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Inside The Bills

Schwartz says flexibility in defensive scheme

Posted by Chris Brown on January 24, 2014 – 9:19 pm

Bills new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz has a reputation of being aligned with a 4-3 base front philosophy. While the majority of his defenses in his NFL coaching career have lined up this way he has always said there is flexibility in his system, and that he has employed its ability to morph and change in the past.

About a year ago DetroitLions.com’s Senior Writer Tim Twentyman outlined Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham’s willingness to adapt and change the defense to better fit the personnel they have on the field or to improve production in an area where it might be lacking.

Here’s the direct description of the approach by Schwartz and Cunningham as written by Twentyman.

Both Schwartz and defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham said after the season that they aren’t married to any particular scheme and there’s always tweaking that goes on in the offseason.

“We evaluate every Monday after every single game. Adjustments we need to make, things we need to do better, things that work, things that didn’t work,” Schwartz said.

“You also do that on a yearly basis. Part of it is also tied into personnel that you have and you want your schemes to match your personnel. You have a general philosophy, but there’s some flexibility within that philosophy.”

What also needs to be understood is at this day and age of defensive football in the NFL most teams are in a nickel look more often than not with four players on the line of scrimmage, a pair of linebackers and five DBs. So the 3-4 and 4-3 debate doesn’t carry the significance it once did.


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Posted in Inside the Bills