& so it begins
Join Date: Sep 2005
Addressing the ILB position
I think this is a very important issue that needs to be addressed & I'm very curious to see how this organization handles it. We've got options & we've talked about them in other threads, but I wanted to bring it all into one thread (If I were a mod, I'd merge them all here, but I'm not).
So, we're getting Cushing back.
That instantly upgrades the position.There are the obvious questions about his capacity to play to the level we've come to expect. Whether you're optimistic about the situation or not, the prudent thing to do would be to hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I'm not confident that our F.O. will handle this correctly, but I don't know what would be the "correct" way to address it. But heaven forbid we find ourselves in the same situation & struggle as badly trying to field 2 (not one) 2 ILBs.
He'll be 30. I think he played well.... as well as Ray Maualuga in coverage. I would have liked to have seen him if he would have started with us through camp. I'm not advocating he makes the 53 right now, but I'd like to see him in the mix (with Sharpton, Dobbins & Reed) competing for a spot.
I've seen a few mocks suggest the Texans should use #27 on an ILB. And that's fine. But the way I look at the draft, anything less than a third rounder is a pipe dream & really more future oriented. We need help right now at WR, ILB, & OLB.... Plus I'd be extremely happy if we take a RT in the first three rounds (not a serious need, but it would say we are serious about getting better in the trenches). I think the Draft would be the least expensive way to address the position, but also the longest shot.
This will probably be the most expensive path. I'm not too sure who all the FAs will be, but reading PFF from one of Playoffs links,
I don't know that our situation warrants this kind of an investment, especially with the way we go to nickel & dime so often. But it would be interesting.
Brad Jones, ILB, Green Bay Packers
The Packers lost one of their defensive leaders for the season when Desmond Bishop tore his hamstring in their first preseason game. Bishop’s play was a bit unbalanced in 2011. His 10.9% Run Stop and 11.5 Pass Rushing Productivity were both excellent marks, and his 17.6 Combined Tackle Efficiency was one of the highest in the league for his position. Yet he was torched in coverage — the 568 yards he surrendered were the third-most allowed by any inside linebacker. D.J. Smith proved to be a capable but inconsistent replacement before suffering his own knee injury in Week 6. Brad Jones was thrust into the starting lineup in his place and grabbed the opportunity by the horns. His +8.9 grade this season was the 10th-highest for an inside linebacker, and his 9.2% Run Stop was solid. More importantly, he surrendered just 273 yards in coverage, helping to shore up a pass defense that was much-improved this season. He was an integral part of the Packers’ playoff push, recording 21 tackles and 12 run stops in the final three weeks of the regular season. With his contract expiring, the 26-year-old Jones now ranks as one of our top inside linebackers available in free agency.
Ok, this is the one I really wanted to discuss. Reading the above snippet from PFF it appears the Packers may be ILB heavy, especially if they keep Brad Jones. So I don't know how to initiate a trade, obviously Rick Smith doesn't either, but I would imagine it would start with trying to identify what that other team needs and what I'm willing to give up. But with Desmond Bishop & DJ Smith coming off injury, would you consider sending signals to the Greenbay Packers?
If not the Packers, do you see another franchise that might be open to the idea of trading a "decent" ILB?