MGoFish: Next DC Expected to be a "3-4 Guru" and a Slamdunk Hire

Submitted by EastCoast on December 15th, 2015 at 9:49 AM

Team Harbaugh is apparently giving some recruits information on who the next DC will be, and I suspect we will be very happy with the decision based on these rumblings:


#Michigan expected to hire a "3-4 guru" as their next defensive coordinator

— Garrett Fishaw (@MGoFish) December 15, 2015


Also, MGoFish is hearing positive things about Bush and Walker. While the dude can be over optimistic at times, his sources seem to be fairly solid.

Late Night Update:

— Garrett Fishaw (@MGoFish) December 15, 2015



December 15th, 2015 at 10:00 AM ^

Yeah it wont be for 2016.  Finding 3 valid LBs is going to be a challenge, let alone 4.  This team is going to look brand new on both sides of the ball in 2017 with all the graduations so I'd expect you convert then.  Everyone not named Mone and Hurst on the 2015 2 deep will be gone in 2017.

Now of course this DC could be very much in demand in 2-3 years for a head coach role so thats the risk you take in converting systems.  We might be rolling in new DCs every few years here and changing systems with each one is not ideal.


December 15th, 2015 at 12:53 PM ^

It's funny that by saying 3-4, we don't actually know anything more about the kind of D Harbaugh wants to evolve into. I bet it is mostly the same kind of defense Durkin was installing (a multiple front 4-3/3-4), which is similar to what the Ravens run and what Stanford uses. Depending on your personel during a given season, you can emphasize certain schemes over others.

I read recently that Stanford (under Anderson) uses 2-gap principles in their 3-4 only about 25% of the time, and they'll also use a 1-gap 3-4 or an Okie setup. That would not be so much of a change from our current 4-3 under-with-buck setup, given Durkin's intention to become multiple. I bet we bring in a DC who uses the 2-gapping style more than we've done previously, but not as our primary D.

This article about Stanford's 2012 win over Oregon helps clarify some points about the fronts they like to use. Also, it shows how effective it can be against spread offenses... the kind that aggitate our board into such a frenzy. And that Oregon team was once in a generation good.

Of Note: Several recent Michigan DEs have gone to the NFL specifically as 2-gapping 3-4 OLBs, or in the hybrid roles. Lamaar Woodley, Brandon Graham, and Clark.

A 3-4 does not mean you have 4 LBs recruits playing. You still only have 2 or at most 3 LB-ish players. The rest are DEs standing up on the edge.

Avon Barksdale

December 15th, 2015 at 10:03 AM ^

We have a number of guys that could probably flourish in a 3-4 with weight gains and weight loss. Taco is a natural 3-4 pass rusher. Gedeon, McCray, and Furbush would all fit into a 3-4 scheme. If Mone is healthy, he would be a prime candidate to anchor the NOSE position. Wormley and Henry would still be solid as 3-4 DE's.

I think Glasgow is the guy who is kind of without a position. 6'4, 295 is small for a nose, but his skills do not really translate well into a DE fit IMO. Then again, maybe I am just underestimating him a bit. I think we would still probably play a lot of nickel with 5 DB's regardless.  


December 15th, 2015 at 1:25 PM ^

Interesting point. You're right he's not a traditional 4-3 DE. However, I think Glasgow would be perfect as a DE using 2-gapping technique -- which is not a penetrator but an evil block-occupying monster. We could play Mone at the Nose, and slide Glasgow over to DE. That would be happy days for keeping your ILB clean, and stopping the run.


December 15th, 2015 at 10:03 AM ^

There are two kinds of 3-4s. The two-gap 3-4 is what you're thinking of--you need powerful DL who can control their blockers and play the gaps on either side of them. The one-gap 3-4 calls more for quicker DL who can penetrate and disrupt--though they still need to be strong enough to hold up to double teams. Durkin ran a one-gap 3-4 this season.


December 15th, 2015 at 11:16 AM ^

Buddy Ryan would like to make that very clear to you.  There was a recent article about the one game the Bears lost in 1985 (against the Dolphins) and how Ditka and Ryan were screaming at each other at half time.  Ditka wanted Ryan to make a change (go to a nickel defense) and Buddy was having none of it. 


December 15th, 2015 at 11:38 AM ^

I agree with you.  Anderson especially, Stanford's defense is shredded by spread attacks and this year is 60th in defensive FEI, 54th in defensive S&P+, and is 50th in total defense.

This year is Anderson's second as defensive coordinator.  Last year Stanford finished 7th in defensive FEI, 5th in defensive S&P+, and 3rd in total defense.  That is quite a slide from last year to this year.  Is it an anomaly?  Or was Anderson riding Derek Mason's defense in 2014?

Aranda is a much more exciting hire than Anderson IMO.  In his 3 years Wisconsin has ranked 13th, 33rd, and 11th in defensive FEI; 10th, 29th, and 7th in defensive S&P+; and 9th, 9th, and 2nd in total defense.


December 15th, 2015 at 11:29 AM ^

sure if there is enough wiggle room in the description of striking and choking a player so as to mitigate it to an extent that matters.  Unless it was in self-defense, it is kind of a "did you or didn't you" type of situation it would seem.

Mr. Yost

December 15th, 2015 at 6:53 PM ^

...and it't not even close.

But like I just said, the more it's delayed, the more I think it's an NFL coach.

The college coaches could all be announced right now, think about it...what's the hold up at this point? All of the games are over. It's just bowl games left and you'd want to announce it sooner than later so you can give your current school the opportunity to regroup.

You also want to help your next school by hitting the recruiting trail even if you're not coaching in the game, right?

I can't think of a reason for a college coach to be holding off unless he's in the playoff right now. That's not happening.

So with every day that passes, I think NFL.

Now...we know 7-9 NFL coaches are likely going to be fired, right? So start there. Then look at their DCs. Then look at guys who just may want to play the season out and then move.

I never thought guys like Vic Fangio or Teryl Austin were realistic candidates, but again...every day that passes makes me wonder.

If it's a college coach, it should definitely be announced by the end of this week. No reason not to.

Who are 3-4 coaches in the NFL to go along with Aranda and Anderson? The rumored college names...

Mr. Yost

December 15th, 2015 at 6:55 PM ^

According to Wiki...because I'm too lazy to look it up myself...

As of 2015, NFL teams that regularly incorporate the 3–4 defensive alignment scheme as a base include the Cleveland BrownsSan Diego ChargersGreen Bay PackersBaltimore RavensArizona CardinalsIndianapolis ColtsKansas City ChiefsNew York JetsSan Francisco 49ersPittsburgh SteelersWashington RedskinsDenver BroncosPhiladelphia EaglesTennessee TitansHouston Texans, and the Chicago Bears, who will be the last team to use the defense on a regular basis. The New England Patriots returned to a 4–3 defensive front at the end of the 2011 season. The Buffalo Bills returned to a 4-3 base defense in 2014 and will continue to use the 4-3 with the hiring of head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman, who was Ryan's defensive coordinator while with the New York Jets.

Mr. Yost

December 15th, 2015 at 7:19 PM ^

This breaks down to...
  • Browns - Jim O'Neil
  • Chargers - John Pagano
  • Packers - Dom Capers
  • Ravens - Dean Pees
  • Cardinals - James Bettcher
  • Colts - Greg Manusky
  • Chiefs - Bob Sutton
  • Jets - Kacy Rodgers
  • 49ers - Eric Mangini
  • Steelers - Dick LeBeau
  • Washington - Joe Barry
  • Broncos - Wade Phillips
  • Eagles - Bill Davis
  • Titans - Ray Horton
  • Texans - Romeo Crennel
  • Bears - Vic Fangio


NFL head coaches who could be fired...

  • Dan Campbell
  • Mike Pettine (Browns)
  • Mike Mularkey (Titans)
  • Chuck Pagano (Colts)
  • Mike McCoy (Chargers)
  • Chip Kelly (Eagles)
  • Tom Coughlin
  • Jeff Fisher
  • Jim Caldwell
  • Jim Tomsula (49ers)

*Mularkey, McCoy, and Kelly are offensive guys...


December 15th, 2015 at 9:54 AM ^

Is a contributor at SB Nation UM site and has his own site too.  Sort of like Magnus on a bigger platform with SB Nation and much more sunny side up than Magnus. ;)

Main claim to fame seems to be breaking Walker decommitment before others and Walker's UM interest.  And saying UM is going to get almost everyone they want hah.


December 15th, 2015 at 11:57 AM ^

...or... like Fred Jackson, but full of more hype.  


Just thought of this  -  Coach Jackson was a lot like Sparky Anderson.  Didn't Sparky compare a lot of young players to great older players?  Seems like a lot of those never panned out quite the way he thought they would.  

God I wish we had a coach like Sparky again.  Miss that guy.  


December 15th, 2015 at 2:33 PM ^

from The Mental Game of Baseball page 35


Anderson drew a comparison between Gibson and Mickey Mantle. A very likely comparison, which Gibson heard, and felt. Anderson regrets those remarks.

"I was trying to draw a picture of him (Gibson)," Anderson told Sports Illustrated years later, after Gibson appeared to have "reached his potential" in the Series against the San Diego Padres. "He could hit the ball so far and run so fast. Well, that statement just took off. I was wrong to say it."

Fortunately, Gibson had the mental stamina to struggle through years of frustration and disappointment--through failure, as some saw it. His perseverance--and his real talent--allowed him the luxury of time. Fate allowed the situation, and millions of viewers watched him shine. More often than not, a player put in the initial position Gibson was in will fade in the firmament and disappear.