Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Random thoughts...defense

  • I read an interesting article on Tramon Williams and believe his assessment that 2011 was a defensive anomaly.  Hopefully, TW's play in 2012 will be on-par with his 2010 play.  I believe It'll be better than 2011.
  • In general, the defensive backfield must play better...and I believe they will.  However, I have NFI who the 4th starting DB will be.  It's possible Dom could go with three CBs plus Burnett.  
  • Who's the 3rd CB?...there are options and I'll start with Sam Shields and Casey Hampton.  I'm still a big believer in Sam Shields and there's no doubt in my mind he's got upside.  His speed is what makes him special and he has good ball awareness.  Casey Hampton will likely be given many opportunities early to prepare him for the regular season...they need him to be a contributor in nickle/dime.  
  • Bush will be on stand-by and has proven his reserve quality at DB and stand-out ST skills.  Maybe Devon House steps-up in year two...maybe somebody else does (MD Jennings?).  
  • I continue to believe they'll only keep 24 defensive players.  IIRC, they've played nickle over 70% the past two years.  Nickle usually means two DL...so maybe they only keep five going into the season and then add Neal and/or Hargrove after suspension.  I keep thinking they're going to keep 10 DBs...because they have a bunch worth keeping/developing and they play so much nickle (and potentially dime).  I'm now assuming Peprah is the 10th DB (CW, TW, Burnett, Shields, Hampton, 6-9) Bush, MD Jennings, House, & McMillian [...Richardson's size is very intriguing...I think they'll keep two DBs on the PS]
  • Could keep 9 LBs...CM3, Perry, & Bishop are obvious starters & AJ will likely be the 4th.  AJ is a plugger and I believe has pass rush ability and is key to the ILB cross-blitz.  So'oto, DJ Smith, & rookie Terrell Manning are safe bets in my book but the 8/9 spots are up for grabs and highly contested.  My favorite for one of the 8/9 spots is Lattimore because of his speed.
  • I have never predicted the final 53 correctly...but I keep trying.