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would making aldon smith a fulltime starter be the right thing to do?

Originally posted by Marvin49:
^^True....but I think they will use a draft pick at theat position whether Brooks is resigned or not.

Agreed...Brooks essentially, in his first full year as a starter, had nobody behind him to even spell him (he and Justin Smith played virtually every snap all year) so that was a huge risk on our parts. Who knows, maybe he was even nicked up, beaten up, worn down, etc. No doubt we need an effective backup who can spell at both the WILL/SAM positions and keep these boys fresh for the marathon season!
It would be nice to go into a 4-3 set sometimes with A.Smith and Brooks on the ends with Bowman-Willis-Grant at LB
I do believe he should convert to outside linebacker so he can be on the field every down, but I believe we should resign Brooks and make Haralson a back-up who could spell either Brooks or Smith on early downs. I also think we should invest one of our first four picks into the outside linebacker position. Getting pressure from both sides would take our defense to an all time great level.
Great question.

I feel the more he is on the field the better he'll get and get better faster. I also feel we'll be picking up another stud pass rusher in the draft atb OLB.
Good posts everyone - how refreshing read thoughtful posts instead of just opinion blasts.

I think the key for Aldon going full time starter - albeit with normal rotation -- is that the defense can be more "multiple." Smith coming in on passing downs meant that he was rushing - no doubt, and that also means the offense can predict what other defenders assignments will be. If he can show some flexibility as a stand up backer, then the offense is left guessing more and the overall pass rush should improve even if Aldon's numbers go down a bit.

In the offseason, I would expect Aldon to add some significant stamina and strength given his first full year committed to football workouts. So I think his motor will be fine, and his strength more lethal. The biggest thing Aldon can bring to the game is his athleticism and wingspan. I think he will be able to knock down more passes and maybe even get an INT or two.

Remember, he won't play the same game every down - first down he'll play run-pass, second down he might be standing or hand in the dirt depending on distance, third down he'll play pass, etc. With the coaches adding and improving his technique this offseason his "toolbox" will only expand.

He could really be special.
Originally posted by HearstFan:

I think the key for Aldon going full time starter - albeit with normal rotation -- is that the defense can be more "multiple." Smith coming in on passing downs meant that he was rushing - no doubt, and that also means the offense can predict what other defenders assignments will be. If he can show some flexibility as a stand up backer, then the offense is left guessing more and the overall pass rush should improve even if Aldon's numbers go down a bit.

Great post and I especially agree with this one! Even with more time on the field, he likely won't get 14-16 sacks again next year...that said, his OVERALL game will probably increase. For instance, Brooks took every snap, had 8 sacks, lead the team in tackles for loss with 12, was third on the team in QB pressures with 46 and sixth in total tackles and also had one FF and 3 PD. That is a complete, well-rounded OLB. Aldon Smith probably has even more upside and ability and if BOTH can be doing this at the same time on every down, this defense will be unstoppable. You won't be able to double Brooks on 1st and 2nd downs and then slide over and account for Smith on 3rd downs. Great point
Absolutely full time starter for Aldon. If he can learn to cover which I think he can. With his build and long arms he might be better than Willis. Between those 2, TE might have a hard time making a catch. They can do either or, Aldon drop back to cover while Willis blitz, or vice versa. Maybe less sacks for Aldon but more INTs.
[ Edited by qnnhan7 on Feb 2, 2012 at 3:08 PM ]
Originally posted by HearstFan:
Good posts everyone - how refreshing read thoughtful posts instead of just opinion blasts.

I
.

well I was just taking a break from alex smith thread 3.0
whoa whoa whoa, lets not go sucking each other's dicks just yet.
I don't think there's anything wrong with the role he has now.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a pass-rush specialist who gets 14 sacks/year as a #7 overall pick. If we can get good production from him, Haralson, and Brooks in a 3-man rotation.. that's awesome. But I think, from a depth standpoint, I'd rather have three guys splitting time so that everyone stays a little fresher.

It'd be nice though if he can get increased playing time, but I really do like the role he has now.
  • buck
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Originally posted by NCommand:
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.

He sack number might go down, but by no means is it a foregone conclusion.

Teams also pass on 1st and 2nd downs. Aldon did not play on most of those snaps.

If he plays all three downs his sack opportunities should actually increase.

Plus, he is a young player, he might get better at rushing the passer. For other teams that must be a scary thought.

Originally posted by ChazBoner:
he'll be starting next season on the NFC Pro Bowl roster.

Fixed.
  • sfout
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If we dont re-sign Brooks and put Aldon in the starting lineup our next situational pass rusher is already on the team. Demarcus Dobbs showed some quality flashes in the preseason and obviously earned a measure of trust from the coaches to be on special teams for much of the season.

Honestly I think Haralson will be 50/50 once the draft rolls around, I can see him sticking for another year but I wouldn't bat an eyelash if he was cut or traded to bring in an upgrade.
of course hes the starter next year, except for the game(s) he'll be suspended
He'll play more snaps next year but they might try and go for more of a DL rotation to keep guys fresh. I know Aldon is a LB before someone tries to troll, but his primarily responsibility will be rushing the passer, not dropping back so he might be in that rotation as well.