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View Full Version : Defensive END play since Aaron Smith...


xbroughneck
02-05-2013, 12:40 PM
has been sub par imo. No one has stepped up, and our linebacking corp has suffer for it.

Just saying.

steelfury02
02-05-2013, 12:44 PM
i wouldn't expect his old position to be one of strength for a while - our secondary and LB both at in and out to be a more urgent concern especially with what their roles will have to be to win a SB - that said, I hope after the San Diego game the effin' perimeter is fixed

GMU Steeler
02-05-2013, 12:46 PM
Smith is one of the best 3-4 ends ever. Not saying Hood and Heyward can't be better but Aaron was one of the best at what he did. I do agree though and this could be contributing to the lack of pressure and sacks and turnovers in the past copule years. Hopefully, Heyward and Hood have big seasons in them because I think Keisel's on his last leg.

steelfury02
02-05-2013, 12:48 PM
Smith is one of the best 3-4 ends ever. Not saying Hood and Heyward can't be better but Aaron was one of the best at what he did. I do agree though and this could be contributing to the lack of pressure and sacks and turnovers in the past copule years. Hopefully, Heyward and Hood have big seasons in them because I think Keisel's on his last leg.

yea its one thing when you aren't creating pressure but your secondary are full of ball hawks - when you don't have either you're gonna get lit up

GMU Steeler
02-05-2013, 12:49 PM
yea its one thing when you aren't creating pressure but your secondary are full of ball hawks - when you don't have either you're gonna get lit up

Perfect storm of frustration. Get the pressure back and we'll start the return to being the most feared defense in the league.

Atlanta Dan
02-05-2013, 12:51 PM
Keisel probably had his best season in 2012 and has played at a high level for several seasons

OTOH Ziggy Hood has not played to the standard and Heyward needs to step it up in 2013 or be labeled a bust.

I know the party line is it takes several years to learn LeBeau's 3-4 but at some point time is up

Clark figured it out immediately while Hampton, Troy and Woodley were at Pro Bowl levels by their second seasons

steelfury02
02-05-2013, 12:53 PM
Keisel probably had his best season in 2012 and has played at a high level for several seasons

OTOH Ziggy Hood has not played to the standard and Heyward needs to step it up in 2013 or be labeled a bust.

I know the party line is it takes several years to learn LeBeau's 3-4 but at some point time is up

Clark figured it out immediately while Hampton, Troy and Woodley were at Pro Bowl levels by their second seasons

couldn't agree with that comparison any more

I will say though - maybe some of these leaders in voice and example need to leave for them to feel like they can step it up though - just a thought :noidea:

Steelers5895
02-05-2013, 12:57 PM
bring back Brentson Buckner and Ray Seals.

The steelers have tried to get more athletic DE's and they only succeeded with Aaron Smith. They need thumpers who are big bodies that can push the pocket and help the OLB's. Guys like theose 2, Kimo, Donald Evans, etc.

austinfrench76
02-05-2013, 03:19 PM
GMU Steeler hit it on the head!!!! Comapring anyone to Smith is a disservice to them. Smith is one of the best 3-4 DT's to ever play the game. A 4th rounder no less which is where the Steelers make their money, later rounds I mean! Finding gems.

steeltheone
02-05-2013, 03:48 PM
GMU Steeler hit it on the head!!!! Comapring anyone to Smith is a disservice to them. Smith is one of the best 3-4 DT's to ever play the game. A 4th rounder no less which is where the Steelers make their money, later rounds I mean! Finding gems.

Smith played on a defense full of Pro Bowlers...It makes a big difference. Smith was good, but when he went down ( a lot ) Hood filled in and the Defense did not skip a beat.

We don't have that level of talent now.

FrancoLambert
02-05-2013, 03:57 PM
We need a pass rushing animal with a motor that doesn't quit.
Could Heyward be it? We don't know, he hasn't played enough.
Pressure on the QB from your linemen is a must in today's NFL.
Blitzing to apply pressure seems to get figured out pretty easily nowadays.
How many different blitzes can you have that an offense can't adjust to?

DanRooney
02-05-2013, 04:00 PM
The problem is Evander Hood. He's a subpar 3-4 DE. Tomlin doesn't want to admit he made a mistake and waste a first round pick to sit him for Heyward and Keisel's good play isn't warranting him to lose his starting role either. We'll be in limbo until Tomlin moves Evander to center or just gets rid of him completely when his contract is up.

Danny136200
02-05-2013, 05:25 PM
has been sub par imo. No one has stepped up, and our linebacking corp has suffer for it.

Just saying.

Teams ran right at Ziggy Hood and woodley all year

xbroughneck
02-05-2013, 05:37 PM
Teams ran right at Ziggy Hood and woodley all year

To be fare, they ran at Larry Foote the most.

SteelersCanada
02-05-2013, 05:44 PM
We drafted square pegs and are trying to fit them into round holes. Why we felt the need to draft 3-4 DEs in the first round and use them as space-eaters still doesn't make any sense to me. We punish them when they generate pressure and hope and pray that our Linebackers can generate the pressure that the DEs aren't. This is an outdated and ridiculous ideology.

It's no wonder they're not doing well and guys like Hood aren't progressing - they're not used properly. Ziggy would be a beast if he would be used properly and not punished for generating pressure. We need to let our young guys be explosive and if we're not going to let them be explosive, there's no need to waste high picks on DEs when we can find overweight and out of shape space-eaters in the later rounds.

Let Ziggy and Cam be young and explosive and blow up the offensive line, or get new DLinemen because the guys we have now aren't space-eaters. We need to run a similar DLine scheme that the Texans have implemented - let the Line blow shit up and make life easier for the 'Backers. Have our Line command double-teams due to blowing up the offensive line up and generating huge amounts of pressure, not because they're big and overweight. This kind of ideology isn't effective anymore and eventually, something's gotta give.

Riddle_Of_Steel
02-05-2013, 11:52 PM
We drafted square pegs and are trying to fit them into round holes. Why we felt the need to draft 3-4 DEs in the first round and use them as space-eaters still doesn't make any sense to me. We punish them when they generate pressure and hope and pray that our Linebackers can generate the pressure that the DEs aren't. This is an outdated and ridiculous ideology.

It's no wonder they're not doing well and guys like Hood aren't progressing - they're not used properly. Ziggy would be a beast if he would be used properly and not punished for generating pressure. We need to let our young guys be explosive and if we're not going to let them be explosive, there's no need to waste high picks on DEs when we can find overweight and out of shape space-eaters in the later rounds.

Let Ziggy and Cam be young and explosive and blow up the offensive line, or get new DLinemen because the guys we have now aren't space-eaters. We need to run a similar DLine scheme that the Texans have implemented - let the Line blow shit up and make life easier for the 'Backers. Have our Line command double-teams due to blowing up the offensive line up and generating huge amounts of pressure, not because they're big and overweight. This kind of ideology isn't effective anymore and eventually, something's gotta give.

Exactly, dude. We have all been talking about this for some time.

Hood and Heyward are stereotypical 4-3 ends, best at rushing teh passer rand collapsing the pocket.

Instead, we are asking them to give ground, and occupy two guys so the linebackers can do their thing. Square peg, round hole. We have single-gap Dlinemen trying to play a two-gap style.

I figure the switch toa 4-3 is just around the corner. It seems like they have slowly been drafting 4-3 talent and are waiting to reach a threshold when they can implement the change.

VaDave
02-06-2013, 07:34 AM
Smith played on a defense full of Pro Bowlers...It makes a big difference. Smith was good, but when he went down ( a lot ) Hood filled in and the Defense did not skip a beat.

We don't have that level of talent now.

Skip a beat ??? I beg to differ. Hood is much less talented than Smith. Have you taken a good look at what happens to him when the opposing offense runs a zone block on him? They guy is pathetic. He gets turned more often than Ginger Rogers......For as stong as this kid is supposed to be, you sure seem him knocked 5 yards or more off the LOS a lot. Way too passive.

Heyward still has not mastered the proper angles, or hand placement. Notice how many runners will literaly run right past him within inches, and he can't get a hand on him.

I was hoping that Hood, in his third year, would have blossumed, but man, he was better as a rookie when he didn't know anything.

I will agree that a healthy pinch from our OLBs would help. Woodley plays patty cake too much with TE and running backs to help out Hood much. Harrison's been injuries, age and contract finally caught up with him and more than likely will not be with us next season, even though he played much better as the year went on. We have NOBODY to fill those shoes.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-06-2013, 09:40 AM
Smith played on a defense full of Pro Bowlers...It makes a big difference. Smith was good, but when he went down ( a lot ) Hood filled in and the Defense did not skip a beat.

We don't have that level of talent now.

I agree. I dont see the huge dropoff between Smith and Keisel or Hood/Heyward. The guy was stronger at the point of attack than Hood, but marginally.

Smith had 44 sacks in 13 seasons. I dont expect our DE's to get sacks, but rather clog up 2 blockers and push the pocket to allow our LB's to blitz and make plays. the LB corps has been aging and undertalented for some 3 years now and it shows.

I hope we go forward with guys like Heyward, Hood, McLendon, Ta'amu, Fangopu, Keisel in the future and that players like Timmons, Woodley, Spence and this year's OLB draft pick can be more impactful players.

El-Gonzo Jackson
02-06-2013, 09:53 AM
Skip a beat ??? I beg to differ. Hood is much less talented than Smith. Have you taken a good look at what happens to him when the opposing offense runs a zone block on him? They guy is pathetic. He gets turned more often than Ginger Rogers......For as stong as this kid is supposed to be, you sure seem him knocked 5 yards or more off the LOS a lot. Way too passive.

.

So you watched 4 plays of the Chiefs game and ate up everthing that the announcers said on that night....right?? They also lauded how great Larry Foote has played and if somebody took the time to break down that game they would see tha Foote was terrible.

DE's still have gap responsibility on a zone block and cannot give it up just to try and drive the OG into the backfield. He did get too high on quite a few plays that he got ridden out vs the Chiefs, but you have to give Eric Winston some credit for being a great RT too and getting under Hood.

IMO, that game was more on Larry Foote not being able to get upfield to get to the RB on zones to our left. I watched the game over on dvr and he ran around most blocks or just grabbed the OG Asumogua who was trying to block him. If Foote reads the play and moves forward, he fills the holes. Watch a guy like D'Quell Jackson, Navarro Bowman or London Fletcher play that position and compare to Foote and we see the ILB play from Foote is weak.

My point is that Hood gets bad rep for that 1 game and he did his job most of the time by occupying his gap, Foote left gaping holes. We are fine at end, but need ILB, (to replace Foote), OLB (to replace aging Harrison), Safety (Clark and Troy arent getting any younger)

stiller39
02-06-2013, 11:09 AM
has been sub par imo. No one has stepped up, and our linebacking corp has suffer for it.

Just saying.

I agree as our run defense is not what its been since Smith left.

Steelers5895
02-06-2013, 11:27 AM
we may want to blow up the line and start over. hood and heyward are not 3-4 DE's, wasted draft picks. time to see if we can get anything for them and move on. draft, sign or trade for those who have proven success in the 3-4 as an outside DE

VaDave
02-06-2013, 02:33 PM
So you watched 4 plays of the Chiefs game and ate up everthing that the announcers said on that night....right?? They also lauded how great Larry Foote has played and if somebody took the time to break down that game they would see tha Foote was terrible.

DE's still have gap responsibility on a zone block and cannot give it up just to try and drive the OG into the backfield. He did get too high on quite a few plays that he got ridden out vs the Chiefs, but you have to give Eric Winston some credit for being a great RT too and getting under Hood.

IMO, that game was more on Larry Foote not being able to get upfield to get to the RB on zones to our left. I watched the game over on dvr and he ran around most blocks or just grabbed the OG Asumogua who was trying to block him. If Foote reads the play and moves forward, he fills the holes. Watch a guy like D'Quell Jackson, Navarro Bowman or London Fletcher play that position and compare to Foote and we see the ILB play from Foote is weak.

My point is that Hood gets bad rep for that 1 game and he did his job most of the time by occupying his gap, Foote left gaping holes. We are fine at end, but need ILB, (to replace Foote), OLB (to replace aging Harrison), Safety (Clark and Troy arent getting any younger)

Please rewatch the Washington, Cleveland II, both Baltimore games, then tell me I'm out of my mind. The fact it Hood gets turned WAY to easily. He is about worthless against stretch plays and zone blocking. Yanda OWNS him.

I doubt that anybody here expects much out of Foote at this stage of the game, so why even bother mentioning him. I certainly didn't bring him up.

Finally, I don't listen to the play by play annoucers for the very reason you mention. My sound is usually is off, with the exceptions of a few times I'll listen to Hargraove and Ilkin's radio cast I also re watch games several times on Game Rewind after the fact, so don't accuse me of being influenced by the hype the talking heads blovate.

lloydwoodson
02-06-2013, 06:51 PM
we may want to blow up the line and start over. hood and heyward are not 3-4 DE's, wasted draft picks. time to see if we can get anything for them and move on. draft, sign or trade for those who have proven success in the 3-4 as an outside DE

If Heyward had played as many snaps as Keisel he was on pace to have 79 tackles and 6 sacks.

Heyward is the real deal and the future of the Steelers defense. I predict he will be a captain in a couple years.

I am almost amazed that anyone would consider Ironhead Jr a wasted draft pick.

nikstar
02-07-2013, 12:54 AM
I agree that Heyward has actually been progressing fine for the amount of playing time he's been given. I do however think it's time that he gets more of it. Ziggy seems to be the bust here IMO. I see him shifting to NT after another season of teams running straight towards him. The move could work, although I don't know if his recent conditioning is appropriate for it.

Riddle_Of_Steel
02-07-2013, 02:33 AM
I agree that Heyward has actually been progressing fine for the amount of playing time he's been given. I do however think it's time that he gets more of it. Ziggy seems to be the bust here IMO. I see him shifting to NT after another season of teams running straight towards him. The move could work, although I don't know if his recent conditioning is appropriate for it.

I think they should switch to a 4-3. I think that is where they are heading right now anyhow. Tomlin knows DL wont be around for forever. Most of their roster moves point to it.

Ziggy and Heyward are ideal 4-3 pass-rushing ends, best at attacking single gaps and ripping through. They aren't built to hold two gaps.

Big Steve is more of a 4-3 DT also. Timmons and Spence are ideal 4-3 MLBs. Remember, Tomlin drafted Timmons his first year and his Tampa-2 defense is known for using fast, agile MLBs in shallow zone coverage.

Even still, it should not come to that. If we can expect the offensive coordinator to come up with a gameplan that best suits the talent he has available, then there is no reason why the defense cannot do the same. Other than DL is a 3-4 guy and either can not, or will not, run a 4-3.

The Steelers come out in a 4-3 on occaision, but it is not their default formation. I do believe that if we made that full time switch, the fans would get to see a side of Ziggy Hood they have never seen before. He has a quick first step and long lanky ass arms good for spreading apart offensive linemen.

Heyward has looked great at times in spot duty, but lets be honest, so did Jonathan Dwyer and Redman. We could be holding a future team captain like Lloyd said, or a dud. Difficult to say at this point.


I think he has looked good. I remember watching his dad running the ball back in the day. Ironhead Heyward looked like an aluminum beer keg with legs on it. If he has any of his pops' grit or footwork, maybe he'll work good for us.

pczach
02-07-2013, 02:56 PM
I've been hoping that the Steelers would actually show a little 4-3 once and a while. Let Hood and Heyward get after the qb in 3rd and long situations. Especially this past year with the injuries to Harrison and Woodley. I'd like to see them mix it up a little, give teams new looks to worry about. They actually have the personnel to do this. I don't think they should go to a 4-3 as the primary defensive set. I think they should incorporate it into the gameplans as a pressure/pass rushing package.

steeltheone
02-07-2013, 06:51 PM
I agree as our run defense is not what its been since Smith left.

In 2010 the Steelers had the highest rated run Defense in team history. Smith played 6 games.

Fire Arians
02-07-2013, 09:05 PM
our defense still is top 5 with him as starter, just sayin'

smith in his prime was one of the best 3-4 DE's in NFL history, if you expect hood or heyward to be as good as him you all will be disappointed, those type of players don't come around very often. and if they do you're lucky if they're on your team

DanRooney
02-07-2013, 10:05 PM
we may want to blow up the line and start over. hood and heyward are not 3-4 DE's, wasted draft picks. time to see if we can get anything for them and move on. draft, sign or trade for those who have proven success in the 3-4 as an outside DE

Heyward is the prototype 3-4 DE. I have no idea what the heck you're talking about there. Do you know anything about him at all?

Evander is a 4-3 DT and at best an undersized NT. He sucks in our defense.

VaDave
02-08-2013, 11:43 AM
Just saying, there is no law that prevents a DE in a 3/4 from shooting a gap on occasion . How many times have we seen Ngata in our backfield? Acutually, I would like to see us do more than one or twice a season.....

As for the switch from the 3/4, it isn't going to happens soon so don't hold your breath. The 3/4 has proven to be a very successful defense. Moving to a 4-3 does not automatically create backfield pressure. As for shooting gaps, out of a 4-3, it makes you very suceptable to being gashed on running plays. Ever wonder why so few teams try to run traps on our D? Because if you do, your going to have a LB blowing up the play. On a 4-3 D, it's going for big yardage.

The main issue people complain about is the lack of a pass rush. Let me ask you a question, when there are 5 blockers, why would one think that having 4 rushers would be an advnatage over 5? I don't get this logic. The problem with the Steelers this past year is that Harrison is 36 years old, not 28, and he's got a bad knee. His counterpart on the other side loafs most of the time, so usually, the opposing OC send an RB or TE out there to play Patty Cake, leaving the RT to double team with the RG. So without that pressure, our secondary is exposed.

The only thing that I can see that is a disadvantage with our defense from a structural standpoint is with stretch plays and zone blocking schemes. Unless the LB can set the edge and the DE on that side doesn't get turned, it's trouble. Hood is prone to looking like he's on roller skates of these types of plays. If he's not turned, he's knocked 5 yards off the LOS into the secondary. Other than that, I see no advantages of a 4-3

Riddle_Of_Steel
02-08-2013, 02:49 PM
Just saying, there is no law that prevents a DE in a 3/4 from shooting a gap on occasion . How many times have we seen Ngata in our backfield? Acutually, I would like to see us do more than one or twice a season.....

I would love to see this too, but it does not fit our scheme. The 3-4 fire blitz is predicated on DE's and a NT that can hog up blockers, and protect two gaps. Shooting a sngle gap leaves gaps unprotected and leaves us vulnerable to stretch plays, overpursuit, and the like.

As for the switch from the 3/4, it isn't going to happens soon so don't hold your breath. The 3/4 has proven to be a very successful defense. Moving to a 4-3 does not automatically create backfield pressure.

Unless the personnel you currently have are better suited to a 4-3.

As for shooting gaps, out of a 4-3, it makes you very suceptable to being gashed on running plays. Ever wonder why so few teams try to run traps on our D? Because if you do, your going to have a LB blowing up the play. On a 4-3 D, it's going for big yardage.

Only if they are able to break through the front 4. In a 4-3, we are talking about an extra 30 - 40 lbs in the front 7 (4 linemen + LBs, vs 4 LBs and only 3 linemen).

The main issue people complain about is the lack of a pass rush. Let me ask you a question, when there are 5 blockers, why would one think that having 4 rushers would be an advnatage over 5? I don't get this logic.

Because for one-- we rarely rush 5. Rushing 4 is the typical call. And in a 3-4, it is based on misdirection-- the opposing Oline does not know who the 4th rusher is.

In a 4-3, there is no misdirection-- they know who the 4th rusher is. But the 4-3 exploits a better mismatch-- you are sending 30-40 poounds more with your 4 rushers (4 linemen) than if you were running a 3-4 (only 3 linemen + 1 LB).

A 3-4 pass rush relies on misdirection, a 4-3 pass rush relies more on winning individual matchups. In a 4-3, we would have Ziggy and Cam shooting single gaps to collapse the pocket-- which their build is better suited to. They do not have the wingspan that Aaron Smith or Diesel had, they are not built for holding ground and taking on two blockers. They are built for spreading those two blockers apart.

The problem with the Steelers this past year is that Harrison is 36 years old, not 28, and he's got a bad knee. His counterpart on the other side loafs most of the time, so usually, the opposing OC send an RB or TE out there to play Patty Cake, leaving the RT to double team with the RG. So without that pressure, our secondary is exposed.

Very true. The 4-3 would resolve that. The burden of rushing the passer gets emphasized more by the DEs, both of whom are fresh and strong.

The only thing that I can see that is a disadvantage with our defense from a structural standpoint is with stretch plays and zone blocking schemes. Unless the LB can set the edge and the DE on that side doesn't get turned, it's trouble. Hood is prone to looking like he's on roller skates of these types of plays. If he's not turned, he's knocked 5 yards off the LOS into the secondary. Other than that, I see no advantages of a 4-3

In a 4-3, Hood would be crashing the backfield and forcing the stretch back inside, lest they find themselves running into the backs of their own tackles and pulling guards, who presumably, have been shoved into the backfield by Hood and Heyward.

Hood always looks like he is on skates because he is being asked to do a duty that he is not built for. He is being asked to hold his ground or give ground, while maintaining control of two blockers and two gaps. Aaron Smith had the humngous wingspan to do that-- Ziggy and Heyward are more compact and made for splitting guards and tackles apart.

Just my $0.02. I could be wrong-- I am not Dick Lebeau nor a defensive mastermind of any sort.

Riddle_Of_Steel
02-08-2013, 02:52 PM
Heyward is the prototype 3-4 DE. I have no idea what the heck you're talking about there. Do you know anything about him at all?

Evander is a 4-3 DT and at best an undersized NT. He sucks in our defense.

ZIGGY HOOD
6' 3", 300 lbs

CAM HEYWARD
6' 4", 294 lbs

Huh?

Riddle_Of_Steel
02-08-2013, 09:24 PM
I personally do not like watching a 4-3 unfold as much as a well-crafted 3-4. But hey, whatever we have the talent to run and whatever works.

DanRooney
02-09-2013, 01:03 AM
ZIGGY HOOD
6' 3", 300 lbs

CAM HEYWARD
6' 4", 294 lbs

Huh?

Did you watch either of these guys in college?
DT
http://www.stampedeblue.com/2009/4/5/823508/who-they-hell-will-they-draft-2009
DE
http://tommeltonscouting.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/cameron-heyward-de-ohio-state-scouting-report/

VaDave
02-09-2013, 07:34 AM
I would love to see this too, but it does not fit our scheme. The 3-4 fire blitz is predicated on DE's and a NT that can hog up blockers, and protect two gaps. Shooting a sngle gap leaves gaps unprotected and leaves us vulnerable to stretch plays, overpursuit, and the like.



Unless the personnel you currently have are better suited to a 4-3.



Only if they are able to break through the front 4. In a 4-3, we are talking about an extra 30 - 40 lbs in the front 7 (4 linemen + LBs, vs 4 LBs and only 3 linemen).



Because for one-- we rarely rush 5. Rushing 4 is the typical call. And in a 3-4, it is based on misdirection-- the opposing Oline does not know who the 4th rusher is.

In a 4-3, there is no misdirection-- they know who the 4th rusher is. But the 4-3 exploits a better mismatch-- you are sending 30-40 poounds more with your 4 rushers (4 linemen) than if you were running a 3-4 (only 3 linemen + 1 LB).

A 3-4 pass rush relies on misdirection, a 4-3 pass rush relies more on winning individual matchups. In a 4-3, we would have Ziggy and Cam shooting single gaps to collapse the pocket-- which their build is better suited to. They do not have the wingspan that Aaron Smith or Diesel had, they are not built for holding ground and taking on two blockers. They are built for spreading those two blockers apart.



Very true. The 4-3 would resolve that. The burden of rushing the passer gets emphasized more by the DEs, both of whom are fresh and strong.



In a 4-3, Hood would be crashing the backfield and forcing the stretch back inside, lest they find themselves running into the backs of their own tackles and pulling guards, who presumably, have been shoved into the backfield by Hood and Heyward.

Hood always looks like he is on skates because he is being asked to do a duty that he is not built for. He is being asked to hold his ground or give ground, while maintaining control of two blockers and two gaps. Aaron Smith had the humngous wingspan to do that-- Ziggy and Heyward are more compact and made for splitting guards and tackles apart.

Just my $0.02. I could be wrong-- I am not Dick Lebeau nor a defensive mastermind of any sort.

# 1 I said OCASSIONALY

# 2 I beg to differ. We have exactly O LBs that can drop 25 yards and or cover RBs and tight ends down the seem, or on crossing routs. Ever see Woodley in pass coverage? Yeah, that's the ticket. Spencer, too short and at a 4.6 40.... you're asking for trouble. I'll agee that Timmons would make a great 4-3 MLB, the rest of the bunch, lets say I have my doubts.

# 3 30-40lbs? These guys lose that in water weigh in a game, EACH. Let me run some math here, DEs run about 300, DTs run about 330 that's 1,260 lbs if my math is correct, Hood is 320, Hampton, ?? 340 ( uh huh) Keisel 320 Harrison 240, and Woodley 285 ( and I'm being generous here) totaling 1,405 lbs. AND spread out over a much larger area, with better rush angles. a 3-4 tends to force the OL to spread out.

# 4 Shooting gaps The deal with blocking up a 4-3 is the OL can reduce the width of the gap and negate any advantage. Looking down the road, Baltimore's inovation of placing OGs 1 yard off the line of scrimage pretty much is going to eliminate and DTs from shooting gaps from here and forever more. Watch, this is going to spread through the league like wildfire.

Keep in mind , with every crashing lineman, means that there is an extra blocker downfield to pickoff a defender off if they don't make the play.

Hey, I'm no defensive genius either..... What I don't understand is the 3-4 has been one of the most effective defenses ( not just Lebeau's version) in the history of the game. Look around the league. While I will agree that on a year to year basis, 4-3s can be successsful. but if you look at the Giants for instance, they are somewhat inconsistent season to season, mainly because a 4-3 requires a higher level of individual talent to run. Frankly, talent we don't have at the moment.

As much as I loved our slant 4-3 we ran in the 70's with mostly hall of fame caliber players, our 3-4 has been a very consistent, and highly rated D for over 40 years, with nowheres near the talent. In fact we only have had one Hall member since, Rod Woodson.

Good discussion my friend. I'm enjoying it.