Originally posted by hofer36:
Originally posted by susweel:
Yes a great talent like him should be on the field as much as possible. You dont draft a guy at #7 to make him a part time player.
mind you, im not advocating one way or the other, as i really didnt know and that is why i posed the question to the board...but the argument to keep him as a specialist might be akin to drafting or signing a closer in baseball
could smith's pass rush production actually go down with more playing time?
Great question and the answer is, "No question about it!" His production will dip dramatically, just like Haralson did after his off-the-bench 8 sack season and LT deal. The difference between being a starting OLB and being a pass rush specialist is night and day. One is a marathon and the other is a sprint. But when you are a starter, you need to know the entire defense and defensive scheme and game plan not only on your responsibilities but on those around you (you work off them). As a starter, OL have game tape of you...your strengths and weaknesses and as a starter, OL can get used to blocking you a certain way; teams can game-plan you also like how Brooks was double-teamed most of the year including the Giants game. As a starter, you pass rush in lieu of stopping the run or screen passes to your side; you also drop back in zone a little more. You don't just get after the QB every time.
You need to know the entire playbook. Once you get the whole playbook down, THEN VF can start working with all four LBers to create more overload pressures, creating mismatches, working off each other, etc. No rookie, not even Aldon Smith can just step right in and learn this. The 3-4 is like a WCO...it takes 3 to 4 years to learn/master.
And in year 1, both Brooks/Smith exceeded all expectations but Brooks is, by far, the most well-rounded starting OLB we have. If we lose him and go rookie or "serviceable FA" Smith's production will drop dramatically IMHO. The Lbers are a complete unit! And right now, they are the best unit in the NFL.
[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 2, 2012 at 13:59:55 ]