Terry Pluto in his Sunday morning’s “Terry’s Pluto’s Talkin’” column, he outlines some of the thoughts from the Browns’ front office about current players and how they may fit into the Browns’ switch to new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s 3-4 attack-style defense.
“On the line, the Browns believe Phil Taylor can play over center. He did that at Baylor in a 3-4. Ahytba Rubin played a lot on the line in Eric Mangini’s 3-4 in 2009-10. So he can do the same here.”
This seems to make sense, as hopefully the Browns can find a way to get two playmakers like Taylor and Rubin together on the field as much as possible and maintain some sort of flexibility.
“The new coaching staff loves Billy Wynn as much as the old staff, and believes he can easily be a 3-4 end. They also believe 320-pound John Hughes can add depth at tackle or end.”
With just three defensive lineman in most sets, it’s really going to showcase the team’s depth there, especially with the third and sixth round selections from last year in Hughes and Wynn.
“In the traditional 3-4, the nose tackle is directly over the center and the two ends are lined up against the offensive tackles. In that setup, the guards are free to block the two inside linebackers. That’s why D’Qwell Jackson struggled in the 3-4, compared to being in the middle in the 4-3 and could use his speed because he wasn’t hit on his first step.”
This has long been one of my biggest concerns with the 3-4 switch, neutralizing D’Qwell Jackson as he tries to keep blockers off of him.
“Horton’s 3-4 often has a nose tackle lined up on the shoulder of a center, either right or left. The hope will be that Jackson can “hide” a bit behind a massive player such as the 335-pound Taylor, then make plays. I still wonder if Jackson will be as effective.”