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Sparky The Sun Devil
03-11-2010, 11:53 PM
whats the difference between the two ilbs?

CrazyHorse
03-12-2010, 07:54 PM
Ones RILB and the others LILB.
This should help some.
http://www.milehighreport.com/2008/5/7/481970/mhr-university-modern-3-4

tripleoption
03-14-2010, 05:00 PM
Probably a better way to explain it would be the Mike is the strongside ILB and the Ted would be the weakside ILB. Don't get caught up in terminology though. There are other names given to these to ILB's in a 3-4. I've seen the strong ILB called Mike, Sid, Sam, etc., and the weak ILB called Will, Ted, Whip, Mo, etc. A coach can call them anything he wants.

Ravage!!!
03-14-2010, 05:04 PM
I've always referred to them as Mike and Mac... Mike being the strongside ILB in the 3-4 and Mac being the weak-side ILB in the 34... so I'm guessing the Ted is in place of the Mac?

tripleoption
03-14-2010, 05:13 PM
I've always referred to them as Mike and Mac... Mike being the strongside ILB in the 3-4 and Mac being the weak-side ILB in the 34... so I'm guessing the Ted is in place of the Mac?

I'd assume so

BigBroncLove
03-21-2010, 01:35 PM
Here is a little more insight into the exact requirements for a "Ted" LB in comparison with a "Mike" LB. I think its a rather wonderful article. It comes from the same astute mind of Steve Nichols from the MHR University, but its broken down to a little more laymen friendly terminology and explanation as the actual MHR university article originally posted. Remember that the original milehighreport article posted by crazyhorse is a much more in depth article, but this one is a better individual breakdown of the Ted LB in my opinion withotu going into the detail of his expanded responsibilities.

http://www.ninersnation.com/2008/5/13/508528/so-what-exactly-is-the-ted

Joel
12-13-2010, 08:17 PM
I'd like a little more elaboration on pass coverage duties, please. These days it seems like many think defenses consist of seven blitzing/run stuffing LBs and "DL" teamed with four DBs. Seven guys to blitz and run stuff, and four to cover 100 yards of field; No wonder Brady and the Mannings are always smiling. Maybe I missed it, but I saw NO mention of pass coverage in the second article; it seemed primarily about LB blitzing duties with run stopping secondary to that and pass coverage ignored. The first article is a little better, it does at least acknowledge a big advantage the 3-4 has there:


It is easier to obtain quality LBs than qualtiy DLs, and thus easier to build a 3-4.
More "pure athletes" or on the field, since many would consider a LB to be more skilled than a DL.
I must be missing something, because those two statements seem contradictory. It's nearly a wash to me; instead of focusing on the 4-3 Mike and blitzing RDE you focus on two elite OLBs, which gives you more pass coverage flexibility than the RDE who's JUST a blitzer. That advantage is offset by the need for a crushing NT who can do the same job two DTs one did so that each DE is free to slide over on outside runs. In the League as it stands I think that's worth the trade, but if winning teams were primarily run oriented the 4-3 would NOT be losing favor.


Increased reaction time for LBs. The LBs start further back than they would in a 4-3, so they have nearly .5 to a full second to read a play as it develops.
Another reason I'd like to hear more about pass coverage responsibilities: That's the only place this seems like a benefit rather than detriment. Against the run or blitzing the QB you have more reaction time because you're farther from the LoS, rarely a good thing in either situation.


Puts more men in the short zones to disrupt passes.
Combined with musical blitzers, this is THE reason I prefer a 3-4 against current NFL teams.


Allows for a much larger play book, as LBs have more play uses than DLs. This also means more flexibility for the defense.
This seems like the broader rule of which the previous one offers a special case.


Stops runs to the outside (wider spaced OLBs).
Yes and no. In terms of getting tacklers outside, sure, but that advantage can be negated by their greater distance from the LoS. The main reason that's not a bigger problem is because while 4-3 OLBs tend to complement dominant MLBs, 3-4 OLBs tend to be dominant in their own right and complemented by ILBs. They blitz a LOT, so even when they don't have a run assignment there's a good chance they'll meet the ball carrier on their way to the QB. However, because they DO line up farther from the LoS, unless they read plays well, have good reflexes and close quickly they'll get to the ball carrier only after he's gained four or five yards.

Against the run, I much prefer a 4-3, but if the League is, in fact, "run first" (and while this may be true it's been less so with each passing year since at least the '50s) most of the winning teams now aren't: They use spread offenses, hot reads, check down men, screens, short passing etc. etc. The 3-4 excels against those kinds of teams as much as it excelled against the pass happy teams of the old AFL, more so, in fact, because not only do they constantly harrass the QB with an ever shifting rotation of blitzing LBs, those LBs seldom have to worry about three or four receivers going deep on a zone buster the way they did in the '60s. Instead, they can cover bigger slower TEs and backs who may not zip downfield on a go route but can run over nickel and dimebacks after they make a short catch.

Thus I'd like more analysis of linebacker pass coverage in the 3-4. I can see the blitz advantages of an extra faster man in the front seven so offensive linemen never know which is blitzing and which is in coverage. If OLBs are primarily blitzing and stuffing the outside run ILBs inevitably have more pass coverage, but when we start talking about one ILB clearing the way for another to blitz my immediate question is how that changes the OLBs coverage assignments. Surely it's not as simple as "blitz six, seven or more guys on most downs, and every passing down" 'cos while I believe in winning with the run, I still love the pass, and if they want to blitz all day my natural reaction is to start calling screens, delay draws, timing routes, quick slants/outs and zone busters. I guarantee a thrown football travels faster than a LB can run. ;) What am I missing...?

West
01-13-2011, 07:34 PM
I played ILB in the 3-4 in high school and have coached the 3-4.


I call the 2 ILB's Mike and Sam. Sam being the strong side backer and Mike being weak side.

The difference is that Sam takes on a lot more blocks and is usually the bigger and stronger of the 2 backers. Their job is not to make tackles but essentially take on blocks and fill a gap. The Mike backer is almost always the best defender on the field. They are the more athletic, quicker, and aggressive backer. You need all of these traits to do the things that need to be done at the position. This is the guy that plays cut back, and makes the majority of the tackles. If you look at a 3-4 defenses' defensive stats, the Mike (or weakside inside backer) is usually the one leading the team in tackles.

Hope that answers your question...

Joel
01-14-2011, 02:52 AM
I played ILB in the 3-4 in high school and have coached the 3-4.

I call the 2 ILB's Mike and Sam. Sam being the strong side backer and Mike being weak side.

The difference is that Sam takes on a lot more blocks and is usually the bigger and stronger of the 2 backers. Their job is not to make tackles but essentially take on blocks and fill a gap. The Mike backer is almost always the best defender on the field. They are the more athletic, quicker, and aggressive backer. You need all of these traits to do the things that need to be done at the position. This is the guy that plays cut back, and makes the majority of the tackles. If you look at a 3-4 defenses' defensive stats, the Mike (or weakside inside backer) is usually the one leading the team in tackles.

Hope that answers your question...
Thanks, but it only answers my question a little; more than anything it seems to argue that OLBs aren't as big a deal as they were in the old 3-4s of the '60s and '70s if the ILBs are the biggest and best defenders and the 3-4 Mike is the same as the 4-3 Mike: The best defender and the guy making most of the tackles because he's got all the skillsets. It still seems from what I see on Sundays that it's guys like Doom playing as bigger OLBs who are doing most of the QB crunching and outside run stuffing, which leaves the ILBs supplementing either them or the ends and NT playing the inside run. I'll take your word for that though, since I've never played anything more than a sandlot game, let alone coached.

My big question, however, was pass D; against the run, I'll take an extra, bigger, down lineman at the point of attack over a faster smaller LB a few yards off the LoS any day of the week and twice on Sunday (which is when most NFL games are played. :tongue: ) Against the pass, particularly the currently popular short passing multi-receiver offense, while the extra rotating blitzer is definitely nice, it's always seemed to me that the best QBs will get the pass off before the blitz with a halfway decent line. The Pats blitzed Manning mercilessly in SB XLII, but David Tyree and Plaxico Burress had the last laugh. Since a LB had the coverage on Tyrees improvised comeback route I can't help thinking that if he'd been a little better at pass coverage the Pats walk away with another title.

Remember how Shannon Sharpe would create mismatches because DBs were too small to tackle him and big LBs were too slow to cover him? The rise of TEs like that seems to have had a lot to do with 4-3 Wills who did little more than play pass coverage against such receiving TEs, and I'm a lot more interested in what the 3-4 LB does to THAT, or the halfback out of the backfield (who often presents similar problems) than what it does to blitzing. Blitzing your front seven plus a safety is pretty much the same whether you do it out of a 3-4 or a 4-3, but more importantly it's been exhaustively covered just about everywhere I look. Yet there's a world of difference between 4 LBs who can cover AND tackle RBs and TEs vs. DEs and DBs who can only do one or the other. 3-4 ILBs can be ideally suited to both if they sacrifice some size, and when I look at most NFL 3-4s DJs 240 is typical, while most teams would consider Doom a light OLB at 250; on the other hand, since DJs best seasons were as a 4-3 Will, that makes sense, too. The "check down man", FB, TE etc. isn't usually a big deep threat, and you'll still have a safety deep most of the time, which should allow you to play your ILBs in man rather than a zone knowing that the 3rd, 4th or 5th receiver isn't likely to get by them fast, if at all, and the safety is there for whoever gets deep. You're no more locked into that coverage scheme than you are blitzing your OLBs every time, but that's the natural tendency for both, it just alternates along with your blitz package. You're even fairly likely to produce one of the most embarrassing and demoralizing things that can happen to an offense: The coverage sack, which basically tells the offense that even if the QB has all day to pass your coverage STILL won't let him complete a pass; he'll have to eat a sack or throw the ball away.

The irony is that Dick LeBeau claims his version of the 3-4 was created as a response to my beloved Run 'N Shoot, and against that kind of offense with multiple fast receivers, all of which are legit deep threats on every play, the LBs will not be able to keep up downfield. However, that's not the way the NFL looks; it was never the norm because the pass protection is nightmarish with that many small receivers who are all 20 yards downfield anyway, but against offenses with few deep threats but many targets in the short passing game this style is ideal. You can bring those rotating blitz packages with lots of fast LBs and/or a DB while your 3 man line holds the middle of the field and tries to collapse the pocket, and you've got someone to hang with a Darren Sproles or Dallas Clark over the middle, or at least cover them long enough for a safety to step up if they try to get deep.

Unfortunately it seems like, as is so often the case with defence, pass coverage beyond the corners and one, MAYBE two, safeties is little more than an afterthought: Decide who's blitzing and anyone left can play a short zone. That's really what I'm getting at in my roundabout way; if defense were just "put a corner on each side, a safety deep and bring the house" the Packer sweep would still work every time. Actually, I don't think that's a bad approach against a 3-4 if you do it right; pull a guard or two and count on them and your TE to get to the outside with your tackle before their huge NT and DEs, then outmuscle the LBs while your center and tackle seal off the weak side with their weak side LBs too far away to make a play (there's a reason the 4-3 was so popular when teams won on the ground, and having the NT tie up the center and guard doesn't work if he has to hold every time to do it).

I'm sure there's a LOT more to it than that, but since no one--EVER--talks about LB pass coverage in the 3-4, despite the already rampant but still growing popularity of the short passing game with multiple checkdown men, it's really hard to tell. What I've seen time and again though is this: You may be able to blitz your way to a winning season, maybe even the playoffs, but against a good QB, a good offensive line or, heaven forbid, both, if you blitz eight guys someone's open short, and the QB will find a hot read to gash your D badly simply because he can throw a football faster than you can run a LB. ;)

West
01-14-2011, 02:55 PM
Thanks, but it only answers my question a little; more than anything it seems to argue that OLBs aren't as big a deal as they were in the old 3-4s of the '60s and '70s if the ILBs are the biggest and best defenders and the 3-4 Mike is the same as the 4-3 Mike: The best defender and the guy making most of the tackles because he's got all the skillsets. It still seems from what I see on Sundays that it's guys like Doom playing as bigger OLBs who are doing most of the QB crunching and outside run stuffing, which leaves the ILBs supplementing either them or the ends and NT playing the inside run. I'll take your word for that though, since I've never played anything more than a sandlot game, let alone coached.

Well the OLB in the 3-4 is the edge setter. This means that if a play is ran right at him, he is suppose to set the edge of the pulling linemen, fullback coming to block him, or tackle/tight end trying to reach him. He doesn't allow anything outside of him and lets the ILB's and the safeties clean up the garbage when he turns it inside of him.

My big question, however, was pass D; against the run, I'll take an extra, bigger, down lineman at the point of attack over a faster smaller LB a few yards off the LoS any day of the week and twice on Sunday (which is when most NFL games are played. :tongue: ) Against the pass, particularly the currently popular short passing multi-receiver offense, while the extra rotating blitzer is definitely nice, it's always seemed to me that the best QBs will get the pass off before the blitz with a halfway decent line. The Pats blitzed Manning mercilessly in SB XLII, but David Tyree and Plaxico Burress had the last laugh. Since a LB had the coverage on Tyrees improvised comeback route I can't help thinking that if he'd been a little better at pass coverage the Pats walk away with another title.
Rodney Harrison was covering Tyree. Harrison played safety. In the 3-4, the ILB's are responsible for the back out of the backfield straight up the seam. If there's two backs in the backfield, the ILB's have them man regardless if they are up the seam or go to the flats. Usually it depends on what defense you are running or how retarded the defensive coordinator is but the OLB picks up the back in the flats. In the 3-4, the OLB is always blitzing unless the TE presses to the outside or the back crosses the face in which the OLB would pick him up. Usually the ILB's are help players in pass coverage. Unless they are in straight man-to-man defense, they drop to the hook. They get under any slants, drives, or square-ins.

Remember how Shannon Sharpe would create mismatches because DBs were too small to tackle him and big LBs were too slow to cover him? The rise of TEs like that seems to have had a lot to do with 4-3 Wills who did little more than play pass coverage against such receiving TEs, and I'm a lot more interested in what the 3-4 LB does to THAT, or the halfback out of the backfield (who often presents similar problems) than what it does to blitzing. Blitzing your front seven plus a safety is pretty much the same whether you do it out of a 3-4 or a 4-3, but more importantly it's been exhaustively covered just about everywhere I look. Yet there's a world of difference between 4 LBs who can cover AND tackle RBs and TEs vs. DEs and DBs who can only do one or the other. 3-4 ILBs can be ideally suited to both if they sacrifice some size, and when I look at most NFL 3-4s DJs 240 is typical, while most teams would consider Doom a light OLB at 250; on the other hand, since DJs best seasons were as a 4-3 Will, that makes sense, too. The "check down man", FB, TE etc. isn't usually a big deep threat, and you'll still have a safety deep most of the time, which should allow you to play your ILBs in man rather than a zone knowing that the 3rd, 4th or 5th receiver isn't likely to get by them fast, if at all, and the safety is there for whoever gets deep. You're no more locked into that coverage scheme than you are blitzing your OLBs every time, but that's the natural tendency for both, it just alternates along with your blitz package. You're even fairly likely to produce one of the most embarrassing and demoralizing things that can happen to an offense: The coverage sack, which basically tells the offense that even if the QB has all day to pass your coverage STILL won't let him complete a pass; he'll have to eat a sack or throw the ball away.

I agree with you. What we had the most trouble with was knowing who to pick up at the LB's spot. One play for example, the play in Oakland where their FB (his name escapes me) goes to the flats and runs for days. They were under center and in a two back set. Maybe NFL defenses are a little more complex than what I am accustom to but Ayers blitzed and when the back crossed his face, he did not re-direct and pick him up. This left DJ in a tight spot. This is normally not his man but if they were in a called blitz where the OLB and ILB change roles of who to cover, it would have been DJ's fault but in the defense i'm use to, Ayers would have picked him up and DJ would have dropped to the hook and tried to get under anything.


The irony is that Dick LeBeau claims his version of the 3-4 was created as a response to my beloved Run 'N Shoot, and against that kind of offense with multiple fast receivers, all of which are legit deep threats on every play, the LBs will not be able to keep up downfield. However, that's not the way the NFL looks; it was never the norm because the pass protection is nightmarish with that many small receivers who are all 20 yards downfield anyway, but against offenses with few deep threats but many targets in the short passing game this style is ideal. You can bring those rotating blitz packages with lots of fast LBs and/or a DB while your 3 man line holds the middle of the field and tries to collapse the pocket, and you've got someone to hang with a Darren Sproles or Dallas Clark over the middle, or at least cover them long enough for a safety to step up if they try to get deep.

Unfortunately it seems like, as is so often the case with defence, pass coverage beyond the corners and one, MAYBE two, safeties is little more than an afterthought: Decide who's blitzing and anyone left can play a short zone. That's really what I'm getting at in my roundabout way; if defense were just "put a corner on each side, a safety deep and bring the house" the Packer sweep would still work every time. Actually, I don't think that's a bad approach against a 3-4 if you do it right; pull a guard or two and count on them and your TE to get to the outside with your tackle before their huge NT and DEs, then outmuscle the LBs while your center and tackle seal off the weak side with their weak side LBs too far away to make a play (there's a reason the 4-3 was so popular when teams won on the ground, and having the NT tie up the center and guard doesn't work if he has to hold every time to do it).

Actually I like the 3-4 against the sweep better than the 4-3. If you have a technique sound OLB in the 3-4, he will eat that play alive. He will squeeze down the down-blocking TE and take on the pulling guard. You need a downhill safety to crush this play. Back in Dawkins' hay-day, he would have been perfect for this play. As I said, safeties are alley players in any scheme you run. He could have filled the alley from which the OLB created by keeping outside contain. Then you have both the Mike and Sam ILB's in that alley if they can use their hands and get off blocks.

I'm sure there's a LOT more to it than that, but since no one--EVER--talks about LB pass coverage in the 3-4, despite the already rampant but still growing popularity of the short passing game with multiple checkdown men, it's really hard to tell. What I've seen time and again though is this: You may be able to blitz your way to a winning season, maybe even the playoffs, but against a good QB, a good offensive line or, heaven forbid, both, if you blitz eight guys someone's open short, and the QB will find a hot read to gash your D badly simply because he can throw a football faster than you can run a LB. ;)

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