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Philip Wheeler already making an impression

 
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Sonic Raider


Joined: 01 Nov 2011
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Location: New Jersey
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Philip Wheeler already making an impression Reply with quote

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ALAMEDA -- Philip Wheeler is part safety, part linebacker and all attitude.

Listed as the Raiders starting strong side linebacker, Wheeler will be found all over the field when regular season kicks off Monday night at O.co Coliseum against the San Diego Chargers.

He'll be easy to spot. With dreadlocks flowing from underneath his helmet and an enthusiasm that teammate Lamarr Houston calls ``contagious,'' Wheeler, at 6-foot-2, 240 pounds, was a must-see player throughout training camp.

"I'm looking forward to getting some sacks, picks and knockout shots, not only from myself but from my teammates,'' Wheeler said. ``We've got fast athletes, some of the fastest guys in the league out there.''

Wheeler was an under-the-radar March signing as an unrestricted free agent after general manager Reggie McKenzie determined the Raiders couldn't afford to honor the contract Kamerion Wimbley signed with the previous regime.

As a Cover 2 linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts, it was Wheeler's job to fall into coverage and keep opponents in front of him. The defensive philosophy -- prevent the other team from scoring more points than Peyton Manning put up.

A solid if unspectacular performer in Indianapolis for four seasons, Wheeler's new teammates didn't know a lot about him.

"I remember when he was with the Colts, I'd see this crazy guy with dreads, running around, just hitting people,'' safety Michael Huff said. ``I didn't know if he had technique or if he was any good. Obviously he's proved that he's good.''

Unchained with the Raiders' new defensive scheme, Wheeler had downfield interceptions as well as on short and intermediate passes during training camp. He has rushed the passer as a blitzer and filled gaps against the run.

One day, Wheeler inadvertently leveled running back Mike Goodson -- Goodson lowered his head into Wheeler's shoulder upon impact -- and sent him to the hospital.

With Wheeler around the ball, Raiders players learned to keep their head on a swivel, according to Raiders safety Mike Mitchell, a live wire who also has a reputation for friendly fire.

"You can't change him. That's just how he is,'' Mitchell said. ``We got to get him to quit hitting our own guys. He might be worse than me. I see big things for him, man. I'm just waiting to see him play Monday night.''

Wheeler, at the bargain price of a reported $700,000 for one year is a valuable piece of the multiple defense installed by coach Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver.

Tarver was an assistant with the 49ers staff that worked at the Senior Bowl when Wheeler was a draft-eligible linebacker out of Georgia Tech. Tarver likes Wheeler's ``position flexibility'' as well as his passion.

"He's able to do a lot of things and he loves playing football,'' Tarver said. ``He's all over the field, and you can't miss him because his dreads are all over the field. He's a pleasure to coach because he's always looking to get better, asking the next-step question.''

Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who was quarterbacks coach for Houston, sees a different Wheeler than the one he looked at on film twice a year when the Texans prepared to play the Colts.

"From what I see on the other side, this scheme we're running fits his abilities more because he is a quick, fast linebacker that can cause havoc when he blitzes,'' Knapp said.

For all Wimbley did for the Raiders, and his pass rushing skill in the nickel defense earned him a 5-year, $35 million contract as a defensive end in Tennessee, Huff said, ``Phil will be better. He's more versatile, and with the multiple fronts and things we're doing, it will help this defense be better.''

Said Wheeler: "I just like the way the coaches are letting us be aggressive. Not sitting back on my heels, not sitting back in a Cover 2 on every play. It's the opposite of that.''


http://www.mercurynews.com/raiders/ci_21498376/new-oakland-raiders-linebacker-philip-wheeler-already-making
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dante9876


Joined: 23 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally didnt think he look good coverage. But he does fly to the ball no doubt. I do like that about him. Very interesting in seeing this team on Monday. I dont know what to expect for any thing on this team except maybe the run game.
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Silver&Black88


Joined: 24 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wheeler's a guy I'm excited about. I think he's going to benefit overall due to the change in scheme that he plays in. Our system seems like it suits his strengths.
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Dat Raider


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He's incredible on Madden, if that means anything Very Happy
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OakRaiders3828


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dreads
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Silver&Black88


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dat Raider wrote:
He's incredible on Madden, if that means anything Very Happy



silver_surfer wrote:
It means everything.

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Darkness


Joined: 24 Jun 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen him enough of him in coverage or as a rusher to make judgements there yet, but I think he'll prove to be a good tackler for us. I'm very intrigued by our LB unit. I like the potential, but I'm not sure what to expect.
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RaiderX


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scheffler and Pettigrew had their way with him over the middle in week 3. He has a nose for the ball though. Much more comfortable on the outside than Wimbley will ever be.
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Yea, RaiderX wins. We can all just top acting like this is a matter of opinion. MY GOD.
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Nodisrespect


Joined: 28 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do you guys say he is questionable in coverage? We don't play man to man all day anymore, no way to know any players assignment or where the defensive weak spots are in the zone coverage.

The days of seeing a guy around a player who scored a TD and then blaming him are over, we don't know what defense we are playing.

Zones and zone coverages all have weak spots that good QB's can find, again this is a new era, the defensive play sheet is no longer just man to man and cover 3.


For example: the deep play to scheffler, it was simply a good read by stafford at finding the hole in the zone of cover 2 it wasn't wheelers or the safeties responsibility to cover the deep outside.

We will be playing more zone and there will be holes in it, that good QB's will find, the advantages are that the run defense should be much improved as we will have all eyes on the ball, the pass coverage however is going to be a chess match between our DC and the opposing teams OC.

We will get more turnovers when the DC makes the right call but we will also give up more passes underneath because we aren't attempting to cover all routes like man to man does.

This is scheme based defense, and not the personnel bases defense of the past. Sure better defender will be able to make better reads and cover larger areas, but there will be growing pains, even though they will be limited because we replaced the cb's and 2 of 3 starting linebackers.

Welcome to the NFL Raider fans, but realize things are different and they will never be the same as it was.
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dante9876


Joined: 23 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nodisrespect wrote:
Why do you guys say he is questionable in coverage? We don't play man to man all day anymore, no way to know any players assignment or where the defensive weak spots are in the zone coverage.

The days of seeing a guy around a player who scored a TD and then blaming him are over, we don't know what defense we are playing.

Zones and zone coverages all have weak spots that good QB's can find, again this is a new era, the defensive play sheet is no longer just man to man and cover 3.


For example: the deep play to scheffler, it was simply a good read by stafford at finding the hole in the zone of cover 2 it wasn't wheelers or the safeties responsibility to cover the deep outside.

We will be playing more zone and there will be holes in it, that good QB's will find, the advantages are that the run defense should be much improved as we will have all eyes on the ball, the pass coverage however is going to be a chess match between our DC and the opposing teams OC.

We will get more turnovers when the DC makes the right call but we will also give up more passes underneath because we aren't attempting to cover all routes like man to man does.

This is scheme based defense, and not the personnel bases defense of the past. Sure better defender will be able to make better reads and cover larger areas, but there will be growing pains, even though they will be limited because we replaced the cb's and 2 of 3 starting linebackers.

Welcome to the NFL Raider fans, but realize things are different and they will never be the same as it was.


Just cause we aint running Al Davis outdated man to man scheme all day doesnt mean you cant judge a linebacker in coverage. He was bad in that Detroit game. If zone or man he was bad. Even the pass that was tipped the TE smoked him. I like the dude but he doesnt look good in coverge so far.
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Nodisrespect


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dante9876 wrote:
Nodisrespect wrote:
Why do you guys say he is questionable in coverage? We don't play man to man all day anymore, no way to know any players assignment or where the defensive weak spots are in the zone coverage.

The days of seeing a guy around a player who scored a TD and then blaming him are over, we don't know what defense we are playing.

Zones and zone coverages all have weak spots that good QB's can find, again this is a new era, the defensive play sheet is no longer just man to man and cover 3.


For example: the deep play to scheffler, it was simply a good read by stafford at finding the hole in the zone of cover 2 it wasn't wheelers or the safeties responsibility to cover the deep outside.

We will be playing more zone and there will be holes in it, that good QB's will find, the advantages are that the run defense should be much improved as we will have all eyes on the ball, the pass coverage however is going to be a chess match between our DC and the opposing teams OC.

We will get more turnovers when the DC makes the right call but we will also give up more passes underneath because we aren't attempting to cover all routes like man to man does.

This is scheme based defense, and not the personnel bases defense of the past. Sure better defender will be able to make better reads and cover larger areas, but there will be growing pains, even though they will be limited because we replaced the cb's and 2 of 3 starting linebackers.

Welcome to the NFL Raider fans, but realize things are different and they will never be the same as it was.


Just cause we aint running Al Davis outdated man to man scheme all day doesnt mean you cant judge a linebacker in coverage. He was bad in that Detroit game. If zone or man he was bad. Even the pass that was tipped the TE smoked him. I like the dude but he doesnt look good in coverge so far.
yeah, he doesn't have many passes defensed in his career, we will just have to let it play out.
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Darbsk


Joined: 21 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have kept an open mind about Wheeler throughout pre season but tonight he really impressed me, coverage was not Nnamdi good but solid for a LB and he seemed to be poping up all over the field. Has great energy and made a couple very good shoe lace tackles to stop firxt downs.

In general I'm very happy with the way all our LBs all played tonight, McClain seems to have matured and Burris flew about without being too reckless.

Wheeler looks to be a great pickup Smile
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