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1 Gap or 2 Gap, or does it even matter?

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  • 1 Gap or 2 Gap, or does it even matter?

    Somebody asked me at the NFL's league meetings in March where I thought South Carolina pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney would play in a 3-4 scheme.

    My answer: Wherever the hell he wants.

    That's because the days of lining up in a designated front play after play in the NFL are gone, replaced by many multiple looks that change from snap to snap, which is why versatile pass rushers like Clowney are so valuable. He might be a 4-3 end to most, but he can play wherever he is asked as a pass rusher in any defense.

    "The days of the New York Giants lining up in 3-4 (the Bills Parcells' Giants) all the time, playing Cover-2 and stopping everybody, you just don't see that anymore," Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "There's so much more versatility and flexibility in defenses now. They really are multiple."

    The Titans are a perfect example. New defensive coordinator Ray Horton has used both 4-3 and 3-4 looks in his career. So I asked Whisenhunt what the Titans would use this season?

    "It's going to be a little bit of everything," Whisenhunt said. "He's done a little bit of both. What you do is do what's best for your personnel. Is a guy better as a 5-technique? Is he better as a 3-technique? Does he create more problems inside?"

    The NFL defensive buzzword this year will be "hybrid." Seattle won a Super Bowl with a hybrid-type defense and, in a copycat league, more and more teams will be using those multiple looks. From quarter to quarter and play to play, defenses change their fronts and their looks.

    "The multiplicity and complexity of the game has changed," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "Rarely from week to week offensively do you see the same formations. And now week to week defensively, you don't see the same alignments. What do you call a team with nobody with their hand on the ground, which some teams are doing? What do you call a team with defensive linemen dropping out? Everybody is multiple."

    The Falcons made moves in free agency to get bigger on their defensive line, which made many speculate they were moving to a 3-4 front. The reality is they used both 3-4 and 4-3 fronts last season, and will continue to do so.

    "When you start talking about 3-4, 4-3, they're very similar in principles," Smith said. "We're going to play with 11 players on defense and we're going to be very multiple. (Defensive coordinator) Mike Nolan has a background that's almost half and half of the time based out of the 3-4 and the 4-3. The game has become sub defense on 65- to 70-percent of our snaps, playing with an extra defensive back."

    That means it can't be either a 3-4 or 4-3 front, unless you are talking about bringing safeties and nickel corners down in the box, which does happen. But the days of seven defensive linemen and linebackers lined up in either front are dwindling as defenses try to compensate for the spread offenses that are permeating the league.

    The Houston Texans, who pick first in the draft, will be a 3-4-base team under new coach Bill O'Brien and new defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel. But that doesn't mean they will be in it all the time -- or even most of the time. Some have wondered how J.J. Watt would fit in if the Texans use more 4-3 looks. Answer: Easily.

    "The first day of minicamp we'll line up in this 3-4 and that's what we run," O'Brien said. "After that, it goes to some three-down looks, some four-down looks, some odd looks where he'll (Watt) be moving around. It's just a very multiple defense. 70 percent of the game now is played in nickel. When we went through our snaps, I think against last year's Texans offense, I think 75 percent of the snaps were played in nickel or dime because a lot times, Houston was in 11 personnel. He's going to fit in very well with what we do."

    And so would Clowney if they picked him first. Versatile defensive lineman who can rush the passer have more value than ever -- no matter where they line up.

    __________________________________________________ ____

    Can we trade up for Clowney??

  • #2
    This should end well.


    • #3
      All i know is you must mind the gap.


      • #4
        Take her Y gap


        • #5

          “That’s the beauty of it,” Pettine says. “There really isn’t a set mold of what they look like. Wherever I’ve been, whether it was Baltimore, the Jets, the Bills, we never really got into body types. We looked for guys that could do multiple jobs and kind of built the system around that.” The back end of the first round is filled with players with noticeable talents but nontraditional fits. Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman is occasionally unstoppable but hard to place. Auburn’s Dee Ford is considered too small to play defensive end. So is Jerry Attaochu from Georgia Tech.

          __________________________________________________ _____________

          Defenses must stop trying to plug players into positions they dont succeed at, or offenses will continue to steamroll the league.


          • #6
            "we will be very multiple" - what kind of English is that?

            Anyway, I think you need a few of every type of DL player. You need big strong stocky DT's, you need fast DE's and you need a few guys who are a little of both, like Wolfe and Jackson.


            • #7
              Originally posted by ant1999e View Post
              All i know is you must mind the gap.
              I know that boob mojo is banned, but is gap mojo still OK?


              • #8
                Originally posted by BowlenBall View Post
                I know that boob mojo is banned, but is gap mojo still OK?

                That's gotta hurt, she's pooping lava, lol. Oh I know, that was sooo wrong.


                • #9
                  I love both gaps, personally.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RhymesayersDU View Post
                    I love both gaps, personally.
                    Not going there.


                    • #11
                      I've always wondered why Strahan has never had his gap fixed.


                      • #12
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