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Isaac Sopoaga

Quote:
I just think he's too short to play in a 2-Gap 3-4. He began performing better when they went to a 1-gap. Why can't he play well in a 2-gap? He's too short. You must be able to stand up the offensive linemen and reach out to either gap to make the tackle on the running back. He can only reach so far.

I've read some clueless posts recently but this may take the cake. Most DT's are 6-2 - 6-4. Sopoaga is 6-2 and has LONG ARMS. He can easily dunk a basketball, is the fastest off the ball and the strongest man on the team. Next bogus reason. . .
Originally posted by ezrider:
Quote:
I just think he's too short to play in a 2-Gap 3-4. He began performing better when they went to a 1-gap. Why can't he play well in a 2-gap? He's too short. You must be able to stand up the offensive linemen and reach out to either gap to make the tackle on the running back. He can only reach so far.

I've read some clueless posts recently but this may take the cake. Most DT's are 6-2 - 6-4. Sopoaga is 6-2 and has LONG ARMS. He can easily dunk a basketball, is the fastest off the ball and the strongest man on the team. Next bogus reason. . .

He played DE last year. I agree, he's the right size for a NT, but in that crowed, he has trouble finding the ball and seems to lose his fundamentals if he's looking for the ball. He just can't multi-task which is why we he is most effective at attacking.
The club will most likely retain only 6 DL on the 53-man roster, given the commitment to the 3-4 scheme. At first glance, the DL would appear to be set, as follows:

LDE: Evans and Balmer rotation
NT: Franklin and Sopoaga rotation
RDE: Smith and McDonald rotation

But where is the legitimate TC competition and the cushion in case of an injury among these 6 players?

IMHO, the Niners need two more bodies in the DL competitive mix. I expect the club to select one in the draft and get another via FA, after clubs begin cutting players. At least one of these 2 additional guys needs to be able to play NT. Franklin is entering his contract year and Sopoaga has stated that he much preferred playing LDE over NT. Maybe a 1-gap responsibility for the NT will allow Sopoaga to be re-sold on the merits of playing that position. Sopoaga seems to be a "high maintenance" guy, in that his position coach has to continually give him lots of time and encouragement.

I thought that Tomsula really got through to Sopoaga last year, in getting a more consistent effort, from play-to-play. But Sopoaga's inate, football skills, just seem to be slow in developing. In particular, he doesn't seem to have an instinct for quickly locating the ball. When he previously played NT, it was frustrating to see him hit one "A" gap, only to see the ball carrier go through the other "A" gap, without Sopoaga even getting a hand on the guy. That has to change if Sopoaga is going back to the NT position.

An improved Sopoaga can have a major impact on the effectiveness of the entire defense, not as a pass rusher, but in stone-walling the inside run and allowing the LB's to swarm to the ball.
[ Edited by jimbagg on Mar 17, 2009 at 2:01 PM ]
The bottom line is Soap doesn't fill the stat sheet. Most uninformed fans then assume that he sucks. Forget about how the 3-4 scheme calls for the Dline to clogg up blockers, thus allowing the LBs to make most of the plays. Forget about how Soap had more tackles than alot of other 3-4 DEs (as mentioned earlier in this thread)

I fully believe that most fans hate on Soap cause he isn't a pass rusher.
Originally posted by AKfanster:
The bottom line is Soap doesn't fill the stat sheet. Most uninformed fans then assume that he sucks. Forget about how the 3-4 scheme calls for the Dline to clogg up blockers, thus allowing the LBs to make most of the plays. Forget about how Soap had more tackles than alot of other 3-4 DEs (as mentioned earlier in this thread)

I fully believe that most fans hate on Soap cause he isn't a pass rusher.
Who is the OLB that played behind Soap last year?
Soap is a very solid backup, nothing more nothing less. It's crazy to think he will ever be more than that.
Originally posted by Oakland-Niner:
Soap is a very solid backup, nothing more nothing less. It's crazy to think he will ever be more than that.

I agree there. Balmer needs to start so we can see what he can do this year.