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*Strongside Pass Rush

Originally posted by GNielsen:
DrinkaMiller: "He doesn't stand out from his peers. He is the least important linebacker on our team."

And this: "Goldson will surely be missed this year and was more important to the team IMO than brooks was or has ever been."
Can we agree that Pro Football Focus has sound analysis technique and a good set of criteria by which they grade players?
On the other hand, the rate Ahmed Brooks as the 5th best OLB in the league rating him extremely strong against the run and one of the better pass rushers for a strong side linebacker. Of course, they were taking into account not only sacks, but pressures and what they call disrupting the quarterback.
I agree that it is one of the best analysis sites b/c they review each and every single play and provide more accurate accounts/stats than the "official" NFL.com (which is very poor). As to their grading system, it can be flawed. For instance, IIRC, I remember the Saints game where Brooks had THE pick-6 that changed the entire game around and saved CK's arse. You'd expect that play alone would carry much more weight given he's a SAM LB an it's rare to get an INT, let alone a pick-6, etc. But it didn't and his overall grade was the usual positive green = consistent. But, if you look at the long run stats and grading system, it does start to paint a pretty accurate picture of players overall value and is a good tool to use in conjunction with others. This site also had Brooks as the most consistent of all our LB's game-in, game-out.

BTW: I don't have the link anymore but when they ranked Brooks as the 5th best SAM, was it against all SAM's in the 3-4 and 4-3? Did they group all the SAM's together with the WILL's in both schemes?
[ Edited by NCommand on Jun 3, 2013 at 8:12 AM ]
Originally posted by NCommand:
BTW: I don't have the link anymore but when they ranked Brooks as the 5th best SAM, was it against all SAM's in the 3-4 and 4-3? Did they group all the SAM's together with the WILL's in both schemes?

I don't know. The article I read simply cited the fact that they rated him #5. It didn't go into details and I'm not a subscriber although I'm considering becoming one before next season.
Originally posted by GNielsen:
Originally posted by NCommand:
BTW: I don't have the link anymore but when they ranked Brooks as the 5th best SAM, was it against all SAM's in the 3-4 and 4-3? Did they group all the SAM's together with the WILL's in both schemes?

I don't know. The article I read simply cited the fact that they rated him #5. It didn't go into details and I'm not a subscriber although I'm considering becoming one before next season.

No worries! They sometimes provide some free ones...I think a few others on NT have a subscription. If you get one, let me know...
  • buck
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Originally posted by GNielsen:
Originally posted by NCommand:
BTW: I don't have the link anymore but when they ranked Brooks as the 5th best SAM, was it against all SAM's in the 3-4 and 4-3? Did they group all the SAM's together with the WILL's in both schemes?

I don't know. The article I read simply cited the fact that they rated him #5. It didn't go into details and I'm not a subscriber although I'm considering becoming one before next season.

PFF ranks 4-3 and 3-4 linebackers seperately. They also rank 4-3 and 3-4 defensive ends seperately.

PFF focus did not rank Brooks as the 5th best SAM linebacker.

He was ranked fifth among 3-4 outside linebackers for 2012 regular season.

The top five 3-4 outside linebackers in the 2012 regular season were:

1. Anthony Spencer
2. Clay Matthews
3. Aldon Smith
4. Justin Houston
5. Ahmad Brooks

In the 2012 post season, the top five 3-4 outside linebackers were:

1. Clay Matthews
2. Paul Kruger
3. Courtney Upshaw
4. Aldon Smith
5. Ahmad Brooks


https://www.profootballfocus.com/data/by_position.php?tab=by_position&season=2011&pos=OLB4&stype=r&runpass=&teamid=-1&numsnaps=25&numgames=1

By the way, PFF ranked Miller as the top 4-3 outside linebacker in both the 2011 and the 2012 regular season.

NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis were the top inside line backers, with no distinction made between 3-4 or 4-3, in the 2012 regular season.
[ Edited by buck on Jun 3, 2013 at 10:44 AM ]
Originally posted by buck:
Originally posted by GNielsen:
Originally posted by NCommand:
BTW: I don't have the link anymore but when they ranked Brooks as the 5th best SAM, was it against all SAM's in the 3-4 and 4-3? Did they group all the SAM's together with the WILL's in both schemes?

I don't know. The article I read simply cited the fact that they rated him #5. It didn't go into details and I'm not a subscriber although I'm considering becoming one before next season.

PFF ranks 4-3 and 3-4 linebackers seperately. They also rank 4-3 and 3-4 defensive ends seperately.

PFF focus did not rank Brooks as the 5th best SAM linebacker.

He was ranked fifth among 3-4 outside linebackers for 2012 regular season.

The top five 3-4 outside linebackers in the 2012 regular season were:

1. Anthony Spencer
2. Clay Matthews
3. Aldon Smith
4. Justin Houston
5. Ahmad Brooks

In the 2012 post season, the top five 3-4 outside linebackers were:

1. Clay Matthews
2. Paul Kruger
3. Courtney Upshaw
4. Aldon Smith
5. Ahmad Brooks


https://www.profootballfocus.com/data/by_position.php?tab=by_position&season=2011&pos=OLB4&stype=r&runpass=&teamid=-1&numsnaps=25&numgames=1

By the way, PFF ranked Miller as the top 4-3 outside linebacker in both the 2011 and the 2012 regular season.

NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis were the top inside line backers, with no distinction made between 3-4 or 4-3, in the 2012 regular season.

Thanks buck...Wow! So Brooks is the only pure SAM on that list; the rest are WILL OLB's (or rotate between the two positions per scheme). And to have both Brooks and Aldon in the top 5 is very impressive; it's more than just sacks (glory stat).

Spencer - had 11 sacks last year with the Cowboys but no more than 6 the previous years. He and Ware move back and forth between WILL and SAM in their scheme. He and Ware will now be DE's in the 4-3.
Kruger - had 9 sacks last year with the Ravens but no more than 5.5 prior to that. And they played a 4-6 defense mostly.
Matthews - WILL (but moved around everywhere; great scheme)
Houston - awesome SAM season with 11 sacks and Tamba Hali with 9 (as the primary WILL). I do not know if they rotate a lot like Dallas' scheme.
[ Edited by NCommand on Jun 3, 2013 at 11:43 AM ]
  • buck
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It is somewhat ironic that Brooks makes ALL PRO and still gets criticized for being the 4th best starting linebacker on the team.

Maybe it is more sad than ironic.

Instead of being happy for the team and this man; a man who has pulled both his personal and football together, some fans find a way to knock him.

Oh well, it is the off season, and people are bored.
Originally posted by NCommand:
No worries at all...don't mind the corrections to fundamental mistakes.
So ideally, you'd like the SAM to produce around double-digit sacks. The age thing isn't too much of a worry as he trains very hard and d/t a late start, doesn't have a ton of wear and tear on his tires. But I agree, he may end up being relegated to PT player by the end of 2014/start of 2015. But Cam Johnson, Darius Fleming and Lemonier are truly going to have to show a complete SAM skill set and be able to handle the FT duty (97% on the field for a long long back-to-back seasons where we go to the NFC Championship game and then the Superbowl).
Agreed about Rogers and the pro bowls...they are usually a year or two behind and miss the boat often (popularity contest). But all-pro is different. Any time ANY SAM OLB in the 3-4 makes that list, THAT is saying something b/c he is seen as valuable as a WILL who is putting up the glorified (by design) sack numbers that everyone lusts over. That's special. And to get that recognition by his peers says even more. In fact, like I said previously, Brooks has been the one getting double-teams the past two years and Aldon has benefited. Playing the SAM is the equivalent to playing NT where the guy next to you, Justin Smith, gets all the press.
It's interesting you bring up VD b/c I agree with you there as well. He is one of, if not the best TE in the game and his hands have been excellent the past two years...no longer an issue. But if we don't use him in the passing game what good is he? Brooks is the same way. If we don't rush him from the WILL spot, move him around, have him walk back and forth standing up pre-snap to rush the gaps on the OL, what good is he? He's playing straight up and defenses can continue to line their TE's and RB's on his strong side. This isn't Pittsburgh here. If you watch the way other teams utilize their OLB's it's very different (Green Bay, Denver, etc). Those defenses are designed to free up their OLB's and attack.

Brooks has to first read the play (run) and if it's a pass, play off and through one or two blockers in the sight-line of the QB and THEN rush him. On the flip side, Aldon is free to rush the passer the mass majority of the time with little worry if it's a run or dropping back in coverage (all from the blind side and with Justin taking on two OL - McDonald is not as good as this). This past year he had to play every snap, learn to play the run and set the edge but rarely dropped back. Nobody is talking about it but taking that many snaps and having to play the run more may have cost us the Superbowl with late injuries to both Smith's. Brooks also obviously played through his injury as well.

Now Lemonier didn't have quite the college career Brooks had but he looks like an absolute clone when you watch him. This 3-4 defense, as straight up as it is, like the WCO, still takes a few years to fully get. That's not a knock on Lemonier but on the scheme. He will sub Brooks here and there depending on his strengths and like Aldon, will be brought along slowly. The difference here is that Haralson was very weak for a WILL OLB...that is your pass rushing OLB position. Therefore, as a rookie, Aldon was allowed to pin his ears back on every play and rush the passer on passing downs...fresh off the bench. Then he had another off season to learn to play the run more and this next year, you can expect him to be a better more well-rounded WILL. This year we should expect him to disguise his rushes better, knock down a freaking pass for a change with that 20 foot wing span, get an INT dropping back in zone, seal the edge much better, diagnose plays better, etc.

If Lemonier shows some ability to pass rush along with Johnson/Fleming, we should expect both Brooks and Aldon to be spelled here and there. But neither will be starters unless they have the full playbook down and show a complete skill set esp. at the SAM (many more responsibilities over the WILL).

Bottom line: If you put Brooks at WILL all year long, there is NO doubt he would easily have double-digit sacks. Hell, he's physically hurt about 1/2 a dozen QB's from the SAM. Imagine him from the blind side? He'd snap a spine! LOL


I enjoy debating with you because you keep an open mind unlike a lot of others. I also appreciate what you said about debates making us all a more educated fan base.

First I would like to talk about my guy Vernon. The most talented physical specimen of a tight end to come out of college in the history of the nfl. When I say his hands aren't the best I'm taking into account the tony Gonzales' of the nfl. His hands are very good and much improved as you noted, so if you thought I was saying his hands needs to be improved that wasn't my intention. What a stud, I remember him coming out of Maryland and I was drooling over this guy. A lot of people were mad that we drafted a tight end so early but I was very happy.

Next I would like to get into the brooks conversation a lil bit more. Like I said brooks pass-rushing ability isn't the best but that isn't my only knock on him. He doesn't drop back in coverage too often because he can't keep up with these tight ends and runningbacks. For people to call him a sideline to sideline linebacker is a bit of a stretch because he doesn't have enough speed to be considered sideline to sideline. Even though he doesn't have a ton of wear and tear on his tires he is getting up there in age. My thing is if we have someone that is even a bit worse than brooks at the end of the year, they will still be a lot younger and can gain a ton of experience by learning from the best linebacker group in the league.

People keep pointing to aldon being slowly brought in to take over for Haralson in 11 but they also have to remember that we had a very short offseason due to the lockout. I also disagree that Haralson was a "very weak" will olb. That also played a HUGE part aldon's development and he probably would've seen even more PT if he had a full offseason to be brought up to speed. You point to brooks getting double teamed a lot but the truth is a lot of players on our defense get double teamed. Justin would be first on the list as he gets double teamed the most often, but mac and soap also got doubled every so often and even aldon got doubled sometimes.

Again a lot of you are acting like brooks doesn't get enough chances to get after the qb but he does. When we rush 4 it's usually brooks mac and the smiths. Yes brooks has more responsibilities than aldon but IMO bowman and willis have more responsibilities than brooks. Though we aren't as diverse in our 3-4 package as pittsburg, I think brooks has plenty of chances to get after the qb, as he doesn't drop back in coverage often. If lemonier is indeed a "CLONE" of brooks and is learning from brooks himself as well as the rest of the linebackers, than why wouldn't he be able to take over for brooks this year or next? I would go with the cheaper option if he picks up the defense quick enough.

Bottom line for me is I think you've seen the better days of players like brooks rogers and mac, and I think that aldon Iupati Crabtree kaep ect.. still have better days ahead of them even though they have played very well. You can say that brooks would put up double digits sacks playing the will but we can't be sure as he doesn't play will. I would disagree as aldon is a step or 2 faster and has long arms to keep offensive lineman off his body allowing him to rip and swim through the block and get to the quarterback more easily than brooks would be able to. Just my opinion.

Look forward to hearing back from you pal.
Originally posted by LoneWolf:
Originally posted by JimDrinkAMiller:
You Have kaep that will demand flaco money and possibly even Rodgers money if he wins it all this year. Even at a hometown discount you'll still be looking at 20 mil a year. Then you have smith who will want close to what Matthews makes and even at a hometown discount you'll be looking at 10 mil. Iupati might not get a carl nicks contract but will want a lot of money. Crabtree is the only one we might get a really good deal on because of his injury. All of these guys are stars and are a couple years younger than brooks. You also have boldin (who we will let go of unless crabtree bails) tarrel brown, mannigham, asomugha, donter whitner, and oh yeah Justin smith. Those are all people who's contracts end in 14 then in 15 you have culli miller hunter and Dorsey. Does it still seem a lil far fetched? We have a lot of people to resign plus rookie contracts and free agents ect.. This front office does work magic no doubt but they haven't yet come across on offseason as challenging as the one ahead.

do you really understand the way we do contracts or the way contracts work and count against the salary cap in general? As much as I will get burned on here and criticized for this, Kaep wont demand flacco or Rodgers type money, 120 mill after just 26 maybe 29 games is extremely unlikely. Boldin's value is less then he will be getting paid this season, theres no guarantee Justin ever returns to the team again before the Super Bowl he was talking about retirement, many of the players you listed are not exactly high value players other then Kaep, Crabs (even though we tend to overvalue him here), Iupati, Aldon and possibly Brown. So resigning them wont be as expensive and you may want to believe.


I do have a general idea of how contracts work but I'm not as well versed in these things as you guys are, so I apologize. I don't know how much money would be dead money if we cut brooks next year or the following so maybe it wouldn't even be worth it. I don't see why kaep wouldn't demand flaco money if he takes his team to the playoffs in his first 2 years as a starter and possibly win the superbowl this time. I think flaco is overpaid, and kaep brings more to your offense IMO than flaco does. Yeah you can point to the experience but if he does amazing things than why wouldn't he ask for a high dollar amount? I agree boldin is worth less than he is getting paid if your talking about regular season boldin, but postseason boldin was worth every penny. He will more than likely be gone though I think.
We can't count Justin's cap figure out until he actually retires, I think he can go another 2 years at a high level. I also agree with you on crabtree, he is very clutch, runs excellent routes, blocks well, has amazing YAC, and reliable hands. That being said I don't think he is a top 5 receiver and possibly just short of being a top 10. I'd take calvin Julio aj dez andre and fitz over him for sure and possibly cruz thomas marshal and white. But if you look at his track record you would figure he's going to try to get every penny he can.

You said we will have around 35 mil correct? IMO we're going to need a lil bit more than that to lock down the players we need to lock down.
I feel like Brooks not covering RB's and TE's has a lot more to do with our defensive scheme then anything else. We have the two best ILB's in the league and both are very good in coverage. So 99% of the time you will see P willy covering the teams top TE (or Bow shuttin down #1 WR's ) leaving Brooks to either set the edge or pressure the QB.
Originally posted by buck:
It is somewhat ironic that Brooks makes ALL PRO and still gets criticized for being the 4th best starting linebacker on the team.

Maybe it is more sad than ironic.

Instead of being happy for the team and this man; a man who has pulled both his personal and football together, some fans find a way to knock him.

Oh well, it is the off season, and people are bored.


I am very happy for the man and how all his hard work has paid off. I am also am very happy for the team. I have never really gotten to enjoy a successful 49er team. I was too young when they won in 94-95 to care about football and 98 is when I started really following the 49ers but I was still a kid. For the most part of my years watching the 49ers they have been terrible. My dad said he went through the same thing as he was a 49er fan back in the 60's 70's. It makes it that much more special when you finally have a good team. As great of a qb as kaep is and will be in the future, I still like alex smith more, and I went to high school with kaep too btw. He took a brutal punishment year in and year out, went through numerous coaching/staff/management changes and didn't complain. He was a tough qb and a true leader. It was hard to watch him leave, and even harder to watch him lose his job due to an injury even though I knew it was the right call. I will still watch as many games of his as I can and will not miss the chance to watch him beat the raiders twice a year. (if the game in Oakland isn't blacked out). haha

Man I was overjoyed when alex finally got it done against the saints, and when Vernon caught the final td I started to tear up too. That's my guy right there.
A lot of my friends growing up started out as 49er fans and jumped ship when the raiders started making it to the afc championship game. I never waivered. It is tradition every sunday to get with my 2 older brothers and parents and watch 49er football. I enjoy watching other players like randy moss and barry sanders and still do like watching guys like AP but would never cheer for another team. Except when they are going up against the raiders.

I really didn't think I was being too hard on brooks as he is a solid player. I don't like how much he or rogers are getting paid as I stated before, and I do think we can have someone more productive at the position. But man please believe me when I say I bleed red and gold. Even before I was a member I would check this site twice a day to get my 49er fix. I want us to have the absolute best team possible as we are going to be a dynasty for a while. I'm really not trying to hate on brooks or mac. Rogers on the other hand....
Originally posted by GNielsen:
DrinkaMiller: "He doesn't stand out from his peers. He is the least important linebacker on our team."

And this: "Goldson will surely be missed this year and was more important to the team IMO than brooks was or has ever been."

Again, here's my fundamental problem with this perception. I think it's just perception or opinion not necessarily based on sound analysis.

Can we agree that Pro Football Focus has sound analysis technique and a good set of criteria by which they grade players? They have pretty much the opposite view. They see Goldson as "solid but unspectacular" with a "nagging tendency to commit infractions." They don't think Goldson was that important to the Niner defense and they don't think he'll make a big difference in Tampa Bay https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/03/14/fantasy-reaction-dashon-goldson-signs-with-tampa-bay

On the other hand, the rate Ahmed Brooks as the 5th best OLB in the league rating him extremely strong against the run and one of the better pass rushers for a strong side linebacker. Of course, they were taking into account not only sacks, but pressures and what they call disrupting the quarterback.


I agree I could have a lot more sound analysis but I'm not as well versed as you guys are.

My problem has been that a lot of people are saying brooks makes the system what it is and goldson benefits from a strong system. Really how do you know that? How about both make the system and both benefit from the system.

I agree with Natrone it is not gospel and has room for error just like everywhere else. We have ALOT of good players on our team. But my problem is when I talk to a lot of 49er fans they think everyone on the team is a all-pro/pro-bowl caliber player. Kaep, Gore, Vernon, Crabtree, Miller, Iupati, Staley, Boone, Davis, Brooks, Mac, Aldon, Justin, Navaro, Patrick, Rogers, Goldson, Whitner and Brown. I'm not saying everyone's list is like that, there are variations but that is almost a whole starting offense and defense right there and I didn't even throw in A Lee. So your saying the pro-bowl or all pro team should be mostly 49ers? Come on now. If we had that many pro-bowl/ all-pro caliber players than we would've won the superbowl and it wouldn't have been close, regardless of injuries.
  • buck
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Originally posted by JimDrinkAMiller:
Originally posted by buck:
It is somewhat ironic that Brooks makes ALL PRO and still gets criticized for being the 4th best starting linebacker on the team.

Maybe it is more sad than ironic.

Instead of being happy for the team and this man; a man who has pulled both his personal and football together, some fans find a way to knock him.

Oh well, it is the off season, and people are bored.


I am very happy for the man and how all his hard work has paid off.

I really didn't think I was being too hard on brooks as he is a solid player. I don't like how much he or rogers are getting paid as I stated before, and I do think we can have someone more productive at the position. hand....

Seems like your emphasis on Brooks is fundamentally negative.

You think he gets paid too much and does not do enough.

You think Brooks will be, or should be, replaced by a rookie--Corey Lemonier, a player who has not yet played a down in the NFL.

Even though he is ALL PRO, you did state that he is the worst starting linebacker on the team.
I am entirely excited the fourth best line backer on the team is an ALL PRO. That is pretty good.

You're spending a fair amount of time knocking Brooks and his play.

I find that sad and ironic. Ironic that a fan wants to bench an All Pro.

Sad, that you do not seem to recognize his value to the team.

But, WTF, You are entitled to your own opinion.

I am glad that we drafted Corey Lemonier. I think he will become a quality player.

We needed depth at outside linebacker and a player to groom for the future.

I do not envision him replacing Brooks this year. But, we will have to wait and see.
Originally posted by JimDrinkAMiller:
I enjoy debating with you because you keep an open mind unlike a lot of others. I also appreciate what you said about debates making us all a more educated fan base.
Sure, nothing wrong with a civilized good debate to help cover all the bases. This isn't a Raider, Hawk or KC fan forum here! LOL

First I would like to talk about my guy Vernon. The most talented physical specimen of a tight end to come out of college in the history of the nfl. When I say his hands aren't the best I'm taking into account the tony Gonzales' of the nfl. His hands are very good and much improved as you noted, so if you thought I was saying his hands needs to be improved that wasn't my intention. What a stud, I remember him coming out of Maryland and I was drooling over this guy. A lot of people were mad that we drafted a tight end so early but I was very happy.
True, Tony's hands are ridiculous. If Roman every learns to use VD properly, get him involved early and often like Jerry Rice, it would open up everything for the offense. You can line him out at the X or Z, or in the slot /Y, up the LOS ofd tackle, from the Q formation (backfield), etc.; like how the Rams used Amendola, we can use VD the same way and really soften up a defenses. It's on Roman to use his players better...like Fangio with the 4 LB's.

Next I would like to get into the brooks conversation a lil bit more. Like I said brooks pass-rushing ability isn't the best but that isn't my only knock on him. He doesn't drop back in coverage too often because he can't keep up with these tight ends and runningbacks. For people to call him a sideline to sideline linebacker is a bit of a stretch because he doesn't have enough speed to be considered sideline to sideline. Even though he doesn't have a ton of wear and tear on his tires he is getting up there in age. My thing is if we have someone that is even a bit worse than brooks at the end of the year, they will still be a lot younger and can gain a ton of experience by learning from the best linebacker group in the league.
Let me help you a bit on Brooks. His sacks and pressures and hits are typically top 3 on the team whether starting or not. As to coverage, this is a big misnomer IMHO. Brooks, when asked to drop back is NOT required to match up 1on1 on RB's, WR's or TE's. His job and responsibility is to 1) recognize the offensive play 2) diagnose it and his responsibility and 3) drop back in zone coverage if a pass or the RB/TE flares out. This means that he has coverage for a specific portion of the field until that receiver passes into another's zone. His coverage is very good. The problem is with the other LB's or CB's and S's. For instance, let's say he is to have outside coverage/containment on the receiver but the MLB or S/CB is supposed to have the inside coverage. If the pass is completed inside, it may "look" like he gave up a pass. The most common issue is that we've had terrible top coverage (ask our outside CB's) and if Brooks has the underneath zone...he often times has no help over the top. Rarely is he ever in man-to-man coverage. Aldon is the more "athletic" OLB and has a 20 ft wing span...ask yourself how often you see him drop in coverage. Most is b/c the TE lines up on Brooks side and b/c Brooks is much more accomplished in coverage (and we want Aldon rushing the passer from the blind side).

I don't know who called him a sideline-to-sideline LB but he did start his career as an ILB so he has range and speed esp. for a man his size. There should be no circumstance where he'd need to be a sideline-to-sideline player. That said, if you find a sideline-to-sideline SAFETY, please let Baalke know ASAP. We need one badly!!!!

That's a fair point on his age. Most of these guys can play well into their low-mid 30's though so I wouldn't be too worried about it esp. if we can establish someone training in the background and spelling him...a win-win for us now and into the future. Brooks will do whatever he can to train this youngster.

People keep pointing to aldon being slowly brought in to take over for Haralson in 11 but they also have to remember that we had a very short offseason due to the lockout. I also disagree that Haralson was a "very weak" will olb. That also played a HUGE part aldon's development and he probably would've seen even more PT if he had a full offseason to be brought up to speed. You point to brooks getting double teamed a lot but the truth is a lot of players on our defense get double teamed. Justin would be first on the list as he gets double teamed the most often, but mac and soap also got doubled every so often and even aldon got doubled sometimes.
No doubt the short offseason helped bring Aldon along slowly but this is a theme we see with the 49ers anyhow, no matter how talented or what round they were drafted in. They need to be ready. Even then, I think you are minimizing the complexity of the LBs in a 3-4 defense and how long it takes to know your assignments. If he was a DE like Tank/Okoye, OK, you're not risking as much on the training curve (b/c of who you have around and behind them) but the OLB's are THE playmakers in a 3-4 and they have a lot of responsibilities.

Haralson is very weak in the pass rush department, in coverage and he's not even stellar at sealing the edge. He does excel at diagnosing plays (experience) and is a pretty sure-tackler. He's stout against the run and plays off blocks well. But unfortunately, for the WILL position in particular, we need MUCH more from this player. This is why I expect to see quite a dog fight between Haralson, Lemonier, Flemining and Johnson. Bring it on!

It's not that Brooks is double-teamed, it's that the opposition is focusing on him which opens up Aldon on the blind side. There have been teams that have tried switching alignments to Aldon's side to but primarily, it's on Brooks side, far and away. To face double-teams in the QB's sight line while playing off and through them while still getting QB pressures, hits, sacks at crucial moments is monumental. We shouldn't minimize that. How many more sacks do you think Aldon would have playing the SAM...what would the drop off be at crucial times of the game, in play recognition and run defense, TFL, etc? If you're objective, you'd go from a 19.5 sack guy down significantly mainly b/c of how teams would play him and he'd have to "think" a lot more and quicker.

Again a lot of you are acting like brooks doesn't get enough chances to get after the qb but he does. When we rush 4 it's usually brooks mac and the smiths. Yes brooks has more responsibilities than aldon but IMO bowman and willis have more responsibilities than brooks. Though we aren't as diverse in our 3-4 package as pittsburg, I think brooks has plenty of chances to get after the qb, as he doesn't drop back in coverage often. If lemonier is indeed a "CLONE" of brooks and is learning from brooks himself as well as the rest of the linebackers, than why wouldn't he be able to take over for brooks this year or next? I would go with the cheaper option if he picks up the defense quick enough.
You are assuming that b/c Brooks takes every snap he is getting a chance to rush the passer. First, it has to be a pass where his assignment is to rush the passer (TE, RB stays in, 3rd and long, etc.). Second, is he off the LOS, standing up, or does he have his hand in the dirt as a LDE next to McDonald. Is he on a delayed blitz? Is his assignment to stunt and occupy two for McDonald? Its way more complicated than you think. His job is basically to rush the passer en route to diagnosing the play (pass or run and who and where to drop back) disengaging the blockers and chasing down the QB in his sight line. On Aldon's side, it's basically, seek-and-destroy with Justin tying up two guys (either inside or outside) from the QB's blind side. This isn't Madden and you won't find many straight-up SAM's (like ours) with 10 sacks. We just don't run that type of scheme. Period. And yes, Brooks does drop back in zone coverage a lot.

I meant Lemonier looks like a clone of Brooks in terms of his build. If he, like Willis/Bowman, were to put on a 55, you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart. As to that, doesn't that tell you about what Baalke wants at the SAM? He didn't go out and get a tall, lean, athletic freak of a DE converting to an OLB pass rusher. He went out and got another Brooks who is big, strong, physical, can play off blocks, is stout against the run, athletic enough to provide consistent pressure and drop back in zone...has to be smart, take great angles, play off his DE's, occupy 2 OL for others, etc.

Bottom line for me is I think you've seen the better days of players like brooks rogers and mac, and I think that aldon Iupati Crabtree kaep ect.. still have better days ahead of them even though they have played very well. You can say that brooks would put up double digits sacks playing the will but we can't be sure as he doesn't play will. I would disagree as aldon is a step or 2 faster and has long arms to keep offensive lineman off his body allowing him to rip and swim through the block and get to the quarterback more easily than brooks would be able to. Just my opinion.

Look forward to hearing back from you pal.
I agree about Rogers unless he decides to man-up this year under the microscope and d/t the pressure of Nnamdi/Culliver. But Brooks and McDonald have at least two more great years in them. I genuinely think giving these two guys plus Justin some serious breathers will make a ton of difference down the stretch. Taking 97% of the snaps and fighting through constant double-teams is very taxing...we are very lucky McDonald and Brook's injuries haven't been more serious.

No question Aldon is the better of the two pass rushers...heck, he may be top 3 in the entire NFL but my point is, his assignments would be very different at the SAM in "our defense." Ideally, and what I have always wanted, I'd love to see Aldon and Brooks free to rush from both sides and even line up at MIKE or TED and rush inside from there as well...use them interchangeably. I'd love to see Fangio ID weaknesses in an opposition's OL and attack them all game long, inside and out. But sadly, we don't play that way...we play vanilla, straight up, the anti-exotic 3-4. This is MUCH easier for the OL to study the OLB's and scheme towards blocking assignment. Teams don't worry much about the inside LB blitz or S and CB blitz or the 4 LB's working interchangeably.

I come from the old San Diego Chargers theory of using your best pass rushers back off the LOS to get a running start and plow over OT's or dip and blow past them with speed, quickness, moves, etc. They used to take Merriman standing up and he'd walk back and forth (like a tiger sizing up how he'll get out of his cage) behind the DL, deciding what gap to exploit (working in conjunction with the DL). The Jets used to run the most exotic 3-4...Pittsburgh...Pats. We just don't do that even though I think we'd be highly successful with it.

If you are expecting a rookie to come in at the SAM position and get close to 10 sacks in our defense, you may need to put the controller down and turn Madden off (kidding). Whether it's coming off the bench in pass rush situations or starting, expect the SAM to continue to produce 5-7 sacks with consistent pressures and hits, knock down passes, stellar edge-sealing, TFL, zone coverage and play recognition.
[ Edited by NCommand on Jun 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM ]
Originally posted by JimDrinkAMiller:
My problem has been that a lot of people are saying brooks makes the system what it is and goldson benefits from a strong system. Really how do you know that? How about both make the system and both benefit from the system.

I liked Goldson, but I haven't been as high on him as a lot of people around here. I thought his coverage skills had gone down quite a bit and I got real tired of him extending opposition drives what seemed like at least once a game with bone-headed unnecessary helmet hits for 15 yards and a first down. Plus, I actually think the safety who plays as an "enforcer" is on the way out in the NFL. I think defenses are going to have to move towards tight coverage skills and give up this aspect of trying to jar balls loose with big hits at the moment of ball contact. They're just starting to call too many 15-yarders on those plays and we all probably understand why that his happening. But, as far as Goldson is concerned, I'll actually be surprised if he makes a big difference in Tampa Bay. He's definitely not going to have the benefit of such a strong front 7 in Tampa. On the other hand, he's got Revis there with him in the backfield. We'll see.
Originally posted by buck:
Seems like your emphasis on Brooks is fundamentally negative.

You think he gets paid too much and does not do enough.

You think Brooks will be, or should be, replaced by a rookie--Corey Lemonier, a player who has not yet played a down in the NFL.

Even though he is ALL PRO, you did state that he is the worst starting linebacker on the team.
I am entirely excited the fourth best line backer on the team is an ALL PRO. That is pretty good.

You're spending a fair amount of time knocking Brooks and his play.

I find that sad and ironic. Ironic that a fan wants to bench an All Pro.

Sad, that you do not seem to recognize his value to the team.

But, WTF, You are entitled to your own opinion.

I am glad that we drafted Corey Lemonier. I think he will become a quality player.

We needed depth at outside linebacker and a player to groom for the future.

I do not envision him replacing Brooks this year. But, we will have to wait and see.


Hey you copied my order of faces! Not cool bro...

He may not replace brooks this year but I do see it happening sometime in the NEAR future. You guys keep acting like I'm saying he will be a day 1 starter, come on we all know better than that. I just see the drafting of tank and lemonier as competition and a need to improve our pass rush this year and next.

Believe me I do recognize how important brooks is to our defense, I just don't think he is as important as you guys are making him out to be. Like I said I think he wasn't even in the top 5 of level of importance to our defense last year.

I never talked about benching brooks, not this year at least. I said that I think lemonier is getting groomed to be brooks successor, either at the end of this year or sometime next year.

Your right it is def encouraging that all of our linebackers are all-pro caliber players. I just don't see what exactly makes brooks an all-pro caliper player. I think that brooks is asked to do less than you all are making it out to be. When you line up with willis bowman and the smiths as well as the safeties we had last year, you don't have to do as much as someone in a lesser defense would.