One of the first moves that was made with the Colorado State football team when Jim McElwain joined the Rams was to move the defense to a 3-4 system, rare for college teams but perfect for the players that were available to CSU going into 2012. With tons of solid linebackers but small defensive lineman, it looks like it might be a good fit for a defense that was bordering on terrible in 2011.
There are several adjustments being made of course, with McElwain putting a lot of care into training up the defensive line, a line that was ineffective for most of last season at making their blocks and keeping running attacks from gutting them:
He also said the group will do things a lot differently than what he spied on film, and that will be a major adjustment for them.
"I think so. I guess more so they're not used to the discipline to detail and being responsible for gaps," McElwain said. "The thing I noted last year is they just ran up field. It was almost like they didn't care. That's not the role of a D-lineman."
We'll see when the NCAA season finally begins how well the 3-4 experiment works out for the Rams, seeking their first good season in quite a while.