Pre-Season Group Position Battles: Off-ball Linebackers | Page 2 | FinHeaven - Miami Dolphins Forums

Pre-Season Group Position Battles: Off-ball Linebackers

Baker was a love/hate relationship for many here. Definitely made some big, game changing plays. But was maddeningly inconsistent.

Any plays he made were usually more of a mistake by the offensive player than a display of his talents.

He's physically gifted with horrible instincts.
 
Inside Linebackers... Off-ball Linebackers... whatever you choose to call them, they have lost importance in the modern game. The days where a blood smeared run-stopping Linebacker was invaluable to a team's success are over. In today's game, most teams only run two of these guys at a time, and at least one of them acts more like a box safety, spending his time in pass coverage and blitzing. The old Strongside Linebacker position has become, at best, a two down player. So, I will make Edge into it's own category and will cover that one in a later entry.

So... That said, we'll move on to the Linebackers. Last year, we cut to just 4 (plus Van Ginkle who we were using both inside and out). This year, we might keep 5... maybe. Camp will tell us more.

First, the starters. David Long came in on a cheap contract last year and solidified the Mike position. Hard-nosed and healthy all year, he quietly made all of us forget Elandon Roberts. He's primarily a run down player, but he's decent in coverage. He'll start again and is likely to be an above average player.

Jordyn Brooks is the new Weak-side LB. He should be a marginal upgrade from Jerome Baker. Like Long, he grades out at just above average, but he hasn't missed a start in three years and is only 27. Get used to Brooks, he'll be here for a few years.

After these two, it gets murkier. Channing Tindall was a third round pick in 2022 and was expected to push for a job in his second year. Instead, we signed David Long and Channing never sniffed the field. Does he suck? Who knows? Fangio never used him, not even in garbage time. On the bright side, he has played a lot on special teams and we may see him this year. He'd better shine in camp, because this is his last chance in Miami.

Anthony Walker is a modern LB. He's best in coverage and has started 75 games in the NFL. He came to us on a vet minimum contract and could push for a starting position. He may have been the most underrated signing of the free agency period. At worst, he'll platoon in on passing downs when Long or Brooks (or both) leaves the field.

Then there's Duke Riley. Like Walker, he's best used as a coverage LB. He's a solid reserve LB who should not be asked to start. He may be on the bubble however. Walker is cheaper, and better.

If we keep 5, those are probably the ones; let's take a look at the players who are looking to replace them.

Cam Brown is in his 5th year and has never started a single game. Purely a special teams player; his one avenue to stick on the roster lies there. If we are forced to use him in a game, we're in trouble.

...and well... that's it. Every other 'linebacker' that we have on the roster is an Edge, even the longshots. My best guess is that 1) we will see a LOT of Tindall in preseason and 2) we will be scanning the waiver wire for more inside linebackers to get us through preseason.

Best guess on the final roster? I think we may keep 5 with everyone sticking but Brown, although Riley and Tindall are at some risk if they aren't sharp during preseason.
Who's Elandon Roberts?
 
This post really deserves an s bomb, but I'll keep it clean: These position group posts are good shtuff. Thanks!
 
Inside Linebackers... Off-ball Linebackers... whatever you choose to call them, they have lost importance in the modern game. The days where a blood smeared run-stopping Linebacker was invaluable to a team's success are over. In today's game, most teams only run two of these guys at a time, and at least one of them acts more like a box safety, spending his time in pass coverage and blitzing. The old Strongside Linebacker position has become, at best, a two down player. So, I will make Edge into it's own category and will cover that one in a later entry.

So... That said, we'll move on to the Linebackers. Last year, we cut to just 4 (plus Van Ginkle who we were using both inside and out). This year, we might keep 5... maybe. Camp will tell us more.

First, the starters. David Long came in on a cheap contract last year and solidified the Mike position. Hard-nosed and healthy all year, he quietly made all of us forget Elandon Roberts. He's primarily a run down player, but he's decent in coverage. He'll start again and is likely to be an above average player.

Jordyn Brooks is the new Weak-side LB. He should be a marginal upgrade from Jerome Baker. Like Long, he grades out at just above average, but he hasn't missed a start in three years and is only 27. Get used to Brooks, he'll be here for a few years.

After these two, it gets murkier. Channing Tindall was a third round pick in 2022 and was expected to push for a job in his second year. Instead, we signed David Long and Channing never sniffed the field. Does he suck? Who knows? Fangio never used him, not even in garbage time. On the bright side, he has played a lot on special teams and we may see him this year. He'd better shine in camp, because this is his last chance in Miami.

Anthony Walker is a modern LB. He's best in coverage and has started 75 games in the NFL. He came to us on a vet minimum contract and could push for a starting position. He may have been the most underrated signing of the free agency period. At worst, he'll platoon in on passing downs when Long or Brooks (or both) leaves the field.

Then there's Duke Riley. Like Walker, he's best used as a coverage LB. He's a solid reserve LB who should not be asked to start. He may be on the bubble however. Walker is cheaper, and better.

If we keep 5, those are probably the ones; let's take a look at the players who are looking to replace them.

Cam Brown is in his 5th year and has never started a single game. Purely a special teams player; his one avenue to stick on the roster lies there. If we are forced to use him in a game, we're in trouble.

...and well... that's it. Every other 'linebacker' that we have on the roster is an Edge, even the longshots. My best guess is that 1) we will see a LOT of Tindall in preseason and 2) we will be scanning the waiver wire for more inside linebackers to get us through preseason.

Best guess on the final roster? I think we may keep 5 with everyone sticking but Brown, although Riley and Tindall are at some risk if they aren't sharp during preseason.
Agree with your assessment. I like Riley as a backup. I think he sticks. Tindall is probably on his way out the door.
 
From nfl.com:

Despite the big changes, linebacker David Long Jr. sees a group that can make noise in the AFC East.

"Yes sir, we've got a lot of dogs coming in, some dogs already there," Long told Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston during a recent youth football camp. "We're just reloading. I think the most important thing when it comes to new players and new coaches is the chemistry that comes with time. We built something. The next step is to go to training camp and build from that."
 
Inside Linebackers... Off-ball Linebackers... whatever you choose to call them, they have lost importance in the modern game. The days where a blood smeared run-stopping Linebacker was invaluable to a team's success are over. In today's game, most teams only run two of these guys at a time, and at least one of them acts more like a box safety, spending his time in pass coverage and blitzing. The old Strongside Linebacker position has become, at best, a two down player. So, I will make Edge into it's own category and will cover that one in a later entry.

So... That said, we'll move on to the Linebackers. Last year, we cut to just 4 (plus Van Ginkle who we were using both inside and out). This year, we might keep 5... maybe. Camp will tell us more.

First, the starters. David Long came in on a cheap contract last year and solidified the Mike position. Hard-nosed and healthy all year, he quietly made all of us forget Elandon Roberts. He's primarily a run down player, but he's decent in coverage. He'll start again and is likely to be an above average player.

Jordyn Brooks is the new Weak-side LB. He should be a marginal upgrade from Jerome Baker. Like Long, he grades out at just above average, but he hasn't missed a start in three years and is only 27. Get used to Brooks, he'll be here for a few years.

After these two, it gets murkier. Channing Tindall was a third round pick in 2022 and was expected to push for a job in his second year. Instead, we signed David Long and Channing never sniffed the field. Does he suck? Who knows? Fangio never used him, not even in garbage time. On the bright side, he has played a lot on special teams and we may see him this year. He'd better shine in camp, because this is his last chance in Miami.

Anthony Walker is a modern LB. He's best in coverage and has started 75 games in the NFL. He came to us on a vet minimum contract and could push for a starting position. He may have been the most underrated signing of the free agency period. At worst, he'll platoon in on passing downs when Long or Brooks (or both) leaves the field.

Then there's Duke Riley. Like Walker, he's best used as a coverage LB. He's a solid reserve LB who should not be asked to start. He may be on the bubble however. Walker is cheaper, and better.

If we keep 5, those are probably the ones; let's take a look at the players who are looking to replace them.

Cam Brown is in his 5th year and has never started a single game. Purely a special teams player; his one avenue to stick on the roster lies there. If we are forced to use him in a game, we're in trouble.

...and well... that's it. Every other 'linebacker' that we have on the roster is an Edge, even the longshots. My best guess is that 1) we will see a LOT of Tindall in preseason and 2) we will be scanning the waiver wire for more inside linebackers to get us through preseason.

Best guess on the final roster? I think we may keep 5 with everyone sticking but Brown, although Riley and Tindall are at some risk if they aren't sharp during preseason.

Great job. My only small disagreement is Miami has a new DC/new scheme. All D starters will need snaps in PS go get comfortable. That doesn't mean the starters get ALL snaps, but I expect quite few. At least until the staff thinks the starters reactions are close to automatic.
 
Great job. My only small disagreement is Miami has a new DC/new scheme. All D starters will need snaps in PS go get comfortable. That doesn't mean the starters get ALL snaps, but I expect quite few. At least until the staff thinks the starters reactions are close to automatic.
Meh,

Preseason games are usually so vanilla, with no game planning, I don't think that makes much difference to the vets at all. Younger players? maybe.

The joint practices are a different matter. The staffs can/will work together on situational football against different looks/formations, down/distance, etc. That's where the actual install will be assessed.
 
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