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:
This post was edited on 5/14 at 8:05 am