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The Reason for the Lack of Depth at Linebacker


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I keep hearing the concerns for the lack of depth at the linebacker position. Let’s look at Gus’ defense and the rover. The rover is the strong safety who plays both the run and the pass depending on the offensive look. In the modern NFL, the good offenses will throw on first and second down with three receivers. This requires the defense to play in a nickel package with four linemen, five defensive backs and only two linebackers. This will be the base defensive package. However, depending on the offensive look, run or pass, the rover could be the third linebacker or drop back in coverage. There has been much made of the LEO position in Gus’ defense but the rover will have equal or more importance to the over all performance of the defense. The rover will call the defensive plays and at the same time decide whether he needs to be the run stuffer or drop back in coverage. With all the talk about the LEO, I am excited to watch the Rover. Will Cyprien be the next Ronny Lott? Don’t know. The one thing we do know is that this new defense will not look like the JDR defense of old. Four down linemen, three linebackers five yards back, two defensive backs 15 yards off the receivers, and two safeties deep. The Jaguars have made QBs a lot of fame and fortune running that package.

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