Originally posted by JimDrinkAMiller:
Agreed. I'm very excited to see what reid can do. Very smart guy. I like his chances. I thought people were talking about dial starting at nose though? Do you guys think dorsey williams or dial are a notch above the rest of the group at nose?
Jim, NT has been one of my personal concerns dating back to when he didn't drat Vince Wilfork. And it's still an issue today. It appears Fangio isn't attracted to two-gap NT's and instead, goes for smaller, one-gap NT's that rely on shooting the correct gap for penetration or trying to hold the point of attack (POA) upon snap...occupy and hold ground against 2 OL. But b/c of the stellar play from the rest of the front 7 (minus the NT), teams haven't bothered to run on us much over the past two years. They pass. And why not? It's interesting that you're focus has been on providing more consistent pressure from the outside (Brooks/McDonald). My biggest concern is the NT position for this very reason. I see consistent pressure from the outside by both Aldon/Brooks "when they are free to rush" (e.g. when the TE or RB stays in to block, etc.). The issue is that the QB always seems to have a clean, step-up lane with perfect vision. Look no further than the Superbowl when Flacco was constantly stepping up in the pocket and heaving Hail Mary's down the field hoping someone would catch them and score (and they did).
Right now we have an unknown in Dorsey manning the NT position backed up with another one-gapper in Williams (in the mold of RJF or Franklin). We tend to struggle greatly against power running teams and we face quite a few of them again this year. For instance, look at the SeAdderall CheatHawks. If they can (and have) establish their power running game, Wilson's entire game is predicated off this and the deep, play-action passing game.
This is why my biggest wild card on my projected 53 man roster is NT Lamar Divens (6'3" 340). If this guy can demonstrate not only occupying two OL, playing the correct gaps but also penetrating and closing the door of the step-up lane for QB's, we may have something special here. It's a very long shot in my books but this kind of beef, strength, etc. is what we REALLY need...not only in collapsing the pocket but also in short yardage and goal line situations (other areas of weakness).
B/c we have such a stacked team now with depth and competition, we may see more "specialty" players making the team.