But, I received this email the other day:
Dear Sports Bob,
I am embarrassed to admit that I do not understand the real differences between the standard 4-3 defense most teams in the NFL run, and the 3-4 defense that the Patriots and Steelers run which the Cowboys are possibly switching to. Could you help me out?
Anonymous in Sports Town
First and foremost, you should know that although I count football as my favorite sport (sorry, hockey, but it has always been true), I should disclose that I have never played a down of organized football at any level. With that in mind, many who read this may find themselves more qualified to answer this than me. However, I have taken the time to speak with some who are very familiar with the schemes, and here is what I can tell you about the differences between the 3-4 and the 4-3.
The 4-3 consists of 4 defensive linemen (RDE, RDT, LDT, and LDE) and 3 linebackers (ROLB, MLB, and LOLB). In this scheme, under normal passing situations, the 4 D- linemen will rush the passer, while the 3 LB’s will drop into pass coverage. The DE’s in the 4-3 are expected to be exceptional pass rushers, since they are expected to account for the lion’s share of the sacks (aside from blitzes). It is not necessarily key that the Linebackers be great pass rushers, but rather fine pass coverage players. The two defensive tackles generally line up opposite the offensive guards, and therefore, you will find the center uncovered.
Meanwhile, the 3-4 consists of 3 defensive linemen (RDE, NT, and LDE) and 4 linebackers (ROLB, RILB, LILB, and LOLB). In this scheme, under normal passing situations, you will still have 4 players rushing the passer. All 3 defensive linemen, plus an outside linebacker will attempt to apply pressure. The question is, which one? That is the benefit of the 3-4; the surprise attack of whether it will be the ROLB or the LOLB that will come on the rush, while the other one will drop into pass coverage. Therefore, having proper personnel is the key to the 2 outside linebackers. They must be perfect hybrids of defensive ends and linebackers. That type of player must be able to rush the passer (and take on an offensive tackle to get there – sorry, Dexter) and still be able to drop into coverage on a RB or TE.
Another element of the 3-4 is that the NT lines up directly over the center, and must be able to occupy “2-gaps”. Which, of course, are the gaps to each side of the center. That is why size is key to a solid NT, as he must be able to hold his ground against a double-team. The Defensive ends in this scheme must be more capable against stopping the run than their 4-3 counterparts, but not necessarily as potent at getting around the end to the QB on the pass rush (although they would love to have someone good at both).
Hopefully, that explains the differences a bit. Generally, as the Steelers and Patriots have demonstrated, to excel under the 3-4, your personnel must be quite versatile.
FWST’s Charity Challenge write-up …
7:30 tonight, Fort Worth Convention Center
What: Radio personalities from KTCK/1310 AM (The Ticket) will face a women's team. Proceeds benefit the Dallas Stars Foundation.
Tickets: $13.10, available by calling (214) 467-8277 or online at www.theticket.com. About 1,000 remained late Wednesday.
Notable: Fans can get their pictures taken with the Stanley Cup for a $10 donation to The Greyhound Adoption League of Texas.
Gentler Knight advances Red Raiders …
Rivera offers to return signing bonus …
Chris Young with another fine start …
Rangers starter Chris Young continued to make a case for a spot in the rotation after allowing two runs and two hits over 4 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out four.
"The velocity on my fastball was pretty good; it had life," said Young, who developed a blister on his pitching hand in his last start. "That tells me my arm strength is coming. It's still about building up arm strength and getting my mechanics down."
Young was unable to throw his curveball the last time out. This time he was able to mix it in a little more.
"I threw some bad ones but I was pleased for the most part," he said. "The (blister) is something I will have to monitor."
5 things to know about the Rangers …
A fairly eventful night in Oakland, as a shirtless Mike Dunleavy is ejected, a Warriors dancer gets hit in the face with a ball, Baron Davis tries to fight Dirk, Keith Van Horn plays his best game as a Maverick, and Pavel gets another minute, but through it all Avery is 3-0: Mavs beat Golden State 109-97 …
Dear Dirk, version 2.0 …
Tonight, despite the fact I predict failure,
NBC's The Office debuts ...It can't measure up to the BBC's gold version, can it?
Texas Tech song ….
Steroid enhanced hockey players? …
Beckham’s kids being harassed by paparazzi …
Thanks to Andrew’s Dallas Stars Page: Turco visits BaD Radio …
Stars vs. Tornados …Sounds like a good time was had by all…
According to UK Fans, Adolph Rupp isn’t a racist …I guess that settles it….
Rogerio’s mom is kidnapped …
What is the Potato Famine? ….
Just wanted to pile on about ESPN deciding men's and women's college basketball are the same and records can be mixed. By their logic, they need to run a special on college football head coaches. You can no longer claim Joe Paterno (307-80-3) the winningest coach when Division III's Joe Gagliardi is 421-117-11.
Where do we start in getting The Ticket to replace ESPN?
Careful, Meredith won’t like this…
On my daily stop by the mighty blog I saw that Turco is on BAD radio this afternoon. Thought ya'll would like to know, Marty is going to be doing a goalie camp at my hockey rink in Denton on April 9th. Check out hattrickhockey.com for all the info.
I know that you like to play ice hockey, if you ever have any interest in playing inline you should let me know. Faster paced game, higher scoring...you know, all that exciting stuff the NHL keeps trying to figure out. I've been a big fan of the show for years and would be happy to hook you up with a spot in one of my leagues.
Looking forward to hearing some hockey talk,
Please come watch us play hockey tonight in Fort Worth! We promise to make it good strong fun!
Added 9:30 am:
Thursday Night NCAA Selections: Oklahoma State, Louisville, Texas Tech, Illinois.
Record so far in tournament: 35-13