The Jacksonville Jaguars will be running a defense based out of more a 4-3 look for the 2013 season, at least for now according to head coach Gus Bradley. Bradley, who spent the past few seasons as the Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator running Pete Carrol's hybrid defensive front, wants to bring that kind of versatility to the Jaguars defense. Simply put, he's looking to be able to give offenses different looks each week to kind of limit out they can plan for the defense.
Bradley mentioned in his press conference with Jaguars media on Tuesday that he'd like to run an "aggressive style" of defense, but instead of letting the speculation run wild that he means blitz happy, Bradley clarified what he meant, noting that he didn't necessarily mean blitzing.
"I think sometimes people perceive that aggressive is going to be blitz happy, and that may not be exactly what we're talking about," Bradley told the media. "Maybe more aggressive on the outside on the perimeter with our corners, playing more press technique you know is more aggressive in nature by a defense. When you do that, play press coverage, the quarterback generally has to hold the ball a little bit longer and because of that the rush becomes more important. You give opportunities for the rush to get going."
Bradley also made note that he would like to be able to give teams different looks week in and week out, and I imagine even quarter by quarter once the defense is built sufficiently, but told the media it will primarily be built off of the personnel they have to work with.
"A lot of these guys are familiar with 4-3. I think we're going to try to be unique and we'll have some 4-3, 3-4 principles based on our personnel that we'd like to eventually get to," Bradley told the media when asking about his defensive philosophy. "I think it creates more indecision by an offense and at times may limit a package of an offense. So a lot of it will be based on the personnel that we have in place."
With the Jaguars current personnel, they will run more 4-3 principals, but there will be some hybrid elements involved. "You could see some flavor of 3-4," Bradley said in the press conference.
Bradley's 3-4 comment was followed up with a question about the Jaguars possibly moving to a more 3-4 base style defense in the future. "Again, based on our personnel," Bradley responded. "How the draft ends up."
After watching the press conference and listening to Bradley talk about his defense, I tended to get the feeling that he would like to run a hybrid look, similar to what Seattle did, but base it more around a 3-4 base defense. This makes perfect sense, considering the scheme he ran in Seattle implements plenty of 3-4 principals, including playing a nosetackle (1-tech) and a more 3-4 style defensive end on the strong side (5-tech). Seattle also utilized some 3-4 style pass rushers, such as their first round pick in Bruce Irvin, who played with both his hand on the ground and standing up as a blitzer.
"If there's that elite pass rusher, that's going to turn our head a little bit because we know how important that is," Bradley said about the pass rush.
To me, this points to the Jaguars likely looking for that style of pass rusher early in the NFL Draft more than say someone like Star Lotulelei. Obviously free agency playing out will give us a better idea of what exactly the Jaguars will be looking at with the No. 2 pick, but I think players like Barkevious Mingo and Dion Jordan make the most sense, given their scheme versatility.