There has been a lot of discussion as we are now talking about next year on whether or not we should run a base 4-3 or a 3-4 defense. I am a heavy supporter for keeping the 3-4. I think if you have good LBs you will have a good defense, which we don't have yet. We need to get more talent, especially at OLB this offseason.
Many people, including me, believe the strength of our defense is our DL. This is a major reason why many people feel we should switch to a 4-3. We would have Williams and Dareus at DT and that would be great to have them both shooting gaps. But heres the problem with us running a 4-3 IMO, we will still have 2 major holes in our front 7, DE and OLB. Our good DEs Carrington and Edwards would be DTs in a 4-3. We would have Spencer Johnson and Kelsay starting at DE. That will not generate a pass rush. We might need 2 4-3 ends. Also at LB we would have Barnett and Sheppard, but then we would still need another OLB, maybe 2 because idk if Barnett or Sheppard can play 4-3 OLB. So what good would a 4-3 be besides having 2 good DTs and then plenty of other holes.
In the 3-4 we still have holes but the players on our team our the right size to play their positions. In this defense we have 0 needs on the DL. Carrington, williams, Dareus is a great line. With Troup, edwards, johnson, heard rotating in this is a good group. We have 2 good ILBs, Barnett is a proven vet (who we may need to replace soon), and Sheppard is developing in his role. Kelsay is an okay OLB, but we need a pass rusher to rotate in with him (maybe a 3rd or 4th rd pick). And we have an obvious hole at the other OLB position which i believe needs to be replaced with a first round pick (Courtney Upshaw). But the problems in this defense can be addressed in one draft. Switching back to the 4-3 would take longer.
Also if you look at some of the top defenses that come to mind when you think of good defenses what system do they play. Good defenses such as the Ravens, Steelers, Jets, Texans all run the 3-4. While there are exceptions the Bengals have a great D, the Lions D is pretty good. But i would take the Steelers, Ravens, or Texans Defenses over any defense in the league. Now they also have great 3-4 coordinators which this team may need. But I think Buddy Nix is making the right decision on a 3-4. I know there are plenty of people who disagree so thoughts?