After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength | TigerDroppings.com
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Patrick O Rly
New Orleans Saints Fan
y u do dis?
Member since Aug 2011
38224 posts

After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength

The question is, who makes it? We've been a 4-3 team for years, so I'm not exactly sure how many linebackers we'll keep. I know it'll be more than last year. I can't remember ever having this much legit competition at the position during the Payton era.



The 3-4 scheme is linebacker heavy to begin with, and with Ryan (who employs some unconventional formations with up to 6 linebackers on the field at one time), the emphasis is even greater.

I'm really rooting for the two young UDFA Reddick and Thomas. I see long term starter material in both of them. I like Ray Shipman and Rufus Johnson as long term projects. Maybe both will be on the PS this year. They're physical specimens; both are very smart but raw.

OLB will be the most important depth wise due to the need to rest your primary pass rushers. Players like Lofton on the inside need solid backups, but they'll more be tasked with special teams on a game to game basis. Herring and Humber are the two special team guys who might make the team on that alone.

Let's say we keep 8 linebackers. What are your predictions of who makes it? There's 13 on the roster right now. Barring injury (knock on wood), who are the odd men out? My early prediction:

Herring
Humber
Johnson
Shipman
Martin
This post was edited on 5/14 at 8:05 am



Fox Mulder
Tulane Fan
Austin, TX
Member since Dec 2010
31937 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
Lotta unproven commodities, hoping for the best. I remember being excited for sedrick hodge, Courtney Watson, the Ohio st guy and others


belowmebama
LSU Fan
River Ridge
Member since Jul 2008
6589 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
I'll reserve comment.

I stated this last year and they ended up the worst defense ever.


Patrick O Rly
New Orleans Saints Fan
y u do dis?
Member since Aug 2011
38224 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
quote:

Lotta unproven commodities


Definitely, but two things I'm encouraged by:

1) There's legit competition at all the spots minus Lofton's spot

2) Ryan strength is coaching linebackers


Cajun Invasion
New Orleans Saints Fan
Abbeville, Louisianna
Member since Jan 2012
1311 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
If the saints keep 8 LBs we got Lofton, Hawthorne, Vilma, Butler, Wilson, Galette, that are on top, Mabye Chamberlen also. The last 2 or 3 spots is where the position battle is at.


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NS Who Dat Nation
New Orleans Saints Fan
BR
Member since Jul 2007
8421 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
Buddy at works been saying this all offseason. Told me we'd draft Vaccaro. I said Jenkins for the sexy pick. He's got me for now.
This post was edited on 5/13 at 9:16 pm


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geauxtigers87
USA Fan
NOLA
Member since Mar 2011
10468 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
3) nowhere to go but up


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Fox Mulder
Tulane Fan
Austin, TX
Member since Dec 2010
31937 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
Where is tez


Patrick O Rly
New Orleans Saints Fan
y u do dis?
Member since Aug 2011
38224 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
You're right.

I just remembered, he's still listed as a DE on the website, but that doesn't really mean much.


NS Who Dat Nation
New Orleans Saints Fan
BR
Member since Jul 2007
8421 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
Means nothing.


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Brettesaurus Rex
New Orleans Saints Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Dec 2009
26032 posts
Online

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
I'd really like our two deep for the LB's to look something like this:

OLB - Galette - Wilson
ILB - Lofton - Vilma
ILB - Hawthorne - Reddick
OLB - Butler - Thomas

I'd still like to see what Chamberlain can do. Sucks he was lost for the year in a damn pre-season game. He could probably provide some depth at the ILB spot if needed.


LooseCannon22282
South Alabama Fan
Mobile, AL
Member since May 2008
17258 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
quote:

I'll reserve comment. I stated this last year and they ended up the worst defense ever.


yeah, I remember thinking adding Lofton and Hawthorne was huge. But there was also a lot of injuries at LB last year.

I doubt that we'd be snake bit there again this year with injuries.

I looking forward to seeing what Hawthorne can do when healthy and not having to play a spot he wasn't used to after missing about 6 games.
This post was edited on 5/13 at 9:38 pm


Melvin
New Orleans Saints Fan
Covington
Member since Apr 2011
14093 posts
Online

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
I have high hopes for Tez


diat150
Tulane Fan
OPELOUSAS
Member since Jun 2005
20120 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
I remember when courtney watson was a young ray lewis.

Im tired of hearing about our lb crp improving and am ready to see it on the field. hopefully rob ryan can get us there. he was my pick for dc.


Patrick O Rly
New Orleans Saints Fan
y u do dis?
Member since Aug 2011
38224 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
quote:

yeah, I remember thinking adding Lofton and Hawthorne was huge. But there was also a lot of injuries at LB last year.


Last year was hard for Hawthorne. All of his experience was at either MIKE or WILL, and yet when he returned from injury, he was asked to play SAM, which he had never done before. That was because Vilma was playing WILL.

People forget that our starting outside linebackers Week 1 were Shanle and Herring. Teams attacked us on the perimeters and we paid dearly.


Melvin
New Orleans Saints Fan
Covington
Member since Apr 2011
14093 posts
Online

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
quote:

I remember when courtney watson was a young ray lewis. Im tired of hearing about our lb crp improving and am ready to see it on the field. hopefully rob ryan can get us there. he was my pick for dc.
I said high hopes, not high expectations.


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AlexMSU
LSU Fan
Lake Charles, LA
Member since Feb 2013
305 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
I hope Broughton can at least maintain a PS spot as an OLB. The guy looks like an animal, measureables wise. Haven't really seen what he can do yet..

Also, as much as I love Vilma, wouldn't be surprised if he loses his spot with Reddick and possibly Chamberlain in the mix at ILB. Not sure what his restructured deal limits us to.


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LooseCannon22282
South Alabama Fan
Mobile, AL
Member since May 2008
17258 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
quote:

People forget that our starting outside linebackers Week 1 were Shanle and Herring. Teams attacked us on the perimeters and we paid dearly.


yeah, it was brutal. I guess I'd feel better about our LB's if there was a more proven pass coverage guy in there. Its huge to have one of these nowadays. I guess we don't know much about Hawthorne or Chamberlain because we haven't seen a lot of them in the black and gold.

Vilma has made some plays here and there in this department but he's struggled to stay healthy. Lofton is the big thumper in the run game.


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tubucoco
New Orleans Saints Fan
las vegas, nevada
Member since Oct 2007
22833 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
Rufus Johnson is def not a LB with that size. If he has a great first step(like I have heard) and speed he'll wreak havoc, he is def a 4-3 DE. But will probably be used in certain packages now that they have switched to 3-4 that suits his talents.
This post was edited on 5/13 at 10:06 pm


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bonethug0108
New Orleans Saints Fan
Avondale
Member since Mar 2013
5869 posts

re: After years of very little talent, linebacker may become a position of strength
We'll keep between 8-10. Really depends on how many they keep at WR, DE, NT, CB, and S. I think QB(2), HB(4), FB(1), TE(3), OT(4), interior OL(4), K(1), P(1), and LS(1). are going to be set.

WR is going to be 5 or 6 which means we'll have 23 or 24 on offense. We'll have 3 specialists. That leaves 26 or 27 on D.

With our increased versatility in the defensive backfield(2 safeties that can play nickel and 1 corner that can play safety), I think we'll keep only 8 or 9 DBs. I'm predicting 4 CBs and 5 Ss unless a rookie/young CB steps up.

If you keep at least 2 deep on the d-line that's 6, but I think it's way more likely we keep 8-9(5-6 DEs and 3 NTs, with some guys playing both). Given the versatility with some of these guys I'm leaning towards us keeping only 8.

Going with those numbers we'll likely have 9-10 LBs(depending more on how many WRs we keep). My guess is:

5 OLBs- Butler, Galette, Wilson(also playing ILB), and 2 of Broughton, Johnson, and Thomas

4 ILBs- Lofton, Vilma, Hawthorne(also playing OLB), and 1 of Herring, Chamberlain, Humber, and Reddick

At OLB I'm thinking Broughton has an inside track right now as he's going against 2 rookies who weren't projected at the top of the position(Johnson was a DE to boot). Not going to call between Johnson and Thomas yet as I haven't seen either one play an NFL snap.

For ILB I really don't know who'll grab the spot. Herring has been a meh OLB in the 4-3, Chamberlain was injured, Humber is nothing special, and I haven't seen Reddick take an NFL snap.


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