Friday, January 9, 2009

Three Four Once More

Andy at Packergeeks is building his case why the Packers should switch to the 3-4. So he lists the Packers defensive rakings going back to 1996. He "didn’t go back further in part because this took too long and also because our defenses just sucked before that."

For the record, the Packers had the number 2 defense in the league in 1993 and the number 6 defense in the league in 1994. 1992 was a transitional year (Holmgren's first season). And before that the Packers were running the 3-4.

Here are the those overall rankings by yardarge: 1991 10th, 1990 22nd, 1989 16th, 1988 7th, 1987 14th, 1986 12th, 1985 16th, 1984 16th, 1983 28th, 1982 8th, 1981 9th.

A handfull of respectable seasons in a lot of mediocrity (or worse). Also remember that there were only 28 teams during these years so 14th is exactly middle of the pack.

The point is that the 3-4 is not secret to success. It would be a huge mistake to change system for the sole sake of changing systems. A useful analogy is the zone blocking systems. Denver had a lot of succes with the zone blocking system, but that hasn't translated so well for the Packers. As the weight loss commercials remind us: results are not typical and individual results may vary.

It all comes back to personnel and coaching: it's the singer(s), not the song.

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