With Matt Patricia now head coach, will he switch the Detroit Lions’ defense to a 3-4 front? If so, what does that mean for the Motor City?
When head coach Matt Patricia named University of Syracuse defensive coordinator, Paul Pasqualoni, to oversee the Detroit Lions‘ defense, he brought in a coach who during his time with the Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and at Syracuse ran, you guessed it, a 3-4 defensive alignment.
To some fans this is no big deal. To other fans it is a very big deal. And it’s more than just perspective. There is much more than meets the eye if they gradually switch from a 4-3 setup to a 3-4.
To run a successful 3-4, the defensive linemen must be beefy to plug the A, B, and C gap. The Lions, with the exception of defensive tackles A’Shawn Robinson and Akeem Spence, are light in the defensive line department.
Four athletic linebackers are needed so they can move up to the line of scrimmage or drop back into pass coverage. When the linebackers are on the line of scrimmage the outside of the tight end becomes the D gap.
I feel very strongly the Lions have the linebackers to be able to help in a 3-4 scheme. Lead by Jarred Davis, who as a rookie this past season and struggled with pass coverage early. As the season progressed and he gained both confidence and the trust of Detroit’s coaching staff, his pass coverage improved.
Only Patricia, his coaching staff and Lions general manager Bob Quinn know which way the defense will go. If it is the 3-4, the indicators will be both in free agency and the NFL draft. This is just one of many storylines to keep an eye on this offseason.
As long as the Detroit Lions’ defense is doing their job, it may not matter how they lineup to start the season. After all inflicting, a little fear is just fine.