Jack Del Rio will return Washington to 4-3 base defense

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Jack Del Rio confirmed his hiring as Washington’s defensive coordinator to Les Carpenter of the Washington Post.

Del Rio also confirmed an expected change: The team will go back to a 4-3 defense.

Washington hasn’t had the 4-3 as its base defense since 2009 when Jim Zorn was head coach and Greg Blache was defensive coordinator. In 2010, when the team hired Mike Shanahan as head coach and Jim Haslett as defensive coordinator, it switched to a 3-4.

Washington has used the 3-4 as its base defense since but has not ranked higher than 10th in yards allowed or 15th in points allowed.

In his 16 seasons as a head coach or defensive coordinator, Del Rio’s defenses have ranked in the top 10 in yards allowed seven times and in the top 10 in points allowed six times.

Del Rio has several young defenders to build around, including first-round picks Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Montez Sweat. Washington finished 27th in both yards allowed and points allowed in 2019.

16 responses to “Jack Del Rio will return Washington to 4-3 base defense

  1. “jack del rio” over ice, stay thirsty my friends.
    his name sounds like a rum or whiskey brand, i actually dont mind this hire and i prefer the 4/3 over the 3/4. Two decent signings at least there is a change. meanwhile in dallas ….. jerry is still here.

  2. Redskins fans have been hoping for this change since Shanahan installed the 3-4.

    The team has all the players it needs to make the switch except a Mike linebacker.

    Compared to what we’ve had the past decade at defensive coordinator, Del Rio is going to be a huge upgrade. Anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t closely followed the Redskins.

  3. Add Chase Young to that list of young defenders that Del Rio will have to work with…. unless they trade that 2nd overall pick for a basket pf goodies.

  4. 10 years of drafting and bringing players for a 3-4. Will be interesting to see who gets cast off and or traded.

  5. >>Add Chase Young to that list of young defenders that Del Rio will have to work with

    So everyone says, but Young was absolutely erased in in the Clemson game. Against a good line, he was a non-factor. That’s only one game, granted, but he was utterly unimpressive.

  6. Add me to those unimpressed by Chase Young. They should either go QB (unless they inexplicably think Haskins is really the answer), best offensive player available or trade down a few slots for more picks.

    They can get the 4-3 MLB they need later in the 1st or maybe even top of 2nd.

  7. I like these moves but Adam Snyder is the wildcard. Well he truly step back and allow these guys to fix the culture or will he get impatient like he did with Marty all those years ago?

  8. Lol you’re all fools. Running a 4-3 base is rare in today’s NFL and out-dated. The 3-4 not working in Washington isn’t indicative to the scheme but to your organization bad drafting. Nothing has worked in Washington lol. Jack and John Fox is comfortable with the 4-3 so of course that’s what he’s going to run, that’s what those two defensive coaches know. Ron problem is well his inability to upgrade to the current NFL and him allowing this move proves it

  9. Besides that one play in his junior year, I haven’t seen much from Jadeveon Clowney his whole senior year. His draft position was based off of one highlight play.

  10. About 15 teams run a 3-4 defense, including the Redskins, they other 17 run a 4-3 base defense. The only problem with switching is that it takes time to both implement and to gather the correct personnel to run and effective 4-3 defense after years of a 3-4 alignment. I know some fans like to state “we have the correct players” but there are substantial differences. Typically you are going to have to ask 2-3 players to start playing with their hand in the dirt after playing in space, the middle and edge rush are substantially different and the gap and coverage assignments for the 4 linebackers versus 3 linebackers change a lot. With LB who are inexperienced with the coverage schemes Tight Ends can especially take advantage of the switch and the new coverage schemes. For the Redskins I think it is the right move, mainly because they are in a division with 2 of top 5 running backs and 3 of the top 10 if Miles Sanders continues to develop . . . so having a 4 man front substantially helps shut down the run offense . . . having said that don’t expect it to pay dividends until about half way through season 2!

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