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Old 08-08-2004   #22
clandestin
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Babin was one of the guys I kept my binoculars on throughout the scrimmage. While he definitely looked more comfortable going forward on a pass rush then he did backpedaling into coverage, I think that he showed good athleticism, quickness, and potential throughout the scrimmage.

On the pass rush...

He showed off some effective hand-combat style pass rushing skills, and did a nice job of fighting his way through blocks as opposed to speed rushing around them--which can leave olbs vulnerable to the run. His quickness was evident and he looked comfortable in taking on the right tackle's attempts to contain him. He doesn't have peek's lightning quickness and agility, but he seems to play much stronger at the point of attack. He does need to work on his ball tracking and run/pass recognition skills as he appeared unsure on a few plays, but I liked the pursuit skills that he showed off--definitely a high motor guy.

I didn't see babin play from a stance as he'll likely do on 3rd downs, so nothing to note there.

In coverage...

I was surprised by how much he has picked up at this point, but my expectations were pretty low. He covered his zone adequately, but did appear indecisive at times. Particularly when he hit his zone and found noone to lock on to, you could see him struggle with deciding where to go next. On one such play he decided to drop further back to help with a deeper receiver, this opened a hole for a another receiver coming across the field on a short in from the other side, had he stayed put he would have been in a great spot to put a hit on the guy as he caught the ball.

He needs to improve his back-pedaling and change of direction skills in coverage, and he'll never be mistaken for a DB, but I think he can become an adequate zone coverage guy. He didn't get many receivers initially running routes into his zone so I didn't get a look at how well he locked on to a man in coverage.

Overall I came away pretty optimistic about what I had seen. He's still got a lot to learn, and I don't expect him to put it all together until next season at best. In the meantime I think he'll do a nice job in run support and on the pass rush by midseason this year. Once he gets faster making his reads, I expect to see his aggressiveness return and result in some big plays.
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