Edwards focuses on 3-4 transition in Buffalo

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.

17 responses to “Edwards focuses on 3-4 transition in Buffalo

  1. Is it hard? Yeah, it’s hard. Is it different? Yeah it’s different.
    That’s what she said.

  2. big ferg said that he wants to play for the dolphins – if thats not possible he will retire

  3. That’s sad you guys get your news from Aaron Maybin’s Twitter account before the Buffalo News.
    This just in! Aaron Maybin has been into art his whole life!

  4. They have Kyle Williams and John McCargo, both of whom are good NT size.
    I think they’re bigger problem is DE. That and the fact their Def. Line is getting pretty old.

  5. Packers NT Ryan Pickett might be available in UFA as well. Though the Packers have seemingly made him their top priority, and he might end up getting the franchise tag if a deal can’t be made. He was really great at 3-4 NT this year and he’s a big reason the Packers had the best run-defense in ’09.

  6. Florio, as an official member of NBC I think you just tampered with the Miami Dolphins. I expect a post about how one of those “internet sites” are enabling teams to break the rules.

  7. “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. ”
    – SO TRUE! and that’s all we want. get a nose tackle and make it happen edwards.

  8. A few thoughts:
    This is a tough transition. Usually, you can find a few guys who look like solid fits in a transition, or at least decent fits.
    A guy like Kyle Williams may overachieve and be decent, but he isn’t really a NT, and he doesn’t really have the quickness or length for the 5-technique. Same goes for Spencer Johnson.
    Marcus Stroud once had the skillset that made me ponder if he could dominate as a 5-technique, but to expect him to dominate now in such a role … well, I don’t. He’s in his early 30’s and has been on the age-influenced decline. Chris Kelsay, Ryan Denney, and Aaron Schobel are all aging. Schobel could probably be a decent edge guy for a year. I have my doubts on Denney or Kelsay being anything more than backup options.
    I like Maybin … but he has to get tougher. On the edge, though, in a rush backer role, they have a better chance of moving him around and hiding him. Chris Ellis was a guy at Va Tech that I liked for the edge role. Rashaad Duncan might be able to man the 0.
    Don’t know enough about Mace or Lonnie Harvey.
    They also need some bigger interior backers. Posluszny should be fine. Kawika Mitchell is a decent stopgap.
    Okay … if I’m Buffalo, I take a stab at Vince Wilfork or Aubrayo Franklin. In Wilfork’s case, landing a dominant NT in his prime might be worth the gamble. As for Franklin, I’m not sure I’d give 2 1sts, but it would be something to ponder.
    Failing that, I think they need to consider this as a 2 year process. For now, they can stopgap the LB’s with what’s on the roster and look for some raw guys later. They need to find better DL fits. Problem is … they also need a LT. I agree with the decision to give Trent Edwards another look, which may allow them more draft flexibility.
    The draft’s best 5-technique is Odrick, and he’ll likely be long gone before their 2nd round pick. Honestly … I’d ponder Odrick at 9, but trading down would be the preference. I think they have to ponder grabbing Terrence Cody or Dan Williams in the 2nd. Williams should be there. They should also try to find one more piece in the 3rd-5th range.

  9. Whats that tub ol lard Glen Dorsey been up to?? he has been pretty solid so far PAUSE……NOT!

  10. Don’t forget extra rolls Terence Cody. He’ll be there in the second round of the draft. He can’t move in any direction but forwards for about 5 yards but he can’t be moved at all and he can shed blocks so he fits the build.

  11. tinshaker –
    I don’t really find Williams or McCargo to be “of NT size”. Your ideal NT is probably about 6’2″ 320 or so, but perhaps more importantly, with power and leverage capabilities. Williams lacks top end strength, is a bit undersized. McCargo was drafted as a 3-technique to shoot the gap in the Tampa 2 that Jauron tried to install, but just hasn’t developed. Williams can probably plug away and overachieve to the point of being decent on the nose, but McCargo, IMo, is more of a 5-technique in the 3-4, and I don’t think he’s particularly great as a fit on the edge.
    That said, yeah, they need ends and tackles badly, along with a LT, and overall depth (plus QB, but this isn’t a great QB class).

  12. nomnoms – Glenn Dorsey had a solid year. Not great, but he was a solid 5-tech. I wasn’t surprised (he showed the ability to 2-gap a bit in college, so while it is a transition, it wasn’t a total culture shock), but his future is still best in a 4-3 1-gap scheme.
    That said, Pioli understands the value of DL depth. Unless he gets a great deal for Dorsey, I think he holds onto him and provides Crennel with a solid 4 man rotation at DE (Dorsey/Jackson/Gilberry/Magee). They do need a NT pretty badly.
    A side note is … I wonder if the Browns ponder dealing Shaun Rogers. Ahtyba Rubin was actually fairly solid, and they’ve got a lot of revamp work to do. More likely, they shift big Shaun to some 5-tech work.

  13. Aaron Maybin was a wasted pick. Without the Juice the guy looks like a point guard, not an NFL defensive end or linebacker.

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