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  1. #1
    laram0's Avatar
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    The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    On the St.Louis Rams website as of 6/24/08 the following players are listed on the roster that play the Linebacker position.



    Will Witherspoon-(MLB)
    Pisa Tinoisamoa-(WLB)
    Chris Draft-(SLB)

    I'm assuming these 3 will be our starters.

    Quinton Culberson-(SLB) ***Might start over Chris Draft?
    Vincent Hall-(MLB)
    Chris Chamberlain-(WLB)
    Marc Magro-(SLB)
    Tim McGarigle-(MLB)
    David Vobra-(MLB)


    Other than the top 4 looks pretty shaky to me. Depth or lack thereof is certainly a concern for me.


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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by laram
    Other than the top 4 looks pretty shaky to me.
    Agreed. But then again, most 4-3 defenses would say the same. Spoon plays like a pro-bowler. Pisa is a playmaker when healthy (fingers crossed for '08). Draft has always been dependable as a starter. Culberson had a great showing to close out '07, and apparently has the faith of his coaches. McGariagle has all the tools except wheels, solid in-the-box tackler. As for the rest......Hall, Chamberlain, Vobora; who knows?

    Though not to the extent of the secondary, the LB corp's "greatness" is boosted or faulted by the play of the line. If the trench dwellers keep blockers off the LBs, they could look pretty good.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    I was really hoping we'd address this problem in the off-season. But sadly we did nothing except take a LB with the Mr. irrelevant pick. This i think was a bigger mistake for us then reaching so far for Avery.

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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    I'm sure Haslett and the D staff will be looking over the waiver wire as camps get underway. There will be a few LB's that will get cut that will be right for his scheme. In certain situations both Little and now Long will be acting as LB's, especially with Spoon coming out last year as a force with his blitzing.

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  5. #5
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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by itsguud View Post
    I was really hoping we'd address this problem in the off-season. But sadly we did nothing except take a LB with the Mr. irrelevant pick. This i think was a bigger mistake for us then reaching so far for Avery.
    Firstly, nobody knows, yet, that Avery was a reach. He was the first reciever taken, and therefore, is, by the Judgement of the Rams scouts and coaches, the best player available for them. Is it a reach to take a player who is by all standards toward the echelon of the class of players available and so happens to purport to fit your system best?

    But, i think the bigger issue at hand here is that in order for a problem to be fixed, a problem must first exist. When Pisa's healthy, he's not a problem. Will he get injured again? We can't say. But we've insured ourselves with Draft, a consistent commodity, regardless. Witherspoon played at a Pro Bowl level last season. Not a problem.

    And Culberson? How is starting the unproven Culberson on the strong side, a position that at best sees two snaps for every series of downs, less favourable than starting another unproven, highly paid draft pick with supposed pedigree, or engaging in a bidding war to ultimately land a solid-but-unspectacular payer at a ridiculous price? Is it that bad? We don't know. And if the coaching staff is as high on him as they appear to be, then not only have we made the best move in terms of improving team strength, but we've made the best move fiscally, too.

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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    A very fine post, BBQ!

    It's hard to evaluate our LB corps at this point -- well, any position for that matter but LBs are on the spotlight here. Still, Culberson may be a most welcome surprise (I still have hopes for Tim McGarigle for solid depth).


    BTW, speaking of our LBs, anyone find a resemblence between newcomer Marc Magro and Coach Haslett? That is, if you see his mug shot in the Rams web site. ...Ah, the offseason!

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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    The starters, when healthy, look like a great group to me. Then the other Culberson/Draft is a good backup providing Culberson picks up where he left off. I think Vince Hall has a chance to be the Culberson of next year, but the depth is...well...terrible.

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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    I'm in the camp of those who are upbeat about our LB corp. I know Spoon is solid. Tino can be good when healthy and I think he will be this year, per an earlier story on him this off season. Draft will be fine and Culberson looks to be a comer. With McGarigle and Hall depth is good. There may be unknowns, but nature abhors a vacuum and I'm optimistic that any vacuum in the LB corp will find a suitable solution.

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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by chipperjones View Post
    The starters, when healthy, look like a great group to me. Then the other Culberson/Draft is a good backup providing Culberson picks up where he left off. I think Vince Hall has a chance to be the Culberson of next year, but the depth is...well...terrible.
    I wouldn't go and say a "great" group.

    To me the group is good...if healthy. Witherspoons going to be a Pro Bowl caliber player this year again, Pisa if healthy will have a solid season, I think he's a tad overrated though. It seems as if he misses more tackles than he makes some games, so we'll see what Pisa shows up the first half. Draft is a steady LB, he's not eye flashing, but he does the things asked of him. Culberson had a nice season ending showcase, and has impressed coaches and has there confidence, but lets see if that'll transfer over to this season. I'm real high on him. McGragile (sp)...he's solid, and the others are unkown.

    So I wouldn't say its a high concern, but it'd be nice to get some insurance in there.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    I really hope that Draft is the starter this year. I believe that he is the third best LB in our team, and should be the starter. I have no concern about the starters. However, our depth is really weak. If Tinoisamoa goes out, we have Culberson (or Draft) to take his place. But if anyone else gets injured...we're screwed. I hope something happens from now until training camp.

  11. #11
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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    Honestly, standing back and looking at this group of linebackers right now, I can tentatively say that it looks like a good group to me. The depth is definitely questionable, as none of the sub-tier guys have any real playing experience. Culberson did look great in the season finale however, and McGarigle looked great last preseason. The two rookies are high energy guys, and that's what you are looking for in a backup linebacker/special teamer ...

    With that said, I think this group of linebackers has the POTENTIAL to be GREAT. Will Witherspoon - enough said! This guy is going to the pro bowl this year if the team performance is even half way decent. Spoon tends to wear down a little as the season wears on, but as the D-Line continues to progress, and we see some improved play at the other linebacker positions, Spoon will be able to deliver a season long performance.

    Pisa is a good linebacker, I don't think anybody would doubt that. Problem is, he is only good if he can be on the field. He looked rejuvenated at times last year and make several huge pops throughout the year.

    As much of a Brandon Chillar fan as I am, and as good as it made me feel to see him progress last year, Chris Draft is a superior linebacker. The general consensus seems to be that is just adequate, but he has proven that he can be not only a good linebacker, but be THE MAN at linebacker, both in Atlanta and Carolina. Go back to 2006 and watch the tape of our game against Carolina and witness him raise hell on u s. Draft is every bit effective as Pisa, and the best run support linebacker we have. I expect a big year from him, particularly if Haslett can find ways to blitz him similar to what he did with Chillar last year. He is a proven entity as a rusher off the edge ..

    I like this group. Like I said, I think it's a good group. If Pisa stays healthy, and Culberson can quickly mature, this COULD be a great group ...

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    itsguud's Avatar
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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bar-bq View Post
    Firstly, nobody knows, yet, that Avery was a reach. He was the first reciever taken, and therefore, is, by the Judgement of the Rams scouts and coaches, the best player available for them. Is it a reach to take a player who is by all standards toward the echelon of the class of players available and so happens to purport to fit your system best?

    But, i think the bigger issue at hand here is that in order for a problem to be fixed, a problem must first exist. When Pisa's healthy, he's not a problem. Will he get injured again? We can't say. But we've insured ourselves with Draft, a consistent commodity, regardless. Witherspoon played at a Pro Bowl level last season. Not a problem.

    And Culberson? How is starting the unproven Culberson on the strong side, a position that at best sees two snaps for every series of downs, less favourable than starting another unproven, highly paid draft pick with supposed pedigree, or engaging in a bidding war to ultimately land a solid-but-unspectacular payer at a ridiculous price? Is it that bad? We don't know. And if the coaching staff is as high on him as they appear to be, then not only have we made the best move in terms of improving team strength, but we've made the best move fiscally, too.
    Everything you just said was a contradiction. There is a problem to be fixed, Pisa can't stay healthy. So you need to fix that by bringing in someone to mold as a replacement. We never. Culberson, only seeing two snaps, thats two snaps more then I want him to see. We could have looked for someone to fight with him at this position and never. So yeah, we could have improved/fixed our LB corps.

    And as for Avery being a reach, he was a reach because there was a chance we could have traded down a few spots and still taken him. Therefore, we reached.

  13. #13
    chipperjones's Avatar
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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    Quote Originally Posted by itsguud View Post
    Everything you just said was a contradiction. There is a problem to be fixed, Pisa can't stay healthy. So you need to fix that by bringing in someone to mold as a replacement. We never. Culberson, only seeing two snaps, thats two snaps more then I want him to see. We could have looked for someone to fight with him at this position and never. So yeah, we could have improved/fixed our LB corps.

    And as for Avery being a reach, he was a reach because there was a chance we could have traded down a few spots and still taken him. Therefore, we reached.
    Whats your beef with Culberson? I understand he is unproven, but he is a hard worker and from what Ive seen is always around the ball.

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    Re: The Linebacker position? Cause for concern?

    It is always intriguing to see which urban myths will become the most prolific. For example.....
    There is a problem to be fixed, Pisa can't stay healthy.
    The guy doesn't miss a snap for the first 3 seasons, but because he has missed some action over the next two, he now "can't stay healthy"? He's played more than Pace & Hill the last two years, but we didn't replace them. Why not? He played more than Little last year, but we didn't replace LL. He played nearly as much as SJ or Bulger, but we're certainly not replacing them. Maybe it's just me, but Tino is far from the most inimical in health on this roster.
    Culberson, only seeing two snaps, thats two snaps more then I want him to see. We could have looked for someone to fight with him at this position and never.
    But it would appear the Defensive coaches would disagree. There has been no shortage of articles relating the D staff's affinity for Culberson.
    And as for Avery being a reach, he was a reach because there was a chance we could have traded down a few spots and still taken him.
    But what evidence shows that to be the case?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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