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Donald, Ogletree Ready to Lead Defensive Transition to 3-4

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by den-the-coach, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. den-the-coach

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    By Myles Simmons

    When it comes to the Rams’ new staff and schemes, most of the attention has gone to the offense head coach Sean McVay will implement. But there are changes coming to the defense as well, with coordinator Wade Phillips transitioning the unit to a 3-4 base set.

    While having three down linemen and four linebackers in the club’s front seven will be an adjustment, McVay has said the club will remain a one-gap, aggressive, penetrating defense — which is largely what it was under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. But in a 4-3, the offense knows the four down linemen will pass rush. As Phillips has explained, the difference with his 3-4 is that from play-to-play, offenses don’t know where the fourth pass rusher is coming from.

    “It’s a 3-4, but it’s still a nose tackle, it’s still a three technique, and things like that,” defensive tackle Aaron Donald said Monday. “It’s called a 3-4 because, I guess the guys on the side” — outside linebackers — “are standing. But like I said, it’s the same for us. We’re still doing what we’re doing, penetrating, getting up field, and trying to make plays in the backfield.”

    When it comes to implementing the scheme, Donald and middle linebacker Alec Ogletree will likely be at the forefront, as last year’s defensive captains. That goes especially for Ogletree as the unit’s signal-caller at middle linebacker.

    “I feel a great deal of responsibility,” Ogletree said. “In my first year starting at middle linebacker, that’s what I did — I took pride in getting ahead of the curve and trying to learn as much as I can before the meetings actually took place. I tried to do that this offseason as well, to learn a couple of things here and there before the first day we get here.”

    Ogletree also noted how excited he is to get familiar with the scheme, which should give him and fellow linebacker Mark Barron[​IMG] plenty of opportunities to make plays.

    “I don’t know a ton about this defense, but I’ve actually played a little bit in college. I guess with Gregg Williams last year, we kind of would interchange as far as 3-4 and 4-3,” Ogletree said. “With this defense, it’s definitely going to open up a lot of guys on the front end to have one-on-one pass rush [and have] me and the other linebacker, Mark, to be in coverage and help rush also.”

    Donald also played a bit of 3-4 in college his sophomore year, describing the schemes from then and now as comparable.

    “It was a 3-4, but really a 4-3,” Donald said. “I played a little bit of end. I moved around a lot, so I’m used to it.”

    The defensive tackle will still be a three-technique in the base set — a position where he’s become arguably the best in the game.

    “Same thing, [I’m] still going to be a three technique, and still penetrate, get up field type of guy,” Donald said. “I got to come here during the offseason and go to sit down and talk with [Phillips]. I like his game plan and how he’s going to use us, and the position he’s going to put us in to have success, and try to make plays, and try to win games.”

    Could Donald move around on the line like he did in college?

    “We’re going to see. I’m comfortable wherever he puts me,” Donald said. “Like I always say, rushing the passer – it doesn’t matter if it’s outside, inside, nose tackle, I can do it. I did it before, so I’m just comfortable wherever he puts me.”

    Either way, having the chance to play under a legendary coach like Phillips is exciting for the defense as a whole.

    “He’s coached a lot of big time players, and he’s one of the best to do it,” Donald said. “Anytime you go from one great defensive coordinator in Gregg, and then go to another one, it just makes me a better football player.”


    [www.therams.com]
     
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  2. bubbaramfan

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    Article says offenses won't know which of the 4 LB's will be rushing the passer. Does that mean Quinn will be dropping back into coverage 1/4th of the time? Someone care to elaborate on Quinn's coverage skills?

    Seems to me Quinn's role is going to change signifgantly. Is his skill set adequate?
     
  3. NateDawg122

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    You're over thinking it. On the vast amount of his snaps Quinn is going to be rushing the passer. The 3-4 gives them more flexibility with which to do that.
     
  4. bubbaramfan

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    If he's rushing the passer every play, why not line him up on the DL like he's used to doing?
     
  5. NateDawg122

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    He's not going to rush EVERY play. There will be times when he'll be playing the run or assigned to an RB out of the backfield. But if he's standing up and Barwin is standing up on the other end the offense isn't sure who is rushing or if both of them are coming at once. Like I said, it adds flexibility to the defensive front but the D-linemen play almost the exact same roles as before.
     
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  6. Ram65

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    I imagine Quinn will be rushing the passer most of the time but, not all the time. He could drop back in zone coverage. Now, the percentage of pass rushing to coverage is a guess at 90-10 to 80-20 he rushes the passer. I even think they would drop Donald back in zone now and then and rush linebackers. Didn't Donald drop back a few times last year? Connor Barwin will get some rushes too. Wade wants 7 guys up front that can rush the passer. That means Ogletree and Barron will rush at times. I don't know about Quinn's coverage skills but he is a fast as many linebackers. The idea is to confuse the offensive line to give an edge to the pass rush. Wade could sent 3-4-5-6 maybe 7 players rushing the passer. There are lots of player/position combinations he can create that can confuse the offensive lineman.
     
  7. Picked4td

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    Its also not common to just send 4 every play either, which is what I assume the article is getting at. 3-4 will allow more blitzes from Ogletree and Barron id assume
     
  8. HitStick

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    If his hand is in the dirt it's harder to drop into coverage. He will do plenty of pass rushing, but offenses wont know what he's doing, which is a benefit. I remember in his first or second year playing against the Vikings. Peterson broke free for a big run and Quinn almost caught him from behind. Now I understand that's not the same as coverage, but it's not like Brockers dropping into coverage. This man is a pure athlete and has the ability to not be a liability.
     
  9. jap

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    If The Mighty Quinn is even 50% of what he used to be, this defense will be dominant. If he is all the way back, records will be smashed.
     
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  10. DaveFan'51

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    I like this entire piece, But especially THIS^^!! It's comforting to ' us Old 4-3 Fans!!(y);):LOL:
     
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