I've been doing a lot of reading, as usual. I got my hands on Jones and Wilkinson, the 1957 text "Modern Defensive Football". I was curious what the original 5-2 defense was like. And in short, it's a 1 gap defense, with a single player, the nose guard, playing two gap defense. That defender, by the way, is flexed. You can see the flex on old video too, just watch the 1952 Oklahoma - Notre Dame video floating out on the Internet somewhere..
Take home: the two gap 3-4 does not date back to 1949. The 1 gap 3-4 is more closely related to the original 3-4 than is the two gap. So where was the two gap 3-4 invented?
The answer is that I'm not sure.
Parcells clearly used it. He, in turn, was exposed to the pro 3-4 while a linebacker coach for the Patriots. Hank Bullough was the DC for Chuck Fairbanks while he was coaching the Pats. When Parcells is made DC of the Giants, he takes the 3-4 with him.
So how does Ray Hamilton fit into all this? He was a player at Oklahoma, and in 1970-1972, his defensive line coach was Jimmy Johnson, he of the "upfield pressure" and 1 gap philosophies. His head coach was one Chuck Fairbanks.
In 1971, in the game against Nebraska, Oklahoma is clearly playing a 4-3. Not a 5-2 or 3-4.
Hamilton gets drafted by the Pats, and is one of the key linemen in the Patriots 3-4 defense.
He is a coach under.. Ray Berry, Art Shell, Rich Kotite and Bill Parcells, Pete Carroll, Ah Groh, Butch Davis, Jack Del Rio and then Mike Smith. His exposure to the gamut of NFL defensive philosophies is profound. About the only one he doesn't seem to have touched is the Pittsburgh coaching tree..
More than just about anyone, he'd know about the origin of the pro "two gap" 3-4, and further, has the experience to contrast the defensive philosophies of Jimmy Johnson, Parcells, Pete Carroll, and with his work with Mike Nolan, modern multiformation defenses.
Done right, would be a hell of an interview.
Discuss your favorite team: the Atlanta Falcons. As well as all NFL and pro football-related topics, including fantasy football.
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All of the talk of the Falcons switching to the 3-4 I think is a year premature. After hearing Dimitroff talk up Goodman's ability to play the 5-technique post draft, I do think the Falcons might incorporate more 3-4 looks in 2014. Especially since they will be on the market to grab another big time hybrid DE/DT to replace Babineaux.
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