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Arizona Cardinals Question Of The Day: Should The Defense Switch To The 4-3?

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ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19:  Jason Snelling #44 of the Atlanta Falcons dives over for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at Georgia Dome on September 19 2010 in Atlanta Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19: Jason Snelling #44 of the Atlanta Falcons dives over for a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals at Georgia Dome on September 19 2010 in Atlanta Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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This question was proposed recently in a game thread in reference to the Cardinals porous defensive output against the San Diego Chargers this past Sunday. They were pummeled 41-10. The defense could not force a stop. The offense couldn't score.

With an idea tossed out in the open, people will often run with it or dismiss it. Let's be real, switching to a new defensive scheme mid-season is preposterous. The side affects are often negative. Changing what the defense is used to and asking the players to learn a new playbook takes time and development, something neither they nor the organization has right now.

If I asked you anyway, would you consider it? Is it that far-fetched? The Cardinals defense ranks bottom five in just about every major category so far this season. Opposing teams have been able to pass and run freely against them. The Cardinals haven't forced many turnovers and haven't added sacks either. Should trends continue, we could be in for a long season -- meaning what do we have to lose?

The personnel that the Cardinals already have on defense have previous experience with the 4-3. The problem, is that some players aren't built for both styles. Traditionally, the 4-3 requires two quick defensive ends that can burst off the edges and tee off on opposing quarterbacks. Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett don't fit that description. Be that as it may, they are talented players that could presumably get the job done one way or another. Defensive tackle isn't as cloudy. The Cardinals have three big-bodied players that can fill in the gaps. Dan Williams hasn't jump-started the season like we had hoped, but Gabe Watson and Bryan Robinson still fit the bill. At linebacker -- assuming Gerald Hayes successfully returns in two weeks -- the defense could make the adjustment. Keeping Hayes in the middle works due to his run-stopping capabilities and also his leadership. I'd slide Daryl Washington into his natural position at outside linebacker, and keep Clark Haggans on the other side. Washington can play the pass with his speed but also serve as an extra body against the run. Haggans still has some gas left in the tank to be used as a blitz'er. Paris Lenon and Joey Porter would become depth and situational players.

With this move, the Cardinals would justifiably be one dominant pass rusher away from a legitimate 4-3 defense. Then again, this could all be nonsense and wishful thinking. As we all know, a change must be made and I believe we all know who it begins with. Unless that doesn't happen, I'd expect Ken Whisenhunt to make some roster and depth changes soon. What is your take on the presented change?