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Breaking down the linebackers

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I'm going to break down every postion on our defense. Right now I'm only going to talk about our linebackers...... SLB Hodge, Sedrick- Allen, James - Smith, Darrin Sedrick Hodge Height: 6-4 Weight: 244 Born: 09/13/1978 Drafted in 2001, Sedrick ...

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Old 05-06-2004, 07:08 PM   #1
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Breaking down the linebackers

I'm going to break down every postion on our defense. Right now I'm only going to talk about our linebackers......

SLB Hodge, Sedrick- Allen, James - Smith, Darrin

Sedrick Hodge
Height: 6-4
Weight: 244
Born: 09/13/1978

Drafted in 2001, Sedrick Hodge posted the fasted time of any linebacker in the draft, running a 4.46/40. Hodge possesses the ideal size and speed to play linebacker in the NFL. He has been slow in developing since arriving in the NFL. Further hendering Hodge's success was a leg fracture he sustained in 2003. This could be his last chance to prove he has what it takes. At this point Hodge would have to be considered an unknown quanity heading into the 2004 season.

James Allen

LB
Height: 6-2
Weight: 240
Born: 11/11/1979

Drafted in 2002, in the 3rd round. Allen is known as a very tough aggressive linebacker. Allen also posseses good speed for a linebacker. Has seen most of his playing time on special teams. Allen could be on the bubble this year and needs to show he can play at this level.

Darrin Smith
LB
Height: 6-1
Weight: 236
Born: 04/15/1970

Aging vetran, who has been in the league for 12 years. His best days are probably behind him. All indications are that Smith might not return. If he does it will be as a teacher for some of the Saints younger linebackers, only seeing occasional spot duty on the field.

Overall: Lot of speed and talent at SLB. The problem with the group is they are young, inexperienced, and unproven. Hodge has shown flashes and has the inside track at winning the job. The Saints do have some other linebackers that could complete for the starting job. The SLB for the Saints haa been a problem area for a few years now. A good showing by the defensive line might help keep blockers off the SLB and make them more effective. Otherwise this position could be another problem area.

MLB 56 Ruff, Orlando - 58 Grant, Cie - Courtney Watson

Orlando Ruff
Height: 6-3
Weight: 250
Born: 09/28/1976

Six year pro, brought over from San Diego in 2003. Ruff is known has a hard hitter who does not possess great speed. Last year Ruff posted 69 taclkes. one interception, and 7 passes defended. Ruff had problems pursuing the ball carrier and was not able to shed blockers enough. Is in danger of losing his starting job in 2004.

Cie Grant
Height: 6-0
Weight: 228
Born: 11/27/1979

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 2003 draft, Cie is a very versatile player, having played both linebacker and safety in college. Cie has exceptional speed (4.5/40) and has great range going sideline to sideline. Coaches are very high on Cie this year, even though he was injured for most of last season. At this point, Cie probably has the inside track on winning the MLB spot, although Haslett says there will be an open competetion at this spot. Grant will have to use his athletic ability to make up for his lack of experience.


Courtney Watson
Position: Inside/Outside Linebacker
College: Notre Dame
Height: 6-1
Weight: 237

(from NLF.com)
Player with outstanding character, both on and off the field … A three-year starter at inside linebacker, his quickness and range could see him shift to weakside outside linebacker at the pro level A finalist in 2002 and a semi-finalist in 2003 for the Butkus Award, Watson was called, "everything you would want in a leader," by head coach Tyrone Willingham … Seriously considered entering the 2003 NFL Draft, but opted to return to the school for his final season, hoping to be involved in the team's rebuilding under Willingham … Started his final 32 games, seeing action in 43 contests … Finished with 294 tackles (163 solos), 8½ sacks for minus-62 yards, 39 stops for losses of 151 yards, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble, eight pass deflections and seven interceptions for 202 yards in returns, including two touchdowns … Only Allen Rossum (3, 1994-97), Bobby Leopold (3, 1976-79) and Tom Schoen (3, 1965-67) had more interception returns for touchdowns in school history … His 202 return yards are the most by an Irish defender since Steve Lawrence totaled 233 yards (1983-86) … Only Nick Rassas (31.4 avg., 1963-65) had a higher interception return average in Irish annals.


Overall: There's much more competion at this position this year. Considering the talent and comptetion, someone should step us from this group. It shoud be a good battle in training camp. Saints look like they're in much better shape this year than in years past.

The only thing left is WLB. (Derrick Rodgers, Rodger Knight) Maybe I'll do that later...

Note: None of the linebackers played extremly well last year. With Cie Grant and Cedrick Hogde both healthy and with the drafting of Courtney Watson, there is reason to be optimistic this year. We are due for one of our young linebackers to step up and have a break-out year.
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:48 PM   #2
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Breaking down the linebackers

Gator

I understand your position. I really do. You\'re not going to believe in them until they show you they can play on the field? Is that correct? Well, like I said, there\'s nothing wrong with that.

I\'m not trying to change your mind about this team. I think it\'s just in MOST fans nature to try and determine how our team is going to play this year. Even if it really doesn\'t translate to their play on the field.

Just keep this in mind though. There are reasons to belive this team will be better. There are reasons to believe they might not be. That\'s the great thing about these message boards. I get to hear your side and you get to here mine. Well, actually we get to here everyone\'s opinion.

But, I can\'t say I blame you are anyone else for not being overly optimitic. I\'m here to debate the Saints more than I am why someone feels the way they do. I think we both know we can\'t change too many folks opinions. We all have our own beliefs. Fair enough???

[Edited on 6/5/2004 by GumboBC]
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:58 PM   #3
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Breaking down the linebackers

damn was that from the billycarpenter from biloxi that went completely off on me last year right after the darft. Changed your screen name and replies as well. I\'m back down on the coast from the Philly area. You\'ll remember. Nice post and btw I agree with the acessment on our lb\'s and also the opinions. This is a unknown at best but I hopeful.
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Old 05-06-2004, 08:23 PM   #4
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Breaking down the linebackers

Of all the guys in our linebacking squad, I\'m most excited about Grant and Watson. Personally, I\'d like to see Watson win the MLB spot as early as possible and force Cie to move to weak side. Nothing against Rodgers, but an infusion of youth would be very nice.

Hodge continues to frustrate me as I\'m sure he does the coaching staff. I\'m rootin\' for him, but I wouldn\'t put a penny on him if anyone was takin\' bets.

Since the draft, I\'ve done some prodding to check up on Mr. Watson. I\'ve got a buddy that went to South Bend, and he\'s been pumpin\' me up about this guy. Maybe he will be the answer. To me, the fact that we reached on Watson in the second says that the coaching staff would love to be able to move Cie to the outside.

(By the way, I just realized that I used the word \'prodded\' and the phrase \'pumpin me up\' in the same paragraph... gotta stop watchin\' those makeover shows)

.02
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:50 PM   #5
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Breaking down the linebackers

If all of the linebackers are healthy this season then there is some small room for optimism. As Gatorman said, we haven\'t seen enough out of them to get excited. I don\'t think they\'ve been healthy for an entire season yet, though Cie Grant\'s athletisism (displayed by all of the positions he\'s played) should help set up different schemes this year. Courtney Watson is supposed to be pretty smart, and the rest of the guys have now had a couple years to learn the system. Now we have to see if the system is any good.

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Old 05-08-2004, 12:07 AM   #6
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Breaking down the linebackers

I\'m a Notre Dame fan, and had many oppurtunities to watch Watson game in & game out. He was a very good linebacker in college, and I am glad to see my favorite NFL team draft a player from my favorite college team, but he still has alot to prove at the next level. I saw many Notre Dame players go to the NFL,and not pan out like I thought they might. Another Notre Dame alumni to watch is Julius Jones. Many people were down on him when Dallas drafted him, but I think he\'ll fit in well with what Parcells is doing in Dallas.

[Edited on 8/5/2004 by 26DEUCE26]
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Old 05-08-2004, 03:56 PM   #7
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Breaking down the linebackers

To further beak-down the linebacker position, I\'m showing all the linebacking changes from 2001 thru 2003. I posted all stats for all the linebackers. I also showed how the production has slipped.

Jim Haslett has made the changes he wanted to make and has put his eggs in these linebackers basket. There can be NO excuses this year. Whoever is in there, is going to have to step up. The linebackers are young a have the tools to get the job done. They are familar with the system and in order for the defense to get where they want to go, the linebackes have to step it up.




Linebacker Changes from 2001 thru 2003
LB- Charlie Clemons/ Charlie Clemons/ Derrick Rodgers

LB-Keith Mitchell/ Sedrick Hodge/ Sedrick Hodge

LB-Darrin Smith/ Darrin Smith / Orlando Ruff
Charlie Clemons Stats -
Year Team G Total Tckl Ast Sacks Int Yds Avg Lg TD Pass Def
2001 New Orleans Saints 16 93 75.0 18 13.5 1 3 3.0 3 0 4
2002 New Orleans Saints 16 82 58.0 24 0.5 0 0 0.0 0 0 9

Keith Mitchell Stats -
Year Team G Total Tckl Ast Sacks Int Yds Avg Lg TD Pass Def
2001 New Orleans Saints 15 89 61.0 28 2 0 0 0.0 0 0 2

Derrick Rodgers Stats -
Year Team G Total Tckl Ast Sacks Int Yds Avg Lg TD Pass Def
2003 New Orleans Saints 15 74 57.0 17 0 1 40 40.0 40 1 4

Darrin Smith Stats -
Year Team G Total Tckl Ast Sacks Int Yds Avg Lg TD Pass Def
2001 New Orleans Saints 16 67 50.0 17 1.5 0 0 0.0 0 0 9
2002 New Orleans Saints 15 96 63.0 33 3.5 2 21 10.5 17 0 6
2003 New Orleans Saints 14 60 44.0 16 1 1 9 9.0 9 0 2

Sedrick Hodge Stats -
Year Team G Total Tckl Ast Sacks Int Yds Avg Lg TD Pass Def
2002 New Orleans Saints 16 74 57.0 17 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 4
2003 New Orleans Saints 9 37 32.0 5 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 3

Orlando Ruff -
Year Team G Total Tckl Ast Sacks Int Yds Avg Lg TD Pass Def
2003 New Orleans Saints 16 69 50.0 19 0 1 7 7.0 7 0 3


Average tackles per year:
Charlie Clemons - 82.7
Derrick Rodgers - 74.0
Net loss of - 8.7

Average sacks per year:
Charlie Cleamons - 7
Derrick Rodgers - 0
Net loss of - 7

Average tackles per year:
Keith Mitchell - 89
Sedrick Hodge - 74
Net loss -15

Average sacks per year:
Keith Mitchell - 2
Sedrick Hodge - 1
Net loss - 1

Average tackles per year:
Darrin Smith - 74.3
Orlando Ruff - 69
Net loss - 5.3

Average sacks per year:
Darrin Smith: 2
Orando Ruff: 1
Net loss: 1


Total Tackles Loss from linebacker: 30 per year.
Total Sack Loss from Linebackers: 9 per year average.

[Edited on 8/5/2004 by GumboBC]
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