Any idiot can say “Hey let’s sign every high-priced Free Agent on the market”. The 12 focuses on what we can do with what we already have, to fix or improve our team.
WHEN we lost MLB Jordan Hicks last year, it was just “Next man up“, right?
No. Not really.
The next few men (as it turned out), sort of sucked. Hick’s injury exposed a severe, almost crippling, lack of development in our reserve/young LB’s. That said, Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz, did manage to compensate for it, but odds are good that we can’t get away with that again.
Instead of tempting fate and being reckless with the middle of our Defense, we should rotate our back-up LB’s this year. That way they can get some defensive snaps under their belts. I don’t mean rotate them as a package, like we do with the Defensive Line. I mean just drop one guy in at a time, so he can learn the reads, calls and signals.
This way we develop guys, and can be confident when they’re needed, instead of what happened with Joe Walker, Najee Goode and Dannell Ellerbee. The guy who knew the calls (Walker) couldn’t play. The guy who could play (Ellerbee), didn’t know the calls. And the guy who shouldn’t play regular downs (Goode), got beat for Minnesota’s only score, due to a miscommunication during the first drive of the NFC Championship game.
We need to make a point of developing young LB’s this year. That way, when we need one to step up, we’ll run the risk of actually having one (or more), that we can feel confident about. (That way SS Malcolm Jenkins won’t ever end up having to play LB again. All 204 pounds of him.)
Good analysis of our linebackers. We need better leadership at the LB position. Hicks has potential but is injury prone. Ellerbe has good physical attributes but just didn’t flow to the ball. Plus his career is winding down. I think the Eagles might need to invest some capital at the LB position either in the draft or free agency. If they lose Bradham that could be a very significant blow to the defense. He played at a very high level for his age and Im sure the Eagles do not want to lose him to FA. If Hicks returns to form and the keep Bradham and Kendricks I think we could have a very good LB corp. It wouldnt hurt to keep Ellerbe and Walker and rotate. Health is the issue at that position but they have a some good talent without much in depth.
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Walker sticks to blocks, and doesn’t move well in coverage. Better to cut our loses there.
As you said, Ellerbee is on the downside. Just cut out the rot and replace it with fresh lumber.
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