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this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Why would you think the physical game is harder to play than the finesse game (to use your distinctions)? Let me remind you of an earlier part of our discussion: quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. The MLB has to take on \"more\" ...

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Old 03-31-2005, 05:48 PM   #51
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Nothing but linebacker talk!

Why would you think the physical game is harder to play than the finesse game (to use your distinctions)?

Let me remind you of an earlier part of our discussion:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2. The MLB has to take on \"more\" and \"bigger\" blockers and it makes his job harder than the WLB.
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No. That is just one dimension of his job. So, while it may be harder on the MLB in terms of dealing with blockers, it doesn\'t make his job harder than the WLB\'s simplicter.

Didn\'t you just say this?


quote:
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I\'m suggesting one position is more demanding in terms of strength and being physical.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In general, we agree on that, but that has nothing to do with one job being harder. Consider your top corner\'s job versus your wide-body DT? Who\'s job is harder?
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:52 PM   #52
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Nothing but linebacker talk!

However, I\'m not sure Watson is better than Bockwoldt. Colby is faster than Watson and that\'s for sure.
COURTNEY WATSON
Position: ILB
Class: Sr
School: Notre Dame
Conference: I-A Ind.
Ht., Wt.: 6\'1½, 237
40 Time: 4.56
Grade: 3.62

COLBY BOCKWOLDT
Position: OLB
Class: Sr
School: BYU
Conference: MWC
Ht., Wt.: 6\'1½, 230
40 Time: 4.58
Grade: 3.29

Is it really \"for sure\" that Bockwoldt is faster than Watson?
I like both of these young guys. (Not enough to be sold on our LB corps.) The thing is Gumbo, you talk like the jury is in on Watson. He was a rookie last year. I mean, have you broken down reels and reels of film on him? I think of all the things you\'ve mentioned, Courtney may have had a higher learning curve last year. Colby certainly was a pleasant surprise, but I didn\'t think Watson stunk up the place.

The good part of all this is that our youngest LBs outplayed our vets last year, which may be a hint of things to come. There seems to be a focus on Watson as a negative. Give the dude some time to get in there. Compared to our recent acqusitions, the kid had a good first year. These 2 young guys did more in 04 than Cie Grant or Hodge have ever done for the Saints. If we get a solid LB or 2 in this year\'s draft there could be a nice corps in place for the next few years. I\'m just saying to give Watson another year and see where he is.

Oh, and I enjoyed the strong side/weak side discussion. I\'ve always just looked for the TE or the offset back

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Old 03-31-2005, 07:02 PM   #53
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Nothing but linebacker talk!

Seeing how we\'re going to have Howard and W. Smith next season, what about using W. Smith as a MLB on short yardage/run formations similar to Bellichick\'s player usage? He\'s not too big, has great instinct, and he can still rotate in with the D-Line.

From what I\'ve seen, Watson is definitely a starter at MLB which leaves Hodge and Allen to play the SLB and WLB.
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:09 PM   #54
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I guess, the heart of our disagreement may be merely verbal - what constitues a \"tougher\" position to play. My view is that, under most circumstances, every position has things that are tough and things that are less tough - ...
I agree. From a logical standpoint you can only argue one position is \"tougher\" to play than another if this position required all the skills of the other position plus another one the other position doesn\'t. That\'s obviously untrue in football.
In my mind it isn\'t easier to play WLB, you just have different resposibilities. While the MLB might have to take on blockers to direct the play in a certain direction, the WLB has to position himself correctly to make the tackle or take away short routes for quick passes.
I\'m not thrilled with Watson\'s play last season, but he has room to grow. Let\'s see what he can do if our DTs allow him to make plays more often or what he can do if he added 10 pounds of muscle (don\'t know if he did).
Your major criticism of Watson is that he\'s not physical and aggressive enough. Aggressiveness can only be taught and aquired through training to a certain point, but I feel the lack of physical play can be blamed on him being a rookie. That\'s why DTs are sometimes overwhelmed in their first year. Let him come back this year and show us what he can do now that he knows what is expected of a MLB in the NFL.
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Old 03-31-2005, 07:15 PM   #55
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Well put Clone. I agree.
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Old 04-01-2005, 08:06 AM   #56
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Nothing but linebacker talk!

However, I\'m not sure Watson is better than Bockwoldt. Colby is faster than Watson and that\'s for sure.
COURTNEY WATSON
Position: ILB
Class: Sr
School: Notre Dame
Conference: I-A Ind.
Ht., Wt.: 6\'1½, 237
40 Time: 4.56
Grade: 3.62

COLBY BOCKWOLDT
Position: OLB
Class: Sr
School: BYU
Conference: MWC
Ht., Wt.: 6\'1½, 230
40 Time: 4.58
Grade: 3.29
Wow. I didn\'t know that.
First, Watson was too small. WRONG
Then Watson was too slow. WRONG
Then Watson \"isn\'t physical enough\".WRONG
What the hell is next?

I love these LB discussions. Lets take our best LB and severely over-analyze the philosophy and nuances of every aspect of each and every position to come to the conclusion we all knew from the start.

Watson was a rookie and at times looked like it. But he was playing MLB as a rookie in the NFL.

Lets ignore the fact that we have the village idiot at SLB and his back-up is about as tough as our kicker.

Lets ignore the fact that we have a weak rookie 7th rounder who will get destroyed vesus power teams playing WLB and his back-up will soon wears depends.

Yea, lets talk about how unimpressed we are with Watson. But qualify it with a \"maybe he will, maybe he won\'t\" cop-out.

You could say maybe for every single one of our LB\'s. I\'d say we maybe have one solid LB prospect on this team. Maybe we have one LB that would make any other NFL roster.

This is approaching agenda territory. Its old.

'Tolerance And Apathy Are The Last Virtues Of A Dying Society'
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:51 AM   #57
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Nothing but linebacker talk!

Sure, Danno, I have an agenda. If that\'s what you think .. then maybe I do.

But, I don\'t think I have an agenda, I\'m just not sold on Watson as much as you are. If not agreeing with you makes me have an agenda ... then put me down for that.

I\'m still sticking to my claim that the MLB position requires a much more physical presence than the WLB position. And I\'m sticking to my claim that playing WLB is much more about speed rather than strength and size.

Outside \'backers have to be more like strong safeties with all the empty backfield formations being formed. Offenses know how to isolate a running back on a linebacker, and he better be athletic enough to cover him. -By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
In todays NFL the WLB must have speed. He doesn\'t need to be very big or physical. But he had better have enough speed to chase down the RB and be able to cover down the field.

In other words, the WLB and the stong saftey are very simular in terms of skill sets.

That\'s not true for a MLB. The MLB needs to be bigger or at least more physical.

[Edited on 1/4/2005 by GumboBC]

[Edited on 1/4/2005 by GumboBC]
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:59 AM   #58
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Nothing but linebacker talk!

Watson was a rookie and at times looked like it. But he was playing MLB as a rookie in the NFL.
My point exactly.


Interesting that, on paper, these 2 rookies are as close to clones as you\'ll get. I\'d be interested to see the bench reps for both of them.

I just think Watson may be on his way to being a solid LB and our team has bigger fish to fry than worrying about whether he arm tackled some guys during his rookie year or missed some assignments.

That as opposed to all the big plays and not missed assigments of the new dome patrol....Derrick Rodgers, Orlando Ruff, and Sedrick Hodge.

All I know is the last few years, there have been very few game changing plays by Saint LBs. There was one every game the last few games of the year. James Allen even impressed me by being in on a few turnovers.
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:28 AM   #59
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In todays NFL the WLB must have speed. He doesn\'t need to be very big or physical. But he had better have enough speed to chase down the RB and be able to cover down the field.
That is NOT what the Kirwan quote said. It said that the WLB has to be more like an SS. More like an SS than what? Than it used to be? Than the SLB? The quote does not say that the WLB is an SS. Here is a possible reading: they used to have to be like the SLB, but now, with all the open formation, they also have to be more like an SS. Now whose job is harder? The WLB has to be an SLB and an SS. Don\'t get me wrong, I don\'t think that, but I don\'t see how you can conclude that the WLB doesn\'t have to be big or physical (merely speedy) from the quote you gave.

Again, look at Brooking. Speed, size, and strength, and they decided he\'d be better off playing WLB than MLB - at MLB you have Draft who has some strength.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:36 AM   #60
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Nothing but linebacker talk!

JKool --

I did NOT say Kirwan said that. That was merely my opinion and I used what Kirwan said as evidence to support my opinion.

Here\'s something else that I think supports my opinion?

Weakside linebacker (plays outside, opposite side of tight end) has to cover running backs and doesn\'t need to be as heavy as a middle or strongside linebacker.

An inside linebacker must get upfield. When he tackles a ball carrier five yards down the field, something is wrong. To be most effective, he must quickly get inside so interior linemen can\'t block him. He must be mentally strong and have stamina, because he runs everywhere, and he must tackle consistently, exploding into the ball carrier. He should be able to ward off blockers.


Comments on MLBs.
Razzano: \"Scouts should look for ability to take on, stabilize, neutralize, or even avoid the offensive linemen while getting to the ball. That is the major consideration --- getting to the ball. A linebacker may be big and fast enough but still have a problem getting to the ball because he\'s not smart enough to read the offense.... Look to see if linebacker gets bogged down in traffic.... Look to see how often the linebacker is tied up on a blitz from the inside or gets to the ball carrier when coming from the outside. Watch to see if he gets in clean, or if he\'s blocked, how he reacts to that. Can he free himself?\"
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