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Old 04-23-2006   #1
Zac
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Default What type of potential does the Defensive Line Have?

Weaver - Smith - Johnson - Peek and (Babin and Payne)


How good can that line be? Can it really pressure the quarterback and be able to stuff the run?

Peek and Babin have been playing linebackers for their entire NFL careers. Payne is coming off an average year after missing the entire year before. And Johnson and Smith have been real big disappointments (big excuse was that they were playing out of position)

Will a switch to a 4-3 defensive set be the real difference.

And I keep hearing that Weaver is the real deal, how true is that?


(MY BIG Question is, How good is the Talent up front on the Defense?)
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Old 04-23-2006   #2
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How is Smith a disappointment? He's been a bright spot on the Dline. From the 3-4 he continually got pressure on the QB. Not enough to make him throw, but certainly enough to make him scramble. I've seen him take on 2 linemen and still move toward the QB.

To answer your question, I think our run stopping will improve drastically from about Week 3 on. It could be good in Week 1, but I'd wait until week 3 to give them some game speed time to adjust to the 4-3 again.

Our pass rush is in limbo. Weaver isn't a notorious pass rusher, but may have a suprise or two. It seems to hinge on what Babin/Peek can bring from the right side. If they can consistantly beat the tackle, it'll open up all kinds of interior havoc as they shift protection. I think Smith, Johnson and Payne can collapse the pocket, especially if the guards are helping with Weaver/Babin/Peek.

So to recap. Our entire pass rush seems to rest on Babin and/or Peek being a solid pass rush threat.
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Old 04-23-2006   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marroncito
So to recap. Our entire pass rush seems to rest on Babin and/or Peek being a solid pass rush threat.
Well, I was feeling pretty good about next season. I don't think these two players will our entire pass rush. I hope not. Remember, they will also employ blitz packages using the outside linebacker. They're gonna draft a pass rusher fairly early, or a linebacker who's a good blitzer. At least I hope. Peek isn't big enough to be a full time DE, and I don't know if Babin is good enough. We'll see.
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Old 04-23-2006   #4
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I think that it could prove to be solid but unspectacular.

I really am hoping for a DE in the draft on the first day to give this line some pizazz. The system we are running relies on the line for most of the rush and I am not sure what we have can do that. For that reason I am pro-Williams in the draft. If we don't get a push from the line it will be another very long year on defense
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Old 04-23-2006   #5
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Originally Posted by kiwitexansfan
I think that it could prove to be solid but unspectacular.

I really am hoping for a DE in the draft on the first day to give this line some pizazz. The system we are running relies on the line for most of the rush and I am not sure what we have can do that. For that reason I am pro-Williams in the draft. If we don't get a push from the line it will be another very long year on defense
yeah we need a push from the line ..just to atleast keep the LB's freed up and create some havok.. and with havok, our secondary will seem very much improved
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Old 04-23-2006   #6
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I actually think the Dline will be quite strong next year. Call me optimistic but I remember Robaire being a beast at DT in Tenn. I was actually excited when we signed him... I think Travis will wind up being the best of the bunch - just a hunch. He's got the attitude, that's for sure.

If Peek can just be allowed to turn that motor loose, he could put some serious pressure from over there...

Anyway, that's IMO...
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Old 04-23-2006   #7
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Courtney Brown out of Penn St. in 2000
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Old 04-23-2006   #8
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He was drafted by the Browns, but was regarded as a bust because of his motor and worth ethic. He was criticised alot for not even breaking a sweat in practice and was concidered to have a poor motor. He washed out and ended up with the Broncos last season.
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Old 04-23-2006   #9
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A lot depends on our first round pick.

As we stand now we will go from one of the worst defenses in the league to middle of the pack, probably around top 10 against the run. If we draft Mario Williams, I think we could push to be in the top 10 next year.
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Old 04-23-2006   #10
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I'd say that they could easily get 25-30 sacks. I mean Smith, Payne and Johnson could get 10. Weaver, Peek and Babins have a good chaance at getting 15 to 20.
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Old 04-23-2006   #11
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if payne stays healthy through the year, he can be the greatest contributer on the team. weaver isnt going to have much of a pass rush, tj is blah, robair smith hasnt done anything since hes been here, and to expect babin to be a high sack guy is expecting too much. i think the line goes as payne goes, if he stays in then well have a decent line.
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Old 04-23-2006   #12
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I asked our d-coordinator here at A&M, coach Darnell if he thought Babin would make a smooth tranistion back to D-end. He used to coach at Western Michigan and seems to think that Jason will have no trouble putting his hand back on the ground. He said he should be a beast.
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Old 04-24-2006   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMac48
I asked our d-coordinator here at A&M, coach Darnell if he thought Babin would make a smooth tranistion back to D-end. He used to coach at Western Michigan and seems to think that Jason will have no trouble putting his hand back on the ground. He said he should be a beast.

Hmmm thanks for a bit of professional insight. I hope that he is right.
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Old 04-24-2006   #14
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Didnt Kalu sign? If he can stay healthy I think the line has potential..Payne, Smith & Johnson are good DT & to Johnsons defense this was is first year playing in a 3-4 scheme
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Old 04-24-2006   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMac48
I asked our d-coordinator here at A&M, coach Darnell if he thought Babin would make a smooth tranistion back to D-end. He used to coach at Western Michigan and seems to think that Jason will have no trouble putting his hand back on the ground. He said he should be a beast.
I hope so. I've always liked Babin and his attitude, but he just hasn't found his groove yet. Hopefully it'll be back at the end spot.
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Old 04-24-2006   #16
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I think we have alot of potential this year. Babin and Weaver are both good against the run and should provide an increased pass rush as 4-3 DEs. A few predictions:

Babin 8-12 sacks, 40-50 tackles: He has managed over 4 sacks blitzing part time in an absurdly complex scheme, while fighting injury. He has the speed to shut down the outside in run support and the strength to hold the point. He can be negated, but is rarely ever pushed around by OTs, 340lbs guards are a different story. This is his chance to shine and prove all the doubters wrong, and I think he will meet or exceed expectations.

Smith 2-3 sacks, 30-40 tackles: Smith was an imposing presense inside when he played for the Titans. Capers said they were forced to gameplan around Smith more than Kearse, and I think that says alot about his presense and dominance in the trenches. I know alot of people think Capers is Satan, but he knows his defense. Alot of sports anylsists considered Smith a bigger loss than Kearse.

Payne 1-2 Sacks, 50-60 Tackles: Payne has been a force against the run and does a good job of collapsing the pocket. As long as he stays healthy this should be a scarey line to run against, and we could be ranked in the top 10 in that catagory.

Weaver 5-8 Sacks, 40-50 tackles: He could have more tackles, but I think teams will be afraid to run at him and Payne. Definately a solid addition to one of the worst run defenses in the league. Alot of talking heads believe he is ready to step up to the next level and will be a big contributer in a 4-3. He has gotten 4-5 sacks every year he stayed healthy, and was able to produce even in a 3-4. We could see double digit sacks from him if we stop the run and force teams to be one dimensional.

Backups and situational players-

Peek 6-10 Sacks, 10-15 tackles(not counting special teams): Peek should get alot of playing time on long yardage situations and could be a solid contributer this season. With limited snaps he should always be fresh and ready to attack the pocket when he comes in. With his quick first step he should be able to beat alot of OTs and be disruptive in the backfield.

Johnson 3-5 Sacks, 20-30 Tackles: Johnson was a highly rated 4-3 DT comming out and moving him to 3-4 DE has been heavily criticised. He excelled at shooting the gaps and being disruptive. He has a good attitude and wants to excell. We may see him overtake Payne for the starting spot this season.

N.d. Kalu 3-5 Sacks, 10-15 Tackles: Kalu was a starter for a formidable Eagles defense before suffering a rash of injurys. He should have less trouble staying healthy in a backup role. A good veteran addition to the line.

Alfred Malone 0-1 Sacks, 15-20 tackles: We didn't see alot of him last year, but he made an impact when he was on the field. I liked his motor and think we could have a good prospect here. He could beat out deloach for the 4th dt spot imo.

I think we have a solid unit with alot of potential. The biggest question is will the young guys step up? Babin, Weaver, Johnson and Peek will need to bring it this season.
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Old 04-24-2006   #17
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We have alot of so-so players and 1-2 good ones on our D-Line
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Old 04-24-2006   #18
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Why is everyone so down on Smith? If you knew anything about the 3-4 defense, you'd know that the job of the 3-4 DE was to occupy blockers and pressure the quarterback when he broke the pocket. Smith was one of the most successful in this regard, and in my opinion, was one of the bright spots on our DE the past few years
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Old 04-24-2006   #19
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The basic difference in our defense this year is changing from the 3-4 to the more traditional 4-3.

In the 3-4 defense, the down linemen are there to read and control the line of scrimmage. Their job is to occupy the offensive linemen and allow the 4 linebackers make the play. The linebackers read the offense and either stuff the run or rush the passer.

In the 4-3 defense, the down linemen are not there to read, but to penetrate the gaps. They are to tackle the RB behind the line or put pressure on the QB in a passing situation.

The change to the 4-3 should fit our personel better with a few exceptions.

Smith and Johnson should show marked improvement. Johnson was known for his penetrating the gap in college. He was more out of place in the 3-4. Smith is a veteran and will adjust back to his form when he played in the 4-3 before.

Weaver was brought in to play Left DE. He will be lined up against the Offensive Right T and the TE who will double team him on the strong side run plays. He is known as a great run stuffer, especially against the double team. He is hard to move, but don't expect a great pass rush from him. But that's not his main job.

The question is going to be the right DE. This is where your best pass rusher comes from. Peek is bulking up to be able to play this position. This is the position that he played in college, and he has the potential to excel.

Babin will compete with Peek for the starting position, and the loser will probably replace Weaver on passing situations.

I don't know about Payne. He is more of a run stuffer, and a true nose guard in the 3-4. It depends on what skills he brings. He would have to be a DT in the 4-3.

Any way you slice it, it will be a better D line. And I think it will put more pressure on the QB.

It should be interesting this season, but I believe that the 4-3 change is good, and will benefit the players.
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Old 04-25-2006   #20
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I think Weaver, Smith, and Payne/TJ will be above average against the run. If Babin wins the job at RDE, we might actually be good. Peek, however, still needs to be more disciplined and keep that outside containment.

I'm not sure about the pass-rush. Weaver has moderate skills, but nothing special. Smith is definitely nothing to write home about. Payne is okay when he is healthy. If TJ beats out Payne for the starting spot and the Peek/Babin winner shows some good P-R skills, I think we could be solid. I do like our probable pass-rushing setup on passing downs with Babin, Weaver, TJ, and Peek. One thing that might hurt our line this year, however, is that I don't think our LB's are that good.
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