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Training Camp Battles: Nickel LB

 
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Who will be the 2nd LB in the nickel defense, alongside Anthony Barr?
Eric Kendricks
92%
 92%  [ 13 ]
Chad Greenway
7%
 7%  [ 1 ]
Gerald Hodges
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Someone from the rest of the field
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 14

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disaacs


Joined: 13 Dec 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:26 pm    Post subject: Training Camp Battles: Nickel LB Reply with quote

The Candidates to be alongside Anthony Barr in the nickel:

Eric Kendricks, Rookie UCLA Bruin


Chad Greenway, 10th year, Iowa Hawkeye


Gerald Hodges, 3rd year, Nittany Lion


The Rest of the Field: Audie Cole (4th Year, Wolfpack), Casey Matthews (5th Year, UO Duck), Michael Mauti (3rd Year, Nittany Lion), Brian Peters (2nd year, Pat Fitzgerald U), Josh Kaddu (4th year, UO Duck), Brandon Watts (3rd year, Yellow Jacket), Edmond Robinson (Rookie, Newberry)
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SemperFeist


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kendricks has already received some pretty supportive comments from Mike Zimmer regarding his ability is coverage, and I think that's where Kendricks will see most of his snaps early on.

I still think to start the season we'll see a rotation at middle linebacker with Audie Cole manning the spot in base sets, with Kendricks coming in as the nickel linebacker.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kendricks is definitely the favorite, he is perfect for the role. Greenway just doenst move well enough in space and Hodges doesnt seem to have good natural instincts, though the athleticism is there.
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Colorado Vike


Joined: 12 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SemperFeist wrote:
Kendricks has already received some pretty supportive comments from Mike Zimmer regarding his ability is coverage, and I think that's where Kendricks will see most of his snaps early on.

I still think to start the season we'll see a rotation at middle linebacker with Audie Cole manning the spot in base sets, with Kendricks coming in as the nickel linebacker.


Hmmm. Not sure if I see that. I think Greenway, Kendricks and Barr will be the starters and just can't see Cole coming on and two of the starters leaving the field in the nickel. Probably Barr and Greenway in the nickel to begin the season, then Barr and Kendricks later on. If Kendricks develops quicker, it could be him from the beginning.
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Klomp


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the bigger battle is the third LB in the base 43 defense.

Good chance Kendricks plays a lot in nickel, but they could use more of a rotation with Cole in base.
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vikingsrule


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klomp wrote:
I think the bigger battle is the third LB in the base 43 defense.

Good chance Kendricks plays a lot in nickel, but they could use more of a rotation with Cole in base.


I agree with this. I could see Greenway, Kendricks and Cole all being part time players and receiving fairly equal playing time. Greenway, Cole and Barr in base and Barr and Kendricks in nickel. Kendricks doesnt seem like the ideal MLB and Zimmer or Spielman once commented that his home could be WLB one day.

Kendricks strength is coverage and in nickel he would get plenty of opportunities to see the field.

I would assume that we may probably see Barr getting more looks at DE as well, which could open up another nickel LB spot, either Cole or Greenway, next to Kendricks.
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Klomp wrote:
I think the bigger battle is the third LB in the base 43 defense.

Good chance Kendricks plays a lot in nickel, but they could use more of a rotation with Cole in base.


I don't actually think that will be much of a competition. As much as I like Audie, I don't think there's any way that Kendricks won't be starting in the middle Week 1. His physical skills are far superior to Audie. Audie will get plenty of snaps though, as I think Zimmer will be rotating a lot between Audie and Kendricks in the middle and Greenway and Hodges outside.
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SemperFeist


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

disaacs wrote:
Klomp wrote:
I think the bigger battle is the third LB in the base 43 defense.

Good chance Kendricks plays a lot in nickel, but they could use more of a rotation with Cole in base.


I don't actually think that will be much of a competition. As much as I like Audie, I don't think there's any way that Kendricks won't be starting in the middle Week 1. His physical skills are far superior to Audie. Audie will get plenty of snaps though, as I think Zimmer will be rotating a lot between Audie and Kendricks in the middle and Greenway and Hodges outside.

THe only thing that I worry about with Kendrick being the full time MLB, is his ability to take on blockers and disengage from blockers in the run game. There's no denying his coverage ability, but his run stopping ability is another story. Which is why, ultimately, I see him replacing Greenway as the Will.
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not that concerned about that, because he can overcome that. Mike Singletary, Ray Lewis, Zach Thomas, Tedy Bruschi and London Fletcher all did. You don't have to be 6'3 like Seau or 6'4" like Urlacher to be a good MLB.

I've heard all the talk about him moving outside, but I'd rather have him stay inside and have Hodges take over full-time outside when Greenway's gone.
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SemperFeist


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

disaacs wrote:
I'm not that concerned about that, because he can overcome that. Mike Singletary, Ray Lewis, Zach Thomas, Tedy Bruschi and London Fletcher all did. You don't have to be 6'3 like Seau or 6'4" like Urlacher to be a good MLB.

I've heard all the talk about him moving outside, but I'd rather have him stay inside and have Hodges take over full-time outside when Greenway's gone.

I'm not worried about Kendricks' height, I'm worried about his weight and size.

Lewis, Thomas, Bruschi, and Fletcher were all listed at 245 or heavier. Right now Kendricks is listed at 232.
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disaacs


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I understand the concerns, but I think with his instincts, physical style, and skills, he is most comparable to Singletary, who did okay in the middle, despite being only 6 feet tall and around 230.

I'm not saying that he won't or shouldn't be moved outside, but I do think he'll be fine in the middle, and as long as the guys down low do their job the great majority of time, I think he'll be able to hold up on the run...I understand he was one of the better tacklers after all, so that probably won't change at the NFL level. We'll just have to see.
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SemperFeist


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

disaacs wrote:
I understand the concerns, but I think with his instincts, physical style, and skills, he is most comparable to Singletary, who did okay in the middle, despite being only 6 feet tall and around 230.

Nearly 3 decades ago.
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The Gnat


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SemperFeist wrote:
disaacs wrote:
I understand the concerns, but I think with his instincts, physical style, and skills, he is most comparable to Singletary, who did okay in the middle, despite being only 6 feet tall and around 230.

Nearly 3 decades ago.


Luke Kuechley is the same weight, but a little bit taller.

Basically he's Jon Beason size.
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Freakout


Joined: 05 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Gnat wrote:
SemperFeist wrote:
disaacs wrote:
I understand the concerns, but I think with his instincts, physical style, and skills, he is most comparable to Singletary, who did okay in the middle, despite being only 6 feet tall and around 230.

Nearly 3 decades ago.


Luke Kuechley is the same weight, but a little bit taller.

Basically he's Jon Beason size.


While he may not be a true middle linebacker just look at CJ Mosley and the year he had in Baltimore playing as an ILB in their scheme. Having a big lumbering MLB is becoming a thing of the past. Similar to the old school back to the basket centers in the NBA due to the rule changes in both sports.
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