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POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; I saved the Linebackers for last because it is in my opinion without question the group that both needed, and got, the most attention in the offseason. I have actually found it a little disturbing how little attention the Saints ...

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Old 05-26-2015, 09:26 AM   #1
Threaded by papz
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I saved the Linebackers for last because it is in my opinion without question the group that both needed, and got, the most attention in the offseason. I have actually found it a little disturbing how little attention the Saints horrendous linebacker position has gotten over the last few seasons. A solid group of linebackers is every bit as important to a defense as a QB is to an offense. I truly and completely believe that, and that is why I was so very pleased with the Saints approach to the position this offseason. With a combination of second-year players, veterans, and young and talented rookies the Saints are trying to massively increase the talent level of their Linebacker unit.

Let’s see what they did.

LINEBACKERS:

Additions: Dannell Ellerbe, Stephone Anthony, Anthony Spencer, Hau’oli Kikaha, Davis Tull.

Losses: Curtis Lofton.

Dannell Ellerbe: The move to get Dannell Ellerbe is at worst a horizontal one, but the real question is whether he is the guy who was hurt and playing out of position in MIA, or the guy who was one of the catalysts of the Ravens SB team. I believe the Saints are prepared for the former and hoping for the latter. The things that made Ellerbe so tantalizing to the Dolphins when they signed him was the fact that he was very fast to the ball and a consistent difference maker in the Ravens Defense. Part of why he was a failure in MIA was the fact that he got banged up, and part of it stemmed from the fact that he was clearly playing out of position going from a 34 defense to a 43. I believe that if Ellerbe is a healthy he can/will be an instant upgrade over David Hawthorne from last year. Hawthorne is moving over to the ‘middle’ which probably fits him a bit better (if he can keep the job that is), but to be honest it would be very difficult for Ellerbe to NOT be an improvement over Hawthorne from last year. I hope to see great play from both, but regardless I like the acquisition as it offers an immediate improvement with the potential for it being a significant one.

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Old 05-26-2015, 10:56 AM   #2
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

Originally Posted by papz View Post
I saved the Linebackers for last because it is in my opinion without question the group that both needed, and got, the most attention in the offseason. I have actually found it a little disturbing how little attention the Saints horrendous linebacker position has gotten over the last few seasons. A solid group of linebackers is every bit as important to a defense as a QB is to an offense. I truly and completely believe that, and that is why I was so very pleased with the Saints approach to the position this offseason. With a combination of second-year players, veterans, and young and talented rookies the Saints are trying to massively increase the talent level of their Linebacker unit.

Let’s see what they did.

LINEBACKERS:

Additions: Dannell Ellerbe, Stephone Anthony, Anthony Spencer, Hau’oli Kikaha, Davis Tull.

Losses: Curtis Lofton.

Dannell Ellerbe: The move to get Dannell Ellerbe is at worst a horizontal one, but the real question is whether he is the guy who was hurt and playing out of position in MIA, or the guy who was one of the catalysts of the Ravens SB team. I believe the Saints are prepared for the former and hoping for the latter. The things that made Ellerbe so tantalizing to the Dolphins when they signed him was the fact that he was very fast to the ball and a consistent difference maker in the Ravens Defense. Part of why he was a failure in MIA was the fact that he got banged up, and part of it stemmed from the fact that he was clearly playing out of position going from a 34 defense to a 43. I believe that if Ellerbe is a healthy he can/will be an instant upgrade over David Hawthorne from last year. Hawthorne is moving over to the ‘middle’ which probably fits him a bit better (if he can keep the job that is), but to be honest it would be very difficult for Ellerbe to NOT be an improvement over Hawthorne from last year. I hope to see great play from both, but regardless I like the acquisition as it offers an immediate improvement with the potential for it being a significant one.

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There may be another OLB already on the squad who has one year in the system and is often overlooked. 91 Edebali, Kasim, 6-2 253.
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Old 05-26-2015, 11:36 AM   #3
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

Yes, Edibali looks like a keeper.

Just to recap...
Lost:
Lofton

Kept:
Hawthorne
Humber
Galette
Haralson
Powell

Added:
Spencer
Ellerbe
Anthony
Kikaha
Tull


Yeah, I'd say its been re-vamped. I'll bet we end up with more new LB's than returning vets.

We'll likely keep 8 or 9 LB's.
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Old 05-26-2015, 04:38 PM   #4
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

I've got high expectations for both Powell and Edibali. More so for Edibali because he got playing time last year along with the experience and confidence that comes with it. Powell has the traits we want at LB'er and looks mostly in need of coaching to make the roster and possibly see the field. It would be nice to get some value from a practice squad player again....it's been awhile.
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

I am extremely happy about revamping our linebackers. I cant wait to see them in action.
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Old 05-28-2015, 10:44 AM   #6
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

Although there will be competition on every square in of the field at this year's camp, LB is the unit I'll be watching closely.
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Old 05-28-2015, 01:25 PM   #7
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

I mean come on.... I've been screaming for a LB since '09 when we passed on Cushing and Clay Matthews.
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Old 05-28-2015, 04:04 PM   #8
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

Are we hitting yet?????
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Old 05-28-2015, 05:10 PM   #9
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

Stephone Anthony snagged an INT off McCown today... Step in the right direction isn't it?
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Old 05-30-2015, 11:05 AM   #10
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Re: POST DRAFT ANALYSIS: LINEBACKERS

I like both Kasim Edebali and Ronald Powell... I think they have to be considered in a major way for defensive improvement on this team. Davis Tull I also like as a player. I believe he will eventually be IRed, so don't count on him to contribute in 2015.
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