Joey Bosa says 3-4 or 4-3 is no big difference

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The Chargers moved from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3 defense this offseason, a change that Joey Bosa says really isn’t much of a change at all.

Bosa said on PFT Live that new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley runs a defense more like Bosa played in at Ohio State, but he really doesn’t think there’s any difference.

“It’s getting back to what I played in college in a 4-3 scheme. It’s not too huge of a change just like changing to a 3-4 last year, I thought it was going to be a big deal and it wasn’t too crazy. I think it’s been going great,” Bosa said.

Ultimately, Bosa said, his job is the same: Go get the quarterback.

“It’s not huge. Last year I really saw myself in the game a lot in sub package, which was a 4-3 defense, the 5-technique and 6-technique. So it’s not a huge difference. You won’t see me down in the 3-technique as much as I was last year, but it’s mostly just stay outside, contain the defense and get to the quarterback,” Bosa said.

The Chargers loved what they saw from Bosa last season. They won’t ask him to change the way he plays.

23 responses to “Joey Bosa says 3-4 or 4-3 is no big difference

  1. There’s a big difference. 4-3=1 while 3-4=-1. Did they stop teaching math to millennials, since their smartphones can do it for them?

  2. This is why this guy would never be Pats material. For a DE in a 4-3 or an OLB in a 3-4, they are completely 2 different positions.



  3. He probably said it wasn’t a big deal because that’s what he was used to playing in college so he won’t have to be learning a scheme he’s never played.

    In the long run, I think this will be huge for Bosa. Another DL means he’s probably going to be able to get more pressure on the QB depending on who is next to him.

  4. Completely different schemes and fronts! A 4-3 end has to set the edge, rush the passer.. while a 3-4 end has to contain and allow the linebacker to make plays. Also the ends have a different build in the fronts. As a 4-3 end can be lanky generally a 3-4 end is built like a defensive tackle but can move. They are hard to find that is one reason why a lot of teams don’t play a 3-4

  5. This Bosa guy is scary good. He will have a profound impact on one Derek Carr’s career. To the point that when my Las Vagrant Raiders finally move into their new stadium, Derek might NOT be the starting quarterback. Mark my words.

  6. I didn’t know there were so many defensive coordinators on this thread. Obviously there are huge differences between a 4-3 and 3-4 defense. I’m fairly certain that Bosa was referring to his athletic ability and saying that he can play in either scheme. Everyone calm down and pick back up your Madden controllers.

  7. well, it is completely different schemes and fronts when in the base defense,

    but you have to realize that teams play nickle and dime defenses well over 50% of the snaps,

    so its a 3-3-5 or a 3-2-6 most of the time and his role in that may not be much different

  8. Finally. Most players love to make playing the edge sound like it’s rocket science. They love to make the fans think they had to work really hard to make the switch. Fans love to eat that type of hype up. So those sort of go hand in hand.

    Those things might be hard for stiff like us (NON NFL athletes) to learn/master but these guys are professionals. Literally.

    As a long time Pats fan I have seen countless 4-3 down DE’s come in and pick up the standing OLD role in a couple of weeks. In fact I can’t think of any veterans that came to NE and failed to pick it up in a couple of weeks. I can think of a slew of rookies that failed to pick it up. But they couldn’t play 4-3 at the NFL level either.

  9. There are far too many kids out there posting that they know the difference between a 3-4 and 4-3 defense.

    The truth is that there isn’t that much of a difference. Sure in some 3-4 defenses, the linemen 2 gap. Others they one gap. Many 4-3 defenses the linemen 1 gap others have some 2 gap assignments. Many defenses mix the two concepts. There are different kinds of ways to play a 4-3 defense. Over Fronts that run the “Miami” scheme have gap attacking linemen that “read on the run” and get into the backfield. Other 4-3 schemes (including the popular Under scheme) use a more traditional gap attacking and control tactic which require the defensive linemen to fit into their single gaps and control them and unless the ball carrier gets close to them they aren’t supposed to get too deep in the backfield. And of course some schemes use a mix of the two gap control/attacking tactics.

    Often what separates the two are who has containment and primary force responsibilities. 8 gaps and who fills them? can someone in the front 7 be the force man (often times called “Buzz” coverage) or do you need to bring up a defensive back to complete your run fits?

    What is a “4-3” Under front? Is it a a 5-2 Front? The SAM lines up on the line of scrimmage. He has D gap responsibilities much like a lineman. So against the run it’s a 5 man front and against the pass it’s a 4 man front (depending on what the tight end is doing and the coverage called).

    As for Belichick and the 3-4/4-3 debate?
    “Honestly, I think that’s something that is a media fabrication. There are a lot of different alignments out there. You see 4-3 teams use odd spacing. You see 3-4 teams use even spacing. You have 11 players, you can put them in various positions. Whether you want to put it on the pre-game depth chart as one thing or another, I think is a little bit overrated.

    “You play different fronts, you play different spacing, and you teach the techniques of your defense. That is what consistent, techniques that are taught in different defensive systems, whether those teams go from three-man line to a four-man line, or a four-man line to an odd spacing line, or overs to unders, or unders to overs, or over-wides, whatever you want to call it. They will continue to play the same fundamental techniques as they’ve been teaching for the entire year, for the most part. I think that’s what teaching defensive fundamental football is about. It’s about fundamentals. Wherever you put them, you’ve got to people other people in complementary places, however you decide to do that.

    “It’s pretty straight-forward really … It’s more the teaching, techniques and fundamentals you teach your defensive players, more than it is the 4-3, 3-4 lineup that is so important to put on the flip card.”

  10. This guy seems a little too stupid to know what he doesn’t know. Reminds me of the guy who thought healthcare & running of the nation would be easy.(Including the promised & quick eradication of ISIS.

  11. I think Joey is more aware of his role, and what his coaches are asking him to do, than any of you arm chair QB’s are. It sounds like he’s insinuating that it’s not going to affect his level of play, more than what he’ll be asked to do.


  12. I thought this was a horrible pick at the time for San Diego. Bosa was not big enough to play DE in a 3-4, and I didn’t think he was athletic enough to play OLB.

    I was completely wrong, as he was pretty close to dominant as a rookie. Moving back to a 4-3 makes him even scarier in my opinion, because he won’t be asked to do nearly as much in space as he did in a 3-4.

    I thought he was a prototype 4-3DE coming out of college. I guess we’ll find out if he gets even better.

  13. As a Raiders fan, I’m quick to trash and ridicule the Chargers for any sign of ineptitude and almost any misfortune that falls their way….

    I thought Bosa would be a HUGE bust – and saw his holdout as a sign that even HE knew he wasn’t cut out for the NFL…

    I was completely wrong. Bosa is a beast and makes me truly appreciate the $$$ Reggie has spent on the O-Line to try keeping Carr clean. These are going to be some great battles for the next few years!


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