Originally posted by matt49er:yeah I'm aware of all that. My question was short and extremely vague so my bad. What I mean is by Willis moving over to Bow's spot, who does that favor in the battle to take Bow's spot while he's hurt? Wilholte or Boralnd (I know technically Moody & Skov are in the mix but I don't think they are truly in contention). As a 2nd question of sorts, if the 49ers determine that the best ILB outside of Willis is better suited to play the Mike, do you think they would consider keeping Willis at the Ted? My instinct says no, the team would want Willis at the Mike while Bowman is out but who knows.
From JD's explanation, both borland and Wilhoite look and feel like Ted 'backers, and by saying that, I mean that they have to take on the guard and free up the Mike LB to pursue. I don't think anyone outside of Bowman has Willis' speed. Bowman may never get his speed back. So it makes sense to keep Willis as the pursuit linebacker. Skuta was originally an inside 'backer and so in another scenario - Skuta might become the Ted if Wilhoite and Borland don't do as well as I think they will.
I really think the Nickel will be played a lot this year, if you go by what happened last year. If our DB'S work out right and develop into good run support corners, we'll need more of a Boreland/Skov linebacker than a Bowman speed LB - simply because good run support corners will force runners into the linebacker pursuit. This will be like the old George Seifert defenses. And if so, I really look forward to Moody and Ward contributing a ton in the Nickel this year.