Wednesday, October 11, 2006

3-4 defense

The Charger defense looked a lot like the Steeler defense, and that got me wondering if the 3-4 has become more common. A few years ago, it was used by only a few teams and was generally discredited as sacrificing too much bulk and strength for speed. At nose tackle, a team needs a vending machine superman (reg. req. for "Nose tackle with big appetite getting recognition he deserves"; see bugmenot), and at linebacker, a team needs serious skills and leadership.

These teams, I'm pretty sure, mainly use the 3-4: Pittsburgh, San Diego, New England, Cleveland, Dallas, San Francisco, Miami (about half the time), and the New York Jets (adopted it this year). There are some good and some bad defenses. The league's worst defense, which plays a lot down in Texas, just switched to the 4-3 and failing to make the 3-4 work.

So now is it more common? Or do I only think that because I just watched the Chargers shred the Steelers offense, Steeler-style?

And what about the college level? Penn State has been moving toward the 3-4. Are many college teams doing this?

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