Originally Posted by WolverineFan
You don't need a 350 lb NT to stop the run. If you didn't notice the D did just fine last year stuffing the run. We were 10th in rush yds against and 14th in avg yds per carry against. That's a little above average. We did that while in the 1st year of a new system that included us giving up 250 rush yds a game in the first 3 games of the season. This defense proved they can stop the run w/o a 360 lb guy in the middle. We actually had a top 10 defense during the last 2 months of the season, but injuries on offense, turnovers, and redzone inconsistency doomed us once again.
We run a 4-3, not a 3-4. A NT is not a necessity. This obsession with it is getting quite annoying actually. Price had an excellent career in college and he can play at the pro level. If he can shoot gaps and make plays then that's all we need. Besides, if one of the DT's is eating a double team then that leaves Demeco & Co. free to make plays. I can live with that.
Also, about the whole depth thing. I doubt he would be on the field every snap. DT's add depth because they are always rotating. At least that's my interpretation of Kiper's analysis.
You are misunderstanding the principle behind the wanting the space eating/bigger/stronger DT/NT opposite the UT. If a player in that position can eat up 2 blockers, the smaller UT should have a better opportunity to shoot the gap or gain a 1 on 1. If your DT/NT can collapse the pocket these are other things that should fall in line:
The DEs have a better shot at reaching the QB
The timing of both running/passing plays is disrupted
The opposing OL don't reach the 2nd level in their blocking assignments
LBs are freed up immensely
Secondary doesn't have to cover as long.
Don't get caught up on our stats; plus I think next years' opponents have stronger rushing attacks vs this year