Compare and Contrast Football Schemes

Topics: American football, National Football League, Defense Pages: 2 (655 words) Published: March 18, 2012
The 4-3 defense vs. the 3-4 defense
Van Smith
ENG 121 English Composition I
Amanda Crane
January 9, 2012

It has often been stated in the Nation Football League that offense sells tickets while defense wins championships. That being said most teams implore either some version of the 3-4 schemes or the 4-3 schemes. While both defenses consist of a seven man front (7 players within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage) and used primarily to shut down opposing offenses running games we will examine the two to see which one is overall more effective in our guest to reach the promise land.

Aside from both schemes using & man fronts both also consist of a 4 man secondary (2 cornerbacks and 2 safeties). Within both schemes these secondaries are responsible for providing zone coverage by dividing the field into quarters with each player responsible for manning his zone. Both schemes are also known as gap control defenses by assigning its front seven players to fill a gap along the opposing offenses line of scrimmage. It is within these gap assignments that we can begin to explore the differences in the schemes.

The 4-3 assigns each one of its front seven players to fill one specific gap with very little changing of assignments. It is the 4-3 motto, “win your gap, win the game”. Also, in the 4-3 when blitzing occurs, (blitz being when a linebacker or defensive back attacks a gap at the snap of the ball before the play has been dissected) the blitzing player normally attacks the gap that he has already been originally assigned to. By providing four defensive linemen the 4-3 scheme also eliminates the offensive units the ability to get direct blocks on its linebackers. This tactic often allows for the linebackers to attack their assigned gaps with little or no resistance from the opposing offense. So as one can tell the 4-3 is very simple in its overall scheme, but for some, simple is most effective. Simple meaning it allows the players to react more...
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