Jets shifting to more 4-3 defense to try to generate sacks

Getty Images

If anything, the Jets defense has been known for adjusting.

More adjustments are coming.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine said the Jets are leaning toward making the 4-3 their base defense, and might not play any 3-4 in their six divisional games.

We might not play a snap of base defense in a division game this year,” Pettine told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. “If it’s five snaps a game, that’s probably a lot.”

Such wrinkles are customary for Rex Ryan and Pettine, known for throwing curves in terms of alignments. They flooded the field with defensive backs to beat New England in the playoffs, but the reality is they need more pressure, hence the shift. The Jets have ranked 18th, 7th and 17th in sacks under Ryan, hardly the kind of pass-rush to force opponents to move quickly.

Pettine called the line the “foundation and strength of the defense,” but the reality is, playing 4-3 might be as simple as putting their best players on the field. With the emergence of Muhammad Wilkerson and the use of their first-round pick on Quinton Coples, the Jets have more talent and versatilty up front, so that’s how they’ll play.

16 responses to “Jets shifting to more 4-3 defense to try to generate sacks

  1. the defense does not seem to be thier problem. its that lack luster offence, hence bringing in tebow. we better wait to see what bigmouth namath thinks first though.

  2. Don’t look into it too much. The Jets have been running a hybrid 3-4 for years now. In ’09 after we lost Kris Jenkins, we went to 4-3 almost exclusively to make up for the lack of meat. The thing that excites me about it is that the guy who taught the Vikes to go after the QB, Karl Dunbar, is teaching the line.

  3. The Jets have been getting allot of their pressure from blitzing DB’s, which can lead to big plays when they don’t get a sack.

    Natural pressure from the front is the obvious choice, but it’s much harder to get.

  4. If the Jets play well, they might actually have a chance to battle with Buffalo for second in the division.

  5. Up front: a Dolphins Fan here. The Problem is not the Jets, Bills or Fins Defenses. They are all solid. The Division is over reacting to Tom Brady. He has all the time in the world to pick apart teams. The hype of a massive pass rush is going to be moot with better/ different players. The Fins will be running a quick 3-5 step WCO and a plenty of Bootleg/Waggle rollouts. The Jets will run misdirection and Wildcats. The Bills with a healthy Fred Jackson and possibly a break-out year for Spiller can rely on Play Action. The bottom line is 4-3 is supposed to generate more edge rushing, but the right personnel in 3-4 will do the same and as for covering the favored TE and Slot sets of the Pats, better cover LB’s in a 3-4 is more effective unless you have a super athlete DE that can drop in coverage. Jason Taylor was one of them and I believe Quniton Coples will be too. My prediction is the Pats change it up.. Gronk will be covered, no surprises this year. Welker is awesome, but flat out lucky last year. Yes, he will be one of the best Slots, but not a 1000yd guy again. The Pats win the Division, but it will be much tougher and no more shootouts.

  6. @laxcoach37

    Up front: Pats fan hear. I believe the only way the Bills, Fins, or Jets will be able to compete with the Pats, will be with their offense. You have to keep Tom Brady off the field and score touchdowns. The reason the Pats offense is so successful is because of the adjustments and tiring out of the opponents defense. There were a lot of games last season where the Pats started off very slow at the beginning, and then just kicked it into 5th gear with the no huddle and the opposing defenses couldn’t keep up.

  7. I also think they should have Cromartie play WR and tell him to “cover the cornerback like you cover wide receivers” He’d be open on every play.

  8. I like this move… play to your strengths.

    Fact is, their linebackers aren’t great rushers… except maybe who’s really a DE. I think this is a great move overall, though definitely diminishes Pouha’s effectiveness since he’s more of a 3-4 Nose. Plus, we all saw how Vilma couldn’t go from 4-3 to 3-4; I worry a little about Harris moving from a 3-4 to a 4-3… totally different skill sets and reads.

    The Jets are deep at D-line with great rushers all over and thin at LB. Now you can have Pouha, Wilkerson, Coples, and Maybin on the line and use Ellis, Dixon, and Tevaseu rotating in and have Pace, Harris, and either Bart or Westerman on the outside.

    I like it… for now… let’s see how it turns out

Leave a Reply