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MikeCurtis

Anthony Walker vs. Bobby Okereke for the starting MIKE linebacker position?

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Anthony Walker vs. Bobby Okereke for the starting MIKE linebacker position?

 

Is the title of an article.....

 

How is this a thing (At least in 2019 season)?

 

I must be watching tape of the wrong Bobby Okereke at Stanford...

 

Speed has MUCH better tape, (though grainy and against division 93 College teams)

 

Maybe he has a twin that has actually highly performed

 

I HOPE the kid steps it up, but if there were any of the draft picks that need some time to develop.........  

he would be one.......

 

IMHO, of course CB knows what he is doing, I can see drafting on potential.....  but I think the time isnt yet, to hand over the MLB spot

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I think Okereke will be starting by the end of the year next to Leonard.

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16 minutes ago, Nate! said:

I think Okereke will be starting by the end of the year next to Leonard.

Based on what?

 

I HOPE that I am wrong, and he somehow improves to be better than Walker, who I think id decent......   but what are you seeing to make this a "thing"?

 

 

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It amazes me how underappreciated Walker is on this forum. Reminds me of what fans say about AC. Leonard has said multiple times that Walker is the reason he can do what he does on the field. He said walker is actually the leader on the defense that makes sure everyone is in position. Leonard said that walker is the one that taught him how to break down game film. They frequently watch game film together. If you want to hear Leonard’s interview it’s on the colts podcast. Now I do think it’s posdible Bobby could get some snaps on third down. Walker is only going to keep getting better. Quit trying to compare walker to Leonard. He is not Leonard but he compliments was Leonard does very well.

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People need to stop this nonsense. Im begging prople to go watch film on him and tell me what they see that tells you hes better then Walker or even a 3 down LBer. We needed depth and players to matchup against certain teams and that is what Okereke is. Be appreciative that we have Walker.

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11 minutes ago, CR91 said:

People need to stop this nonsense. Im begging prople to go watch film on him and tell me what they see that tells you hes better then Walker or even a 3 down LBer. We needed depth and players to matchup against certain teams and that is what Okereke is. Be appreciative that we have Walker.

 

 Chuckle.  Ballard said ALL the LB'ers were drafted as 3 down linebackers.
So stop this nonsense.
How quickly they can be developed is another question, and Walker is 2 seasons in the NFL so... use common sense.

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12 minutes ago, CR91 said:

People need to stop this nonsense. Im begging prople to go watch film on him and tell me what they see that tells you hes better then Walker or even a 3 down LBer. We needed depth and players to matchup against certain teams and that is what Okereke is. Be appreciative that we have Walker.

 

I wish they had a Vegas line on this. Easy money on Walker lol.

 

Okereke might steal some passing down snaps, but he's not starting over Walker. He's a tweener that's probably more suited for WILL or SAM. And because we're in nickel so much, we don't use much SAM at all. He's depth... If he's starting, I don't like our chances against good running teams.

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9 minutes ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

 Chuckle.  Ballard said ALL the LB'ers were drafted as 3 down linebackers.
So stop this nonsense.
How quickly they can be developed is another question, and Walker is 2 seasons in the NFL so... use common sense.

 

Really thats your opinion? Have you watched anything besides highlight tape? Of course Ballard will say that because thats what he envisions him to be. Doesn't mean thats what he is right now.

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25 minutes ago, Chloe6124 said:

It amazes me how underappreciated Walker is on this forum. Reminds me of what fans say about AC. Leonard has said multiple times that Walker is the reason he can do what he does on the field. He said walker is actually the leader on the defense that makes sure everyone is in position. Leonard said that walker is the one that taught him how to break down game film. They frequently watch game film together. If you want to hear Leonard’s interview it’s on the colts podcast. Now I do think it’s posdible Bobby could get some snaps on third down. Walker is only going to keep getting better. Quit trying to compare walker to Leonard. He is not Leonard but he compliments was Leonard does very well.

 

 Clown school here so much of the time.
 Walker has holes in his game, some is due to his experience level.
 It is barf worthy reading so much tripe here, with people watching players making mistakes early in the season, early in their careers and labeling them as sucking.
 It is how a guy "the Team" is playing that last quarter of the season that is the time to Measure. Anyone that didn't admire how far Walker had come in his 1st season of starting, is lost. He was playing some darn good football, but he can be a step slow in the passing game against faster players. That means he Can and will be game planned to attack in those situations. But there is every reason to believe he can play smarter and therefore faster. He won't be pushed out other than by someone that can play at a high level. 

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Walker is has developed into a better than average NFL MLB

 

Not Pro Bowl...... but holding his own

 

He gets lost in coverage more than I like.

 

Hopefully he can pick up and improve that part of his game.

 

Maybe Okereke starts to get passing reps, ...... but......at this point, so far, I havent seen the reason to love Okereke over Walker

  

I say put him in on ST...... learn the game, learn how to prepare, learn where he needs to be on the field.....  he is better depth then we have had in a LONG time

 

We will see........ not much news these days

 

Its almost like there is no football on Sundays....... :)

 

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Possible that Bobby will be carrying Walker's pads out to practice first day of training camp. 

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2 hours ago, MikeCurtis said:

Walker is has developed into a better than average NFL MLB

 

Not Pro Bowl...... but holding his own

 

He gets lost in coverage more than I like.

 

Hopefully he can pick up and improve that part of his game.

 

Maybe Okereke starts to get passing reps, ...... but......at this point, so far, I havent seen the reason to love Okereke over Walker

  

I say put him in on ST...... learn the game, learn how to prepare, learn where he needs to be on the field.....  he is better depth then we have had in a LONG time

 

We will see........ not much news these days

 

Its almost like there is no football on Sundays....... :)

 

 

Walker improved a lot as the year went along IMO. He had a very good tackle/snap ratio. He was also tied for 29th in the NFL in tackles. Take out a few of the Ss in front of him and just look at LBs, and he's likely top 25.

 

That's pretty damn good when you have the #1 tackler, and also another top 25 LB. There's only a few teams out there that have 2 LBs in the top 25, or even top 32 (teams in the league).

 

And people keep conveniently forgetting that we changed D schemes last year and brought in a new DC.

 

And regarding Okereke... he's coming from a 3-4, so he's now learning the 4-3.

 

Anyone who thinks Okereke is going to stand up against the run from day one, watch the clip below. Dexter Williams Williams runs buy him after the ND TE manhandles Okereke. Dex had 161 yards up the middle that game which was his first game of the year.

 

https://www.nbcsports.com/video/notre-dames-dexter-williams-takes-45-yard-touchdown

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3 minutes ago, Irish YJ said:

 

 

 

Anyone who thinks Okereke is going to stand up against the run from day one, watch the clip below. Dexter Williams Williams runs buy him after the ND TE manhandles Okereke. Dex had 161 yards up the middle that game which was his first game of the year.

 

https://www.nbcsports.com/video/notre-dames-dexter-williams-takes-45-yard-touchdown

I saw play after play, like this, where he couldnt disengage from ANY blocker........

 

If he cant disengage a college blocker I would HATE to see what a pro blocker would do to him

 

I think its a strength problem

 

The other thing I noticed is that he seems to not find the hole the RB is heading through

 

He seemed to be out of position constantly

 

A SS and FS, will have a VERY busy day backing him up.....

 

I would also try Speed at MLB as well.  That guy has good closing, well .... SPEED

 

 

 

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I think that Walker will continue to start at MLB.  But in tossing around the question, I've also been mixing and matching lineups to take advantage of individual skill sets.  Kinda fun!

 

Starting Defense

DE Sheard

DT Lewis

DT Autry

DE Houston

WLB Leonard

MLB Walker

SLB Banogu

CB Desir

CB Moore

SS Geathers

FS Hooker

 

Max Pass Rush / Max Coverage (3rd and 10)

DE Banogu

DT Lewis

DT Autry

DE Houston

WLB Leonard

MLB Okareke

CB Desir

CB Moore

DB Wilson

DB Tell

FS Hooker

 

Short Yardage Run Defense (3rd and 2)

DE Sheard

DT Hunt

DT Stewart

DE Lewis

WLB Leonard

MLB Geathers (!)

SLB Walker

CB Ya-Sin

CB Moore

SS Odum

FS Farley

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He can't hold Walker's jock strap at the moment. Walker has always been highly regarded coming out of college. Had a rough injury riddled rookie year and balled out last season. Okereke will do the same which puts him a year away from being any true threat to a starting position. Hell, Walker could improve so much because of this competition this offseason that this whole idea will be laughed at by mid season this year.

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8 hours ago, Chloe6124 said:

It amazes me how underappreciated Walker is on this forum. Reminds me of what fans say about AC. Leonard has said multiple times that Walker is the reason he can do what he does on the field. He said walker is actually the leader on the defense that makes sure everyone is in position. Leonard said that walker is the one that taught him how to break down game film. They frequently watch game film together. If you want to hear Leonard’s interview it’s on the colts podcast. Now I do think it’s posdible Bobby could get some snaps on third down. Walker is only going to keep getting better. Quit trying to compare walker to Leonard. He is not Leonard but he compliments was Leonard does very well.

Agreed

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9 hours ago, MikeCurtis said:

Anthony Walker vs. Bobby Okereke for the starting MIKE linebacker position?

 

Is the title of an article.....

 

How is this a thing (At least in 2019 season)?

 

I must be watching tape of the wrong Bobby Okereke at Stanford...

 

Speed has MUCH better tape, (though grainy and against division 93 College teams)

 

Maybe he has a twin that has actually highly performed

 

I HOPE the kid steps it up, but if there were any of the draft picks that need some time to develop.........  

he would be one.......

 

IMHO, of course CB knows what he is doing, I can see drafting on potential.....  but I think the time isnt yet, to hand over the MLB spot

The thing is, you're watching Okereke play at Stanford and our FO was busy looking as his skillset and how it fits playing for the Colts. 

 

Huge difference.

 

Draft position doesn't matter once you're in the complex, however, Okereke was a 3rd Round pick and Walker was a 5th - so at least on draft day there was more urgency to get Okereke.

 

Walker assimilated himself well last year, however, he was drafted to be the run stopping ILB in a 3-4. 

 

Can Okereke leapfrog himself into the starting lineup at the MIKE - absolutely he can. 

 

Anthony Walker is gonna make him earn it though so if he does, just tip your cap and be happy that we're now 2 deep at that spot.

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Unless Walker improves in pass coverage...which hopefully happens...I would hope that Okereke can get some passing down snaps.

 

Personally, I want to see more sub packages with only one LBer on the field (Leonard). That gives the Colts more speed on the field to blitz or get picks. The middle of the field is where teams pick the Colts apart. Flus now has a lot more versatility in his personnel, so I hope that is an area they can take away from teams (it certainly seemed like af focus in the draft).

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2 hours ago, MikeCurtis said:

I saw play after play, like this, where he couldnt disengage from ANY blocker........

 

If he cant disengage a college blocker I would HATE to see what a pro blocker would do to him

 

I think its a strength problem

 

The other thing I noticed is that he seems to not find the hole the RB is heading through

 

He seemed to be out of position constantly

 

A SS and FS, will have a VERY busy day backing him up.....

 

I would also try Speed at MLB as well.  That guy has good closing, well .... SPEED

 

Stanford's LBs were both undersized for the middle to be honest. Barton who was a year or so younger than Okereke was just as good IMO. And it is absolutely a strength problem. His base is too slight and he simply gets pushed back. He doesn't deliver a blow, he takes it, and then struggles to disengage. He's much more suited for WILL or SAM. Speed is way to small for MIKE.

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For what it’s worth.....

 

Okereke was listed at 235 at Stanford.  Those closest to the program, who saw Bobby up close, no one thought he was 235.   All thought lighter.   

 

So then hen he shows up at the Combine at 239.   Turned a lot of heads.   I suppose he could put on 10-12 pounds of good weight in the three months after the regular season. 

 

I’m not here to tell Chris Ballard and his staff they’re wrong.   But I suspect their evaluation is based as much on projection (what he could eventually be) as much as production (what he is now). 

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9 hours ago, Scott Pennock said:

 

Can Okereke leapfrog himself into the starting lineup at the MIKE - absolutely he can. 

 

Anthony Walker is gonna make him earn it though so if he does, just tip your cap and be happy that we're now 2 deep at that spot.

My point isnt ....CAN he?...... of COURSE he can.....

 

I dont see it THIS year

 

The reason for the thread, is that people are awarding Okereke the starting MLB spot, day one

 

I dont see it

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8 hours ago, Irish YJ said:

 Speed is way to small for MIKE.

He has plenty of height, (Listed at 6-3) and seems to have a good frame

 

He is now listed at 230, which IS 5-10 lbs too light to play MLB, today

 

But..... some NFL weight training and focused nutrition, can put some needed weight on him

 

He may stay at WSLB, or get washed out....... (Its a big jump from Division 93 College football)

 

But he did seem to line up a great deal at MLB in college, and he didnt look as bad as Okereke.....

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I think Walker is bang average. Nothing wrong with that, every team needs role players. I like his closing speed, his recognition and his intangibles but there's lots of things which could be improved upon. 

 

Sadly I don't see anything from which Okereke jumps out to say he's an upgrade. It's slightly disappointing for a 3rd round pick to have that sort of profile but I suppose the front office have a ton of credit so should be trusted that the traits they've seen will benefit is.

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7 hours ago, NewColtsFan said:

For what it’s worth.....

 

Okereke was listed at 235 at Stanford.  Those closest to the program, who saw Bobby up close, no one thought he was 235.   All thought lighter.   

 

So then hen he shows up at the Combine at 239.   Turned a lot of heads.   I suppose he could put on 10-12 pounds of good weight in the three months after the regular season. 

 

I’m not here to tell Chris Ballard and his staff they’re wrong.   But I suspect their evaluation is based as much on projection (what he could eventually be) as much as production (what he is now). 

 

I suspect you’re correct. I didn’t follow Stanford but I did watch some of his game tape on YouTube.  TBH, nothing stood out to me.   

 

I also suspect he’s a very smart player, ala Walker, with a bit more natural talent.  Walker will get injured and miss some time, so it sure pays to have a guy who can fill the spot adequately. Even if he doesn’t turn out to be a HoFer.

 

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An additional note on EJ Speed

 

Ballard Quote on Speed:

 

“He had an unbelievable workout,” Chris Ballard said of what first got the Colts’ attention. “We started studying him more and we just see a guy that’s got really big upside as an inside backer.”

 

"What the scouting department found was a 6-3, 227-pound linebacker from tiny Tarleton State University who could really run. Speed ran 4.6 in the 40-yard dash, 6.9 seconds in the three-cone drill and 4.39 seconds in the short shuttle. The three-cone drill would have been top-5 among all linebackers at February's Combine."

 

IMHO,  BOTH Speed and Okereke will need significant time to develop before they have a shot at starting at ANY of the LB spots

 

I see game tape on two rookies....... you have to keep in mind that one is against Div 1 and one is against a MUCH lower level. It does matter.... SOME.

 

The tape for Speed is significantly better than the tape for Okereke........   Who will be a better pro?

 

Who knows

 

FWIW, IMHO....... Walker should still be the starter, day one

 

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11 hours ago, John Hammonds said:

I think that Walker will continue to start at MLB.  But in tossing around the question, I've also been mixing and matching lineups to take advantage of individual skill sets.  Kinda fun!

 

Starting Defense

DE Sheard

DT Lewis

DT Autry

DE Houston

WLB Leonard

MLB Walker

SLB Banogu

CB Desir

CB Moore

SS Geathers

FS Hooker

 

Max Pass Rush / Max Coverage (3rd and 10)

DE Banogu

DT Lewis

DT Autry

DE Houston

WLB Leonard

MLB Okareke

CB Desir

CB Moore

DB Wilson

DB Tell

FS Hooker

 

Short Yardage Run Defense (3rd and 2)

DE Sheard

DT Hunt

DT Stewart

DE Lewis

WLB Leonard

MLB Geathers (!)

SLB Walker

CB Ya-Sin

CB Moore

SS Odum

FS Farley

Agree with MOST

 

I dont see Tell on anything but special teams, after he is learning a new position

 

But, What about Ward, Mohammad,  and TurraY?

 

 

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4 hours ago, MikeCurtis said:

He has plenty of height, (Listed at 6-3) and seems to have a good frame

 

He is now listed at 230, which IS 5-10 lbs too light to play MLB, today

 

But..... some NFL weight training and focused nutrition, can put some needed weight on him

 

He may stay at WSLB, or get washed out....... (Its a big jump from Division 93 College football)

 

But he did seem to line up a great deal at MLB in college, and he didnt look as bad as Okereke.....

He'd be a major project for MLB in a 4-3. His upper body is pretty underdeveloped. Not sure about his base either. He really needs to be 240 at minimum. IMO, he could develop into a great and cheap backup for Leonard, or the primary SAM even though we don't use SAM much. And yes, I like his film much better than Okereke's. Very hard to judge though given the talent is not comparable. 

 

And honestly, if we're talking about moving pieces around for a fit at MLB or even SAM, I'd rather Gerri Green become that project (maybe loose some bad weight). He's struggled as a 4-3 DE and was better in space as an OLB/hybrid. I don't see him making the team if the keep him at traditional DE. He struggled mightily with his hand in the dirt at MSU.

 

 

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16 hours ago, John Hammonds said:

I think that Walker will continue to start at MLB.  But in tossing around the question, I've also been mixing and matching lineups to take advantage of individual skill sets.  Kinda fun!

 

Starting Defense

DE Sheard

DT Lewis

DT Autry

DE Houston

WLB Leonard

MLB Walker

SLB Banogu

CB Desir

CB Moore

SS Geathers

FS Hooker

 

Max Pass Rush / Max Coverage (3rd and 10)

DE Banogu

DT Lewis

DT Autry

DE Houston

WLB Leonard

MLB Okareke

CB Desir

CB Moore

DB Wilson

DB Tell

FS Hooker

 

Short Yardage Run Defense (3rd and 2)

DE Sheard

DT Hunt

DT Stewart

DE Lewis

WLB Leonard

MLB Geathers (!)

SLB Walker

CB Ya-Sin

CB Moore

SS Odum

FS Farley

isn't our starting D pretty much nickel? in terms of snap count, we hardly have a SAM on the field.

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Some folks here need to realize it's a passing league and figure out what the MLBs role is in this defense. 

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5 hours ago, MikeCurtis said:

Agree with MOST

 

I dont see Tell on anything but special teams, after he is learning a new position

 

But, What about Ward, Mohammad,  and TurraY?

 

 

Re: Ward, Mohammad, and Turay

It was difficult to figure out what to do about them.  Example: Turay is, at least at this point, purely speed pass rush.  So, when we go to a "speed rush" formation, who do we play, Turay or Houston?  Who is better?  You kinda have to start thinking about the non-starters as, are they a specialist? or are they a backup?

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I mainly read fantasy stuff.  Here an excerpt from something I read on Okereke and have read other takes as well about his potential to usurp Walker’s role eventually (don’t think right away).

 

”The organization is excited about their rookie third-round pick Bobby Okereke who has a skill set eerily similar to that of Darius. He is fast, athletic, physical, intelligent and comes with all the measurables that make a defensive coordinator giddy. Okereke was highly productive as a three-year starter for Stanford where he totaled 182 combined tackles, 7.5 sacks, 4 turnovers and a touchdown over his final two seasons. He was also a team captain and has quite an off-field resume that demonstrates his leadership qualities. Okereke told reporters he will work at all three linebacker positions but expects to play mostly in the middle. If he lives up to expectations the Colts may soon have one of the best linebacker tandems in the game.”

 

Guy could have no idea what he’s talking about but the organization seems to like him, very productive at Stanford, believe Stephen Holden was saying a couple months ago that Walkers hold on the position was tenuous at best.  A lot of signs point to Okereke eventually winning out.

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On 6/22/2019 at 2:44 PM, CR91 said:

 

Really thats your opinion? Have you watched anything besides highlight tape? Of course Ballard will say that because thats what he envisions him to be. Doesn't mean thats what he is right now.

 

 Your opinion is useless.
 A highlight tape is an indication of athleticism and some basics.
 I don't care what he looks like to a novice on tape.
 No, i don't believe Ballard looks at ANY Rookie as "what he is right now".
 It is ALWAYS does he have the ht, wt, speed and what can we coach him up to be.
  And NO BALLARD wasn't dishing LIP Service. The guy Stands for Something.

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@MikeCurtis

 

Everyone's talking about Okereke and Walker, but are you saying that EJ Speed is the guy to watch out for?

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1 hour ago, throwing BBZ said:

 

 Your opinion is useless.
 A highlight tape is an indication of athleticism and some basics.
 I don't care what he looks like to a novice on tape.
 No, i don't believe Ballard looks at ANY Rookie as "what he is right now".
 It is ALWAYS does he have the ht, wt, speed and what can we coach him up to be.
  And NO BALLARD wasn't dishing LIP Service. The guy Stands for Something.

 

Wow. There is no point arguing with you. Good day sir

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1 hour ago, Superman said:

@MikeCurtis

 

Everyone's talking about Okereke and Walker, but are you saying that EJ Speed is the guy to watch out for?

Not Really

 

I view it as Walker would have to be considered the lead for the MLB spot

 

In my book Okereke AND Speed are developing rookies

 

Both will make the team (IMHO)

 

But in comparison:

 

When you look at our other rookies

 

You see game tape, you feel good about 

 

Rock Ya-Sin

Campbell

Banagu (a little less, but you can see the potential)

Willis (The guy was consistent)

Speed - the limited game tape that is available shows consistent ability 

 

I watched a few games tapes of Okereke, and I have to say, I am unimpressed

 

Again.......  I am just an old dude, hacking away at a computer...... Not an expert

 

I hope he shows more than I see

 

In My Good Lord,  I trust........ But Ballard ......I respect, so who knows

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, wig said:

Some folks here need to realize it's a passing league and figure out what the MLBs role is in this defense. 

It is definite more passing than running but if you look at the range

 

Seattle ran 52% of the time

 

Green Bay on the other end, ran 32% of the time

 

I cant find an overall total, but midpoint for all the teams, which should be close to average

 

League wide, is around 42-45% of TOTAL NFL Plays, being a run.

 

That number is still significant as a percentage of plays

 

That doesnt mean you dump your MLB, and play a safety.

 

To play 3 downs, you have to be able to be decent at BOTH

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19 hours ago, MikeCurtis said:

I view it as Walker would have to be considered the lead for the MLB spot

 

 

I value speed, quickness, range and tackling ability at those stack LB spots. I think Walker is a limited athlete, but he's a good tackler and is smart and instinctive. I think he's limited, but with time and work he might be better than I expect him to be. Okereke has the physical traits, but not the instinctiveness or discipline. If I was placing a bet on the starting MLB, it would be Walker.

 

I don't have any opinion of EJ Speed. I just can't wrap my mind around evaluating a prospect from grainy DII Internet footage. I haven't posted my draft grade yet (still working on some), but I will have an INC on Speed. I am definitely deferring to Ballard and Co on this one, but I wonder if he would have been available at the end of the 7th...

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4 hours ago, Superman said:

 

I value speed, quickness, range and tackling ability at those stack LB spots. I think Walker is a limited athlete, but he's a good tackler and is smart and instinctive. I think he's limited, but with time and work he might be better than I expect him to be. Okereke has the physical traits, but not the instinctiveness or discipline. If I was placing a bet on the starting MLB, it would be Walker.

 

I don't have any opinion of EJ Speed. I just can't wrap my mind around evaluating a prospect from grainy DII Internet footage. I haven't posted my draft grade yet (still working on some), but I will have an INC on Speed. I am definitely deferring to Ballard and Co on this one, but I wonder if he would have been available at the end of the 7th...

I agree on Walker. On Okereke, I think he as instincts, but not the strength (especially lower body). 

 

Regarding Speed being available later, I think several of the guys we drafted would have been available later. That includes Okereke, and Willis in addition to Speed.

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People love to prognosticate. My crystal ball broke so I don't have any insight into the future, but Ballard is using particular criteria (data) that has shown to be better predictors than merely guessing. Let's watch to see whether his approach to dealing with the unknown is better than other teams. I think we will be surprised.

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23 hours ago, MikeCurtis said:

It is definite more passing than running but if you look at the range

 

Seattle ran 52% of the time

 

Green Bay on the other end, ran 32% of the time

 

I cant find an overall total, but midpoint for all the teams, which should be close to average

 

League wide, is around 42-45% of TOTAL NFL Plays, being a run.

 

That number is still significant as a percentage of plays

 

That doesnt mean you dump your MLB, and play a safety.

 

To play 3 downs, you have to be able to be decent at BOTH

we are in a division that likes to run too.

 

the titans and texans ranked 7th and 8th in rushing yards, while the colts and jaguars were 19th and 20th.  that was down year for the jaguars, the previous year they were top 5

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