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Old 08-11-2004   #1
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Question Starting Linebackers

Notes:@ DT Seth Payne had his first full-steam team workout Wednesday morning since tearing a ligament in his left knee last September at New Orleans. "He jumped in there and it was good to see him taking snaps with the first group," coach Dom Capers said. Payne was held out of Wednesday night's practice and will not play Saturday in the preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. ... The starting linebacking corps of Jay Foreman and Jamie Sharper on the inside and Kailee Wong and rookie Jason Babin on the outside isn't written in stone, Capers said. OLB Antwan Peek is having an impressive camp and is in the mix. "Sure, he has a possibility of starting," said Capers, who could replace one of the outside linebackers or move Wong inside to take a spot there.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?...nfl&id=1857213

i caught this while reading an article on ESPN
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Old 08-11-2004   #2
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Default Re: starting LB

A lot of folks, myself included, expect to see Peek on the outside and Wong moved inside eventhough it isn't what Wong would prefer. We would have a couple of SMOKIN young guns on the outside and some strong experience up the middle. Not a bad situation.
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Old 08-11-2004   #3
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Default Wong vs. Foreman inside

If Peek does take the OLB job, is Wong better than Foreman in the middle? Foreman shows good speed and goes along well with Sharper in the middle. I wouldn't see Wong taking that over.
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Old 08-12-2004   #4
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Default Re: Wong vs. Foreman inside

My sense it that Wong will get his shot on the right side to start the season. Going from there, if Peek clearly performs better in the early games of the season I would expect that he would be worked into the starters job rather then having an abrubt decision made on the matter.

I'm not quite as sour on Foreman as most--with a healthy DL in front of him he may change some minds this season, as he is a guy that needs to have blocker kept off of him. I do expect that in this scenario Wong eventually takes his spot, but the other option would to be use Wong as a four-way backup player. Backing up all 4 linebacker positions would certainly help to earn that big paycheck of his.
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Old 08-12-2004   #5
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Default Re: Wong vs. Foreman inside

I've watched Foreman for some time now just be an average LB. His tackle stats don't replect too much on his play making abilities. He's got a ton of tackles but not a ton of stops behind the line. He's just not overlay aggressive and seems to read and react at the play instead of having that natural ability to sniff out a play. Wong to me is the better player, but isn't a superstar. I'd much rather see Wong go back to LOLB and start Peek instead of us putting Babin in as an untested tweener rookie. Give him time to get his bearings and learn the position.
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Old 08-12-2004   #6
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Default Re: Wong vs. Foreman inside

I'm okay with Babin starting on the left, I think Wong's had two years to show something at that spot and just hasn't gotten it done. I view it as good long-term decision, where as if we were just shooting for a good 2004 season I'd agree that we'd better off using Babin as a situational 3rd down guy while he picks it up.
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Old 08-12-2004   #7
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Default Re: Starting Linebackers

I'm for whatever combo performs the best. Wong would probably be a bit stronger than Foreman inside. There will have to be a decision made next year (after the '05 season) as Wong's contract will be up.

Wong didn't put up any sack numbers but he was solid in run support from the left side. We'll see how Babin handles it over there. Wade squished him like a bug last night on a couple blitz attempts (Babin hard rush outside Wade's right shoulder - Wade gets his left hand on Babin's right shoulder blade and pushes him to the ground easily). Plus, Babin has never dropped into coverage before. He still has that deer in the headlights look to me and it will probably be that way for a while.

Peek has been off the charts in camp but he's got a bit of a sore elbow that's slowed him down recently. Sometimes he plays so aggressive, (read: out of control), that he gets himself caught out of position. I'm also interested in the possibility of Peek and Babin on the outsides. We'll probably see some of that on Saturday night.
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Old 08-12-2004   #8
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Default Re: Starting Linebackers

My expection is for the Babin/Wong combination to start the year assuming health for everyone.

I expect Peek to become the situational pass rusher on Wong's side.

If someone goes down, Wong moves to that spot and Peek starts .
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Old 08-12-2004   #9
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Default Re: Starting Linebackers

A couple girlie thoughts
.. keeping the fingers crossed for Seth Payne. So hoping he is back at full steam this year.. a wonderful sight for sure if that holds out.
And Wong, he needs to bring it on a little stronger if he wants to stay on the team. The last two years he hasn't played with much force .. IMO. I see him as a weak link.
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Old 08-12-2004   #10
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Default The weakest link: Jay Foreman

Foreman is our weak link in the linebacking core in my eyes. If Peek starts there is no way I see Foreman starting and Wong on the bench. Wong does such a good job against the run and you really never saw TE's totally tear us up the last couple of years so Wong is solid in coverage. There is more to his position than just sacks and he is really our second best linebacker. I could go on and on about Foreman and his lack of game but I totally wore that out last year. He makes a lot of tackles but you usually see them 6 yards down field.
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Old 08-12-2004   #11
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Default Re: Starting Linebackers

I have never been a fan of Jay Foreman either. His lack of spark on the field has forced Jamie Sharper to do double duty. Stats given on Foreman are numbers translated to players running away from Sharper!
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Old 08-12-2004   #12
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Default Re: Starting Linebackers

I favor Wong over Foreman also. I liked Wong when he was with the Vikings. He is a solid player and has a good nose for the ball. I would love to see Babin and Peek on the outside and Sharper and Wong on the inside. I'm really excited about our defense this year with the rookies, and Robaire Smith, and Colemans move to safety.
I'm also anxious to see our offensive line and how the zone blocking goes. Oh heck, I'm just excited it football season!
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Old 08-12-2004   #13
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Default Re: starting LB

Quote:
Originally Posted by edo783
A lot of folks, myself included, expect to see Peek on the outside and Wong moved inside eventhough it isn't what Wong would prefer. We would have a couple of SMOKIN young guns on the outside and some strong experience up the middle. Not a bad situation.
I thought the knock on both Babin and Peek was lack of coverage skills. (I could be wrong) I don't think it would be good to have them both starting if that is the case.
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Old 08-12-2004   #14
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Default Re: starting LB

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTP2110
I thought the knock on both Babin and Peek was lack of coverage skills. (I could be wrong) I don't think it would be good to have them both starting if that is the case.
Good point, but they would be blitzing a good percent of the time....

And I would also want them to learn on the fly, rather than on the bench...
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