Throughout the offseason, there has been talk that the Falcons would be shifting their base defense to a 3-4 scheme.
That talk was fueled by some of their offseason acquisitions as well as defensive coordinator Mike Nolan’s background, although coach Mike Smith said that there wouldn’t be much difference from the past. It looks like there was something behind all that talk, though.
Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports that when Nolan called out “base defense” during Wednesday’s OTA, the Falcons lined up in a 3-4 front. Free agent arrivals Tyson Jackson and Paul Soliai manned the defensive line with Jonathan Babineaux while Stansly Maponga, Joplo Bartu, Paul Worrilow and Jonathan Massaquoi were at linebacker.
Those names will change when players like Sean Weatherspoon and Kroy Biermann are healthy and it’s important to note that teams don’t spend all that much time in their base looks these days. With extra defensive backs and situational pass rushing alignments, the base defense can be a minor part of the game plan from week to week. Whenever it factors into Atlanta’s plans, it looks like it will be in the form of a 3-4.