PDA

View Full Version : Lets Talk about the Elephant in the Room



Shawn
01-22-2015, 11:25 AM
There has been much talk about the new NFL and the importance of having hybrid players within each team's system. Today's NFL has become about exposing the weaknesses in a defense through manipulation of players who can play a hybrid position. The tight end that can split out like a wide receiver, the running back who can run routes and catch like a WR, the linebacker who can cover like a safety. The flavor of the day on defense is having the ability to switch from a 3-4 to a 4-3 and back without substitution. And in comes the elephant...which is a position where a defensive players has the quickness and athleticism to play 3-4 OLB, and the strength and size to play a 4-3 DE. In order to be truly effective with this system you need to have a truly special player. You need a Julius Peppers type of talent to pull this off effectively. In a copy cat league the elephants, who once were considered tweeners will be in even higher demand.


Taking all of this into consideration and using it as a filter through which we analyze Keith Butlers comments. When asked about the 3-4 he stated, “If it’s a 3-4, that’s fine, if that fits your players. I think you have to be able to fit your defense around the players you have. With what offenses are doing nowadays in the National Football League, they’re playing a lot of three wide receivers and a tight end and a running back, for the most part. In those situations, we’re going to be in kind of a 4-3 anyway, but we’re still going to be able to run the 3-4 also. It gives you a little bit more versatility, I think.” “I think there’s still a place for it is because you also have to be versatile as a defense as offenses are trying to be versatile. So we don’t want to blow it up and say we won’t run the 3-4 anymore. We will run the 3-4, but we will run some 4-3 also, in our sub-package.”


What I am reading is that the Steelers have been doing versions of this for years, but as the NFL continues to change, the Steelers will have to as well. I must believe there will be a greater emphasis on sub-packages, and that having a true elephant position will be of upmost consideration and importance in the draft. The question is, do the Steelers already have their elephant? Jones is no where close to an elephant, so Worilds would be the only consideration. The problem is that Worilds is not a truly special player. In order to be truly effective with these sub-package schemes is to have that elephant you can build a defense around. Worilds is not that player.


This has led me to one conclusion. In the 2015 NFL draft you will see the Steelers step outside their comfort zone, trade up and draft a first round elephant. But, there is only one guy who could legitimately fill that position, Dante Fowler. Vic Beasley, and Shaq Thompson are not big enough or strong enough. Alvin Dupree isn't strong enough. A guy like Arik Armstead is a possibility but his lack of serious production and the fact that to my knowledge never played OLB will be a major turn off for the Steelers.


My prediction...if Dante Fowler falls out of the top 10, the Steelers make a trade with the Minnesota Vikings who need draft picks. This would cost the Steelers at least a 1,2,4 or could be as much as a 1,2,3. And while I understands the groans from the Steelers nation will be significant if this happens; the Steelers D has never run off of top DBs. It's engine is stopping the run and putting pressure on the QB. If the Steelers do that, they will make the secondary look more than adequate.


If Dante Fowler doesn't fall out of the top 10, I see no other OLB/DE that the Steelers would salivate over and then they go a different direction. Despite popular opinion I think Tre Waynes could fall to the Steelers. If does and they don't move on Fowler, this is the guy. If both are gone, I predict the Steelers select Maxx Williams-TE Minnesota who will be a truly special player at the next level.

birtikidis
01-22-2015, 11:54 AM
Shawn, I like Fowler quite a bit. I wouldn't mind seeing him in the black and gold, but I don't see us trading up to get him. I've seen him mocked in the top 5. I actually see us going after a Safety that can force turnovers. Y'all want Troy gone, but I think he stays for 2 more years, giving us time to transition a Rookie and Thomas into the starting roles. I think the one thing that Butler will do is eliminate Troy as a "Rover" and force him more into a traditional role. We don't have the corners to allow our safety to freelance.
I know Tomlin has denied that any of our ILB can move outside, but I think Williams would be able to make the move and would be successful. I think he would be a poor mans Kevin Greene.

Shawn
01-22-2015, 12:10 PM
Shawn, I like Fowler quite a bit. I wouldn't mind seeing him in the black and gold, but I don't see us trading up to get him. I've seen him mocked in the top 5. I actually see us going after a Safety that can force turnovers. Y'all want Troy gone, but I think he stays for 2 more years, giving us time to transition a Rookie and Thomas into the starting roles. I think the one thing that Butler will do is eliminate Troy as a "Rover" and force him more into a traditional role. We don't have the corners to allow our safety to freelance.
I know Tomlin has denied that any of our ILB can move outside, but I think Williams would be able to make the move and would be successful. I think he would be a poor mans Kevin Greene. Well as said, if he falls out of the top 10. I have seen mocks where makes it to 13. I think the Vikings at 11 are real possibility. I think the Steelers make a bold move to get a guy they believe they can build a D around. I believe Fowler to be the next great NFL star, and I have to believe the Steelers will agree. Do they take the plunge? If he falls out of the top 10, I believe so.

birtikidis
01-22-2015, 12:16 PM
He definitely has the talent. I just don't think he falls to a point where the FO will be comfortable making the trade. I think that when the combine comes around, he'll solidify himself as a top 5 guy. Just for the record.. i don't think he'll be anything in the NFL. Gut feeling, nothing I've seen that sticks out to me.

Shawn
01-22-2015, 12:27 PM
He definitely has the talent. I just don't think he falls to a point where the FO will be comfortable making the trade. I think that when the combine comes around, he'll solidify himself as a top 5 guy. Just for the record.. i don't think he'll be anything in the NFL. Gut feeling, nothing I've seen that sticks out to me. I've broken down his film. He was one of the first guys I looked at. The guy is versatile and disruptive. I have to believe playing all over the field, DT, DE, ILB, OLB stunted his growth a bit. That may be what you are sensing. But, the film doesn't lie. He doesn't get a bunch of slop sacks, he beats guys and changes games with his disruptive quickness. He is strong enough to play DE, and quick enough to cover. If my theory stands and the Steelers truly covet an elephant player...he is the guy best suited for it.

SidSmythe
01-22-2015, 02:09 PM
Very few guys will be the prototypical "hybrid" player.
Clay Mathews?? Junior Seau (in his day) comes to mind.

Many good players failed to make the transition. Mario Williams for example.

The problem with this is not just finding THAT player, but what if he gets injured???

Shawn
01-22-2015, 02:12 PM
Very few guys will be the prototypical "hybrid" player.
Clay Mathews?? Junior Seau (in his day) comes to mind.

Many good players failed to make the transition. Mario Williams for example.

The problem with this is not just finding THAT player, but what if he gets injured???

Sid, what are you talking about. Yes, very few. Name even 5 elephant players in today's NFL?

RuthlessBurgher
01-22-2015, 02:12 PM
He definitely has the talent. I just don't think he falls to a point where the FO will be comfortable making the trade. I think that when the combine comes around, he'll solidify himself as a top 5 guy. Just for the record.. i don't think he'll be anything in the NFL. Gut feeling, nothing I've seen that sticks out to me.

It's tough to see him solidifying himself as a top 5 guy when you will have Winston and Mariota up there, Leonard Williams, Amari Cooper, Randy Gregory, Shane Ray, plus in the tackle hungry NFL an OT is almost sure to rise up as well.

Shawn
01-22-2015, 02:13 PM
It's tough to see him solidifying himself as a top 5 guy when you will have Winston and Mariota up there, Leonard Williams, Amari Cooper, Randy Gregory, Shane Ray, plus in the tackle hungry NFL an OT is almost sure to rise up as well. Agreed, I give it a 60/40 chance he falls at least to 11.

SidSmythe
01-22-2015, 02:14 PM
Personally I've always wanted a HYBRID Kicker/Punter .... saving 1 Roster Spot for a Special Teamer

SidSmythe
01-22-2015, 02:16 PM
Sid, what are you talking about. Yes, very few. Name even 5 elephant players in today's NFL?

You mean who could switch from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB mid game??

Clay Mathews and Terrell Suggs are the only 2 that pop out in my head. Maybe Houston from K.C.??

Shawn
01-22-2015, 02:20 PM
And there you go, thank you for proving my point.

RuthlessBurgher
01-22-2015, 02:23 PM
Maybe Houston from K.C.??

He's an unrestricted free agent. Instead of trading a 1, 2, and 3 for an unknown quantity, just put all your offseason eggs in the extend Ben and snatch up Houston basket.

Shawn
01-22-2015, 02:26 PM
He's an unrestricted free agent. Instead of trading a 1, 2, and 3 for an unknown quantity, just put all your offseason eggs in the extend Ben and snatch up Houston basket. I was thinking the same thing. That would free up our draft pick to grab Waynes or Maxx Williams.

Iron City Inc.
01-22-2015, 02:44 PM
Agreed, I give it a 60/40 chance he falls at least to 11.

Kiper and Jeremiah have him as a top 10 guy. He is a top talent no doubt.
I think Shawn is right in our shopping list has that hybrid on or close to the top. Now it don't always line up position need and top talent. We are thin on the outside for sure.
I watched some film on Dupree and he can ball. Stack n shed, very little false steps and finds the ball quickly. Now can he play well in space? Need to see more on him and check out Indy but he has a lot to like. 6'4" 265-270, may run under 4.7 and good motor I mean really good. If he can drop he is someone to keep an eye on. Almost hope he doesn't run well at the combine. Not sure if he can anchor against 300lb NFL tackles but his tape looks good. Quick twitch player who is a 1st rounder just not sure yet how early he goes.

SidSmythe
01-22-2015, 02:52 PM
You know how it is picking where the Steelers usually pick. THOSE GUYS we LOVE end up being LOVED by someone picking far ahead of us by the time April rolls around.

HOUSTON is a FA???
It's time the Steelers made a splash in F.A. and brought in someone who will make an IMPACT.

Oviedo
01-22-2015, 03:29 PM
Hybrid Player=JJ Watt. Guy is the perfect example

Shawn
01-22-2015, 04:30 PM
Kiper and Jeremiah have him as a top 10 guy. He is a top talent no doubt.
I think Shawn is right in our shopping list has that hybrid on or close to the top. Now it don't always line up position need and top talent. We are thin on the outside for sure.
I watched some film on Dupree and he can ball. Stack n shed, very little false steps and finds the ball quickly. Now can he play well in space? Need to see more on him and check out Indy but he has a lot to like. 6'4" 265-270, may run under 4.7 and good motor I mean really good. If he can drop he is someone to keep an eye on. Almost hope he doesn't run well at the combine. Not sure if he can anchor against 300lb NFL tackles but his tape looks good. Quick twitch player who is a 1st rounder just not sure yet how early he goes. I like Dupree and he may fall to us. He will certainly be on the Steelers draft board. I'm not convinced that he can play the elephant at the NFL level. For a guy his size he isn't quite as strong as I would like. He is freakish quick for his size. Draft Breakdown has 5 game films on him. I didn't see him stack and shed as effectively as I would like in a first rounder. There were many times he was redirected out of the play, got stood up and swallowed up. BUT, he is disruptive when he gets low and under his guy...he is so quick in closing in on the QB. I think he could make a good NFL 3-4 OLB. But, when it comes to the elephant position...I'm not convinced.

SidSmythe
01-22-2015, 04:34 PM
Hybrid Player=JJ Watt. Guy is the perfect example

Maybe on the D-Line but he would struggle badly in the 3-4 at OLB. He'd be able to rush from the outside still but he would get eaten alive by TEs dropping into coverage.

Iron City Inc.
01-22-2015, 08:15 PM
I like Dupree and he may fall to us. He will certainly be on the Steelers draft board. I'm not convinced that he can play the elephant at the NFL level. For a guy his size he isn't quite as strong as I would like. He is freakish quick for his size. Draft Breakdown has 5 game films on him. I didn't see him stack and shed as effectively as I would like in a first rounder. There were many times he was redirected out of the play, got stood up and swallowed up. BUT, he is disruptive when he gets low and under his guy...he is so quick in closing in on the QB. I think he could make a good NFL 3-4 OLB. But, when it comes to the elephant position...I'm not convinced.
You're right about the pad level being high at times but that can be coached and sometimes what looks like lack of strength is lack of tech and loss of leverage is the result. He impressed me and that motor is special. Lots of guys to look at with #22. I only started looking at some tape.
Shawn you may have to wait until day 3 this year before we draft from college champs OSU. Their TE has been on my radar for some time.
Penn State has a few prospects the T and Te that are likely mid rounders but they have some upside. JJ is a tall quick TE who needs to work on his blocking but he can catch.

Eddie Spaghetti
01-22-2015, 08:20 PM
i would rather have dupree at 22 and all our picks, than trading a bunch of picks for fowler

fowler is out of our reach, but this seems to be a good year for edge type rushers

brazilsteel
01-22-2015, 08:55 PM
Another hybrid: DeMarcus Ware.

papillon
01-23-2015, 07:58 AM
Fowler is the DeCastro or Jones for the Steelers this year, it's true, see my sig. :p

Pappy

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-24-2015, 01:18 PM
Another hybrid: DeMarcus Ware.

Ware would not have fit in with this team. Never dropped into coverage and weak against the run - both in runs to his side and in pursuit.

Shawn
01-24-2015, 03:50 PM
Ware would not have fit in with this team. Never dropped into coverage and weak against the run - both in runs to his side and in pursuit. Which means he is not a true elephant. An elephant is solid against the run, can drop into coverage, and can put his hand on the ground in a 4-3.

steelblood
01-24-2015, 04:58 PM
Which means he is not a true elephant. An elephant is solid against the run, can drop into coverage, and can put his hand on the ground in a 4-3.

Connor Barwin is good at 3-4 OLB and DE

SS Laser
01-24-2015, 05:20 PM
Which means he is not a true elephant. An elephant is solid against the run, can drop into coverage, and can put his hand on the ground in a 4-3. So was Woodley that player till he took a poop and played crappy? :)

buccoray61
01-24-2015, 05:46 PM
The Steelers will never sniff Fowler. I see the pick being someone like Landon Collins.

buccoray61
01-24-2015, 05:59 PM
The Steelers will never sniff Fowler. I see the pick being someone like Landon Collins.

Or Bud Dupree