Should the Jets go with more 4 man fronts this season?


With the NFL becoming a more pass-oriented league, the Jets may want to change their defensive philosophy going into the 2012 season. By drafting Quinton Coples in the 1st round this year, the Jets have showed signs of a transition. Rex Ryan has multiple schemes and formations (4-3,3-4,46, etc.) that he likes to run every week. He provides opposing quarterbacks with a variety of looks that become unpredictable throughout the course of a game.

Rex loves to run the Base 46 defense, but as much as he and Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine would like to call it, there are plenty of ways in which to attack it –through the spread offense. The spread can leave mismatches for defenses, where a linebacker is lined up on a receiver. To counter that, we are forced to sub in a cornerback/safety to avoid getting burned through the air. Although the 46 defense will get its share of snaps against certain offenses, it is becoming less and less frequent for Rex Ryan to call the 46 now more than ever.

 An alternative the Jets could turn to on passing downs is the four man front. We added plenty of depth to the defensive line the past two seasons which helped improve our pass rush. Yeah we didn’t get an OLB, but we have a mean D-line that can collapse the pocket and pressure the quarterback.
Rotating along the line would be Calvin Pace, Sione Pouha, Muhammad Wilkerson, Mike DeVito, Quinton Coples, and Aaron Maybin. By rotating, they will continue to stay fresh. With their hands in the dirt, their job is to simply collapse the pocket and disrupt the passer. It’s easier said than done but there’s no excuse that such a talented group can’t get the job done. Playing in this formation on passing downs will require an extra defensive back on the field in place of a linebacker.

Rushing 4 defensive linemen and dropping 7 defensive backs will certainly improve our pass defense against the spread offenses we will face in 2012. With the amount of looks that Rex and Pettine like to show and disguise in coverage, it could get interesting. Just look at what the Giants did with a dominant D-line and a plethora of DB’s. More DB’s in coverage will lead to more quarterback sacks, hits, and hurries. It also allows a DB like Josh Bush to roam the middle of the field in place of Bart Scott, who struggles in coverage. Another safety on the field is crucial because the middle of the field is the area in which we consistently struggled through the air last season. We are fortunate enough to have arguably the best cornerback tandem in the NFL with Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, which allows us to stack zones and focus on defending inside the hash marks. But with no consistent pass rush last year it was difficult to disrupt the quarterback, so it didn’t get us too far.

A four man rotation with an improved defensive line could be the answer to our pass rush problems.

What do you think? Post your opinion in the comment section below!

Topics: 46 Defense, Aaron Maybin, Antonio Cromartie, Calvin Pace, Darrelle Revis, Drew Ferraro, Jets Pass Rush, Josh Bush, Mike Pettine, Muhammed Wilkerson, NY Jets, Pass Rush, Quinton Coples, Rex Ryan, Sione Pouha

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  • BigRalph

    a strong d line needs a speed rusher from the outside to really pressure the passer and breakdown the pocket.  thats the blueprint to shut down the pass, look at the past great defenses, the 85 Bears with Richard Dent, the 86 & 91 Giants with LT and more current days with Williams with the Texans and OSI, TUck and JPP on the Giants.  Get that premiere pass rusher either with a speedy end or a top notch OLB 

  • DrewFerraro

    Thanks for the feedback BigRalph. I see what your saying, but don’t you think we just drafted that speedy end rusher in Quinton Coples? I think he has the physical tools to become the next Julius Peppers.
     
    What do you think? 
     

  • DrewFerraro

    @BigRalph
    Thanks for the feedback BigRalph. I see what your saying, but don’t you think we just drafted that speedy end rusher in Quinton Coples? I think he has the physical tools to become the next Julius Peppers.
     
    What do you think?
     

  • BigRalph

     @Drew Ferraro aka JETSerious  time will tell, Rex has to keep him focused and harness his energy and talent, i hope he can do it

  • SeanLDurham

    Any 4 man front don’t necessarily need a “speed” rusher…..they just need an adequate one with adequate speed at the LEAST.  It just so happens in the Jets case they have an OLB in Maybin that runs a 4.4 so SPEED wont be an issue and between Pace, Thomas and maybe Sapp, i’ll say the Jets are SET with the EDGE rushers just as long as the 4 man front be as EFFECTIVE as I feel they will be.  Coples is a FREAK like JPP and will cause problems no matter WHAT end he’s on so I can almost bet that the side that he’s on will generate the most pressure and probably the most sacks…..a freak like Coples, if developing adequately WILL be giving the Green light to switch Ends at his discretion and that could be a BIG problem for opposing offensive lines.  JPP AND Tuck BOTH have the greenlight to switch at their discretion and its been VERY effective to say the least!

  • SeanLDurham

    Any 4 man front doesn’t necessarily need a “speed” rusher…..they just need an adequate one with adequate speed at the LEAST.  It just so happens in the Jets case they have an OLB in Maybin that runs a 4.4 so SPEED wont be an issue and between Pace, Thomas and maybe Sapp, i’ll say the Jets are SET with the EDGE rushers just as long as the 4 man front be as EFFECTIVE as I feel they will be.  Coples is a FREAK like JPP and will cause problems no matter WHAT end he’s on so I can almost bet that the side that he’s on will generate the most pressure and probably the most sacks…..a freak like Coples, if developing adequately WILL be given the Green light to switch Ends at his discretion and that could be a BIG problem for opposing offensive lines.  JPP AND Tuck BOTH have the greenlight to switch at their discretion and its been VERY effective to say the least!

  • Gamatrudo

    I think you make a great point about how more d backs on Field will lead to more hits, hurries, and overall sacks. People forget that when a QB Drops back it becomes a game where every split second counts. As his eyes scan the field and indecisiveness sets in he is more likely to throw the ball away, tuck it and drop, or even get sacked. That’s why this defense is sort of counterintuitive against a QB like Vick who can scramble outside the pocket when pressure doesnt get there and d backs are 25 yards down the field.But against any other QB more DB’s on the field seem to present a problem. It’s just a matter of the front 4 getting some pressure, maintaining that pressure, and most importantly not becoming gassed or discouraged when they don’t necessarily sack the QB . Good article

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  • Drew Ferraro aka JETSerious

     @SeanLDurham Great Point!

  • Drew Ferraro aka JETSerious

     @Gamatrudo Thanks, and your absolutely right. A lot of people focus on statistics like QB sacks, but in reality, a QB hit (a stat rarely noticed) disrupts the passer just as effectively.

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