Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,546
    Rep Power
    167

    "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    In years past, players who weighed between 250-275 lbs and projected as either DEs or OLBs were dubbed "tweeners," a negative term indicating that the player might be too small to be a down lineman and too big to be a LB.

    Well, now, it seems that "tweeners" are all the rage.

    Dwight Freeney, Terrell Suggs, DeMarcus Ware and Shawne Merriman all wore this label coming out of college. Now, they are among the top young sack artists and most disruptive defenders in the league.

    I think the Rams could use a guy like this (arguably, Leonard Little used to be one, though he seems to have lost a step).

    So, who are the top tweeners in this year's draft? (Kiwanuka, Dumervil) Maybe Nick has the answer.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -12-26-2005 at 01:12 PM.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is online now Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Age
    31
    Posts
    19,341
    Rep Power
    153

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    First of all, I don't think "tweeners" is a negative term, but rather simply a term applied to a player who doesn't have a clear-cut position and who could be effective either in a three point stance or as a standing rusher. Some might say that kind of versatility would be a positive, not a negative.

    However, of the four names you mentioned, only one of them (Freeney) plays in the scheme the Rams use (the 4-3). Two of them are rush backers in the 3-4, and Suggs is a defensive end in the 46. So I'm not sure that their success means we need to acquire a similar player unless we plan on changing schemes. Even in Freeney's case, he only has 34 tackles this year per ESPN, so you have to wonder how big of a factor he plays in run defense at his size. How about other "tweeners" who haven't done so well? Dan Cody? Jeb Huckeba? Jason Babin in 2004? For every success story, there's going to be the chance of failure.

    If we ran a 3-4 where we needed big speedy rushers, then I'd be all for grabbing someone like Merriman. But that doesn't fit our current scheme, so I'm not sure finding a 250-270 OLB would be beneficial to the defense we currently run. Look at the top defenses in the league that run the same 4-3 scheme we use. Tampa Bay, Chicago, Carolina, Jacksonville, Washington. Most of their LBs are of smaller weight, the higher of which just barely reach the 250 range. There are indications that if someone like Gregg Williams was brought in, he'd want beefer linebackers, but so much so to the point of being potential defensive linemen? I'm not so sure.

    If you're looking for names of players who are DE/LB tweeners in this class, I can provide them. Kiwanuka I think is going to be a defensive end and will probably add some weight in the pros. I'm not sure I really see him as an OLB. But guys like Manny Lawson, Parys Haralson, Kamerion Wimbley, Eric Henderson, and Quentin Moses all have the size and speed numbers to at least work out at either position.

    Of course, if we go that route, I think it would have to mean a drastic change in defensive philosophy. We'd probably say goodbye to Pisa in our LB corps because of his lack of size, so we'd have not just one OLB to find but two. If we move to a 3-4, we would need an additional starting ILB (unless you like the idea of Claiborne and Faulk being our two guys), and assuming Little or Hargrove shift to OLB to fill one void there, we'd definitely need two new starting DEs.

    All this because we want to add a tweener to our roster? Let's put it this way. We have a board with a round hole. Why not find a round peg instead of throwing out the board to find one that will fit the square peg we want but don't even have yet?
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,546
    Rep Power
    167

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    Well, in a sense, you've anticipated something I've been thinking about, which is the potential of moving to a 3-4.

    While I agree that is would necessitate a significant change in personnel (with Pisa's incompatability the biggest downside), I do see some potential there. I think that Little could be a good 3-4 OLB. I like the idea of Pickett and Kennedy rotating at NT. Claiborne and Chillar could man the inside. The Rams would need another "tweener" to play opposite Little, and some more size for the DE spots.

    Then again, if it is broke, then you do need to fix it, right?

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is online now Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Age
    31
    Posts
    19,341
    Rep Power
    153

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    Then again, if it is broke, then you do need to fix it, right?
    It then becomes a discussion on to what degree things are broke. If my air conditioning is broke, I don't go buy a new house. Obviously there are more problems on this D than just the "air conditioning" but I'm of the mindset that we don't have to completely revamp the entire defensive personnel to see some production occur. If you think it's time to buy the new house, okay. But that's going to take a good 2-3 years to get the package we want defensively, and who knows if by that time whether or not it'll actually work and be productive. Just because we switch to a 3-4 doesn't mean we'll have a good defense (see Houston, San Fran).

    I'm not sure I like Chillar as an ILB in the 3-4, nor do I think we should be confident at what 31-year-old Leonard Little would do at a position he struggled at earlier in his career. Honestly, I think the 3-4 is more trendy now, and a lot of people are looking to it because of the success that New England and Pittsburgh have had. I'm just not sure I see the point in the change given the personnel we have, which really doesn't fit the 3-4 very well IMO.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  5. #5
    talkstoangels61's Avatar
    talkstoangels61 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    53
    Posts
    954
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    You don't measure a player by their weight on the scale but,you do by the weight of their heart!
    I agree with making Little a LB and also think that Hargrove would be well suited for the same thing! Pickett,DLew,Greene,Kennedy should be tried at the down linemen and put the others mentioned at outside lb's like we used to use Kevin Greene and how LT and Company were used! It would put a ton of pressure on the opposing teams Offense and coaching staff! They would have to account for all the players rather than a few of them! Basically we would have at least 6 players quite capable for installing heat to their line and QB on any given snap!!!!

  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,546
    Rep Power
    167

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    Wait a second... while I think some of your points are well taken, this one's really not a fair statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    nor do I think we should be confident at what 31-year-old Leonard Little would do at a position he struggled at earlier in his career.
    LL never played OLB in a 3-4. He played OLB in a 4-3, which is a different position, as you have pointed out.

  7. #7
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is online now Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Age
    31
    Posts
    19,341
    Rep Power
    153

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    LL never played OLB in a 3-4. He played OLB in a 4-3, which is a different position, as you have pointed out.
    That much I agree with, but I'm not sure a 31-year-old veteran is the kind of guy you ask to move from DE to standing OLB, nor do I think we should be confident in predicting good results from that move. Little could be a good 3-4 OLB, but we have no idea if he would or will should the move happen. Therefore, the position is as much of a question mark as ever before; we'd simply have a body there to try out. That was more my point.
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  8. #8
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,546
    Rep Power
    167

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    I don't necessarily disagree with that. I guess I'm influenced, to some degree, by what I've seen down here with the Dolphins, who seem to have successfully transitioned to a 3-4 under Nick Saban, with Jason Taylor becoming the resident "tweener."

    Heck, I'm not sure it would work. I just know things ain't working now.

  9. #9
    Blankman17's Avatar
    Blankman17 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Age
    31
    Posts
    269
    Rep Power
    14

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    My (extremely amatuer) take on the 4-3 to the 3-4 and vice versa is that you play to your strengths. If you decide to run a 4-3, this tells me you feel that you have several quality defensive linemen who can not only stop the run but get pressure on the quarterback.

    Conversely, if you run a 3-4, this tells me you've got extremely talented linebackers who can do the above and you've got a guy who can do, well, a number of things, which can always come in handy.

    However, this can be a bit mis-leading depending on depth, naturally, but scouting reports would tell you the rest there. So, I feel the question becomes: Do you feel that the Rams have a brighter future at linebacker or lineman?

  10. #10
    talkstoangels61's Avatar
    talkstoangels61 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Illinois
    Age
    53
    Posts
    954
    Rep Power
    11

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    Actually playing a OL is easier on you than playing a down lineman. You just get a quicker step when down than halfing to push off standing up! But, it's really what ever your comfortable with. So i really don't think that by playing LL up would really effect him all that much.

  11. #11
    RamJackson39's Avatar
    RamJackson39 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    990
    Rep Power
    12

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    I would not be happy to see the Rams move to a 3-4. I just dont believe that we have enough talent at LB. So many players would have to be moved around, and so many players would probably be released. This would take a transition of maybe 1-2 seasons and spread it out to maybe 3-4 seasons. I just dont want to see that happening.

    I like the defense that we will put out on the field next season. If we can sign either Ryans or Greenway, then I'll be ecstatic about our defensive possibilities. I know it may seem stupid, but having Butler back is going to change the entire landscape of our D. Having Fisher back at fulle health is going to help as well. I believe that we are one GOOD LB away from being a good defense.
    The Roman and The Prince. Playmakers until the end.


  12. #12
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
    RAMMAN68 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Age
    45
    Posts
    2,714
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    Nick,
    what's your thoughts of the RAMS taking Elvis Dumervil, DE Louisville in round 2 if he's available like you project. A couple of Ram fans that I watch the games with are very big college football fans and speak highly of the lad.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

  13. #13
    Nick's Avatar
    Nick is online now Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Morgantown, WV
    Age
    31
    Posts
    19,341
    Rep Power
    153

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    Quote Originally Posted by RAMMAN68
    Nick,
    what's your thoughts of the RAMS taking Elvis Dumervil, DE Louisville in round 2 if he's available like you project. A couple of Ram fans that I watch the games with are very big college football fans and speak highly of the lad.
    At 6'0" and 256 pounds, you have to wonder how well Dumervil is going to hold up at the point of attack. Does he have the size and strength to stand his ground against bigger tackles? He's had amazing production at the college level, but he's not really facing elite competition in the Big East.

    He's compared to Dwight Freeney a lot, but the more accurate comparison might be Robert Mathis. Elvis could really skyrocket up the charts depend on what he does at the combine, but I'm not convinced you draft him with the idea that he's anything more than a situational pass rusher off the edge.

    Considering we play on turf, Dumervil would benefit from the extra speed he'd gain. But I don't think you look at him as a guy who starts for you, but rather as a guy who comes in on passing situations to get pressure on the opposition. And with that being said, is that really what we want to spend a day one pick on?
    ClanRam ModCast: Episode Two
    Rams Discussion Right at Your Fingertips!



  14. #14
    RAMMAN68's Avatar
    RAMMAN68 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Age
    45
    Posts
    2,714
    Rep Power
    15

    Re: "Tweener" No Longer A Criticism (Gimme One Of Those!)

    And with that being said, is that really what we want to spend a day one pick on?
    Dosen't sound like it.
    I don't follow college football that much so I haven't seen much of the top players aside from Bush and Lienert of course. Thanx for the input.
    JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS


    "HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"
    Adm. William "Bull" Halsey

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •