the answer is... it depends of course, but you should consider both (pedigree & opportunity shouldn't be overlooked, either)...to illustrate, take probable starting IND safeties bob sanders & mike doss.i think sanders will stay at more natural position of SS & doss will play somewhat out of position at FS, despite fact that coverage is not a strong suit for doss & he already proved himself effective at SS his rookie year b4 last year's injury-marred effort... also, sanders may be even more athletic & might be not only NOT a liability in coverage, but actually good at it.but because he started over doss at end of season when latter was healthy (with bashir at FS), & i think he can be a bigger difference maker in run support than doss from that position... they are similarly athletic, talented in run support and almost certainly the two most talented safeties on roster (despite similar phyical traits and skill set)... it make sense to get them both on field & deploy them with doss at FS.that said, EVEN IF sanders ends up at FS with doss at SS... until i saw how it actually shook out, i would not rush to trade sanders for doss b4 first game.the hit man is so gifted he could imo still outpoint doss from FS... even if at times doss were to cheat up closer to LOS as SS (& many times in cover two they line up about same level in deep halves formation). doss ran a 4.4 at pro day, but he seems to play more like a 4.5 (not to dis doss... he was a three time All-American & was often called a coach on the field for his almost ed reed-like football IQ & leadership)... sanders was easily fastest safety at his combine following year with a sub-4.4 & he plays like a 4.3 speed merchant... he compensates for sub-5'9" ht with 40"+ hops.sanders has telepathic instincts & run/pass read & recognition skills, & has a good chance to get to the spot first consistently. he is a playmaker & has been a johnny-on-the-spot too long in college & so far in the pros to be random or a fluke. he gets to the ball carrier, & if he can stay healthy could put up some massive, monster numbers (especially from SS as expected).sometimes when looking at IDPs & trying to parse the talent & scheme divide, break down a player (really at every position) by their instincts, first step, do they avoid false steps & are they generally flowing in the right direction... do they take good pursuit angles... can they sift through traffic... do they have the burst, suddenness & explosiveness to close on the ball carrier... can they break down in the open field, wrap up & finish the deal?if the answer is yes to a lot of these questions, talent may supersede & take primacy over scheme...this is why ostensibly sack challenged DT position wouldn't prevent snaring kevin williams or rod coleman at certain point.an exercise to think about is DJ williams, recently thought of as one of the brightest IDP prospects from class of '04 but suddenly many are down on him due to move to SLB... could he outpoint ian gold, back from TB exile & a season more removed from '03 knee injury... himself a physical specimen (was faster pre-knee injury with reported blazing 4.4 speed), great athlete (though not the pedigree of DJ... former USA TODAY national player of the year as LB & 40 TD+ TD scoring FB... who madden once said was the only prep he ever saw who could go directly to pros) and seemingly favored scheme-wise & better positioned to rqack up a lions share of tackles, getting to pursue largely unchecked from weak side, while DJ has to cover TEs & fight through more blocks?* edit/add - it would be good to think of other examples around the league to sharpen some of these distinctions, & add to the collective repertoire of examplars & the old principle tool kit, by which & with which to attack similar problems & positional conundrums in the future.
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