NFL phasing out the 3-4 defense

You might wonder how an offensive line patched together from players you'd consider backups, with a rookie at center, could provide their quarterback nearly 5 seconds of protection per play. <br><br> "Ya might rrrrabbit."

The old adage is "You could probably call holding on every play". And the NFL's acceptance of it has created a situation where it indeed does occur on each and every play. The "gimme-grab" has been institutionalized, and linemen are pulling our rush-end linebackers into the blocks. The result is five vs. three-and-a-half.

The athletic advantage from the rush-end position has been nullified. The tackles need merely get a hand on the rusher and reel him in or drag him around end. The "Not-Call" has become more consistent than our pass rush. Linebackers are forced to use brute force to overcome the weight differential of offensive linemen, and the whole proposition has become unrealistic. Even the larger tight ends have caught on.

The NLF judges performance by consistency, the officiating with the flip of a coin.

Unfortunately, the performance of our pass rush has become tied directly to the will of the officials to call holding penalties. The trend seems to be that it is more important to let the game proceed uninterrupted rather than strictly enforcing the rules. To attempt a consistent pass rush, teams running the 3-4 will be forced to utilize a fourth lineman or be "held" out of the playoffs.

It is a marketable game and the fans have complained long and hard that they want less decided by the officials and for the games to move on. Something had to go and I think it took the 3-4 defense with it.

The game, she be a changing.


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