Could every heated 4-3 vs 3-4 debate be love's labour's lost?
The first question about 4-3, 3-4. I think a lot of times way too much is made out of whether you’re a 4-3 or a 3-4. That’s just the amount of defensive linemen or linebackers that you put on the field. (Dennis Allen, Introduction as HC)
McKenzie, Allen and Tarver (who helped installing the 3-4 at Stanford) are downplaying the question on a regular basis, and they point to a third: the multiple defense.
Multiple sounds good to me, and I don't even try to dig into the X's and O's here (See this must read from Jerboat, with hints towards a 4-3 under / Predator defense and his link in the comments: LINK) . I also know, that there is no 'pure', only a 'predominantly' 4-3 or 3-4 defense, anyway.
The last two offseasons, the presence of prototypical nose tackles (Travis Ivey, Pat Sims) or the number of linebackers did seem to hint at a switch, but ultimately it was a predominatly 4-3 defense. (See: 2012, 2013) Last season we also had only two ILB listed (Roach and former OLB Burris). At least it was better than a poor switch (due to the cap situation) with a rhetorical effort to mask bad fits (think McFadden and the ZBS).
The reason I think about it now: We're getting closer to free agency and draft, and even an armchair GM likes to know, if a certain player is a fit in the grand scheme of things. Think defensive ends, who need to be built differently for each plan. And with only 53 roster spots, you just can't tailor two pants out of one tiny piece of textile. Maybe a multiple and incredibly talented defense like the Seahawks' comes close, which can integrate a lot of diverse players, other than only copy the starters with backups of the same type. Let's say they stretch the textile (like Hulk does).
How to come back from Hulk and the Super Bowl champions to the Raiders without a stretch, but in a hurry? The anger foundation- check. A Green Bay personnel guy engineering the rebuild (See ninjagoro's study) - check.
Now that the Raiders have left cap purgatory, they can execute their plan.
I'd like to peek, though, because my armchair front office is still confused.