Three linebackers might prove to be equalizers to emerging tight ends

Discussion in 'Draft Zone' started by Arch Stanton, Mar 6, 2012.

  1. Arch Stanton

    Arch Stanton it was the grave marked unknown right beside

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    Three linebackers might prove to be equalizers to emerging tight ends

    By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/

    The emergence of tight ends Rob Gronkowski in New England and Jimmy Graham in New Orleans as virtually unstoppable weapons in the passing game surely has started a trend that every team the NFL will try to emulate if they can find size-speed freaks to attack defenses down the middle.

    Even as Gronkowski and Graham demonstrate Sir Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion -- that the velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force -- NFL defensive coordinators are trying to apply Newton's Third Law of Motion, which says that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    "I believe the defenses are changing," Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff explained to the media at the combine. "I think the matchups are very, very important for the defensive players now. We talk about that all the time. You need to match up speed and athleticism and you need to match up power-to-power along the front. When you get into building a football team or coaching a football team we always talk about matchups and how incredibly important that is."

    h, matchups. Although Newton predated American football by a couple of centuries, that is surely what he was hinting as a solution. Alas, there is a modern day challenge finding a matchup with the size and speed to create that required equal and opposite reaction.

    This year's free agency and draft offer little as a salve for the burns created by such big, fast tight ends as Gronkowski and Graham, as well as San Francisco's Vernon Davis, Green Bay's Jermichael Finley and others who are sure to follow in this copycat league.

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  2. Gaede

    Gaede Well-Known Member

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    I think it's interesting that teams will now start developing smaller LB talent to cover increasingly athletic TEs.

    The interesting part, to me, is how football evolves. It's a passing league right now with athletic pass catchers. So defenses have to become faster by getting smaller.

    Once this change happens, I predict NFL offenses will seek to exploit smaller faster defenses with power running games.

    The NFL seems to go in cycles. And I think this current passing game will eventually make it's way back to a running game.
  3. supercowboy8

    supercowboy8 Well-Known Member

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    another reason why we have Carter

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