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Can Aldon become a three down OLB?

Originally posted by NCommand:
Originally posted by johnnyredneat:
IMO everyone saying that it's the pass defense aspect that is holding Aldon back is getting it wrong. It's much more an issue of run defense and preserving his freshness for pass rushing.

Even with an incredible athlete like Aldon, if we ever see him dropping back regularly into coverage then we know the game is not going well. He's already a lanky 265 lbs at age 22. With a year of NFL strength coaching and natural growth, he'll probably be at at least 270 next year, and upwards from there in the future. It's almost impossible to envision a guy like that being effective in coverage on anything more than zone blitzes, etc.

What Aldon hasn't had to do yet is play the run - he's not had to learn to yet. He's got the power to bullrush guys, but setting a hard outside edge and learning to shed blockers is a different game. He's never had to learn to diagnose run plays quickly, worry about gap assignments, etc. His game right now is strictly a full-throttle pass rush.

Elite pass-rushing OLBs like Ware, Mario Williams, Suggs, etc. - these guys play all three downs but rarely are asked to cover anything more than a short zone a few times a game (if that). Aldon will be the same for us. Having him consistently backpedal into coverage would be a waste of his talent.

This man knows what he's talking about. Brooks has actually been very good in dropping back this year in zones. The Steelers were able to match him up with a TE up the sideline where Brooks was supposed to have underneath coverage, which obviously, he did. But the problem was our safeties were playing SO deep respecting the speed of their WR's, they were very late...twice...getting over to help over the top so Brooks stayed with his man. In the 3-4, OLB's DO NOT COVER. They drop back in zones and clog passing lanes before passing off prospective receivers to others. Aldon has done that well this year. He is NOT a liability in coverage. That responsibility falls on the shoulders of the ILB's and secondary. The Steelers did a nice job of scheming and this will happen time to time in a chess match. We also need to remember that for Brooks entire career, he had a total of 400 snaps. This year for us, he's already racked up 700+. At the beginning of the year, he was our sack-master. In contrast, we've moved Aldon slowly along and now HE is reaping the benefits of being fresh and is taking full advantage of his opportunities. So to answer the OP? Yes, he CAN be an every-down OLB but he doesn't need to be on this team. The coaches, IMHO, are bringing him along perfectly.

The bigger question to ask is...if Aldon does become an every down OLB, will his production start to fall off d/t teams having more film on him and him being more physically worn down with say, 700+ snaps through 14 games?

Good point , which is why I think we should look to add another blue chip pass rusher in the draft, having another pass rusher would make our defense much more difficult to prepare for
We are winning with a great defense why change the it.
Yall do realize that Aldon started the last 2 games right?He is already becoming the 3 down back.
Originally posted by NeeJ49er:
Good point , which is why I think we should look to add another blue chip pass rusher in the draft, having another pass rusher would make our defense much more difficult to prepare for

Totally...ideally, you'd like two OLB's like the Steelers have who CAN play every down in a zone blitz scheme b/c it's less predictable. When we have guys who play 1st and 2nd downs for run support and then bring in 3rd down pass rushers, it dumb-downs your defense and makes you more predictable and easier to block/scheme protections too. That said, if you can add another great pass rusher to Brooks/Smith (who can also play the run well) you can rotate him on ANY down, keeping our defense unpredictable and keeping Brooks/Aldon fresh and healthy for the long haul!
this coverage stuff is overrated, he may do it from time to time, but hes a pass rusher, u let him hunt the qb, every now and again drop him, he should be playing ever down right now
Well it seemed like they were playing him more than just as a pass rusher on monday. I seen a couple times where they dropped him in coverage and he fared well and if Im not mistaken, monday was his first start of the year.
Yes, I think with his long arms that he could develop into somebody that can really set the edge against the run and keep the tailback between the tackles backs.
Originally posted by johnnyredneat:
IMO everyone saying that it's the pass defense aspect that is holding Aldon back is getting it wrong. It's much more an issue of run defense and preserving his freshness for pass rushing.

Even with an incredible athlete like Aldon, if we ever see him dropping back regularly into coverage then we know the game is not going well. He's already a lanky 265 lbs at age 22. With a year of NFL strength coaching and natural growth, he'll probably be at at least 270 next year, and upwards from there in the future. It's almost impossible to envision a guy like that being effective in coverage on anything more than zone blitzes, etc.

What Aldon hasn't had to do yet is play the run - he's not had to learn to yet. He's got the power to bullrush guys, but setting a hard outside edge and learning to shed blockers is a different game. He's never had to learn to diagnose run plays quickly, worry about gap assignments, etc. His game right now is strictly a full-throttle pass rush.

Elite pass-rushing OLBs like Ware, Mario Williams, Suggs, etc. - these guys play all three downs but rarely are asked to cover anything more than a short zone a few times a game (if that). Aldon will be the same for us. Having him consistently backpedal into coverage would be a waste of his talent.

+1
  • mayo49
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 20,551
Originally posted by Shorteous:
Yes, I think with his long arms that he could develop into somebody that can really set the edge against the run and keep the tailback between the tackles backs.


Yeah, I saw him do that against Pittsburg. Once he get's his coverage skills down, he's going to be a monster.
Originally posted by crabman82:
this coverage stuff is overrated, he may do it from time to time, but hes a pass rusher, u let him hunt the qb, every now and again drop him, he should be playing ever down right now

Way overrated. We rely on our ILB's way more in coverage anyway.
  • kush
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 2,649
He's already looked good against the run imo

I think some here are having trouble distinguishing between something Aldon "can't" do and something "he hasn't been asked" to do. The fact is Parys Haralson is good against the run and Aldon is Herculean against the pass, why not keep both fresh and put them both in a position to maximize their talents?

Have no fear ppl, Aldon will be an elite 3 down player and could be right now. We just happen to have the luxury of this thing called the best defense in the NFL which has allowed us to take it slowly with Mr. All Done.
Originally posted by ChazBoner:
that's the goal. Right now he's a liability in coverage. Then again, so is Brooks and he plays on all downs. I'm pretty sure Aldon will be on the field full time next season.


His only job is to rush the passer and contain the run. Baalke and Fangio has said this from the get go when they drafted him and people asked about him being able to drop back into coverage. Why would you waste your best pass rusher. He only has to learn how to contain the run. We are in no rush, right now it is good that he only comes in on passing downs cause he is fresh, especially in the 2nd half. Sometimes wanting to get on the field and having to wait your turn can be a good thing, that adreneline rush makes him more menacing.
I think the Steelers game was the first time I actually saw Aldon play almost every down (from the second quarter forward); guy played relentless, couldn't be stopped. -He's just f**king insane...
  • mayo49
  • Veteran
  • Posts: 20,551
Originally posted by SnakePlissken:
I think the Steelers game was the first time I actually saw Aldon play almost every down (from the second quarter forward); guy played relentless, couldn't be stopped. -He's just f**king insane...

And, he's all ours.
Originally posted by ace49ers:
Not this season but maybe next season. Hes coming along just fine for the time being.


Not this year, but probably next year. He has been playing more and more, and I beleive he got his first start on Monday. Not to worry it will happen. For all we know it may be happening now. Aldon is on the Terrell Suggs plan. Suggs was used in exactly the same way after the Ravens selected him in 03 I think it was.

Yes, it was 03, and he had 12 sacks and 27 tackles. Aldon of course has 13 and 30, amazing, it's almost dead on not to mention that Aldon has two games left this year. Not to be a homer, but I think Aldon is going to far surpass anything Terrell Suggs does in his career. Suggs has 81.5 sacks after 9 years. I think as long as Aldon continues to grow and avoids injury's he will get well over 100 sacks in his career. We are very lucky to be in a time with Pat and Aldon on this team. Both are likely to be some of the all time greats, but that is getting way ahead of things. Let's just sit back and enjoy watching him develop.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/4468/terrell-suggs
[ Edited by GorefullBore on Dec 22, 2011 at 12:53 AM ]