Personnel will determine 4-3 or 3-4 defense

Personnel will determine 4-3 or 3-4 defense
February 24, 2012, 11:52 pm
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It's the equivalent of the old chicken-or-the-egg conundrum -- will the Raiders switch to a 3-4 base defense, or will they stay in their 4-3?It depends, new coach Dennis Allen said today at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, on the personnel the Raiders have on their roster. Then again, the rookie coach also said he would adapt to what he had at his disposal.Chicken, meet egg.

"Those are really all the things we're still working through," Allen said. "We'll see, after we go through free agency, after we go through the draft, which grouping gives us the best chance to be successful. I would expect that we'll be very multiple in that regard."Allen ran a 4-3 as Denver's defensive coordinator last season and, with their current crop of defensive linemen, the Raiders are better suited to run the same as they have no true nose tackle to anchor a 3-4.The new coach should have a better handle on things on April 2 -- the date he said new coaches can first have players into their respective facilities."That's when we'll expect to have a full load of players in," Allen said, "and get an opportunity to start working with them and start talking football."Until then, Allen will continue to pow-wow with his handpicked defensive coordinator, Jason Tarver."I'll be involved," Allen said. "I'll be involved in both aspects of the team. Offense, defense, special teams, all of it. But I would say, especially this first year, I'll probably spend a little bit more time with the defense."Jason Tarver is an extremely bright young coach. He was a part of the San Francisco 49ers' defenses, and I thought they were extremely well coached, extremely talented. When I interviewed Jason, there was no doubt in my mind that this is a guy who had answers for everything. I'm extremely excited about working with him, and I think, with him and the defensive staff as well as myself being involved in the defense, I'm excited about our opportunities."No matter the alignment.