Pro Football weekly

Comment | Print |

Kiffin bringing the 4-3 'under' to Dallas

About the Author

Recent posts by Eric Edholm

Reese: Giants' Tuck wants to regain form

Posted Feb. 23, 2013 @ 11:26 a.m.

Chiefs' Dorsey eyes '333 players' for first pick

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 4:33 p.m.

Caldwell might be starting fresh in Jacksonville

Posted Feb. 22, 2013 @ 2:17 p.m.

Related Stories

2013 NFL draft order

Posted April 25, 2013 @ 12:46 p.m.

2013 NFC free-agent moves, by team

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

2013 AFC free-agent moves, by team

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 12:21 p.m.

Warmack, Cooper scouting reports

Posted April 15, 2013 @ 11:02 a.m.

Elam, Vaccaro scouting reports

Posted April 12, 2013 @ 9:26 a.m.

Milliner, Mathieu scouting reports

Posted April 11, 2013 @ 1:48 p.m.

Te'o, Ogletree scouting reports

Posted April 10, 2013 @ 12:57 p.m.

Lotulelei, Werner scouting reports

Posted April 09, 2013 @ 3:13 p.m.

Joeckel, Long scouting reports

Posted April 08, 2013 @ 11:35 a.m.

2013 preseason schedule

Posted April 04, 2013 @ 4:07 p.m.
Posted Jan. 11, 2013 @ 10:25 p.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Changes are well underway in Dallas on defense. With Rob Ryan gone and Monte Kiffin in as defensive coordinator, the 3-4 scheme will be scrapped and will be replaced with the 4-3 “under” scheme which Kiffin, Tony Dungy, Lovie Smith, Mike Tomlin and scores of other talented coaches rode to a championship and a dominant run in Tampa in the early part of last decade.

The system is predicated on creating turnovers in lieu of allowing chunks of yards. It requires the four-man rush to provide pressure without frequent blitzing. It asks its linebackers and DBs to cover a lot of space, tackle well and not to give up big plays. The "under" front shifts the defensive line away from the strength of the offense and puts the strong-side linebacker up on the line much of the time. It's a defense used throughout the NFL still, with the Seahawks and Patriots employing it quite often and effectively.

Can it work in Dallas with the 72-year-old Kiffin?

For starters, it means DeMarcus Ware will move from stand-up linebacker to three-point defensive end. So, too, will Anthony Spencer if he returns, but he could prove to be too costly to afford for a team that is projected to be several million over the salary cap. NT Jay Ratliff might take less wear and see fewer double-teams; he looked like he was starting to break down at 31. Jason Hatcher could be another starting tackle as a penetrating three-technique, with DT Sean Lissemore and DT-DE Tyrone Crawford as solid contributors.

At linebacker, the transition should be smooth for Sean Lee, who projects to middle linebacker well with his coverage ability, and Bruce Carter, who could be a playmaker on the weak side. Dan Connor has played the “Sam” LB spot in Carolina and could be the immediate starter if Kyle Wilber or Alex Albright (or someone not currently on the roster) is not up to the challenge.

Comments ()


ABOUT TRUST ONLINE