Oakland Raiders: Maximizing Talent Through the Hybrid Defense

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Basic 4-3 option for 2014

The 4-3 Defense….A thing of the past?

The Oakland Raiders have been running the base 4-3 defense since…well…since I can remember!

The 4-3 defense in its most basic form is about attacking with the defensive line, and allowing your linebackers to makes plays. It contrast a 3-4 defense which emphasizes a pass rush from your OLB’s, and a gap control defensive line.

But what a team is labeled as, can be very different from how they actually play.

According to Nathan Janhke of PFF, the Raiders defense resembled a 3-4 a lot more than a 4-3 last year.

"“In 2013 the Raiders defense looked like a 3-4 the majority of the time. The Raiders had four or more players on the defensive line just 19.3% of the time. In comparison they had four or more players playing linebacker on 43.2 percent of their snaps.”"

What this means is the transition to a Hybrid scheme, is more about new personnel than a whole new scheme. Stats don’t lie, the Raiders have been a 3-4 team in disguise.

In conclusion the Raiders will attempt to utilize their “Versatility” as an advantage on game days. Being multiple and diverse in an effort to limit the High Powered offenses off the AFC West. A tough task, but the Raiders may now have the talent to finally implement Allen and Tarver’s Hybrid scheme.