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Jene Bramel

Coaches and Schemes 2010

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2009 thread can be found here.

Current situation in the codebox below. We'll update and speculate whenever any major news hits.

:thumbup:

BASE DEFENSE 4-3			CIN, HOU, TEN, NYG, PHI, SEA, ATL, CAR, DET, JAX, OAK4-3/Tampa-2	IND, MIN, CHI, TB3-4 		   CLE, NE, SD, PIT, DAL, MIA, GB, SF, ARI, KC, DEN, BUF	***1-gap/2-gap notations on the 3-4 teams are the favored front, most teams are using a lot of 1-gap nowMult Front	 BAL, NYJ, NO, WASAFC EastBUF	CHAN GAILEY/GEORGE EDWARDS	   3-4 (prob 1-gap lean)MIA	Tony Sparano/MIKE NOLAN		  3-4 (prob 1-gap lean)NE	 Bill Belichick/TEAM	 		 Multiple front, leaning 3-4 (2-gap leaning 3-4)NYJ	Rex Ryan/Mike Pettine			Multiple front, leaning 3-4AFC NorthBAL	John Harbaugh/Greg Mattison			   Multiple front, leaning 4-3CIN	Marvin Lewis/Mike Zimmer				  4-3	CLE	Eric Mangini/Rob Ryan					 3-4 (lean 2-gap)PIT	Mike Tomlin/Dick LeBeau				   3-4 (slight lean 2-gap)AFC SouthHOU	Gary Kubiak/Frank Bush		   4-3IND	Jim Caldwell/Larry Coyer		 4-3/Tampa-2JAX	Jack Del Rio/Mel Tucker		  4-3TEN	Jeff Fisher/Chuck Cecil		  4-3AFC WestDEN	Josh McDaniels/DON MARTINDALE		 3-4 (1-gap)KC	 Todd Haley/ROMEO CRENNEL			  3-4 (lean 2-gap)OAK	Tom Cable/John Marshall			   4-3, possibly with some rare 3-4SD	 Norv Turner/Ron Rivera				3-4 (1-gap)NFC EastDAL	Wade Phillips/Wade Phillips				  3-4 (1-gap), some 46NYG	Tom Coughlin/PERRY FEWELL					4-3PHI	Andy Reid/Sean McDermott					 4-3WAS	MIKE SHANAHAN/JIM HASLETT					3-4 (1-gap with some hybrid stuff)NFC NorthCHI	Lovie Smith/ROD MARINELLI			4-3 (Tampa-2)DET	Jim Schwartz/Gunther Cunningham	  4-3GB	 Mike McCarthy/Dom Capers			 3-4 (sl leaning 2-gap)MIN	Brad Childress/Leslie Frazier		4-3, rare Tampa-2NFC SouthATL	Mike Smith/Brian VanGorder	   4-3CAR	John Fox/Ron Meeks			   4-3, some Tampa-2NO	 Sean Payton/Gregg Williams	   4-3, some 3-4 TAM	Raheem Morris/Raheem Morris	  4-3, Tampa-2NFC WestARI	Ken Whisenhunt/Bill Davis			 3-4 (leaning 2-gap)STL	Steve Spagnuolo/Ken Flajole		   4-3 SF	 Mike Singletary/Greg Manusky		  3-4, rare 4-3 (1-gap)SEA	PETE CARROLL/Gus Bradley			  4-3**Changes in CAPS

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Hope you didn't think we were taking the next few months off...:lmao:.

Redskins fire Jim Zorn today. All defensive assistants are expected to be fired. It's expected that Mike Shanahan will take over, with no clear defensive coordinator candidate or philosophy in the rumor mill yet.

Bills fire entire coaching staff. That'll be the end of the Tampa-2 in Buffalo with Perry Fewell gone. The OLB positions and SS were in transition anyway, so we'll see how this one goes. If it's Bill Cowher, we could see a shift toward a 3-4 front in Buffalo, depending on personnel.

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Jason LaCanfora reporting that Mike Zimmer and Jim Haslett are both targets for Washington and that Mike Shanahan is strongly considering a 3-4 front.

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Jason LaCanfora reporting that Mike Zimmer and Jim Haslett are both targets for Washington and that Mike Shanahan is strongly considering a 3-4 front.

The 3-4 doesn't make much sense given the personnel on both the D-line and the LB corps, for the following reasons:Carter - he left SF because he was ill-suited to be a 3-4 OLB and needed to be a 4-3 RDE; he's weak against the run.Haynesworth - his strength is as a 4-3 under tackle who shoots gaps, and he's always bucked at being forced to play without discretion and within the parameters of a scheme, which he'd have to do as a gap-controlling 3-4 DT.Orakpo - probably the best fit for a 3-4 as a OLB in the Demarcus Ware mold, he'd still have to switch sides on the defense and he's only played LB part time for one season; his obvious strength is as a 4-3 DE, which is a position at which he could become not just good but great.Golston/Griffin/Montgomery/Daniels/Alexander - Daniels and Griffin are near the end of the line, but these guys are 4-3 DT's or undersized (for the 3-4) run-stopping DE's who are better at getting upfield than holding at the point of attack in a 3-4; Montgomery, the least heralded of the bunch, might be best suited to be in the 3-4 scheme, but then he's unheralded . . .Fletcher/Blades - these guys are undersized 4-3 MLB's in the Lofa Tatupu and Zach Thomas mold who rely upon speed and solid reads to make plays; they lack the size of 3-4 MLB's. McIntosh - another merely moderately-sized OLB, his best play by far has been at the Will in the 4-3. He's only OK in pass coverage or rushing the QB. In short, you're talking about essentially having to either outright replace, or in the case of Orakpo, Haynesworth and maybe Carter and McIntosh remold 7 out of 7 guys in the front 7 of that defense, and in the case of at least the latter three of those guys if you remold them you're going to be putting them into a scheme ill-suited to their talents (and with Haynesworth, who's a volitile personality and to whom the team is committed for many years, he'll certainly cause problems due to this). That, plus the large number of needs already on the offense leads me to believe that they're not going to change from a 4-3 defense, at least this year certainly, because they'll need to devote their resources to the offense, particularly the O-line and also at least arguably to RB and QB. Both Zimmer and Haslett have also run 4-3's in recent years, so they're certainly capable of doing that unlike someone like Dom Capers who has always run a 3-4. I just don't see it happening, at least not this year, but likely not even next year either given that their long-term commitments to Orakpo and Haynesworth, by themselves, would jeopardize too much by switching.

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Jason LaCanfora reporting that Mike Zimmer and Jim Haslett are both targets for Washington and that Mike Shanahan is strongly considering a 3-4 front.

Well, well, well. That would really shake things up personnel-wise for the Redskins. I can see Orakpo fitting in well in such a scheme as a natural 3-4 OLB. He performed fantastically as SLB and DE this year. Nailing down one position to focus all his energy on would improve him as a player. I can see why Shanahan would want to change things up, but the Redskins aren't a bad defense. On the contrary, they're a very solid unit. To me, the offensive line let this team down. I think Shanahan will have further discussions with whoever his DC is, look at the players and whether or not a 3-4 would really fit, and then make his final decision.

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What do you read into the Browns hiring of Holmgren and keeping Mangini?

Holmgren is a West Coast O / 4-3 Defense type of guy and Mangini is not, which is why I thought he was going to get fired. (I would fire him for his clock management amongst other things.)

I assume they are staying 3-4, but what type of imprint is Holmgren going to stamp the Browns with? The draft and free agency will provide a lot of answers, but is their any talk of system changes being ordered by Holmgren?

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What do you read into the Browns hiring of Holmgren and keeping Mangini?Holmgren is a West Coast O / 4-3 Defense type of guy and Mangini is not, which is why I thought he was going to get fired. (I would fire him for his clock management amongst other things.)I assume they are staying 3-4, but what type of imprint is Holmgren going to stamp the Browns with? The draft and free agency will provide a lot of answers, but is their any talk of system changes being ordered by Holmgren?

Holmgren's an offensive guy. I don't see where he'd necessarily have a preference that would override both his personnel and Mangini's preferred scheme given that he chose to retain the defense-oriented Mangini.

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What do you read into the Browns hiring of Holmgren and keeping Mangini?Holmgren is a West Coast O / 4-3 Defense type of guy and Mangini is not, which is why I thought he was going to get fired. (I would fire him for his clock management amongst other things.)I assume they are staying 3-4, but what type of imprint is Holmgren going to stamp the Browns with? The draft and free agency will provide a lot of answers, but is their any talk of system changes being ordered by Holmgren?

I agree with Shaolin here. I would think that Mangini is a 3-4 guy through and through and if Holmgren wasn't okay with that, Mangini would be gone. It's also possible, but I think much less likely, that Mangini was in the meetings nodding his head to whatever Holmgren said to stay on and assented to a move to a 4-3. I think that's extremely unlikely, though.

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Bills fire entire coaching staff. That'll be the end of the Tampa-2 in Buffalo with Perry Fewell gone. The OLB positions and SS were in transition anyway, so we'll see how this one goes.

How would the end of the T-2 affect the safeties? Wilson, Scott, Byrd - they all were productive as they rotated through the position. For a while there I think I could have played safety in Buffalo and put up numbers.

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Bills fire entire coaching staff. That'll be the end of the Tampa-2 in Buffalo with Perry Fewell gone. The OLB positions and SS were in transition anyway, so we'll see how this one goes.

How would the end of the T-2 affect the safeties? Wilson, Scott, Byrd - they all were productive as they rotated through the position. For a while there I think I could have played safety in Buffalo and put up numbers.
The Tampa-2 primarily affects the safeties if there are strong tackling corners and OLBs and the overall opportunity is average or worse. The Bills may have been a Cover-2 team, but George Wilson had more opportunity that the vast majority of safeties around the league due to his inferior surrounding cast and superior opportunity. The teams that use interchangeable safeties often present the same problem for so-so safety talent.

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News and notes from the past few days.

***Mike Zimmer stays on as Cincinnati's DC. That probably pushes Jim Haslett (who was also getting interest in Miami and with the Giants) to the head of Washington's short list.

***Paul Pasqualoni fired as Miami's DC. There probably won't be much to this firing. This defense is still Bill Parcells and likely will see only minor tweaks by the new hire.

***Romeo Crennel still seems likely to land in KC as DC.

***Jack Del Rio looks likely to stay in JAX.

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News and notes from the past few days.

***Mike Zimmer stays on as Cincinnati's DC. That probably pushes Jim Haslett (who was also getting interest in Miami and with the Giants) to the head of Washington's short list.

Jerry Gray, who is highly regarded within the organization, is also interviewing.

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Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting Skins have hired Haslett. Word is Shanahan wants to install 3-4, failed to get Crennell. Haslett coached 34 when he was the DC in Pittsburgh from 97-99.

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What do you read into the Browns hiring of Holmgren and keeping Mangini?Holmgren is a West Coast O / 4-3 Defense type of guy and Mangini is not, which is why I thought he was going to get fired. (I would fire him for his clock management amongst other things.)I assume they are staying 3-4, but what type of imprint is Holmgren going to stamp the Browns with? The draft and free agency will provide a lot of answers, but is their any talk of system changes being ordered by Holmgren?

I agree with Shaolin here. I would think that Mangini is a 3-4 guy through and through and if Holmgren wasn't okay with that, Mangini would be gone. It's also possible, but I think much less likely, that Mangini was in the meetings nodding his head to whatever Holmgren said to stay on and assented to a move to a 4-3. I think that's extremely unlikely, though.
Holmgren was the worst clock manager of all time. they should get on famously

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Holmgren was the worst clock manager of all time. they should get on famously

KC homer here, and Herm Edwards would like a word with you about that statement. However, he can't find the time.

Also RE: Romeo to KC:

http://www.arrowheadpride.com/2010/1/13/12...-pendergast-out

Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network is confirming the various reports out there that Romeo Crennel has agreed to terms with the Kansas City Chiefs.

LaCanfora also reports that Clancy Pendergast is on his way out.

The Chiefs are in the process of firing current defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast, according to a source, and Crennel will join the team following the Super Bowl, when he is free from existing commitments with the Cleveland Browns.

Update 9:21 AM: Nick Wright of 610 Sports (via PFT) reports Pendergast is NOT expected to be fired. Wright also reports an announcement is expected on Friday.

Interesting nuggets here. ESPN's Adam Schefter is also reporting Crennel won't begin with the Chiefs until "prior commitments" are taken care of, namely the East-West college football all-star game on January 23rd.

It was believed by many that Pendergast would be sticking around in another role should Crennel come on board.

Also, note that the "official" hire date for Crennel, according to LaCanfora, wouldn't be until after the Super Bowl on February 7th. Many contracts run through the end of the Super Bowl.

LaCanfora also reports the Chiefs will be retaining linebackers coach Gary Gibbs, a Haley hire last offseason.

LaCanfora also reported last week that Tim Krumrie's contract would not be renewed with the Chiefs so he's been on the Chiefs coaching beat.

Tamba Hali could be a player to keep an eye on in training camp to see how RC is using him.

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Holmgren was the worst clock manager of all time. they should get on famously

KC homer here, and Herm Edwards would like a word with you about that statement. However, he can't find the time.

...

Tamba Hali could be a player to keep an eye on in training camp to see how RC is using him.

Hahaha, love that part! Clock management seems to be such a basic aspect of being a head coach and yet so many of them can't seem to figure it out. Bewildering.

As for Hali, I think he's got tremendous potential for 2010. He really started to come on this year, and with Dorsey's improvement on the line and Romeo coming in to lead the defense, it really stands to reason that Hali has the chance to make a lot of big plays next year. Lord knows there's nobody else in town right now to take opportunity away from him. Of course, this is all just wishful thinking....

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Did KC run 3-4 this year?

What does this do for Derrick Johnson, Hali and others?

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Did KC run 3-4 this year?What does this do for Derrick Johnson, Hali and others?

The Chiefs were a 3-4 defense this season. Crennel will run many more 2-gap looks than Pendergast, which won't be good for Glenn Dorsey or Tyson Jackson, but it shouldn't hurt the backers too much. Johnson will only be staying in KC if they all but assure him a starting job; his production will somewhat be tied to which ILB position he plays.

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:stalker:

Thanks for the info in this thread and all the great information you provide. :bag:

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Holmgren was the worst clock manager of all time. they should get on famously

KC homer here, and Herm Edwards would like a word with you about that statement. However, he can't find the time.
:blackdot: Flag thrown by Andy Reid. He'd like to challenge that call :goodposting:

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Perry Fewell hired as the Giants' DC. Dean Pees fired in New England.

Fewell could bring an aggressive form of the Tampa-2 to New York. Very likely will still be less aggressive than the Spagnuolo scheme was two seasons ago that fell apart under Bill Sheridan this season, but not as vanilla as the Dungy Tampa-2 often was. Could be great news for Michael Boley.

Pees' firing won't have any major impact unless his successor is able to get more out of the young players at ILB and in the secondary.

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Q&A with Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel

Q: What kind of defense will you run?

CRENNEL: “We’re going to be based in a 3-4, but we will not be limited to the 3-4. We can do some other things, which we will. We will mix things up as we need to. Each game plan is different and you have to look at your opponent to see what their strong points are and then what you think you need to do to take away their strengths and then try to take advantage of them that way.”

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Some notes from the week:

Perry Fewell more or less confirmed that he'll continue to have elements of the Tampa-2 in his playbook, but remain willing to bring extra defenders to pressure the quarterback on passing downs. Should be a good fit for the current personnel. Will be interesting to see how Osi Umenyiora fits into the offseason plans and it's good news for both Michael Boley and Kenny Phillips (should he return to form).

Jim Haslett certainly seems interested in using the 3-4 in Washington.

"I think you got the personnel to do whatever you want," Haslett said. "You got to decide what angle you want to go. The secondary doesn't make a difference, but I think you got to decide what's best to run for you to be effective.

"I think the 3-4 is a good fit for them. Guys like [linebacker-end Brian] Orakpo, he could really do it. [Defensive tackle Albert] Haynesworth could do it. London [Fletcher, the middle linebacker] has done it before, I think Rocky [McIntosh] could do it. I think [defensive end Andre] Carter could be a good rush linebacker, but he's a good defensive end, too. Those are all things we'll go through."

I'm not sure I like London Fletcher's upside in a 3-4, presumably as the SILB, but Rocky McIntosh could do well as an every-down WILB. Andre Carter struggled in his early prime in a 3-4 in SF and a philosophical switch in Washington would erase yet another strong 4-3 end from the DL rankings this summer.

The Seahawks retained Gus Bradley as defensive coordinator. Probably nothing of note here, although it's probably good news for the upside and development of Aaron Curry to not have to learn another full playbook.

Despite Romeo Crennel's discussion to the contrary, expect very little "something other than 3-4" in the Kansas City base defense. This 3-4 will likely be mostly of the 2-gap variety. With any luck, these guys will settle on at least one every-down ILB.

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This one caught me off guard.

Link

Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Mike Nolan have split.

"I can't say anything other than Josh and I mutually agreed to part ways," Nolan said on Monday, according to The Denver Post.

Miami already has requested an interview with Nolan, sources close to the situation told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

"I have great respect for Mike and wish him success in the future," McDaniels said in a team release.

The Broncos started 6-0 in their first year under McDaniels but fell apart in the second half of the season and missed the playoffs. They lost their final four games and gave up 44 points to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs in the season finale.

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Del Rio going back to exclusive, aggressive 4-3

Q&A with Del Rio

RCR: With the new defensive coordinator, injuries, and all that went with it, do you think the Jaguars will be experimenting with the 3-4 defense, or will they stick with the 4-3 that worked well in the 2nd half of the season.

JDR: Yeah, the 4-3 will be back. We did what we thought we had to with some playing with the 3-4 and 4-3 to generate some rush. We were able to make some one-on-one opportunities, but it never really translated into good defensive play. It is my desire to bring our defense back to the aggressive, 4-3 attacking penetrating front that I really know. It's what I've been in my career for the most part. It's a very effective force. When I was Baltimore and again with Carolina and brought It here for the first 3,4 years it was very effective, we were in the top of the league playing defense. This is something we're going to go back to, an aggressive penetrating 4-3 front with tighter coverage around it. It's a little bit back to the roots of what I know defensively, and so we're going to build it that way.

I think last year we did what we thought we had to through the illusion of the 3-4, you can bring different people from different angles. There are some good elements of the 3-4, but until you have the personnel to really adequately run it, it really makes it tough. You really need to be one or the other and we're going to be 4-3 going forward.

RCR: We've paid a lot of attention to Derek Harvey, and I know the Sack Numbers aren't there, but we've seen that he's getting it together on the field. Quentin Groves, on the other hand, seems to still be struggling. Can you comment on those two players and where you see them going in the next season?

JDR: Derek Harvey is a rugged, big, strong, every downs kind of defensive end. He's going to be a good player for us. He's going to be our left end. That's what we envisioned when we drafted him, we think he's a rugged every-downs player. He's got a good combination of size, speed, and temperament. He's done a nice job. He's done a nice job as a run stopper. We think the arrow is decidedly up in him going forward as a pass rusher as well.

Quentin Groves is a young man that wants it, that tries hard, that has some straight line speed. Really for Quentin it's going to be dependent on him and whether or not he can develop a move to go with speed. You just can't use solely straight line speed to win in this league. It's really going to be a big year for him to prove that he's going to take the next step as a football player.

He did help us on special teams, but we didn't draft him that high to come in and cover kicks. He has done a nice job in that role, but he got a lot of opportunities and it didn't come together for him the way I'm sure he'd like it to. Like I said, we're going to coach the heck out of everybody that's here, and try and take him to another level of play, but certainly he's got a lot of room for growth.

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Del Rio going back to exclusive, aggressive 4-3

Q&A with Del Rio

RCR: With the new defensive coordinator, injuries, and all that went with it, do you think the Jaguars will be experimenting with the 3-4 defense, or will they stick with the 4-3 that worked well in the 2nd half of the season.

JDR: Yeah, the 4-3 will be back. We did what we thought we had to with some playing with the 3-4 and 4-3 to generate some rush. We were able to make some one-on-one opportunities, but it never really translated into good defensive play. It is my desire to bring our defense back to the aggressive, 4-3 attacking penetrating front that I really know. It's what I've been in my career for the most part. It's a very effective force. When I was Baltimore and again with Carolina and brought It here for the first 3,4 years it was very effective, we were in the top of the league playing defense. This is something we're going to go back to, an aggressive penetrating 4-3 front with tighter coverage around it. It's a little bit back to the roots of what I know defensively, and so we're going to build it that way.

I think last year we did what we thought we had to through the illusion of the 3-4, you can bring different people from different angles. There are some good elements of the 3-4, but until you have the personnel to really adequately run it, it really makes it tough. You really need to be one or the other and we're going to be 4-3 going forward.

RCR: We've paid a lot of attention to Derek Harvey, and I know the Sack Numbers aren't there, but we've seen that he's getting it together on the field. Quentin Groves, on the other hand, seems to still be struggling. Can you comment on those two players and where you see them going in the next season?

JDR: Derek Harvey is a rugged, big, strong, every downs kind of defensive end. He's going to be a good player for us. He's going to be our left end. That's what we envisioned when we drafted him, we think he's a rugged every-downs player. He's got a good combination of size, speed, and temperament. He's done a nice job. He's done a nice job as a run stopper. We think the arrow is decidedly up in him going forward as a pass rusher as well.

Quentin Groves is a young man that wants it, that tries hard, that has some straight line speed. Really for Quentin it's going to be dependent on him and whether or not he can develop a move to go with speed. You just can't use solely straight line speed to win in this league. It's really going to be a big year for him to prove that he's going to take the next step as a football player.

He did help us on special teams, but we didn't draft him that high to come in and cover kicks. He has done a nice job in that role, but he got a lot of opportunities and it didn't come together for him the way I'm sure he'd like it to. Like I said, we're going to coach the heck out of everybody that's here, and try and take him to another level of play, but certainly he's got a lot of room for growth.

Does this move back to an aggressive 4-3 further elevate Justin Durant's value next year?

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Jim Haslett certainly seems interested in using the 3-4 in Washington.

"I think you got the personnel to do whatever you want," Haslett said. "You got to decide what angle you want to go. The secondary doesn't make a difference, but I think you got to decide what's best to run for you to be effective.

"I think the 3-4 is a good fit for them. Guys like [linebacker-end Brian] Orakpo, he could really do it. [Defensive tackle Albert] Haynesworth could do it. London [Fletcher, the middle linebacker] has done it before, I think Rocky [McIntosh] could do it. I think [defensive end Andre] Carter could be a good rush linebacker, but he's a good defensive end, too. Those are all things we'll go through."

I'm not sure I like London Fletcher's upside in a 3-4, presumably as the SILB, but Rocky McIntosh could do well as an every-down WILB. Andre Carter struggled in his early prime in a 3-4 in SF and a philosophical switch in Washington would erase yet another strong 4-3 end from the DL rankings this summer.
does this make someone like orakpo, with his obvious talents, on par with dumervil in terms of value maybe?

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Jim Haslett certainly seems interested in using the 3-4 in Washington.

"I think you got the personnel to do whatever you want," Haslett said. "You got to decide what angle you want to go. The secondary doesn't make a difference, but I think you got to decide what's best to run for you to be effective.

"I think the 3-4 is a good fit for them. Guys like [linebacker-end Brian] Orakpo, he could really do it. [Defensive tackle Albert] Haynesworth could do it. London [Fletcher, the middle linebacker] has done it before, I think Rocky [McIntosh] could do it. I think [defensive end Andre] Carter could be a good rush linebacker, but he's a good defensive end, too. Those are all things we'll go through."

I'm not sure I like London Fletcher's upside in a 3-4, presumably as the SILB, but Rocky McIntosh could do well as an every-down WILB. Andre Carter struggled in his early prime in a 3-4 in SF and a philosophical switch in Washington would erase yet another strong 4-3 end from the DL rankings this summer.
does this make someone like orakpo, with his obvious talents, on par with dumervil in terms of value maybe?
Possibly. Orakpo has shown he could grow into a consistent 12-16 sack rush OLB. I think it's safe to say that his work ethic is strong enough to make 55-65 solos possible as well. We'll have to see what his role will be be, but Orakpo probably looks more like Lamarr Woodley/Anthony Spencer right now than Elvis Dumervil, i.e. 40-50/10-14 rather than 30-40/12-16 as a 3-4 OLB.

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Del Rio going back to exclusive, aggressive 4-3

Q&A with Del Rio

RCR: With the new defensive coordinator, injuries, and all that went with it, do you think the Jaguars will be experimenting with the 3-4 defense, or will they stick with the 4-3 that worked well in the 2nd half of the season.

JDR: Yeah, the 4-3 will be back. We did what we thought we had to with some playing with the 3-4 and 4-3 to generate some rush. We were able to make some one-on-one opportunities, but it never really translated into good defensive play. It is my desire to bring our defense back to the aggressive, 4-3 attacking penetrating front that I really know. It's what I've been in my career for the most part. It's a very effective force. When I was Baltimore and again with Carolina and brought It here for the first 3,4 years it was very effective, we were in the top of the league playing defense. This is something we're going to go back to, an aggressive penetrating 4-3 front with tighter coverage around it. It's a little bit back to the roots of what I know defensively, and so we're going to build it that way.

I think last year we did what we thought we had to through the illusion of the 3-4, you can bring different people from different angles. There are some good elements of the 3-4, but until you have the personnel to really adequately run it, it really makes it tough. You really need to be one or the other and we're going to be 4-3 going forward.

RCR: We've paid a lot of attention to Derek Harvey, and I know the Sack Numbers aren't there, but we've seen that he's getting it together on the field. Quentin Groves, on the other hand, seems to still be struggling. Can you comment on those two players and where you see them going in the next season?

JDR: Derek Harvey is a rugged, big, strong, every downs kind of defensive end. He's going to be a good player for us. He's going to be our left end. That's what we envisioned when we drafted him, we think he's a rugged every-downs player. He's got a good combination of size, speed, and temperament. He's done a nice job. He's done a nice job as a run stopper. We think the arrow is decidedly up in him going forward as a pass rusher as well.

Quentin Groves is a young man that wants it, that tries hard, that has some straight line speed. Really for Quentin it's going to be dependent on him and whether or not he can develop a move to go with speed. You just can't use solely straight line speed to win in this league. It's really going to be a big year for him to prove that he's going to take the next step as a football player.

He did help us on special teams, but we didn't draft him that high to come in and cover kicks. He has done a nice job in that role, but he got a lot of opportunities and it didn't come together for him the way I'm sure he'd like it to. Like I said, we're going to coach the heck out of everybody that's here, and try and take him to another level of play, but certainly he's got a lot of room for growth.

Does this move back to an aggressive 4-3 further elevate Justin Durant's value next year?
This definitely boosts his value. In 2009 Durant finished as the 26th ranked LB (FBG scoring) and had 81 solos and 17 assists. That was as a 3-4 ILB! Can you imagine his impact in the 4-3 full time? I realise Jacksonville used the 4-3 at times last season, but I am not sure of the proportion of snaps or anything like that. Durant has a chance to be a Top 10 LB in 2010.

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The Bills new DC is changing to a 3-4.

http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-3...c4-74e731938c0e

Certainly a shakeup which changes the values of a lot of players and makes their draft plans completely different.

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The Bills new DC is changing to a 3-4.

http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-3...c4-74e731938c0e

Certainly a shakeup which changes the values of a lot of players and makes their draft plans completely different.

This should be interesting. Team that finished the season with one above replacement level linebacker moves to a 3-4 front. Hard to see Aaron Schobel wanting to learn a new position when he's already considering retirement, though Rudnicki posted in the Bills SP thread that Schobel has hinted he might be a better fit in a 3-4. Could be the best thing for Aaron Maybin, but it's hard to see him as an all-around, every-down LB, too. Not doing any favors for Chris Kelsay either. Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny probably work out well enough as LILB and RILB though.

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The Bills new DC is changing to a 3-4.

http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-3...c4-74e731938c0e

Certainly a shakeup which changes the values of a lot of players and makes their draft plans completely different.

This should be interesting. Team that finished the season with one above replacement level linebacker moves to a 3-4 front. Hard to see Aaron Schobel wanting to learn a new position when he's already considering retirement, though Rudnicki posted in the Bills SP thread that Schobel has hinted he might be a better fit in a 3-4. Could be the best thing for Aaron Maybin, but it's hard to see him as an all-around, every-down LB, too. Not doing any favors for Chris Kelsay either. Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny probably work out well enough as LILB and RILB though.
What does this do to Poz's value?

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The Bills new DC is changing to a 3-4.

http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-3...c4-74e731938c0e

Certainly a shakeup which changes the values of a lot of players and makes their draft plans completely different.

This should be interesting. Team that finished the season with one above replacement level linebacker moves to a 3-4 front. Hard to see Aaron Schobel wanting to learn a new position when he's already considering retirement, though Rudnicki posted in the Bills SP thread that Schobel has hinted he might be a better fit in a 3-4. Could be the best thing for Aaron Maybin, but it's hard to see him as an all-around, every-down LB, too. Not doing any favors for Chris Kelsay either. Kawika Mitchell and Paul Posluszny probably work out well enough as LILB and RILB though.
What does this do to Poz's value?
Not much. There's some potential for a big front three here, and it would seem likely that the defense overall will continue to be weak with an offense that isn't likely to move the ball consistently. That's a recipe for good numbers for a WILB in a 3-4. I need to do some more fact-checking on George Edwards, but I'd expect 85-95 solos from Posluszny. He's still a very solid LB2 with upside.

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Not a major move- but the Eagles added Dick Jauron as the DB's coach and Senior Assistant. Kind of surprised he didn't land a DC role somewhere- but guess he can also help mentor Sean McDermott who is 24 years his junior.

FWIW- For those of you in return yardage leagues - the Eagles also added the former Bills Special teams coach Bobby April.

Eagles hire Dick Jauron & Bobby April

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I really enjoy these threads about coaches and schemes. They're the main reason I come to this place.

I guess I wanted to comment on the Eagles' 4-3, and the fact that they have the DT's play 2-gap almost all of the time. They started having Bunkley and Patterson do this a little bit in 2007, much more in 2008, and almost exclusively in 2009 under McDermott. I'm not sure if any other team has been doing this.

(see article here)

http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/news/Sto...?story_id=20152

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http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles...l#ixzz0nrVroBwd

Birds' 3-4 Thoughts, Westbrook update

The Eagles' informal gathering for media folk Tuesday evening down at NovaCare was an interesting, and in some ways encouraging, affair. On one level, as is the case with almost any access an NFL team grants, the goal surely was to favorably influence the way the team is viewed by the people who cover it. But knowing a little about the genesis of the event, I would say the intent was more fostering communication and mutual understanding, than co-opting anyone or trying to force-feed any sort of organizational dogma. I said "encouraging," because one of the criticisms of this regime, voiced here and elsewhere, has been its penchant for secrecy and its rigid adherence to protocol. Anything that breaks down that wall a little bit, I'm all for.

Reporters were divided into groups, who shuttled among sessions with special teams coordinator Bobby April, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, defensive coordinator Sean McDermott and general manager Howie Roseman. Here are a few observations:

*April gave an overview of how he sets up his operation, but it was hard to delve much into specifics, because he is new here. No way to ask about last year's Eagles kick coverage, with a guy who was in Buffalo at the time. But as heshowed in his initial news conference during minicamp, April is an entertaining, engaging speaker. His narration of a season-long quest in 1995 to get the Steelers to try an onside kick, complete with jaw-jutting Bill Cowher imitation, would have been worth the price of admission, if there had been one. (They finally tried it, and converted it, in the Super Bowl, after April covertly engaged offensive coordinator Chan Gailey to help him win over Cowher. But Neil O'Donnell made the whole thing moot with a crucial pick.)

*Mornhinweg was a physics professor speaking to a bunch of guys who hadn't gotten closer to the subect than taking phys ed. He seemed to assume a much greater grasp of X and O jargon than most of us possessed. Until Tuesday, I thought "cloud" coverage only affected sunlight, not wideouts. But his session was worthwhile. For one thing, you got a sense of why things sometimes break downor get garbled, in the Birds' complex offense -- Mornhinweg is dealing with an almost limitless set of variables. There might not be a half-dozen people on the planet better versed in the West Coast offense. But as anyone who has ever watched him in a press conference knows, Marty has an amiable, absentminded professor personality. He is not averse to meandering off on a tangent, in explaining something.

The most important thing I gleaned there was the importance of the quarterback following the prescribed progression. One film Marty showed had Donovan McNabb throwing in the flat to Brian Westbrook for a short gain. Meanwhile, L.J. Smith was wide open over the middle, for what might have been an easier, greater gain. I asked why McNabb hadn't thrown to the tight end. The answer was that Westbrook was No. 2 in McNabb's progression, Smith No. 3. While Mornhinweg wouldn't have downgraded McNabb had he seen Smith and broken the progression to throw to him, McNabb really wasn't supposed to look to Smith until he had checked Westbrook. If Westbrook was open, he was supposed to throw it there. And he did. It isn't the type of deal where you hold off on throwing to 2 while you check on 3, to see if he might be an even better option; the reason Westbrook was second and not later was the pattern he was running, he needed the ball pretty quickly, if he was going to get it.

*To me, McDermott's session was the most accessible and useful, maybe because he took a lot of questions. The prime information there was that McDermott acknowledged what we've all been speculating on -- as he tries to find ways to use all his new personnel, he is thinking of doing more with 3-4 looks. The Eagles' base defense will remain4-3, but they've shown 3-4 here and there in the past, and that tendency very well might increase. The biggest obstacle would seem to be the lack of a true 3-4-style, monster nose tackle. McDermott said he thought Brodrick Bunkley could fill the bill, and he noted that Antonio Dixon is "320 and rising."

The Eagles also have some variations in which they employ five down linemen, and that might be something McDermott does more with, as well.

The Eagles have different sorts of nickel and dime packages, including one where a nickel back lines up almost as a linebacker. McDermott seems to see Marlin Jackson as a guy he wants to plug into that spot.

We talked a little about how important returning middle linebacker Stewart Bradley is to what McDermott is doing. He noted that not only is Bradley effective against the run, he is very tough to throw over, in the middle of the field.

McDermott confirmed that after those season-ending losses to the Cowboys, he was "seeing bubble screens in my sleep." He didn't give specifics, but obviously, a big focus of his offseason has been plotting to patch that hole.

*I got to ask Roseman about that business with inadvertent post-draft leaking of the Cowboys' draft board, which rated Brandon Graham a high second-rounder, instead of 13th overall, where the Birds traded up to take him. It wasn't surprising to hear him say teams vary greatly in their assessments, often because a particular player does or doesn't fit what you try to do offensively or defensively. In other words, you don't assess players in a vaccuum. A running back with no receiving skills, for example, probably would not get the kind of rating from the Eagles he might get from a team that doesn't throw to its backs.

Roseman said the Eagles predicted the 3 top DEs would go between 13 and 18 in the first round, so they would need to trade up from 24 to get any of them. As it turned out, they all went between 13 and 16.

Last month's Eagles draft had a distinctive big-school feel. In that context, it was interesting to hear Roseman say that one thing they valued in a prospect was "big time producution against big time competition." Of course, smaller school players could give a glimpse of that in postseason all-star games, as he noted.

Some of the media folk present haven't been around Roseman that much, so it wasn't surprising that his background was again a topic for discussion. Roseman framed the issue of "GM as lifelong football geek" vs. "GM as former player or coach" with an image I hadn't heard him use before. "Do you want the doctor who had the illness, or the one who studied it the most?" he asked.

I generally just look for one who accepts my insurance.

*

UPDATE: Former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook has concluded his visit with the Washington Redskins and is on his way to Denver to meet with the Broncos coaches, according to ESPN.com.

"He had a really positive visit with the Redskins," said Westbrook's agent, Todd France. "We're confident we're going to find the perfect fit."

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Hey Jene:

I was wondering if you knew which teams used 4-3 one gap systems vs. which teams used 4-3 two gap systems. From what I have gathered most teams are using a 4-3 one gap system. But that information could be wrong. Just thought this information would be good to know from a fantasy perspective as one gap players are typically better fantasy producers. Thanks in advance.

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Hey Jene:I was wondering if you knew which teams used 4-3 one gap systems vs. which teams used 4-3 two gap systems. From what I have gathered most teams are using a 4-3 one gap system. But that information could be wrong. Just thought this information would be good to know from a fantasy perspective as one gap players are typically better fantasy producers. Thanks in advance.

I'm not aware of any teams that predominantly use 2-gap principles (i.e. align head-up on an OL) along the front seven. A small handful will sometimes have their defensive tackles play 2-gap nearly exclusively, but from a shaded stance. Philadelphia, Washington, Cincinnati and Jacksonville come to mind as those who leaned that way sometime in the past few seasons. There might be a distinction worth making between the read-and-react and read-on-the-run 4-3 fronts, as the downhill players sometimes are better in the big plays columns. Unless the scoring system awards a bonus for tackles for loss, though, I've not really noticed a big difference in total fantasy points among the two groups of linebackers. If there's interest, bump this thread again during the preseason and I'll make a note to scout the 4-3 fronts closely enough to tell, since it's not always obvious which teams are doing what. As always, if there's a specific team you're curious about, I'm happy to go as deep as I can based on what I've seen in previous seasons.

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Hey Jene:I was wondering if you knew which teams used 4-3 one gap systems vs. which teams used 4-3 two gap systems. From what I have gathered most teams are using a 4-3 one gap system. But that information could be wrong. Just thought this information would be good to know from a fantasy perspective as one gap players are typically better fantasy producers. Thanks in advance.

I'm not aware of any teams that predominantly use 2-gap principles (i.e. align head-up on an OL) along the front seven. A small handful will sometimes have their defensive tackles play 2-gap nearly exclusively, but from a shaded stance. Philadelphia, Washington, Cincinnati and Jacksonville come to mind as those who leaned that way sometime in the past few seasons. There might be a distinction worth making between the read-and-react and read-on-the-run 4-3 fronts, as the downhill players sometimes are better in the big plays columns. Unless the scoring system awards a bonus for tackles for loss, though, I've not really noticed a big difference in total fantasy points among the two groups of linebackers. If there's interest, bump this thread again during the preseason and I'll make a note to scout the 4-3 fronts closely enough to tell, since it's not always obvious which teams are doing what. As always, if there's a specific team you're curious about, I'm happy to go as deep as I can based on what I've seen in previous seasons.
Thanks for the reply Jene. As a follow-up question, how have Arizona's defensive ends (Dockett and Campbell) both managed to put up such solid fantasy numbers playing in a 3-4 (2-gap system)? There's really no other team I can think of that has ends that produce like they do in that type of scheme.

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How have Arizona's defensive ends (Dockett and Campbell) both managed to put up such solid fantasy numbers playing in a 3-4 (2-gap system)? There's really no other team I can think of that has ends that produce like they do in that type of scheme.

The way I've noted the 1-gap vs 2-gap 3-4 teams in the original post is misleading in some ways. There really are no true 3-4 teams in the league any more. It's rare to see all three linemen aligned helmet-to-helmet with an offensive lineman in today's 3-4 fronts. But there are subtle differences between the teams I've called 1-gap 3-4 fronts, who shade their linemen to an OL shoulder nearly exclusively and are penetrating gaps, and the teams I've called 2-gap leaning, who will sometimes have one DE and the NT aligned head up on an OL and use more read-and-react 2-gap techniques.Arizona is a special case in a couple of respects. I think they use more 2-gap techniques than some of the other 3-4 teams, but it's not unusual to see Dockett and Campbell shaded rather than head up. Both players also get put into good matchups during nickel downs, which helps their pass rush upside. It's also notable that both players are more Shaun Ellis and Marques Douglas than Kenyon Coleman or Marcus Spears in that they can shed blocks, penetrate and finish in the pocket consistently.If the Niners, Broncos or Chargers had players with the talent of Dockett and Campbell, there'd be players joining those two at the top of the heap. I've had high hopes for guys like Luis Castillo and Ray McDonald in recent years, but it's a tough job to pull off.ETA: Just noticed your sig. Hadn't yet made the connection to the username. The new scheme article looks good. :confused:

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How have Arizona's defensive ends (Dockett and Campbell) both managed to put up such solid fantasy numbers playing in a 3-4 (2-gap system)? There's really no other team I can think of that has ends that produce like they do in that type of scheme.

The way I've noted the 1-gap vs 2-gap 3-4 teams in the original post is misleading in some ways. There really are no true 3-4 teams in the league any more. It's rare to see all three linemen aligned helmet-to-helmet with an offensive lineman in today's 3-4 fronts. But there are subtle differences between the teams I've called 1-gap 3-4 fronts, who shade their linemen to an OL shoulder nearly exclusively and are penetrating gaps, and the teams I've called 2-gap leaning, who will sometimes have one DE and the NT aligned head up on an OL and use more read-and-react 2-gap techniques.Arizona is a special case in a couple of respects. I think they use more 2-gap techniques than some of the other 3-4 teams, but it's not unusual to see Dockett and Campbell shaded rather than head up. Both players also get put into good matchups during nickel downs, which helps their pass rush upside. It's also notable that both players are more Shaun Ellis and Marques Douglas than Kenyon Coleman or Marcus Spears in that they can shed blocks, penetrate and finish in the pocket consistently.If the Niners, Broncos or Chargers had players with the talent of Dockett and Campbell, there'd be players joining those two at the top of the heap. I've had high hopes for guys like Luis Castillo and Ray McDonald in recent years, but it's a tough job to pull off.ETA: Just noticed your sig. Hadn't yet made the connection to the username. The new scheme article looks good. :cry:
Thanks Jene. I must give a lot of credit to you and Mr. Norton. You guys are truly the pioneers when it comes to IDP fantasy football. I've learned everything about that side of the game from you guys (especially you). I have a feeling you've forgotten more about IDPs than I'll ever know haha. Keep up the good work as always and I'm sure I'll be pestering you with more questions. I'm really trying to get a solid grasp on all the defensive schemes used by NFL teams. If you don't mind me asking, what resources do you use to gathering your information concerning this topic (NFL game tape, websites, books, etc. ?) Thanks in advance.

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How have Arizona's defensive ends (Dockett and Campbell) both managed to put up such solid fantasy numbers playing in a 3-4 (2-gap system)? There's really no other team I can think of that has ends that produce like they do in that type of scheme.

The way I've noted the 1-gap vs 2-gap 3-4 teams in the original post is misleading in some ways. There really are no true 3-4 teams in the league any more. It's rare to see all three linemen aligned helmet-to-helmet with an offensive lineman in today's 3-4 fronts. But there are subtle differences between the teams I've called 1-gap 3-4 fronts, who shade their linemen to an OL shoulder nearly exclusively and are penetrating gaps, and the teams I've called 2-gap leaning, who will sometimes have one DE and the NT aligned head up on an OL and use more read-and-react 2-gap techniques.Arizona is a special case in a couple of respects. I think they use more 2-gap techniques than some of the other 3-4 teams, but it's not unusual to see Dockett and Campbell shaded rather than head up. Both players also get put into good matchups during nickel downs, which helps their pass rush upside. It's also notable that both players are more Shaun Ellis and Marques Douglas than Kenyon Coleman or Marcus Spears in that they can shed blocks, penetrate and finish in the pocket consistently.If the Niners, Broncos or Chargers had players with the talent of Dockett and Campbell, there'd be players joining those two at the top of the heap. I've had high hopes for guys like Luis Castillo and Ray McDonald in recent years, but it's a tough job to pull off.ETA: Just noticed your sig. Hadn't yet made the connection to the username. The new scheme article looks good. :coffee:
Thanks Jene. I must give a lot of credit to you and Mr. Norton. You guys are truly the pioneers when it comes to IDP fantasy football. I've learned everything about that side of the game from you guys (especially you). I have a feeling you've forgotten more about IDPs than I'll ever know haha. Keep up the good work as always and I'm sure I'll be pestering you with more questions. I'm really trying to get a solid grasp on all the defensive schemes used by NFL teams. If you don't mind me asking, what resources do you use to gathering your information concerning this topic (NFL game tape, websites, books, etc. ?) Thanks in advance.
I'm a little hamstrung in that I never played a down of organized football, so I use anything I can get my hands on.I've got a large file of articles from around the web, a folder of whatever playbooks I could find that seemed relevant and lots of books on teaching defense and the history of the NFL. I've had an old hand like Norton around to bounce things off of if something doesn't pass the smell test. And I try to match what I've read to live game tape whenever possible. So it's a little bit of everything.I'll be revising the defensive guide once again just before the season starts in a series for the Fifth Down blog. It'll be reworked to read even more as a detailed fan's guide than IDP primer, and it'll probably have more detail on current flavors of the 4-3 and 3-4.

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I'll be revising the defensive guide once again just before the season starts in a series for the Fifth Down blog. It'll be reworked to read even more as a detailed fan's guide than IDP primer, and it'll probably have more detail on current flavors of the 4-3 and 3-4.

Just happened to see that today and looked at the last few days' entries. Awesome job. Glad to see you getting this before a wider audience, fans who just want to understand the game, who don't necessarily participate in any IDP leagues.

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