I thought McClendon looked good in the preseason against Philly and then last week against Philly. I think it has to do with their OLine.
Other times I've seen him in the game, I've seen him getting blocked by 1 guy and controlled. That can't work in a 3-4. We need a beast of an NT. He seems better suited to be a 4-3 DT. I really like McClendon, but I think we're trying square peg, round hole a couple of these guys.
Even Keisel's not perfect for the 3-4. People used to get on him when he became a starter to better control his gaps and play the run better without getting washed out. He's gotten stronger and is a solid 3-4 DE. But he had a freakish size/speed combo and he could really get after a QB when he was a 3rd down replacement for Kimo. I really think Keisel could have been the Levon Kirkland of 3-4 OLBs. But we bulked him up to control the gap better.
I agree with your assessment---all of our DL except for maybe Heyward (I think he could be an excellent 4-3 DE) are better suited for the 4-3. That is been my argument over the past couple of seasons. Hampton is washed up so essentially we don't have the critical NT you need in a 3-4 and they are very, very difficult to find. It is getting too hard to find guys who fit our 3-4 and then take the additional time to train them up (I would argue we "train out" what got them to the NFL). That is why we get to the point where we are forced to hang onto players who are near or past their "sell by" dates.
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