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PACKERS TO MOVE TO A 3-4

With defensive coordinator Dom Capers joining the Green Bay Packers, coach Mike McCarthy says that the team will be making the potentially radical change from a 4-3 alignment to the 3-4.
It gives you the ability to utilize your personnel, the flexibility,” McCarthy said, per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal.  “[It] doesn’t mean we won’t line up in a four-man front.  We’ll move in and out of both four-man and three-man fronts.”
But that’s what most 3-4 teams do.  On running downs, the defense uses three linemen and four linebackers.  On passing downs, one of the linebackers lines up as a defensive end in a four-man front.
And so for the current defensive ends — Cullen Jenkins and Aaron Kampman — the question will be whether they become one of the “3″, or one of the “4″.
Since Kampman weighs considerably less then Jenkins, Kampman is more likely to become a linebacker.
Typically, defensive ends in a 3-4 set become anonymous, since the primary job is to tie up offensive linemen so that the linebackers can get to the ball.  But for Richard Seymour of the Patriots, few traditional defensive ends have become stars in a 3-4 front.
As to players who are in a two-point stance for traditional rushing downs and a three-point starting position on passing downs, the possibility of praise and Pro Bowls and big money awaits.
The other thing that the Packers will need right away is a big, fat nose tackle who can clog the middle of the line.  Whether one of their current 4-3 tackles can make the same kind of transition that Shaun Rogers and Kris Jenkins successfully accomplished for the Browns and Jets, respectively, in 2008 remains to be seen.
From the standpoint of the Packers’ competition, a 3-4 alignment could give the other NFC North teams fits since they all use, and are accustomed to seeing, 4-3 formations.  That said, the Packers will also have to develop a solid scout team defense or their offense will soon have trouble preparing to face their 4-3 foes. 

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56 Responses to “PACKERS TO MOVE TO A 3-4”
  1. renaissancemanrt says: Jan 20, 2009 11:43 AM

    Casey Hampton is only 6’1, 325 lbs and makes a damn good nose tackle. Right now, McCarthy says that Pickett is a natural nose tackle, w/e the hell that means. But Pickett is only 6’2, 330, so it’s possible that all he needs is to beef up 10-15 lbs and he’ll be just fine.
    Or they can draft Terrance Cody.

  2. Gregjennings85 says: Jan 20, 2009 11:49 AM

    Here comes the Packers! We have a lights-out offense, and now we will crush with a retooled pass rush!
    Happy days, people. Truly happy days!

  3. RobJH says: Jan 20, 2009 11:58 AM

    Aside from all that, Capers’ scheme is also ridiculously complicated which could REALLY lead to some growing pains for the Pack.

  4. nerdmann says: Jan 20, 2009 12:00 PM

    Cullin Jenkins can be a star at DE. Don’t worry about him. As to the NT, TT’s secret weapon JUSTIN HARRELL will emerge by mid season. Until then, Ryan Pickett will hold the fort.
    TT will pick up some help on the defensive line, though. That’s for sure.

  5. jasonjfrench says: Jan 20, 2009 12:01 PM

    Why don’t teams just put all 11 men on the line every play that way the qb will always be sacked

  6. garyofferdahl says: Jan 20, 2009 12:03 PM

    Capers runs a pretty complicated defense. It has a bunch of different looks. Need good LB’s to make it work.

  7. Vox Veritas says: Jan 20, 2009 12:04 PM

    Hardly a day goes by that our beneficent host, Mike Florio, doesn’t invent new and interesting ways to liven up the English language. Today’s linguistic leap comes in the form of ruminations about the ability of two Green Bay Packers players to transition from a 4-3 base defense to a 3-4 base defense.
    “Since Kampman weight considerably less then Jenkins, Kampman is more likely to become a linebacker.”
    We suspect that this latest example might go a long way toward Florio finally deciding to hire a proofreader to guard against his natural tagentcy to debacle the wroten (or in this case, tiped) word.
    Remember, if Vox didn’t say it, it didn’t need to be said!

  8. mcrowell says: Jan 20, 2009 12:07 PM

    its certainly an interesting proposition that I’m excited about as a Packer fan. the scheme we did have wasn’t working anyway…I wonder though, if GB is looking for Capers to come on and stay like Jim Johnson for Philly, or if Capers will try to parlay this into one more head coaching gig?

  9. kidwithhelmet says: Jan 20, 2009 12:07 PM

    I don’t know what the big deal about changing from a 3-4 to a 4-3 or a 4-3 to 3-4 is, especially when you got an off-season to facilitate the change.
    Football is football. Players play, coaches coach.

  10. Real Deal 2431 says: Jan 20, 2009 12:12 PM

    i wonder if the 3-4 will ad youth their secondary…

  11. mpoles says: Jan 20, 2009 12:14 PM

    “But for Richard Seymour of the Patriots, few traditional defensive ends have become stars in a 3-4 front.”
    Bruce Smith? Howie Long?

  12. pftfreak says: Jan 20, 2009 12:16 PM

    Maybe they should be called the Chicago Obamas.

  13. ChewbaccaforSix says: Jan 20, 2009 12:17 PM

    Great move. Pickett is more than suitable for the NT role.

  14. GZ says: Jan 20, 2009 12:20 PM

    If the ‘ 3-4′ on the header of this article was changed to ‘lbaquerque”, this article would be a lot more dramatic.
    (This post probably went over the heads of most of you young’ens.)

  15. packfan6 says: Jan 20, 2009 12:21 PM

    According to Mike McCarthy’s press conference transcript ( http://www.packers.com/news/releases/2009/01/19/3/ ), it looks like they are thinking Ryan Pickett will be their NT.

  16. drew says: Jan 20, 2009 12:25 PM

    This is never a bright idea when the team transforming into a 3-4 was a successful 4-3 prior to an injury riddled season in the secondary.
    Kampman is one of the better DE in the league, and now they may toy with the idea of standing him up?
    Are they making a run at Suggs?

  17. boognish says: Jan 20, 2009 12:32 PM

    I think Kampman will be fantastic for the transition to a 3-4 – with Jolly and Jenkins as the every down tackles – we’ll see if they stick with Pickett as the NT.
    Poppinga bothers me as the other OLB and they’ll have to shop around for more LB depth anyway – but I like some of the young talent including Bishop to go with Hawk and Barnett on the inside.
    It might take awhile to effectively make this transition, but I like the move to the 3-4 and the hire of Capers to oversee it.

  18. veritas says: Jan 20, 2009 12:33 PM

    Richard Seymour was a DT in college who moved to DE in the pros…at 6’6, 310, he’s hardly a traditional defensive end.

  19. Mbehavin2 says: Jan 20, 2009 12:39 PM

    So you’re saying the Packers are in rebuild mode and not to count on much this next season. Bet that goes over well in Cheeseville.
    McCarthy is already on the hot seat and the SB has not even been played yet.

  20. atlantafalCANS says: Jan 20, 2009 12:43 PM

    Who knew Julius Peppers had that kind of power?

  21. bakler5 says: Jan 20, 2009 12:43 PM

    You mean like the 4-3 defenses they have faced the past 3 years in McCarthy’s offense. Or the ones they have faced year in and year out forever?

  22. JimmySmith says: Jan 20, 2009 12:50 PM

    We will see how it all works out but generally speaking, the Packers are lacking quality defensive lineman so to line up 3 instead of 4 can’t hurt. Since the Packers have better depth at linebacker (again compared to the defensive line), it can’t hurt to have one more on the field.
    If this forces Tightwad Teddy to open the purse strings in the FA market, it could end up being a very good switch, albeit for not all the reasons McLardy mentioned.

  23. zygi milf says: Jan 20, 2009 1:06 PM

    “It gives you the ability to utilize your personnel, the flexibility,” McCarthy said, per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal. “[It] doesn’t mean we won’t line up in a four-man front. We’ll move in and out of both four-man and three-man fronts.”
    ***
    If it’s such a brilliant idea, why didn’t he hire a 3-4 DC in the first place? Why doesn’t every team use it?
    I’m surprised he didn’t call it a “kick-ass defense.”

  24. sirvasa70 says: Jan 20, 2009 1:06 PM

    Kampman played his first 2 seasons as a linebacker before moving to the defensive line his junior year at Iowa.

  25. aj says: Jan 20, 2009 1:23 PM

    I still see the word ‘innovative’ being used along with Capers defenses. Zone dogs and dropping 290 lb linemen into coverage is no longer innovative. Vic Fangio brought that garbage to Houston 7 years ago (along with Dom) after it didn’t work at Indy. If Capers’ next move is to bring in his buddy Vic Fangio, I would be running for the hills…

  26. anaheim2dafullest says: Jan 20, 2009 1:26 PM

    whatever it takes to be succesful, 4-3 3-4 i dont care i want to win i want to be in the playoffs, if mcarthy doesnt take us to the superbowl or at least nfc championship next year its time to get a new coach maybe shanahan this way we can get rid of teddy as well by the way im not too mad at him cuz he got us jennings but we need defense or we are not going to win lets get haynesworth isnt he a free agent

  27. Bob S. says: Jan 20, 2009 1:28 PM

    “Whether one of their current 4-3 tackles can make the same kind of transition that Shaun Rogers and Kris Jenkins successfully accomplished for the Browns and Jets, respectively, in 2008 remains to be seen.”
    Kris Jenkins wore down bad in latter part of Jets season, I wouldn’t call his move to 3-4 from Carolina successful.

  28. jyernberg says: Jan 20, 2009 1:42 PM

    ANAHEIM i believe haynesworth is a FA but i believe ten. will either resign him or franchise him. he would be perfect for this new look though, as he play both tackle and end.

  29. 0-16 says: Jan 20, 2009 1:54 PM

    As they say, it’s a league of trends. The 3-4 is popular right now because you can disguise your pressure tactics.

  30. shitstain says: Jan 20, 2009 1:56 PM

    Fire Thompson and Mccarthy..Bring in the Tuna to run the show since he’ll be leaving Miami now. He can get this mess straightened out and spend some money to get them Super Bowl bound

  31. Deadguy says: Jan 20, 2009 2:00 PM

    This sucks… just another team trying to take all our “tweaners”!

  32. purpleguy says: Jan 20, 2009 2:08 PM

    Without the personnel it doesn’t matter what defensive scheme is run. No traditional 3-4 nose tackle, Jenkins the only viable DE in that system, and few LB’s physically suitable for the system. Kampman’s gonna be wasted. TT had better get to work.

  33. TheGonz says: Jan 20, 2009 2:23 PM

    Wow. . .so rather than having four of their worthless defensive linemen on the field at one time, the Packers will now have four of their vastly overrated linebackers on the field at one time instead.
    And way to take the only significant pass rusher on your entire team and move him to linebacker. Good call there.
    Nope. . .there’s no reason to worry about the Packers being competitive any time in the near future. They sucked in ’08, and they’ll suck harder in ’09.

  34. freedomispopular says: Jan 20, 2009 2:34 PM

    McCarthy probably just bought himself another couple years. It could take a little while for the defense to adjust, and he can potentially use that as a good excuse for perpetual mediocrity.
    Remember, if Vox said it, it didn’t need to be said!

  35. JimmySmith says: Jan 20, 2009 2:55 PM

    zygi milf,
    No right minded coach is going to label their scheme as Kick-ass anything. Oh wait, Childress said that about his offense.
    Like I said, no right minded coach…….
    how that development project at QB going for ya? Is T Jackoff going to be the Viking’s starter in 2009 or bagging groceries back in Alamaba?

  36. overkil2 says: Jan 20, 2009 3:17 PM

    You need to get the correct personnel to run the 3-4 effectively. If you have it and they are good, that defense can cause fits for teams.
    On the other hand, teams can run all over you if you don’t have the right personnel.
    When Capers was in Miami, it brought a lot of sacks, but then again we had Jason Taylor. They did wear down towards the end of the season though, but that could just be a Dolphins’ thing.

  37. jyernberg says: Jan 20, 2009 3:30 PM

    as far as mccarthy goes…it could be worse my fellow pack fans. we could have a mediocre defensive coordinator, a jackass cheap GM, a pussy red headed prez/ceo, AND chilly willy- captain of the retard viking bandwagon, as our head coach.
    McCarthy don’t look too bad in comparison now, eh?

  38. jyernberg says: Jan 20, 2009 3:33 PM

    jimmysmith-
    i believ tarlevious pronounces it “alabamba”, no “alamaba”

  39. employer says: Jan 20, 2009 3:33 PM

    Wow. I didn’t think that this defense was so bad that it warrants a complete rebuilding process. Being a big fan of one of their divisional rivals this bodes well for my team. I’ve seen a lot of Packer games and the word that I would use to describe their franchise is dangerous. It seems that they usually put a fairly competitive team on the field.
    McCarty’s a good coach. I think that Packer fans should lighten up and not bash on the guy so much. Ted Thompson on the other hand.
    Jimmy Smith – I think you spelled Jackson as poorly as you spelled Alabama

  40. UnsportsmanlikeConduct says: Jan 20, 2009 3:47 PM

    “…few traditional defensive ends have become stars in a 3-4 front”.
    Very true. So think for a moment about how good Lee Roy Selmon was. A spectacular traditional DE on a terrible 3-4 team. I’m a Packers fan, not a Bucs fan; Selmon was the proto-typical 3-4 DE. And he didn’t become a LB in the 3-4. He was always a down lineman. What a stud. Let’s draft one like him or get Peppers via FA. Peppers could be our next Reggie White. Not that there will ever be another Reggie White, but I think you know what I mean.

  41. bakler5 says: Jan 20, 2009 3:51 PM

    Thegonz— The only reason Vikings fans speak the way you so eloquently do is because of jealousy. Jealous of the championships, the fan base, the classy organization, and the stout d-coordinator we just brought into town.

  42. Vox Veritas says: Jan 20, 2009 3:59 PM

    “I think Kampman will be fantastic for the transition to a 3-4 – with Jolly and Jenkins as the every down tackles”
    Dude, Jolly is gonna play wide receiver on a prison league somewhere.

  43. Vox Veritas says: Jan 20, 2009 4:00 PM

    “We will see how it all works out but generally speaking, the Packers are lacking quality defensive lineman so to line up 3 instead of 4 can’t hurt. Since the Packers have better depth at linebacker (again compared to the defensive line), it can’t hurt to have one more on the field.”
    Nice understanding of defensive football, Jimmy! hahaha

  44. sirvasa70 says: Jan 20, 2009 4:27 PM

    jyernberg, Haynesworth cannot be franchised. He and the Titans agreed to that if Hayneworth play a certain percentage of the defensive snaps or made the Pro Bowl that they could not franchise him again.
    Either way I don’t see the Packers making a run at him. Jenkins will play end, Pickett will play NT, and Jolly could be facing suspension so they’ll definetly draft some more defensive lineman.
    Also Aaron Kampman and Ryan Pickett are free agents after the 2009-10 season so its not like the Packers are locked into either of them for the long haul if they don’t work out in the 3-4.

  45. bakler5 says: Jan 20, 2009 4:42 PM

    See now you make distasteful comments about Packer fans.
    “The people that have trouble dislodging their thumbs from their daughters? Doubtful at best.”
    What a terrible thing to say man, you must have had a rough child hood, either that or all these years of mediocrity, borderline terrible, have finally caught up with you.
    How does giving a guy a key to the city make them classless? I would think that is a very classy move, I would love to have a key to any city, what an honor. Oh wait it was because Mr. Poole made a great catch to defeat your beloved Men in Purple, yikes, my bad. Did you guys make the playoffs that year? Or did that cause you guys to not make it?
    Dom Capers is widely regarded as one of the better defensive minds in the history, and I think the fact that he had the courage to take on 2 expansion teams speaks lengths of his courage, and dedication to the game. If you remember, which you probably don’t seeing as how it was another disappointing season for your Men in Purple, Capers and the Panthers 2nd year in the league they made it to the NFC Championship game, quite the accomplishment for a 2nd year team, must have been great defensive coaching, considering they were 7th in the league in defense.
    And yea our team sucks, the Vikings are so much better, considering they needed an “Illegal Pass, Safety” to beat the Packers for the first time in just over 3 years. Congrats on your one year where every team in the NFC North was just a little bit worse than the Vikings. Enjoy it while it lasts, I know I am because now Chilly gets at least one more year at the helm, every Packers, Bears, and Lions fan cheered loudest when you made the playoffs.

  46. bakler5 says: Jan 20, 2009 5:18 PM

    “Dom Capers is widely regarded as one of the better defensive minds in the history”
    Meant to say NFL, not history. My bad.

  47. jhitchins1 says: Jan 20, 2009 5:44 PM

    3-4, 4-3, even a 46, it doesn’t matter. As long as Thompson is in charge of roster management, 6-10 is a number we can get used to for a long time.

  48. Tranqyl says: Jan 20, 2009 6:27 PM

    Is it REALLY a wise move to move to a 3-4/4-3 scheme when you’ve spent the last three years building depth along the defensive line, just to have everyone change positions ONCE AGAIN for the sake of a new coach’s scheme? Not to me.

  49. favrewillplay4ever says: Jan 20, 2009 7:01 PM

    i believe this is a good move for our packers. everyone can admit that we have more talent in our lb’s than our d linemen. with the switch, hawk can be a mlb with barnett at the same time. we can have pop and chillar both play olb if we don’t improve via the draft or free agency. with our banged up d line this past year, it’s going to bring in fresh legs more often than playing the 4-3 did. i am fine with having the pickett as the nose tackle, but i honestly think old teddy is going to make a run at fat albert. if we can get fat albert, all the critics out there are going to see the whole defense improve next year.
    on to the vikings fans that have nothing to talk about except another crushing defeat that knocked them out of the playoffs……….. once again. that’s one of the biggest differences in your team’s fanbase and ours. ours has history to remind us to be positive and welcome change. you obviously have no history with the exception of FAILURE and jim wrong way marshall.
    this is a post on the packers, if you want, bitch and complain (i understand, i probably would too if i had never witnessed a championship from my beloved team in my whole life) go somewhere else. take your negativity with you.

  50. SpartaChris says: Jan 20, 2009 8:20 PM

    >>TheGonz says:
    January 20th, 2009 at 4:17 pm
    “The only reason Vikings fans speak the way you so eloquently do is because of jealousy. Jealous of the championships, the fan base, the classy organization, and the stout d-coordinator we just brought into town.”
    No Viking fan in America is jealous of the Green Bay Packers. Packer fans only think that Viking fans are jealous of their team.
    Jealous of the fan base? The people that have trouble dislodging their thumbs from their daughters? Doubtful at best. If I woke up one day to discover that I had become a Packer fan, I would give serious thought to putting a bullet in my head.
    And “classy organization?” Hardly. There are few organizations more classless than Green Bay. The whole “presenting the guy that helped us back into the playoffs with the key to the city” move just solidified the level of classlessness the entire franchise possesses.
    “Stout defensive coordinator?” Has Dom Capers put on weight? Because that’s the only definition of “stout” that fits Dom Capers. Then again, he is used to working with expansion team-level talent, so the Packers’ defense might be right up his alley.
    None of this changes the fact that your team sucks, is coached by an idiot, and is run by a habitual liar. Have fun with that.<<
    How in the hell can you make the statement “The people that have trouble dislodging their thumbs from their daughters?” yet turn around and call the Packers a classless organization? You, sir, are a complete total piece of trash who just lost what little, if any credibility he had. Anything you say from here on out will simply be utter garbage.

  51. kzak82 says: Jan 20, 2009 10:33 PM

    Just a stupid question, but wasn’t Capers the defensive coordinator for the 2007 Miami Dolphins? Remember the team that won only 1 game that year! I sure hope the Packers know what they are doing….

  52. bloodbrother87 says: Jan 21, 2009 6:06 AM

    Uh, he took over the defense during the season. That team was a complete mess. It takes A LOT to go wrong to win only 1 game.

  53. jyernberg says: Jan 21, 2009 12:26 PM

    sirvasa-
    good point about kampman being a FA. although i find it hard to believe that TT would work out some sort of sign-and-trade, assuming kampman doesn’t work out in the 3-4.
    the draft can’t come quick enough!!!!!
    THEGONZ-
    really?…..come on man. have some self respect; don’t say such idiotic things.

  54. anaheim2dafullest says: Jan 21, 2009 4:19 PM

    Go Pack, I Believe

  55. mike mcCarthy says: Jan 21, 2009 6:01 PM

    The 1st thing the Packers need to do to be able to run a 3-4, is cut Justin Harrell

  56. artvandelay says: Feb 4, 2009 1:45 PM

    Vox is a douche!

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