Originally posted by HearstFan:
Last season, would it be accurate to say that we essentially ran a 4-3 on passing downs with Aldon and Justin as DEs? Our linebackers were then Willis, Bowman, and Brooks, right? What I did notice, is that Willis and Bowman played more inside than a typical 4-3 alignment, with Brooks really lined up as an OLB. I think that was possible with Willis and Bowman's speed.
This season, Aldon is slated to convert to a true OLB in the 3-4. BUT, do you think it makes any sense to continue going with the 4-3 alignment above on 3rd down? Or do you think they will stay with Aldon as a stand up OLB on 3rd down?
Obviously, they'll mix it up both ways to keep offenses off balance, but in general, how do you think they'll play it?
That's a really good question. Yeah, initially, Aldon would come in and line up at the LOS outside of Justin. Brooks would either rush from the outside of McDonald or drop back in zone. BUT, as the year progressed, I saw a little flip flopping of the WILL & SAM spots. I saw more inside stunts and one of my favorites was Brooks (SAM) and Aldon (TED) lined up next to each other and rushing (very successful). My point? Vic, like Rogers alluded too, hasn't even opened up phase 2 of the playbook yet. So, now that Aldon is slated to be an every down WILL, I'm expecting (and hoping) we start rushing all four LBers more and take Willis/Bowman out of coverage more and play down hill and exploit OL weaknesses. The SAM & WILL are very interchangeable as well.
Sooooo, I'm hoping with all the attention the DL will get, the back 4 will be creatively used and absolutely destroy an OL by keeping them and the QB completely off kilter. Overall, I expect Aldon's sack numbers to DECREASE next year d/t playing every snap like Brooks last year BUT I expect him to end up being a better overall OLB and used a lot like how GB uses Matthews (lining him up all over the field). Don't forget, Brooks can play both OLB positions, DE and even inside LB. With the versatility of these two alone, coupled with our DL and speed with Bowman/Willis, Vic will have no excuses but to open this playbook WIDE OPEN!
Add an offense to this mix and sustained great ST's (and TO's) and watch this defense become more and more dominant and wide open!
[ Edited by NCommand on May 2, 2012 at 5:17 PM ]