Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
    Rambos is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cali
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,988
    Rep Power
    74

    Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    Facing 3-4 a Tough Task
    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    As Marc Bulger sat at home Monday evening he struggled to stay awake long enough to get a first glimpse at two division opponents squaring off in San Francisco.

    But as he got his first glimpse of the film of the ***** defense earlier this week, there was more than enough there to keep him wide awake.

    “They beat us last year,” Bulger said. “They were good then; they definitely upgraded, too. I’ve learned that the TV and the film versions are a little bit different but they were just as impressive on film so far.”

    Despite a variety of changes to the coaching staff in the offseason, including a new defensive coordinator in Greg Manusky, the ***** defense showed glimpses of greatness against Arizona. Manusky is a former NFL linebacker with a hard-nosed mentality who preaches intensity to his defensive troops.

    As part of Manusky’s defensive revamp he has switched the defense to a 3-4 alignment full time. While 3-4 defenses are not anything new to the league, this one seemed to be clicking on all cylinders in the season opener against Arizona.

    In that game, the ***** held the Cardinals to 261 yards with a pair of interceptions, a sack and countless quarterback pressures. It was evident from that performance that the moves made in the offseason have San Francisco in position to have an elite defense in 2007.

    “They’ve added some big time players; the secondary is probably their most improved group as a whole, it looks like to me--playing very confident,” Rams coach Scott Linehan said. “They’re a young defense. I know they have a couple older guys in the secondary, but other than (Derek) Smith in the middle, they have young front seven that seems to be playing real well. It’s going to be a tough challenge for us because they’ve changed their scheme a little bit – 3-4 – and they’ve added some players that create more favorable matchups for them in the passing game, but hopefully we will be up to it.”

    The principles of a 3-4 defense are quite simple. The ***** will use three down linemen, a large nose guard in the middle (Aubrayo Franklin, an offseason addition from Baltimore), and two defensive ends (veteran Bryant Young and Marques Douglas).

    Because the 3-4 has just three players up front, it is the responsibility of those players to handle two gaps. In other words, a player like Franklin is expected to work in the gap between the center and left guard and the gap between the center and right guard. There will never be a situation in a 3-4 defense where someone in Franklin’s position isn’t taking on a guard and a center. It’s his job to tie them up so that offensive linemen can’t get to the linebackers at the next level.

    Behind those three linemen are four linebackers, all possessing different skill sets. The two outside linebackers (in this case Manny Lawson and Tully Banta-Cain) are expected to be good pass rushers.

    Inside, the ***** boast the solid and underrated Derek Smith at one spot with dynamic rookie Patrick Willis. Both players are expected to be versatile enough to make plays sideline to sideline but also have the ability to drop in coverage and rush the quarterback.

    Where things really get complicated with the ***** is their depth at linebacker. Beyond the aforementioned quartet, San Francisco has uber-quick Brandon Moore and the solid Jeff Ulbrich.

    The versatility of those linebackers allows Manusky to use a variety of options and create exotic blitz packages that can cause plenty of disorder for an offense.

    “They try to create a lot of confusion,” center Brett Romberg said. “A lot of their stuff is based on identification and trying to confuse our offense.”

    Traditionally, a 3-4 defense isn’t as good against the pass as a 4-3 would be because it’s more difficult for three down linemen to collapse the pocket against five offensive linemen.

    But the ***** have enough talent at linebacker that creating pressure isn’t as much of a problem. Although they had just one sack against Arizona, they were able to get in Matt Leinart’s face repeatedly by using a variety of zone blitzes.

    There’s no doubt that San Francisco will attempt to do the same this week against Bulger and a re-shuffled offensive line for the Rams.

    “Yeah, with a 3-4 there is always going to be linebackers coming because there are four of them,” Bulger said. “Whether they are blitzes or just stunts or dogs, sometimes it gets a little bit over blown in a 3-4 but they do a lot of things, so it is definitely a little bit tougher from that respect. They are going to do more than Carolina did.”

    For the Rams to have success against the *****’ 3-4, they are going to have to be on top of the mental part of the game, according to Romberg.

    Much of the responsibility for that preparation falls on Romberg, who as the center has to make all of the pre-snap calls and point out where everyone is going and from where the ***** are coming.

    For instance, the center would normally call out the ‘Mike’ or middle linebacker, but since there are two middle linebackers, he will have to decide which linebackers are playing which roles on a given play.

    “It’s just a matter of who you call what position,” Bulger said. “A lot of times you like to get your big guys on their big guys. Honestly, it’s not that complicated. Like I said it’s been a lot more common the last couple years teams with 3-4’s.”

    Generally, running the ball is more difficult against a 3-4 defense because the linebackers can roam the field and make tackles. But Rams running back Steven Jackson has had success against the ***** in the past.

    Jackson ran for 224 yards and a touchdown in two games against San Francisco in 2006, adding 92 receiving yards in those games. Making matters more difficult than the base 3-4 defense, Jackson expects to see an extra defender in the box on Sunday.

    “I expect to see eight men in the box around the league because that’s the respect that I demand,” Jackson said.

    With all of the confusion a 3-4 defense attempts to create, Romberg cites at least one advantage the Rams have going into Sunday’s game: the home field advantage. As Romberg is quick to point out, playing in front of the home fans limits crowd noise on offense and makes the ever-important communication aspect a bit easier for the home team.

    “A big advantage is the fact that we are at home,” Romberg said. “A lot of teams have trouble adjusting to crowd noise especially when you do have to make a lot of calls and identifications so the fact that we are at home is going to be a bonus for us.”

    In addition to facing San Francisco twice, Arizona (twice), Baltimore, Dallas and Cleveland also boast 3-4 defenses.

    For the Rams, facing the 3-4 defense is nothing new. They faced it a number of times in 2006 and have already played it in the preseason this year when they took on San Diego. Linehan hopes that will give them an upper hand when facing it this week.

    “It’s challenging,” Linehan said. “We have six (teams that play a 3-4) on our schedule and we played one in preseason, so we have quite a bit of work against it. I think we have an idea and a plan of what we want to do and worked through a lot of that last year. The coaches have spent a lot of time getting them ready and I think it’s something if we handle right shouldn’t be a problem, but again, the proof will be in how we play on Sunday.”


  2. #2
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
    RAMMAN68 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Age
    45
    Posts
    2,714
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    I think they are over hyping the ****. They did look to have alot of energy, but I think the fact that the Tards O sucks made them look better than what they are. Our O should be able to take advantage of thier young players who will make some mistakes.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  3. #3
    blood85's Avatar
    blood85 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Merced,California
    Age
    43
    Posts
    1,336
    Rep Power
    20

    Re: Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    I agree, It's our 3 aces (Bulger, Jackson and Holt) against their 1 (Gore). I think we also have an advantage in Kick-return special teams. I feel that right now, both D's are even.

  4. #4
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
    Ram Dragoon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,262
    Rep Power
    14

    Re: Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    One just doens't decide to run a 3-4 on a whim for their defense. The (3) is the strongest and weakest link to a 3-4. Without 2 strong DT and a bruiser NT it is pointless to attempt to run this defensive scheme. It is not good to under estimate your opponent.

    To beat a 3-4 your O-line has to be better then their front 3. Better still that your o-line can take on 1:1 leaving you 2 linemen to absorb Blitzs and stunts. Second down becomes critical because a poor play forces the offensive in to a limited number of options on third and that is what a 3-4 is at is best.

    It would be interesting to see the play calling on the Rams side. Double TE (not that the Rams have a shortage of TEs) either in a book-case formation or double left or right sets limits a 3-4's option since the short pass is always a threat and safties/corner backs don't like taking down larger ball carries. Still if the rams don't have just a 2 diminsional rush attack and S. jackson can hold onto the ball the fourty-ninners 3-4 is taylor made for the Rams offense

  5. #5
    RealRam's Avatar
    RealRam is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    8,272
    Rep Power
    68

    Re: Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    Sounds great to hear Jax:
    “I expect to see eight men in the box around the league because that’s the respect that I demand,” Jackson said.
    That's confidence. Forget about last week's fumbles.

    Of course the winnies won't do that too often but they will certainly be checking SJ to see what he and the rest of the Rams offense are up to! // You're right, Blood, our aces ought to keep their defense a little more concerned than the other way around.

    BTW, who's playing alongside Carriker at DT, Ryan or Glover? Either one, I believe we'll be fine.

  6. #6
    Dr5150's Avatar
    Dr5150 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Arroyo Grande, California
    Posts
    22
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Sounds great to hear Jax:

    That's confidence. Forget about last week's fumbles.

    Of course the winnies won't do that too often but they will certainly be checking SJ to see what he and the rest of the Rams offense are up to! // You're right, Blood, our aces ought to keep their defense a little more concerned than the other way around.

    BTW, who's playing alongside Carriker at DT, Ryan or Glover? Either one, I believe we'll be fine.


    Sf did not look good last week, so if WE get our act together we should have something to work off of. Of course I am an optimist but there is real hope here. Please make me proud.

  7. #7
    RealRam's Avatar
    RealRam is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    8,272
    Rep Power
    68

    Re: Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr5150 View Post
    SF did not look good last week, so if WE get our act together we should have something to work off of. Of course I am an optimist but there is real hope here. Please make me proud.

    Will do Dr.! And again, Welcome to the Clan! :r


    So much is building inside of Rams fans, players, coaches. I can feel it -- this is a H U G E game. I liked what I read from both Coach Linehan and Mark Bulger's approach and preparation for this game despite ongoing circumstances at Rams Park.


    This is a terrific, frightening dream and an occasion for us to conquer. Daydreaming for week 2? No problem, I don't have a problem with that ... and I hope the Rams are in that mood too, vengeful, pumped up, hungry, excited, angry.

    Dreaming and
    r e a d y...to RAM their way to victory. :bash:


    "All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are either dangerous or successful people, for they may act their dreams with open eyes...to make it reality."
    -- T.E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom


    Friskies aren't daydreaming too? Make theirs a nightmare.
    Last edited by RealRam; -09-14-2007 at 02:19 AM. Reason: Format

  8. #8
    letsgoramz's Avatar
    letsgoramz is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New york city
    Posts
    320
    Rep Power
    9

    Re: Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    this game is our season
    Torry Holt Dont play that

  9. #9
    TheGuest62's Avatar
    TheGuest62 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    16
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Facing 3-4 a Tough Task

    Without Pace I hope our O-line will be able to pick up the different stunts, and blitzes they'll try and throw at us from multiple looks.

    I don't know if they will necessarily be as aggressive as they were Monday Night. It's easier to attack the Cards Offense, because they didn't fear Leinart and didn't think he could beat them with his arm even with Fitzgerald, and Boldin. If the they try the same approach to us Bulger will get the ball out to Holt, Bruce, and Bennett quickly.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: -11-08-2005, 06:26 PM
  2. Players and Coaches Quotes
    By RamWraith in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: -10-14-2005, 04:22 PM
  3. Being a Show-stopper is one tough task for Pats
    By Undertaker #59 in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: -11-04-2004, 05:45 PM
  4. Rams' Run Defense Faces Tough Task
    By RamDez in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: -10-10-2004, 04:22 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •