Now that the majority of NFL teams have their coaching staffs in place, speculation as to what may change in regards to their offensive and defensive schemes can begin take place. Here’s a look at some of teams that are rumored to be making scheme changes.
Broncos new head coach John Fox made it clear that they will make the transition back to a 4-3 defense for the upcoming season.
“We’re going to be a multiple-front defense, butI think we’ll make the commitment to the 4-3,” Fox told the Denver Post. “The transition from the 3-4 to 4-3 is much easier than going from the 4-3 to 3-4, I will say that. So we feel pretty confident about that switch.”
Fox is right in that the transition will be much easier to make because they won’t have to solidify the defensive tackle and linebacker positions to do so. This will then allow Elvis Dumervil to move back to the defensive end position while Robert Ayers could play the opposite end position.
I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that Denver could grab Clemson’s Da’Quan Bowers as he would make their defensive front pretty tough to handle on the ends. The Broncos have recently stated that Champ Bailey is a top priority for them but if they end up losing him, LSU’s Patrick Patterson is some of to consider at No. 2.
Nick Scurfield tweets that the Houston Texans plan to use Brian Cushing as their inside linebacker in the new 3-4 defensive scheme that Wade Phillips is installing for the upcoming season. There was some thought that he could be used at the outside linebacker position but this will allow him to focus on making tackles and coverage instead of pass-rushing which seems to play to his strengths better.
DeMeco Ryans will also play inside linebacker which should make for a formidable pair in the middle of the Texans defense. Connor Barwin and Jesse Nading can then be moved the outside linebacker positions which would keep Mario Williams at defensive tackle.
“I think Mario falls into the same category of we’ll start him out at defensive end and then see where he goes,” new linebackers coach Reggie Herring said. “Hopefully that’ll work out there, and if it doesn’t, then we’ll find another place to put him.”
John Glennon reports that Titans new OC Chris Palmer intends to go with a run-heavy offense in 2011. Palmer is said to be shooting for a 35:30 per game run-to-pass ratio mainly because the Titans ranked dead last in time of possession last season.
The interesting thing about this strategy is that it would require a better defense than the team had last season and it could limit their ability to be effective in the passing game which was something that looked to be getting better at times last season.
Most notably, the idea could be seen as an attempt to offset the problems that they could have at the quarterback position.
Chris Johnson effectiveness last season seemed to decline mainly because opposing teams knew that taking him away would limit the Titans ability to put points on the board. It will definitely be interesting to see how this impacts the teams offense and the opposing teams defensive strategy.