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Thread: The LB Unit

  1. #1
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    The LB Unit

    Is it just me, or does this unit still feel like it's in disarray?

    Shazier is a big loss for sure.

    But I'm not sure we have the guys we need at OLB for an effective 3-4 D.

    I'm also not sure about our ILBs. For example, Vince Williams never leaves the field. I like VW like I used to like Larry Foote. Solid player. Headsy. Hard worker. You need guys like this on the roster, but is he a guy that really belongs on the field in passing downs? I always thought of him as a 2 down LB. Now he doesn't leave the field and I think that's a bit of our problem.

    On the other side of things, Matthew Thomas was the kid that got me most excited during the preseason. I wouldn't mind seeing him get some D snaps to see what he can do. Seriously, what's the worst that would happen? We'd give up 7 passing TDs?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    Is it just me, or does this unit still feel like it's in disarray?

    Shazier is a big loss for sure.

    But I'm not sure we have the guys we need at OLB for an effective 3-4 D.

    I'm also not sure about our ILBs. For example, Vince Williams never leaves the field. I like VW like I used to like Larry Foote. Solid player. Headsy. Hard worker. You need guys like this on the roster, but is he a guy that really belongs on the field in passing downs? I always thought of him as a 2 down LB. Now he doesn't leave the field and I think that's a bit of our problem.

    On the other side of things, Matthew Thomas was the kid that got me most excited during the preseason. I wouldn't mind seeing him get some D snaps to see what he can do. Seriously, what's the worst that would happen? We'd give up 7 passing TDs?
    Going into the season, I thought ILB was our most talent deficient position on the roster. Matthew Thomas certainly has been a pleasant surprise, and we definitely need to be working him into the lineup on passing downs. Bostic has been good at times. Same with Williams. After 2 games, I can honestly say the ILBs have exceeded my expectations.

    OLB has also been solid at times. Dupree has outperformed my expectations as well... but keep in mind that I had a "Low bar" set for him prior to the year.

    As a whole, I honestly think this Defenses' issues aren't "Talent related".

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
    Going into the season, I thought ILB was our most talent deficient position on the roster. Matthew Thomas certainly has been a pleasant surprise, and we definitely need to be working him into the lineup on passing downs. Bostic has been good at times. Same with Williams. After 2 games, I can honestly say the ILBs have exceeded my expectations.

    OLB has also been solid at times. Dupree has outperformed my expectations as well... but keep in mind that I had a "Low bar" set for him prior to the year.

    As a whole, I honestly think this Defenses' issues aren't "Talent related".
    I agree. ILB is our most talent deficient position and we knew that since Shazier was hurt. The FO tried to trade up in the draft to get a difference maker, but the reality is that right now we just have "solid guys, but nothing special." I expect ILB will be very high in our draft priorities next year, but what we have is what we have this year.

    As far as OLB, those guys are harder to find than 10-15 years ago. More people are looking for the same thing.

    I'll beat the old drum in that I think we have a more complete personnel grouping to play 4-3 versus trying 3-4. Understand that we really have no base defense anymore and are mostly in hybrid formations but I'm tired of every year trying to find that next great LB. Other than Shazier and maybe Watt, when was the last time we got a great LB. I also blame coaching...Joey Porter sucks and needs to go.
    Last edited by Oviedo; 09-20-2018 at 08:01 AM.

  4. #4
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    Mathew Thomas has the size and the natural athletic ability to be a starting ILB in the NFL. But I'm thinking he is a dumb a$$ and that's what's holding him back. Not sure the Steelers can insert him into a game with complicated scheming when he can't even line up properly on a kick off and gets called for an illegal formation.

    Here's an example from FSU of what he needs to overcome upstairs:

    http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=21556622

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    Is it just me, or does this unit still feel like it's in disarray?

    Shazier is a big loss for sure.

    But I'm not sure we have the guys we need at OLB for an effective 3-4 D.

    I'm also not sure about our ILBs. For example, Vince Williams never leaves the field. I like VW like I used to like Larry Foote. Solid player. Headsy. Hard worker. You need guys like this on the roster, but is he a guy that really belongs on the field in passing downs? I always thought of him as a 2 down LB. Now he doesn't leave the field and I think that's a bit of our problem.

    On the other side of things, Matthew Thomas was the kid that got me most excited during the preseason. I wouldn't mind seeing him get some D snaps to see what he can do. Seriously, what's the worst that would happen? We'd give up 7 passing TDs?
    Ghost, I"ve been saying this all summer.

    And..it's about time to make a call to Reid and add a real safety to this team.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    I agree. ILB is our most talent deficient position and we knew that since Shazier was hurt. The FO tried to trade up in the draft to get a difference maker, but the reality is that right now we just have "solid guys, but nothing special." I expect ILB will be very high in our draft priorities next year, but what we have is what we have this year.

    As far as OLB, those guys are harder to find than 10-15 years ago. More people are looking for the same thing.

    I'll beat the old drum in that I think we have a more complete personnel grouping to play 4-3 versus trying 3-4. Understand that we really have no base defense anymore and are mostly in hybrid formations but I'm tired of every year trying to find that next great LB. Other than Shazier and maybe Watt, when was the last time we got a great LB. I also blame coaching...Joey Porter sucks and needs to go.
    spot on Ovoedo

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
    Mathew Thomas has the size and the natural athletic ability to be a starting ILB in the NFL. But I'm thinking he is a dumb a$$ and that's what's holding him back. Not sure the Steelers can insert him into a game with complicated scheming when he can't even line up properly on a kick off and gets called for an illegal formation.

    Here's an example from FSU of what he needs to overcome upstairs:

    http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=21556622
    I remember hearing James Harrison was dumb when he first came into the league. We kept cutting him cause he couldn't learn the D. Took him about 4 years to finally get it.

    I think coaches have to do a better job at making things simple for guys with freakish athletic ability and talent. Just being realistic, I would expect most football players aren't going to be really smart when they enter the league. It's the coaches job to help overcome whatever limitation a player may have and focus on putting them in a position that best leverages their strengths.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    I remember hearing James Harrison was dumb when he first came into the league. We kept cutting him cause he couldn't learn the D. Took him about 4 years to finally get it.

    I think coaches have to do a better job at making things simple for guys with freakish athletic ability and talent. Just being realistic, I would expect most football players aren't going to be really smart when they enter the league. It's the coaches job to help overcome whatever limitation a player may have and focus on putting them in a position that best leverages their strengths.
    I thought that the issue with JH was that he was stubborn and difficult to deal with. Seems like that kind of attitude doesn't win you the job when your and undrafted rookie (AB seems to have done this right by only embracing his inner diva after becoming a star)

  9. #9
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    Really, how smart do you have to be to play defense in the NFL? I doubt that that many of these players are really that dumb.

    With good coaching and some schematic tweaks, I think there's enough talent there to field a D that is at least respectable.
    Last edited by Buzz; 09-20-2018 at 10:22 AM.

  10. #10
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    We went from Shazier and looking to add Hightower to Williams and Bostic.

    With that said, we had many of these same issues with Shazier in the lineup. Using Shazier as an excuse is a cop out.
    Tomlin: Let's unleash hell and "mop the floor" with the competition.

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