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PFF Ranks LB Cores for 2020 (Colts #5)


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https://www.pff.com/news/nfl-linebacker-rankings-all-32-units-entering-the-2020-nfl-season?fbclid=IwAR3InzTsBCjyVKIdk4i5RzU3saLQpgPmcBnPuqIhCP_8F23YCmHd2WUkPUI

 

Bullet Points:

 

- Darius Leonard ranked 6th best according to  PFF stats and has only missed 5.6% of his tackles.

- Bobby Okereke is expected to start next to Darius which ends up in them having the 97th-percentile arm length among linebackers

- Anthony Walker had his best year last year and is expected to start, but what's holding him back is missed tackles.

- EJ Speed expected to provide quality depth.

- Colts had one of the worst LB cores, now they have one of the best

 

Ballard continues to impress.  Once again, when was the last time as a Colts fan we could say we had top 5 in anything outside of pass rush and offense?  If Buckner comes in and does what he needs to do, if our pass rushers stay healthy and consistent, our LB'ers are going to feast.

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I mean if anyone doubts if Ballard has made this team better, go look at the LB and OL positions when he got here verses now.  

 

In both of those places we were among the worst in the NFL.  Now we're considered among the best.  

 

This team just needs good luck with injuries and the right QB.  

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We all know a teams success hinges at the QB position...that has been discussed plenty.  If you dig a little deeper you can see that Reich has assembled one heck of a coaching staff.  He hasn’t been afraid to make changes or create new positions when coaching talent becomes available.  The development of our young players is showing how much these coaches are doing their jobs. This year will really highlight that aspect. The key will be when the position coaches start taking promotions elsewhere.  Developing teachers is just as important as players.  Hopefully new talent can be found from within and amongst the available coaching pool.  

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29 minutes ago, AwesomeAustin said:

We all know a teams success hinges at the QB position..

 

Dude, we've got LB's who are in the 97th percentile in arm length... 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, The Fish said:

 

Dude, we've got LB's who are in the 97th percentile in arm length... 

 

 

 

 

 

Do their knuckles drag the ground when they walk? If so, I must be related to them!

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Ballard has said in past he wanted to have a similar model to Seattle in terms of our defense and I think that's where we are headed. 

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1 hour ago, RollerColt said:

Ballard has said in past he wanted to have a similar model to Seattle in terms of our defense and I think that's where we are headed. 

 

Yep, rushing four, having LBs with length and range. They did have long armed CBs in man coverage more often though during their SB winning year. That evolution with our younger CBs would be one to watch as they get comfortable in the system. 

 

They  went about 7 or 8 deep in quality, not just quantity, with their DL rotation, which I still do not think we are there yet. We do have the O-line to bully and control the tempo and time of possession like they did with a guy like Beast mode, IMO. I hope that continues with our OL, and that is also why they drafted Jonathan Taylor to punish tired legs as the game goes on, IMO. 

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I know he has only had limited time on the field, but I think Matt Adams provides some quality depth past Speed.  Not as high on Skai Moore, but I think he is a good practice squad player with potential.  

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11 hours ago, Myles said:

I know he has only had limited time on the field, but I think Matt Adams provides some quality depth past Speed.  Not as high on Skai Moore, but I think he is a good practice squad player with potential.  

   I’ve always liked Adams as a hitter. He may end up (if he makes the cut), a special teams player, especially if Walker gets replaced by Okereke at the Mike and Walker becomes the starting SAM.

  One thing Ballard has done is build depth,across the board, with the exception of the OT position (unless Clark improves).

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12 hours ago, Boss7894 said:

I know Brackett played MBL but Leonard reminds me of Gary Brackett.

In what way?

Not to knock on Brackett but Leonard has a lot more talent. Brackett was good against the run but he was lacking in the pass coverage.

Leonard brings the plays that are game changers. :thmup:

 

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1 hour ago, crazycolt1 said:

In what way?

Not to knock on Brackett but Leonard has a lot more talent. Brackett was good against the run but he was lacking in the pass coverage.

Leonard brings the plays that are game changers. :thmup:

 

 

Totally agree.  And he has done this without consistent pass defense and pass rush.  I have a feeling he's going to feast this year and will be in the DPOY convo.  I have faith our DL will do what it has to do and as shown our LBs are expected to continue their success.  However, I have questions about the Pass D. 

 

Can Hooker stay healthy?  Can Rock make that second year jump?  Will Kenny prove he's a CB1?  Who's going to hold down the nickel spot?  Will Rhodes return to his old form?

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7 hours ago, crazycolt1 said:

In what way?

Not to knock on Brackett but Leonard has a lot more talent. Brackett was good against the run but he was lacking in the pass coverage.

Leonard brings the plays that are game changers. :thmup:

 

Gary Brackett wasn’t afraid to be a vocal leader on the field and was cerebral.

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38 minutes ago, Boss7894 said:

Gary Brackett wasn’t afraid to be a vocal leader on the field and was cerebral.

Brackett is so underrated so was Cato June. Cato June seemed like he always came up with a big play or the occasional big INT.

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2 hours ago, Boss7894 said:

Gary Brackett wasn’t afraid to be a vocal leader on the field and was cerebral.

Like I said, I am not diminishing Brackett in any way but Leonard does bring much more to the table than Brackett ever did. 

Leonard lets his pro bowl play do his talking for him. 

These are the career stats - Brackett 9 years vs Leonard 2 years

Forced fumbles- Brackett 4-Leonard 6  

Interceptions- Brackett 12 - Leonard 7 

Sacks- Brackett 4-Leonard 12  

Pass defended-Brackett 29-Leonard 15 

Tackles-Brackett 548 (362 solo) / Leonard 244 (142 solo)

When you compare the numbers it's not even close. 

 

 

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On 7/23/2020 at 10:06 AM, RollerColt said:

Ballard has said in past he wanted to have a similar model to Seattle in terms of our defense and I think that's where we are headed. 

And where has that gotten Seattle the last few years?  Teams who primarily run this style of D have gotten exposed th last few years. If the Colts mix it up, then maybe they will find success.  If they want to b stubborn and run zone concepts 90% of the time, then the D will struggle 

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1 hour ago, Moosejawcolt said:

And where has that gotten Seattle the last few years?  Teams who primarily run this style of D have gotten exposed th last few years. If the Colts mix it up, then maybe they will find success.  If they want to b stubborn and run zone concepts 90% of the time, then the D will struggle 

Where has it gotten Seattle over the last few years? 

How about into the playoffs 13 out of the last 17 years?

 

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3 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

And where has that gotten Seattle the last few years?  Teams who primarily run this style of D have gotten exposed th last few years. If the Colts mix it up, then maybe they will find success.  If they want to b stubborn and run zone concepts 90% of the time, then the D will struggle 

Sure, that’s fair I suppose. But I think one of the problems Seattle ran into was that they simply couldn’t keep all of their talent together. The Legion of Boom ended being pretty expensive. And instead of creating a pipeline of talent to consistently replace the backs as they aged, they tried to just continue running with them until it was no longer feasible. 
 

At that point, Russell Wilson became the reason for winning games more so than the defense. 

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On 7/25/2020 at 5:26 PM, crazycolt1 said:

Where has it gotten Seattle over the last few years? 

How about into the playoffs 13 out of the last 17 years?

 

Their D?? Look since their Superbowl run.  Every team that runs the Colts D is not successful defensivley. 

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26 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Their D?? Look since their Superbowl run.  Every team that runs the Colts D is not successful defensivley. 

When Ballard was hired he said their research showed that the teams that run the defense they want to run have been very successful reaching the post-season and beyond. 
 

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52 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Their D?? Look since their Superbowl run.  Every team that runs the Colts D is not successful defensivley. 

Ballard has been drafting and made a trade to make the defense work. 

Sorry you have no faith. 

 

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52 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Their D?? Look since their Superbowl run.  Every team that runs the Colts D is not successful defensivley. 

 

Please provide proof to support this opinion.

 

BOTH teams that made it to the SB last year (Chiefs and 49ers) ran a similar D where they are rushing 4 and dropping 7 in a base 4-3 while playing mostly nickel.  (while the 49ers absolutely embarrassed the Packers 3-4 defense in the NFCCG...)

 

And those two defenses had similar players in Buckner and Jones at the 3-tech to make it work.  And now the Colts have Buckner at the 3-tech to make it work.  As well as rangy lengthy LBs in Leonard and Okereke on cleanup duty.  With Moore as one of the best slot corners in the nickel.  :thmup:

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28 minutes ago, Lucky Colts Fan said:

 

Please provide proof to support this opinion.

 

BOTH teams that made it to the SB last year (Chiefs and 49ers) ran a similar D where they are rushing 4 and dropping 7 in a base 4-3 while playing mostly nickel.  (while the 49ers absolutely embarrassed the Packers 3-4 defense in the NFCCG...)

 

And those two defenses had similar players in Buckner and Jones at the 3-tech to make it work.  And now the Colts have Buckner at the 3-tech to make it work.  As well as rangy lengthy LBs in Leonard and Okereke on cleanup duty.  With Moore as one of the best slot corners in the nickel.  :thmup:

49ers were probably the only successful D to run that D.  They also had 5 #1's on the D line. Seattle....Falcons, and there is another team but i cannot recall their name. It is a basic D and if u think the Colts can with it, then good on u. 

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39 minutes ago, crazycolt1 said:

Ballard has been drafting and made a trade to make the defense work. 

Sorry you have no faith. 

 

It is not that i have no faith.  If i r going to run one scheme the majority of the time, then i guess I have no faith

1 hour ago, NewColtsFan said:

When Ballard was hired he said their research showed that the teams that run the defense they want to run have been very successful reaching the post-season and beyond. 
 

Like what teams?

 

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2 hours ago, Moosejawcolt said:

It is not that i have no faith.  If i r going to run one scheme the majority of the time, then i guess I have no faith

Like what teams?

 

Sorry...   that was Jan it Feb of ‘17.   But we had a big discussion about it here.   Many fans here are like you, not fans of playing a soft zone.   But, we’ve been mixing in more man, each year.   We’re building a roster from scratch.  But Ballard was aware of how his preferred defense has been used successfully.  That’s all I’m saying. 

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On 7/27/2020 at 1:36 AM, NewColtsFan said:

Sorry...   that was Jan it Feb of ‘17.   But we had a big discussion about it here.   Many fans here are like you, not fans of playing a soft zone.   But, we’ve been mixing in more man, each year.   We’re building a roster from scratch.  But Ballard was aware of how his preferred defense has been used successfully.  That’s all I’m saying. 

The problem is that we r not mixing in a lot of man.  I am not sure they have faith in their corners to play man. Physical they r, but they lack that elite top end speed to play a lot of man. Just my thoughts. They r built to play zone. Lighter front 7 and physical corners who seem more suited for zone.

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On 7/28/2020 at 6:03 PM, Moosejawcolt said:

The problem is that we r not mixing in a lot of man.  I am not sure they have faith in their corners to play man. Physical they r, but they lack that elite top end speed to play a lot of man. Just my thoughts. They r built to play zone. Lighter front 7 and physical corners who seem more suited for zone.

I’m not sure what the actual number is, but I’ve seen reports here and elsewhere that we played more man coverage last year than ever before under Ballard.  Some here think that trend will continue this year. 

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On 7/29/2020 at 9:42 PM, NewColtsFan said:

I’m not sure what the actual number is, but I’ve seen reports here and elsewhere that we played more man coverage last year than ever before under Ballard.  Some here think that trend will continue this year. 

Our pass D was historically bad last year. Just not sure we have the personnel to play a lot of man in the back end

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49 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

Our pass D was historically bad last year. Just not sure we have the personnel to play a lot of man in the back end

Sure, but that's with a rookie CB, a rookie LB, a rookie S, and a lackluster pass rush. Things didn't get horrible until after Moore went on IR and there wasn't anyone who could reasonably replace him. We'll be fine.

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17 minutes ago, Dogg63 said:

Sure, but that's with a rookie CB, a rookie LB, a rookie S, and a lackluster pass rush. Things didn't get horrible until after Moore went on IR and there wasn't anyone who could reasonably replace him. We'll be fine.

I am not basing it on experience.   I am basing it on their physical make up. We have zone corners. They tend to b physical and good tacklers.  They tend to lack top end speed. Our dbs fit a heavy zone scheme. I disagree that Moore is the reason why this D struggled. A nickle backs absence should not b the reason why a teams D under performs.

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On 7/26/2020 at 9:55 PM, Moosejawcolt said:

Their D?? Look since their Superbowl run.  Every team that runs the Colts D is not successful defensivley. 

Didn't the Chiefs just win a SB running the Colts type D?  Even shut down the beast back in the AFC Championship game and limited the SF running attack in the SB.

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9 minutes ago, Coffeedrinker said:

Didn't the Chiefs just win a SB running the Colts type D?  Even shut down the beast back in the AFC Championship game and limited the SF running attack in the SB.

"Spagnuolo uses a 4–3 base defense with a heavy emphasis on multiple blitz packages, including corner and safety blitzes. While defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, he often used a smaller defensive line, with three or even four defensive ends to further pressure the quarterback."  Correct me if if I am wrong. That is quite opposite of what the Colts run.

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14 minutes ago, Moosejawcolt said:

"Spagnuolo uses a 4–3 base defense with a heavy emphasis on multiple blitz packages, including corner and safety blitzes. While defensive coordinator of the New York Giants, he often used a smaller defensive line, with three or even four defensive ends to further pressure the quarterback."  Correct me if if I am wrong. That is quite opposite of what the Colts run.

Corrected, you are wrong.  Spags runs primarily a Cover 2 type D.  I mean I know you quoted Wikipedia and everything but when you watch they run a very similar D to the Colts.

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5 hours ago, Coffeedrinker said:

Corrected, you are wrong.  Spags runs primarily a Cover 2 type D.  I mean I know you quoted Wikipedia and everything but when you watch they run a very similar D to the Colts.

Lighter D line men like the Colts.  He mixes up and disguises coverages way more than the Colts and uses his safeties all over. The Colts run a basic zone cover D. Teams that run the same D are the Falcons, Seahawks, Chargers and Jags.

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