The San Francisco 49ers spent the last couple years trying to implement a base 4-3 Under defense, but to no avail. So instead of trying to fit a bunch of square pegs into round holes, they brought in a couple new position coaches to help make adjustments and change the overall philosophy.
Much has been made of Kris Kocurek with his Wide-9 and the interchangeable safeties that Joe Woods is pushing for, but not much has been said about the defense as a whole. In previous years the nose would line up in the A-gap (between the center and guard), the big end would line up in the C-gap (between the tackle and tight end), and the Sam lined up on the outside of the TE, but with the change in the defensive line’s alignment the nose will move over and line up directly over the guard while the big end will kick out to the outside of the TE which forces the Sam LB back off the line and into a more traditional 4-3 OLB role, mirroring the responsibilities of the Will. This is evidenced by the fact that rookie LB Dre Greenlaw has been practicing at both Sam and Will (I’m pulling for him to beat out Malcolm Smith and Elijah Lee for that 3rd LB spot). The interchangeable safeties means that both the strong and free safeties have to be able to play single high, but it also opens the door for more cover-2 and an overall more flexible defense.
In short, it looks to me like they’ve scrapped the whole 4-3 Under thing and are going to be running a more traditional 4-3 base defense. Of course, this only really matters as long as they improve upon last year’s 28th ranked 27.2 pts/game.
Now on to those links...
49ers’ Antone Exum tackles police brutality in song “Officer Kaepernick” (Chris Wilson, Niner Noise)
49ers training camp start date announced (Kyle Madson, Niners Wire)
San Francisco 49ers: Top 6 biggest offseason winners and losers (Justin Fried, Golden Gate Sports)
New study ranks San Francisco 49ers fans among NFL top ten (Kirk Larrabee, 247 Sports)
Watch 49ers’ Jason Verrett go full-speed in change-of-direction drills (Matt Maiocco, NBC Sports)
Around the NFL...
NFL 2019: Here are a dozen storylines to keep an eye on, both on and off the field (Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports)
Report: Tyreek Hill to Meet With NFL After Child Abuse Case Deemed ‘No Longer Active’ (Michael Shapiro, Sports Illustrated)