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Old 02-13-2013, 02:11 PM   #11
teegre
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

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Originally Posted by SteelersCanada View Post
Let me ask you this, though. Do you think his size is a disadvantage? Picture him trying to go against bigger backs - someone like Trent Richardson, for example. He can defend the pass very, very well and uses his exceptional speed to break up and pick off passes but his tackling against bigger backs comes into question. Our scheme calls for our Inside Linebackers to have the ability to shed blocks and get into the backfield and this is something that Spence lacks dearly.

I'm not as high on him as most people are and I honestly think he's a situational player in the NFL.
Good question.

In college, he was able to get to the RB... a lot. That is something Foote (and many other ILBs) lack the ability to do: get there. Spence gets there. Make sense?

Worst case: even if Spence does not stop the RB completely on his own, he WILL get there... slowing the RB down enough for the other defenders to pile on. There will be NO long runs against him.. although, you are correct, there could be an occasional bulldoze or two (although, I never saw him get steamrolled in college).

PROS:
His instincts are supurb. He rarely takes a wrong step. He is the first player to move... like Troy does: he moves before the play unfolds, and is in the "right" spot to make the play.

As you said, he is the new breed of LB: he can cover the Gronks and Hernandezes of the world. And, this is becomming more & more of a passing league. Ergo, his assets outweigh his deficits.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

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PROS:
His instincts are supurb. He rarely takes a wrong step. He is the first player to move... like Troy does: he moves before the play unfolds, and is in the "right" spot to make the play.

As you said, he is the new breed of LB: he can cover the Gronks and Hernandezes of the world. And, this is becomming more & more of a passing league. Ergo, his assets outweigh his deficits.
You're spot on - he could cover guys like Gronk and Hernandez with no problem. He'd be effective in covering guys like Pitta and Rice out of the backfield, too, which is a huge plus. It'd be nice having Spence shadowing Rice twice a year, preventing a 4th-and-29 play to happen (I still can't believe that happened).

Here's the thing, though. There's Linebackers in this draft that play like him, but are better at it. Arthur Brown, Alec Ogletree and Kevin Riddick all play a similar game to his and are, most importantly, stronger than Spence is by a considerable margin. They have the ability to get into the backfield and shed blocks which Spence struggled with. Going against an offensive linemen, Spence is going to lose that battle 100% of the time. This would make him ineffective and ultimately useless in blitzing situations.

I do think we need someone like Spence to play inside with Timmons that would ultimately free him up to blow shit up at the offensive line. I wouldn't be upset if we had Spence in, but I think that we have better options right now than him that will be available to us in this draft.

Really, at this point, it's a win/win. I'm not high on Spence, but I understand he fills a need and frees up Timmons to be the second best ILB in the league.
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Old 02-13-2013, 03:31 PM   #13
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

depressing article and it didnt even touch on how lame woodley was this year
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

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depressing article and it didnt even touch on how lame woodley was this year
who is Woodley?
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

Woodley will be back. I think pride will make him work hard in the offseason and get back to a reasonable playing weight. That will turn him back into the monster we are used to. If he doesn't do it, he may find himself sitting on the bench.
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Old 02-13-2013, 05:33 PM   #16
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

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You're spot on - he could cover guys like Gronk and Hernandez with no problem. He'd be effective in covering guys like Pitta and Rice out of the backfield, too, which is a huge plus. It'd be nice having Spence shadowing Rice twice a year, preventing a 4th-and-29 play to happen (I still can't believe that happened).

Here's the thing, though. There's Linebackers in this draft that play like him, but are better at it. Arthur Brown, Alec Ogletree and Kevin Riddick all play a similar game to his and are, most importantly, stronger than Spence is by a considerable margin. They have the ability to get into the backfield and shed blocks which Spence struggled with. Going against an offensive linemen, Spence is going to lose that battle 100% of the time. This would make him ineffective and ultimately useless in blitzing situations.

I do think we need someone like Spence to play inside with Timmons that would ultimately free him up to blow shit up at the offensive line. I wouldn't be upset if we had Spence in, but I think that we have better options right now than him that will be available to us in this draft.

Really, at this point, it's a win/win. I'm not high on Spence, but I understand he fills a need and frees up Timmons to be the second best ILB in the league.
Plus, I see Timmons rushing the passer from the inside, not Spence. Spence would eb out in space. And, because eh can cover so much ground and has such great instincts, Timmons would be free to rush the passer at will.

But, if Spence is indeed sent, like a safety (i.e. Tory), he would simply find the hole or better yet, elude the linemen. If one is not touched by a linemen, then one does not get stale-mated.

I hear your concerns, but the kid was great in college... and his size did not affect him then. Of course, NFL players are much bigger & stronger, but I have faith in Spence (to elude those pesky linemen).
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

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Im not writing him off, Im just not sold on him being the 1st and 2nd down run stuffer just yet.....


I could definitely see him getting the snaps over Foote when we have the other team in obvious passing situations
NFL isnt about 1st and 2nd down run all the time. Foote is declining fast and a poor run defender. Sean Spence will not be the strongside ILB if he makes the starting lineup, which will likely see Timmons move to that position.

This is all contingent on his recovery from injury anyways. I thought the Steelers should have drafted James Michael Johnson from Nevada last year, but they liked Spence for his on field production, which was outstanding. If he is back, I think we have another position covered, but if the injury was too bad, then we need to look in the draft or free agency.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:47 AM   #18
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

In our defense, as the DL goes, so does our LBs. When the DL is doing it's job our LBs look a whole lot better. I'm not exaclty convinced our DL was that great last year, especially against zone blocking systems.

As for Spence, he's 6'1" and runs a 4.6. Tall TEs like Gronk and Pita will not only have a speed advantage, but also a major height advantage. I'll agree Foote was lacking is pass coverage, as that's never been his strong suit, and he hasn't improved with age for sure.

Spence is looking more like a David Little/ Sam Mills ILB clone
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

More worried about injuries this coming season...they have to look at upgrading conditioning....
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:08 AM   #20
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Default Re: ESPN Insider: AFC North Holes

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In our defense, as the DL goes, so does our LBs. When the DL is doing it's job our LBs look a whole lot better. I'm not exaclty convinced our DL was that great last year, especially against zone blocking systems.

As for Spence, he's 6'1" and runs a 4.6. Tall TEs like Gronk and Pita will not only have a speed advantage, but also a major height advantage. I'll agree Foote was lacking is pass coverage, as that's never been his strong suit, and he hasn't improved with age for sure.

Spence is looking more like a David Little/ Sam Mills ILB clone
Jerry Rice ran a 4.7.

I watched quite a few games of Spence in college, and what can't be undervalued is that he does not take a wrong step AND he's the first player to move (like how Troy just seems to "know" where the play is going to go).

I've seen fast LBs take an initial wrong step, and then they HAVE to use their speed to make up for running the wrong way. Likewise, a lot of LBs have to watch a full second of a play before they can react. Spence takes the correct first step (.5 seconds in his favor) and, as already mentioned, he reacts at the snap (1 second advantage)... totally nearly a second & a half of him running towards the play.

Height: I'd rather have a guy in the right position (right next to the TE) than a tall guy who is five feet away.
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