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To What End? Examining the 3-4 DE Position

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Feb 20, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning
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    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    [​IMG]


    The 3-4 Defensive End has to be least glorious position on the football field. The position is one that doesn't get a lot of sacks and doesn't even get that many tackles. The same could be said for the Nose Tackle, but that guy at least gets seen in goal line stands when he gets penetration and stops an up-the-middle run. When the Defensive End gets penetration chances are the the RB or QB just moves to avoid him. He did his job, but there isn't much glory in it. On top of that, it's impossibly hard to get to a Pro Bowl since the top 4-3 Defensive Ends are usually guys that get 10+ sacks in a season. So who are these blue collar workers of the NFL? Let's get to know them with the same three questions from my similar post on Nose Tackles.

    What is a Defensive End?

    Who are the 3-4 Defensive Ends in the NFL?

    Where do they come from?

    [​IMG]

    What is a Defensive End?

    A defensive end gets its name from being the guy on the end of the line of players on defensive who lineup at the line of scrimmage. In the 4-3 this player would line up across from one of the shoulders of the Tight End (6 or 7 technique, you read the Nose Tackle post). Their job is use their speed and power to avoid or attack the offensive lineman on a trajectory that will take them more or less straight to the QB. Obviously speed, pass rushing moves and acceleration to the QB will be the most prized skills for a player at this position. By contrast, the 3-4 defensive end will line up on the outside should of the offensive tackle and his only option is go through the one or more 300 pounders to get to the QB or RB, speed is not going to be a big help.
    At this point, maybe you're thinking, "Hey Wonko, I've read/seen the Blind Side, the offensive tackle is supposed to be the athletic guy have to stop all kinds of pass rushes in order to keep his QB clean, isn't it a misuse of his abilities to block the defensive end when a Quarterback hungry sack specialist like Lawrence Taylor/Jerome Harrison/Joey Porter/Shawne Merriman is going to rush as well?" Well, you're right, and that's why the defensive end lines up where he does. He's running interference if he can in some way delay the offensive tackle then that helps his pass rushers get to the QB. If the offensive tackle just goes around the defensive end, then his responsibility shifts to attack the guard and getting penetration using his strength, quickness and hands.
    The defensive end may always be a part of a "stunt" where he attacks the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle and forces him wide, while the linebacker rushes the passer to inside and attacks the less athletic guard (or possibly the blocking back if the guard is double teaming the nose tackle). The best defensive ends (your Richard Seymour's and Aaron Smiths) will be good enough to do all this and get some sacks and this may force the offensive to double team him. If he the end is double teamed to go along with the usually already double teamed Nose tackle, then the entire offensive is committed to blocking the 2 ends and the nose tackle leaving the linebackers free to attack with no opposition other than the running backs and tight ends. This is 3-4 Nirvana.

    Who are the 3-4 Defensive Ends in the NFL?

    Warning: This is a list of very boring and not-so-famous names.


    http://www.boltsfromtheblue.com/2010/2/20/1318592/to-what-end-examining-the-3-4-de?ref=CBS
  2. foober
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    foober BoltTalker

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    I'm still trying to figure out why we didn't have a good pass rush last year. ANd I think i"ve figured it out.

    Pretty simple to figure out really. Jamall. WE were missing jamall pushing the pocket in from the center which would have made our outside linebackers able to then get to the qb who'd be backing up. :yes:

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