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Hankmoody

LB to DE - projecting 2018

10 posts in this topic

I think the other thread is good to discuss what's happening now and keep fresh info in, but I wanted specifically to have a speculation thread for what might happen down the road.  A year ago Melvin Ingram and Shaq Lawson didn't hold a lot of value in most non-big-play leagues, but wow are they hot now.  I'm looking for the 2018 version of these guys.  So, in order to get a leg up on our dynasty opponents, I like to start thinking now about who might be making this change.  There are really two reasons why a guy gets re-designated - a scheme change to 4-3 (usually from a coaching change) or moving to a new role (Kevin Dodd appears to be being moved this year).  Who's under the most pressure?  Who's likely to be the scapegoat that a 1st or 2nd year HC hangs the blame on?  Who's most likely to be part of a flush job?

NEP
I only included these guys so no one would ask "but what about the Patriots".  Yes, Patricia is probably going to get another job but I don't care.  I don't trust BB one iota to give us any consistency in any scheme, usage, or player commitment.  Luke Kuechley could go to NEP and I would trade him in a flash.

NYJ
No one can really be very safe here.  Bowles is the most likely candidate to go, and if he does you gotta think it's a house-cleaning.  But is there a player that's an interesting candidate even if they do change?  Mauldin?  Jenkins?  Lemonier?  Ugh.

BAL
Don Pees has been there a while but Harbaugh has shown a willingness to make big changes when necessary at coordinator.  And he might even be feeling real heat himself.  Tim Williams would interest me a lot with his pure talent, but he's undersized and might make a better SAM in the Bradley Under than a pure DE.  Anyone else worth considering?

PIT
Might be a lead pipe lock as a 3-4 team.  I can't imagine anyone having the guts to come to PIT and try to run anything else.  In the history of like ever.

HOU
Man some juicy candidates with Clowney and maybe Mercilus, but how likely would such a change be?  And what do you do with Watt?  Vrabel just got promoted and isn't going to make anything so disruptive happen, but he might be on a fast track to a HC spot so this might be worth keeping a longer term eye on.

IND
Pagano can't be long for Indy if they struggle again, can he?  I kind of liked Sheard, was very disappointed he went to a 3-4 team, seems like he'd be much more successful at DE.  Anyone else?

TEN
How much longer can Lebeau keep going?  He's in no jeopardy of being ousted but there has to be an age risk here.  Kevin Dodd has already moved to DE but in a 3-4 that's a lot less exciting.  Derrick Morgan would excite, and the rookie Wallace is pretty special athlete that's getting some hype for his football playing - could he make that transition?

DEN
Their DC was the DB coach prior to Vance Joseph getting hired and Wade Phillips leaving (which of those two happened first?) but Joseph didn't really have any scheme history, being hired directly from a secondary coach position himself.  It's worked in DEN and they have great personnel for it, so I think a chance is unlikely.  But man, Von Miller.....one can dream.

KCC
Bob Sutton has been there since 2013 and defense has never been their weakness, so I think this one's a longshot at best.

OAK
Scheme is in total flux.  Ken Norton junior is a Gus disciple in the 4-3 under and they started that way last year, but they were clearly better in 3-4 alignments last year and are taking that approach again.  Anything could happen and holy crap please somehow God Of All That Is Wonderful In IDP please let Khalil Mack go back to DE (after I trade for him cheap this year).

WAS
An interesting one.  Ryan Kerrigan has put up some pretty beastly numbers (for a DE) and looks like a guy that would play just fine with his hand in the dirt.  Gruden's seat has to be warm, and he's not about to admit his offense is the problem.  If he survives he might just blame the DC and whack him, and if he doesn't the DC might be collateral damage.

CHI
This is one of the primary reasons I started this thread.  I took over a rebuild and of course the second thing I did was look for guys to purge.  One of the main places I generally start is 3-4 OLB.  But on this team I have Ingram, Lawson, and Floyd.  2 of 3 just took huge value jumps and I had the epiphany - Floyd could be a great guy to sit on DTS and hope for a coaching change.  I've never really had a team I could burn a roster spot or two on for such a longshot, but Floyd has some serious upside if all falls in place so would be a great candidate.

It's not like there's any stability there, and in retrospect we should have seen Buffalo and SDC as, at a minimum, strong possibilities to get new DC and therefore a possibility of a change to 4-3.  If you asked me for a top 3 list of teams likely to change DC Chicago would definitely be on it.  And Lloyd Christmas would love the odds he's getting of there being a change to a 4-3 should that happen.

GBP
I haven't followed this one at all.  How much heat is Capers taking?  McCarthey?  Are likelihood either/both are gone?  Nick Perry would probably look great at DE in a 4-3, anyone else to track as the year goes on?

ARI
Arians brought Bettcher from Indy with him, so it would take something pretty catastrophic to let him go I think.  But this team did just go an ugly 7-8-1 - how much of that was on the defense?  Could Bettcher be a sacrificial ram?  Would Arians even do that to him, even if forced by upper management?  I think Arians is definitely safe for another year regardless of what happens.

LAR
Wade just got here, so there's little chance of a short return.  Or is there?  Hue fired his guy after one year, and the LAR personnel are built for a 4-3.  Quinn seems very mismatched for OLB and as good as Donald is, his quickness won't be nearly as devastating to OT's as it is to OG's.  I don't know who/how/when Phillips was hired but perhaps this is a surprise one-and-done?

 

Edited by Hankmoody
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1 hour ago, Hankmoody said:

 

ARI
Arians brought Bettcher from Indy with him, so it would take something pretty catastrophic to let him go I think.  But this team did just go an ugly 7-8-1 - how much of that was on the defense?  Could Bettcher be a sacrificial ram?  Would Arians even do that to him, even if forced by upper management?  I think Arians is definitely safe for another year regardless of what happens and perhaps longer than that if Mahomes turns into their franchise guy immediately.

 

 

Great stuff, love the content and solid speculation.

But I think it would be quite the bombshell if Mahomes ends up starting for Arizona any time soon...

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1 hour ago, Arodin said:

Great stuff, love the content and solid speculation.

But I think it would be quite the bombshell if Mahomes ends up starting for Arizona any time soon...

Dang huge brain fart I could have sworn ARI drafted a QB.  Maybe it was because of all the speculation they should and all the mocks putting Mahomes there.

Edited by Hankmoody

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Re Sheard, there are lots of reasons he was more successful in New England than Cleveland, but one was certainly him being utilized with his hand in the dirt rather than as a 3-4 OLB.

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Good post. A few quick notes:

I would temper expectations on Floyd moving to DE if the Bears go to a 4-3. He played at 225 last year. He's put on 15 pounds of muscle in the offseason, but still, 240 is very light for a DE. He'd probably end up at SAM. Especially since McPhee and Young are both DE-sized.

Washington had trouble finding a new DC in the offseason. They finally had to promote Manusky, their OLB coach. The primary reason was Gruden was on the last year of his deal. Gruden has since signed a 2 year extension, but if they lose Cousins next year, who's to say they don't blow the whole thing up. Preston Smith would be the name to watch. He had a slow sophomore season after being 2nd in sacks as a rookie behind Danielle Hunter. I think Smith was a force player as well.

The Jets are obviously tanking so there's a good chance they clean house at the end of the season. Definitely looked around at Jordan Jenkins. This has got to be the best bet for a change, but the Jets were still 11th in total defense (yards) last year. It would be interesting if teams see how often teams that rank highly in total defense get scheme changes.

Wade Phillips is about to turn 70. I'm pretty sure when he signed on, he was only planning on doing a year or two. But every defense he's coordinated has gotten markedly better. And it's the same as the Broncos, Texans and Chiefs, if he makes the Rams defense legit, anyone new would probably be afraid to change it.

There's been talk of Bruce Arrians retiring for a year or two. Some speculate if Palmer and Fitz retire, Arrians would join them. Chandler Jones would definitely make some noise moving to a DE.

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Posted (edited)

Well I intended to keep better track of this topic thoughout the year but didn't.  Now that coaching changes are beginning we need to stoke this up.  What teams are changing DC or Head Coaches that are likely to heavily influence a scheme change?

OAK
Sounds like Gruden is bringing in Guenther who has been primarily a 4-3 guy, so fire up your Khalil Mack offers!

CHI
Nagy was as lukewarm as possible when discussing Fangio.  This one needs to be tracked.  Who are candidates to change aside from Floyd?

GBP
Capers out, Pettine in.  What's his base D?  I think he's a 4-3 guy?  Who are we watching here?

KCC
Bob Sutton is gone.  This has been a long-time 3-4, do they have 4-3 personnel?  Justin Houston would be beastly with a DE designation.

BAL
Peas is retiring - this is one to monitor.  Suggs is effectively a DE anyway and even though he's old, I think he can have some value with a DE designation.  Matt Judon though is the guy I want with his hand in the dirt full time.  That dude can ball.

ARI
Keeping an eye open for a possible new DC with the new regime?
Chandler Jones would be orgasmic as a DE

IND
Keeping an eye open for a possible new DC with the new regime?

 

Edited by Hankmoody

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1 hour ago, Hankmoody said:

GBP

 

Did they fire Capers yet?  I haven't followed this one closely, what's going on and who are the key people?

Yes they did.  GB rumored to be eyeing Fangio.

1 hour ago, Hankmoody said:

BAL

 

Peas is retiring - this is one to monitor.  Suggs is effectively a DE anyway and even though he's old, I think he can have some value with a DE designation.  Matt Judon though is the guy I want with his hand in the dirt full time.  That dude can ball.

Looks like little change to be expected with the promotion of Don Martindale. 

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On 1/9/2018 at 2:47 PM, Hankmoody said:

KCC
Bob Sutton is gone.  This has been a long-time 3-4, do they have 4-3 personnel?  Justin Houston would be beastly with a DE designation.

The DL would probably be fine if they switched. Houston would be awesome at DE as you mentioned, and for DT-required leagues, Chris Jones could be really good. On the other hand, KC's linebackers seem better suited for a 3-4 - Ragland in particular. He looked like a future stud in Rex Ryan's 3-4, was such a bad fit in Buffalo's new 4-3 that he almost got cut, and then played really well in KC's 3-4. As a Chiefs fan, I'd be disappointed if they made the switch. 

Edited by bud29

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How about Arizona? Arians is retiring, does the next coach keep the 3-4 or might we see a 4-3? Steve Wilks is a candidate for the job, and he ran the 4-3 in Carolina? Might Chandler Jones finally get back on the DL?

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