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ILB isn't really a huge priority in this type of 3-4 scheme

Discussion in 'Green Bay Packers Fan Forum' started by PackinMSP, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. PackinMSP

    PackinMSP Cheesehead

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    Why do people keep churning over the depth here?

    Blake Martinez is fine... Burks is fine... Morrison is fine...

    FRANKLY, this defensive scheme doesn't place a whole lot of emphasis on having some 3-4 ILB stud like a Patrick Willis or Ray Lewis who can just go sideliine to sideline and blow up plays in the backfield. We aren't running a 4-3 either, so no need for a Kuechly type or even a Nic Barnett type of player... there isn't really a NEED for some "stud" at ILB.

    It's all on the DBs and DL and EDGE rushers

    You could place pretty much ANY "competent" NFL ILBers who can read assignments, cover some, and can TACKLE at ILB in this scheme.

    Because there are so many ONE ILB sets that he runs, you hardly need any use for 2 ILBers because there is usually a Nickel DB anyways

    The largest question mark I believe is Kevin King. Obviously everyone was hoping he was going to be the next Richard Sherman b/c of his length... I would hope that Josh Jackson can make a significant move up this upcoming year as I believe he is more physical than King

    But Jackson and Alexander would leave a pretty "short" CB duo...
     
  2. weeds

    weeds Fiber deprived old guy.

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    Isn't Morrison gone?

    Burks hasn't really done anything yet.

    ILB is never a priority for the Pack until the up the gut gashing begins.
     
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  3. PackinMSP

    PackinMSP Cheesehead

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    The "up the gut" gashing is a result of relying too heavily on finesse/sack/always injured(Perry) type of linebackers

    Do ya'll remember when guys like Zombo, Bishop...and even Aaron Kampman (converted from DE) played LB?

    These were pretty much just physical guys, kind of like the Smiths, but the Smiths are probably more athletic. They're not really 10+ sack type of guys... but they don't need to be for this defense to be good
     
  4. PackinMSP

    PackinMSP Cheesehead

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    Desmond Bishop was not some All Pro stud, but he didn't really need to be for this D to be good... wasn't he like a 5th or 6th round pick?
     
  5. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Fans are worried about the depth at inside linebacker because Burks struggled mightily as a rookie and the team doesn't have any quality depth behind him. FWIW Morrison is currently a free agent.
     
  6. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    I've seen a few mentions around the net on Burks, and every report on him this off season has been glowing. If true, ILB may not be the issue we fear it is,
     
  7. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I wouldn't put too much stock into offseason reports about a player excelling.
     
  8. gopkrs

    gopkrs Cheesehead

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    The year of our Super Bowl, the best thing that happened was Bishop taking over at middle linebacker. I forget the guy's name (from Oregon I think) who was our ML but he was so over-rated. But of course the only reason Bishop took over was because of injury. A change that should have been made anyway. imho
     
  9. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I think you're talking about Nick Barnett who played college ball at Oregon State.
     
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  10. Mondio

    Mondio Cheesehead

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    I'll never forget Barnett and this guy Mattcoach on the espn boards, he loved him and his first step backwards LOL
     
  11. gbgary

    gbgary Cheesehead

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    getting gashed up the middle absolutely should be a priority. why fix the corners and safeties if you're just going to give it up up the middle? D tackles are one thing but that second level (ilb & ss) HAS to be there. if it isn't the opposition eats up the clock and our D is spent midway through the 3rd qtr.
     
  12. PackinMSP

    PackinMSP Cheesehead

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    Well Burks is a similar player to Barnett in that they were both safeties before so...lol
     
  13. sschind

    sschind Cheesehead

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. weeds

    weeds Fiber deprived old guy.

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    Seriously, I thought he was an unsigned free agent
     
  15. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    You miss the point. In today's game, different from even a decade ago, you need an ILB who can cover TEs and RBs well. Not cover "some", cover well. And if he's not a thumper to go with the speed and smarts, which is awfully rare (Willis is the prototype, Wagner his successor) he better have some instincts for the hole and speed to the edge. And while you're at it, you better bring along a decent slot corner, a guy fit for the postion, not just whoever is hanging around at #3 on the perimeter depth chart.

    "It's all on the DBs and DL and EDGE rushers." That's the kind of thinking Belichick and Brady have been ripping for years, and a lot of other teams have taken note. Bring your slow ILBs and afterthought at slot corner and they'll throw over the middle, in the flat, on the wheel route, on the out route, all day. Brady will tell you the inside routes are even easier now with the defenseless receiver and helmet contact rules.

    The Packers did not draft Josh Jones (4.41 speed, 220 lbs.) and then Burks (4.59 speed, 233 lbs.) to play ILB for them to stand up guards in the 1 hole. They hired them to out-quick linemen, slash to the ball carrier, get to the edge and, above all, cover. The problem so far is neither of these guys have shown the insticts to get the job done. Martinez is not fast enough nor does he have the recognition to handle routes down the field; he's a guy who plays what is in front of him.

    This isn't 1990. It's not 2000. It's not even 2010.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  16. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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  17. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    I don't know why, but my response posted as if it was a continuation of Wimm's post.
     
  18. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    I understand there are a lot of fans getting optimistic about reports during the offseason, especially once the source is a member of the coaching staff. I don't share those sentiments as long as I don't see the improvement in games that truly matter.

    It must read [/quote] once the part you like to quote has ended. You probably deleted parts of it somehow.
     
  19. sschind

    sschind Cheesehead

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    For the most part I agree with you but its all we have right now. I'm not going to anoint any player as the answer based on anyone's comments during the off season, OTAs or even training camp or the pre season but I all in all would rather hear that a player has improved than not hear anything at all.

    If reports from OTAs said Aaron Jones had really worked on his receiving game and was catching everything thrown his way I too would think lets wait to see how things shape up when it counts. I wouldn't necessarily get my hopes up to high but I would see it as encouraging news. Certainly better than no news at all in that department.

    If you are not going to be optimistic I really see no reason to tune in until September 5th when the games start to count because what are we really doing between now an then but finding out if we have improved or not.
     
  20. captainWIMM

    captainWIMM Cheesehead

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    Actually I'm optimistic entering the season based on the moves Gutekunst made during the offseason. With Burks having struggled mightily during his rookie campaign I want to see him perform at a higher level before appointing him as a solid inside linebacker though.
     
  21. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    At least they're working on the stuff that needs work.

    One key problem with takeaways from practice, be it OTA's in underwear, padded practices as limited as they are, or scout team work during the season, is that the player is always working against the same scheme and the same players day in and day out. The player can learn tendencies by rote through repetition, disguised as refined instincts.

    There needs to be a baseline of instinctual talent to build on, and then week to week it can be refined through film study of the upcoming opponent, and year to year through experience. Whether that instinctual talent exists and is being refined is not something one can assess until game play. Preseason can be deceptive when playing against second string, third string and camp body players. I suppose with Burks we'll see a few quarters of preseason play against first team O-Linemen. Even then, teams are running limited playbooks and those starter opponents are working their way into contact shape.

    Time and again we see positive practice reports that don't show up on the field when the money games come around. At this point, I would not consider these positive comments as anything more than confidence boosters.
     
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  22. PackerDNA

    PackerDNA Cheesehead

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    That's a great point, HRE. Is the guy a "football player"?
    Does he have " instinctual talent"? If not, no amount of coaching will make enough difference.
     
  23. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    Morrison is unsigned for a reason. He's a player fit for the game that was played a decade or more years ago. We used to call this kind of ILB a "two down player", a downhill run thumper. In the game today, he's at best a one down player and often not even that against some opponents. There are offenses today, most we might say, that like to throw on first down when a base defense presents itself, and a guy who runs a 5.0 without refined coverage instincts is not fit for that duty. You're left with a short yardage/goal line player. Even then, 3rd. and 2 or 3 is frequently a passing down.

    There's a natural inclination among some defensive coaches to value the intensity and physicality a guy like Morrison brings, a "glass eater" is a phrase used in the nfl.com scounting report, and what that means in the locker room.

    http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/antonio-morrison?id=2555160

    "Write him up however you want, but he's a two-down MIKE linebacker who is tough as hell and a good football player. I worry much less about his 'negatives' than I do with what he can do." -- AFC general manager

    Does that GM still have a job?

    ILB is a 360 degree position in today's game. Just making the play in front of him is not enough. This kind of ILB is going the way of the fullback and the slow, in-line blocking
    TE--a situational player.

    Will Morrison eventually land on a roster? Probably. There are 31 other teams who can suffer injuries, disappointments, or have a spot on the roster for a situational and special teams player of this ilk not unlike the few teams that still carry a fullback under a similar premise.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  24. HardRightEdge

    HardRightEdge Cheesehead

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    It's a matter of degree, not all or nothing. No player who gets to the point where he earns positional snaps messes up on every play, zigging when the opponent zags on every down, nor does any player win every snap. It comes down to the body of work.

    We might grade a player on scale that goes something like the following, where nickle/dime is "starting" and base D is "rotational", regardless of what the first play of the game looks like:

    1) special teams only
    2) limited rotational role
    3) serviceable starter as an injury replacement only
    4) adequate starter
    5) average starter
    6) good starter
    7) Pro Bowl caliber
    8) All Pro
    9) repeat All Pro / future Hall of Fame candidate
    10) first ballot HOF lock not yet in decline

    Burks performance last year would put him somewhere between 1) and 3). Spriggs would be another guy in that range. The could look half decent going head-to-head against similar quality players and look pretty bad against the good-better-best.

    If a guy hasn't risen to level 3) by the completion of his 3rd. or 4th. season, and he doesn't bring some exceptional special team value relative to the rest of the guys on the roster to earn a spot on the game day roster, we could then say he's "not a football player", or in the case of, say, Jeff Janis, "great athlete, not a football player". Roster spots 47 - 53 belong to developmental players, not guys who have been around for a few years without having gotten anywhere.

    With only one year under his belt, it is too soon to stamp Burks one of those guys "not a player" guys. Some of us pointed to his Alabama game tape as a cautionary note regarding ILB instincts, but we need to see if there is one of those "second year jumps" in his future. What we want out of Burks is at least level 5), to show progression and not have to pull guys like Whitehead out of the safety group as a better alternative.

    Personally, I'm not a believer in 3rd. year jumps unless there is some evident progression from year 1 to year 2 where a lost year to injury might be an exception. Those guys do tend to stick around, hoping against hope, especially if they were day 1 or 2 draft picks.

    By this criteria, I don't believe Spriggs, for example, is an NFL offensive tackle. He'll look OK if he happens to run up against edge players of similar dubious value, but he gets repeatedly ripped against the good-better-best edge rushers.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  25. sschind

    sschind Cheesehead

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    Fair enough and once again I agree but I still think positive words are more encouraging and thus warrant a bit of optimism more than no words at all.

    Put it another way. If Burks' improvement was a key concern for you wouldn't you rather have the coaches saying he has improved rather than not hearing his name at all even though we haven't seen him in any games yet? Players can show improvement outside of game situations and it can be legitimate.

    Oh, and when I said "if you are not going to be optimistic why be here" I was referring to people in general and not you specifically. I didn't mean for it to sound like "so what are you doing here then?"
     

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