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Are we set at LB? Possible solution

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#1 Whitewalker Merriman

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:53 AM

I have to give credit where credit is due, as this idea got sparking in a different thread.


View PostNoJustice, on 28 March 2013 - 04:05 PM, said:

Has it ever occurred to anyone that the Bills' brass might not feel linebacker is a need? Think about it. They like Shepperd and Bradham. They can use either Mark Anderson or Mario at OLB. And they just signed Lawson to man the SS.

Now I'm not saying I agree with that, but that could be the case. They might just bring in some UDFAs and UFAs to fill in the back up spots.

This is the Bills we're talking about.

Since most topics are about why McShay is an idiot (an opinion I share) I thought I would move it here.

I've been considering this question too. There's been a lot of guessing about what type of defense Petting is going to run but he has gone on record saying something along the lines of "hybird, multiple look" and in addition "base nickel"

Manny Lawson seems to think that we're running a 3-4 from his interview. Well, what would that look like?

Picture taken from Behind the Steel Curtain:
Posted Image

Line backers from left to right: Sam, Mike, Will, Jack

So, remember how people people have been saying "We can't play a 3-4, we don't have a proper Nose Tackle". Well, in this scenario, that's not a problem, as Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus are ridiculously qualified for the job up front. In addition, look at the placement of the linebackers. If the Bills want to run their 4-3 nickel, all they have to do is plug Mario and Anderson at the ends and have them put their hands down.

So who would go where? Well, what places are there, and what does each do?

Jack Back (the Hybrid OLB/DE, Weakside outside): Mario/Anderson-Rushes,rarely drops into coverage
Sam Back (Strong Side Outside): Manny Lawson-run stuffer, covering tight ends and RBs, possibly put Anderson in here if we're looking for an extra pass rush, Bradham as depth
Will Back (Weak Side Inside): Coverage Back. Bryan Scott's only real qualifications are in this role, primarily on covering the four receiver or a tight end
Mike Back(Strong Side Inside): Sheppard, maybe Bradham if they think he can do it and are willing to cut Shepp

I'm not saying this is where everyone will wind up, or that we'll use this, but this does promise the flexibility that Pettine has been talking about, since it allows them to mix and match coverage, giving us the diversity of a 3-4, while mitigating our lack of a true 3-4 NT.

Suddenly we don't look awful in our front 7. Not "great" mind you, but functional, functional enough to wait for a second or even mid-round pick to solve some of our other problems such as a lack of SS, WR, and QB.

Thoughts? Questions? Berate me?

Resources: http://www.behindthe...-1-5-5-revealed

Edited by Whitewalker Merriman, 29 March 2013 - 07:26 AM.


#2 bobinaz

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:09 AM

I think you're on to something.

#3 Homey D. Clown

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:26 AM

these are the kind of posts I enjoy reading...  so to your point I think we still have a need, but I would say in depth, so we'll probably see this position addressed in later rounds of the draft.

#4 San Jose Bills Fan

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:41 AM

View PostWhitewalker Merriman, on 29 March 2013 - 06:53 AM, said:

Thoughts? Questions? Berate me?

Do we have to berate you on this subject or can we do so generally?

BTW, cue JBoyst in 3…2…1...

#5 KeisterHollow

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:41 AM

Part of the difficulty in predicting who the Bills will be going after in the draft, defensively, has to do with NOT knowing how Pettine is approaching this defense.  Where will Mario be lining up, for instance?  Will he be an OLB in the 3-4 or an end?  If he's an end, then we are probably going to go OLB early - within the first 3 rounds - although, I suppose we could line up Kyle, Dareus, Mario on the D-line, then Lawson, Sheppard (or rookie), Bradham, and Anderson as the other OLB, giving Buffalo two rushers off Mario's side...

It's a guessing game at present.  I suspect we'll see the front seven players that we already have on the roster playing much better this year than they have in recent years, so depending on how Pettine wants to line people up, we might only really be needing to add a starter as an ILB, as far as the front seven is concerned.

#6 BmoreBills

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:46 AM

That drawing is straight outta the original Microsoft Paint... just sayin... ;)

I have a hell of a lot more faith in Pettine with lesser talent at LB than I do with Wannstedt with ANY talent at LB. I am confident we'll be more than just OK!

#7 Whitewalker Merriman

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:50 AM

View PostSan Jose Bills Fan, on 29 March 2013 - 07:41 AM, said:

Do we have to berate you on this subject or can we do so generally?

BTW, cue JBoyst in 3…2…1...

Well, we are talking about Two Bills Drive here. Whenever have you needed a reason?

View PostBmoreBills, on 29 March 2013 - 07:46 AM, said:

That drawing is straight outta the original Microsoft Paint... just sayin... ;)


And yanked straight from the article I was stealing from referencing...but hey, it does the job. If it's good enough for SB News...

#8 Armchair GM

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:57 AM

Given that i's year one of a new regime...yet another rebuild...and the fact that there are NUMEROUS holes to fill, it all makes sense. Go with what you have and plud guys in year to year. I'd like to see Williams and Dareous as 3-4 ends and maybe draft a beastly NT.

#9 BillsGuyInWilton

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:11 AM

Very interesting post, I tend to agree that the Bills are more set at LB than outsiders think but I still see them bringing in one ILB during the draft.  Not saying its going to be a 1st-2nd rounder but it seems to me we have far more flexibility (in regards to players having the skills to man those spots) at outside linebacker than we do with our inside linebacker spots.

Keep an eye on Nico Johnson, the ILB out of Alabama.  He's a Bart Scott clone and plays with a lot of ferocity, only problem is he's a 2 down ILB...kind of a dying breed in the NFL.  I think he would fit Pettine's Defense perfectly though and would really shore up our run Defense, I like him in the 3rd-4th rounds.

#10 Doc

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:12 AM

I like Bradham and Lawson. Mario played OLB in Houston's 3-4 his last season there.  Anderson could probably play OLB in the 3-4 as well.  Sheppard is the wild card.  If they like him, then LB isn't a huge need.  But another one would be nice.

#11 Whitewalker Merriman

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:26 AM

View PostBillsGuyInBallstonSpa, on 29 March 2013 - 08:11 AM, said:

Very interesting post, I tend to agree that the Bills are more set at LB than outsiders think but I still see them bringing in one ILB during the draft.  Not saying its going to be a 1st-2nd rounder but it seems to me we have far more flexibility (in regards to players having the skills to man those spots) at outside linebacker than we do with our inside linebacker spots.

Keep an eye on Nico Johnson, the ILB out of Alabama.  He's a Bart Scott clone and plays with a lot of ferocity, only problem is he's a 2 down ILB...kind of a dying breed in the NFL.  I think he would fit Pettine's Defense perfectly though and would really shore up our run Defense, I like him in the 3rd-4th rounds.

Nice catch. I agree that if the Bills have a weak link in their front seven, it's at the ILB position, whether or not we go to a 3-4 or stay in 4-3. Now, I wouldn't hate getting Kevin Minter or *wince* Manti T'eo, provided that they dropped to 41, and still walked away with a decent QB option but I'm increasingly convinced that QB and WR will be first on our docket.

#12 BillsGuyInWilton

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:28 AM

View PostWhitewalker Merriman, on 29 March 2013 - 08:26 AM, said:

Nice catch. I agree that if the Bills have a weak link in their front seven, it's at the ILB position, whether or not we go to a 3-4 or stay in 4-3. Now, I wouldn't hate getting Kevin Minter or *wince* Manti T'eo, provided that they dropped to 41, and still walked away with a decent QB option but I'm increasingly convinced that QB and WR will be first on our docket.

I'd be completely happy with either of those players in the 2nd.  Would love Teo at that spot actually.

#13 Justice

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:41 AM

Thanks for recognition. This team definitely has greater needs than LBer. Although it is a need, IMO, because I'm not a believer in Sheppard, but I think the Bills like him a lot.

This is how I see our front seven in a 34. I can see Bradham moving to the inside along with Shepp. Anderson and Lawson at OLB. Mario and Alex at the end and Dareus and Kyle manning the nose.  

In a 43 it'll be Mario and Mark at end. Kyle and Marcel at tackle. Lawson and Bradham at OLB with Shepp in the middle.

We need depth so I fully expect the Bills to use their 4th and/or 5th on linebackers.

#14 Kellyto83TD

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:45 AM

Your pic is missing a NT :-)

View PostBmoreBills, on 29 March 2013 - 07:46 AM, said:

That drawing is straight outta the original Microsoft Paint... just sayin... ;)

I have a hell of a lot more faith in Pettine with lesser talent at LB than I do with Wannstedt with ANY talent at LB. I am confident we'll be more than just OK!

Spot on

View PostNoJustice, on 29 March 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

Thanks for recognition. This team definitely has greater needs than LBer. Although it is a need, IMO, because I'm not a believer in Sheppard, but I think the Bills like him a lot.

This is how I see our front seven in a 34. I can see Bradham moving to the inside along with Shepp. Anderson and Lawson at OLB. Mario and Alex at the end and Dareus and Kyle manning the nose.

In a 43 it'll be Mario and Mark at end. Kyle and Marcel at tackle. Lawson and Bradham at OLB with Shepp in the middle.

We need depth so I fully expect the Bills to use their 4th and/or 5th on linebackers.

That setup ith Darues and Kyle splitting time at NT gives us one of the strongest 3-4 lines in the NFL. Q is now are you right about the LB talent?  AND who says we dont' sign another street FA and draft a guy or two?

Damn good Original post BTW :thumbsup:

#15 Justice

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:53 AM

View PostKellyto83TD, on 29 March 2013 - 09:45 AM, said:

Your pic is missing a NT :-)



Spot on



That setup ith Darues and Kyle splitting time at NT gives us one of the strongest 3-4 lines in the NFL. Q is now are you right about the LB talent?  AND who says we dont' sign another street FA and draft a guy or two?

Damn good Original post BTW :thumbsup:

Bradham shows promise. Shepp I don't like at all. Lawson and Anderson compliment each other well as one can get after the QB and the other is good in run defense and coverage.

If Sheppard can improve then our linebacker situation will be fine.

#16 Green Lightning

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:01 AM

Don't forget the outside (okay, remote) possibility of Troup actually contributing. Maybe after 3 years on IR he's rested and ready to go. Be nice of some NT help was already on the roster.

#17 ajzepp

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:11 AM

Here's the thing: Anyone who paid attention to the Falcons last season saw exactly what sort of impact the scheme can have on the success of a team. I live in Flowery Branch and even though I don't consider myself a Falcons fan, I see most of their games and pay attention to what's going on with the franchise. The Falcons D had average talent at best, but Nolan came in here and was able to turn them into a strength. We had a DC in B'lo who admittedly was in town solely as a favor to Chan. I made this point several times last season - when you have a DC who is here with a litlte more motivation than to simply do a colleague a favor, one who is actually able to scheme to our strengths, we may very well be surprised at the results. For too many seasons now we've had coaches who were simply unable to compete with their smarter, more savvy counterparts. Pettine has the potential to give us the type of cerebral edge we've not had since Dick LeBeau was in town. Not nearly the same level of experience, obviously, but he's clearly a significant upgrade over these DCs who consistently fail to put our players in a position to succeed and to utilize them to their potential.

I know that Shep has been a disappointment for the most part, but I remember very well his interview on the John Murphy show last year and it really left an impression on me. This kid has a passion for the game and I'm confident that whatever his capabilities are, Pettine will coax them out of the kid. He and Bradham will have another year of experience and they'll have a DC who isn't here to pass the time and collect a paycheck. If Dareus can return to the form he showed as a rook, K.Williams can get it together and stay healthy, and guys like Carrington and even Troupe continue to improve, I think we have enough young talent on that side of the ball where a smart, aggressive DC like Pettine could come in here and turn this unit into a real force.

We have more talent on D than Atlanta did last year, and I'm optimistic that showing Wanny the door was a big step toward getting our defense turned around.

#18 jjmac

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:18 AM

View PostBillsGuyInBallstonSpa, on 29 March 2013 - 08:11 AM, said:

Very interesting post, I tend to agree that the Bills are more set at LB than outsiders think but I still see them bringing in one ILB during the draft.  Not saying its going to be a 1st-2nd rounder but it seems to me we have far more flexibility (in regards to players having the skills to man those spots) at outside linebacker than we do with our inside linebacker spots.

Keep an eye on Nico Johnson, the ILB out of Alabama.  He's a Bart Scott clone and plays with a lot of ferocity, only problem is he's a 2 down ILB...kind of a dying breed in the NFL.  I think he would fit Pettine's Defense perfectly though and would really shore up our run Defense, I like him in the 3rd-4th rounds.

What about Sio Moore from UConn?

#19 Astrobot

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:29 AM

View PostBillsGuyInBallstonSpa, on 29 March 2013 - 08:11 AM, said:

Very interesting post, I tend to agree that the Bills are more set at LB than outsiders think but I still see them bringing in one ILB during the draft.  Not saying its going to be a 1st-2nd rounder but it seems to me we have far more flexibility (in regards to players having the skills to man those spots) at outside linebacker than we do with our inside linebacker spots.

Keep an eye on Nico Johnson, the ILB out of Alabama.  He's a Bart Scott clone and plays with a lot of ferocity, only problem is he's a 2 down ILB...kind of a dying breed in the NFL.  I think he would fit Pettine's Defense perfectly though and would really shore up our run Defense, I like him in the 3rd-4th rounds.
I have Nico Johnson on my value board in RD4 #114, but wouldn't be pissed if he was our RD3. Sean Porter is another possibility but he's RD3#77. If the Bills take care of QB-WR in RD1-2, either is fine with me!

View Postjjmac, on 29 March 2013 - 10:18 AM, said:

What about Sio Moore from UConn?
Sean Porter and Sio Moore are the same guy.  Porter is the more explosive rushbacker. I am the only draftnik on the planet that thinks Sio is the most inconsistent ILB in the first 4 rounds.

Edited by Astrobot, 29 March 2013 - 10:30 AM.


#20 hondo in seattle

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:36 AM

View PostWhitewalker Merriman, on 29 March 2013 - 06:53 AM, said:

I have to give credit where credit is due, as this idea got sparking in a different thread.




Since most topics are about why McShay is an idiot (an opinion I share) I thought I would move it here.

I've been considering this question too. There's been a lot of guessing about what type of defense Petting is going to run but he has gone on record saying something along the lines of "hybird, multiple look" and in addition "base nickel"

Manny Lawson seems to think that we're running a 3-4 from his interview. Well, what would that look like?

Picture taken from Behind the Steel Curtain:
Posted Image

Line backers from left to right: Sam, Mike, Will, Jack

So, remember how people people have been saying "We can't play a 3-4, we don't have a proper Nose Tackle". Well, in this scenario, that's not a problem, as Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus are ridiculously qualified for the job up front. In addition, look at the placement of the linebackers. If the Bills want to run their 4-3 nickel, all they have to do is plug Mario and Anderson at the ends and have them put their hands down.

So who would go where? Well, what places are there, and what does each do?

Jack Back (the Hybrid OLB/DE, Weakside outside): Mario/Anderson-Rushes,rarely drops into coverage
Sam Back (Strong Side Outside): Manny Lawson-run stuffer, covering tight ends and RBs, possibly put Anderson in here if we're looking for an extra pass rush, Bradham as depth
Will Back (Weak Side Inside): Coverage Back. Bryan Scott's only real qualifications are in this role, primarily on covering the four receiver or a tight end
Mike Back(Strong Side Inside): Sheppard, maybe Bradham if they think he can do it and are willing to cut Shepp

I'm not saying this is where everyone will wind up, or that we'll use this, but this does promise the flexibility that Pettine has been talking about, since it allows them to mix and match coverage, giving us the diversity of a 3-4, while mitigating our lack of a true 3-4 NT.

Suddenly we don't look awful in our front 7. Not "great" mind you, but functional, functional enough to wait for a second or even mid-round pick to solve some of our other problems such as a lack of SS, WR, and QB.

Thoughts? Questions? Berate me?

Resources: http://www.behindthe...-1-5-5-revealed

Great post: intelligently speculative rather than screamingly idiotically dogmatic.

It would be interesting to hang out with Pettine and his assistants to see how  they're planning to use Scott, Andersen, Williams, etc.   He has some tweeners and versatile players  he can move around.  Not knowing his plans - but  expecting he'll do a better job of putting guys in a position to make plays than Wanny - I'm also not convinced we're as weak at LB as some others.  Time will tell.