Chan Gailey confirms Bills switching to 4-3 defense

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When the Bills promoted Dave Wannstedt to defensive coordinator, it was expected that they would go to a 4-3 look next season.

Head coach Chan Gailey confirmed that move on Monday, although it shouldn’t be too difficult a switch for the team to make. They played a lot of four-man fronts in the second half of the 2011 season and they never had ideal personnel to play a 3-4 look after making the switch to it a couple of years ago. Gailey was quick to caution that 4-3 is only going to be the base defense, though.

“If you look around the league today people are playing four-man fronts and three-man fronts, they’re playing a little bit of everything,” Gailey said, via the Buffalo News. “We’re going to try and put our guys in position to be successful, whatever that position might be. If it’s odd spacing sometimes or even spacing sometimes.”

How all the players fit is still being worked out, but Gailey said he expects to have Kelvin Sheppard at middle linebacker to start the season. Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus should be the defensive tackles with Nick Barnett and Chris Kelsay also likely to see a lot of time. Shawne Merriman’s health makes a question mark and, regardless of what they get from him, the team will need to upgrade on the edges before next season.

14 responses to “Chan Gailey confirms Bills switching to 4-3 defense

  1. I’m sorry Bills Fan’s this organization doesn’t know what the hell they are doing over there.

  2. And there goes all that time they wasted switching from the 4-3 to the 3-4 when Gailey first came here.

    I’m overall satisfied with Gailey (thus far) but this flip-flopping is just another “wouldn’t ya know, that’s how it goes in Buffalo” kind of thing. Continuity, what’s THAT?

    Maybe it will mask (or correct) the fact we’ve been using converted Ends at Linebacker. Next on the list: end the (perfectly worthwhile) Merriman experiment and give that roster slot to someone who can contribute.

  3. Wannstedt is the DC … he prefers the 4-3 so it’s somewhat a “Captain Obvious” statement. So the only thing this is really saying is be patient Bills fans … change is coming.

    Patience and Loyalty have always been the core of the Blue-Collar WNY way …

    So if you want to show us all a change! …

    Don’t hand out keys to the City! … BUTt, put some talent on the FIELD

  4. Kelvin Sheppard should thrive at the MLB spot in the 4-3, just like he did at LSU. Geaux Tigers!

  5. there probably switching to 4-3 because it works best against brady. 3-4 gets no pressure on the quarterback

  6. regisphilbin. Your welcome for Poz. Most Bills fans don’t miss him. Watch tape a realize most of his tackles are 4 yards down field and he gets swallowed by guards and can’t fight a block off. much happier with K. Sheppard who we didn’t pay 2 times his worth.
    Confused by “Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus should be the defensive tackles with Nick Barnett and Chris Kelsay also likely to see a lot of time.” Barnett and Kelsay wont see any time at DT but will both start at OLB and DE respectively.
    Anyway, this is good news it seems, takes advantage of our 2 best players in Williams and Dareus.

  7. Born and raised and still living in the Buffalo area, this is just another example of the utter embarrassment this franchise has been for the last 15 years.

    Not saying I disagree with the move BACK to a 4-3 defense, but the fact that it was ever switched to a 3-4 is ridiculous. This organization doesn’t make enough meaningful roster moves nor is it willing to spend enough money to make that kind of transition 2 years ago possible.

    It’s a sad statement of reality, but like we’re seeing in Oakland, until the old guard is gone and a true front office is established, it will just more of the same old Bills news.

  8. regisphilbin says: Jan 31, 2012 10:21 AM

    Thankfully for the Jags, this is a year late! We really enjoyed having Paul Poz in our 4-3 this year.


    No problem. Had to make room for Nick Barnett’s 130 Tackles, 3 sacks, 3 picks. Don’t get me wrong, Buffalo loved Poz, but he was injury prone and wanted too much money.

  9. I F’ing LOVE THE BUFFALO BILLS! I’ve been a fan since the 80’s. On that note, if they don’t start spending money and showing me that they want to win, I seriously don’t know what I want to do. So far I’ve liked this HC / GM combo but I swear to god…… SPEND SOME MONEY, please prove to us that you want to win. PLEASE!!! You can start by paying the first person to get back to back 1k yard receiving seasons in many years for us. Pay him.. Make a splash in free agency. Please for the love of god show us that you want to win. I like the move to 4-3, it just makes plain sense and we should have never changed to a 3-4. those DT’s are going to be game changers if they stay healthy. Mark my words.

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