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  • The Dying of a Myth

    I suppose myths based on absolutely no shred of fact are not uncommon around fan message boards, but there is one that simply blows my mind.....

    Will Witherspoon is too small to play MLB.

    I would like for all who buy into this myth to please defend it. Because I see ZERO legitimacy to it, and would like to know what you guys are thinking when you repeat it.

    Hopefully, the lack of credible reasons will be the death blow to this silly myth.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  • #2
    Re: The Dying of a Myth

    im in the camp that says Will can play Mlb but would prefer to have a thumper in the middle and Will on the outside..i dont think im in the camp that you are calling out...but maybe i have one lil toe in it..;)

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Dying of a Myth

      Originally posted by Ramblin` Ram View Post
      im in the camp that says Will can play Mlb but would prefer to have a thumper in the middle and Will on the outside..i dont think im in the camp that you are calling out...but maybe i have one lil toe in it..;)
      Hub, I think Ramblin's comment probably sums up what most of those who want to see Spoon moved back to the outside think. In other words, a lot of the talk of "Spoon's too small", or "Spoon's too short", -well, you get the idea- is more than likely that they are just not accurately stating their case. I believe most of these posters are just convinced that Spoon and the Rams would be better served with him playing OLB rather than MLB. That's not really saying that he CAN'T play the middle; just that it is not his BEST position.

      WHAT SAY YE?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Dying of a Myth

        Originally posted by HUbison View Post
        I suppose myths based on absolutely no shred of fact are not uncommon around fan message boards, but there is one that simply blows my mind.....

        Will Witherspoon is too small to play MLB.

        I would like for all who buy into this myth to please defend it. Because I see ZERO legitimacy to it, and would like to know what you guys are thinking when you repeat it.

        Hopefully, the lack of credible reasons will be the death blow to this silly myth.
        Like ramblinRam its not necessarily that I think he is too small, but I think he is better suited to play outside where his speed can be better utilized.

        However, let me offer two pieces of evidence to support the idea that Witherspoon is not suited to play MLB.

        1) the D is getting gashed on the ground. Teams whose MLB is suited to stop the run dont get lit up by teams running games.

        2) I cant think of a time when he shed a block and made a tackle between the tackles. I'm not talking about out quicking a guy and getting outside. I'm talking about standing up a blocker in the whole, shedding and making a play. I'm sure he has done it, but it doesnt seem to be his best skill.

        3. Finally, he seems to lose track of the play in traffic. As evidence his confusion about where the ball carier was on Jones long now-you-have-me-now-you-dont. Witherspoon just stood there looking at the pile while Jones turned and ran downfield.

        I dont mean this to be a criticism of Witherspoon at all. He's a very good LB and the best we have. I just think his skills could be better used on the outside.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Dying of a Myth

          In other words, a lot of the talk of "Spoon's too small", or "Spoon's too short", -well, you get the idea- is more than likely that they are just not accurately stating their case.
          Well then, by all means, here is the opportunity for those in that camp to clear their message. I am currently leaning towards a pick of Maulauga (I believe most would agree he is of the "thumper" mold); and I am certain both Spoon and Maulauga would be on the field at the same time (ie. either a position switch for one or a system change for the unit). I can live with all that. But when people say.....

          .....Spoon is too small to play MLB.........OR........Spoon is not a true MLB.......

          .....I have to roll my eyes. Those are just silly statements! If people mean something else (as stated above), fine. I might even agree. But why would anyone keep regurgitating the silly platitudes above?
          The more things change, the more they stay the same.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Dying of a Myth

            I think he is better suited to play outside where his speed can be better utilized.
            So you think his speed is better utilized on the outside where he covers half a field instead of in the middle where he can go sideline-to-sideline?
            the D is getting gashed on the ground. Teams whose MLB is suited to stop the run dont get lit up by teams running games.
            In other words.....he's not a MLB because the run D is no good; and the run D is no good because he's not a MLB.
            2) I cant think of a time when he shed a block and made a tackle between the tackles. I'm not talking about out quicking a guy and getting outside. I'm talking about standing up a blocker in the whole, shedding and making a play. I'm sure he has done it, but it doesnt seem to be his best skill.

            3. Finally, he seems to lose track of the play in traffic. As evidence his confusion about where the ball carier was on Jones long now-you-have-me-now-you-dont. Witherspoon just stood there looking at the pile while Jones turned and ran downfield.
            I can do nothing but simply disagree with your qualitative analysis. Spoon is always around the ball, and has proven himself to be the only consistent playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.

            I see absolutely no reason to remove him from the middle of the defense where his versatility can be utilitzed to put him on the outside where he will be pigeon-holed either blocking TEs as a SAM or displacing the #2 LB at the WILL, either of which leaves a gaping hole at MIKE.
            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Dying of a Myth

              Originally posted by HUbison View Post
              I suppose myths based on absolutely no shred of fact are not uncommon around fan message boards, but there is one that simply blows my mind.....

              Will Witherspoon is too small to play MLB.

              I would like for all who buy into this myth to please defend it. Because I see ZERO legitimacy to it, and would like to know what you guys are thinking when you repeat it.

              Hopefully, the lack of credible reasons will be the death blow to this silly myth.
              Its not a Myth, however, IMO he would be an even better OLB. I think that's what people are alluding to.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Dying of a Myth

                Originally posted by punahou View Post
                Its not a Myth, however, IMO he would be an even better OLB. I think that's what people are alluding to.
                Do proceed sir. You say it's not a myth. Therefore, you believe he is in fact too small to play MLB.

                I, along with all the NFL's outstanding MLBs who are the same size as or smaller than Spoon, would like to hear the rationale behind this non-myth.
                The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Dying of a Myth

                  Originally posted by HUbison View Post
                  Do proceed sir. You say it's not a myth. Therefore, you believe he is in fact too small to play MLB.

                  I, along with all the NFL's outstanding MLBs who are the same size as or smaller than Spoon, would like to hear the rationale behind this non-myth.

                  Im not saying hes too small. Im saying its a myth he CANT play MLB, he obviously can.

                  His stats at that position may be misleading, as what may be happening is that he is recording tackles that he shouldnt be making because his teamates cant make the plays.


                  IMO the Rams are the ideal candidate for a 4-6 defense, but what do I know-- Im just an unpaid football genius.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Dying of a Myth

                    Originally posted by HUbison View Post
                    So you think his speed is better utilized on the outside where he covers half a field instead of in the middle where he can go sideline-to-sideline? In other words.....he's not a MLB because the run D is no good; and the run D is no good because he's not a MLB. I can do nothing but simply disagree with your qualitative analysis. Spoon is always around the ball, and has proven himself to be the only consistent playmaker on the defensive side of the ball.

                    I see absolutely no reason to remove him from the middle of the defense where his versatility can be utilitzed to put him on the outside where he will be pigeon-holed either blocking TEs as a SAM or displacing the #2 LB at the WILL, either of which leaves a gaping hole at MIKE.
                    Ok. Let me try again.

                    First, my qualitative statements are more specific than your statements that Spoon is ideally suited for MLB. I gave you reasons. If you dont like them fine. But they are no more general than yours.

                    Second, Spoon is clearly the best LB on the team. That will be true wherever he plays. I dont doubt that he is the best LB sideline to sideline. But is he the best MLB when teams run right at him as teams have been doing to the Rams for three weeks? Put him on the weakside where he can run to make plays without having to fight off tackles, guards and FBs. I'd rather see him heads up against a TE or coming free off the backside with a thumper clogging the running lanes in the middle.

                    Third, I see Spoon as an AJ Hawk type LB. For many of the reasons you listed. He is always around the ball, plays well in space, and is obviously an effective pass rusher. Hawk is the Packers best LB and he's on the outside.

                    Finally, moving Witherspoon outside leaves an obvious hole in the middle that would have to be filled through FA or trade. This is a big problem for an organization that has done little through FA. Maybe Stills can play inside. Maybe there are guys out there who could do the job for a year until the Rams could draft Malauga or Laurinitis. We.re not talking about an improvement that is going to lead to a playoff birth this season. We're talking about an improvement that could make the games less painful and might make the team more competitive.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Dying of a Myth

                      Originally posted by Ben56 View Post
                      Ok. Let me try again.

                      First, my qualitative statements are more specific than your statements that Spoon is ideally suited for MLB. I gave you reasons. If you dont like them fine. But they are no more general than yours.

                      Second, Spoon is clearly the best LB on the team. That will be true wherever he plays. I dont doubt that he is the best LB sideline to sideline. But is he the best MLB when teams run right at him as teams have been doing to the Rams for three weeks? Put him on the weakside where he can run to make plays without having to fight off tackles, guards and FBs. I'd rather see him heads up against a TE or coming free off the backside with a thumper clogging the running lanes in the middle.

                      Third, I see Spoon as an AJ Hawk type LB. For many of the reasons you listed. He is always around the ball, plays well in space, and is obviously an effective pass rusher. Hawk is the Packers best LB and he's on the outside.

                      Finally, moving Witherspoon outside leaves an obvious hole in the middle that would have to be filled through FA or trade. This is a big problem for an organization that has done little through FA. Maybe Stills can play inside. Maybe there are guys out there who could do the job for a year until the Rams could draft Malauga or Laurinitis. We.re not talking about an improvement that is going to lead to a playoff birth this season. We're talking about an improvement that could make the games less painful and might make the team more competitive.
                      the 2009 draft is going to have a great LB corps.

                      Also the 2009 FA market os actually LOADED with good players at various positions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Dying of a Myth

                        Im not saying hes too small. Im saying its a myth he CANT play MLB, he obviously can.
                        So then you agree my premise that the "Spoon is too small" myth is just that.....a silly myth.
                        His stats at that position may be misleading, as what may be happening is that he is recording tackles that he shouldnt be making because his teamates cant make the plays.
                        So he's not suited to be a MLB because he makes plays his teammates should be making? Hmm.
                        IMO the Rams are the ideal candidate for a 4-6 defense, but what do I know-- Im just an unpaid football genius.
                        You and 5,000+ others on this board. But I don't think Buddy Ryan is busy.....let's give him a call. Sounds good to me.
                        The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Dying of a Myth

                          Spoon had a pro bowl caliber season last year in the middle. Regardless of where he is ideally suited to play, he is doing a great job where he is. The rams have tons of problems. Spoon at mlb isnt one of them. The play of the defensive tackles is critical to the capabilities of the linebackers. The tackles tie up the blockers so the linebackers make the plays. We are getting blown off the ball at the point of attack. The holes are huge. Note the dropoff in the play of ray lewis once his defensive line lost its peak performance (Goose retired and sam adams passed the 450 pound mark).

                          I am with hubison on this. I dont think he is too small at all. As i have posted previously, i would love however, to see magliamagliamula in a rams uniform next year.

                          ramming speed to all

                          general counsel

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Dying of a Myth

                            First, my qualitative statements are more specific than your statements that Spoon is ideally suited for MLB. I gave you reasons. If you dont like them fine. But they are no more general than yours.
                            Well Ben, I'm sorry, but I am reluctant to be persuaded by an example of one running back spinning out of a pile in which Spoon happen to be a part, and the fact that you can't recall him shedding a 300-lb lineman to make a play.

                            I'm only going on the fact that he played the position in Carolina during the absence of Dan Morgan, and the fact that he is the only true sideline-to-sideline run and coverage LB on the roster.

                            But again, the myth is....Spoon is too small to play MLB. The simple truth is he is as big or bigger than more than half of the starting MLBs in the league.
                            Second, Spoon is clearly the best LB on the team. That will be true wherever he plays. I dont doubt that he is the best LB sideline to sideline.
                            And here we completely agree.
                            But is he the best MLB when teams run right at him as teams have been doing to the Rams for three weeks?
                            Teams have been running right at the middle? In that case, Spoon is doing better than I thought as only 162 of the opposition's 553 rushing yards have come from the middle. The other 391 are to the outside.
                            Put him on the weakside where he can run to make plays without having to fight off tackles, guards and FBs.
                            Except that FBs can and do block to the weakside as well as pulling guards, and chipping tackles. But since he is the team's best LB and he is on the weakside, why not run more to the strong side or middle where there's more blocking and inferior LBs than to the teeth of the LB corp on the weakside?
                            Hawk is the Packers best LB and he's on the outside.
                            While Nick Barnett would disagree with that assessment, it should be noted that Barnett's presence allows the Packers the luxury of playing Hawk on the outside. Without Barnett on the roster, I believe Hawk (a Spoon-like player) would do just fine in the middle, don't you agree?
                            Maybe there are guys out there who could do the job for a year until the Rams could draft Malauga or Laurinitis.
                            I would think any MLB worth having, certainly one that could replace Spoon is already employed somewhere.

                            Now, once again, I am not opposed to the drafting of Maulauga or Laurinaitis (though my spell checker might be). In fact, if I had my "druthers", RM would be my pick right now regardless of draft slot. But that's never been the question.

                            The question has been and is......what is the rationale for the myth "Spoon is too small to be a MLB"?

                            I've seen that statement over and over, but yet to see where it has any factual basis.
                            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The Dying of a Myth

                              Witherspoon plays MLB, is he good at it, yes. Would he be better as an OLB? No one can really know, so I don't see the argument here.

                              Comment

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                                Does Will Witherspoon still play for us?
                                by RamsInfiniti
                                If he does, can you please tell me where he has been this season? Short of the INT last week, all I see is him constantly getting ran over, and being a few moments late to just about every play he has a chance to make ...

                                Is that groin still bothering him maybe?
                                -10-26-2008, 01:29 PM
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                                It seems like a done deal reading all of the posts but I guess I missed the announcement. Are we definitely moving him away from MLB? I just looked it up and he is the same height and weight as Antonio Pierce so I need some schooling on why the change?
                                -03-05-2009, 09:29 PM
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                                Now there are going to be some true MLB in this years free agent. would we sign one of them like: Karlos Dansby, Ray Lewis, Bart Scott...and many more just to name a few...do we have the money ...or do Will Witherspoon have the position Locked up!....I would personaly like it if they put him back at OLB and put and a true Dog in the Middle!
                                -10-24-2008, 10:26 AM
                              • viper
                                Where has Will Witherspoon Been?
                                by viper
                                Is it just me or has Will Witherspoon really been a non-factor in our defense this year? Last year you heard his name all of the time as a big playmaker. Whether he was blitzing the quarterback for a sack or laying the wood on the ball carrier. It wasn't too long ago that he was being compared to some of the best middle linebackers in the league.

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                                Is it time for us to finally come to the conclusion that Witherspoon is not a middle linebacker...that we need to go find us the big thumper in the middle at the earliest possible opportunity?

                                Or is it that the defensive players as a whole are not performing?

                                Or is it that Haslett can't get them in the right defenses to make the plays?

                                Thoughts?
                                -09-16-2008, 06:07 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Witherspoon Happy In The Middle
                                by RamWraith
                                Thursday, January 11, 2007

                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Senior Writer

                                Last offseason, the Rams moved quickly to fill the hole that was clearly the most gaping on their defense. When the team announced the signing of linebacker Will Witherspoon and the subsequent decision to play him in the middle, that hole was filled.

                                With limited experience at the position, Witherspoon had plenty of work to do. He isn’t the prototypical middle linebacker, listed perhaps at 230 pounds. But Witherspoon has speed, instincts and solid tackling acumen.

                                Of course, his first full season as a middle linebacker wasn’t without its share of struggles, but Witherspoon still was learning that being the middle linebacker involves more than leading the team in tackles.

                                The idea of becoming a leader, the task of being the man in the middle involves being the center of attention for the defense. That’s something Witherspoon had to learn in 2006.

                                “Will played that weakside linebacker spot in Carolina, so he wasn't a 'big-picture' guy,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. “He didn't see the whole thing. You don't have to, when you're playing one side. Now, he has to be that guy. He's got to be more of a leader.”

                                That process began in 2006 as Witherspoon did all of the things asked of him as far as his tangible performance on the field. He led the team in tackles with 136, adding three sacks, nine pass breakups, 14 quarterback pressures, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

                                The next step for Witherspoon is to embrace the intangible aspects of his new position. Of course, it would be hard to do that without the knowledge that he will indeed remain at middle linebacker next season.

                                After the defense struggled mightily against the run this season (finishing 31st in the league), some would like to see a bigger, more physical presence in the middle. While the Rams will investigate all ways to improve the defense in free agency and the draft, it appears that Witherspoon will get the stability he would like in the middle.

                                “I thought he made great strides, and we still have a way to go with him,” Haslett said. “But I think the more he stays in there, the more he sees, the better he gets. You look for guys like that to play in the middle in this league, because he can run sideline to sideline. He can cover receivers. He can run the middle of the field. Athletically, he can do almost anything you want.”

                                Perhaps the best way to help Witherspoon improve in the middle aside from another year of simply learning the position is to get some more bulk up front at the defensive tackle position. In doing that, Witherspoon should have more room to roam free and make plays.

                                As it stands, all indications are that is how the Rams will attack the offseason. Witherspoon said he has been given no indication that anything will change...
                                -01-11-2007, 01:41 PM
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