Jets transitioning to 4-3 defense

Jets transitioning to 4-3 defense

The Jets 3-4 defensive front has been a staple of Rex Ryan's coaching tenure in New York. With 2012 ushering in a flurry of changes, Gang Green plans to shift its base defense this upcoming season.

Defensive coordinator Mike Pettine recognizes the talent, depth and athleticism of his defensive line. In doing so, he's also looking to maximize the effectiveness of this unit. That's exactly why the Jets are making a quasi shift from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 defensive front.

Considering the spread offenses employed by Buffalo and New England within the division, Gang Green is looking to generate an edge pass rush from its down lineman; mostly notably rookie defensive end Quinton Coples and sophomore Muhammad Wilkerson.

The Jets are taking a page out of the New York Giants playbook, utilizing a defensive formula that has developed the reputation as Tom Brady's kryptonite over the past few seasons. This defensive shift will allow the Green-and-White to play a rotation of Coples, Wilkerson and Calvin Pace on the outside of the line and Sione Pouha, Mike Devito and Kendrick Ellis on the interior. New York's swift secondary will have more opportunities to create turnovers and to gamble more frequently on passing downs.

The past few seasons, the Jets haphazardly blitzed their linebackers and safeties to apply pressure to the quarterback, but now they have defensive lineman capable of dismantling the pocket.

While Gang Green's defensive transition will create favorable match-ups for its star-studded secondary; the new alignment will also allow the Jets to play the "46" defense in goal line and short yardage situations. Rex Ryan's father, Buddy, engineered the "46" defense nearly 30 years ago in order to aggressively pursue the quarterback and bottle-up opposing ball carriers.

If one thing is for certain, Ryan and Pettine will look to wreak havoc with their revamped defensive scheme.

Rick Laughland covers the New York Jets for

You can follow him on Twitter @rlaughland By:

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