Defensive Line: [The 3 Technique]

This is the second post of a four part series which focuses on the 4-3 Defensive Line. This week I will be focusing on the 3 Technique Defensive Tackle. Below I will explain what are his responsibilities, his alignment, & which current NFL players thrive at this position.

Archive: 1 Tech | 3 Tech | Strong Side DE(n/a) | Weak Side DE(n/a) |

The 3 technique in the 4-3 one gap scheme is the motor that must consistently bring pressure & cause disruption to the offensive line. To quote recently hired Monte Kiffin,

"It isn’t just about the three technique, but you’d better have a darned good one."

Geno Atkins is probably the best three technique defensive tackle at the moment. He was not drafted high, but has developed into a monster for the Bengals. Last year he was the engine for the Bengals Defensive line that ranked first in sacks in the entire NFL. Atkins alone recorded 12.5 sacks as the three tech & forced four fumbles. There are plenty of options the Cowboys can use, and it will be interesting to see who Kiffin chooses to be his motor in the 4-3. Tyrone Crawford, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff, & even Sean Lissemore are all candidates to be the starter & Training Camp will solidify who best fits the position.


The 3-technique(or Under tackle) lines up shaded to the guard’s outside shoulder. See the graph above.


The main responsibilities of the 3 tech in the one-gap 4-3 scheme is to rush the passer & get up field. The 3-technique must ready to shoot the B-gap on his side of the formation and stop the run on the way to the quarterback. The three tech often uses his athletic ability & speed to beat the guard more than his great size & strength. The typical 3 tech weighs anywhere from 285-300 lbs. He must have a quick step off the line in order to gain instant leverage & put the offensive lineman guarding him out of position. The 3 tech can create so many problems that often the guard on him is nervous from being beat to the position before he even has a chance to recover.


In conclusion, I am just as excited as you guys are to be moving to the 4-3 with Monte Kiffin & Rod leading the way. I am hoping Jay Ratliff wins the three tech position & becomes the monster he was when he was a pro-bowler. I think Hatcher is better suited as the one tech in this scheme. My Dark Horse to win the job is Sean Lissemore. He reminds me a little of a young Jay Ratliff eager to get his chance. Also, Off-season Priorities Pt. 7 [Linebackers] will be published on Monday. Thanks for reading.

Examples: Geno Atkins (Bengals), Henry Melton (Bears), Kevin Williams (Vikings), Warren Sapp (Bucs).

5 Draftees that fit the bill: (In no particular order)

1. Sheldon Richardson | Missouri | DT | Drafted 1st Round |

2. Kawann Short | Purdue | DT | Drafted 1-2 Round |

3. Jonathan Hankins | Ohio St. | DT | Drafted 1-2 Round |

4. Sharrif Floyd | Florida | DT | Drafted 1st Round |

5. Sylvester Williams | UNC | DT | Drafted 1-2 Round |

Thanks for reading, and leave your comments below


Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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