Re: LB Versatility & Deployment
posted at 5/21/2010 10:17 PM EDT
I agree. We can't have a LB discussion without mentioning TBC and Burgess. Truth be told, they are most likely our starters come opening day, but I got to route for Crable and Cunningham to give them some competition and inject some speed and youth at the position. TBC and Burgess just don't strike me as hungry, angry players. Neither does Crable, but Cunningham does.
I also think we'll see a healthy 3 man rotation at ILB with Mayo, Spikes and McKenzie. That is a solid group. Guyton is the mystery. He's not really an ILB or a 3-4 OLB. More of a guy like sportsbozo above said could morph into that hybrid LB/Safety role. I know BB always wanted this hybrid, but what we have seen to date has been a safety morphing into a small LB, not a LB into a SS. But anything is possible.
He certainly has the speed of a safety, just not sure about his quickness or ability to turn his hips and run like a safety. But as One if by Sea said, Guyton is a good match up against TE's. He would struggle against WR's unless you bring him down to the line, nose to nose with one, and ask him to jam the hell out of one so he can't release. OR, just blow the WR off the line of scrimmage with sheer power and sit on top of him. I think he could do this against the big WR's in the league like Marshall and Boldin. Just don't ask him to run stride for stride with one of those guys or he's toast. I mean his 40 speed at the combine was clocked at 4.47, Marshall for example was clocked at 4.52. That is pretty amazing considering his size. But he's doesn't have the fluidity of a CB or WR.
SuperNova took a good stab at opening day starters in our 3-4. I tend to agree with his projection. The only question mark I think is Crable or Burgess at OLB. Got to give Cunningham some time to develop, but he'll be challenging for the starting spot come next year.
Then of course we have a mixed bag of delights in Murrell, Davis, Williams, Ninkovich, Woods and Alexander. Where the heck do these guys fit? Murrell a good special teamer. Woods and Alexander decent special teamers. Davis got high grades coming out of UCLA for his pass rushing ability, but he played DE in college. Williams, I have no idea. Ninkovich, has decent ability and showed some good playmaking ability last year, but he's depth not a starter.
Every time I bring this topic up, people say, "What about his size"...Well, here goes again since no one bit on it the 1st time...
What about McKenzie as OLB? If you don't believe me that BB might entertain this, compare his size next to TBC. Both 6'2", both 250. (McKenzie put on 8 lbs of muscle during the offseason)...TBC runs a 4.79 coming out of college 7 years ago. McKenzie runs a 4.76 at the combine. TBC puts up 25 reps of 225, McKenzie does 27. The similarities are scary. Someone please tell me why he can't play OLB in the 3-4? The only stat I can't find is arm length. That would be an important one.
So, could McKenzie play outside and if so, can he challenge TBC, Burgess and Crable for the position?