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Ty Warren: Bill Belichick moving away from the 3-4

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On his way out the door after getting cut by the Patriots, defensive lineman Ty Warren offered some thoughts about the future of Bill Belichick’s defense, saying the coach who long favored a 3-4 front seems to be moving toward a 4-3.

“I think it looks like they’re trying to get away from the 3-4,” Warren said, via Mike Reiss of

Warren got that feeling from the time he spent in team meetings before he was released, and the Patriots’ personnel at the moment appears to line up well in a 4-3 front, with Albert Haynesworth and Vince Wilfork as the starting tackles and Jermaine Cunningham and Eric Moore as the starting ends.

“That’s my whole outlook on the deal,” Warren said. “You have to play to your personnel too.”

Belichick has always been brilliant about identifying the right talent and putting that talent in the right position to succeed. Right now, shifting toward more four-man fronts and fewer three-man fronts may be the best way for the talent on the Patriots to succeed.

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34 Responses to “Ty Warren: Bill Belichick moving away from the 3-4”
  1. tomservo24 says: Jul 30, 2011 6:40 AM

    The Pats completely re-invented their offense midseason last year, so if anyone can pull this off it’s BB. I think with all their recent cuts they must be interested in a DE to replace Eric Moore. I’m guessing this means Mayo moves to OLB and Spikes plays MLB? Interesting to see how that will work out.

  2. darthvader89 says: Jul 30, 2011 6:40 AM

    I couldn’t tell you whether the Ravens play with more 3 or 4 men fronts because they are constantly switching the alignment. Perhaps the New England is moving in that direction as well away from a true/strictly 3-4.

  3. shawnleblancpatsfan says: Jul 30, 2011 6:42 AM

    If true, I’ve seen this coming for a couple of years now as they’ve been in sub 4-3 packages very often. If they decide to switch to more of a 4-3 base that should keep Albert Haynsworth very happy and a happy Albert is a scary Albert … watch out Mark Sanchez!!!!

  4. dansnyder says: Jul 30, 2011 6:52 AM


  5. raqaiw says: Jul 30, 2011 6:52 AM

    I said the same thing when I read about the trade for Albert. I’m still not sold on Cunningham and Moore as the rush ends though. Neither are any of the Offensive Coordinators the Pats will play either. But if anybody can make it work I suppose Bill can.

  6. hscorpio says: Jul 30, 2011 6:54 AM

    The only time Haynesworth has been the right talent is when he’s playing for a new contract.

  7. dirtdawg55 says: Jul 30, 2011 7:02 AM

    It is pretty clear they don’t have the linebackers to play a 3-4. They will be impotent, yet again, if they don’t make changes. 14 sacks doesn’t bring home championship hardware.

  8. steel6times says: Jul 30, 2011 7:08 AM

    The AFC has to go through us. Good luck! lolololol

  9. zackd2 says: Jul 30, 2011 7:08 AM

    They don’t have the OLBs to play a 34, and don’t have the DEs to play a 43.

  10. pondbridge says: Jul 30, 2011 7:24 AM

    So NOW maybe we finally know why BB didn’t go for an OLB in the draft. If they go to a 4-3-4 (or in passing downs, 4-2-5), that opens up a lot of interesting possibilities for Pats at LB. Bill seems to like Dane Fletcher, who could be WSLB while Mayo is a natural tackling machine and can play anywhere, including SSLB. Big issue: Is Spikes durable enough to hold down the middle.

  11. phinheads says: Jul 30, 2011 7:29 AM

    wow.are they changing things around the pick up of Albert? that would be funny if he tanks it.

  12. ahostiletakeover says: Jul 30, 2011 7:31 AM

    Yeah steel6times, because we all know the Steelers have been beating up on the Patriots big time over the last few years. Oh wait, its the other way around! Can’t we get some muzzles for these idiots?

  13. lostsok says: Jul 30, 2011 7:35 AM

    The 3-4 is a superior defense…if you have the talent for it (a true nose tackle, and linebackers with size/speed). If you DON’T have the talent, it’s far, far inferior to the 4-3, which depends less on physical match-ups and more on schemes.

    I loath Belicheat with a fire as hot as the burning sun…but he’s wise, considering the players he has, to move from the 3-4. Dammit.

  14. kyleortonsarm says: Jul 30, 2011 7:48 AM

    Steel6times maybe you should change to “Steel4TimesBeforeIWasAlive” or “Steel2TimesSinceIWasBorn”. You should find a bandwagon that doesn’t double as a paddy wagon, which is where most of your team for this year reside in the back of at one time or another. Having your fair weather team getting pulverized in the Super Bowl doesn’t make them the gateway to the next beat down from the NFC.

  15. wannabeqb says: Jul 30, 2011 8:06 AM

    BB always tailors his teams to play to the strengths of his players and if that’s a 4-3, he will use it. We have played several games in the last couple of years where the base defense was actually 4-3 so I’m not overly concerned.

  16. philahitman says: Jul 30, 2011 8:16 AM

    Teams are loving this hybrid D. If you have versatile personnell a 3-4 can instantly change to 4-3 before the snap by a couple guys takin their hand out of the dirt and shifting. Tough to nail down blocking assignments. Like when the Jets will have only 1 guy hand in the dirt and everyone else walking around and moving.

  17. artvandelay187 says: Jul 30, 2011 8:16 AM

    “Brilliant” = cheater

  18. lowleadman says: Jul 30, 2011 8:23 AM

    The Pats are not yet done in FA. There is still a piece missing. Osi?

  19. ampats says: Jul 30, 2011 8:31 AM

    Very excited about the upcoming season annd moves still to be made.

    Sorry steel6times, the AFC North doesn’t even go thru Pittsburgh anymore.

  20. afc22 says: Jul 30, 2011 8:49 AM

    I’m sure it’ll be a mix of looks that’s still good enough to confuse most OCs and QBs on any Sunday, and they’ll win 12 give or take.

  21. kingjoe1 says: Jul 30, 2011 8:50 AM

    Good, they can now trade Mayo to Philly for Samuals and everyone is happy

  22. flakazoid says: Jul 30, 2011 9:23 AM

    ampats says:Jul 30, 2011 8:31 AM

    Sorry steel6times, the AFC North doesn’t even go thru Pittsburgh anymore.


    Sure it does, look at the standings the past…I don’t know…10 or 15 years.

  23. flakazoid says: Jul 30, 2011 9:29 AM

    I can’t wait for the first time Brady is throwing one of his throw-the gatorade-cup-really-hard hissy fits on the sideline…and Ochostinko clowns past him wearing a gold cape, mugging for the camera.

    How entertaining will that be!

  24. patsandsox says: Jul 30, 2011 9:29 AM

    I dont think Bill is done yet. I am not sold on the move to the 4-3 either, He seems to like the hybrid D.

    My gut says this is still a work in progress this is what day 3 of camp right

  25. philriverslovespenis says: Jul 30, 2011 9:33 AM

    Thumbs up if you are tired of steel6times and his/her annoying comments and wish PFT would block them all.

  26. flakazoid says: Jul 30, 2011 9:39 AM


    Super Bowls illegally taping opponents signals: 3
    Super Bowls not illegally taping opponents signals: 0

    The facts don’t lie.

  27. jolink653 says: Jul 30, 2011 9:44 AM

    i’m sure they’ll still play some 3-4 just maybe focus more on the 4-3 with the personnel that’s there…still wish ty didn’t have to be cut he was one of my favorite players

  28. ytsejamer1 says: Jul 30, 2011 10:39 AM

    They will no doubt play some 3-4 this year. Back in SB39, they decided to change to a 4-3 base knowing that the eagles were preparing for the opposite. Having players with experience in both alignments will be valuable.

    Also, with so many coaches from his tree around the league, his selection of pure 3-4 players are few and far between. Back in the sb run, only the Steelers ran a 3-4. This makes a lot of sense.

    BB hasn’t been able to replace McGinest and Vrabel at the OLB position. We will see what he can do with another d lineman or two.

  29. patriotinvasion says: Jul 30, 2011 11:04 AM

    @flaka…yea…being one miracle catch away from 19-0 followed by 3 years rebuilding after losing McGinest, Bruschi, Harrison, Vrabel, Law, Brown, Samuel, Seymour, Branch, Givens, etc, etc has nothing to do with it. Same signals in plain view to 70,000 people in the stadium every Sunday…get over it 😉

  30. ham1 says: Jul 30, 2011 11:21 AM

    Shanahan needs to take a page outta BB’s playbook here.
    If it works dont fix it. That was a good redskins defense until he got hold of it and tried running a 3-4 wout the players to make it happen.

    Hate to say it but Haynesworth will have an impact if they go 4-3

  31. richm2256 says: Jul 30, 2011 11:48 AM

    steel6times says:
    The AFC has to go through us. Good luck! lolololol

    The Patriots kicked the Steeler’s ass up and down the field last year, as always. It wasn’t your Steelers who stopped a 14-2 New England, moron.

  32. bluvayner says: Jul 30, 2011 1:20 PM

    It seems that the Pats have pretty much made a habit of going through Pittsburgh……on the way to Superbowls in New Orleans twice, and Jacksonville once.

  33. macjacmccoy says: Jul 30, 2011 6:48 PM

    Even though I dont like the Patriots I can admit that they are a great team. They have 1 of the best coaches in league history, they always make great personel decisions, and are probably the favorites to come out of the AFC this year.

    But I think they would have the worst pair of DE’s in a 4-3 with Jermaine Cunningham and Eric Moore. I just dont see how you can expect to get any pressure on the qb with those 2 as your main pass rushers. I think they would possibly have the best DT tandum in the NFL with Haynesworth and Wilfork but they arent pass rushers they are lane clogging run stopping power pigs. McCourty was great last year but hes gonna have a hell of time this year if that’s what their planning to do. No matter how go a cb is they cant stay with a WR forever they will eventually get away.

    But maybe were getting a head of ourselves. Maybe they’re going to run the 3-4 this season and are just starting to acquire the right personel to make the switch to a 4-3 base in the future. Maybe that’s what he meant. That would make more sense because obviously they dont have the players yet to run a 4-3 as their base format. It would explain the Haynesworth trade and releasing Warren. Haynesworth is the definition of a 4-3 DT and Warren is tweener. He wouldnt really fit at dt or de.

    I know better then to question Bellicheck. What ever hes planning to do will probably set the league on fire. We will just have to sit back and watch the magic.

  34. rc33 says: Jul 30, 2011 7:22 PM

    No way some of the people we now view as starters on N.E.’s defense will be that way when opening day rolls around.

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