Chiefs switching to 3-4 – is it a mistake?

Derrick JohnsonUnder new defensive coaches Gary Gibbs and Clancy Pendergast, the Chiefs are planning to move to a 3-4 defense, which is a scheme new GM Scott Pioli is used to coming over from New England.

But considering the Chiefs’ personnel on defense, is the move wise?

Kansas City’s best linebacker is Derrick Johnson, who operates best in space and when given the opportunity to run around and make plays. In a 3-4, he’s more likely to stay put and allow the action to come to him, which may or may not be something he can excel at.

The Chiefs also drafted defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey with their first round pick last year and it’s uncertain at this point how he fits into a 3-4 front. He’s probably not big enough to play nose in a 3-4 and lacks ideal size to be an end in the scheme as well. At LSU, he excelled as a three-technique pass rusher and someone that is better when he reads and reacts. By implementing a 3-4 scheme, KC is really playing away from Dorsey’s strengths.

There is no arguing that the 3-4 can be an effective scheme. Baltimore, New England and Pittsburgh have been running the front for years and have been incredibly successful in doing so, but they also have the personnel to pull it off. Granted, Pioli has an entire offseason to get players that fit his scheme, but it’s unclear at this point how some of the better KC defenders will fit in.

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