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View Full Version : Butler- BUCK & MACK morphing into interchangable positions


tony hipchest
08-02-2012, 11:28 PM
this further explains the selection of Spence in the 3rd round. It is also a testament to the master dick lebeau as we witness the evolution of how defenses will be played to keep up with the high scoring passing offenses league rules have paved the way for.

steelersdepot breaks this down nicely along with an audio link to the actual interview (incredibly insightful)-

http://www.steelersdepot.com/2012/08/keith-butler-confirms-less-distinction-now-in-roles-of-inside-linebackers/

teegre
08-03-2012, 09:19 AM
This link went to a page of tweets. A nice link, but not about Spence.

tony hipchest
08-03-2012, 09:54 AM
:link: hmmm...

fixed it.

teegre
08-03-2012, 10:15 AM
Troy & Clark flip positions a lot... which is what makes Troy so difficult for QBs to "find."  Just when a QB thinks Troy is doing one thing, he's doing another... and, meanwhile, Clark is where the QB thought Troy should have been, then BLAMO!, the QB sees Clark (where he thought he had no defender), freaks out, and throws the ball away.  

Now... imagine a QB having that same problem reading the coverage LB (against his TEs).  Same result: balls thrown away (or intercepted).  

Furthermore, imagine right before the snap, the OLBs & ILBs flip-flop. The QB's reads (& O-line's reads) would alter... chaos ensues... wasted down.  

I like it.  Reminds me a lot of the Blitzburgh defenses in the 90s: QBs utterly confused.  

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-03-2012, 12:15 PM
Sounds like Butler is saying that he wants to be able to have Timmons make calls, so if Foote is injured or ineffective....he can sub in the next guy up. Or have Jackson, Sylvester be able to sub for Foote.

I cant see them having to put Timmons outside again as much if Carter and Worilds are ready to backup. I still think you need a bigger thumper of an ILB on the strong side and that eventually may be Timmons, with Spence playing the weak side.

I honestly hope that Jackson shows well in camp and becomes the #1 backup at ILB. The guy can play inside or out like Keyaron Fox did.

Fire Arians
08-03-2012, 12:58 PM
it's time for timmons to become to leader of that defense IMO. I'm surprised it hasn't happened earlier, but now that farrior is gone, and with foote not being a LT solution, timmons should be taking on that role

prolly in a year or 2 we'll likely see timmons at the buck and spence as mack. timmons isn't the prototypical buck but that's a lot of speed covering the middle of the field, which will be effective against the new breed of NFL offenses. lebeau and butler are doing a great job at building a defense that won't be obsolete in the coming years.

Sharkissle29
08-03-2012, 01:19 PM
it's time for timmons to become to leader of that defense IMO. I'm surprised it hasn't happened earlier, but now that farrior is gone, and with foote not being a LT solution, timmons should be taking on that role

prolly in a year or 2 we'll likely see timmons at the buck and spence as mack. timmons isn't the prototypical buck but that's a lot of speed covering the middle of the field, which will be effective against the new breed of NFL offenses. lebeau and butler are doing a great job at building a defense that won't be obsolete in the coming years.

This is why I think it may be a good thing that we did not draft Hightower, even though he was the guy I really wanted.

Fire Arians
08-03-2012, 01:35 PM
This is why I think it may be a good thing that we did not draft Hightower, even though he was the guy I really wanted.

i wouldn't have complained if we picked hightower, but sooner or later timmons would have to get used to calling defenses, when he's the sole MLB in nickel packages (since i'd assume hightower wouldn't be the guy for passing downs)

with spence in the picture though, either or could be on the field for passing downs. makes us less predictable and adds versatility

StainlessStill
08-03-2012, 01:47 PM
Troy & Clark flip positions a lot... which is what makes Troy so difficult for QBs to "find."  Just when a QB thinks Troy is doing one thing, he's doing another... and, meanwhile, Clark is where the QB thought Troy should have been, then BLAMO!, the QB sees Clark (where he thought he had no defender), freaks out, and throws the ball away.  

Now... imagine a QB having that same problem reading the coverage LB (against his TEs).  Same result: balls thrown away (or intercepted).  

Furthermore, imagine right before the snap, the OLBs & ILBs flip-flop. The QB's reads (& O-line's reads) would alter... chaos ensues... wasted down.  

I like it.  Reminds me a lot of the Blitzburgh defenses in the 90s: QBs utterly confused.  

Clark has said NUMEROUS times that even HE doesn't know what Troy's doing at all times. That's why our defense simply works and it's why our defense is the hardest to figure out more-so than anybodies. If guys like Troy and Clark understand each other and play an unconventional type defense and safety-play that WORKS for them & if LeBeau allows it, then I'm all for that translating over to the Buck and Mack positions with our backers. Makes sense, since a TON of people compared Spence's football instincts, body of work and smarts to Polamalu.

We're going to be SO tough to beat, it isn't even funny.

teegre
08-03-2012, 02:05 PM
. Makes sense, since a TON of people compared Spence's football instincts, body of work and smarts to Polamalu.
.

When I watch(ed) Spence play, it was almost like he would move before the snap of the ball, and in turn, blow plays up.  Eerie & uncanny instincts.  

Spence reminds/reminded me of a certain long-haired SS.  

tony hipchest
08-03-2012, 02:08 PM
This is why I think it may be a good thing that we did not draft Hightower, even though he was the guy I really wanted.butler too... he admitted that when hightower fell to their pick he was pounding the table to draft him.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-03-2012, 02:29 PM
butler too... he admitted that when hightower fell to their pick he was pounding the table to draft him.

Hightower could have plugged in at ILB right away. He could have even played OLB on 3rd downs if Harrison or Woodley wasnt there. The kid is a great talent, but not great change of direction.

DeCastro had to be the pick at that point. Guys like James Michael Johnson and Spence were there later.

Steelersfan87
08-03-2012, 03:11 PM
Sounds like Butler is saying that he wants to be able to have Timmons make calls, so if Foote is injured or ineffective....he can sub in the next guy up. Or have Jackson, Sylvester be able to sub for Foote.

I cant see them having to put Timmons outside again as much if Carter and Worilds are ready to backup. I still think you need a bigger thumper of an ILB on the strong side and that eventually may be Timmons, with Spence playing the weak side.

I honestly hope that Jackson shows well in camp and becomes the #1 backup at ILB. The guy can play inside or out like Keyaron Fox did.

I honestly think they would put Sylvester outside before trying to put Timmons back outside again, which explains what's happening in camp right now. He did play outside in mop up duty in a few games during his rookie year, so it's not completely new to him

Jackson...do you mean Brandon Johnson? The reports that I've read on him from camp so far haven't been very promising, but obviously it's still a long ways away. Although I like Sylvester and Spence as the backups, I'd love to see Johnson and Mortty Ivy make them work for their spots. If they push hard enough (and show they can play both inside and out), they may even carry 9 LBs.

Also, I agree with you that the long term future is probably with Timmons sliding over and Spence playing the mack.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-03-2012, 03:42 PM
I honestly think they would put Sylvester outside before trying to put Timmons back outside again, which explains what's happening in camp right now. He did play outside in mop up duty in a few games during his rookie year, so it's not completely new to him

Jackson...do you mean Brandon Johnson? The reports that I've read on him from camp so far haven't been very promising, but obviously it's still a long ways away. Although I like Sylvester and Spence as the backups, I'd love to see Johnson and Mortty Ivy make them work for their spots. If they push hard enough (and show they can play both inside and out), they may even carry 9 LBs.

Also, I agree with you that the long term future is probably with Timmons sliding over and Spence playing the mack.

I have always thought that Sylvester plays high and could be a better OLB prospect. Not sure if they have had him practice there much, considering Worilds and Carter are already there.

Yes, I meant Brandon Johnson. I think he has the flexibility to play inside or out. Also has some NFL experience at LB. Morty Ivy always seems to impress, but get caught in the numbers game. Might be same again this season.

tanda10506
08-03-2012, 03:49 PM
Also, I agree with you that the long term future is probably with Timmons sliding over and Spence playing the mack.

And it will be bad ass! This "new league" doesn't allow for a bigger, slower LB. Sometimes you get a guy that is big (for the position) and fast, and it doesn't get any better then that, but in this passing league you almost need DB speed at ILB. I don't think Timmons being on the small side for that postion will be a problem, he plays hard and he hits hard and will probably be one of the better coverage LB's on that side in football. Spence, if he remains a "nose for the ball" type, will be an excellent coverage LB and could end up a Safety. He's on the small side for a LB, but his "awareness" of the play will make up for that IMO.

Hawaii 5-0
08-03-2012, 03:58 PM
I have always thought that Sylvester plays high and could be a better OLB prospect. Not sure if they have had him practice there much, considering Worilds and Carter are already there.

Yes, I meant Brandon Johnson. I think he has the flexibility to play inside or out.


the Steelers have tried both Sylvester and Johnson on the outside and reports are that neither of them looked very good there.

TheDude
08-03-2012, 04:00 PM
LB core looked thin at practice yesterday.

Woodley got a personal day i guess. He kinda just strolled around the practice fields and smiled and joked with fans, coaches and teammates.

No sign of Silverback or Worilds obviously.

Carter played 1st team ROLB.
Sly was 1st team on the left side.

Spence was vocal....directing traffic on the defense pre-snap.

LT looks to be in great shape.

Hawaii 5-0
08-03-2012, 04:29 PM
Spence was vocal....directing traffic on the defense pre-snap.


I like Spence more and more every day...:tt02:

wera176
08-03-2012, 05:45 PM
I like Spence more and more every day...:tt02:

:drink:

Rick5895
08-04-2012, 05:29 AM
Because of all the speed in the offensive skill positions nowadays I suspect you are going to see slightly smaller faster LB's. Guys like Spence, that have a nose for the ball and have quickness and speed are going to become the norm. A guard, center or OT can't block someone on the reach if that guy is quicker and has instincts for the ball. Spence, once he learns the intricacies of the D, will be a tackling machine. I am very excited to see him play with the Steelers. Also looking forward to seeing Carter in the pre-season.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-04-2012, 12:10 PM
Because of all the speed in the offensive skill positions nowadays I suspect you are going to see slightly smaller faster LB's. Guys like Spence, that have a nose for the ball and have quickness and speed are going to become the norm. A guard, center or OT can't block someone on the reach if that guy is quicker and has instincts for the ball. Spence, once he learns the intricacies of the D, will be a tackling machine. I am very excited to see him play with the Steelers. Also looking forward to seeing Carter in the pre-season.

Rick, the only thing that I dont by from this arguement is that while skill guys are fast, the interior O linemen that the 3-4 ILB's line up against are 310-330LB guys like Colon, Foster, Decastro.

Sure, the NT can try to occupy the C and an OG, but if a smaller, quicker ILB is expected to take on a guard like Marshal Yanda and a FB like Vontae Leach, then its a defense setup for failure vs the inside run.

LVSteelersfan
08-04-2012, 01:10 PM
Rick, the only thing that I dont by from this arguement is that while skill guys are fast, the interior O linemen that the 3-4 ILB's line up against are 310-330LB guys like Colon, Foster, Decastro.

Sure, the NT can try to occupy the C and an OG, but if a smaller, quicker ILB is expected to take on a guard like Marshal Yanda and a FB like Vontae Leach, then its a defense setup for failure vs the inside run.

It's all tradeoffs. If the D-line does their job then the O-line or FB does not make it to the second level making the speed of the ILB relevant. Hampton, Keisel and Smith were masters at it. Now it is time to see if Hood, Keisel, Heyward and McClendon can do the same job. I hope so. Because Foote is a big liability at the second level if the line doesn't do its job.

El-Gonzo Jackson
08-04-2012, 01:35 PM
It's all tradeoffs. If the D-line does their job then the O-line or FB does not make it to the second level making the speed of the ILB relevant. Hampton, Keisel and Smith were masters at it. Now it is time to see if Hood, Keisel, Heyward and McClendon can do the same job. I hope so. Because Foote is a big liability at the second level if the line doesn't do its job.

OK, but a 3 man D line can absorb 4 blockers if there is a double team on the NT. That leaves 1 more O lineman, 1 more TE and maybe 1 FB to block on our LB's. There is going to be a physical mismatch somewhere that teams exploit.

I think its easier to hide smaller ILB's in a 4-3.

Rick5895
08-06-2012, 03:49 AM
Rick, the only thing that I dont by from this arguement is that while skill guys are fast, the interior O linemen that the 3-4 ILB's line up against are 310-330LB guys like Colon, Foster, Decastro.

Sure, the NT can try to occupy the C and an OG, but if a smaller, quicker ILB is expected to take on a guard like Marshal Yanda and a FB like Vontae Leach, then its a defense setup for failure vs the inside run.

I agree with you if the LB is standing there waiting for the OL and taking on the block like the old days. However,, quickness and instincts seem to set the best LBs apart. Spence is 230, Timmons is 240, that results in quickness and couple that with ball instinct, which Spence seems to have, makes it more difficult for the OL to block.
Anyway I do see the point you are trying to make.

ricardisimo
08-06-2012, 04:11 AM
I can't recall where I got this idea, but I was led to believe that Timmons - while an exquisite physical specimen - wasn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. Is this wrong? Could he really call alignments for the D?