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Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Gut, Dec 29, 2006.
Do you consider 'below avg' starters Legit NFL starters?
One picture taken out of context is a high school trick. The fact is Sirmon hit him after a two yard catch and slowed him down enough so two other Titans could come up and make a hit on him for very little gain. At least Sirmon managed to get his hands on the receiver.
or at least he got his chest on him...
I don't think you'll find anyone on the board claiming Bulluck is the best run stuffer and taker on of blocks in the NFL. He's not that type of player which is why he plays a Will LB position. His strength is his speed, coverage, pursuit, and tackling ability...which is exactly what you want out of your Will LB. In a perfect world even our super fast Will LB would be an awesome run stuffing machine, but that's not realistic.
Let me make a comparison so you understand my point. Deion Sanders is regarded as one of the best CB's ever to play in the NFL. Was he a monster tackler? No. He was a very poor one. Could he take on blocks? No. But he was AWESOME in coverage...which is his main job. Dallas (and San Fran when he played there) knew he was poor in run support. So did they scheme him to be the outside run force player? No. They put him in a position to use his greatest strength and hide his weaknesses as much as possible.
When I see Bulluck lined up in the middle of the field on a goal line and thornton on the edge, JS is not doing his job because he's putting Bulluck in a position to have to do what he does worst on his resume.
I agree that Bulluck doesn't take on as many blockers as he should, but Schwartz doesn't seem to understand how to force matchups but instead, allows offenses to determine both blocking and pass coverage matchups.
And frankly, pointing out Bulluck as a bottom 5 run support player is ridiculous. First, he's way up there in tackles (solo and total). If you wanna say he's making tackles down the field, how come everyone else isn't getting those high tackle #'s too? Secondly, there is no decent run defender playing in front of him. If Schwartz was smart, he'd put the DT to Bullucks side in a 3 technique to make it harder for an OL to get to Bulluck which means the backside DT will most likely get the double from the OC/OG. Teams would respond to this by playing a TE to Bulluck's side but then the Titans can make further adjustments...assuming they had a DC who did this.
If you wanna argue that Bulluck shouldn't be an All Pro LB because of how he fills or takes on blocks, go ahead. But to call him bottom 5 when he's probably top 10 in OLB tackles is silly.
Furthermore, he's one of the better coverage LB's in the league.
He may not be the best run stopping LB in the NFL, but we have much bigger problems to fix by changing personell. Adding a good RDE and or adjusting the scheme (alignment if nothing else) will works wonders to address this 'problem.'
Overall I agree with your evaluation. Now as to why Swartz puts him in the middle at the goal line...your guess is as good as mine. He certainly is not a run stuffer. A stud DE on that side would help him a great deal. That being said, we were gashed all year long on that side, with slants, screens, reverses, etc. I don't expect a corner to come up and take on a blocker and defeat him, but I do expect more from a LB. We have debated the number of tackles he makes, and that is subjective, but last time I checked he was way down the list on SOLO tackles, which tells me he is not getting penetration on those kinds of plays. Keith's speed allows him to run all over the field and get in on tackles, but is he really making the ones you expect from a WLB? I just don't believe he is. I would be happy if he would just stick his head in and disrupt a play by making a pile, but he just gets stood up downfield, then turns and chases. Go back and look at the Pats game if you can, and see how many times they ate us alive on his side. If Fisher is happy with his play, then all we can do is wait and see if getting a very good DE will make a difference.
Yes. As I understand it, there are 32 teams in the NFL. Based on this ranking system, EVERY team should have some below average starters. Doesn't mean they aren't legitimate, just not as good as we want.
Bottom 5 players are another story...
Why would a bad player be a legit starter but a bottom 5 guy not be? Either way you're looking to replace them as soon as possible...which to me makes them not a legit starter (but a backup or worse).
If a guy is in, say, the top 25 or 30 in his position in the NFL, then he must be a fairly legit starter (not good, but legitimate). If the fans are screaming for him to be replaced (i.e. Thompson), then probably not...
On that point we differ. If you're a below avg player, you need to be replaced (meaning you're not acceptable as a starter player on my team and hence, not a legit starter). Being a bottom 5 player means you need to be replaced sooner...but both still need replacing which to me means neither is a legit starter.
If you're an avg player or better, you're a legit starter because you don't NEED to be replaced. Every team will have avg players. Not every team needs to have below avg players.
This is my point of view.