2004 D-line, Improved?
Will this D-line will be better.
Its main problem was stopping the run. I can blame most of that on inconsistent play from the interior. Hmmm, 2 rookies and a 3rd year converted DE rotating in and out. It was a recipe for crap stew and it was cooked to perfection.
But 2004 looks to be the breakout year.
Here are my typically optimistic reasons this line will be better, maybe even dominant, in 2004
1.John Pease-A highly respected and sought after D-line coach. He has a league wide reputation for developing young players and getting the most out of his players. The 2003 D-line was young, and inconsistent, but loaded with talent and potential. Its tailor made for a coach like Pease.
2.Darren Howard- While IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m not in that group that thinks this guy is an elite DE, I do think he is very good. Having him healthy for a full season already improves this line significantly.
3.Charles Grant- I think heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s a perfect strong side DE. IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ll bet Pease thinks so too. HeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s entering his 3rd year so heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s learned all the tricks of the trade and should dominate from day 1. This may be his pro-bowl year.
4.Jonathan Sullivan- HeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s being moved to the 2-gap this year, which at 6ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢-3ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? 320 lbs is where he should have been last year. With Pease helping his hand-work and consistency (driving him until he pukes daily) this kid will be our unsung hero clogging the middle. Unfortunately a good 2-gap DT typically doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t put up awesome stats so some will erroneously conclude heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s a bust. Hopefully his ego can handle that.
5.Brian Young- The perfect role player. A really good 3-technique type DT in the Leroi Glover mold. While he may not be great, he is good and heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s a perfect fit for this D-line.
6.Kenny Smith- HeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s a tweener. His best position is probably occupied by Grant right now. I see him as the primary back-up at SS DE and the 3-technique. A very capable back-up. The fact that several teams expressed interest in this kid has to mean somebody knows something.
7.Howard Green- A project that I just donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t see developing. But if anyone can develop this guy, Pease can. Reminds me of Grady with less potential. But heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s got BEEF!
8.Kendrick Allen- I think heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s too tall to play the nose, but too slow to play the 3. Can help if the match-up is right. The coaches think he can be a player, so IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢m probably wrong.
9.Melvin Williams- Was being compared to Darren Howard before he blew his knee out at the Senior bowl (?). Was a projected 2nd rounder before injury and now appears to be healthy. He could wind up being a steal for us. The coaches didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t even think heÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d play at all last year, but he worked his asss off and did contribute.
10.Draft guy- I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t know if they even need to draft anybody, but if they did IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d consider more beef in the middle, or one of the top DEÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s if they slip. Picking Chad or that Igor dude wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t surprise me, but theyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d have to slip to the 3rd, and I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t think either will.
2004 D-line, Improved?
Yes we will?
We have two ends just ready to touch pro bowl capability, Sullivan who is a perfect fit for 2 gap and Pease will be on him. Younge, no hes not a pro bowler but he is a person you build your team around, the guy is non stop, a motivator, This will be the best free agency pick up the Saints make for years.
Just wait and see.
:( please let me be right on this one :(
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