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Thread: Hypothetical: Would you switch to a 4-3?

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    I am pretty great. Rampage's Avatar
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    Hypothetical: Would you switch to a 4-3?

    Harrison is going to be out for a while and that means Timmons is switching over to OLB. Timmons has proven that he can be dominant in coverage and the run game. What if he exhibits that same dominance as a pass rusher, so much so that he makes the Steelers question putting him back in the middle?

    Couple this with the fact that the defense is aging: Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith both seem to be at the ends of their careers and one or both may be off the roster come next season. Farrior is also showing his age and will not be around forever. With a lack of depth in the middle, this could strike a serious blow to the 34 defense.

    Now, what if the season falls apart and the Steelers end up picking in the front end of the draft where miraculously, a complete stud 4-3 lineman is available to them: Do the Steelers draft this lineman and make the transition to a 4-3?

    We know that Tomlin has a history with the 4-3, and there is the potential that players that are already on the roster could excel in the 43 package. If everything fell into place, would you be in favor of switching to the 4-3?

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    Starter Raleigh Steel's Avatar
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    i've thought about this. i don't think i'd go with a DT in the higher round unless there was one much better than an LT on the board.

    but i've often wondered if it wasn't time to switch to a 4-3.

    good topic!
    "Today, I'm officially retiring a Pittsburgh Steeler. And as much as I will miss football, my teammates, coaches and everything about the game, I don't want to play it in any other uniform. The black and gold runs deep in me, and I will remain a Steeler for life."--Hines Ward

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    Good Question. I think this question ties into the other thread about who do you want to see gone next year. Depending on who is gone and our draft status could certainly determine a possible change especially with MT's knowledge of the 43. I would also have to question if DL is back next year. If not, then does Butler welcome the switch?

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    I've always been a proponent of the Steelers sticking with the 34. They've run it for such a long time and they've built their defense for it.

    With Harrison out atleast a few weeks and Timmons taking over on the outside for atleast the time being, the scenario you mentioned is not as far fetched as it might once have been.

    If you look at the Steelers linebackers now. Timmons, Harrison, and Woodley could play as outside linebackers in a 43 if that were to materialize. They are big but they are also fast enough to be able to drop into coverage and do the things that linebackers do in a 43. However, they are mainly pass rushers and in a 43 the defensive line is mainly responsible for the pass rush. It would be an adjustment and a complete change in philosophy but certainly not impossible.

    As far as the defensive lineman go, you figure that both Hampton and Smith will be gone after 2011, retired. So you're left with Hood, Heyward, Keisel, and McLendon right now along with possibly Hoke. Perhaps they let Hoke go in favor of McLendon. Either way you find yourself drafting defensive line early in the draft.

    Consider also that Keith Butler, the heir apparent to Lebeau has been groomed in the 34. Assuming that Lebeau retires and Butler takes over, how comfortable would he be with implementing a whole new scheme?

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    Waterboy STEELWILLiam's Avatar
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    There is no doubt that some major changes need to be made on the defensive side of the ball. With that being said, I do not like the idea of changing over to a 4-3. I think we are still built to be a 3-4 team, we just need Tomlin to give some of the younger linebackers a chance. I think that both Worlids and Sylvester if given a chance could be great at LB for us, and with Smith and Hampton on their way out it will be nice to see our young D-Lineman get in there and play. Our D-Line is built for a 3-4, and I think we would have to add a speed rushing DE if we were to make the switch. I think while it will take some time to rebuild, if we can get some of our young players in there, we will be just fine in the 3-4.

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    Assistant Coach steelchamp204's Avatar
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    iD BE IN FAVOR OF A 4-3 DEFENSE. Just not Tampa 2 please

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlitzburghRockCity View Post
    As far as the defensive lineman go, you figure that both Hampton and Smith will be gone after 2011, retired. So you're left with Hood, Heyward, Keisel, and McLendon right now along with possibly Hoke. Perhaps they let Hoke go in favor of McLendon. Either way you find yourself drafting defensive line early in the draft.
    They would be drafting defensive line early and often. They don't have the talent or the depth to run the 4-3. In the 3-4, the DLine's job is to take up space so the LBs can make the big plays. In the 4-3, the DLine (especially the DEs) need to stop the run and pressure the QB.

    Would Ziggy or Ironhead work as DEs in a 4-3? That's typically your big pash rusher. Would they both be DTs? Would we need to move Woodly and Harrison in as DEs? Are they big enough for that? Can they even be coached that at this point in their career to change over, or would that take several years before they are comfortable in that configuration?

    Changing over is not quick thing to do. It would likely take multiple years to get the proper people to switch and likely mean that both DL and Butler are gone, as they are both 3-4 guys.

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    Starter Goodfrom55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rampage View Post
    Harrison is going to be out for a while and that means Timmons is switching over to OLB. Timmons has proven that he can be dominant in coverage and the run game. What if he exhibits that same dominance as a pass rusher, so much so that he makes the Steelers question putting him back in the middle?

    Couple this with the fact that the defense is aging: Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith both seem to be at the ends of their careers and one or both may be off the roster come next season. Farrior is also showing his age and will not be around forever. With a lack of depth in the middle, this could strike a serious blow to the 34 defense.

    Now, what if the season falls apart and the Steelers end up picking in the front end of the draft where miraculously, a complete stud 4-3 lineman is available to them: Do the Steelers draft this lineman and make the transition to a 4-3?

    We know that Tomlin has a history with the 4-3, and there is the potential that players that are already on the roster could excel in the 43 package. If everything fell into place, would you be in favor of switching to the 4-3?
    You read my mind. . .with current personnel (accounting for the injured), not as far fetched as some might think:

    LE: Smith
    LT: Hampton/Hoke
    RT: McClendon/Heyward
    RE: Hood
    LLB: Woody
    MLB: Timmons
    RLB: Farrior/Sly/Foote
    CB: Ike
    CB: Gay/Lewis
    FS: Clark
    SS: Troy

    Could it be any worse than it is right now (stopping the run)?

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    Stairwayto7's Avatar
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    Im not even considering it with our D linemen! I would leave Worilds in for Harrison, and sub Sylvester for Farrior instead of Foote. Lets see what the young guys got


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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    How much of the problems facing this team now are scheme and how much are personnel. Teams didn't suddenly start running the zone blocking schemes, chop blocking, and using cut back runners against us just this year. These guys have seen it all, which means you would think it's personnel not being able to adjust for some reason. The scheme has worked for decades but the personnel have also aged considerably.

    Do you jump ship from the 34 or just fix the personnel issues...

    The Steelers have run 43 mixed in with 34 for a long time, they do it frequently. However the base 34 is their bread and butter of course. I just have to wonder how things will change when Lebeau retires or when the Steelers finally start getting new faces on defense.

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