Popular Post clayton163v Posted April 10, 2021 Popular Post Share Posted April 10, 2021 The Jets new 4-3 scheme requires very different linebackers from a 3-4 scheme. Instead of players who can run, play in space and put their hand in the dirt to challenge the tackle the 4-3 places its emphasis on guys who can run, tackle and cover. The Jets never did find the outside rush linebacker that makes a 3-4 scheme work. We did try - I will not soil this post with a reminder of failed attempts. Remember your Parcells on 3-4 linebackers - "It's hard to find guys who are big enough." Instead, the 4-3 requires three very different linebackers. The most important and hardest to find is the strong side outside linebacker. This player not only needs to be able to tackle and cover the tight end, they have to be able to shut down the edge and tackle. Like with 3-4 linebackers, it is hard to find guys who are big enough. The personnel we let go in Luvu, Bashum et al simply did not run well enough to play strong side in a 4-3. This player has to be big enough to set the edge on running plays and cover the tight end/backs in space. The strong side linebacker is the most expensive piece of the 4-3 linebackers because he is the hardest to find. College does not turn out such players and they tend to be higher draft picks. The middle linebacker in the 4-3 scheme must read the play and hit the proper gap with authority. Read and react middle linebackers are a staple of the college game. Obviously the best ones are early draft picks but the difference between most of them is small and they can be found late in the draft or in free agency. 250 pounds and good read and react skills. Speed is just not as important. Especially if your defense runs the zone pass defense like Saleh is expected to for the Jets during his tenure. The Will is the last of the 4-3 linebackers. This player must be able to run and tackle. Unlike 3-4 linebackers, size is far less important. 230lbs is large enough. College cranks out these guys all the time. Like with the Mike, the Will is not going to be too hard to find. Our starting Mike will be last year’s opt out player who happens to be the highest paid player on the team. CJ Mosely will be an excellent 4-3 Mike. Not only does he hit like a truck, he excels in his read and react skills. He even has wheels and – while they are less important – he is decent in coverage which is also less important. Out strong side linebacker is Jarred Davis. There is a reason he was the first player we signed. 4-3 strong side linebackers are hard to find. Davis was a former 1st round pick and – while a bit overdrafted imo – carried a solid 2d round grade before the draft. He is big, tough and can run. He fits the bill. No matter who we play out there, they will be costly to acquire. Our starting Will is the unheralded Delshawn Phillips. Will he be the starter? Believe it or not, it is possible. Will he have competition? You bet your ass. The backups on the roster are Blake Cashman, Sharif Finch and Bryce Huff. Blake Cashman might start at the Will if he survives training camp uninjured. A big IF. Sharif Finch and Bryce Huff are likely out of jobs. I like what I saw from Bryce Huff and think he proved he has real value to a 3-4 team as the strong side linebacker. If we cut him, he will be picked up instantly - probably by New England. When I think of all the years we looked for 3-4 outside linebackers who were big enough, it is just SO JETS that we are about to throw one away when we switch to the 4-3. Sigh. Finch is an inside linebacker for the 3-4. Perhaps he will back up at the Mike. I doubt it. Too much size and he will have robust competition. The way I see it, the Jets have two starting 4-3 linebackers and two strong candidates for the Will. Thus, there are two roster spots open and an entire practice squad to fill up with hopefuls for the Strong side, Mike and Will. I expect to see the Jets draft a Will and a Mike and would not be in the least bit surprised to see them taken in the 5th and 6th round. There simply is no justification to take these guys early. College runs the 4-3 scheme and these guys are available late. I expect no less than four free agents to go along with it. We will be the most enticing destination for the undrafted Wills and Mikes since simple arithmetic shows we can offer the roster spots and possible NFL careers. I would not be in the least bit surprised if the starting will and the backups at Will and Mike both undrafted free agents. There are so many of them they are almost like kickers and punters. Every college produces them almost every year. The big programs are loaded with these guys. Wills are small and can run and Mikes are big without wheels who can read and react inside. It is just not rare stuff. If we draft a linebacker early it will surprise me unless it is a candidate for the strong side. Such players are costly but not rare. You can get one every year in the second round and expect decent results. It is one of the nice things about the 4-3. The linebackers can be found. I expect an extraordinarily busy post draft free agent signing binge and a free for all in training camp. It should be fun to watch. I could easily see new players push Cashman and Finch off the team leading to four new rookie linebackers on the roster and three or four more on the practice squad. 19 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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