Should we do a clean slate evaluation of everything?
Probably a little late for this question, but it bothers me when the answer is "because that's the way we do it" or "because that's the people we have". IMO you do what works best and if that means getting different people, then so be it.
During the coaching search, some criteria have been set down such as they need to be able to or have worked with Cutler. First point here is that I am a big Cutler fan, but even so - do you make long terms plans around a single player or do you worry about the very best possible person and let the cards fall where they may? If the QB is incompatible, then you change.
Same with the D. We run a 4-3 and that is where our expertise is at, but is that what works best? I usually look to Billicheck first to see what he does because he makes no change without research. He moved to a 3-4 as you know. So looking deeper, what do all the teams run?
|Team ||Base Defense ||Blocking Scheme |
|Arizona ||3 - 4 ||MBS w/some ZBS plays |
|Atlanta ||4 - 3 ||Flex (Depends on play)) |
|Baltimore ||3 - 4 ||MBS |
|Buffalo ||4 - 3 ||Hybrid ZBS/MBS |
|Carolina ||4 - 3 ||ZBS |
|Chicago ||4 - 3 ||Blocking |
|Cincinnati ||4 - 3 w/some 3-4 packages ||MBS (w/some ZBS) |
|Cleveland ||4 - 3 ||ZBS |
|Dallas ||3 - 4 ||MBS |
|Denver ||4 - 3 ||Blocking |
|Detroit ||4 - 3 ||MBS |
|Green Bay ||3 - 4 ||ZBS |
|Houston ||3 - 4 ||ZBS |
|Indianapolis ||Base 3 - 4 ||ZBS |
|Jacksonville ||4 - 3 ||MBS |
|Kansas City ||3 - 4 ||ZBS |
|Miami ||4 - 3 with some 3-4 packages ||ZBS |
|Minnesota ||4 - 3 ||ZBS |
|New England ||3 - 4 ||MBS |
|New Orleans ||4 - 3 ||FLEX |
|NY Giants ||4 - 3 ||ZBS/Flex |
|NY Jets ||3 - 4 ||ZBS |
|Oakland ||4 - 3 ||MBS |
|Philadelphia ||4 - 3 ||Blocking |
|Pittsburgh ||3 - 4 ||MBS (ZBS for passing) |
|San Diego ||3 - 4 ||FLEX |
|San Francisco ||3 - 4 ||FLEX |
|Seattle ||4 - 3 ||ZBS |
|St Louis ||4 - 3 ||MBS |
|Tampa Bay ||4 - 3 ||MBS |
|Tennessee ||4 - 3 ||ZBS |
|Washington ||3 - 4 ||ZBS |
Most of todays teams run a 4-3. That is 19 teams or 59.4%. So if they are about equal in effectiveness, you would expect about 60% of the teams in the playoffs to be running a 4-3.
It turns out quite the opposite is true. Out of the 8 teams to have made the semi-finals, 5 of them or 62.5% run a 3-4. So not only did they overcome the statistical reality of being in the minority, they more than overcame it to become the majority.
Going to the last 4 teams, three of them or 75% use the 3-4.
It seems to me that staying with something that might be second best might not be the best long term strategy. If 3-4 is providing an advantage, we should at least consider it.