The whole Kelvin Sheppard interview makes clear that no LB job is safe and I believe him. If Michael Barnes figures out the passing game with a full offseason of preparation or Malcolm Rodriguez continues to quickly adapt to the pros or Shaun Dion Hamilton is fully healthy, Alex Anzalone could easily be watching from the sideline. I mean, check out the PFF LB rankings. Are we building for the future or not?
I started the video after 8 minutes where AA is addressed:
Judging by some of the interviews and tweets from Analzone I feel like he understands his place in the NFL is not guaranteed and he is moment to moment. Last year was the most starts he had ever had in a season.
We drafted a high energy DE, have a decent one coming back off injury and coached one up to where everyone thought he would be in his first year. What we REALLY need now is a DL that is capable of stopping the run. Having RB’s coming at our LB’s near full speed because our DL couldn’t slow them down, well, we got what we got. I know the LB’s as a unit were pretty bad last year but I’m willing to do a wait and see once we switch over to a 4-3. I also think that with the FA money we have right now that we need to find a DT that is at least average. Unless they have a really good feeling about Levi and the bench, it’s my #1 team priority right now. If we end up sucking against the run again, don’t expect the LB’s to show much more than what they did last year.
The linebacker room should be an open competition. May the best man win. And if you do win the starting job, that doesn’t actually mean much, gotta perform, or they will be replaced. We saw that just last year with Jamie Collins, played like garbage and we sent him packing. Most of our linebackers are on rookie deals or short 1 or 2 year deals. There is no big financial commitment to any of them, which makes it easy to move on if things don’t work out.
SDH being healthy is a big if but before he was injured last year he was getting number 1 reps in camp ahead of AA. They really like him but as stated by others, he has to be healthy and it just has been something he has been able to do up to this point.
I honestly feel the linebackers will be much better this season. They can read and attack instead of stack and shed. Our defense last year didn’t really suit the skill set of the players we have. This one does from what it sounds like. Onwuzurike and McNeil will be much better at the one gap than the two. I’m still worried about our ability to cover from that position but one thing at a time.
Agreed, and I think the only reason we tried to stick with that scheme is how much money we had invested in Jamie Collins and Trey Flowers. The staff was trying to get something out of that investment. It failed miserably. So, now they are adapting to a defensive scheme that fits the personnel.
As many here have already stated, it’s my personal belief that Anzalone 's performance and the rest of the linebackers, will be dictated by the defensive line doing their job.
I know people are down on Anzalone, but the team resigned him while not resigning Nick Williams. I don’t think most folks realize how poor the defensive line was last year at keeping the linebackers clean.
I really like Malcolm Rodriguez but everything I have read and seen has him working with the 3rd team. Until he works his way at least to the 2nd unit everyone needs to slow their roll on him starting for us this year.
I do like that we picked up DEs that are stout against the run. Our staff mentioned that both Hutchinson and Paschal were plus run defenders. It shows that they recognized the problem, and are taking steps to resolve it…