This scheme would work much better than our current one. Rather than having to draft a replacement for Gregg, we could activate Powe, and then use him in a rotation. We could use both base defenses on a situational basis.
In the 2-5-4, the main purpose of the 2 linemen, Jackson and Dorsey, is to occupy space and defend the run. With this, we can overload one side with pass rushers, while leaving the other side vulnerable. The gap assignments would be the same as a 3-4, however your 2 ends would be OLBs and your LBs all ILBs. The defense can also be adapted to different scenarios such as run defense, passing situations, blitz packages, and prevent defenses. See the picture below for a 4-3 base :
In my proposed 2-5-4, the gap assignments would remain the same:
The picture depicts each player's gap assignment in the run and zone in the pass. The zone scheme is similar to a Tampa 2. This formation would give us versatility, Tamba and Houston could rush most of the time, while dropping into coverage occasionally. As of right now, Siler or Studebaker would play the WILB/OLB role. However, if we draft Vontaze Burfict, his athletic ability and block shedding ability would suit this type of role perfectly. In certain packages, Eric Berry could step into the extra LB role. If Romeo feels that Houston plays better coverage than Belcher than he could alter the formation to a set as such:
Blitzing will be much more creatively in this formation. Here is another variation:
My illustrations only show how the players would move in a passing situation. If they were playing run support they would play the gap assignments in a base 3-4, with minor tweaks. In this scenario, the 2 LBs would play the 1-2 gap and the 3-4 gap, while the linemen would play the outer gaps, and the OLBS would seal the edge.
The formation can also be adapted to obvious passing situations; in that case, Berry would step into the extra LB spot, and Gilberry and Bailey would be in. Berry's excellent run-stopping ability gives us the ability to match up well, whether they run a draw, play action or screen. McGraw would step into his spot at S, and play a scheme similar to the Tampa 2: This allows Berry to help play run support, in the case of a draw or screen, while not being a liability in the passing game and causing a soft spot in the zone.
The scheme's blitzing packages are numerous. In the next illustration, we play a Cover 1 style defense, bringing 5 men on the blitz, Kendrick Lewis dropping deep, and having 5 guys play man coverage. Belcher will bump the TE in order to give DJ to come across the formation to play man coverage. Carr and Flowers will play man, but will not press the coverage. Berry will give the illusion of blitzing but covers the slot receiver. McGraw will play man on the RB, but if he blocks, he will blitz.
For my next Cover 0/Bracket Coverage package, I want you to imagine we are facing the Patriots. Gronk and Hernandez are at each TE spot, they have Welker in the slot, Branch split left, and Tate split right. Flowers will play man on Tate, Carr on Branch. Then, Berry will play man on Welker. Gronk(lined up as the weakside TE) will immediately be jammed by Belcher(who will then blitz), then the doubled by Jalil Brown and Jon McGraw. Hernandez, the more athletic of the 2, will be bracketed by DJ and Lewis. In the case, Hernandez motions out wide, Johnson will continue guarding the inside and move with him on the motion.
Altogether, this defense would work well in this scheme, and I believe, we should use it more often. Many benefits come with it, unneeded line depth would become expendable. Fringe players such as Gordon, and even Dorsey would become expendable. If we needed true run-stopping ability, we could bring Powe into rotation with Dorsey/Jackson for true gap plugging. The other upside to switching to this scheme is that we could keep the exact same group of personnel we have now, and it would work fine. Our LB situation is stocked with so much depth that if needed Sheffield could come in to run-stuff, Williams, Studebaker, and Greenwood for relief; it also allows for unknown commodities to be evaluated more quickly, and have more spots to LBs who have more playmaking ability than lineman.