Defensive Lines and Techniques



The following post is intended to build on my previous post on 4-3 fundamentals.

Defensive Line Techniques

Over the next month there will be plenty of speculation about how and where a defensive linemen will be implemented into differing schemes. The most used phrase will be "Technique." For those not better acquainted with the nuances of professional football, it refers to the gap that the defensive lineman will attack.



The above diagram shows you the basic alignment.



The above represents offensive line gaps.

0 Technique is a Nose Tackle. In a 3-4 you want them to be big, strong immovable objects.

1 Technique is typically still referred to as a Nose Tackle, but they line up and attack the outside shoulder of the Center. Paea plays this role with a rotation of other DTs. Our DTs are somewhat undersized because of the premium put on the pass rush. The 1 Tech is supposed to attack strait up-field, preventing running lanes from opening up in the A Gap. (position in a line between the Center and the Guard) With the primary responsibility making it so runningbacks don't abuse the defense with the other A Gap. The MLB will ultimately make sure that the other A gap is locked down. Nose Tackles should be either have massive size and clog running lanes and/or sufficient strength to battle two blockers. Paea is particularly effective with his strength and his agile ability to slip between guards en route to the quarterback. Paea is far from a conventional NT, but his unique skill set and his attacking style of play works well in the Tampa 2 and modified 4-3 sets.

2 Technique is a DT that attacks the Guard directly, typically in a 4-3 you have a player lining up in the gaps. The concept of lining up in the 2 Technique is for multiple gap responsibility defenses. This responsibility will typically be given to combat a run heavy offense. By attacking the guard, the DT will try to disrupt both the A and B gaps. If this is the sole responsibility of the DT, then I would prefer a bigger DT with longer arms and a strong base.

3 Technique lines up on the outside shoulder of the guard and represents an interesting role for a Defensive Tackle. A disrupting 3 Tech is one that gets to the QB, period. They have less of a responsibility for forming and maintaining the integrity of the pocket and therefore have more methods for attacking their blocker. A good 3 Tech DT was essential to the success of the Bears defense in 2012 and 2006 alike. Tommie Harris was a great 3 Tech in his time and Henry Melton has filled the role brilliantly.

"The 5 technique is more commonly used by 3-4 fronts – or more accurately two gap 30 fronts. They line up heads up over the OTs. They have to be tall with long arms to allow them to stand up an OT and disengage to either side to make the tackle. Typically 6’5" / 6’6" and 290/300lbs; think Rechard Seymour and Ty Warren for the Pats. There is a reason that Belichick spent top ten draft picks on the pair.

7T is what you see a lot of from the Bears (or any other defense where DEs have responsibility in edge contain against the run). Heads up over the TE (if they are there but the same spot anyway).

Wide 9s line up outside the TE, their only run responsibility is outside contain, they just run upfield pretty much whatever the offense shows them."

Credit: weepingbear for the clarification.

9 Technique is a DE lining up on the outside shoulder of a TE, or where they might line up notionally. This is optimal for speed rushers like Shea, IMO. It allows the DE to use their speed as a weapon against Tackle. The problem is that it creates a larger gap for Linebackers to defend. The concept of the "Wide 9" is having both DEs lined up wide. The problem I have with the Wide 9 is that it requires so much more from your linebackers in the run game, that the Linebackers typically suffer in coverage. (most likely compensating for that difference) If those DEs don' get after the Quarterback quickly, the quarterback will probably find a Linebacker out of place. (especially with an effective playaction)

Have some insight? please share, I'll credit you and include your comment in the main text.

Previous Post: 4-3 fundamentals

<em>This FanPost was written by a Windy City Gridiron member, and does not necessarily reflect the ideas or opinions of its staff or community.</em>

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