By Cam Marino
Could the Falcons be considering a change to a 3-4 defensive scheme? There is some evidence to suggest it might be happening.
Before anything, let’s break down the renowned “4-3 under” defense. Simply, the 4-3 under is designed to clog inside gaps and pass rush from both the inside and out. The personnel must be designed to support interior and exterior pass rush. Specifically, at the 3-technique position, Falcons coach Dan Quinn is known for having a historically small interior group. Revisiting the motive of the defense, it’s pretty clear why. Quinn looks for guys that can rush the passer most effectively from the inside, who will usually be lighter and more athletic.
An extremely important aspect is that the interior linemen must be able to hold their ground against the run too, but being able to apply pressure to inside gaps and out is a major staple of the defense. Typically, the alignment will consist of a strong-side defensive end who plays like a 3-4 defensive end, a LEO who can rush the passer or drop into the coverage, a 3-technique who specializes in interior pass rushing, and a 1-technique, who clogs up the gaps and...