Originally posted by Young2Rice:
Our lack of OLB depth is wearing out Aldon and Brooks
were only assuming this because we are used to what happened last year with Aldon replacing Parys. Brooks played 95% of the snaps last year and no one on here complained about his effort or motor, he did just fine playing basically every snap and put up stellar #s then being opposite Aldon on passing downs helped both of them out.
Then with Aldon, last year he had burst every time because he had nothing to read or diagnose, he was told get into the backfield, crush whoever has the ball, which more often then not was the QB. This year even when when we send him into the backfield (on any down and distance) he has more responsibilities to read and diagnose the play. The coaches have said on obvious passing situations we will put Aldon's hand in the dirt and let him rush the passer but what if the previous 2 plays he had to make an open field tackle 5 yards down the field and then chase the QB for 5+ seconds all over the pocket and then its 3rd and long? He's going to have next to no energy compared to last year. This is only his 3rd game playing every snap and this was his first game where he was actually an OLB because in weeks 1 and 2 he still played 3/4 of his snaps as a DE if not more.
His endurance will improve and he'll become more explosive as the season goes on but dont blame our lack of depth on Aldon and Brooks staying in the whole game. If Parys was as complete an OLB as Brooks was we would not have drafted Aldon and we would've seen both Parys and Brooks out there for every snap last year.
I knew this was going to happen with people getting mad about Aldon's "production" and motor but what do expect when we saddle him with responsibilities and its only his 3rd game playing all snaps? Again I need to reiterate a point i made earlier but Aldon's current projected stat line is as follows: 45 solo tackles 15 assisted tackles 12.5 sacks, add in an INT or 2 or an FF or 2 and you have a pro-bowl caliber season from a 2nd year OLB.
There is no way that we bench Aldon or Brooks at any point unless one of the just "has to come out". Even if we draft a 1st round OLB this spring he'll just end up sitting on the bench just like Jenkins and James are. Sure we could put him in for a series or two to give Aldon or Brooks a break but I look around the league and I dont see Lamar Woodley, James Harrison, Terrell Suggs, Cameron Wake (during the 3-4 mike nolan d), Mario Williams first 5 games last season in 3-4, coming out of the game unless they are hurt or just spent 30 seconds chasing an RB on screen pass all over the field or had a long fumble/int return. Teams with pro-bowl LBs dont sub them out unless the player has to come out for oxygen or injury. The position that needs to be rotated is the DL because they are fighting in the trenches every down, OLBs can go plays at time without seeing the ball or barely having rush the pocket before a play is over but DL spend 5-10 seconds smashing into the OL and chasing RBs and QBs.
Finding a 3-4 DE early this year is more of a priority then an OLB. Did you know that if we re-sign Sopoaga this time next year the age of our starting DL will be Justin 34, ICE 32, Ray Mac 29. Even with Cowboy that is by far a scare thing to consider, there is no way we will consistently pressure QBs this season or next if those 3 guys are left out there for 95%+ of the snaps. On a note this makes it incredibly obvious to me that we will either be spending in FA for quality backup at DE or drafting one, letting ICE go and starting RJF or drafting an NT high. we have Justin for another year or 2 but we need DL rotation now.