I hope you'll read that acid-induced Article, but I can boil it down for you, if long dissertations don't appeal to you:
The increasingly Pass-Friendly rule changes ~ for over an hundred years ~ have compelled Defensive Coordinators to craft increasingly small Fronts, over that same great length of time...and my Assertion is that the latest wave of Rule Changes, over the last decade ~ from which Defenses, as an whole, are still reeling ~ ought to compel and must compel Defenses, across the Land, to migrate to a "245" Base, as the best means of combating this.
I have myself crafted a Version of the "245" that I believe is best suited to lead Defenses into the New Era:
This Defense has, in fact, five Layers, and could quite arguably be called the "22223"!!
"Dragons" in the Yankee 245 play an Hybrid Role ~ toggling between either Role, as Tactics warrant.
Their Role, naturally, is to Set The Edge in Run Defense, and Rush The Passer in Pass Defense.
A...um...a bit of Talent is required to fulfill this role effectively.
The guys who have been tagged with the hideously weak and vaguely disrespectful term "LineBackers."
In the "245", MidFielders need to be able to attack the Ball in Run Support, cover half the Field, Flow to the Ball or Turn & Burn in Pass Defense...and need, above all, to Rapidly Read & React to determine which to do.
They, too, must be highly talented Lads to succeed and even survive in this Era!!
Such is how it is, when Roger Goodell ~ and millions of Madden FootBall Fans ~ want only 45-42 SlugFests!!
My thinking is that the Gryphon not only needs to become part of a Base Defense...But that we need two.
The Role of the Gryphon in My Twisted Version of the "245" would be the same as the "Star" or "Monster" or whatever Coaches call it ~ Hybrid Pass Defense & Run Defense. But my Defensive Vision would be to transform the Gryphon from an occasional part time Gig that most teams don't even employ...to not one but two full time Gigs!!
The Gryphons would be responsible not only for Run Defense and Pass Defense ~ and for Rapidly Reading & Reacting to determine which to go with ~ but would also be responsible, if needs be, for Nickel & Dime Coverage, as well: They would, in short, become the Heart & Soul of the Back Nine!!
And I'm of the opinion that the classic Strong Safety size ~ but with far beyond classic Strong Safety Skills ~ would actually be the optimum size for the Gryphon, who must deal with a far faster Foe than the previous Generation did.
"Falcon" ~ CornerBack 1 ~ Preferably a Big Guy to match up with the Split End
"Hawk" ~ CornerBack 2 ~ Preferably 5.11 or Taller to match up with the FlankerBack
"Eagle" ~ Free Safety
These Roles are pretty much Classic in their Responsibilities.