As mentioned in the other thread (that is kind of getting out of control with arguments about the positives and negatives of a 3-4) the Bears did in fact experiment with various formations and schemes in mini-camp.
There's video of what the Bears did and I've had a chance to see more video than what's been available on the web.
Was it a true 3-4 0-technique two gap Pittsburgh Steelers defense? No it wasn't and likely never will be.
However Mel Tucker did run a lot of different personnel in and out Shea McClellin, Corey Wootton, Henry Melton and Julius Peppers in stand up rush positions mugging the line of scrimmage in the A-gaps, the aforementioned four DEs on the line of scrimmage etc.
Tucker it appears is going to do what he can to get the best pass rushers on the field all at the same time even if that means McClellin serves as a linebacker or he has Melton lined up at a defensive end position.
This doesn't need to be an argument about what scheme works better, it's simply an observation that Tucker is going to stick to Lovie's defense, but he's also going be extremely versatile and flexible with this scheme and bring safeties, CBs on blitzes. There were safeties blitzing from all angles and players lined up all over the place during mini-camp.
Tucker was RIGHTLY AND FAIRLY criticized for his vanilla attack in Jacksonville, but it appears that during mini-camp Tucker showed a lot of different pressure looks, scheme flexibility and some VERY interesting personnel packages.
By the way this information is all available with this podcast where Jeremy and Brett went over it and what they saw in min-camp. So if you haven't listened to the podcast there's talk about all the different looks that Tucker used in mini-camp.
One of the things to keep in mind.
Allegedly, the reason Tucker kept the defense vanilla in Jacksonville is because he felt they didn't have the talent to run anything but vanilla.
He might feel like a kid in a candy store with our pass rushers.
I agree Teddy, I bet he IS having fun testing out his new toys! And nice post OP, I agree some opinions on this is absurd.
Tucker is most definitely trying some things out, imo. I believe we actually do have the personelle to run the 3-4 on a "change up" basis. I think fans are a little too black and white on this. I'd like to keep the 4-3 as our base, but show a 3-4 alignment at times. Could you imagine running out into the 2nd half of a big game and sending out a 3-4 formation as an adjustment?
For me, good defenses confuse the offense. The best way to slow down these new high powered offenses is to confuse them. So I'd like to see a little 3-4 sprinkled in to our defenses as apposed to making the full switch. This virtually eliminates the whole "do we have the personnel to switch" debate, imo. We DO have the personnel to play it as a switchup in our defense, imo. And depending on how it plays out, I could see Emery go either way in the future.
I'll listen but as I understood it from earlier reports, Tucker was experimenting with guys not getting set and rolling into position just before the snap to disguise things. I liked that proposition. We may not have the personal fit for a 3-4 but it's a different situation when it's disguised and not a pure version. Who cares what you call something as long as what you do is effective.
Hidden Content And Prosper
The Packers and Dom Capers are known as a 3-4 team, but if you watch a lot of their tape from last year they ran a lot more 4-3 than they did 3-4. That had to do with the splits the DTs took and where they lined up Clay Matthews. The Ravens do a lot of the same thing with Suggs and their variation of a 4-3 as do the Patriots and their variation of a 4-3.
As Emery said there aren't a lot of teams in the NFL that run a PURE 3-4 even though they may call themselves 3-4, they're actually aligning like a 4-3.
Agreed. From what I read, he did a fairly decent job at improving a very sub-par defense.
Personally, I'm excited to see what kind of wrinkles he will bring to the defense.
I'm just not down with this "we don't have the personnel" thingy. We just signed Ellis and I think he can make all this come true, imo. Everyone says we don't have a 'fatty'. Ellis is 310 and has been a 'run stopper' for the saints for the last two years!
Sure, Ellis is better suited as the 3 tech, but that will be our base defense. BUT, Ellis can play the NT as well. He's pretty stout too as he benched 42 times, which isn't quite as much as our other DT Peae, who benched 49 times (record). I think Ellis can be one of Emery's best p/u's, imo. This guy can be a monster as a 3 tech, but is stout against the run as well. He's 310, how much weight does he need to be a 'fatty'.
I don't know why people think we don't have the personel for a 3-4.
Melton and Peppers are Justin Smith equivalent DE's in a 3-4. Both have experience on the edge and in all the gaps. And we have TWO OF THE THEM!! Ellis and Paea are not as large as a traditional nose, but as you said, for a change up their strength is sufficient to run the play in many situations and mixing it up. You won't find a stronger DT in the league than those two.
Shea, Williams, and Washington are perfectly capable of being rush linebackers, and have all done so in their careers. While the rest of our linebackers are smart versatile players capable of the RILB and LILB positions.
If Tucker is thinking about being versatile.....well that seems to be what we have built. We have versatile personel with many tweeners....
Love the idea of bringing a more agile and faster guy in on passing downs...
Hate the idea of a full 3-4 switch...
Love that we can play both now... makes us versatile and unpredictable... love it...
Alshon Jeffery will be the Bears All Time #1 reciever in TDs Yards and receptions by the end of his career...
I am the greatest mind to ever grace the CCS message boards... thank you and have a nice day...
Lol, with all the shifting, call the defense a 32 and a 1/2
Now if we disguise stuff we'll have to have the right personnel to do it, so imo, someone like Melton might have to play OLB. If we linup in a 4-3 with say this front .....
LB - Briggs - Williams - ? (maybe Shea)
DL - Pep - Ellis - Melton - Woot
Then we could shift into something like this .......
ILB - Briggs - Williams
OLB - Melton - Shea
DL - Pep - Ellis - Woot
The key here would be the 3rd LB. In this example I COULD see Shea getting some snaps at SLB, with also switching to the OLB in the 3-4.
If Shea stands up and backs up to the linebackers on a play, what would you call it?
“Reality is infinitely diverse, compared with even the subtlest conclusions of abstract thought, and does not allow of clear-cut and sweeping distinctions. Reality resists classification.” - Fyodor Dostoyevsky The House of the Dead