And here’s a terrific article in the Baton Rouge Advocate about what new LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda brings to the table, scheme-wise.
Everyone’s 3-4 is different. Each coach has his wrinkles and tweaks.
Aranda’s scheme isn’t the same as the 3-4 Saban employs in Tuscaloosa. Players and coaches said Aranda’s system is bent on deception and movement. One player, for example, isn’t limited to one position. Neal is playing three: defensive end in the base 3-4, outside linebacker on passing downs and a defensive tackle role in other formations.
“Dave does some things that are really different,” said Ron Roberts, the head coach at Southeastern Louisiana who worked with Aranda at Delta State. “He’s on the cutting edge in what he’s doing.”
Roberts, a defensive-minded coach, said he and Aranda share about 80 percent of the same defense. Roberts began running the 3-4 nearly 20 years ago because of a lack of big defensive linemen while at tiny Tusculum College.
“We could not get the personnel to compete, so we had to play guerrilla warfare,” he said. “I couldn’t get a dominant (defensive end), couldn’t out-recruit people in my conference, so how am I going to beat them?”
His answer was “guerrilla warfare,” a term Aranda also uses to describe a defense that’s not normal or regular — one that’s shifting, a unit with different shapes and sizes.
What is interesting to me, first of all, is that there isn’t one dominant offensive style in the conference anymore. There are the spread offenses that come out of the Air Raid school, like Texas A&M’s, Auburn’s smash-mouth version of the spread, and then there are the more traditional pro-style power offenses run at Alabama, Florida, Georgia and LSU. Is the 3-4 a one-size fits all approach, then?
There’s one more thing. Dellinger notes that “LSU is set to join Kentucky, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Alabama in employing the 3-4 as its base defense.” That’s five conference schools chasing the same defensive talent pool, three of whom are heavy hitters in the recruiting game. If the trend continues, at some point in time, how easy is it going to be for Kirby Smart to find the kids he needs to fit his system?