Thoughts On The 3-4, Hybrid Defenses And Unconventional Thinking


I recently had the opportunity to do an interview with The Good Point, a Canadian sports supersite, about our Chiefs and some of the trends in the NFL. Among the topics: the 3-4 defense, hybrid defenses and unconventional thinking in football. It’s a good all-around football interview with multiple interviewees, so definitely check it out (and remember that our friendly neighbors to the North spell defense and offense differently). Here are some excerpts from my responses:

Regarding if Pioli is trying to bring the 3-4 to Kansas City:

It’s a big part of the Patriot Way, so it has to happen.

I think it is very similar to what they did in New England, down to Pioli drafting Tyson Jackson to be his Richard Seymour, and bringing in Mike Vrabel to be his, well, Mike Vrabel,” Best said. “I think the defense will be very linebacker-centric. You have two vets that are all-time greats — Zach Thomas and Vrabel — paired with two great, young athletes — Demorrio Williams, presumably, and Derrick Johnson. That’s very reminiscent of what the Patriots have done, as they always seem to mix crafty veterans with young, athletic studs.

Regarding the future of both defense and the 3-4 defense:

The best coaches think ahead of the curve, and are always one step ahead of the competition. Thing is, the 3-4 isn’t exactly new. At worst, I think it can be part of an effective mix. That’s the future, I believe — hybrid defenses. And what better way to keep the offense honest? Guys in the defensive backfield are stronger than ever before, and the big boys up front can move like never before. That means parts that can be shifted around, camouflaged and used in a lot of ways. Three techniques dropping back into pass coverage, corners blitzing, linebackers playing as glorified linemen, safeties playing as glorified linebackers, etc.

Regarding unconventional thinking:

Additionally, if one team has inferior talent, reaching deep into your top hat and pulling out all the magic tricks can equalize things. For example, last year the 2-14 Chiefs damn near beat the 9-7 Bucs, in large part to a trick play. Running back Jamaal Charles was in the Wildcat, he took the snap, ran the option and pitched a reverse to receiver Mark Bradley. Bradley hit (quarterback) Tyler Thigpen, who was spread out as a receiver, with a bomb for a touchdown.

Really, I was just voicing a lot of Chiefs Nation’s theories and thoughts when it comes to the future of our Chiefs, along with my own predictions for the future of NFL coaching. I think my biggest theory is that the game will never get stuck in the mud, it’s also gotta evolve. These coaches and front office personnel men have too much pressure on them to play it safe, to not try and stay ahead of the pack. Most of them, anyway (remembering the end of the Carl Peterson era).

Was away from everything for a little while last week due to some unforeseen circumstances, but I will be back later in the day and the Best family will be checking in from Canton, err, Derrick Thomasville throughout the weekend.

(Adam Best is the senior editor of Arrowhead Addict. Follow him daily via email/RSS feed and Twitter.)