up vs LT.  Woodley was the LOLB as he lined up against the RT.  So Watt == Woodley ( position) and Dupree ==Harrison.

 

Now look at it from a Hybrid defense.  They would still need a Mike LB and a pure NT but they could do it better with what they have.

Without repeating what @warfelg said on the gaps, they need a big 2-gap player in the middle( playing 1 or 3-tech). Think Brandon Williams or Vince Wilfork.  Then have another 3 tech playing 2 gap most of the time.  Heyward would fit there.  There will be a 5/7 tech that can be a lineman or a OLB then a pure pass rusher playing 9 tech .  That is where Stuggs plays and where I would put Watt.

There are generally 2 LB behind.  One being the Mike and the other is generally the SAM.  Without drafting/getting a player Fort would be the mike and Dupree would be the SAM

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I'm not sure where to put this. I didn't want to make a new thread for it. What would Anthony Barr look like in our defense? I feel like he could be an OLB but he has so much experience playing off the ball, he could probably fit at ILB too. I think he'd be a nice realistic choice for a FA signing. He'd be expensive but he's a game changer.

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3 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

I'm not sure where to put this. I didn't want to make a new thread for it. What would Anthony Barr look like in our defense? I feel like he could be an OLB but he has so much experience playing off the ball, he could probably fit at ILB too. I think he'd be a nice realistic choice for a FA signing. He'd be expensive but he's a game changer.

I know a couple of us have mentioned him before as a good target in free agency. I agree with @warfelg that is is extremely under used as a pass rusher on the vikes and would be a great addition for us in that role. Personally I agree he has a lot of off ball experience and could be our shazier replacement. He is not as athletic but he can do everything well. He reminds me off Farrior but with about 25 more lbs. I would love to use the cash we had tied up into bell this year to add a big piece on defense. As much as i would love to add clowney because he changes games with his pass rush, I think Barr is a much better fit for us and makes as much if not more of an impact for our defense as clowney would and at probably less of a cost.

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If we could somehow Come Away with Deone Bucannon and Anthony Barr out of free agency which would be costly but I'm okay with man whatever we did in the draft as long as it was decent players yeah I think our defense would be much better. I listen to the terrible podcast with Dave Brian and Alex kozora and they believe that we are only going to come away with one free agent which is entirely possible but if we could come away with two going into the draft that would be awesome

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