View Poll Results: What's the best option to Vikings DT situation?

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  • Kevin Williams at 3-tech, Sharrif Floyd at 1-tech

    3 27.27%
  • Floyd at 3-tech, Kevin Williams at 1-tech

    1 9.09%
  • Rotat Floyd at 3-tech (and at NT in pass situations)

    4 36.36%
  • Implement a two 3-tech scheme like the Wide 9

    3 27.27%
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  1. #1
    HEY's Avatar
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    Double 3-Technique Scheme

    The Vikings' decision of drafting Sharrif Floyd (or should I say gift) has been highly praised as the first big steal of the 2013 draft. I can go on-and-on about how lucky the Vikings were to have Floyd fall in their lap, but there has been one criticism that fans often bring up: Sharrif Floyd's projected position in the NFL is playing the 3-techniqe (or under-tackle) on the defensive line. However, the Vikings is more in need of a 1-technique player (or nose tackle).

    What's All This Technique Mumble Jumble Talk?

    For those not familiar with the term: the 3-technique is when the defensive player lines up on the outside shoulder of the offensive guard. In that situation, the defensive player will normally have the responsibility of the "B gap" which is the space between the offensive guard and offensive tackle.

    ... At least this is how the 3-technique tackle looks in every variation of the alignment technique system that I've seen. Of course, being coaches, they couldn’t just agree on a universal standard.

    This is one relatively simple example of a system of D-line alignments:



    This is another perhaps more common example of the alignment system. Even numbers are head-on techniques, and even numbers with 'i' are the inside shoulder:



    Personally, I have a third system that I prefer, but to avoid confusion, I'll use the last example as it's arguably the most common.

    The Problem

    Back to the issue at hand, the Vikings want Floyd to be a starter, but Minnesota already have an All-Pro 3-technique tackle in Kevin Williams. He might be past his prime, but he's still a good player you'd want to have on the field on every down. Even a first rounder with great talents like Sharrif Floyd will have a hard time taking snaps away from Kevin Williams.

    It's important to look at is the current situation at nose tackle, and folks... it ain't pretty!

    Letroy Guion was one of the worst-performing 4-3 nose tackles in the league last year. I don't watch the nose tackle much, but if you don't want to take my word: Pro Football Focus ranked Guion as the NFL's worst defensive tackle in 2012. How can you blame him? Guion is a decent 3-technique player who plays out of position. The opposing team often needed only one blocker on Guion which in turn caused Kevin Williams to have to face doube-teams. Fred Evans has been on the roster for a long time, but still has not grown into the player the Vikings want. And the fact that he can't beat out Guion speaks for itself

    People complain about Kevin Williams getting old and his numbers being down, but the fact is that the loss of Pat Williams effected more than one position as Kevin Williams is constantly facing double-teams.

    What should the Vikings do?

    Option 1: Move Floyd to nose tackle and Vikings will manage to start both Kevin Williams and Sharrif Floyd. Many people will say that Floyd is not a good fit playing the A-gap, but can he be any worse than what the Vikings already have?

    Option 2: Move Kevin Williams to nose tackle, letting the rookie Sharrif Floyd play under-tackle. Kevin Williams is described as a "perfect" 3-techinque, but he has shown that he can also take on double-teams and he has a ton of experience. Switching to a position which demands less explosiveness can also be a good idea considering for a 32 year-old veteran.

    Option 3: Rotate Sharrif Floyd and Kevin Williams at the 3-technique, and perhaps substitute Floyd in at the other tackle spot next to Williams in pass situation. This scenario is what the majority see most likely to happen in 2013. It's a good plan for a rookie DT who is not guaranteed to be a starter anyways. However, if Sharrif Floyd is as good as suggested it'll be a shame not to have him start. Also, going into another season without a single decent nose tackle is an awful situation.

    Option 4: Switch To A Double 3-techique Scheme

    There are different ways to get two 3-technique tackles on to the field at the same time, but the most well-known is called the "Wide 9".

    The Wide 9 will not be a drastic scheme change as it's rather tweaks of the alignment of the front four in Minnesota's 4-3 scheme. Still, this is the most extreme option and most fans have not even considered this. Strange, considering that a fellow division team known for their D-line already incorporates the Wide 9, Detroit Lions. This scheme is not used by many teams, but statistics has shown that it can be very effective with the right personnel.

    A little video presentation of the Wide 9



    I would like to go deeper into the pro's and con's for the Wide 9 and why it can be a effective for the Vikings. I also believe a small tweak of the Wide 9 might be even better, but I'm tired of writing for today.

    Perhaps some other day...

  2. #2
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    I think we will line up in more Wide 9 (especially passing downs). Our division has become pretty pass happy so I think this look may show up quite a bit. Up front I think we have the perfect guys to run it but in that alignment your backers are going to have to take on more blocks than they would in a base alignment and I don't think our linebacking corp is good enough to run this as a base d. Even if we bring a safety up we'd be putting a lot of pressure on our young corners.

  3. #3
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    Did you read this article from DN?

    Should the Vikings switch to the Wide-9? - Daily Norseman

    It's a long one, but brings up a lot of interesting points and ideas. Basic premise is trying to use the talent that is on the roster to their strengths. Kind of counter to the here's our scheme now go find the players to fit it. Of course, for all we know the coaches are looking to move our approach to defense to evolve with our conference and the league in general. One will never know for sure, but it will no doubt be a continuing cause for debate.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by tastywaves View Post
    That's a great article, and Arif is a great writer. It was his article that opened me up to particular scheme. It sure is a long one, but it's funny how much I agree with everything in that article.

    I find it strange that this option is not discussed more. Frankly, it seems like I'm the only one who has brought this up on this site.

  5. #5
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    For several seasons, I have been stating that the Vikings should line up Allen in the "nines" to give him better edge control over big offensive tackles. Billick gave a good example of what that is.

    I am not sure that has anything to do with where Sharrif Floyd plays. If he is a pure 3 technique tackle, he will be wasted as a NT/DT. Look at what happened to Warren Sapp in Oakland when he was forced to play out of position in a 3-4 defense; he played poorly.

    The Vikings have not had a space eater at NT/DT since Fat Pat left, but the Tampa 2 often relies on faster smaller tackles than some other defensive schemes. The ability to take on the double team is a huge factor for an inside lineman, and I have not seen that from other Vikings players.

    Kevin Williams is less effective than he once was, and that could be for many reasons. Could he move inside and play well? I do not know. He gets stood up by single blockers on the line, and he get shut down by double teams. His playing time will likely be reduced regardless of where Floyd is playing.

  6. #6
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    Question... historically how does the wide 9 fear against the run?
    You give me the wide 9 as a coach and I am running 32 iso all day. Reach block with the LG Center chips LDT... FB and RG responsible for other DT. Block man across the board and you have yourself one hell of a natural alley.

  7. #7
    bleedpurple is offline Ring of Fame
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    Guion may have been the worst NT but we were pretty solid against the run. I saw use a rotation at NT like last year with Kwill playing it some. Floyd has short arms so he may not even be all that great a player. We haven't had much luck recently drafting D-linemen in the first or second round.... So I say let it play out. For right now i think we'll be fine. I'm more concerned about the linebacker situation.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bleedpurple View Post
    Guion may have been the worst NT but we were pretty solid against the run. I saw use a rotation at NT like last year with Kwill playing it some. Floyd has short arms so he may not even be all that great a player. We haven't had much luck recently drafting D-linemen in the first or second round.... So I say let it play out. For right now i think we'll be fine. I'm more concerned about the linebacker situation.
    Perhaps, but drafting Floyd was a no-brainer.

    Overall, this is a great thread. Very informative.
    Disclaimer: I'm an idiot.

  9. #9
    Flair Hay is offline Rookie
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevoncox View Post
    Question... historically how does the wide 9 fear against the run?
    You give me the wide 9 as a coach and I am running 32 iso all day. Reach block with the LG Center chips LDT... FB and RG responsible for other DT. Block man across the board and you have yourself one hell of a natural alley.
    Tennessee their 13-3 year was a top 10 D against the run and pass. Definitely has its weaknesses against the run at times. I'd much prefer to use it in known passing situations as a formation more than a scheme. It's strength is getting pressure with four rushers though which obviously plays into our team's skill set so I'd guess they'll be mixing in some looks with it this season.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevoncox View Post
    Question... historically how does the wide 9 fear against the run?
    You give me the wide 9 as a coach and I am running 32 iso all day. Reach block with the LG Center chips LDT... FB and RG responsible for other DT. Block man across the board and you have yourself one hell of a natural alley.
    It leaves the B and C gaps to be covered by the linebackers and safeties. That can be a problem. Run blitzing a linebacker or safety can offset the threat to that side, but that leaves a zone uncovered against the pass.

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