Will we switch to 4-3 instead of 3-4?
I just hope he doesn’t run the 3-4 defense.
I really hope he returns to the 4-3 defense. I always thought 3-4 was wasting Danielle Hunter’s experience.
— Bill Gagnon in San Jose, California
There were so many topics of discussion during Flores’ introductory press conference, that the 4-3 vs. 3-4 became a wake-up call at the end of the session.
Flores answered the question with, “Who do we play with? It’s specific to the game plan, but it’s 3-4.”
It’s still very early in the process and a couple of months before Flores starts working on the field with players during Organized Team Activities workouts.
I guess for now we can keep in mind that not all 4-3 or 3-4 bases are created equal.
Philosophical differences (blitz vs. falling into cover/man vs. zone/specific player lineup) can vary.
Hunter is the type of player every coordinator should want to maximize, but he’s not the only potential differentiator. He finished the season well.
We recently pointed out how rarely the 2022 Vikings were in their 3-4 base (about 20 percent). If you are lost Mailbag from last week, we took a deeper look at Flores’ resume in his first season as a defenseman (2018 with New England), head coach with Miami (2019-21), and assistant with Pittsburgh (2022). Higher blitz rates than what the Vikings saw last season is a reasonable expectation.
“Aggression” or “aggressiveness” appeared seven times in the full transcript of the press conference in response to a question.
Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell said: “Not all scenarios and situations are created equal, and I think he learned this term that he used called ‘low weight’ – I think he learned that maybe from [Steelers Head Coach] Mike [Tomlin], but those critical points where the ability of a coordinator, with the experience that B-Flo has, to put pressure on the attack in many different ways. And that can feel a lot different week after week.
“‘What are the things we want to do to maximize our boys’ chances of success, while also, in some cases, mitigating risk, but making sure that ultimately, the aggressive mindset of our football philosophy, which I’ve come up with here – funny enough , a year ago today – and introduced, was it a football philosophy?’ It wasn’t an offensive philosophy,” O’Connell added. “It was nothing but all 53 kids — our entire roster — coming together, led by us as coaches, to play the game we imagine ourselves playing and stay true to that philosophy in a way our players live and breathe and when they get out on the pitch, they fly around playing fast because they have that confidence in what we’re trying to do.”
Flores added: “I am aggressive by nature. Philosophically, it’s something I believe in. I think Kev hinted. From what I remember, I left [the job interview] feeling like there is a shared vision. He is aggressive in attack. I am aggressive defensively. That kind of philosophy lined up — that’s probably the best word to use.
“So, just to answer your question, yes, I stick to nature. I like to be aggressive. Again, not reckless – there is a method to madness. There is a rhyme and a reason, whether it be distance and distance, position of the basket, etc,” Flores continued. “But I think it’s not about me or Kev.” He’s about the players. He’s about their ability to perform. It’s about our ability to teach and coach and put them in the right positions and get them to do things that we think they can perform. And we will do our best to do it. But, yeah, by nature I like to play an aggressive style.”