Understanding the Chargers 3-4 defense
While at Alabama, his defensives ranked in the top fifteen in every statistical category as well. Some of the highlights where being 1st in the nation in pass defense in 1990, while also being ranked 5th in rushing.
Two of the most impressive accomplishments for Coach Lindsey were in 1982 when he lead Lou Holtz's Arkansas team to a number one ranking in scoring defense and taking over a defense for the University of Hawaii that ranked 90th in the nation and coaching them to a very respectable 20th overall.
Coach Lindsey has coached all styles of defenses in his career. He is familiar with both the 3-4 and 4-3 thoroughly and joined SDBoltReport.com to cover the many questions Chargers fans had as the prepare to do battle in the 3-4 under Wade Phillips and Marty Schottenheimer:
What are the prototypical height and weights for each linebacker and defensive line spots?
"DTs: 6-foot-4 290+, Nose: 6-foot-3 300+, the linebackers all in the range of 6-foot-2 245+, of course there are exceptions to these generalized sizes."
Do you feel the 3-4 (with ideal personal) is better than a 4-3 with ideal personal?
"NO, there is not a single alignment that is superior to another or I assure you EVERYONE would run it. Players win games, not alignments. The term ‘ideal personnel' is the key. Both the 3-4 and 4-3 are proven over many, many years of design and execution."
All things being equal, do you feel the 3-4 is the best defense?
"‘All things being equal' would mean just that to me. Either defense would suffice. I personally like the 3-4 by design and flexibility."
In 3-4 schemes, do the corners generally play more man coverage and leave flat's more often covered by OLB's and Safeties?
"Not anymore than in the conventional 4-3 schemes."
I've heard many teams are going to it because it's easier to find linebackers who can run than big men to man the front. Do you find this true, or do the teams' talent dictate the defense he plays?
"On the professional level, the coaches determine the defensive scheme as they can trade, draft, etc, to acquire the needed skill to play the defense the staff knows best and believes in."
In the 3-4, what position is it essential to have a stud in order to be successful?
"The NOSEMAN, he is essential. If he doesn't control the center and two guards as a threat, then the inside linebackers' job becomes much more difficult. If the nose is continually ‘knocked' off the LOS into the lbs, you will have absolutely no run defense."
I know all coaches are different, but in your opinion, a team making a switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4, what type of learning curve would you anticipate? Are the adjustments and changes in the position that complex?
"Learning curve would have to do with the multiplicity you incorporate and to the fundamental techniques you employ with the defensive linemen. Whether or not your DL are used as ‘controllers' or penetrators and whether or not your present personnel were experienced in the fundamental techniques to play the design you install. All of this is a factor and of course the adaptability and learning skills of those you coach."
Have a question for Coach Lindsey? Send your questions to Byran@sandiegosports.net and we will do our best to get them answered for you. Keep in mind that Coach Lindsey does not have firsthand knowledge of the Chargers personnel so questions should cover the actual design of the defense.
Next week Coach Lindsey dips into the finer points of the 3-4 and actual techniques that are deployed as well as how an offense can exploit it.