Falcons will remain a 4-3 defense

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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.

17 responses to “Falcons will remain a 4-3 defense

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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