Friday, January 16, 2009

Going to School: 3-4 Defense 101 by Danzig

I was going to do a writeup on the changes Gregory made to the defense this year, how his 3-4 schemes worked, and why they were so successful. But the writeup that Danzig has done pretty much covers it. I'll go over some additional issues in my review of the defensive line and linebacking units, but this is a great piece. For those who do not understand the 3-4, or even just basic defensive concepts, this is a must read. For those who appreciate the finer points of defensive strategy, you will enjoy this too. Superb work Danzig. Link.


Anonymous said...

While I am impressed with the presentation and amount of time Danzig took to make that post, I'm not really impressed with the rest. There's a lot of flash in that post but not much educational material for the non casual reader/fan. Take away the videos and that post just tells you the obvious. He did a very good job of showing why were successful on 3rd down but he doesn't explain how we got put into favorable 3rd down situations. You just can't say the 2007 D was crap and in 2008 we pressured the QB, so we were much better and list statistics. Not very informative unless you are a tool on BI that knows nothing about football. Had he explained that the addition of Lupoi/Simmons, better depth, change in philosophy, players stepping up, much better run stopping, etc, I would have held this post in much higher regard. Sorry, this post is severely lacking in a more thorough explanation of why our D was so much better this year.

And lastly, Tyson was the MVP of the D but he gets no props because nobody ever notices him since he does everything so quietly and was not a 5 star recruit like Hill. Not taking anything away from Hill, but Tyson pretty much always shut down anything that came to his side.

SD said...


First off, I agree with your take on the other things underlying the increased success this year. I will be addressing those in my review of the DL and LBs.

Second, I think you may have taken for granted how much more you know than the casual fan. I agree there's much more to say about our defense this year (heck I could go on all day just about the nuances of the 3-4 and how we used it). But I disagree that Danzig's post is all sizzle and no steak for all but the casual BI reader. There's something there for people who know a little but might not have taken the time to break down some of Gregory's formations and stunts. Also, let's not forget how much time it took to put that together. I enjoyed it and hope he keeps it up.

Third, Alualu does not get the respect he deserves, you are correct. You'll note I put him on my all Pac 10 team (but no one agreed with me). I have said a few times he is almost robotic in how good his technique is. I think it is a joke he didn't make all Pac 10, and I think he will next year.

Fourth, I tend to agree that Hill really wasn't dominant. He was stabilizing, and usually not a liability, but I think he can be better. And that is fine for a sophomore. The light usually comes on for DL in their junior year, so I expect improvement from him.

I'll get to all this stuff though and hope you'll have more comments then too. Thanks for the good insights.

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