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Indy LB Shuffle in the Making? (1 Viewer)

Birdie048

Footballguy
I realize the title is reading alot into a little blurb on KKFL, but there were rumors of Cato June 6' 0" moving back to Safety to provide some size/height to the Indy DB's. They are making an effort to improve the Defense and a shuffle on that side of the ball. With the short stature of the current DB's in Indy (Mike Doss 5' 10", Bob Sanders 5' 8", Nick Harper 5'10", Donald Strickland and backups David Jason 5' 8" & Joseph Jefferson 5' 10"), June offers a much needed physical presence into the Indy Secondary.The little KKFFL blurbs:

Colts | Pope Says He's Healthy - from www.KFFL.comThu, 12 May 2005 19:53:24 -0700John Oehser, of Colts.com, reports Indianapolis Colts LB Kendyll Pope, who spent the first 11 games last season on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform list with a quadriceps injury, says the injury is now completely healed and he looks forward to competing for a starting job in 2005.Colts | Pope Moves to Strong-Side LB - from www.KFFL.comThu, 12 May 2005 19:51:46 -0700John Oehser, of Colts.com, reports Indianapolis Colts LB Kendyll Pope is expected to play strong-side linebacker this season after working on the weak side last year. "It's not too much different than the WILL (weak side)," Pope said. "You make a few calls, and you have people coming at you – guards and tackles – but it's still about chasing the ball down."
Does this mean David Thorton moves back to MLB (as Rob Morris has been released) and Gilbert Gardner (3rd Rounder) takes the WLB? I recall Pope (4th Rounder) and Garnder were drafted close and both were considered good value for their draft slot, but could both take starting roles this yr? This would (could) make the Colts LB lineup:SLB K Pope 24 yr old, 6' 1" 220 lbMLB D Thorton 26 yr old 6' 2" 230 lbWLB G Gardner 23 yr old, 6' 1" 228 lbTalk about upgrading Thorton & Gardners' value!
 
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ffchamp1

Footballguy
I think you're reaching.
June to Safety is not going to happen because Doss and Sanders are short. THey just drafted the two of them and I do not mean to be sarcastic but they were short when they picked them. Pope to SLB replaces Nelson as Thornton's top backup. Thornton never played MLB so he could not "move back" to that spot. I would imagine however that Gardner gets a long look at WLB.

Thornton I always thought would end up in the middle so that is not as big a reach as people might think. If he does Pope might be an option although I am not so sure I would but him on that side. (This is why I am not a NFL coach).

Right now Quarles, I mean Brackett mans the middle for the Colts. Long term is he the answer, no way. However, he logged alot of time last year and worst case scenario is that he plays as much as he did AND he also plays Nelson's nickel minutes.

Tom

 

RAPTURE

Footballguy
Birdie, I like your assumption on the Colts defensive scenerio. Obviously, the Colts need to do something about their defense. You don't think the defensive coordinator was going to be going with the same personnel again for the upcoming season....did you? With Pope moving to the Strong-side, Thorton (their best LB) is in a very favorable situation whether he plays middle or weak-side. I prefer for him to play weakside, but I feel as if they want to get G. Gardner on the field and for this to happen he has to play weak-side due to his size.With the Colts safeties (M. Doss & B. Sanders) being under 6' tall, you can bet they'll have C. June playing some safety this year - he's natural positon. At this point in time, you may want to add G. Gardner to the sleeper list next to Gerald Hayes.RAPTURE

 

Weiner Dog

Footballguy
Pope's move to strong-side does not necessarily translate into Pope starting. I would assume Pope is depth for Thornton and June will continue as the starting WLB. The "joker's are wild" spot is MLB.Do the Colts re-sign Morris?? Do they bite the bullet and start Brackett?? Is Gilbert Gardner handed the MIKE position??If anything, Pope's move the SLB should provide a minor bump-up for Gardner. Gardner is now one step closer to starting...and one step further from the SLB gig.

 

Birdie048

Footballguy
Like I said, I might be reading alot in a such a little blurb, but everybody must agree that the Colts Def has to make some major changes over last yr or they won't get far in the post season (as they have experienced 2X already).

I might be wrong on his "move back" to MLB, but it would be a better fit for him than SLB. Pope was regarded as better LB option than June in camps last yr but was kept out due to injury.

IIRC, Gardner had trouble learning the schemes but Indy did not make a change since they were winning.... "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" must have been their mantra.

While I agree that the shorter stature secondary is not a suprise to the Colts, but the idea that the physical play of the DB's could overcome this issue is being questioned again. How do you think the 5' 8" DB's are going to cover the tall WR's they face this yr?

Jimmy Smith at 6' 1" and Andre Johnson at 6' 2" are the shortest divisional starting WR they have to cover. Tenn's WR are both over 6' 4".

If I was the DC in Indy (and I have no qualifications to do such a thing), I would have to make some serious changes to get the #29 Ranked Defense on the right side of things or have my resume ready for a new venue.

 

ffchamp1

Footballguy
Like I said, I might be reading alot in a such a little blurb, but everybody must agree that the Colts Def has to make some major changes over last yr or they won't get far in the post season (as they have experienced 2X already).

I might be wrong on his "move back" to MLB, but it would be a better fit for him than SLB. Pope was regarded as better LB option than June in camps last yr but was kept out due to injury.

IIRC, Gardner had trouble learning the schemes but Indy did not make a change since they were winning.... "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" must have been their mantra.

While I agree that the shorter stature secondary is not a suprise to the Colts, but the idea that the physical play of the DB's could overcome this issue is being questioned again. How do you think the 5' 8" DB's are going to cover the tall WR's they face this yr?

Jimmy Smith at 6' 1" and Andre Johnson at 6' 2" are the shortest divisional starting WR they have to cover. Tenn's WR are both over 6' 4".

If I was the DC in Indy (and I have no qualifications to do such a thing), I would have to make some serious changes to get the #29 Ranked Defense on the right side of things or have my resume ready for a new venue.
All valid points.I believe that they will be better with Sanders and Doss than they were with Bashir and Doss (assuming that Sanders and Doss can stay healthy. I also fell that Marlin Jackson while not a "shut down" will still be an uprgrade over last year.

Thornton as their best LB is forced to play the strong side. The thing that bothered me was that the second half of the year they pulled him in the nickel and left June in with Nelson. What does that say for your best LB if he is being pulled off the field.

Throw in the loss of Morris/Nelson and there are holes everywhere. If Gardner can remain healthy he SHOULD be the WLB. As I stated above, Thornton one day will be the MLB, and I would like it to be sooner than later. This team does NOT have a true SLB and couple that with the smallish backfield, and you have a wide open middle of the field.

Lets hope Freeney and Mathis are good for 25 sacks or this is going to be a long year, again.

Tom

 

Birdie048

Footballguy
Lets hope Freeney and Mathis are good for 25 sacks or this is going to be a long year, again.

Tom
Well, the best way to improve your Secondary is to have a solid Pass Rush! Just ask Carolina. Their DB's are generic while the DL is top notch! The difference is that the DL don't allow the QB time to make the 2nd & 3rd reads before they pressure. This hides the weakness of the Secondary.Part of my reason for the posting is to generate response and feedback to a possible outcome of the Indy LB corp. There is room for improvement there and since there are holes to fill, the likely names are now sleeper canadites IMO.

I just acquired G Gardner for the 5.10 rookie pick at a dirt cheap cost ($100K in a $30M cap). I believe it's a good investment for the potential reward.

 

yetiknight

Footballguy
I am getting confused with alot of misinformation here. Hopefully, these are just typos. Dungy's system is dependant on the best linebacker playing the weakside. Thornton has played that side for two years now and I can't see that changing until he becomes a FA and leaves town. June played the strongside well enough last year to keep a starting position there. Doss and Sanders are going to start at the safety positions as long as they are healthy. Dungy likes all of these positions. The Colts are weak in the middle at LB and DT. That problem was there last year. Rob Morris may have been the worst(at least the slowest) middle linebacker in the NFL. If he is resigned they will not improve at that position so he is gone and they will try a young guy. They continue to shuffle different players on and off the rosters every year at corner and defensive tackle. They play a cover 2 scheme which requires more speed than size at these positions.One more point. The Colts defense is not going to improve much if at all this year. They will still remain weak in the middle. The hardest part for Dungy is getting continuity. If they have to make all these changes every year they will never be able to play good team defense. Since they can't afford good individual talent they have to play well together. In other words, they are in trouble. At least they can score 30 points a game.

 

Weiner Dog

Footballguy
I am getting confused with alot of misinformation here. Hopefully, these are just typos. Dungy's system is dependant on the best linebacker playing the weakside. Thornton has played that side for two years now and I can't see that changing until he becomes a FA and leaves town. June played the strongside well enough last year to keep a starting position there.
:X Thornton played on the strong-side last year, while June was the WLB. Maybe this is why you're getting confused with all of the "misinformation" in this thread.

 

ffchamp1

Footballguy
I am getting confused with alot of misinformation here.  Hopefully, these are just typos.  Dungy's system is dependant on the best linebacker playing the weakside.  Thornton has played that side for two years now and I can't see that changing until he becomes a FA and leaves town.  June played the strongside well enough last year to keep a starting position there.
:X Thornton played on the strong-side last year, while June was the WLB. Maybe this is why you're getting confused with all of the "misinformation" in this thread.
Gotta say, whether he was joking or not, I actually had to re-read it. I will just chalk it up to wishfull thinking for all the Thornton owners who got shafted with the move last year.Tom

 

Rovers

Footballguy
Now, you can add this..... Boulware is making a major play to become a Colt. he wants to play right behind Freeney, with visions of huge sack numbers dancing in his head.

 

Birdie048

Footballguy
Now, you can add this..... Boulware is making a major play to become a Colt. he wants to play right behind Freeney, with visions of huge sack numbers dancing in his head.
As wild as this seems... I can see this happening! Boulware is a solid LB and offers a nice option to Indy. If he comes in at a good cost/value option, he will improve thier MLB position. Thorton is hard to displace at SLB and June or Gilbert would be better suited at WLB IMO.

They need a solid leader at MLB and Boulware saw what it takes from Ray Lewis. There could be worse moves for Indy!

 

Diablo

Footballguy
Now, you can add this..... Boulware is making a major play to become a Colt. he wants to play right behind Freeney, with visions of huge sack numbers dancing in his head.
As wild as this seems... I can see this happening! Boulware is a solid LB and offers a nice option to Indy. If he comes in at a good cost/value option, he will improve thier MLB position. Thorton is hard to displace at SLB and June or Gilbert would be better suited at WLB IMO.

They need a solid leader at MLB and Boulware saw what it takes from Ray Lewis. There could be worse moves for Indy!
Birdie,You have truly fallen way off the wagon with your pimping of players on your rosters. Give it up as we all know there is no way Boulware could ever play the MLB spot in a Cover 2 scheme.

BTW, how is all that hype over Thomas Jones working for you right about now :lmao:

 

Rovers

Footballguy
Yeah, now way do I see Boulware ever playing the middle in Indy. He wants to be on the outside with a green light to blitz.

 

Birdie048

Footballguy
Birdie,

You have truly fallen way off the wagon with your pimping of players on your rosters. Give it up as we all know there is no way Boulware could ever play the MLB spot in a Cover 2 scheme.

BTW, how is all that hype over Thomas Jones working for you right about now :lmao:
Diablo... what does Thomas Jones have to do with the potential Indy LB starters? Hijack in progress? :boxing: But as the only Indy LB I currently own in any league is Gardner, sure I'd like to see him get the WLB slot, but the whole idea here was to generate discussion from knowledable sources on the likelyhood of a Colt LB remix...so, why did you join in? :lmao:

As for the addition of Boulware to Indy? Looking less likely with reported Boulware interest teams are expressing.... better fit is Sea or Cin, but as a Daryl Smith owner, I hope he does not land in Jax!!

So, what changes does Indy make to the Def?

Having lost Rob Morris and Idrees Basheer, the #3 and #6 leading tackler on the team, and having a Def that ranked #31 in Pass Def (with those short DB's) and the #24 Run Def (which gave up a whopping 4.6 ypc average), CHANGES MUST BE MADE! But What Changes?

The first 3 rookie picks were for Defense.

Rnd 1 # 29 Jackson, M. CB Michigan

Rnd 2 # 60 Hayden, K. CB Illinois

Rnd 3 # 92 Burns, V. DE Kentucky

How much will they play into the changes? Not much unless the idea is to get some additional height into the secondary (both CB's are 6' 1").

Constructive input always welcome.... and Diablo... T Jones will play a role in the offense until Benson proves otherwise..... all pre-draft hype aside, both can do the job. TJ has experience in the NFL.

 

Rovers

Footballguy
They need a solid leader at MLB and Boulware saw what it takes from Ray Lewis. There could be worse moves for Indy!
Boulware isn't healthy enough to play on the outside, let alone a trek to the middle. He's a pure pash rusher. That's it.
Do you have a lnk or something else to support the idea that Boulware isn't healthy enough to play full time anymore? Or was that primarilly an opinion, based on whatever? I would think if he could be an effective pass rusher, he ought to be able to play football, but maybe there is more info you have on his condition to reach your conclussion?

PS: That quote looks very screwy..... I never said Boulware could play the middle at all, quite the opposite.
 
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Callas Disregard

Footballguy
Having lost Rob Morris and Idrees Basheer, the #3 and #6 leading tackler on the team, and having a Def that ranked #31 in Pass Def (with those short DB's) and the #24 Run Def (which gave up a whopping 4.6 ypc average), CHANGES MUST BE MADE! But What Changes?
Uh, actually getting rid of Morris and Bashir IMPROVES the defense, even if they don't sign anyone to replace them.
 

The_Hunchback

Footballguy
They need a solid leader at MLB and Boulware saw what it takes from Ray Lewis. There could be worse moves for Indy!
Boulware isn't healthy enough to play on the outside, let alone a trek to the middle. He's a pure pash rusher. That's it.
Do you have a lnk or something else to support the idea that Boulware isn't healthy enough to play full time anymore? Or was that primarilly an opinion, based on whatever? I would think if he could be an effective pass rusher, he ought to be able to play football, but maybe there is more info you have on his condition to reach your conclussion?

PS: That quote looks very screwy..... I never said Boulware could play the middle at all, quite the opposite.
You just have to read between the lines about this IMHO. IF he could play everydown and thought that he was better than what Balt had with Thomas then I don't know why they would have drafted Cody. He apparently moved to third in the depth chart and they didn't feel he would produce enough for his cost. Other teams would have moved in quicker to get him as their starter but from what I have read most teams are looking at him as a situational pass rusher. Perhaps I am reading to much into but I don't think many teams want to count on a 30yr old OLB who has just missed a full+ plus year as their starting OLB.
 

yetiknight

Footballguy
I am getting confused with alot of misinformation here.  Hopefully, these are just typos.  Dungy's system is dependant on the best linebacker playing the weakside.  Thornton has played that side for two years now and I can't see that changing until he becomes a FA and leaves town.  June played the strongside well enough last year to keep a starting position there.
:X Thornton played on the strong-side last year, while June was the WLB. Maybe this is why you're getting confused with all of the "misinformation" in this thread.
Gotta say, whether he was joking or not, I actually had to re-read it. I will just chalk it up to wishfull thinking for all the Thornton owners who got shafted with the move last year.Tom
:confused: I was sure that Thornton played the weakside most of last year. I guess I should pay more attention to the team from my hometown. :blush: I actually was under the impression June put up great numbers for a SLB. It appears they played him almost exclusively on the right side even when it was the strongside(not that often). That probably slowed him down a little bit statistically.

I don't see the Colts signing Boulware. They have Mathis and Freeney to rush the quarterback. They have passed up the opportunity to sign a few better options already. But I guess you have to take my oppinion with a grain of salt now. :loco:

Edited to add that I have never owned either Thornton or June.

 
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jetmonkey

Footballguy
IIRC last year both IND and JAX ran a D where the SLB and WLB did not switch sides to match the offense, can anyone verify?

 

obxlegends

Footballguy
Do you have a lnk or something else to support the idea that Boulware isn't healthy enough to play full time anymore? Or was that primarilly an opinion, based on whatever? I would think if he could be an effective pass rusher, he ought to be able to play football, but maybe there is more info you have on his condition to reach your conclussion?
Boulware hasn't been 100% healthy is a few years. True he had a Pro Bowl season with his arm in a sling. He missed the final 3 games of the 2003 season and was reported set to go for 2004. He ended up on the pup list. Scheduled, once again, to play in the final parts of the regular season. Then, once again (theme?), he injured his big toe and missed it all. I'm sure Boulware is tough enough to play full time. However, the Ravens named Adailus Thomas the starter in Rex Ryan's new defense. Boulware, even if he stayed, would be relegated to a pass rush specialist. Cody's arrival only made the transition that much easier. Please remember this is the first career Raven ever released for salary cap reasons. If they believed for a moment Boulware was primed for another full time Pro Bowl season they would of kept him in a hearbeat. They saved almost no money (on paper) by releasing him now.
 

ffchamp1

Footballguy
IIRC last year both IND and JAX ran a D where the SLB and WLB did not switch sides to match the offense, can anyone verify?
This is correct. You saw a increase in Junes numbers when he replaced Thornton in the nickle packages and he became more comfortable in the scheme.This year however they (Jax and Indy) are both refering to their LB's in the traditional WLB and SLB, or at least the media is.

Tom

 

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