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Mailbag: Could The 4-3 Work Better With This Personnel?

Posted Jan 9, 2013

DANIEL SCHEUERLEIN
LEOLA, PA

Is there a chance the present personnel would be better suited to a 4-3 defensive scheme?

Bryan: They played a 4 man line when they went to the nickel. The trick will be if you resign Spencer, so let’s say you do, he could play left end, Lissemore or Ratliff play the one and Hatcher or Crawford the three. Wilber, Albright at the Sam with Lee as the Mike and Carter the Will. Regardless, I am still drafting defensive linemen, whether you play a 4-3 or 3-4.

Rowan: I think it could be, depending on if Spencer’s back. If he is, Spencer and Ware can play the end positions, with Ratliff and Lissemore on the inside. Tyrone Crawford and Jason Hatcher could both still stay in the mix inside, as well. It may take more pressure off Ratliff, who’s obviously dealt with a handful of injuries. The trick would be finding the right guy to play the third linebacker spot beside Lee in the middle and Carter on the outside. That guy could be Albright or Wilber.

FRED GRAHAM
OMAHA, NE

Do you think it would be a good idea to draft a left tackle in the 1st round of this year’s draft? Maybe putting Smith back to his original position at right and moving Free inside would increase the O line's productivity.

Bryan: If they have a new right tackle it will be Parnell. The one thing that gives Romo the most problems is pass rush up the middle, it’s not the stuff off the edge because he can handle that. When you watch Free play do you see a player that can anchor down inside and play against power? If you do, let me study those games with you. The inside three are responsible for the depth of the pocket and the tackle the width. If you are not strong inside you have problems.

Rowan: I’m all for taking the best offensive lineman, but I don’t think Smith is moving anywhere from his left tackle spot. It takes a while to get adjusted to the best pass rushers in the league the way a left tackle has to, and he doesn’t seem to be a primary problem on the line. Right now, I’d just take the best offensive lineman available at the earliest spot, and it’d be a positive if he has some position flex to be able to move from around if needed.
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