I think letting Keisel go now is not mandatory. He has something to offer on the field, and in the locker room.
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As mentioned,...Nix on the field with Heyward and Mclendon is a problem up front for any Team in the League. Honestly, whose blocking either one of them (Heyward or Mclendon) with but a single man for four quarters when they are playing next to a true 3-4 NT ?
The upgrade to the front seven would be considerable. And keeping Keisel and Woods would provide quality depth. Would we still require a single stud inside backer and one outside to have a dominant front seven ?,....yes. But it's a start.
Last edited by Rod Polamalu; 01-08-2014 at 12:47 AM.
Alameda Ta'amu is an American football nose tackle for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He played college football for the Washington Huskies. Wikipedia
Current team: Arizona Cardinals (#66 / Defensive tackle)
Education: University of Washington
Salary: 480,000 USD (2013)
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Ta'amu was playing well for the Cardinals this season. I think he tore his ACL in the last game, though.
Casey made everyone else around him better. The pocket shrinks up front so all of those times you see Woodley come wide only to have the QB step up into the pocket and re-load turns into Harrison-like strip sacks because there is no pocket to step up into. All of those huge openings that AP, Forte, and every other runner (or QB) ran through would have been filled by a giant bumble bee (on throwback jersey days) and the two guys trying to block him.
Pushing OLs back even a couple of feet means the QB has that much more blocking his field of vision and his throwing lanes. It turns LBs like Farrior and Foote into predators just waiting to see who squeaks through the holes so that they can attack, instead of trying to figure out which large patch of green to defend and hoping they pick the same one the runner picks.
I could go on and on, however, if I knew that Casey Hampton was available at 15, I would snap his fat, 2 down playing butt up in a heartbeat.
The play of the nose tackle and guys up front make all the difference in the world to the guys playing behind them. It's my understand that the 3-4 was developed because it was easier or more abundant of linebackers than linemen that could get to the quarterbacks. This is what I was told when I first start seeing the 3-4 defenses and I don't know if that's true or not. Having said this, do you think there will be a time that, it will be so difficult to get nose tackles that fit the system along with linebackers that, out of necessity they will need to swing over to the 4-3 defenses again ? I always figure once a team comes through with a tough group in their 4-3 and wins a Super Bowl or two, everyone one will jump on the copycat ship and change their teams defenses. The old saying that, it's a copycat league.