The Buffalo Bills are in the process of changing from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4 front. The man in charge of the transformation is defensive coordinator George Edwards, hired from the University of Florida during Super Bowl week.
“I have been a part of a program that was a 4-3 for a long time and
made the transition to a 3-4,” Edwards told Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com. “When I first went to the
Dolphins five years ago, they were 4-3 team forever. Then all of a
sudden we come in there and we transition to a 3-4 defense. Is it hard?
Yeah, it’s hard. Is it different? Yeah it’s different. But at the end
of the day it still boils down on defense to being able to attack a
blocker, get off a block and make a play on a running back or whoever
the ball carrier is. That’s what defense is all about.”
And Edwards realizes that the most important position is nose tackle. Currently, he doesn’t have one. With Aubrayo Franklin of the 49ers, Vince Wilfork of the Patriots, and Casey Hampton of the Steelers likely to be signed to long-term deals or slapped with the franchise tag, the pickings could be slim in free agency.
The best option could be Jason Ferguson of the Dolphins, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent. If the Bills can’t find an acceptable nose tackle, they might spend more of their time in the 4-3, at least in 2010.
Another key issue will be at outside linebacker, where guys who play defensive end in the 4-3 will have to adapt. (If you think it’s easy, ask Aaron Kampman what he thinks about it.) But second-year first-rounder Aaron Maybin apparently likes the prospect of the shift to a 3-4 look; after all, we learned of Edwards’ remarks because Maybin tweeted a link to the story.