3-4 or 4-3?: A History Lesson on the Biggest Fad in Today’s NFL

June 3, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

Dwight Freeney.  Julius Peppers.  Michael Strahan.  These are some of the greatest pass rushers of the last 20 years. 
All these names are synonymous with defense, and not just any defense, but a 4-3 defense.
If you are unsure of what the differences are between different styles of defenses, or if you have no clue about the styles, here is a rundown.
The major differences between a 4-3 and a 3-4 is how many people are on the line of scrimmage. The most general, basic 4-3s have four linemen with one or both of their hands in the ground. 
This is where the four from the 4-3 comes in. The three is how many linebackers are behind them, standing up on both feet. 
The 3-4 is, as you can imagine, the opposite. There are three linemen on the ground, with four linebackers behind them. But not all linemen are created equal. 
In a 4-3 most of the time the linemen's duty is to get...

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