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Thread: OLB Rush vs Coverage Question

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    OLB Rush vs Coverage Question

    Ive read about quite a few guys who will transition to 3-4 OLBs from 4-3 college DEs and how a big part of their combine wiill be seeing how fluid they are in coverage.

    Now I understand that no one wants a player who is as stiff as Gholston when playing in space. Plus our defense is more of a hybrid then a traditional Steelers-type 3-4. However....

    If a player is a good pass rush prospect for OLB on our defense, arent coverage skills somewhat unnecessary considering how little we would want the player to be dropping into coverage?

    Great passrushers (woodley - 3 career ints, harrison - 4 ints, and matthews - 1 int) all rarely drop into coverage as they are execptional pass rushers, their coordinators play to their strengths, which is what Rex would do.

    Like I said i dont want a "stiff" player, as LBs in our system need to play in space, but I sincerely hope a Brooks Reed does poorly in "coverage" drills so he falls into the second round. I dont see how he would be doing much in terms of coverage in our defense.

    Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eaglenj View Post
    Ive read about quite a few guys who will transition to 3-4 OLBs from 4-3 college DEs and how a big part of their combine wiill be seeing how fluid they are in coverage.

    Now I understand that no one wants a player who is as stiff as Gholston when playing in space. Plus our defense is more of a hybrid then a traditional Steelers-type 3-4. However....

    If a player is a good pass rush prospect for OLB on our defense, arent coverage skills somewhat unnecessary considering how little we would want the player to be dropping into coverage?

    Great passrushers (woodley - 3 career ints, harrison - 4 ints, and matthews - 1 int) all rarely drop into coverage as they are execptional pass rushers, their coordinators play to their strengths, which is what Rex would do.

    Like I said i dont want a "stiff" player, as LBs in our system need to play in space, but I sincerely hope a Brooks Reed does poorly in "coverage" drills so he falls into the second round. I dont see how he would be doing much in terms of coverage in our defense.

    Thoughts?
    no- Jets run a lot of zone blitzes and disguise blitzes where the safety takes off up the field....if you run a zone blitz on the defensive right side, someone must drop back into coverage and be able to do the job, such as a pass rushing OLB....

    people laughed when Danny Woodhead blew by Devito in the monday night game- the bigger issue was the zone blitz never got to Brady....during those instances you need people that can cover...

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    to a certain extent that is true... if the jets take an OLB that guy probably plays 20+ snaps a game... mostly pass rush downs, rarely drops into coverage (zone blitz)... the Jason taylor role in other words. They won't take a rookie and ask him to be Bryan Thomas day 1.

    but long term you want this guy on the field all 3 downs so it is important.

    fwiw i thought Reed looked good in the 3 reps of coverage they gave him down in Mobile. better than kerrigan and many others. He can stand up.

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    The fact is that an olb is going to get beat most of the time by most offensive players. Perhaps they can cover a lumbering TE but that's about it. If a team has a play designed to that side or the QB reads it you just have to hope the OLB is close enough to make a tackle.

    I would sacrifice pass coverage skills for QB pressuring skills every time for a 3-4 olb. The benefits of an olb that can rush the passer far outweigh if he can actually cover. Teams have to suddenly game plan for him. They may have to keep a TE or RB in to help block him. He instantly improves your whole secondary. You may also be able to get pressure more often without having to bring a safety.

    While it's nice to have a guy nimble enough to make plays in the pass game, for this team now I will gladly sacrifice any coverage skills for pass rushing skills.

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    When I read these posts Ryan Kerrigan comes to mind

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beerfish View Post
    The fact is that an olb is going to get beat most of the time by most offensive players. Perhaps they can cover a lumbering TE but that's about it. If a team has a play designed to that side or the QB reads it you just have to hope the OLB is close enough to make a tackle.

    I would sacrifice pass coverage skills for QB pressuring skills every time for a 3-4 olb. The benefits of an olb that can rush the passer far outweigh if he can actually cover. Teams have to suddenly game plan for him. They may have to keep a TE or RB in to help block him. He instantly improves your whole secondary. You may also be able to get pressure more often without having to bring a safety.

    While it's nice to have a guy nimble enough to make plays in the pass game, for this team now I will gladly sacrifice any coverage skills for pass rushing skills.

    the problem is not only can the Jets LB's not cover but neither can their safety's....a bad combination...

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    I think the real quality we are looking for is not necessarily "coverage ability" in the traditional sense, but rather the speed and fluidity to change direction in space and make the tackle or at least contain the play.

    Clay matthews doesnt really blanket anyone, but ive seen him MANY times rush the QB, stop when the ball is thrown, and make a play from behind.

    Very few LBs, especially young players are gonna be able to cover backs and TEs with any consistency....what we need is for them to tackle them after they catch the ball, rather then 15 yards after they catch it. This is where I think kerrigan could be a good player for us. From what i hear he has the motor, speed, and ability to track plays down. He might not be great running after a TE 12 yards down the field, but he should be able to blow up a bubble screen and actually contain the QB on the edge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Come Back to NY View Post
    the problem is not only can the Jets LB's not cover but neither can their safety's....a bad combination...
    Agreed. It's times like this that a person really does curse Gholston for being the bust he is. The Jets correctly invested in a pass rush specialist and he utterly failed. One dominant rusher though makes lousy safeties look okay.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitonti View Post
    to a certain extent that is true... if the jets take an OLB that guy probably plays 20+ snaps a game... mostly pass rush downs, rarely drops into coverage (zone blitz)... the Jason taylor role in other words. They won't take a rookie and ask him to be Bryan Thomas day 1.

    but long term you want this guy on the field all 3 downs so it is important.

    fwiw i thought Reed looked good in the 3 reps of coverage they gave him down in Mobile. better than kerrigan and many others. He can stand up.
    He's Lamarr Woodley/Koa Misi all over again I tell you! Even David Harris or Karlos Dansby...or DeMeco Ryans...those LB prospects who were *almost* first round worthy but made it to the 40's...Trade back or make the "reach" if you like them enough. I do buy this Reed hype.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beerfish View Post
    The fact is that an olb is going to get beat most of the time by most offensive players. Perhaps they can cover a lumbering TE but that's about it. If a team has a play designed to that side or the QB reads it you just have to hope the OLB is close enough to make a tackle.

    I would sacrifice pass coverage skills for QB pressuring skills every time for a 3-4 olb. The benefits of an olb that can rush the passer far outweigh if he can actually cover. Teams have to suddenly game plan for him. They may have to keep a TE or RB in to help block him. He instantly improves your whole secondary. You may also be able to get pressure more often without having to bring a safety.

    While it's nice to have a guy nimble enough to make plays in the pass game, for this team now I will gladly sacrifice any coverage skills for pass rushing skills.
    We need a guy that can get to the qb consistently whether it be Kerrigan or Reed etc. Thats the one glaring weakness on the Jets D that every man and his dog's been wanting solved

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