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Center ILB,and kicker worry me

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; With the inside linebackers, it's not just a matter of how good they play, it's a matter of how good they play vs. how much they cost. 2014 Curtis Lofton's cap hit will be $5.2 million 2014 David Hawthorne's cap ...

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Old 07-13-2014, 10:14 AM   #11
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

With the inside linebackers, it's not just a matter of how good they play, it's a matter of how good they play vs. how much they cost.

2014 Curtis Lofton's cap hit will be $5.2 million
2014 David Hawthorne's cap hit will be $3.5 million

2015 Curtis Lofton's cap hit will be $9 million
2015 David Hawthorne's cap hit will be $6 million

But I think the Saints defense will be very good again with Lofton and Hawthorne on the field.
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Old 07-13-2014, 10:29 AM   #12
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

I will have to see what Lelito brings to the table but he didn't beat out DLP last season but you never know when the light comes on in a young player.Another stud kicker would be nice. I totally agree with Hagen about the pass rush being negated because our ILB are not able to controll the short pass over the middle. Hawthorn looked bad against Seattle and Lofton is usually 2-3 steps behind a reciever, TE, or RB in passing downs. I like the youth movement at ILB. You can most certainly have a top 5 D on paper with a few spots being weak on the D and that is what we have with 1 of the weaknesses being ILB it all depends on how long you are able to mask (hide) them.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:09 PM   #13
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

Originally Posted by burningmetal View Post
I don't agree that they aren't fast enough to be inside linebackers. How many fast inside linebackers are there? Lofton is one of the quicker linebackers in the league, and I value quickness more than speed in an inside backer. There's a reason Lofton is always near the top of the league in tackles. He's pretty good at getting to the ball. The problem I have with him is that he doesn't wrap up consistently in the open field. I think he would lead the league in tackles every year if he finished a little more consistently. But overall, he's solid. Hawthorne is what he is. He's not bad, and he's not that great, but he holds his own reasonably well.

You can't buy all of the best players in the world. You have to choose where you want your strengths to be and invest in those areas, and then do what you can to make the other parts competitive. In our case, we've invested a lot in the secondary. You really have to get lucky to come up with pro bowlers at other positions. We got lucky already with Galette, even though he didn't make the pro bowl, it's pretty obvious that getting 12 sacks out of him was a big deal. There are some young guys at linebacker who will hopefully surprise us this year, but if not, I really don't think our linebackers are that much of a weakness. I do agree that they are the weakest of the unit's, though.
Name the best 34 ILBs in the game right now.

Willis and Bowman hands down.

They are great because of their quickness. Lofton and Hawthorne are not bad players, all I argue is that they are average.

Don't take my word for it though:
"Linebacker

If the Saints could’ve saved any money getting rid of Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne, they’d likely have been among the group released already. As it stands, the two certainly didn’t play up to expectations last season, combining to grade at -16.6 during the regular season, and both large culprits for a defense that allowed 4.5 YPC on the ground. Lofton wasn’t particularly bad in any one area, though he missed 17 tackles on the season. While most of Hawthorne’s struggles came in pass coverage – at least until the playoffs, when he graded at -7.2 in run defense in two games.

On the outside, the Saints need to find a player to start opposite Junior Galette. Presumably Victor Butler will be that guy, though a player coming off of an ACL injury is never sure thing and depth never a bad one. The team could resign Parys Haralson, but could serve to find someone more dangerous as a pass rusher."

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...rleans-saints/
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:00 PM   #14
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

In Lofton and Hawthorne's defense, they were brought in to play the 4-3 MLB position. The two of them were the most coveted FAs for that position at the time, which is why it was a big surprise how Loomis was able to bag both of them. Also, Hawthorne hasn't had an easy introduction to the Saints' roster with the injuries he has suffered since joining the B&G.

Granted they aren't the best at their positions, but the Saints could do much much worse.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:08 PM   #15
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

Originally Posted by blackangold View Post
"Linebacker

If the Saints could’ve saved any money getting rid of Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne, they’d likely have been among the group released already. As it stands, the two certainly didn’t play up to expectations last season, combining to grade at -16.6 during the regular season, and both large culprits for a defense that allowed 4.5 YPC on the ground. Lofton wasn’t particularly bad in any one area, though he missed 17 tackles on the season. While most of Hawthorne’s struggles came in pass coverage – at least until the playoffs, when he graded at -7.2 in run defense in two games.
https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...rleans-saints/
I generally like PFF but this is hogwash. Those ratings don't take into account a whole lot of factors. Such as the fact that we played in a base nickel almost the whole year, which pretty much guarantees you're going to get run on from time to time. Or that Lofton is the brains of the defense responsible for calling plays, audibles and making sure that everybody is lined up right and basically being a coach on the field. Who cares if we gave up 4.5 yards per carry or were only 19th in run defense. We were 4th in total defense. That's what matters.

Again, you do not have the 4th best defense in football if you have bad linebackers. Period. It's common sense.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:51 PM   #16
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

Originally Posted by Jack Vegas View Post

Again, you do not have the 4th best defense in football if you have bad linebackers. Period. It's common sense.
Yep. That's the bottom line.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:55 PM   #17
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

Originally Posted by Jack Vegas View Post
I generally like PFF but this is hogwash. Those ratings don't take into account a whole lot of factors. Such as the fact that we played in a base nickel almost the whole year, which pretty much guarantees you're going to get run on from time to time. Or that Lofton is the brains of the defense responsible for calling plays, audibles and making sure that everybody is lined up right and basically being a coach on the field. Who cares if we gave up 4.5 yards per carry or were only 19th in run defense. We were 4th in total defense. That's what matters.

Again, you do not have the 4th best defense in football if you have bad linebackers. Period. It's common sense.
Like I said three other times; I don't think they are 'bad', but they are certainly our weakest position on defense.

As far as PFF goes; I generally trust the evaluations because it's not all based on statistics. If you understand how the grading works it's quite impressive, although everything is open to interpretation.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:02 PM   #18
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

As many have said, they are not "bad" LB's, they just aren't great.

If I had to list our starting D-units, the ILB's would be last, but that doesn't mean they're bad

1. Safeties
2. DE's (I include Galette in this group since he also plays in a lot of 4-3 sets)
3. CB's
4. DT's
5. OLB's (in our 3-4 sets I'm including Junior and Butler)
6. ILB's

Its a pretty nice problem to have when your worst defensive unit (projected starters) is what I'd consider to be better than NFL average.

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Old 07-14-2014, 07:27 AM   #19
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

Originally Posted by blackangold View Post
Name the best 34 ILBs in the game right now.

Willis and Bowman hands down.

They are great because of their quickness. Lofton and Hawthorne are not bad players, all I argue is that they are average.

Don't take my word for it though:
"Linebacker

If the Saints could’ve saved any money getting rid of Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne, they’d likely have been among the group released already. As it stands, the two certainly didn’t play up to expectations last season, combining to grade at -16.6 during the regular season, and both large culprits for a defense that allowed 4.5 YPC on the ground. Lofton wasn’t particularly bad in any one area, though he missed 17 tackles on the season. While most of Hawthorne’s struggles came in pass coverage – at least until the playoffs, when he graded at -7.2 in run defense in two games.

On the outside, the Saints need to find a player to start opposite Junior Galette. Presumably Victor Butler will be that guy, though a player coming off of an ACL injury is never sure thing and depth never a bad one. The team could resign Parys Haralson, but could serve to find someone more dangerous as a pass rusher."

https://www.profootballfocus.com/blo...rleans-saints/
Right. And that's why I said I value quickness more than speed. Willis and Bowman are better finishers, however, and that's why I don't put Lofton or Hawthorne in the category of elite. I mentioned that Lofton misses too many tackles. So really, there's not much we're in disagreement with. They are the weakest link, but I don't view them as a weakness as compared to other teams. I think they are good enough given the surrounding cast.

But if Willis wants to play here for a bag of peanuts (which is undoubtedly about all we could give him) then I would obviously prefer him.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, the NFL would fine and suspend me.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:49 PM   #20
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Re: Center ILB,and kicker worry me

Originally Posted by Danno View Post
4-3 MLBs have to be faster than 3-4 ILBs and have to be better in pass coverage.
3-4 ILBs don't have as much area to cover.

Ours are just fine.
Yeah, but I'd prefer that they be fine and dandy.
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