Sounds Like the 3-4

Posted: April 17th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 87 Comments »

Day 2 of the Eagles pre-draft mini-camp is in the books. We got some interesting info from Vinny Curry. He told the media that he’s up to 278 pounds and is definitely playing DE. Curry also mentioned that it is a 2-gap technique. That tells us the Eagles are leaning more to a pure 3-4 scheme.

Chip mentioned yesterday that when you run a 3-4 you need guys that have enough size and strength to play a 2-gap technique.  This is when the DL engages the OL, stops, reads the play, and then can go right or left, depending on where the ball is. Isaac Sopoaga is a 2-gap NT. Fletcher Cox can be a 2-gap DE. Ced Thornton can be a 2-gap DE.

So why go 3-4 vs the 4-3 Under? Maybe this is just a transitional move. Go to the 3-4 for now and evolve into more of a hybrid defense over time. The 3-4 may have more defined roles. The RDE is the RDE. There is no adjusting with under and over shifts and things like that. Or maybe the coaches feel a pure 3-4 is better for this group of players.

How will this affect drafting? That’s hard to say. We’d need to know if going 3-4 is part of the long term plan or is just the focus for now. You can make the argument that this makes Star Lotulelei a key target or less of one. I do think this means Shariff Floyd is not a target. He did play some DE in college, but 6-3, 297 with short arms isn’t a guy you ideally want at DE in a 3-4 scheme. Plus, he’s more of a 1-gap player.

The 3-4 scheme doesn’t affect the OLBs significantly. They’ll still primarily rush, but will need to be able to drop back in coverage. I still see Dion Jordan as the primary target at pick #4.

As to some current players, Curry is light for now, but getting bigger and stronger.  He did play in the 3-4 early on in his career at Marshall. His DC was Rick Minter and DL coach was Jerry Azzinaro.  Sound familiar? Azzinaro is the DL coach here and Minter is on the staff as ILBs coach. You have to think Azzinaro thinks Curry can play in this scheme.

Trent Cole said that he’s working his way down to 260 to be a better fit at OLB. Cole talked about having surgery on his hand, an injury that went back to 2011, but got significantly worse last year. Don’t worry. Cole wasn’t looking for excuses. He admitted that he had a bad year in 2012. Tim McManus has all the details and direct quotes here.

One thing to keep in mind in regard to the 3-4…that would be the base defense. The Nickel and Dime would still be even fronts (4-2-5, 2-4-5, 4-1-6). Short yardage and goal line defenses would have lots of guys up front. It is also possible that there could be some 4-3 looks. Curry’s comments and Kelly’s from yesterday to make me think we’ll be using the 3-4 more than any hybrid stuff.  The sub-packages are dictated by offenses. When they go 3 and 4 with WRs, you go Nickel and Dime.

* * * * *

Michael Vick met with the media. He had a few interesting things to say. Vick was very happy with his performance today. Sounded like things were probably rusty/awkward on Monday. Once you get the feel of a new offense and new way of doing things, your comfort zone will go up a bit each day. That should help you play faster and better.

Vick said he and Foles once again split reps.  Vick mentioned they did run plenty of read-option. When asked about Foles doing read-option Vick joked that Nick could do it “he’s got 2 legs”.  That wasn’t delivered as a shot at Nick. I think Vick’s point is that anyone can run the read-option. Obviously some will do it a lot better than others.

Many of the reporters on the scene remarked that Vick looked bigger and stronger in his upper body. That didn’t jump out at me as I watched the PC on video. You have to think Vick is trying to get physically prepared to run the ball on a regular basis, if that becomes part of the offense.  Some fans think the read-option talk means that Foles is a major longshot. Don’t read too much into that. Kelly is trying to install some basic plays and get a feel for how guys run them. He needs to see how the OL, RBs, TEs, and WRs do on the play. Kelly will also study Foles to get a feel for how effective (or lost) Foles would be running the read-option. Just because Kelly is putting it into the playbook does not mean it will be a foundation of the offense and that Foles must run it well to have any hope of a job. If Foles throws the ball well enough and plays smart, he can still be the starter. Because he’s less of a runner, Foles must thrive as a passer.

* * * * *

Danny Watkins is the RG for now. That is written with the most erasable pencil in history. Watkins is saying all the right things. He is clearly happy that there is a new staff.  Howard Mudd was a tough OL coach. He rode his players hard. That worked wonders with Jason Peters and Evan Mathis, but not so much with Watkins. Danny is getting a clean slate with Kelly and Jeff Stoutland. Danny needs to look really good every chance he gets in order to impress the coaches and improve his chances of starting in 2013.

He did clear one thing up for me. There was a story recently about him getting married and then leaving the honeymoon early to get back to Philly for the mini-camp. He drove. From Texas. I wondered why the heck he would do that. Danny explained that he drove back because he had the wedding presents and stuff like that. Too much to fly so he had to drive.

* * * * *

One sign of how different things are now…players had individualized cups with smoothies (or protein shakes or something) waiting for them after practice.  Jimmy Bama has the story here.

Kelly failed to leave my PBR and Funyuns on the table. Apparently those items aren’t considered healthy. I’m starting to now question whether we made the right hire or not. I’ll have some pudding and think about it.

_


  • ceedubya9

    Interesting. The picture is becoming clearer now, but there is still a bit of fuzziness around until we get closer to the season, or at least post-draft. I also still see Jordan as the top priority if he is available, and I really hope that the Jags don’t spoil the party for us. Of course, I still can’t help but have candy cane dreams of Tavon in Eagles green….

    • Geagle

      If I hear Geno’s name called at #2 I will be sooo happy!

      • ceedubya9

        True that. And we keep the Dion party goin’ :)

        • Geagle

          yes sir!

    • Geagle

      After Digesting new information..I think the Eagles first round pick will come down to Dion, Lane, Star, and Sheldon

    • shah8

      The chances that the Jags skip on Geno is minimal. I have to wonder why people have been so insistent on mocking Dion there. If the Jags *do* pick Dion, I do think we pick Geno.

      • ceedubya9

        You may be right. QB should be a pretty big priority for them, and unless they really like one of the others, then Geno should be the pick there. I”m not sure I could see the Eagles picking Geno if he is there at 4 though. But if they really think that he is the answer for this team going forward then I guess I can’t argue.

  • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

    Well, Kelly did say they would run whatever defense was best suited to the players. I wonder what is easier to teach, the a traditional 3-4 or the 4-3 under. Maybe the 4-3 under is far more complicated? *posted early for some reason*…continuing to edit.

    • TommyLawlor

      No team will give up a 2014 1st rounder. Everyone wants those picks.

      • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

        Is that based off this being a weak draft or something else? I ask because I have seen it done in the past to either move back into the first round or for RGIII (which made sense since he’s a franchise QB). Please educate the moron (me).

        • Geagle

          Everyone has thier eyes on Clowney, and all the QB’s available next year….If guys have a good season, next years draft can end up looking more like last years than this years

          • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

            I kind of figured that would be the case. I think the draft will forever be the one thing in football that I just do NOT understand. Such a human element to it and something very illogical, but still, it’s a science of its own.

          • TommyLawlor

            The draft is impossible to explain because of all the illogical, human elements.

            Teams normally will deal future picks. 2014 could be a loaded draft so no one will deal them.

          • theycallmerob

            I dunno…I think this is a pretty loaded draft. And remember all the hype last year about THIS draft being a great “QB draft”? Always skeptical re: the absurd standards and hype some of these college programs and NCAA put out.

  • Geagle

    The QB situation isnt Rocket science.
    Kelly will devise a plan that gives Vick the best chance to move the ball. He will then do the same thing for Foles…They will battle it out, and the one that moves the ball better, puts up more points, while taking care of the ball is going to be the 2013 starting QB…
    Chip doesnt run the read option, because its fun and exciting. Its a tool to move the ball. If Mike Vick, running the read option is the best way for us to move the ball, than Vick will be the starter..If Foles moves the ball better in the pocket, he will start. Chip cares more about moving the ball, than running a certain play. Believe that

    • Mac

      Balls… movement… I feel like there’s a joke hidden in your message.

      Having said that, I totally agree with your conclusion. The QB who can get us down the field and can put up points in the RZ is going to be our 2013 QB. I’m definitely buying in on the idea that the players will determine the depth chart.

  • SleepingDuck

    It kind of bothers me that Vick declared that the team is his while there is an open qb competition going on. I understand that he feels entitled to say that since he is one of the older guys on the team, but at the same, his own job is on the line and it’s extremely inappropriate to say that considering the circumstances.

    • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

      I completely disagree. I want Vick to be confident and I want him to declare that job is his and then I want him to go out there and make sure it stays his. A pro athlete without confidence is useless and washed up.

      Earlier in the offseason, right after the players were finally allowed to meet with Chip Kelly, Foles basically said if you think you’re a back up, you’ll be a back up and I agree with that. Dixon, Foles, and Vick all need to believe that the starting QB job is theirs and I don’t care how loud they say it either. This is roster competition at its finest.

      • SleepingDuck

        I understand that you want players to be confident in what they do and say and there’s nothing wrong with that, but when a self- declared “leader” is battling for his own job I just don’t think it’s right to say that.

        • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

          In any other profession, I would agree with you, but for professional athletes, I think you need that borderline cocky attitude to thrive.

      • EaglesHero87

        This is what Vick actually said, per cited from Chris McPherson from the Philadelphia Eagles website, “Honestly, I just look at it as this is still my team, my job. I think that’s the mindset you have to have. I believe in myself and my abilities and I believe in the guys on this football team. I’m excited to be back in Philadelphia for another year and we have an opportunity to do some great things.”

        With all due respect, I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate with what he said. While I agree that it’s an open QB competition, these kind of remarks can hopefully (keyword here: hopefully) provide a spark of encouragement to his teammates and respect for the coaches. I would imagine Foles would say something similar, too.

    • Geagle

      you do realize that Foles also said he feels like he is the starter, and that if you dont feel that way, then there is something wrong with you as a competitor

      • SleepingDuck

        I have no problem with each of them declaring that they feel they’re the starter, but I do have when a player says they’re a leader of the entire team when nothing has been decided.

        • Geagle

          someone always has to lead by example…regardless if the role is defined or not. I would rather someone assume the rule, then they guys to run around without a leader

        • theycallmerob

          for better or worse (depending on where you stand re: Vick), what he said has been parroted over the last ~1.5yrs by many, many of his teammates, including Foles. It appears clear that he has much support and sway in that locker room. In that respect, I’m ok with what he said. IMO, the job is his to lose.

    • BreakinAnklez

      I have no problem with it. I’d be more concerned if he didn’t see himself as a leader…He should have that attitude…no one can say he doesn’t give a damn.

  • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

    Could the Eagles move to a New England style 4-3 Under 1-gap/2-gap combo defense? I’d much prefer seeing Fletcher Cox attacking upfield instead of playing a 2-gap role. http://a.espncdn.com/photo/2012/0203/grant_diag1_sy_576.jpg

    • Geagle

      anything that doesnt ask Cox to two Gap works for me

    • TommyLawlor

      Highly doubtful. Belichick is a genius and has veteran personnel who know both systems. Eagles coaches are new here. The personnel must master a simple system before going to something like this.

      • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

        That’s a really good point. I just thought that this type of system fits the existing personnel better that a pure 3-4. I’m impatient to see how it all shakes out in the end.

        • TommyLawlor

          Impatient? Reminds me of a magnet my grandmother had on her refrigerator: “Lord, give me patience. And I want it right now!”

          • http://twitter.com/WCrill Wes Crill

            My grandmother had the same thing written on a cross-stitch hanging in her kitchen. Must be a NC thing?

          • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

            Eagles fans are known for their patience. I’ve got to do a better job with that. That’s on me.

    • EaglesHero87

      That’s pretty creative stuff there. I agree with Tommy, though, that this kind of defensive scheme takes time to really develop and master. If our defensive players can improve and excel in our base defense, along with a tidbit of other sub-packages, imagine what our defense could look like by year two! I’m really hoping our defensive linemen become highly instinctive in the 2-gap techniques. I can imagine Cox excelling in that respect.

    • brza

      I thought about the same thing. Although, I think Cox could 2-gap if he had to I think they’d be wasting our biggest current defensive talent by forcing him to 2-gap. Kelly has always said he’s gonna scheme around his personell and not force his personell into schemes so something like that seems like it would make more sense.

    • T_S_O_P

      Vincent Wolfolk is main reason that Belichik is able to run that system. He is certainly a cornerstone.

  • Geagle

    Walterfootballs latest mock, is in line with the offensive Draft that Tommy warned us that we could see:
    1)Geno
    2)Justin Pugh
    3)Gavin Escobar
    4)Marquis Goodwin
    5)Brandon McGee
    Swap Dion for Geno and I wont complain, especially since it looks like Curry could be our starting 5tec

    • Mac

      That mock is not like Tommy’s mock…

      • Geagle

        no..This is walterfootballs mock….Tom warned us about the possibility of an offensive draft

  • SteveH

    Bleh, I wonder if Vinny has a shot at DE. Could end up being a square peg to our round holes. Would hate to see a 2nd rounder be worthless so quickly.

    • TommyLawlor

      Give him a chance. At 6-3, 280-85, might be able to play DE in the base and either DE or DT in the Nickel/Dime.

  • tball_man

    To the listening audience.. Is the Minter draft eligible player related to the Minter LB coach?

    • TommyLawlor

      No.

  • ACViking

    Re: “Big” Vinny Curry / “Little” Trent Cole / the Angular Dion Jordon

    T-Law:

    No doubt Curry could get up to 285 lbs. (Hell, I’m 5’6″ and I’m sure I could get up to 285.)

    But if he does, who impact would you expect to see on (i) quickness, and (ii) speed?

    Conversely, Trent Coles trying to shed about 15 lbs. Let’s say he gets to 260 lbs.

    What impact to do see the loss of weight having on his strength at the POA? At age 31 — by November (I think) — will the weight loss make him quicker . . . or just lighter? And at 260 lbs or so, how do you see T-Cole doing in space . . . given that he’s spent 8 years with his hand on the ground [except in the Tuesday night game against the Vikings on the most crucial play of the game]?

    __________________

    By the way, there seems to be a good deal of support here for Dion Jordon.

    Do you see him as worth the 4th pick relative to the other guys in this draft? [repeat "??????" -- not "............"]

    Specifically, has he developed the skills to be a big-time impact OLB in a Steelers’ style 3-4 [i.e., 2-gap], since DJ’s only be at OLB for 3-4 years or so.

    • theycallmerob

      I think Ray Lewis showed last year the success these “older” players can have by shedding weight. If you’re not familiar, before this season he got into biking hardcore. Lost about 12-15 lbs, AND has many years on Cole. But to be honest with you, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s used in more of a hybrid/situational pass rusher to make full use of his strengths (pass rush) and mask his weaknesses (coverage responsibilities as a 3-down OLB). With Graham and Barwin, and the strong possibility of Dion Jordan or Ansah….I’m just sayin’

    • Anders

      I dont think its a problem for Curry as he was a never a speed rusher and his biggest strength was his very active hands, which is something that will help him a lot playing 3-4 DE. Also it seems its mostly muscles he is putting on, so he should be stronger as well.

      • Ark87

        From what I saw of curry in college he relied a lot on being a better athlete. He seems to always start out using a speed rush as if he were trying to get around the tackle, as the tackle scrambles to catch up, Vinny would transition almost to a bull rush, blowing the off-balance tackle up on his way to the QB. Speed to power.

        Not being a pass rusher anymore…well the coaches must believe he is a great football player to have him make this drastic transition

        • Mac

          Tommy points out that coach Azz has experience using Curry in a 3-4, I think he must believe he can be effective in that role. I seem to recall Brandon Graham being used at DT in pass rush situations and being pleasantly surprised by his effectiveness. I realize that isn’t a great comparison, but to be able to take a guy who’s projected as a 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB out of college and line him up at DT sounds kinda nutty to me. Taking a guy who played 3-4 DE and 4-3 DE in college and putting him in as a 3-4 DE in the NFL doesn’t sound too far out of bounds.

        • Anders

          Watch his hands, they are what scouts describes as violent. That means a tackle would rarely get his hands on him. Also one of is strengths is as you say setting up the tackle with counter moves etc.Also a very positive thing when he now has to fight through em instead of just blowing right by em.

          Curry also got plenty long arms to play 3-4 DE and last he play 3-4 DE in college under the same DL coach as we got now and his old DC his our ILB coach.

          • Ark87

            I’ll take a look at it, I enjoyed his tape, he was a man among boys. He has a very good frame. I definitely don’t think the move is without merit, especially if the coaches signed off on it.

          • Ark87

            I went ahead an watched some of his film again. He did use his hands well, did well keeping hands off him. What was encouraging is that he didn’t really need/use space to get pressure.

            Secondly, I then watched his highlights…..Geno Smith knows Vinny Curry VERY well….Vinny absolutely blew Geno up on multiple occasions. Wouldn’t surprise me if he has a few aches in the morning to attribute to #99 from Marshall

  • Iskar36

    Isn’t Fletcher Cox more of a 1-gap player? I know he can play 2-gap, but are his talents a bit wasted as a 2-gap DE?

    • TommyLawlor

      Wasted? No. Again, we’ll be in sub-packages about 50% of the time. Those are 1-gap. You’re rushing the passer. Having Cox play DE in a 2-gap scheme is okay. He’ll have more space for getting after the QB on pass plays. You will lose his penetration on run plays.

      • Baloophi

        Guys, come on. Cox? Penetration? 2 gap?

        I expect more from this forum when Tommy lobs one over the plate like that…

        • Cliff

          We have big ol’ Cox
          Who likes to fill both the gaps
          Get penetratrion

  • SteveH

    http://www.phillymag.com/eagles/2013/04/17/the-new-eagles-smoothies-heart-monitors/
    Tommy this is some really interesting stuff, I can’t say I’ve ever heard of a coach coming in with this kind of health/nutrition innovation. Sounds like they’re really serious about optimizing performance.

    • Iskar36

      It’s definitely interesting. The health/nutrition stuff hopefully can give us a bit of an added edge. Having said that though, does the sleep monitoring thing seem like it could rub some people the wrong way? Maybe I’m the only one that feels that way, but I think I would feel a bit reluctant to have my employer track my sleeping habits. It just seems a bit invasive into my personal life. It makes me wonder if there would be certain players who feel the same way. At the end of the day, the goal is obviously to help players better understand their body and what is necessary to be at optimal condition, so the goal of monitoring their sleep is valuable, but I guess were is the line of over monitoring a player.

      • goeagles55

        They’re not actively monitoring sleep.

        “Cole explained that each player has been given custom sleep tests and [b]recommendations[b].”

      • D3Center

        I agree with you about not wanting my employers tracking my sleep habits but I doubt I’ll ever have an employer investing millions of dollars in me per year

        • A_T_G

          Not with that attitude you won’t!

    • goeagles55

      In addition to the real physical edge this may give them, I think it could also give them a mental edge. Sort of like the pickle juice game, but to a larger extent.

  • EaglesHero87

    Did guys like Curry and Cole have a hunch that they were going to play in their respective 2-gap DE and 3-4 OLB positions based on the possibility of playing in a 3-4 scheme? Or did they receive some informal wording from the coaches or personnel that they would most likely play in those positions, before Day 1 of practice started?

    • TommyLawlor

      Great question. Graham knew he would be a LB. Just common sense for a guy who is 6-1, 265. Curry started off trying to get in LB shape, but somehow got the word to gain weight and get ready for DE.

      • Geagle

        when is the deadline during the season to extend the contracts of your own players? Can Brandon, in so little time, prove to be worth in a new scheme, what he would be worth to a 4-3 Team on the open market? I ask, because lets face facts, if guys like Maclin and Graham hit the open market, they are as good as GONE! Howie is not going to get in a bidding war over his own players, especially with the way the market over pays..
        I feel bad for B-Grizzle! He finally had a big year, that was much better than the average fan realizes(because he was Balling even when he had limited snaps early on)…Now, he has to switch schemes, positions and coaches going into a contract year? I dont know what to think….I wish he would sign a 1 year extension, but thats not a real possibility…Graham’s next contract wont be cheap. Can he prove to us in so little time, that he is worth something comperable to what a 4-3 team will throw at him? I worry that the answer is NO…and if thats the case, I would rather see us trade him, than lose him for nothing..Those picks you get for losing free agents, are not a guarentee…Really wish Maclin and Graham werent going into a contract year..
        would love to get your thoughts/prediction on the handling of Brandon Graham

        • Geagle

          Its bad enough to pay Graham and Cole 10mil to split time in 1 positions…But is it possibly, that we extend Graham(which wont be cheap), while continuing to pay Cole? I dont know whats happening with Dion, or what we think about Graham or Cole…but I do know that Barwin, will be holding down 1 of the OLB spots…I can not imagine paying all this money to Cole and Graham to play one position for the next 3 years. I have to think, 1 will be gone, if not BOTH!

  • shah8

    Very nice reporting, Tommy.

  • nickross23

    Off topic here for a sec but i was watching path to the draft a couple of days ago when they where announcing the players who where going to the green room. They announced EJ Manuel as one of the names that will be in NYC, then reading a report today on nfl.com on EJ believing very strongly that he well be a first round pick and saying that the eagles, bills and jets as the teams for his service. Could we take a Tackle at 4 then trade back into the first with a team say the colts for Maclin as reported earlier this month and late round pick and 2 in 2014. How about trading down with MIA and getting a couple extra picks and using one of the extra picks for a move back in round one? I just find it kinda interesting that EJ really would attend the draft if he truly wasn’t goin in the first. It very well couldn’t be us though too it could be the bills that really like him more. Just spit ballin here…god i luv this time of yr!

    • Lukekelly65

      There’s a few guys who well be in New York for the draft who probably wont be first rounders guys like Darius Slay and Menelik Watson… i see what your saying that about moving back into the first but i think there is alot of value in the middle rounds this year also there is a chance EJ will still be available at pick 35… now if we did move back in the first and pick up and extra 2nd rounder then maybe i could see moving up if Chip is totally sold on him but i like you said this is a great time of year so let the spit balling continue

    • Mac

      Do you think the Bills would trade back, and then draft EJ?

      • nickross23

        Could very well happen. Specially if Ryan Nassib goes to another team late in the first.

  • Flyin

    Tommy,

    I talked with a guy yesterday that has watched a ton of Oregon games. He said Chip will run a 3-4 D, but it is more like a 2-5. And Kelly likes to blitz a lot.

    This guy is a Panthers fan and wanted him to be coaching Cam.

    2-5? Thoughts.

    • TommyLawlor

      2-5 would be odd. The 2-4-5 is a Nickel D used by some 3-4 teams. You have 2 DL, 2 OLBs, and 2 ILBs. Not really anything all that different. Like a 4-2, but the DEs stand up as OLBs.

      • Flyin

        As you know, I don’t know x’s and o’s. But, if you have 2 players playing 2-gap (4 gap responsibility), how many gaps are left for 5 LB’s?

        • Baloophi

          I was told there would be no math in this space…

          • TommyLawlor

            I’ve heard that somewhere…

        • Neil

          What you’re describing sounds like basically what’s commonly called a 2gap 4-3. Except the outermost linebackers don’t stand when people play this defense in the nfl.

    • ICDogg
  • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

    interesting about curry, was thinking he was a goner

  • ICDogg

    Well, if we’re going to be a 3-4 team, the obvious question is whether they think that Star Lotulelei has the potential to be the cornerstone of the defense.

    • Geagle

      I think, the 2gap element makes Sheldon an option…but it could also cross Sharrif and Ziggy off our list

      • ICDogg

        Don’t know about that… Ziggy is another guy you can move around to rush the passer from different spots. He wouldn’t be a two-gapper though under any scenario

  • wilbertmontgomery

    PBR and Funyans is soooo very Andy Ried – kind of like the deep bomb on the first play of the game or maybe the shovel pass from the five. A little read option a few bubble screens and Natty Boh and Pringles from here out for you Tommy!

    • BreakinAnklez

      I am having a Natty Boh right now….no BS

  • Stevo

    Regarding some of the stories coming out of mini-camp, as much as I like innovative ideas (e.g., shakes, relaying of play calls, sleep recommendations), I love how the players are expressing a sense of confidence in the system/program Kelly is running. I’m sure a lot of players are rolling their eyes behind the cameras, but the ones that don’t buy in end up getting rooted out over time. Believing that you have something that others don’t can really help give you that edge on game day.

    A commitment to the running game aside, it’s that psychological edge that we’ve been missing for years (remember when TO first came to town?). When Walsh first started in SF, he brought a comprehensive program, some of it seemed like BS, but having the players believe in a complete program is a huge win in itself. (Of course, he also drafted Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice, etc., which contributed to their success some.) I only hope that we have that kind of success under Kelly.

    • Stevo

      Oops, missed the comments below by goeagles55 and Iskar36, who talked about this same thing. In full agreement with what they said.

  • xeynon

    Is a 3-4 really a better fit for the talent we have? It seems to me a guy like Fletcher Cox would be somewhat squandered taking on blockers head on rather than using his quickness to shoot gaps, and Curry doesn’t strike me as a good candidate to play 2-gap DE at all. I’m not a football coach, though.