3-4 Defense

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by citizenthom, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. citizenthom

    citizenthom Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    478
    I think we could make a very plausible transition to a 3-4 defense, if not this year then in the near-future.

    First, coaches:

    Check out some of the defensive coaches currently or potentially available this off-season

    Romeo Crennel (coached Super Bowl defenses for the Patriots, had KC's defense looking good before he moved to HC)

    Ray Horton (Cardinals DC and the last man standing after their house-cleaning; would probably want out of the desert)

    Mike Pettine (Jets DC, did not resign with them)

    All three of those guys have stellar resumes as DCs.

    Second, our current roster:

    What is the necessary strength of any 3-4? The linebacking corps. What is the brightest spot on our defense? Our linebackers. Zach Brown showed us his Beast Mode in Week 17. Will Witherspoon is a wiley vet who. Ayers came on this year both as a tackler and a pass-rusher. Brown could play the "rover"-type ILB (a la Lawrence Timmons) with Ayers playing the "thumper" position, AND he could rush from the outside as a LOLB.

    Our current DEs. Kamerion Wimbley was drafted to play 3-4 OLB and he's done it well in the past. Morgan was projected as a possible 3-4 OLB, though right now he's playing about ten pounds above his draft weight. Both those guys had flashes this year but our interior D-line situation was bad and they couldn't get a free release. Putting them on the outside would change that. Alternately, Morgan could play at the RDE position, especially in passing situations where we stay in a 3-man front.

    Our interior D-linemen: Jurrell Casey has reminded me of Ryan Pickett since we drafted him, a space-eater who can hold the line well even though he's not a big-time penetrator. I'm less certain about Martin as a 3-4 DE but I do think he could adjust well. I can see Klug being like a Justin Smith: everyone thought Smith was undersized for the 3-4 but he's had success because of his motor, something Klug has in abundance. Size-wise Klug might even be able to play the LOLB position on run-downs (not sure I like him rushing from a 9-technique though).

    Third, who we could add this off-season:

    The one thing we seriously lack for a 3-4 is the Nose Tackle position. Check out some of the veteran NTs who are scheduled for free agency:

    Terrance Knighton (Jaguars): has been a beast in the 4-3 but certainly has the size for the NT position at 336 lbs.

    Isaac Sopogoa (49ers): out with an injury right now and might not get resigned if his replacements play well enough.

    Corey Williams (Lions): played both NT and DE in Green Bay's 3-4 and did it well. Probably a pricier option.

    Ma'ake Kemoeatu (Ravens): Had sort of a revival this year and a pure-and-simple space-eater.

    Aubrayo Franklin (Chargers): signed a one-year contract and not likely to be back with the coaching change. Was a Pro-Bowler with San Francisco though he's showing his years.

    Casey Hampton (Steelers): clearly not who he once was but still a serviceable band-aid when healthy, and will come extra-cheap.

    So you can add one of those guys in free agency and then draft one of these guys as a backup/future star:

    Star Lotuleilei (Utah)/Jonathan Jenkins (Ohio State): both projected to go above our pick but you never know.

    Jonathan Hankins (UGA): 355 lbs., slipping draft stock so we might get him in the second

    Daniel McCullers (Tennessee): Yeah, UT's D was infamously bad this year, but watch McCullers. He's is CONSTANTLY double- and very often triple-teamed and he STILL penetrates the backfield. Every team we played turned just about every run away from him. And what's even better is he never stops pursuit: he made tackles ten yards downfield when the rest of the D couldn't get there at all. Sit him behind a vet for a year and then cruise for the next ten. Plus...6'6", 277 lbs.

    So, you end up with a defensive front that looks like this (as an example):

    LDE: Jurrell Casey, Sen'Derrick Marks
    NT: Casey Hampton, Daniel McCullers
    RDE: Mike Martin, Karl Klug

    LOLB: Derrick Mogran, Karl Klug
    WILB: Zach Brown, Will Witherspoon
    SILB: Akeem Ayers, Colin McCarthy
    ROLB: Kamerion Wimbley, Akeem Ayers

    So: am I crazy, or bat-snot crazy?
    #1
    • High Five High Five x 1
  2. Titan43

    Titan43 Pro Bowler

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,389
    We aren't far from being able to run 3-4 if we wanted too, we would need to pick up a few peices but it could be done ...I don't think I would have Derrick Morgan and Karl Klug at OLB though
    #2
    • High Five High Five x 1
  3. Fry

    Fry Hatin' is what I do.

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    26,448
    Not going to happen.
    #3
    • High Five High Five x 3
  4. steverife

    steverife Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,093
    You have Jenkins and Hankins mixed up.

    Anyway, I don't get the fascination with the 3-4. Bengals, Bears, Falcons, and many other teams are good with the 4-3.
    #4
  5. Alex1939

    Alex1939 Old Man Tip Jar Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Messages:
    16,408
  6. Psychop1

    Psychop1 Big Tee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,463
    Ayers has shown some aptitude at getting after the passer. He may be a better 3-4 OLB. Also, Casey is more of a NT than a DT, which he played in college. He has the mass too. He's just short.

    Don't be discouraged OP. You put some thought and time in that. This gets discussed every offseason. A lot of fans are sick of the discussion, but just can't ignore the threads. Of course they would be in love with the idea if we actually made the transition.
    #6
  7. Psychop1

    Psychop1 Big Tee

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,463
    Broncos, Texans dominate after the transition... Annual defensive powerhouses like the Steelers and Ravens... Fascination ensues.
    #7
  8. HonestABE

    HonestABE Practice Squad

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2013
    Messages:
    31
    Anybody hear anything about Gerald Mcrath? He has some potential, but have not heard about him after his injury.
    #8
  9. steverife

    steverife Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Messages:
    3,093
    You realize that the Broncos switched TO the 4-3 before last season?
    #9
  10. Fry

    Fry Hatin' is what I do.

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Messages:
    26,448
    Those defenses also added guys like Von Miller, JJ Watt, Jonathon Joseph and Danielle Manning. It's like adding talent might have a little more to do with it...
    #10
    • High Five High Five x 1