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DJ vs. Finch - a comparison

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; To put you out of your agony Kool, it\'s James Allen. I especially liked these points about him: Very instinctive player with good vision and ball anticipation ability Quickly locates the ball and is very aggressive vs. the inside run ...

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Old 05-01-2005, 03:14 PM   #31
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DJ vs. Finch - a comparison

To put you out of your agony Kool, it\'s James Allen. I especially liked these points about him:
Very instinctive player with good vision and ball anticipation ability
Quickly locates the ball and is very aggressive vs. the inside run
Has a strong upper body, utilizing that power to take on and shed to make the play
Uses his hands well to take on and shed blocks
These positives are exactly what we need, but James is, shall we say, less than an average player, or he has been for the most part.

I don\'t know about his negatives being worse. You can eliminate two of them right off
Has had back problems in the past…Has very thin ankles and slender calves
as being nit picky. So his two main negatives would have been
Gets turned around some when redirecting inside as he tends to lose leverage by leaning into blocks with his wrong shoulder…Takes bad angles working inside the box, appearing more comfortable chasing down to make the tackle
while Fincher\'s are
Lacks ideal athleticism. Has adequate straight-line speed but marginal lateral mobility. Does not possess good range versus the run. Has trouble recovering after taking a false step. Has stiff hips and struggles to change directions. Loses too much in transition when he stops and starts. Lacks the athleticism, fluidity and speed to cover most NFL RB\'s one-on-one. Also has marginal range for zone coverage in the NFL.
I don\'t know how that would appear worse than what the profile was on Allen. But like I said, I am excited to see what the kid can do, I am just not expecting much at all, at least this year. I am sure we will hear plenty of \"he just needs another year to get bigger and stronger\" like we heard with Colby and Watson last year.
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Old 05-01-2005, 04:38 PM   #32
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DJ vs. Finch - a comparison

Whodi, ah ha!

Billy,

If you notice, you see all kind of remarks on MLB who could shift over and play WLB. You EVER see a comment on a WLB who would be better suited to play MLB? NOPE!!
(1) False. Urlacher, Brooking, Petersen (a fine list of LBs), and I\'m sure others were moved to MLB after being projected at OLB.
(2) There are at least two possible reasons for this fact you note, presuming it is a fact: (a) Stud MLBs with speed are going to have an even bigger impact at WLB - so instead of wasting them at MLB, we put them where they can make plays, (b) you would never waste a stud WLB at MLB. Neither of these possibilities agree with your thesis that MLB is harder, and I don\'t see as how you can rule them out.

Note: I\'m sure you can find some player who played WLB in college whom scouts thought would be a better MLB. But, my point still stands ... It\'s usually the other way around.
I didn\'t find just one, but rather three. Now, I doubt this claim that more often people suggest moving MLBs to WLB than the converse. AND it is my view it is because MLB is easier to play and no one would waste good talent at the MLB unless the scheme is right that these comments occur, if they do.

And I\'m also suggesting that Fincher has much more \"upside\" at MLB than Courtney Watson.
On what basis? On the basis of the following alone?
Produces a lot of arm and drag-down tackles and needs to do a better job of staying low in his pads to stalk, wrap and secure …
What about everything else it says among Watson\'s strengths - they do not differ significantly from Finchers. But, I suppose, I covered those points earlier.

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 05-01-2005, 04:52 PM   #33
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DJ vs. Finch - a comparison

Jkool you just articulated EXACTLY my feelings about the Watson at MLB bashing
(7) You keep wanting to say that Watson is one type of LB and, I suppose, Fincher is another. I don\'t buy that. Sure, Watson wasn\'t as physical as you\'d have liked last year, but it was his rookie season - the type of LB he was was \"rookie\". We\'ll see after a year of NFL conditioning, two training camps, and some growing up, what \"type\" of LB he is - I\'m not going to pidgeon hole him after one rookie campaign.
I\'m sure there are a slew of great MLB\'s that did a lot worse than Watson did their rookie seasons.
Well put.
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Old 05-01-2005, 04:53 PM   #34
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DJ vs. Finch - a comparison

JKool -- Here is a little info on Brian Urlacher. I can see Urlacher at MLB much more so than Courtney Watson. For one, Urlacher is bigger and stronger than Courtney Watson. But, I believe Urlacher\'s \"ideal\" spot is at WLB.

Training camp preview: Move Brian Urlacher? Not so fast
Posted: July 12, 2004

Brian Urlacher was the second-best middle linebacker in the galaxy last season, but he spent too much time dancing with offensive linemen.

My solution: Move Urlacher to weakside linebacker. Bears coach Lovie Smith\'s solution: Change the system and give the middle linebacker different responsibilities.

Shortly after Smith was named coach of the Bears, he and I had an interesting conversation in his office at Halas Hall about how to best use this uniquely gifted player. Smith says he never considered moving Urlacher despite unsolicited suggestions from busybody, know-it-all, alleged experts.

This is how I laid out my case.

Urlacher is at his best when he\'s in space, free to run to the play and make a big hit. What makes him special is his preposterous combination of size and speed. Those attributes are minimized when Urlacher is being pinballed among three offensive linemen.

Teams have figured out if they run right at Urlacher, his speed can\'t hurt them. Plus, he gets stuck on blocks at times. As a middle linebacker, Urlacher faces a lot of blocking combinations and often can\'t floor it because he\'s in the middle of traffic.

As a weakside linebacker, Urlacher wouldn\'t have to concern himself with offensive linemen blocking him as much as he would tight ends and backs. And he usually would know when one of those was coming because they would have to motion out to his side of the field. Typically, a weakside linebacker must cover a lot of territory as the only backside defender in the front. The quarterback usually doesn\'t get a good view of the weakside linebacker because he\'s focused on the strong side, so Urlacher would be able to run through the line and dart into the path of passes. On the weak side, he could be the equivalent of Derrick Brooks -- a chase-and-flow player who leads his team in tackles and makes timely interceptions.

The Bears have another option at middle linebacker. Lance Briggs, who is being moved from the strong side to the weak side, was a middle linebacker at Arizona and led the team in tackles for three years.

This is how Smith, who coached the Buccaneers\' linebackers from 1996-2000 before moving on to the Rams, shot me down. \"Brian is exactly what you want at Mike (middle linebacker),\" says Smith. \"Could he play Will (weakside linebacker)? Yeah. But we want Brian leading our crew. He\'s going to make a lot of plays at Mike. Brian doesn\'t need to be in space. He needs to be right there in the middle. He\'s a 260-pound man who can strike you. Derrick Brooks is the mold for Will. Brian is not Derrick.\"

Urlacher, Smith points out, is the Bears\' best linebacker for the middle because he\'s the biggest and most experienced. Because the middle linebacker calls the signals, experience is not an insignificant issue.
You can draw your own conclusions on the differences between MLB and WLB. I think it takes a \"physical\" guy at MLB when compared to WLB. To me, a WLB best assest is his \"speed\".

Speed, which is needed at MLB, isn\'t as important as being able to take on blockers and sheding blocks. To me, putting Watson at MLB isn\'t making use of his best skill. Which is speed.

Watson seems best when he plays in space and uses his speed to make the tackle. Not in there banging with offensive linemen and fullbacks.


[Edited on 1/5/2005 by GumboBC]
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Old 05-01-2005, 05:46 PM   #35
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DJ vs. Finch - a comparison

Fine points Billy. We\'ve been over this before, and I\'m not sure I see it going anywhere - I have enjoyed our discussions of this in the past, but I really feel no need to rehash it.

Here is something of note to me:
Bears coach Lovie Smith\'s solution: Change the system and give the middle linebacker different responsibilities.
It seems that Lovie has made a point I find particularly compelling - what you need at a given position depends on your scheme. Sure, it is almost always going to be true that your MLB needs to be tough and your WLB needs to be fast, but beyond that there isn\'t much to say. Whether your MLB needs to go sideline to sideline depends on the scheme, whether your MLB needs big DTs in front of him depends on the scheme, whether your WLB needs to be tough enough to to crash the weakside on the blitz again and again depends on the scheme, whether the WLB or MLB has mid-zone responsibilities depends on the scheme, and so on.

Thus, your claim that Watson isn\'t suited for the MLB spot depends on the scheme.

Sure, I believe that you can make pretty good inferences from standard schemes to what ours might be. In fact, I\'m starting to suspect that our difference comes from this fact - you want your MLBs to do it all - who doesn\'t? When I coached we put our surest tackler and toughest guy at MLB. However, we played our best all-around backer at WES or WIL (which were our versions of the WLB). Why? Because our MLB was a gap filler and beast, but our WLB and SLB were asked to make plays - not our MLB. Thus, the scheme I am most familiar with did not call for a stud at MLB (it wasn\'t the tougher position at all).

"... I was beating them with my eyes the whole game..." - Aaron Brooks :cool:
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Old 05-01-2005, 07:37 PM   #36
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DJ vs. Finch - a comparison

i like his work ethic and his comments that he will run stadiums to celebrate being selected. i like that. we may have a real good lb.
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Old 05-01-2005, 09:03 PM   #37
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DJ vs. Finch - a comparison

he\'ll be a real indicator of scouting prowness and front office savviness if he pans out. if they reached for an lesser known commodity from a lighter weight conference while bigger names were still on the board just the opposite happens. rotsa ruck on picking a better 3rd rd lb.
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