8 Posted on May 17th, 2013 by Himself
Somebody is having crazy ideas regarding the Saints linebackers. But is it the New Orleans media...or is it the Saints' coaching staff? God, I hope it's the media.
Quick Out, May 17, 2013 [Updated]
This just in from Nakia Hogan over at Nola.com: outside rush linebacker Martez Wilson, the Saints’ own version of Barkevious Mingo, “is being used as the strong side outside linebacker…”
Follow along with me here. Yes, that ’backer does sometimes cover the tight end, and it’s important that he be able to cover the tight end. But that ’backer also sometimes gets blocked by the tight end—usually a big guy, and usually a practiced blocker. So the Sam ought to be the bigger and stronger of your outside linebackers.
And that’s Junior Galette, not Martez Wilson.
On the other hand, the weakside linebacker lines up outside the left tackle, in the perfect position to speed-rush the quarterback from his blind side. So the Will linebacker needs to be the faster, more athletic of your outside linebackers.
And that’s Martez Wilson, not Junior Galette.
Hogan also speculates that not only will Wilson and Victor Butler—the two outside ’backer candidates who are actually [*ahem] linebackers—compete for the same starting position, but Galette might alternate at strongside linebacker with
[okay, at this point I have to warn you to keep your hands away from your genitals while reading this, because sudden violent movements may have profound repercussions on your future]
Will Smith. A career-long 4-3 defensive end who has never been an outstanding speed rusher, and he’s expected to be more effective than Martez Wilson or Victor Butler in the speed rushing role? Is this just Hogan having acid flashbacks, or is Ryan actually considering this?
Now, obviously Rob Ryan has forgotten more than I’ll ever know about football. I get it; that’s a given. But this is still an important question: just what exactly has he forgotten? This isn’t as bad as putting Wilson at nose tackle and having John Jenkins play rush linebacker, but it’s a difference of degree, not of kind. We have good personnel—far better than the rest of the NFL is willing to acknowledge—but they have to play the right positions.
Am I crazy to be worried about this?
UPDATE 5-18-2013: Well, disinformation or not, Hogan’s article is developing legs—kinda like the monster in Carpenter’s version of The Thing. Someone named Alejandro Aviles, writing in RantSports, now tells us that Junior Galette is the favorite to win the weakside linebacker spot. Gosh, where did he glean that snippet of info? You figure he has a mole inside Metairie headquarters? Or…maybe he just read it on Nola.com. Yeah, that’s it.