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Biggest Shock? Defensive Line Play

  • Kolohe
  • Hall of Fame
  • Posts: 31,134
My three nominees are:

Isaac Sopoaga - definitely has shown he should be an end in a 3-4, set the edge this past Sunday and has been solid against the run with double teams.

Abrayo Franklin
- Although he doesn't push the pocket on a consistent basis, hes been in the backfield quite a lot these past three games.

Ray McDonald - On passing downs, hes been pretty hard to block, which surprised the crap outta me coming off knee injury.


I was gonna mention Balmer, but I'd like to see him get more snaps. He is coming into his own right now, he and McDonald look like a good rotation on the D-line.
[ Edited by Kolohe on Sep 29, 2009 at 6:10 PM ]
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
How about Franklin? He is playing as good as anyone on the line right now. I bet there are a lot of guys that were critical of his play last year that have changed their tune this year.

I sure am one of them. He has elevated his play shockingly, and though I still know he deserved criticism till now? I'm happy to applaud his efforts so far this year.
I'd have to agree, Apart from whats expected from Justin Smith I think Aubrayo Franklin and McDonald have been playing at very high levels!
Originally posted by FL9er:
Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...

Eric Berry is a FS bro. Move Goldston to SS he can't cover squat but sure can hit!

Unless he's the BPA, I never take a safety that high over a franchise QB, DL, OLB (3-4), OT or WR. Let Seattle make that mistake.

Berry will be the best player coming out of college this upcoming draft, he is a freak of a DB that can play any position in the defensive backfield, a ballhawk of the first order and averages 40 yards a return on his interceptions. If he is still on the board, you take him.
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
Originally posted by FL9er:
Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...

Eric Berry is a FS bro. Move Goldston to SS he can't cover squat but sure can hit!

Unless he's the BPA, I never take a safety that high over a franchise QB, DL, OLB (3-4), OT or WR. Let Seattle make that mistake.

Berry will be the best player coming out of college this upcoming draft, he is a freak of a DB that can play any position in the defensive backfield, a ballhawk of the first order and averages 40 yards a return on his interceptions. If he is still on the board, you take him.


Eric Berry is the next Ed Reed. I would be pissed if we don't trade up for him
Originally posted by reasonable1:
He's a surprise to many of you because about 95% were under the impression that your NT in the 3-4 absolutely HAD to be at least a 340 pounder. They didnt take into account the scheme and responsibilities.

But I agree Franklin has been very, very good so far.

Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. Franklin played OK against the Cards, was better against the Hawks and played fantastic last week.

But you are right in that many do believe in the prototypical NT b/c that's what's been the most successful over the years; Wilfork, Williams, Washington, Ngata, etc. and all those guys easily push 350-370 and are immovable. It doesn't mean you can't be successful at a lighter weight but after watching Adams and Franklin get pushed around, we ALL wanted a more prototypical NT.

Also, keep in mind that Franklin is sub'd out a lot too whereas a Wilfork/Williams is not hardly at all.

But you're right in that scheme and how the NT is used is very important.
Originally posted by 9erluv415:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
How about Franklin? He is playing as good as anyone on the line right now. I bet there are a lot of guys that were critical of his play last year that have changed their tune this year.

Yup...him and Ice have improved dramatically!!! Now the question is can they stay consistent throughout the season.

Sopoagas claim to fame was his incredible strength and now we are finally seeing it utilized. I was really flipping out this pre-season, but the boy are getting it done. Congrats to the coaching staff for getting the best our of our players.

What's up w/ our whole D-Line at times standing up to rush the passer ??

It's a trip to see that.
Originally posted by BrianGO:
Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...

Eric Berry is a FS bro. Move Goldston to SS he can't cover squat but sure can hit!

How can he not cover squat?

He has an INT, and I think he was the one who broke up the pass that fell right into Spencer's hands.

Teams aren't completing a whole lot of passes deep on us, or in the middle of the field.

We need to spend that top 5 Carolina pick on the best offensive tackle on the board.

Exactly! We need help at RT, I think Hill can be a very good QB with some better protection. If it's a LT that is on the board and better than Staley we can always shift him to the right. Our young safties Goldston/R.Smith will hold it down fine.
Originally posted by matt49er:
Originally posted by BrianGO:
Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...

Eric Berry is a FS bro. Move Goldston to SS he can't cover squat but sure can hit!

How can he not cover squat?

He has an INT, and I think he was the one who broke up the pass that fell right into Spencer's hands.

Teams aren't completing a whole lot of passes deep on us, or in the middle of the field.

We need to spend that top 5 Carolina pick on the best offensive tackle on the board.

Exactly! We need help at RT, I think Hill can be a very good QB with some better protection. If it's a LT that is on the board and better than Staley we can always shift him to the right. Our young safties Goldston/R.Smith will hold it down fine.

i think staley is better off on the left side. we need him to protect hill's blind side
[ Edited by FourNine49 on Sep 29, 2009 at 8:31 PM ]
Originally posted by FL9er:
Originally posted by Norwalks_Best:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
What we need is to spend that Carolina pick on Eric Berry to take over our SS position...

Eric Berry is a FS bro. Move Goldston to SS he can't cover squat but sure can hit!

Unless he's the BPA, I never take a safety that high over a franchise QB, DL, OLB (3-4), OT or WR. Let Seattle make that mistake.

Isn't that about where we got Ronnie Lott ? 1st round ?
It's better than expected. And they are playing better than their talent level at least on paper.
Couldn't agree more...it was the one area I wasn't sure of, but McDonald returning healthy has been a big boost, as has the interior play of Soap and Franklin. Balmer is developing...and by season's end could be a real force. I'd still like to have a huge NT (someone like Wilfork, who should've been a Niner) to really make the 3-4 operate at max efficiency. But, the guys we have now are doing a terrific job, so my hat's off to them. It's the result of Coach Tomsula, for sure...he was one of Nolan's best coaching hires. Singletary gave Manusky lots of room to maneuver...and simplify the defense so as to put our guys in positions to make more plays, and they're responding. I'd like to see Evans contribute more...he's got lots of experience. As a group, though, they're playing well, and that's all we can ask.
Originally posted by reasonable1:
Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by Memphis9er:
How about Franklin? He is playing as good as anyone on the line right now. I bet there are a lot of guys that were critical of his play last year that have changed their tune this year.

I would be the first to admit I am blown away with Franklin's play esp. last game. I'm not surprised at all about Sopoaga though. I always thought he'd make a stellar LDE with his size and athleticism in the 3-4 but Franklin is the big surprise to me thus far. McDonald is a pleasant surprise but only b/c I wasn't expecting him to play and play at a high level (leads team in sacks and has some QB pressures already) in limited snaps. I think Balmer is starting to develop some and we're doing a nice job of rotating and keeping players fresh.



He's a surprise to many of you because about 95% were under the impression that your NT in the 3-4 absolutely HAD to be at least a 340 pounder. They didnt take into account the scheme and responsibilities.

But I agree Franklin has been very, very good so far.

I still believe a 340 guy playing the same technique would be even more effective.
Originally posted by ninerempire25:
What's up w/ our whole D-Line at times standing up to rush the passer ??

It's a trip to see that.

They're trying to mess up blocking assignments in hopes of getting one of them a free shot at the QB and to get better angles in rushing the QB (it's easier to rush if you get an offensive lineman leaning to one side as opposed to rushing them square on).