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SnA ExclusiVe


Joined: 01 Jun 2011
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Location: Spokane, WA
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcdni wrote:
SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
RavensDefense3 wrote:
Really loved this draft, we honestly don't have ANY weaknesses on defense right now looking at the paper. We should be back to being a top defense again, unless we get injured like last year.


Safety depth and ILB talent.


Safeties - Michael Huff, Matt Elam, James Ihedigbo, Christian Thompson, Anthony Levine, Omar Brown and Emanuel Cook.

Plenty of safety depth there IMO.

ILB Talent - Unproven talent is probably the better term. I like the players we have there but they are unproven and we have to find the best combo of ILBs to start.


If Huff goes down, I don't feel confident with any of those backups playing.

Outside of potentially Arthur Brown, I've not seen any of our current ILB's show anything more than "average" talent....
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RavensDefense3


Joined: 21 Apr 2011
Posts: 1046
Location: Baltimore
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
mcdni wrote:
SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
RavensDefense3 wrote:
Really loved this draft, we honestly don't have ANY weaknesses on defense right now looking at the paper. We should be back to being a top defense again, unless we get injured like last year.


Safety depth and ILB talent.


Safeties - Michael Huff, Matt Elam, James Ihedigbo, Christian Thompson, Anthony Levine, Omar Brown and Emanuel Cook.

Plenty of safety depth there IMO.

ILB Talent - Unproven talent is probably the better term. I like the players we have there but they are unproven and we have to find the best combo of ILBs to start.


If Huff goes down, I don't feel confident with any of those backups playing.

Outside of potentially Arthur Brown, I've not seen any of our current ILB's show anything more than "average" talent....


They still aren't weaknesses though, Ihedigbo is a solid back up, of course I wouldn't want a back up level player starting, but that's pretty much the best you're going to get.

If Arthur Brown does well, then our ILBs will be Brown and McClain/Bynes switching in, not a weakness at all.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
mcdni wrote:

Safeties - Michael Huff, Matt Elam, James Ihedigbo, Christian Thompson, Anthony Levine, Omar Brown and Emanuel Cook.

Plenty of safety depth there IMO.

ILB Talent - Unproven talent is probably the better term. I like the players we have there but they are unproven and we have to find the best combo of ILBs to start.


If Huff goes down, I don't feel confident with any of those backups playing.

Outside of potentially Arthur Brown, I've not seen any of our current ILB's show anything more than "average" talent....

1. I don't see that. If Huff goes down, I'm confident that Jame Ihedigbo can certainly fill in. When Pollard went down, Ihedigbo inserted a similar physical presence into the equation, albeit not AS physical, but not many players are going to out-physical a guy like Pollard- which was what made him valuable to our defense when across from Reed. Ihedigbo also presented a better cover option over Pollard. And let's not forget that he was a starter for NE on a team that went to the Super Bowl. The guy has a lot of experience in this league. He likely won't ever be a pro bowler, but neither has Michael Huff. Neither was Bernard Pollard (1st alternate). But he's a guy that we know has starting quality ability if we're ever in need of that... and as a depth option... you aren't going to find much better.

Behind that, we have a bevy of young safeties. Christian Thompson was a 4th round pick and obviously has at least some kind of potential to warrant that kind of selection. Anthony Levine is a guy that Harbaugh seems really high on and believes could have been a starter before the additions of Huff and Elam... so personally I think he's going to win the #4 spot. And we all know Omar Brown is a playmaker, he's not the ideal athlete, but he's got instincts.

I personally think our safety depth going into this year is definitely stronger than last year. Reed was always pretty fragile as of his last few seasons and while he made it through last season, it wasn't without a myriad of injuries he might've usually sat out with if not for better depth. Now the young, inexperienced depth from last season, will be one year more experienced (a big difference) and we've got younger, more durable options starting... and that's important.

2. At ILB, I don't see a problem. Not many teams are fielding two elite ILBs. Usually you're going to have one great- elite guy starting at best... Brown certainly has that kind of potential. We've had McClain starting the bulk of games over the past few seasons now, so him starting would actually have us LOSE any kind of talent. At worse, the unit is as good as last year's- only deeper. And that's assuming a guy like Josh Bynes doesn't continue to develop. I'm really high on what I saw out of him down the stretch of last season and he was apparently looking extremely good in training camp before suffering a similar injury to McClain. So with a full offseason to get back to 100%, I think he could be our next Dannell Ellerbe/Bart Scott at ILB... an UDFA to excel and be an above average to good starting ILB. He has great instincts, solid athleticism, and is a physical presence. I really think with Jameel's injury it will open up a full on competition at ILB for the first time in years... and so I think given a fair shot, Bynes will be the guy to win the #2 ILB job over the field.
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SnA ExclusiVe


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DB: Ihedigbo is a box safety, like Pollard, like Elam, not like Huff, who is a ranging FS. If Huff goes down, the only other option to put there is Webb or Omar Brown. Thompson is another box safety as well.
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Flaccomania


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
DB: Ihedigbo is a box safety, like Pollard, like Elam, not like Huff, who is a ranging FS. If Huff goes down, the only other option to put there is Webb or Omar Brown. Thompson is another box safety as well.


Elam has the ability to play FS. Granted, likely a better SS, but can play FS as well. Besides, a lot of teams don't designate between the two anymore and have both guys share responsibilities of each.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SnA ExclusiVe wrote:
DB: Ihedigbo is a box safety, like Pollard, like Elam, not like Huff, who is a ranging FS. If Huff goes down, the only other option to put there is Webb or Omar Brown. Thompson is another box safety as well.

Yeah, as Flaccomania so kindly pointed out, Elam has the ability to play both safety concepts. He can play both in-the-box or as a deep middle coverage option... and in rookie minicamps he was playing a lot of both roles and doing a lot of moving around.

Elam's speed was a big reason why we took him ahead of some other options we considered in the first round- like Cyprien and Te'O.

And that said, Elam is a physical in the box presence, but he also has greater range and coverage ability than Pollard. So it's not as if it'd be like us rolling out Pollard and Ihedigbo. Elam has the speed and range to probably still man the same role up front while we use Ihedigbo to play the deep role in a Tom Zbikowski type of disciplined, don't let anybody beat you deep type of fashion. It wouldn't be ideal, but if our corners are doing their jobs and it allows us to get the most out of Elam... it could be a passable weakness- especially with the expected improvements to our front 7, teams might not have the necessary amount of time to exploit a guy like Ihedigbo in deep coverage often enough for it to be an issue.

The coverage responsibilities under such a scenario will probably be mixed up as well to keep offenses honest. Ihedigbo, like I said, is a better coverage option than Pollard so he actually has some ability to cover the deep ball- it's not ideal, but in a left safety/right safety type of usage... he could get the job done decently enough.

And this assumes that the team isn't high enough on guys like Levine and Thompson who might indeed be advanced enough options by the time the season starts to roll them into the starting FS job over Ihedigbo.

Personally I'd be much more concerned if Elam goes down than Huff.
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SnA ExclusiVe


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I disagree - I think if Huff goes down we lose our best centerfielder. I think both Christian Thompson and Anthony Levine bring similar skill sets that Matt Elam can bring at the SS position, being physical and fast players, and obviously Ihedigbo is also an option there.

If Huff goes down, our only option is Elam or playing a guy like Omar Brown or Webb back there, whereas if Elam goes down we have Thompson/Ihedigbo and Levine waiting in the wings to fill in.
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diamondbull424


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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anthony Levine has always been more of a free safety option. If he had a second position coming out of Tennessee State and in the pros, it was going to be cornerback.

Levine excels more in coverage, is fast, quick, and explosive.

I can't say I know a lot about him as we haven't seen much, but his proday numbers look encouraging.
nfldraftscout wrote:
Size
5'11", 193 lbs

Strength
20 reps

Speed
10 yd- 1.53s
20 yd- 2.53s
40 yd- 4.48s

Quickness
Shuttle- 4.05s
Three Cone- 6.75s

Explosion
35" VJ
9'6" broad

Harbaugh also mentioned Levine to be our most distinguished young safety on the roster following this past season. So while HC confidence can only mean so much, Levine has all the physical tools you look for in a free safety.

I can maybe understand Thompson potentially being a better SS than FS, but not Levine.

Also in terms of Huff, Elam is a comparable center field to Huff... that's just not his ideal role. Ideally you want to have Elam roam around the field and use his instincts to make plays.

Pollard went from more of a standard safety with the Texans and being exposed in coverage to a roamer and made more plays and his coverage weaknesses were protected some. Reed did the opposite, upon Pollard's arrival, he went from playing roaming safety to one deep safety and his number of interceptions sharply decreased... and he made less plays.

Being a roaming safety allows one to make more plays, but the roamer role is wasted if you don't have an instinctive playmaker lined up there. We lose Elam, we lose a huge playmaking presence. It's much easier to replace a center field presence for a non- Ed Reed like talent than it is to replace a center field presence in Michael Huff. If we could get Tom Zbikowksi to fill in admirable for Ed Reed in that role, than I'm sure we could get an Anthony Levine or Christian Thompson to do it as well enough.
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