The Low Post News

New England Using Chandler Jones in 3-4 as Linebacker

Chandler JonesIn the 1980s while with the New York Giants, New England head coach Bill Belichick helped to bring the 3-4 defense to the forefront.

Belichick has been associated closely with the defensive scheme during his entire career as a coach.

However, the Patriots have used defenses with four down linemen much more frequently over the past three seasons, as it was a better fit for the personnel they had.

However, today’s defensive schemes are ever changing and a base defense does not truly exist any longer. However,  during the preseason this year it seems the Patriots have started to transition to playing more 3-4, which includes using Chandler Jones a defensive end by trade, often times as one of the team’s outside linebackers.

Jones, who also can lineup on defense as a tackle, is getting reps in drills of 7-on-7. He ends up at times covering a tight end. Jones said he enjoys it and calls it fun. It gives him an opportunity to run more on the field. He said he has started to call himself Darrelle Revis, which of course makes everyone fall down laughing.

Defenses today have become so interchangeable between 4-3 and 3-4 and New England for much of last season actually was using three down linemen but with a nickel formation, which really is a 3-3 lineup.

The Patriots 21% of the defensive players used a 3-4 defense, and 18% of the time a 4-3 defense. The other 60% of the time was a number of different formations and variations of both.

Belichick knows linebacker is his strength. New England has a trio that is very intriguing in Dont’a Hightower, Jamie Collins and Jerod Mayo.

Coach Belichick wants the three on the field as much as possible. If Jones is truly able to play the outside linebacker position, the lack of depth in New England at the defensive tackle will not be noticed as much. That would also allow Vince Wilfork to play nose tackle more often, which is his best position.

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