Skip to content

Falcons will remain a 4-3 defense

M. Nolan Getty Images

The Falcons named Mike Nolan their defensive coordinator on Tuesday, which raised some questions about what the Falcons defense will look like in 2012.

Would the team transition to a 3-4 defense, which Nolan has primarily coached in his career?

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the team will primarily be a 4-3 defense despite Nolan’s hire. That makes sense considering the roster they have in place.

The 4-3 or 3-4 tags can get a little overplayed. Almost every defense is multiple and a coach with the experience of Nolan should be more than able to coach a variety of ways. Bill Belichick, the dean of 3-4 defenses in the league, has essentially coached a team with a four man defensive line all season.

Coaching matters less than personnel. Atlanta G.M. Thomas Dimitroff has stressed “urgent athleticism” with his draft picks, looking for players that are explosive rather than focusing on size.

The Falcons have a cohesive organization from owner Arthur Blank to Dimitroff and coach Mike Smith. Everyone should be on the same page with the type of defense they want to put together.

If they think Nolan is the right fit to coach this style of defense, they deserve the benefit of the doubt.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Atlanta Falcons, Home, Rumor Mill
17 Responses to “Falcons will remain a 4-3 defense”
  1. docredskin says: Jan 17, 2012 5:52 PM

    Mike Nolan is horrid. He ruined a very good Redskins defense in the late ’90′s, had Harbaugh’s cast of characters and did zilch, and changes jobs more often than Andy Reid eats sausage.

    He is living off of his father’s reputation. Watch as the Falcons dive sharply to the bottom of the league defensively.

  2. borisbulldog says: Jan 17, 2012 6:09 PM

    Trade 5 draft picks to move up in the ’11 draft and select Julio Jones who helps the team to 2 points in the play-offs and then you think defense is the problem?

    Brilliant!

  3. hendeeze says: Jan 17, 2012 6:29 PM

    Actually Mike did pretty well for the Niners. And if anything Harbaugh has Nolan’s cast of characters. The whole front 7 minus Bowman were acquired during the Nolan regime. He might have been a terrible HC, but he is a great DC. And has an eye for defensive talent.

  4. ppdoc13 says: Jan 17, 2012 6:41 PM

    Mike Nolan is a very good football coach. He was the Ravens DC before Rex and the team was just as good. He may have blown his shot at being an HC with the Niner debacle, but you can’t belittle his credentials. Everywhere he has been in the last 10 years, the defense has markedly improved. That includes Bmore, Denver, SF, Miami. I think this is a very good hire by the Falcons.

  5. dolphins4 says: Jan 17, 2012 7:04 PM

    It’s too bad the Eagles wouldn’t hire a good defensive coordinator like Nolan.

  6. nineroutsider says: Jan 17, 2012 7:08 PM

    hendeeze says: Jan 17, 2012 6:29 PM

    Actually Mike did pretty well for the Niners. And if anything Harbaugh has Nolan’s cast of characters. The whole front 7 minus Bowman were acquired during the Nolan regime. He might have been a terrible HC, but he is a great DC. And has an eye for defensive talent.
    ———————————————————
    You stole my thunder. Nolan is a great DC, Falcon fans should be happy about this hire. Nolan did take the 9ers from a complete laughing stock to a .500 team and built a nice foundation for the D that Fangio came in and put on steroids.

    Falcons need to do something with the O too. Not sure what, but the OC needs to be a great hire as well.

  7. villagoo says: Jan 17, 2012 8:17 PM

    Dean of 3-4 defenses? Sorry, but that’s Dick LeBeau.

  8. oscojoe says: Jan 17, 2012 9:18 PM

    Dean of the 3-4?

    Didn’t look much like a good defensive game plan against the Bronco’s.

  9. nannymcsack says: Jan 17, 2012 9:37 PM

    @villagoo

    ?

    Dickle Beau’s 3-4 got Tebowed. Belichick threw a 3-4 at tebow 6 days later after running mainly a 4-3 all year and tim crapped his pants.

  10. realnflmaster says: Jan 17, 2012 9:52 PM

    Cool, Belichick has coached a 4 man line all season. A 4 man line on the 31st worst D in the league lololololololol.

  11. twmp420 says: Jan 17, 2012 10:16 PM

    For the two “new guys” that think that Mike Nolan did good for the 49ers.

    SF 2005 4 12
    SF 2006 7 9
    SF 2007 5 11
    SF 2008 2 5

    Your wrong shut up and go to bed.

  12. daysend564 says: Jan 17, 2012 10:20 PM

    Bill Belichick, the dean of 3-4 defenses in the league, has essentially coached a team with a four man defensive line all season.
    ————————————-
    Congrats Bill to leading your four man front to one of the worst defenses in the league!

  13. canadianvikingfaniii says: Jan 17, 2012 10:46 PM

    The real question is, will the Falcons get any push from Ray Overpaid Edwards?

  14. poopoodoodoohead says: Jan 18, 2012 1:48 AM

    Bill Belichek is the dean of the 3-4? Wade Phillips may not be the best Head Coach, but he is by far the best 3-4 defensive coach the NFL has ever seen.

  15. phillyphinsfan says: Jan 18, 2012 4:20 AM

    Mike Nolan took a group of average Dolphins players with the exception of maybe three players, and turned them into a solid defense. I hate to see him leave Miami.

  16. mitchitized says: Jan 18, 2012 5:07 AM

    If you don’t know who created the 3-4, or who has been providing a leading defense with it for the past eight bazillion years, then you need to do some research before writing articles or posting boneheaded comments.

    Give Belichick credit where credit is due, but the man has nothing on the 3-4. Dick LeBeau, Dom Capers, I could probably rattle off fifteen more names that deserve that title more than Belichick.

    Again, not knocking the guy, or his current team, but considering the folks who REALLY invented and perfected the 3-4 over the years, he has been nothing more than a bit player. Pun intended.

  17. DrubaTuba says: Jan 18, 2012 11:16 AM

    Great hire for the Falcons. He put together a pretty solid defense in Miami. Sad to see him go. Falcons fans should be really excited about getting Nolan.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!