(02-05-2013 11:15 PM)Beef Wrote: Honestly, Nicholas should be an ILB in a 3-4. He is a really good tackler and he's always around the ball on runs. He's also a very good pass rusher, but for some reason we rarely send him in. His problem is he's just not fast enough in pass coverage for an OLB. His pass coverage skills in general are very average actually.
At this point, if we drafted or brought in a new starting OLB, I wouldn't mind moving Nic in the middle because I think he'd be better than Dent. I really thought Dent would be better than he is, but he really played well below average for an ILB this year. Lofton may have sucked in pass coverage, but he had 147 tackles for us in 2011. Dent had a whopping 67. Granted Lofton played about 1000 snaps to get 147 and Dent played about 600 to get 67, but that's still a HUGE dropoff in tackles. And Dent didn't do any better in coverage than Lofton normally did either.
We gotta fix ILB this offseason. We have to get someone who will give us 100 tackles in 750 snaps and isn't a liability in coverage. We can't stay in the nickel as much as we did this year again. Our run defense was horrid and in pass coverage we got destroyed by good TE's.
Now better pass rush and better OLB pass coverage can fix the TE problem, but we can't keep playing only 2 LB's with our front 4 sucking ass at stopping the run.
Run stopping is another reason why I like Alex Okafor and Kawann Short for draft picks this year. Both are outstanding tacklers (and TFL's) on top of being really good pass rushers. Short is 315 lbs already too. He could easily add another 15 and play NT in a 3-4 set.
I agree about Nicholas. I said for years he's a great pass rushing linebacker but he doesn't get used that way.