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jletourneau
12-18-2005, 04:13 PM
I really didn't think he was going to turn pro yet, but the most recent rumblings I've heard have said he might be leaning that way.

McClover is a guy I would really like the Broncos to take a look at. Would be a great addition to the pass rush and they should have a shot at him.

Here's a link for those who aren't familiar with him.

http://auburntigers.collegesports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/mcclover_stanley00.html

PsychoChicken
12-18-2005, 04:21 PM
I'd love to have him, but I only really have a vague idea of where his stock is at the moment. Anyone care to estimate where he would fit into the first round? The important thing, though, is that more pass rushing DEs are declaring which means we've got a better chance of getting one.

Unfortunately, I didn't watch McClover as closely as I should've in the three Auburn games I caught because I was focusing in on Quentin Groves, the star sophomore on the other side. Both McClover and Groves have been excellent sack artists, though.

Mat'hir Uth Gan
12-18-2005, 04:40 PM
He's relatively short and skinny. Those types can work but usually do better as a 3-4 OLB. Provided he times well, he's probably a late 1st, early 2nd.

jletourneau
12-18-2005, 04:58 PM
He's relatively short and skinny. Those types can work but usually do better as a 3-4 OLB. Provided he times well, he's probably a late 1st, early 2nd.

I agree with your placement, I was thinking approximately 20-45 range guy.

But he's not that short, 6'3", 260 and has some filling out to do. He could probably get up a little and play pretty strong at 270-275.

But I'd definitely take him as a 3-4 OLB, but that's because I'm really hoping that this offseason we finally go through with the 3-4. I actually think it would save us money because of the price of premiere DE's. (Abraham, Howard, etc.) and the fact that M. Williams and Kiwi will most likely be out of our reach on draft day.

Obviously, the 3-4 would be better for D.J., and we already have money invested there. Then I would re-sign Gerard Warren, trade Pryce, let Ekuban and Brown go because we'll probably have to anyway. That should help us hold together most of our o-line.

Then, in the 3-4 our major addition could be Kimo von Oelhoffen to play DE, with Warren on the other side and Pope and Veal rotating in the middle. Sign K. Edwards as a lesser FA, and grab someone like Dumervil, Lawson or McClover to be our rush backer. To me, that would bring a lot more push to our front seven and give D.J. a chance to maximize his abilities, because regardless of his stats this year, he is very talented.

TheChampion
12-18-2005, 05:32 PM
i am intrigued by a teammate of McClovers.

Devin Aromashadu is a big reciever that can make the play downfield. so far he has flown below the radar and, if he times well at the combine, could rocket up everyones list of wide receivers. at this point i see him as a mid (4-5) rounder. if he runs a sub 4.4 at the combine he could go late 2nd round. what do you all think

WABronco
12-18-2005, 06:37 PM
I agree with your placement, I was thinking approximately 20-45 range guy.

But he's not that short, 6'3", 260 and has some filling out to do. He could probably get up a little and play pretty strong at 270-275.

But I'd definitely take him as a 3-4 OLB, but that's because I'm really hoping that this offseason we finally go through with the 3-4. I actually think it would save us money because of the price of premiere DE's. (Abraham, Howard, etc.) and the fact that M. Williams and Kiwi will most likely be out of our reach on draft day.

Obviously, the 3-4 would be better for D.J., and we already have money invested there. Then I would re-sign Gerard Warren, trade Pryce, let Ekuban and Brown go because we'll probably have to anyway. That should help us hold together most of our o-line.

Then, in the 3-4 our major addition could be Kimo von Oelhoffen to play DE, with Warren on the other side and Pope and Veal rotating in the middle. Sign K. Edwards as a lesser FA, and grab someone like Dumervil, Lawson or McClover to be our rush backer. To me, that would bring a lot more push to our front seven and give D.J. a chance to maximize his abilities, because regardless of his stats this year, he is very talented.

I agree with your opinions of changing to the 3-4, but I'm wondering how we would compensate for our undersized backers. Granted, only Gold and Wilson could be classified as undersized for the 3-4, but they're already considered undersized as it is. We might also have to draft a rush-backer, or maybe Chukwurah (sp) could fill that role?

Plus, I wouldn't be to confident in our run defense with Pope and Veal as the NT's. It's just my unprofessional opinion, but I'd say that they're a little undersized themselves to take on multiple blockers.

jletourneau
12-18-2005, 07:07 PM
Rush backer is what I think we would be looking to draft. Dumervil, Lawson, McClover, etc. Re-sign Chuckwurah for depth at the position, maybe use Engleberger there, or try and sign someone like Kalimba Edwards. I think Gold and Wilson could still more than hold their own with their playmaking abilities.

As for NT, I agree. I'm not feeling as though Pope or Veal are the best options, but I don't know that we would be able to get much more of an upgrade for what we'll be able to afford. I would lean towards drafting another NT of more prototypical size who can rotate with Pope and Veal. Warren could play the position, but I don't think he'd want to and we would probably get better production out of him by using him at end where he could be told to get after the QB more than nose.

3-4 might just be the cheaper option for Shanahan.

dbdom
12-19-2005, 03:55 AM
i wouldnt say 3-4 is a cheaper option only because our linebackers are the smaller quicker type who needs the guys up front to hold off blockers and make plays that way but in the 3-4, you'll need to have your linebackers be able to fight off blockers and that might not be utilizing our strength, whereas we should try and resign warren, and try to draft a DE but another part of the problem is the scheme, i think we will be fine if the scheme is tweaked and if we can find ourselves a good DE, however its also an option to draft a DE in the lower rounds purely as a situation rusher, someone in the robert mathis mould who can play a limited number of snaps but get some serious pressure on the QB

Perry1977
12-19-2005, 10:54 AM
Oh damn, not all the 3-4 talk again!

Mat'hir Uth Gan
12-19-2005, 11:15 AM
Oh damn, not all the 3-4 talk again!


I'm going to be supporting a switch to the 3-4 again this offseason. We were all set to make the move last offseason because we had nobody on the D-line, and then we made all the trades and decided to scrap the 3-4 plans.

However, once again, it looks like we won't have the bodies to put on the D-line for next season. The only guys for sure to be here are Demetrin Veal, Mike Myers, and John Engleberger. Theoretically, Veal and Myers are the proper size to play DE and Engleberger could team with Chukurah as the rover. Then all we need is to sign a NT, which could be Warren or Grady Jackson. Or even draft Oshinowo.

DJ Williams would actually be worth a damn as an ILB and the 3-4 scheme has historically given the Colts fits, which is our arch-nemisis.


Making this move, gives us finanical flexibility and draft flexibility with only needing to fill in a NT and possibly a DE type, which are very cheap for the 3-4 in comparison to a 4-3 DE.

The 3-4 just makes the most sense specifically because of the players we have and do not have under contract.

WABronco
12-19-2005, 11:26 AM
I'm going to be supporting a switch to the 3-4 again this offseason. We were all set to make the move last offseason because we had nobody on the D-line, and then we made all the trades and decided to scrap the 3-4 plans.

However, once again, it looks like we won't have the bodies to put on the D-line for next season. The only guys for sure to be here are Demetrin Veal, Mike Myers, and John Engleberger. Theoretically, Veal and Myers are the proper size to play DE and Engleberger could team with Chukurah as the rover. Then all we need is to sign a NT, which could be Warren or Grady Jackson. Or even draft Oshinowo.

DJ Williams would actually be worth a damn as an ILB and the 3-4 scheme has historically given the Colts fits, which is our arch-nemisis.


Making this move, gives us finanical flexibility and draft flexibility with only needing to fill in a NT and possibly a DE type, which are very cheap for the 3-4 in comparison to a 4-3 DE.

The 3-4 just makes the most sense specifically because of the players we have and do not have under contract.

Cool, I'd like to see that...

Perry1977
12-19-2005, 11:43 AM
MUG, D.J. Williams is the shizzle still, just because he moved to SAM doesn't mean he is playing poorly. You and I both know he'd be tearing it us stats wise if he was playing the weak side.

I don't care if we go 3-4 or not. I would love to see Chuk get back into things, I don't know why he's never in on passing downs anymore. I agree it makes a lot of sense, but I'd rather see some pretty hard evidence on it rather than speculation. I still think Warren is going to stick around, and I think he could anchor a 3-4 no problem. The big question is what happens to Pryce, Brown, and Ekuban.

We have a lot of cap space to clear, I know that.

MileHighSpirit
12-19-2005, 01:04 PM
I'm going to be supporting a switch to the 3-4 again this offseason. We were all set to make the move last offseason because we had nobody on the D-line, and then we made all the trades and decided to scrap the 3-4 plans.

However, once again, it looks like we won't have the bodies to put on the D-line for next season. The only guys for sure to be here are Demetrin Veal, Mike Myers, and John Engleberger. Theoretically, Veal and Myers are the proper size to play DE and Engleberger could team with Chukurah as the rover. Then all we need is to sign a NT, which could be Warren or Grady Jackson. Or even draft Oshinowo.

DJ Williams would actually be worth a damn as an ILB and the 3-4 scheme has historically given the Colts fits, which is our arch-nemisis.


Making this move, gives us finanical flexibility and draft flexibility with only needing to fill in a NT and possibly a DE type, which are very cheap for the 3-4 in comparison to a 4-3 DE.

The 3-4 just makes the most sense specifically because of the players we have and do not have under contract.

I love the 3-4 defense. I always have.

Still, I hope we don't try to run it any time soon. We may be able to pick up players that can fill the NT and 3-4 DE spots, but a permanent 3-4 scheme would take away too much: namely Ian Gold and Al Wilson. Wilson is simply not big enough to dominate in a 3-4. He can't take on 350lb guards with consistent success being only 6' 240lbs. Ian Gold has it even worse. He weighs 225, and there is no place for him in a 3-4 at all. Even a weakside rush LB needs more weight than Gold has.

Also, every dominating 3-4 defense has had excellent play at the SS position. Take a look at every good and bad 3-4 defense over the years and tell me otherwise. Neither Ferguson or Lynch is a dominating performer... good, but not dominating.

Cornerbacks, as well, are usually larger and more physical in a 3-4 scheme. Our corners are excellent in coverage, but (except for Champ) are more of the "cover corner" variety.

In all respects our defensive scheme and personel are based on totally different things than a standard 3-4 defense. We would need to spend far too much in the draft to change schemes in one year, and our offense would suffer from such a strategy. Our offense, as it is, is comprised entirely of blue collar, average to above-average players. Since Sharpe and Portis left there has been no one to take our offense to a new level. We need at least one player with that kind of promise in the draft.

EDIT:

As for our defense now, look at the strengths we have. We have a very good 4-3 type linebacking corps, a ton of talent, youth, and expertise at the CB position, and our pick of some above-average D-lineman.

Our defensive weaknesses?...scheme for one. I despise the pure zone blitz defense concept. Pass rushing is everything in today's NFL. Even if you want to play the run first like Denver does, you should be able to switch to a pass rushing strategy when your team is up 28 points in the 3rd quarter.

Secondly, D-line talent. We all know this well, so I won't go into it. Our talent (except for the nose position) is good this year, but who knows how it will look next year. We need a longterm solution.

Third, safeties. Our safeties have played as well as their talent indicates, but the talent thereof is dwindling due to age. Give me a ballhawk like Ko Simpson, Dwayne Slay, Greg Blue, or Jason Allen... someone with some upside.

We have a lot of the players you need to have a dominating defense like the Baltimore Ravens of 2001. The difference is coaching, scheme, and a pass rush. I truly believe that is it.

Mat'hir Uth Gan
12-19-2005, 01:12 PM
MUG, D.J. Williams is the shizzle still, just because he moved to SAM doesn't mean he is playing poorly. You and I both know he'd be tearing it us stats wise if he was playing the weak side.

I don't care if we go 3-4 or not. I would love to see Chuk get back into things, I don't know why he's never in on passing downs anymore. I agree it makes a lot of sense, but I'd rather see some pretty hard evidence on it rather than speculation. I still think Warren is going to stick around, and I think he could anchor a 3-4 no problem. The big question is what happens to Pryce, Brown, and Ekuban.

We have a lot of cap space to clear, I know that.

Completely disagree on DJ Williams. He sucked his first year at WLB. He can tackle and he's fast, but he's not a playmaker, he never has been, even at Miami.

He's a pure MLB. That's where he would have been in Miami if Vilma wasn't there. He's completely out of position at WILL or SAM. The guy is vastly talented, but he's a Zach Thomas type minus the blitzing ability which hopefully will come in time.

Understand, a LB that gets 100 tackles isn't "tearing it up", especially if the D-line in front of him gets none. Last year, as stated by Coyer, DJ was terrible at WILL. To the point the team RAN out and signed Ian Gold for 25 million instead of keeping a Pro Bowl calibur DE. That SHOUTS volumes.

And the sad thing is that Williams is not even producing what Mobley or even Spragan did for us at SAM. He's still not a playmaker, he still can't blitz, but now we aren't even using his tackling ability.

UNTIL he is allowed to replace Al Wilson or he is moved inside on a 3-4, DJ Williams is a massive and huge bust of a pick. That's the pure truth.

Perry1977
12-19-2005, 01:19 PM
Hmm, alright. Maybe there is something to that, but I still haven't seen him make any huge mind-numbing mistakes. He did tend to overrun the plays in the early stages of last year, but that seemed to get coached out of him. It's interesting you submit he should be a MLB, I have never heard that on him before.

Mat'hir Uth Gan
12-19-2005, 01:24 PM
I love the 3-4 defense. I always have.

Still, I hope we don't try to run it any time soon. We may be able to pick up players that can fill the NT and 3-4 DE spots, but a permanent 3-4 scheme would take away too much: namely Ian Gold and Al Wilson. Wilson is simply not big enough to dominate in a 3-4. He can't take on 350lb guards with consistent success being only 6' 240lbs. Ian Gold has it even worse. He weighs 225, and there is no place for him in a 3-4 at all. Even a weakside rush LB needs more weight than Gold has.

Also, every dominating 3-4 defense has had excellent play at the SS position. Take a look at every good and bad 3-4 defense over the years and tell me otherwise. Neither Ferguson or Lynch is a dominating performer... good, but not dominating.

Cornerbacks, as well, are usually larger and more physical in a 3-4 scheme. Our corners are excellent in coverage, but (except for Champ) are more of the "cover corner" variety.

In all respects our defensive scheme and personel are based on totally different things than a standard 3-4 defense. We would need to spend far too much in the draft to change schemes in one year, and our offense would suffer from such a strategy. Our offense, as it is, is comprised entirely of blue collar, average to above-average players. Since Sharpe and Portis left there has been no one to take our offense to a new level. We need at least one player with that kind of promise in the draft.


Completely disagree, here's why...

1) Donnie Edwards is one of the best 3-4 LBs in the NFL. He's 225 lbs.

2) Every LB (8 or 9) on the Pittsburgh Steelers are around 6 foot, 240 lbs.

3) Andra Davis is 6'1, 250 lbs and the mirror image of Al Wilson.

4) Zach Thomas is 5'11, and 230 lbs, look at his season this year in the 3-4.

5) Every LB on the Dolphins is around 240 lbs.

6) Every LB on the Texans is around 240 lbs.

7) Teddy Bruschi, Chad Brown? Yep, 6'1-2", 245 lbs.



It's obvious that 3-4 LBs are generally around 240 lbs, many in the 230s. So, I completely disagree with you there.


I do however agree with you concerning teh safety position. Since a 3-4 is typically stronger against the run then a 4-3, the strong safety position would be deemphasized. However, San Diego is a dominating 3-4 defense and they have no safeties whatsoever. What they do have is a great NT, great ILB, and great OLB in Shawne Merriman who completely dominated the Colts this past week.

OhNoKoolAid
12-20-2005, 10:37 AM
Completely disagree, here's why...

1) Donnie Edwards is one of the best 3-4 LBs in the NFL. He's 225 lbs.

2) Every LB (8 or 9) on the Pittsburgh Steelers are around 6 foot, 240 lbs.

3) Andra Davis is 6'1, 250 lbs and the mirror image of Al Wilson.

4) Zach Thomas is 5'11, and 230 lbs, look at his season this year in the 3-4.

5) Every LB on the Dolphins is around 240 lbs.

6) Every LB on the Texans is around 240 lbs.

7) Teddy Bruschi, Chad Brown? Yep, 6'1-2", 245 lbs.



It's obvious that 3-4 LBs are generally around 240 lbs, many in the 230s. So, I completely disagree with you there.


I do however agree with you concerning teh safety position. Since a 3-4 is typically stronger against the run then a 4-3, the strong safety position would be deemphasized. However, San Diego is a dominating 3-4 defense and they have no safeties whatsoever. What they do have is a great NT, great ILB, and great OLB in Shawne Merriman who completely dominated the Colts this past week.

I don't think you are getting MHS's point, so let's look at yours:

1. Edwards is also 6'2, and is the smallest active 'backer in the San Diego system. Every 3-4 allows for one ILB to play as a block slipper, but Edwards understands leverage enough to play either ILB position.

2. Completely misleading statement and you should retract it. Only two linebackers are at 6'0, one of them, Foote, plays inside and has been deemed ineffective by most Steeler fans and analysts on NFL Radio, the other, Harrison, is a part time filler at rush linebacker who is fairly effective, but his body type is more squared and top heavy when compared to our backers. Harrison is very broad, assisting in leverage. Every other linebacker of consequence in Pittsburgh is quite big, especially their outside backers, with both Porter and Haggans being over 6'3 and 240 pounds. Even Farrior has superior size to most linebackers in the 4-3, at 6'2 243. False claim here, I don't know why you included it really...

3. Andre Davis is a powerful player who loves to stack and shed. He has no coverage ability whatsoever, and specializes as a tackle to tackle run stuffer. His speed was also poor coming out of the combine, and he learned to be effective by taking on blocks. Davis doesn't require protection to be good, Wilson does. Wilson, if you recall, was 5'11 at the combine, and I doubt that has changed. He also runs a 4.5-4.6 and keeps up with most all tight ends and running backs when asked to do so. He also slips or avoids blocks with quickness and speed to make plays, which is why he is occasionally out of position. I think you stole that mirror from the carnival's spook house.

4. Look at Thomas's stats in the 4-3, he can play in anything... Oh, and Miami also bounces in and out of the 4-3, 3-4, with th 3-4 being the primary defense.

5. Every starter but Thomas is at least 6'2, with Spragan, Seau and Taylor (when he isn't playing end) all rotating into the outside spots, all over 6'3

6. Texans 3-4 defense is absolutely terrible, do you want it?

7. See point under answer to 3


Basically, we would need two new linebackers in the 3-4, with Williams and Wislon being retaind, but Williams would again be a rough fit in the 3-4 SILB position, still taking on blocks and making few plays. Wilson would only be effective if we found road grating linemen, which may be cost prohibitive. Gold would likely be forced out if you wanted an effective 3-4 defense. And we'd need two more starter quality rush linebackers. And no Chucky ain't one of them, for proof, put in your Denver-Buffalo game tape of the second half when we went to "pass rush" mode (hint: he's the guy getting stonewalled every play.) We also will need three new starters up front, unless you resign Warren to play NT, something Crennel found him to be unfit for, and he knows a thing or two about the defense. When all is said and done, we have only two players under contract that could fit starting in an effective 3-4 defense. Of course, we could use Pryce and Brown as 3-4 ends, put Gold at rush linebacker and Chucky at SOLB, but then you would be looking at the league's worst run stopping 3-4 defense, or simply, a model of the 2005 Houston Texans defense, yeah, the one only in front of the other ill fitting 3-4 in San Francisco.

I think the only real justification for us moving to the 3-4 would be to move Williams inside and cutting lose most all of the front four in favor of new linemen. Yet, you are asking a headstrong defensive coordinator to play a scheme that isn't second nature to him, with a new group of players he may be unfamiliar with and you could be talking serious sturggles from the get go.

Now it isn't that I'm against the 3-4, because I love it when you have the right personnel. If it also means firing Coyer, I would be for it. I just don't think we are as close to running the 3-4 as you assume we are. I see too many holes in stopping the run with our current personnel in the 3-4. Now, if the team was to commit to wholesale changes and are backed with money saved by cuts and restructuring, I'd go along with it. I think you could sign Kalimba Edwards to play SOLB, which he has done occasionally in Detroit, and he has pass rushing ability standing up. On draft day, I'd target LaMarr Woodley if he leaves early, because he has a history in the position of rush 'backer, and reminds me of Shawne Merriman. With the second first rounder, I take either Gabe Watson or Babatunde Oshinowo, despite the limited value a 3-4 NT has in round one, the position is so vital and this draft is slim in them. So a swith to the 3-4 could occur, but not without a serious overhaul of the front seven.

Mat'hir Uth Gan
12-20-2005, 02:00 PM
I don't think you are getting MHS's point, so let's look at yours:

1. Edwards is also 6'2, and is the smallest active 'backer in the San Diego system. Every 3-4 allows for one ILB to play as a block slipper, but Edwards understands leverage enough to play either ILB position.

Ok, first, Donnie Edwards is not a "block slipper", he simply flies to the ball and makes plays. When you watch him play, he frequently blows up the lead blocker and still makes the tackle. Size, in regards to LBs hardly matters one bit. All that matters is if you are in a 3-4, you have an OLB that can play up on the line if needed against OTs. That's it. You are also short changing Zach Thomas here as well, who like Andra Davis and like Al Wilson are short and stocky, but excel in contact situations. Now, a good NT matters, and Edwards has the best in Jamal Williams. If you are arguing Al Wilson would not be effective without a good NT, then I totally agree, hell, Ray Lewis and Brain Urlacher proved that point.


2. Completely misleading statement and you should retract it. Only two linebackers are at 6'0, one of them, Foote, plays inside and has been deemed ineffective by most Steeler fans and analysts on NFL Radio, the other, Harrison, is a part time filler at rush linebacker who is fairly effective, but his body type is more squared and top heavy when compared to our backers. Harrison is very broad, assisting in leverage. Every other linebacker of consequence in Pittsburgh is quite big, especially their outside backers, with both Porter and Haggans being over 6'3 and 240 pounds. Even Farrior has superior size to most linebackers in the 4-3, at 6'2 243. False claim here, I don't know why you included it really...

Larry Foote is one of the key players on the Steelers and has been praised as a team leader, not only by his fellow teammates, but praised extensively by Cowher throughout the season. There's not a Steeler fan alive that would complain about Foote's play this season, not one. He's been outplaying Farrior for God's sake.

And Farrior is 6'2, 243. Wilson is 6'0, 240. Williams is 6'1, 242. Your point is what? There isn't one unless you are claiming an inch or two is more important then ability at LB. And I doubt you are making that claim. Height is no longer an important factor as long as the skillset and ability are there. I had this type of argument all last offseason with Mike Patterson. I, or rather Mike Patterson, won that debate.

Porter is the rover, he's obviously not part of this discussion. No need to try to sneak him in to carry a counterargument. Why not just bring up McGinnest, Merriman, and Demarcus Ware as well?

Haggans is tall and lean, but he is pretty big for a WILL, I'll give you that. Harrison, who you discredit, is his backup. Can Ian Gold translate to a WILL in a 3-4 with his size? I think he sure can due to his speed, his blitzing ability, and his coverage ability. And its painfully obvious that DJ Williams and Al Wilson would be fabulous inside in the 3-4. OR, maybe you move Gold inside to play the "block slipper" role and put DJ at WILL. Then, there are absolutely zero size arguments to be made. And the focus comes back to what it should be on, the particular player's ability.

My statement is accurate and it stands as truth. Your perception that a LB must be 6'2" or taller (and that body mass and strength are irrelevent) is not shared by teams in the NFL. Bill Parcells might agree with you, but it's obvious other personnel evaluators do not. Plus, even Dat Nguyen and Dexter Coakley had Parcells admitting he was wrong about his LB stigma last season.


3. Andre Davis is a powerful player who loves to stack and shed. He has no coverage ability whatsoever, and specializes as a tackle to tackle run stuffer. His speed was also poor coming out of the combine, and he learned to be effective by taking on blocks. Davis doesn't require protection to be good, Wilson does. Wilson, if you recall, was 5'11 at the combine, and I doubt that has changed. He also runs a 4.5-4.6 and keeps up with most all tight ends and running backs when asked to do so. He also slips or avoids blocks with quickness and speed to make plays, which is why he is occasionally out of position. I think you stole that mirror from the carnival's spook house.

I don't understand your point at all here. You're right about Davis, but that's Al Wilson's M.O. as well, ON TOP OF speed and average coverage ability. I have no idea where the "Al Wilson cant take on blocks" thing came from, seems to me, he's been doing that his entire Pro Bowl career with the Broncos because you KNOW our craptastic DTs haven't been keeping any blockers off anyone, until this season perhaps, and of course Wilson is having an average season. He seems to play better with the constant contact.

In that regard, and I think most experts would agree, Al Wilson is much akin to Zach Thomas and Andra Davis. I will get on an ESPN Insider chat and actually ask this question and Ill post the answer in this thread if they answer it.



4. Look at Thomas's stats in the 4-3, he can play in anything... Oh, and Miami also bounces in and out of the 4-3, 3-4, with th 3-4 being the primary defense.

Yes, he can, and so could Al Wilson. Since neither of us have undisputable proof he can or can't, it comes down to whether you doubt Al Wilson can be successful in a 3-4 role. I don't. I highly doubt anyone would. Wilson is strong, he's stocky, he's a tackling machine, and he loves contact. He'd be just fine.


5. Every starter but Thomas is at least 6'2, with Spragan, Seau and Taylor (when he isn't playing end) all rotating into the outside spots, all over 6'3

Here's that height argument again. The same weight, the same body type, the same strength, is not offset by an inch which is from here.................here. Come now.

LBs on the Dolphins:
Channing Crowder - 6'2, 245 (starting ILB)
Jason Glenn - 6'0", 231 (backup ILB)
Eddie Moore - 6'1", 235 (IR)
Derrick Pope - 6'0", 232 (backup ILB)
Nick Rogers - 6'2", 250 (backup OLB)
Junior Seau - 6'3", 248 (IR)
Donnie Spragan - 6'3", 242 (starting OLB)
Zach Thomas - 5'11", 228 (starting ILB)
Lester Towns - 6'1", 252 (backup ILB)

DJ Williams was 251 lbs last season, he's as big as any of these guys, and Al Wilson at 240+ lbs is bigger then most. Ian Gold is the only question mark, but he's the same size as Thomas and Edwards, though not as strong, which is why he's not an ILB, his height doesn't matter.



6. Texans 3-4 defense is absolutely terrible, do you want it?

This one annoys me a tad.

Yes, we all know the linebackers are the sole reason the Texans are bad. Even though Morlon Greenwood played at an All-Pro level in Miami and is doing so again this season, and he is 6'0", 238 lbs.

Or we could look at Antwan Peek who is the starting WILL at a svelte 6'3, 238 lbs and has notched 5 sacks, showing a fast, skinny WILL LB with blitzing ability can succeed in the 3-4. Hola, Ian Gold.

Or perhaps, Shantee Orr who is the smallest rover ever, but had to replace the dissapointing Jason Babin, who has been passable with 5 sacks, but he's only 6'2" and 240. No doubt they need an upgrade here though.

And lets not forget their best LB, DeShon Polk, who missed 6 games this year, but has still put up 77 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 2 stuffs and is only 6'2", 240 lbs as an ILB.

And this is all by a defense that has the 4th fewest opportunities against the pass in the entire NFL, contrasted to the Broncos who have had the most. These guys have still put up the sack totals. It's not their fault, the Texans stink. The LBs are all this defense has. And one good CB, and a decent DE.

Mat'hir Uth Gan
12-20-2005, 02:01 PM
Basically, we would need two new linebackers in the 3-4, with Williams and Wislon being retaind, but Williams would again be a rough fit in the 3-4 SILB position, still taking on blocks and making few plays. Wilson would only be effective if we found road grating linemen, which may be cost prohibitive. Gold would likely be forced out if you wanted an effective 3-4 defense. And we'd need two more starter quality rush linebackers. And no Chucky ain't one of them, for proof, put in your Denver-Buffalo game tape of the second half when we went to "pass rush" mode (hint: he's the guy getting stonewalled every play.) We also will need three new starters up front, unless you resign Warren to play NT, something Crennel found him to be unfit for, and he knows a thing or two about the defense. When all is said and done, we have only two players under contract that could fit starting in an effective 3-4 defense. Of course, we could use Pryce and Brown as 3-4 ends, put Gold at rush linebacker and Chucky at SOLB, but then you would be looking at the league's worst run stopping 3-4 defense, or simply, a model of the 2005 Houston Texans defense, yeah, the one only in front of the other ill fitting 3-4 in San Francisco.

I think you are wrong with this analysis due to my previous responses. I agree that Ian Gold presents an enigma, but he's small even by WILL standards and he's been very successful. But looking at Antwan Peek, there is precedent for Gold to be an effective blitzing LB even with his size. But the Ian Gold debate is one without an answer until we see him in that defense.

Where I think you are factually wrong is in your "cost prohibitive" analysis re the defensive line in a 3-4. DEs, even superior ones, are not expensive. Look at the contracts for Robaire Smith or Marques Douglass. The Nose Tackle costs a pretty penny, but no more then a 4-3 NT such as Gerrard Warren, probably even less so because sacks are not a part of the equation as much. And we all know sacks drive up the price. It's a flat out fact that the 3-4 is a cheaper alternative to rebuilding an entire defensive front, which the Denver Broncos will likely have to do this offseason.

What I do agree with is that the LBs would not be effective without a solid NT. That's a given. I also agree that Gerrard Warren would not be a NT in a 3-4, more a DE that slides to Under Tackle when we give the 4-3 look. I think he would be a good 3-4 DE. The problem in Cleveland is that they already had two GREAT DEs in Mckinley and Roye. Warren did not want to play NT, so he had to be traded.

Finally, the Texans are poor in run defense because they have no NT, they have no rover, and they have no safeties. Also their offense sucks so they get run on 60 minutes a game. Last year, the Texans had a very good defense, back when their offense was decent and they had solid safety play. Travis Johnson at DE has been a relative liability as welll.

So, in any 3-4 defense, if you don't have a true rover or a NT, you're toast. Those are the most important positions. Jason Babin, a massive 1st round bust, has killed this team.



I think the only real justification for us moving to the 3-4 would be to move Williams inside and cutting lose most all of the front four in favor of new linemen. Yet, you are asking a headstrong defensive coordinator to play a scheme that isn't second nature to him, with a new group of players he may be unfamiliar with and you could be talking serious sturggles from the get go.

Acknowledged and agreed. There is a risk.


Now it isn't that I'm against the 3-4, because I love it when you have the right personnel. If it also means firing Coyer, I would be for it. I just don't think we are as close to running the 3-4 as you assume we are. I see too many holes in stopping the run with our current personnel in the 3-4. Now, if the team was to commit to wholesale changes and are backed with money saved by cuts and restructuring, I'd go along with it. I think you could sign Kalimba Edwards to play SOLB, which he has done occasionally in Detroit, and he has pass rushing ability standing up. On draft day, I'd target LaMarr Woodley if he leaves early, because he has a history in the position of rush 'backer, and reminds me of Shawne Merriman. With the second first rounder, I take either Gabe Watson or Babatunde Oshinowo, despite the limited value a 3-4 NT has in round one, the position is so vital and this draft is slim in them. So a swith to the 3-4 could occur, but not without a serious overhaul of the front seven.

Remember, Larry Coyer and the entire Broncos organization was going to switch to the 3-4 last season until we were able to sign/trade for all the Browncos at the last minute. So, the switch is not far-fetched since we are losing our D-line again and I doubt we will be able to pull off such trades again.

But I agree with your analysis and most of your picks as well here. If this switch were to occur, we'd have to get a rover with 1a and a NT with 1b. The good news is that the 3-4 DEs could easily be filled in Free Agency on the cheap or later in teh draft.




Right now, staying with the 4-3 makes the most sense if we retain every player on our roster. If we lose Pryce, Brown, Warren, Ekuban, and Coleman, then I think the 3-4 is the better option with our salary cap limitations.

Plus, never forget that the only teams that can beat the Colts always do so with the 3-4 which Manning freely admits that he hates due to the coverage and blitz trickery. As long as the road to the Super Bowl goes through the Colts, and it likely will for the foreseeable future, the 3-4 should get extra consideration.