There’s been a lot of talk this off-season about the Jaguars switching to a 3-4 defense. Sure, most of the talk was before the draft, but it’s still popping up from time to time, and I think it’s worth addressing one last time before free agency starts. The overlying point here is that the Jaguars started rebuilding at the beginning of 2009, and if they were going to change to a 3-4 scheme, the time to do it would have been then, not now.
This off-season has been more about sharing my opinions and less about reporting news. That’s been fine, but I’m ready to start writing about new developments, which is why I’m putting this viewpoint to bed now. I don’t have a problem with the 3-4 system, but I think the Jaguars have built a solid foundation for a 4-3 defense.
It was well documented before the 2010 draft, that Tyson Alualu would make a great 3-4 defensive end, but he’s now spent a year in the Jaguars 4-3 defense, and he developed nicely throughout the 2010 season. It’s likely that he’s now very comfortable playing DT alongside Terrance Knighton. Sure, switching him to DE in a 3-4 system is easily doable, but it would make his rookie season worthless in terms of learning his position.
Terrance Knighton would make a solid NT in a 3-4; nobody’s questioning that, but he would have to learn a new role. Jack Del Rio will be on a very toasty seat in 2011, and adopting a new defense isn’t in his best interests or the team’s best interests.
Possibly the most compelling case against a 3-4 defense lies in the Jaguars’ linebackers. The Jaguars have big problems as it is in the middle of their defense. Daryl Smith is the only linebacker on the Jaguars’ roster that is a sure-fire starter. Justin Durant will likely be allowed to test free agency due to his injury problems, and Kirk Morrison didn’t exactly shine at MLB. the Jaguars have a solid front four. By switching to a 3-4, the Jaguars would only be compounding their linebacker problems, and they would be devaluing the front four.
That’s my argument. Let’s let the 3-4 clamouring go. It’s not going to happen.