I think our Dline will be a vastly underrated aspect and we appear to have tons of youth and potential that could set us up for years.
I've always said the OLB is overrated in the 3-4 just because they usually get the sacks. Having a great line is THE key to having a great 3-4 defense and the ILBs are just as important as the OLBs as they take care of both the middle runs and zones and also blitz.
The key component in a 3-4 is the NT and I think many people here underestimated Bunkley. He isn't putting up the stats but him and John Jenkins(who I am very happy to eat crow on because I thought he'd take a year to develop) are commanding double teams up the middle and the way our DEs are playing if they aren't getting doubled than the offense is in trouble. And if they are getting doubled that's when the LBs(ILB or OLB) will break free to the QB.
It starts up front and color me very impressed after the first 2 games with our Dline. I also think we have pieces we can mix and match at LB to make that unit work better than in the recent past. That leads us to our secondary and I have seen some good and bad there.
Vaccaro will be around the play constantly. Just in these 2 games even if he wasn't making the play he was helping to finish it or getting to it by the time the whistle blew. This was the same thing I saw on his highlights and that along with his tackling had me extremely impressed from the start.
Greer doesn't appear to be getting thrown to and I'll take that as a sign that first our Dline is getting pressure and not leaving the CBs out to dry and second that he is finally fully healthy and playing like he did a few years back.
Lewis appears to be doing well enough and I'm not sure what the issue is but from time to time he seems to just let the WR loose. It's not happening often enough to set off alarm bells but he definitely isn't a shutdown corner(which I wasn't expecting).
Jenkins looks a little better but still has the same issue of appearing to be lost in space on several plays. There was one play that stood out where there was a short pass over the middle that Jenkins saw coming but stayed flat footed and didn't come close to making a play. This is the same play where Vaccaro flew "out of nowhere" and makes the tackle very shortly after the catch.
Harper is still getting picked on in coverage but I do see him staying step for step with his man at least. If he could learn some pass break up techniques maybe he could be more productive.
The rest of the secondary didn't really stand out either way but I didn't watch as closely as I did with the starters in.
This post was edited on 8/17 at 3:40 pm