3-4 Defense: The Two-Sided Sword

for NFLSportChannel.com

Published: April 12, 2009


... scheme.

The 3-4 defense was created in the late 1940's by Bud Wilkinson at the University of Oklahoma, but it did not reach the NFL until 1974, when Chuck Fairbanks brought it from Oklahoma to the Patriots. The 3-4 defense has been around for over 60 years, yet it was not popular until recently when the defenses of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New England Patriots implemented the formation.

Since the 2001 season, these two defenses have continually dominated offenses around the league, totaling a combined 182 wins (not including playoffs). These two teams have also won five of the last eight Super Bowls, and as the old adage says, "Defense wins championships."

These two teams have shown that the defense can certainly be effective, but there is a dark side to the defense. 

Teams such as the Cleveland Browns and N.Y. Jets, however, have demonstrated how without quality players or coaching, the formation can backfire and be ineffec...

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