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Thread: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

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    Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    What Rams get with veteran linebacker

    By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
    May 15, 2012


    Mario Haggan started 32 consecutive games for the Denver Broncos over the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

    Then Von Miller showed up.

    A scheme change in Denver also marginalized the 32-year-old Haggan, who landed in St. Louis and could start for the Rams at strong-side linebacker. James Laurinaitis returns as the starter in the middle, with Jo-Lonn Dunbar penciled in as the starter on the weak side.

    Linebacker was one position of great need for St. Louis that went largely unaddressed in the draft. The team used a seventh-round choice for Hawaii's Aaron Brown.

    Haggan provides veteran depth, a short-term starting candidate and, potentially, veteran leadership.

    The Scouts Inc. report for Haggan heading into last season read, "Haggan is much more effective coming forward than he is when dropping into space and may struggle in Denver's new defensive scheme. He shows good acceleration upfield as a pass-rusher and flashes a decent burst to close on the pocket. He needs work on his hand use as he tries to control and shed blockers. He can be inconsistent reading blocking schemes and locating the level of the ball."


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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    Good addition I think. Is Haggan some kind of specialist -- he's over 270 lbs., rather big for a LB!

    Age: 31
    Born: 03/03/1980, in Clarksdale, MS
    Height: 6'3"
    Weight: 274 lbs.
    College: Mississippi State
    Rookie Year: 2003
    NFL Experience: 9 years


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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    Put him at fullback. Not kidding.
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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    Special teams ace

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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    I am bewildered by this signing. He played well as a 3-4 OLB, but in a 4-3 defense he has not done much of anything his entire career.

    Just a head scratcher to me.
    "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: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    Good to have a little depth, hope he can help, but out linebacker corp still seems very weak. I can't say I'm pinning my hopes on him.

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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    The Rams need depth, experience, and insurance at LB. Haggan provides that.
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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    We're thin at the OLB position and this may simply be a depth signing. If he's worth anything we'll learn that in training camp, if not then we'll find an OLB during the roster cuts in Aug/Sept. Something we need to keep in mind, in the 4-3 defense OLB is not as critical as in the 3-4, so we should maintain our perspective and hope for the best. After the past few days of rookie minicamp it appears we have a lot to look forward to. I am trusting Les and Jeff to lead us to the upper echelons of the NFL.

    Go Rams!
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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    I agree, Hub, that he's done very little in a 4-3 offense. He's also kinda hefty for a 4-3 OLB, but could maybe lose some weight between now and the season. On the other hand, at this weight, he could play SLB on the occasions that we actually play a base defense and not a nickel, and when we're on 3rd down, he could play DE while Long or Quinn move inside. Or he could blitz from OLB and take the path that Long gives him. There's ways to use him, even if he doesn't specifically fit what we were looking for.

    With all the passing, how many three linebacker sets do we really think we'll be playing?
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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    274lbs is actually enough for a legit 4-3 DE. If I remember correctly, Chris Long only weighs around ~265lbs?

    Maybe they are going to come up with some complicated and exotic pass rush plays.

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    Re: Sando: What Rams Get With Veteran Linebacker

    With all the passing, how many three linebacker sets do we really think we'll be playing?
    But why pass if they can run? I think Haggan will do fine on running downs. I just don't think he will be much use on passing downs, as I don't think he's ever put his hand down at any point in his career, and the report is he's a liability dropping into coverage.

    I'm sure there's a reason they signed him. I'm not doubting that. I'm just saying I don't currently see it.
    "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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