The 3-4 Defense: A Closer Look into the Philosophy and Scheme

April 7, 2010   ·     ·   Jump to comments

In the 2009 NFL season, seven out of the top 10 teams, in both scoring defense and total defense, ran a variation of the 3-4 defense.
This article dives into the 3-4 defensive philosophy and dissects each position and its role in the scheme.
General Info on the 3-4
The 3-4 defense is predicated on the ability to have multiple fronts, with the same personnel, with the intent of confusing the offense, and having the option to be flexible on any down and distance. In my opinion, no team in the NFL does this better than the Pittsburgh Steelers with their 3-4 zone blitzing scheme. 
For those unfamiliar with the 3-4 defense, I will offer a brief description of the look of it. The 3-4 scheme utilizes three defensive linemen, consisting of a nose tackle and two run-stopping ends; four linebackers, consisting of two smaller inside linebackers and two larger outside linebackers; and four defensive backs, consisting of two corners and two safeties.

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