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Offline MassPackersFan  
#16 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:13:52 PM(UTC)

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I'm beginning to think we were underestimating Barnett at MLB, considering not only his past seasons, but also how Hawk and Bishop have performed there this year.
Offline warhawk  
#17 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2008 6:44:26 PM(UTC)

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I think AJ has gotten bogged down and is not using his talent to be aggressive. When he was at Ohio St. he was on the offensive side of the LOS more than on his own when I watched him. He was all over the field.

It's about time Moss told him to cut it loose. Should have told him that 12 weeks ago.

I think this scheme tends to overload the LB's role and can see why they get caught up thinking too much.

How really is this scheme more taxing on the backers?

Granted, they are asked to cover in man up more than most defenses, but we aren't a team of elaborate blitz packages or asking the backers to read the play then drop into a 15 yard zone... They play the backers about 3.5 yards off the line, Hawk dropped a little deeper Sunday.. so they aren't sucked up to far.. IMO.. 3 yards deep should be adequate to either attack the run or be able to properly adjust to a passing route.

Should we drop the Backers into a zone, potentially.. but they have to be able to take the correct angles and drop a player with a sure tackle.. something Hawk, Poppinga and Barnett struggled with all season.

If you are saying that we are asking to much of this group based on their skill sets.. that I completely agree with.. other than Chillar maybe, we don't have the speed or quickness to play a man up defense with these backers.. that falls on the coaching staff (Sanders and Moss) completely.. not putting your players in a position of strength to win their matchup.

The player in Hawk I watched Sunday.. was a playing playing on his heels, a beat late in reading the play and not sticking his nose into the fray.. ala Barnett.

So it is either the players skating not playing up to potential or the DC and LB coach not putting the players into a position to win based on their abilities.

Personally.. I think it is a combination of all the above.

I think where the added responsibility comes in is that the DL is asked to maintain their gaps and keep OL off the LB's to make the tackle but there is that split second where they have pass responsibility at the snap.

The LB's have to wait a second to make sure it's not play action and then respond to what's going on in front of them and make the right read on the runs and get up to the line fast and in the right spot because the DL's primary mission in this scheme is not necessarily making the tackle.

I think AJ's reads on whats going on in front of him is coming a split second to slow and he's getting caught up in a block or letting the back hit the spot he's supposed to be in with a full head of steam.

I also see Bishop with more speed out there to recover on runs to the outside where he get's the right angle and when AJ is over there he gets caught inside and ends up chasing. AJ has to react faster because he doesn't have the speed to make it up like Bishop.

I think that's what Moss is talking about.
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