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D. Orlando Ledbetter

Falcons are not ‘switching’ to the 3-4

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Here are the Falcons in the 3-4 in the NFC championship game against the San Francisco on Jan. 20, 2013.

Here are the Falcons in the 3-4 in the NFC championship game against the San Francisco on Jan. 20, 2013.

We just had to get this blog out there as a public service. Psst, the Falcons have been running the 3-4 for two seasons!!!

We understand the confusion because every time the media brought the subject up, Falcons coach Mike Smith, a staunch 4-3 man, wouldn’t own up to the shift or I think he felt that telling the opposition that they were using a 3-4 is strategy. He may have been counting on us not being able to count the linemen and the linebackers.

So, basically the Falcons are not “switching” to the 3-4 defense this offseason, because they’ve been running it for the last two years in obvious run situations.

During coach Mike Nolan’s first season, the Falcons moved Corey Peters over to nose tackle and had Peria Jerry and Jonathan Babineaux at the ends.

The 3-4 defense did a great job stopping Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy, who was held to 45 yards on 16 carries in the 30-17 victory at Lincoln Financial.

To counter the run, the Falcons used three defensive tackles on some downs, with Jonathan Babineaux shifting to defensive end.

“It’s just something that we’ve been working on,” said defensive tackle Corey Peters, who saw his first action of the season. “Maybe we’ll see more of it in the future. It just depends on what the offense is trying to do to us.”

With the defense tackling better, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was held to 45 yards rushing on 16 carries.

“We tackled them when we had a chance to tackle them,” defensive end John Abraham said. “There weren’t many missed tackles. A lot of the big runs in weeks prior came from missed tackles. We did a good job of wrapping up.”

Here’s Mike Nolan talking about the hybrid 4-3/3-4 attack from June of 2012.

The Falcons opened the exhibition game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the 3-4 last season. They would have used more of it last season, but Kroy Biermann’s injury hindered those plans.

He spent a great deal of his practice time working with the outside linebackers.

Now, with Peters coming back from Achilles surgery, the Falcons don’t have an anchor for that 3-4. That’s way Miami’s Paul Soliai is a possible target in free agency. Without the nose guard gobbling up two blockers, the 3-4 doesn’t work and will get shredded.

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