I believe schemes have a shelf life, they are only superior as long as everyone else isn't doing it. Two things happen when the majority of the league starts running a particular scheme:
1 - Teams learn how to prepare and game plan for the scheme, and they play against it more often so they learn how to combat it better.
2 - More teams are drafting/signing the players required for that system, making getting those players much more difficult.
Before the 3-4 became so popular, tweeners had no home in the NFL. They were too big and unathletic for OLBs, and too small to hold up as DEs. Along comes the 3-4 and now these are highly sought after elite difference makers. Early 3-4 teams were picking up these difference makers late in the draft or even undrafted.
Problem is, now everyone wants the players. 3-4 teams want tweeners and oversized NTs who can't rush the passer but demand double teams. We've seen these previously poorly regarded NTs be drafted higher and higher every year.
Dontari Poe was drafted 11th overall last year simply because he was big and strong. Despite his lack of solid tape and production, teams just need these players so they start reaching.
But, with the 3-4 become more popular...4-3 players become less sought after. Would the Jets be wise to move to a more base 4-3?
They already seem to have more 4-3 pieces than 3-4 with the current roster cuts. Bart Scott and Calvin Pace were 3-4 players, and they're now gone. The team doesn't even have a starting caliber 3-4 OLB on the roster. Take a look at some of their front 7 players below:
Muhammad Wilkerson - DE/DT
Quinton Coples - DE
Sione Pouha - NT
Kenrick Ellis - NT
Damon Harrison - NT
David Harris - MLB/ILB
Demario Davis - OLB/ILB
Quinton Coples, Demario Davis, and David Harris are arguably better or at least of equal value in a 4-3. Pouha, Ellis, and Harrison are more strictly 3-4 players...and Wilkerson is probably more suited for a 3-4, though I imagine he is good enough to succeed in either scheme.
Would it be easier to find a staring OLB and pass rushing DE for the 4-3? Or two blue chip, elite 3-4 OLB pass rushers? Also, is Coples ceiling higher in a 4-3 than Wilkerson's in a 3-4?
? - Davis - Harris - ?
Coples - Pouha/Ellis - Wilkerson
Davis - Harris - ?
Coples - Pouha - Wilkerson/Ellis - Wilkerson/?
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Will The Jets Switch To A 4-3?
Posted 21 February 2013 - 12:07 PM
The Jets rarely run a strict 3-4 defense, they play multiple fronts and use a lot of 4 down lines. they play everything, so they can take players and they will play them to their strengths. every team runs a spread in our division, so the Jets play even less 3-4 in those games.
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