“Most People, You Know, That Clamor For The 3-4 Defense Don’t Really Understand What That Means.”

October 28th, 2017

Dirk Koetter talks 3-4 defense, Gerald McCoy and line stunts

Formerly winning head coach Dirk Koetter dove into some very hot topics among Bucs fans yesterday.

Kudos to candid Koetter for being a man of the people and answering fan questions on the Buccaneers Radio Network.

The absence of a four-man pass rush and/or blitz success has Bucs fans pulling their hair out and cursing in the shower. And watching QBs like Case Keenum, old man Carson Palmer and Tyrod Taylor carve up the Tampa Bay defense has brought outrage to sports bars from Clearwater to Claremont.

The Bucs have used a little 3-4 defense, and many fans want more, whether the Bucs have the personnel or not. Koetter seems to think a 3-4 would neuter Gerald McCoy and that those who yearn for a 3-4 are missing that element.

Fan Question: There’s been a lot of talk about a 3-4 defense, why or how does that affect [Gerald] McCoy and the three-technique [position], and how does it affect everybody else on that line?

Dirk Koetter: Well, when you play a 3-4 defense, there is no 3-technique. (laughs) That kinds of eliminates the 3-technique; now you’re playing with a nose tackle over the center and, you know, two defensive ends either head-up on the tackle or a lot teams now play their defensive ends  inside-eye on the tackles when they’re playing a 3-4, and then you play two inside [linebackers] and two outside [linebackers]. So I mean most people, you know, that clamor for the 3-4 defense don’t really understand what that means. And when you do have one of the top 3-techniques in the league, year in and year out as voted by the players, that would be a significant change for Gerald.

Forget about playing away from McCoy’s strengths for a moment, but the Bucs don’t have the D-line horses to play a successful 3-4. Chris “Swaggy” Baker? Pffft. Joe has no problem typing that the guy is washed up. If he has more than two good games through the final 10 this season, Joe will be downright stunned.

So what about the growing number of D-line stunts Warren Sapp is complaining about and McCoy is holding back going off on?

Another Buccaneers Radio Network fan asked Koetter if too many line stunts are slowing down the Bucs’ pass rush.

“I think that is a possibility on a couple of plays a game,” Koetter said. “But at the same time, I think you need stunts. I think you need to try to make an offensive line pass [rushers] off and see if they can do it. You know, you could point to plays where the stunt slows down a pass rush; you could point to other plays where the stunt helps the pass rush. So, every team in the NFL stunts a certain percentage of the time. So, you know, it’s part of the game. You’re going to have some. It’s hard to say exactly how much. It is part of our plan and will continue to be.”

On the stunts, well, Bucs fans are going to see more and more if the Bucs D-linemen can’t win any 1-on-1 battles. There is simply just too much losing happening in the trenches and desperation is setting in.

It’s like a Schiano-era flashback. His teams simply could not generate enough pressure once Michael Bennett was allowed to walk out of One Buc Palace for no good reason. So Schiano ran a million stunts and too often waved the white flag and rushed three.

49 Responses to ““Most People, You Know, That Clamor For The 3-4 Defense Don’t Really Understand What That Means.””

  1. DB55 Says:

    Does anyone still care?

    Run the franchise (Winston and Evans) into the ground as long as mr McCoy is not disgruntled. After all it’s all about the future hof dt is it not? To he11 with winning just keep that smile shining bright.

    Who else has a tee time for 12:45p tomorrow?

  2. Joeypoppems Says:

    Well, they gotta try something. This current scheme just isnt cutting it.

  3. DB55 Says:

    One thing Sapp got wrong is that the rolls Royce of the def, the big dog is in fact LVD, then grimes, then Kwon, then the ghost (as in a rolls Royce ghost if you know what I mean)

    But wtf do we know were just dumb fans, amirite?

  4. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    It’s means it has to be better than the CRAP SHOW we have been seeing this year.

  5. DB55 Says:

    Meanwhile the jags just traded for Marcell Darius arguably one of the best DTs in the league while licht and Koetter sit on their arse blowing smoke up your arses and playing hide the salami with mr mccoy.

  6. DB55 Says:

    Marcell Darius for a 6th round pick which means gmc is worth a Klondike bar.

    WAKE TF UP PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. tmaxcon Says:

    I dream of the day we are talking about 93 making plays not team officials, former players, and fanboys nonstop excuses.

  8. The Buc Realist Says:

    I wonder if Joe still thinks it is a joke the Coach Schiano says that his college team has by far the best D-line he has ever coached?????????????

  9. BucEmUp Says:

    The one thing I want to see which is the same thing I have been waiting to see for the last decade is he corners jamming the wideouts at the line of scrimmage. That one single weak in my opinion would have a big effect on the rest of the defense. Not holding my breath I fully expect see Smiths defense to ruin this teams at winning

  10. LakeLand Says:

    A 3-4 defense means the same results…a loss..the team need better players SMH

  11. Dooshlarue Says:

    So sick of hearing about 3 technique.
    How about 1 technique…..you know, where you just tackle people consistently.

  12. TheBucsAnthem Says:

    I truly don’t care anymore…..the bucs just need a win

    Heck, why don’t we run the bears 46 defense and bring rex ryan in here as a consultant while we’re at it??????

  13. Lamarcus Says:

    This defense is still catering to gmc like tha been working..um 6-7 years and we still talking about “how do we use gmc”

    Fukk….. if no one can figure it out after YEARS, just do us a favor and move on and get serious with this defense.

  14. Lamarcus Says:

    And it’s funny how GMC spunned all the media attention. Media whore. After koetter squashed the media outburst and comes this guy?

    If u was ready to get rid of Baker and Ward….. Gmc gets no pass cuz none of these clowns ain’t doing nothing but COMPLAINING Rid of them

  15. Q Says:

    Here’s a stunt that will work….get rid of mccoy

  16. Getaclue Says:

    Yet McCoy was more productive lined up wide rushing the asset and Spence was down to 240 to put his hand down on the line? Part of him being hurt now

  17. Getaclue Says:

    The passer*

  18. Defense Rules Says:

    Wow Joe, 2 things I never thought I’d see in print from you this season. First, “Chris “Swaggy” Baker? Pffft. Joe has no problem typing that the guy is washed up.” Putting it on paper that our big FA defensive acquisition is ‘washed up’ is a biggie. And … I totally agree with you. So the interior of the Bucs DLine … the interior that so many of us were counting on to pressure opposing QBs … now consists of GMC & Big Mac, plus a ‘washed up’ (Baker) and another DT (Siliga) who’s fairly non-descript in terms of past performances. Obviously Smitty needs to do a better job of motivating that crowd or at least be more imaginative in terms of scheming. Ya right.

    Second, I love this other line of yours: “Bucs fans are going to see more and more (stunts) if the Bucs D-linemen can’t win any 1-on-1 battles.” Wow, what a condemnation of our DLine. ‘Can’t win ANY 1-on-1 battles.” Might be a little strong, but I agree with your sentiment Joe. That being the case, what chance do they have to pressure the QB? None. What chance to they have to stop the run? None. Oh wait, we can always blame Smitty. Whew, I feel better already.

    Leaving it there would be easy (just turn off the TV for a year or so) BUT … no can do. Our DLine NEEDS better talent … and FAST. Obviously Licht & the Glazers have no intention of actually PAYING for that talent, so … Plan B. I’m sure that Licht & his scouts have a full dossier on every Practice Squad player for every team. That’s probably someplace between 90-100 DLinemen on the other 31-team PSs. If we sign someone off of another team’s PS, they have to be assigned to our 53-man roster & stay on for at least 3-weeks it appears. So since we have 9 games left after this Sunday, I’d suggest that we sign the best 2 DLinemen for other PS’s, give them 3 weeks, and if we hit the mother-lode, keep them. If not, cut ’em, and sign 2 more and do the same thing. Then do it once again if necessary. That way we could bring in up to the top 6 DLinemen from other teams’ PSs, check ’em out, and keep the best 2 for the future. Doesn’t really solve our problem, but (1) the whole thing would cost us less than $1 mil; (2) we wouldn’t be any worse off than we are right now; and (3) we just might find that diamond-in-the-rough. Or … we could keep doing what we’re doing: Blame Smitty.

  19. Joseph Mamma Says:

    Most people don’t understand what a 3-4 defense even is? Ah Dirk explaining to the ignorant, numbskull fans the complicated intricacies of the 3-4. Because you gotta be Steven Hawking to coach football with all the expert knowledge and complex formations I guess. It’s so nice when coaches break down this stuff for the simpletons.

  20. adam from ny Says:

    let “big paw” suit up for the d line this week…stick carriers unite!


  21. BigMacAttack Says:

    So he’s saying that what they’re doing isn’t working but they’ll stick with it. Good luck with that. The Glazers have patience but I wouldn’t push it too far there Dirky.

  22. DB55 Says:

    Jax signs Campbell and trades a 6th rounder for Darius.

    Bucs sign Trapp.


    I can understand why Lovie hired Licht. He truly needed an inept individual to do his bidding. #CharlesSimsIsTheNextMattForte


  23. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    “Buccaneers Radio Network”

    Heh. No longer saying the station, lol.

  24. DB55 Says:

    Sell this team to Lady Gaga she knows more about football than the Glaziers and might be able to toughen the team up.

    Richard Simmons would add strength to this ownership group.

  25. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    DB55 Says
    “Marcell Darius for a 6th round pick which means gmc is worth a Klondike bar.”

    Marcell ‘Dareus’ is nowhere near as good a DT as GMC. Get real, brother. LOL

  26. JimmyJack Says:

    defense rules…..sounds like a good plan on paper to bring in a bunch of practice squad players. But I think doing that would build a bad rep with other players around the league if we start treating players like unwanted catfish during snook ssn

  27. Kelvin Says:

    This got me going back to the day Dirk Koetter and the GM made the decision to hire Mike Smith over Jim Schwartz. Although the Eagles have many playmakers on defense, and that alone can be a lot easier to play with, it has proven to be the better scheme and ATTITUDE. Just watch that Eagles defense play with such motor and aggression. Lot of great DLine talent, not so great LBs and pretty average perimeter. I still have that in my mind. That would have been our great Defense and not this sluggish play we are showing! DECISIONS!

  28. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    The issue is not scheme. It’s talent.

    Even though the defense has mostly been ignored, Licht has managed to plug a couple holes…but not enough.

    Barring a RB, the entire draft in 2018 better be defense.

    The issue on the line is the exact same one it has been since Bennett left. Gerald McCoy has no real help there. If he did, teams wouldn’t dare double team him. That fact that they get away with it proves there isn’t enough talent on the line around him.

    It’s also why he is underachieving. As the primary threat (really, the only threat), he is the focus for the opposing team. If he had two more guys on the line that were worth their spit, it would spread things out and he would break ten sacks.

    But I don’t see any way it will happen before he’s too old. He turns 30 in February. At this point, the smart move would be to try to get a first round pick for him. Yes, he’d probably go somewhere and excel, but at least we would get something for him.

    And yes, he IS worth a first round pick.

  29. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Akeem Spence is greater than Baker in my opinion. Gotta have D lineman that make an effort.
    As for Schiano stunts, I think most of his stunts came from 4 man line. Correct me if i am wrong.Personally didn’t like the three man fronts we presented. Run stunts off four man line.
    We need to disguise them by shifting after the snap if we are going to use them again.
    But in the end , we are being held back by lack of talent at DE,corner, and
    safety. Grimes is struggling to stay on the field this year.It was not his best game last week.Not sure when the injury occurred. So we could need two corners.
    Not sure how Evans will progress. No question he has been thrown into the fire.
    Counting on our De’s to come back from injury has been a thorn in our side.
    We should be looking for a couple of bigger DE’s to add to this line.
    The lack of talent on the team is forcing Smith to try defenses that our personnel don’t fit.

  30. AlteredEgo Says:

    Well John McKay knew what it meant….

  31. JimmyJack Says:

    Bonzai….You .can look at it either way. But Ayers was expected to do more. Granite he was no sack savant with NY but they were getting more out of him then we are seeing. I didn’t know much about Baker but he was also expected to be solid. You can argue lack of Evaluation but you could also argue coaching. Ward was expected to do more too. Vernon was expected to take a step forward not backwards.

    Missed tackles and assignments doesn’t make the coaching look good either. we have lots of talent at LB. A secondary that has proven playmakers….probowl tackle and line men who have proven ability.

    we are supposted to have a good ru defense and are getting gashed.

    Mike Smith touting the worst defense in the NfL is unexceptable no matter how you spin it. Especially considering we havent even played any good offenses, except NE.

    Not giving Smith any blame is a crime at this point

  32. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Bob in Valrico Says:
    “We should be looking for a couple of bigger DE’s to add to this line.”

    All well said, especially this!

  33. Conte Piscateli Says:

    Koetter is right, playing GMC outside of 3 technique isn’t best for GMC. Problem is we obviously don’t have the personnel to run this 4-3 with a 3 technique outside of GMC. I would argue or personnel minus GMC is better suited for a 3-4. So I guess we should just keep trying to send GMC to pro bowls instead of winning games.

  34. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    Vic Fangio 2018 !!!

  35. LUVMYBUCS Says:

    ^^New Defensive Coodinator^^

  36. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    So… Koetter is saying that playing a 3-4 would make GMC less effective. I would say that if GMC is constantly double teamed in a 4-3, then he’s not as effective anyway. Maybe we should play a 3-4 base for a game and see if it can make players not named GMC MORE effective. Michael Jordan never won anything when he averaged 37 a game. It was only when he bought into the offense, passing the ball, and other players steping up that the team took off. Maybe Koetter should worry more about the whole defense than banking on just GMC to make a difference. Couldn’t hurt worse than it does now.

  37. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Buccaneer Eric
    We did try 3-4 base .Bad experiment ,Total failure in my book,and use of personne.
    Feel sorry for Beckwith ,They keep throwing him in positions he is not quite ready for because of desperation.Lets face it LVd is the only player that is a good fit
    for 3-4 so far. Kwan was missing tackles and out of position. Grimes was probably injured and had 0 passes defensed.

  38. Bob in Valrico Says:

    somebody who is pretending to be somebody he is not.Chris baker has been exposed so far.

  39. BuccaneEric75 Says:

    Bob, I was talking about running 3-4 for an entire game. We haven’t been close to that. We haven’t been able to run any alignment or coverage well so far. Try it the whole game. Couldn’t be worse than what we’ve put out there, and if it is, same result: an L. We can talk about scheme all we want, but I think it really won’t matter what we run. Until we get new DEs and new CBs we won’t be a top D. Our only hope is this is just a repeat of last years communication issues. Somehow I think we just got lucky last year.

  40. Bob in Valrico Says:

    Sorry Eric
    Can’t agree we were gashed big time in the 3-4.And that was only part time.
    Tyrod Taylor killed us when we went into this formation. The gaps were huge and stunts took our players out of position to make plays.
    When we get the personnel to run it , I will agree. But then again we need better personnel on defense at every level but linebacker.
    reccommend pewter report ‘s breakdown of our 3-4 stunts.

  41. Max Says:

    Marcel Darius has lost a step and is only good for run stops now if he is even motivated to play, which they are hoping he is being reunited with his old coach.

  42. Welcome Back Koetter Says:

    Douche Bag 55 says:

    “But wtf do we know were just dumb fans, amirite?”

    You are correct sir!

  43. Rrsrq Says:

    Question, I get it Baker was supposed to be a big free agent signing, especially since we didn’t go after Campbell. You pick on McCoy because he is not Sapp, though he is a top 5 DT in this league, but didn’t we spend big 💰 on Will Gholston, we knew he wasn’t a pass rusher, but what about run stuffer, he can’t fly under the radar.

  44. Not there yet Says:

    See whenever a buccaneer coach stats telling fans they don’t football it’s usually the beginning of their end in Tampa. They assume fans never played football? That we’ve never watched other teams play? If your a fan of football you’ve had no choice but to follow other teams because this team is out of the playoff race every year over a decade.

    So basically what Dirk is saying is all we have on defense it’s one guy and if that’s the case why sign a new contract this off-season for a run stoppers who can’t pass rush? And Joe’s you can call Baker washed up if you like but the guy just came from a 3-4 system, this coaching staff is neutered and apparently hired no one who knows defense.

  45. Ndog Says:

    Got say I liked Dirk but this fans don’t understand crap is very condescending and sounds a lot like Lovie. How about you figure out how to fix your team and stop worrying about what fans do or don’t know. SMH

  46. Scotty in Fat Antonio Says:

    It appears father time is starting to kick Grimes butt.

  47. StPeteBucsFan Says:


    Nobody here cares about DallasBucs supposed “knowledge”. If the guys here are so smart and so good why are they unable to land a job in the league?

  48. Ptwalk Says:

    For you guys saying it’s a lack of talent and not coaching, this is the talent this staff chose. So It always comes back to coaching. Whatever happens under your watch is your fault or responsibility.

  49. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    I’m no expert on the topic, but if we went to a 3-4, couldn’t GMC play the DE position? Aren’t they bigger in a 3-4?

    (again, I’m no expert)