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Dolphins may not be changing to a 4-3, after all

Jeff Ireland speaks to the media after Joe Philbin was named head coach of the NFL's Miami Dolphins, in Davie Reuters

On Thursday morning, a report emerged in the Palm Beach Post that Dolphins G.M. Jeff Ireland informed his scouts in December that the team would be switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense.  It appears that the report was based on remarks from Ireland at the Senior Bowl.

On Thursday’s edition of PFT Live, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald explained that Ireland’s comments were slightly broader than that.  Per Salguero, who was admirably reluctant to take issue with the Post report despite my best efforts to instigate trouble, said that Ireland in reality said he told the scouts in December to be ready for either defense.

“If we had to go to a 4-3 or stay in a 3-4, we have some personnel that we could make a pretty good transition,” Ireland said.  “There’d be some pieces we need to find. We have good personnel to do either one. I’ve prepared our scouts especially in December when we made a [coaching] change that we need to be looking at 4-3 personnel if that was to take a change. We’ve been looking at it for a while. It’s mainly linebackers and defensive linemen that you’re really looking for.  We’ll make that transition if we go that route.  It’s not going to be that big a transition.”

So there you have it.  The Dolphins may be sticking with a 3-4.  Or they may be switching to a 4-3.

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16 Responses to “Dolphins may not be changing to a 4-3, after all”
  1. stevemo says: Jan 27, 2012 9:35 AM

    Again, you’re implying that they used the 3-4 exclusively before. Something like 47% of the snaps last year were out of the 4-3.

  2. blitz87 says: Jan 27, 2012 9:35 AM

    Armando is also the same guy that said Philbin was out of the running.

  3. stevemo says: Jan 27, 2012 9:39 AM

    Oh and yeah, all the people bashing Ireland in yesterdays post on this subject were right on.

    It’s almost like this guy wanted to be prepared for either situation. He’s clearly ruining this organization with his desire to improve the roster and win games.

  4. dolphan22 says: Jan 27, 2012 9:42 AM

    I have an idea..How about we see what the new defensive coordinater is goin to run? Why focus on only 3-4 guys when you don’t know what scheme is goin to be ran? You have to keep your options open.

  5. bobwsc says: Jan 27, 2012 10:18 AM

    any rumor as to the type of photos Ireland is using as leverage against the owner?

  6. point947 says: Jan 27, 2012 10:23 AM

    The Dolphins have been running what they call a “Hybrid 3-4″ since Parcells/Ireland arove in 2008.
    It’s essentially a 3-4 base that features 4-3 fronts 35%-45% of the time.

    Wouldn’t be a huge transition, but outside of Cam Wake (who will be 30 in 2012), they have nobody to put their hand in the ground and get at the passer from the 4-3 End position.

  7. marvsleezy says: Jan 27, 2012 10:27 AM

    Keep in mind most formations that include an extra defensive back like the nickle and dime have a 4 man line – And teams are playing more nickle on 2nd down and even first down these days with all the passing.

    Therefore whether you run a 43 or 34 is not as important as it was just a few years ago. More teams will be running hybrids.

  8. fishtank86 says: Jan 27, 2012 10:44 AM

    Lets be honest here. Miami’s front office and team as a whole have made some blunders early on, especially Ross and Ireland, in an area under a big microscope. These guys coming in were new at this. However, between what may be the best offseason coaching change, how they are handling the team and players morale never declining. This team might be making an epic comeback. Draft pending, free agency pending, quarterback situation, truth will come in november. When we will be competing for a playoff spot or not.

  9. justafanofitall says: Jan 27, 2012 11:10 AM

    Why don’t these front office guys keep it zipped. Wait til the coach gets his staff together and takes a look at the roster closely. They should decided what they are going to run and then everyone goes and gets the players.

  10. realitypolice says: Jan 27, 2012 11:30 AM

    Maybe Salguero didn’t want to mix it up because he is well aware of the fact that there is a very good chance he is wrong.

    Would certainly not be the first time.

  11. FinFan68 says: Jan 27, 2012 12:59 PM

    This makes a hell of a lot more sense than what was implied yesterday. Being ready for either defense based on who’s available in the draft/FA is much more thoughtful than just making a declaration prior to the season ending for a team without a coaching staff in place.

  12. cantonbound13 says: Jan 27, 2012 1:37 PM

    They should have done whatever they needed to do to keep Nolan. The defense was never the problem there. Nolan did a lot with what he was given.

  13. originalsteelcurtain says: Jan 27, 2012 2:06 PM

    Dolphins won’t be relevant until they get a real QB

  14. mdev1987 says: Jan 27, 2012 2:48 PM

    They should be implementing a scheme that will benefit the players they already have.unless they’re planning on getting some pass rushers which has been a need for years to compliment a 4-3. Good hires tho. I’m pumped!

  15. wannstache says: Jan 27, 2012 4:52 PM

    Indecision and misinformation. Basically sums up the Ireland tenure. Classic signs of when one is unqualified and in over one’s head. The new coordinator, while unqualified for the job, deserves to be given a chance to run things his way. However, Ireland seems to want to tell him how to do his job. If he doesn’t want coaches to pick players, he should not tell coaches how to coach.

  16. captcrunch5019 says: Jan 28, 2012 9:57 AM

    So if they (Ireland) where planning on possibly going with the 4-3 as early as December, I’m sure it was being discussed prior to that time. Does that mean that they (Ireland/Ross) where planning on getting rid of Nolan as well and that Nolans departure was not a last minute decision?

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