Tennessee's new 3-4 and how it will (or won't) work

Discussion in 'Vols Football' started by justingroves, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    Going into spring camp, Sal's made it clear he wants to run a 3-4.

    Here's how I see it playing out:

    NT: McCullers, Carson, O'Brien, Hood

    DE: Walls, Couch, Clark

    DE: Sentimore, Saulsberry, Hood

    OLB: Maggitt, Sapp, King

    MLB: AJ, Harris, Mitchell-Thornton

    MLB: Lathers, King, Mitchell-Thornton

    JLB: Jacques, Bohannon, Jordan Williams, Fowlkes

    CB: Lanier, Teague

    CB: Waggner (could be FS with Moore here), Coleman

    Nickel: Gordon

    SS: Randolph, Brewer

    FS: Moore (could be CB with Waggner here, McNeil

    I haven't thrown many freshmen in the mix because I think most won't be in the two deep. Sure, they'll play some, but most will be special teamers. Bonner, McNeil and O'Brien do all have, imo, a chance to contribute heavily. I left Corey Miller off because he's been AWOL.

    I see a lot of issues past the starters on the DL. After the starters, it's scary with the exception of Couch. If Greg King is healthy, he'll be a fine LB. If Lathers is healthy, he'll be okay too. Those are two big question marks though because King has never stayed healthy and Lathers is recovering from a severe foot/ankle injury.

    Brent Brewer, even if 100%, probably won't beat Randolph out.

    I'll be interested to see what the coaches do with Waggner. He's a decent CB and a decent safety. I guess his position will depend on how well Coleman, Gordon and Lanier come along at CB.

    One thing that could make or break this 3-4 is how well Jacques picks it up. He's relied on sheer strength and athleticism so far and he hasn't been as productive as you would expect. If the coaches can tweak him a little and he starts to slow down and play, he could a really really good pass rusher.

    The two studs are Maggitt and AJ. Maggitt is the kind of athlete Tennessee needs at the LB spot. AJ is full grown man that took on Trent Richardson several times last season and brought him down. That Bama game made me really like him. He struggles in pass coverage but he's a thumper.

    Thoughts? Opinions?
  2. Beechervol

    Beechervol Super Moderator

    The D will be better due to better talent and more depth.

    The DL on paper should be much better. IMO Sentimore will be our best DL. McCullers will be interesting to follow, he could make the DL a lot better, or just be a big body. Hopefully its the first.

    LBs should be better as well with an extra year. Lathers, King, and Jac are the X factors. This group needs these 3 to play alot, and play well. AJ and Curt should be set for nice seasons.

    Until I see the DBs play Im scared to say much. New coaching, another year of experience, some flashes of talent last year. I will wait and see.

    Overall, if the changes in scheme and position coaches take root without running into a major wall, this D will be good enough to stop people. Its not gonna be a shutdown type of D, but one that should be able to get off the field enough.
  3. justingroves

    justingroves supermod

    What Sal wants:

  4. Beechervol

    Beechervol Super Moderator

    That sounds great, and that is hopefully more than just a rallying speech. Hopefully that is implemented and it takes root quick.
  5. ole_orange

    ole_orange Board Simp

    Our starting Linebackers have the potential to be the best corp we have had in a while. That being said, we are boned if we have injuries there.
  6. CardinalVol

    CardinalVol Uncultured, non-diverse mod

    We'll have more depth for sure, but there is still a steep drop off.

    I guess a lot of it is also how aggressive is he going to play it. By nature the 3-4 is more aggressive than the 4-3, but what level will he take it to? Lot's of man coverage or will he blitz and try to sit in zone to minimize big plays out of it?

    And part 2 of that is how quickly can we grasp it.

    All that to say, I don't know. Still seems like a huge gamble by Dooley to try this. But....it may have been all he had. So I suppose we'll see.
  7. Lexvol

    Lexvol Guest

    I would still move Brewer out of the secondary to OLB. Otherwise, I'll be shocked if there isn't at least a 6 week learning curve to this defense (in the fall).
  8. lumberjack4

    lumberjack4 Chieftain

    I'm glad we're making the move to a 3-4, but depth's still an issue for this D. I had hoped by year 3 we would have been better off. We'll see how well the guys adapt.
  9. volwarrior33

    volwarrior33 Member

    I think Jordan Williams may beat Jacques out at the jack. I also think Randolph will be at FS, rather than SS.

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