Mailbag Question: Regarding the 4-3 Defense

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Mailbag Question: Regarding the 4-3 Defense
Coach and Eroc,

Since it seems we will play a 4-3 defense mostly what exactly, will the differences be from under Coach English?

How will Coach Shafer's defense be better or worse (if that is possible)? How will the D-line be different than last years along with how the LB's will play and DB's?

I know many questions in such a short e-mail, but thanks for taking my question and hopefully answering it.

Coach English kept preaching playing fast and aggressive, but they also played stupid as well so how will Coach Shafers talk of playing fast and aggressive be different.

Thanks for the question. The base defenses are similar in formation and that is about it. The philosophy and rules are completely different.

Front seven will look the same in base, but will play differently. Defensive Ends are about getting up field. Defensive Tackles will be also about creating push, something different from past.

Biggest difference I saw in Linebackers was on the outside. Outside Linebackers are going to play not only in box, but also in space. The biggest differences are in the secondary. Michigan was primarily a 3 deep zone team. They used some man, but mostly 3 deep.

Coach Shafer is using 2 and 4 deep. He is also putting Corner Backs to press coverage. This is going to make Michigan a much more aggressive defense. Pressing Corner Backs changes Quarterback reads and makes it difficult to use hot read Wide Receivers.

There will be no more of the days when Quarterbacks can simply stand up and hit Split Ends for six yards in front of soft zone coverage like under Coach English. The biggest difference is going to come on two philosophical fronts.

#1 Accountability:
Players who did not play fundamentally sound football, maintain contain, be in proper position, etc were pulled. No more of it people making same mistakes repeatedly.

#2 is emphasis in practice on fundamentals.
Working on hand control, working on proper pursuit angles, and asking for, but demanding every player run and pursue to the football. These are the things that we believe will pay dividends this year and into the future.

written by CoachBt and ErocWolverine

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