Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton used a 3-4 scheme the past two seasons while he commanded the Arizona Cardinals' defense, and he's a disciple of Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
However, Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Wednesday that Horton hasn't made a final decision about whether the Browns will employ a 3-4 or 4-3 base defense. Either way, the Browns will use elements of both schemes under Horton's guidance, Chudzinski said.
"We feel like [with] the guys here, there's some flexibility with the 4-3, 3-4," Chudzinski said. "And again, just to reiterate what I've said before, so much nowadays whether you're in sub or nickel personnel or whether you're in base, people are playing both. As we work through this, we'll work through whether it's going to be 4-3, 3-4 in base.
"Ray can do anything. He can coach any of those different schemes, and we're going to utilize a little bit of everything. I think that word 'hybrid' is used. I don't know if that's the accurate term, but there will be 4-3 principles and 3-4 principles in the defense."
The Browns employed a 4-3 scheme the past two seasons under the guidance of former defensive coordinator Dick Jauron. Former General Manager Tom Heckert overhauled the roster to help the defense transition from the 3-4 system used during coach Eric Mangini's reign to Jauron's 4-3.
Chudzinski said the Browns must further evaluate the roster before they decide whether to convert to a 3-4 base defense.
"We're going to work with the personnel we have and really analyze the roster and make sure that we're utilizing those guys like we said and putting them in the best position," Chudzinski said. "So as we're doing that. ... Those decisions will be made."
Adjusting to personnel
Chudzinski tweaked his playbook the past two seasons while serving as the offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers so he could cater to the strengths of quarterback Cam Newton. With quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins and Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers thriving, read-option offenses are the latest craze in the NFL.
Hybrid defense likely in 2013
Akron Beacon Journal | Jan 24