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Improving the Pass Rush with our Current Roster


After the draft, I'm content with every position except outside linebacker. Jarret Johnson is a great player. He sets the edge extremely well. He is as tough as they come. Also, he's a great tackler. However, he needs to improve dropping back into coverage and rushing the passer. He had 1.5 sacks last year, and 6 sacks (career high) the year before. He's been in the league 8 years and only had 17.5 sacks.

Ozzie knows this is a problem. Evidenced by drafting Kruger two years ago, and Sergio Kindle last year. We all know the reasons why these guys haven't worked out at OLB (yet). 

I have two possible solutions:

The first is to get back to Organized Chaos on definite passing downs.  Take the Rex Ryan approach. Put Ngata over the center and have our best blitzers / pass rushers moving all around the line. Send a lot of over-loads with a QB contains on the other side. With Jimmy Smith in man coverage on their best WR, we are going to see a lot of sacks and picks. Warm up those vocal cords before games because you're going to be yelling "REEEEEED" a whole lot.

The second solution is to move Landry to OLB.  Make him Adalius Thomas 2.0. His primary role (when he's subbed for JJ) is OLB, but with his skill set he can play almost any postion on the field. Landry can cover the TE and RB better than JJ because he's faster and played in coverage a whole lot more.   Also, I think he can rush the passer better. Landry's sack totals (5 career) don't help my arguement, but pass rushing was never a big part of his role before.  The guy can tackle though. He had 111 tackles last year (Suggs had 68 tackles, Ray had 139, JJ had 73: his career high).

As a bonus to moving Landry to OLB, Landry's old role could be filled by Zibi. Zibi has more range and better coverage skills than Landry. With these two on the field together, we sacrifice a little size for a lot of speed. With todays passing offenses, I think this could greatly improve our overall defense, and the complexity of what our scheme could be. 

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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