Redding Learned 3-4 On The Go

After playing in the 3-4 for a year, Redding’s ’11 campaign could get off to faster start.

Posted by Mike Duffy on Monday, February 21st, 2011 at 10:54 am | Categories: Mike Duffy

Looking back on his first season with the Ravens, defensive end Cory Redding admits that he got better as the weeks progressed.

The reason, according to him, was a simple numbers game.
 
Having played seven previous years with the Detroit Lions and Seattle Seahawks, Redding only knew the 4-3 defense.  Adjusting to the Ravens’ 3-4 took some time.
 
“I often reflect on my season and how my transition was from a 4-3 to a 3-4,” Redding told BaltimoreRavens.com last week.  “With the help of my teammates and my coach, [Clarence Brooks, defensive line coach], I felt like I did a decent job with the grunt work and the technique you need as part of a defensive line in this system. 
 
“I just tried to do it to the best of my abilities.  I think things really came on as the season went on.”
 
A 4-3 end is typically asked to contribute more to the pass rush, emphasizing speed rather than size and strength.  In a 3-4 defense, Redding’s 6-foot-4, 300-pound frame was perfect for the job of impeding blockers from getting to the Ravens’ linebackers.
 
Once he was comfortable with that, Redding was able to dip back into his playmaking instincts and adapt to the position.
 
It showed, as well.  Twenty of Redding’s 38 tackles came over the last five games of the year.  He also logged two sacks, one interception and two pass deflections during that span.
 
“As I got more comfortable with what a 3-4 guy up front is supposed to do, I wanted to make it my own, make every play the best play Cory Redding can make it, ad-libbing and doing some different things to play to my strengths,” Redding said.  “I think that kind of turned on towards the latter part of the season. 
 
“Every day, it was starting to come together, and I truly understood what the 3-4 means and how to approach it each week.”
 
With one year of 3-4 knowledge under his belt, Redding expects to have an even better 2011 campaign.
 
“That’s the goal, you always want to be better than the day before,” he said.  “You always want to be better than the year before.  That’s a must.”

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