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Saccopoo Memorial Draft Forum>I donít think we need to invest heavily at ILB.
Direckshun 10:48 AM 11-22-2018
This argument has bubbled up in a couple threads so letís give it its own topic here.

Most of the posters in this forum think the terrible ILB play weíve gotten so far necessitates some big acquisition, likely in the form of a high draft pick, in 2019.

I donít. And not because Iím satisfied with the way the unit has played in 2018. Iím not!

But I think the unit is going to be a lot better next year. I think this coming offseason, DOD will put on weight and look more like a linebacker. And I think Hitchens was out of shape for the first half of the season, adjusting to a new scheme, and playing hurt the second half of the season.

And let me just take one sentence to give serious props to Hitchens for playing through his injury. Jesus, Anthony.

Those are the two ILBs that you need. And I think theyíre both going to look a ton better in 2019.

I think Sutton has either finally figured out what to do with Hitchens or Hitchens has figured out the scheme, because heís played pretty well the last couple weeks. Heís currently 5th in the league in tackles.

Lastly, I think the current unit is what the future of the ILB corps in the NFL is going to look like. Youíve got your pure thumper (Ragland), youíve got your nickel linebacker who will play about 60-80% of the snaps (DOD), and youíve got your full timer in Hitchens, who does a lot of everything.

I think DOD (and more of Sorensen) will take away from RBs out of the flat, and I think Berry returning will neutralize TEs more. I think we are figuring our run defense out, and I hope as Hitchens gets healthier and more comfortable in the scheme we see less hesitation. I think weíre seeing that now. This could have been a great acquisition by Veach; 2019 will tell.
kccrow 05:48 PM 11-22-2018
I'd be much happier with Hitchens if 80% of his tackles weren't 7-10 yards down the field. He hasn't shown me to be worth the contract or much of anything. He's constantly out of the position in the run game and is atrocious in the passing game.

Ragland is absolute trash at everything. Run thumper? What runs is he thumping out there? None. He doesn't thump shit.

So far, O'Daniel hasn't looked like starting material either. He makes some plays but he's lost out there alot more than he isn't.

This team needs a real leader out there in that unit and instead, they have a bunch of broke dicks. I'd agree that this team probably isn't going to address the situation much, if any, but to act as though any of them are a positive attribute of the defense gives me pause.

I'm not worried about the fact that TEs and WRs carve us up on seam routes because Berry isn't there, that will get fixed when he's back. I'm worried about the lack of fundamental pass coverage in underneath zones by the linebackers that suck.

This team should have a shot at one of Devin White, Mack Wilson, or Ben Burr-Kirven and they'd be wise to at least consider it. If not, they should at least try to find a mid-round guy that flashes some promise like Dakota Allen or Ulysees Gilbert III. I think that completely ignoring the position is a ridiculous approach. Even if you don't think you should look for starters, Smith is a free agent who absolutely should not be retained, Raglund cannot be a full-time player and sucks at the time he does get, and Niemann is an unproven UDFA guy. You gotta bring someone in.
pugsnotdrugs19 06:27 PM 11-22-2018
Hitchens is a lot better than what he has looked like. Idk what they are asking him to do in that scheme, but something is off. He looks lost on way too many plays.
[Reply] 08:42 AM 11-26-2018
I'd claim Reuben Foster