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Converting to the 3-4

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NFL.com is starting an occassional series looking at the Packers' conversion to a 3-4 defense. Here's Pat Kirwan's take:

  • He says the nose tackle has to be a big guy that commands a double team, and NT Ryan Pickett "should be more than adequate." I don't know about that; Pickett didn't have a good 2008 season.
  • He says Aaron Kampman will be fine with the move to linebacker and compares it to the move made by Greg Ellis in Dallas. He brings up a very good point; they need a more dynamic pass rusher at the opposite outside linebacker spot. LBs Brady Poppinga and LB Brandon Chillar aren't going to remind anyone of LB DeMarcus Ware. I agree.
  • He says they need another true 3-4 defensive end to play and/or compete against DE Cullen Jenkins and DE Michael Montgomery. Jobe has been all over the Igor Olshansky bandwagon and Kirwan climbs on board:

    "This year's free-agency class has two proven 5-technique players: the Cowboys' Chris Canty and the Chargers' Igor Olshansky. The Packers would benefit from signing at least one of these men for their front."

  • LB Nick Barnett and LB A.J. Hawk should be solid inside linebackers, but they'll only succeed if the defensive lineman get the job done.

Steve Wyche had an article too. He didn't break down the roster like Kirwan but instead focused on the general problems teams have with the transition. Especially at outside linebacker where Kampman has a lot to learn. Because of that, we can still expect to see the 4-3 at times:

The micromanagement when playing outside linebacker is why Capers said he'll maintain a lot of the 4-3 principles the Packers have used while making the transition.