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49ers ink LB Fred Warner to extension for 5 year / 95 million


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3 hours ago, AFlaccoSeagulls said:

Alright fair enough but can we just talk about how awful of a post(?) route that was? If it's a dig route, it's terrible because he's drifting up field. If it's a post route, it's terrible because he damn near stopped to make to his 45 degree angle cut lol

I'm not surprised Warner stayed with him - at no point did Brown do anything to garner separation.

I agree that he drifted too far down the field after his break but this was still a high level play by warner. turned his hips downfield to respect the deep speed, flipped his hips back, tracked the ball and the route and got a PD without DPI.

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8 hours ago, TENINCH said:

https://vikingsterritory.com/2021/general-news/eric-kendricks-has-consistent-ranking-among-2021-lbs

He has the highest PFF Grade (90.6) of all linebackers since 2019, and was tied for first among all linebackers in interceptions last year with a career-high three picks despite missing five games. Even with missed time, he still recorded 107 combined tackles, as he is an important piece in stopping the run as well. According to Ben Goessling of the Star Tribune, the Vikings gave up at least 390 yards in four of their final five games last season with Kendricks out due to injury, and allowed 463 rushing yards in back-to-back losses to the Bears and Saints.  No linebacker has recorded more passes defended over the past five seasons than Kendricks.

Interesting. I wonder what his career coverage grade is via PFF. Anyway, great linebacker for sure. 

Edited by TecmoSuperJoe
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20 hours ago, N4L said:

I agree that he drifted too far down the field after his break but this was still a high level play by warner. turned his hips downfield to respect the deep speed, flipped his hips back, tracked the ball and the route and got a PD without DPI.

I mean.......sure........? But Brown:

  1. Was fine(?) in his initial route forcing Warner to turn his hips to respect the speed, but then...
  2. Stopped nearly all of his momentum on his cut
  3. Drifted up the field making it extremely easy even for a LB to do a 180 and make up the ground to break up the pass

A fine play by Warner, but just an atrocious play from Brown IMHO.

Edited by AFlaccoSeagulls
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On 7/22/2021 at 2:08 AM, DreamKid said:

It's become the HB of defense. Can't say unjustly either. With how the game has evolved, LB just isn't the impact position it once was. Unless you have a Kuechly, Lewis, etc type of HOF talent or an elite coverage specialist like Warner- you really shouldn't be investing big money at the position. Drafting one high who isn't a near flawless prospect is a dubious venture as well.

A 1st Round Pick flaming out will always sting, but identifying a talent like Fred Warner just as Reuben Foster is red flagging himself out the door has to feel like appreciated recompense from their FO to 49er fans. Warner seems like a great kid who will enjoy a strong career with the other foundational players on that Niner defense. 

I get what you're saying and I agree with you in terms of how the position is viewed by in large by the masses and the comparison to the RB of the defense. 

However I will die on the hill that MLB and FS are the most under valued and underappreciated positions in all of football. 

So I don't agree with the comparison to RB in terms of value, impact, and the ease in which you can replace them. RB is a position any decent team should never have a problem getting at least solid starting caliber RB play. From free agents, mid to late round picks, or guys undrafted, we regularly see those types have good to great seasons or multi year stretches. I am never a fan of drafting a RB in the first round, or paying them big money on an extension (I can get on board with extending the elite guys in their mid 20's in certain cases or giving a second contract to a productive back that gives them solid pay but not top money at the position). I don't agree with that line of thinking for LB or for S. I would gladly draft a MLB in the first and I would gladly pay an elite MLB tops at their position money. Obviously there is risk with drafting a LB in the first, but I don't think it's any more than every other position, and I don't believe they are anywhere near as replaceable or upgradeable as the RB position which is the driving force behind not taking a RB early. Not to mention LBs typically have much longer careers and prime production than RBs. 

The amount of impact a pro bowl or all pro caliber MLB (or again S) has on a defense is massively overlooked. If you look at any of the great defenses in recent history, almost all of them have elite LB play and S play. The LOB with Wagner and Wright, the Broncos had Marshall and Travathen playing at a pro bowl level, the Bucs last season had David and White played at a very high level in the playoffs, the 49ers with Willis and Bowman, the Ravens with Lewis, the Steelers during their last super bowls had Timmons, the Bears with Urlacher and Briggs, the Patriots have had Hightower, the Jets with Rex Ryan had David Harris, the Bucs in the early 2000's had Brooks, the 49ers currently have Warner, the Vikings in recent years have had Kendricks and Barr. Then you have teams like the Panthers with Kuechly that made a super bowl run on a very good defense led by him. You have teams like the Colts who have become a very good defense the past couple years aligning with the timing of Leonard coming in. The Eagles had very under rated LB play when they won the SB IMO. The Steelers currently have one of my favorite young LBs in the game and one of my favorite defensive prospects in recent memory in Devin Bush. 

Obviously those defenses had a fon of talent all over the roster, I'm not saying that the elite LB play is the sole reason, or necessarily even the driving force (I am a believer everything starts in the trenches), but it's pretty dang rare to see a great defense that doesn't have very high level LB play. And to me, that isn't all that comparable to RB because we regularly see teams get to a super bowl or win a super bowl with a committee of guys that give solid rushing production but don't have an elite singular talent there. 

To me the RB position is one of the worst investments in the NFL, drafting them in the first usually isnt the best use of resources, giving them a second contract is just as likely to leave you in a bad spot waiting for the first couple years of guaranteed money to pass so you can move on, and injuries are common and unpredictable but hit the RB position harder than perhaps any other. The LB position on the other hand IMO is one of the best investments you can make, and gives you perhaps the most bang for your buck (at least on defense) of any position. They are undervalued by the league in general which means their pay in average and long term guarantees are less than a lot of other positions, the great ones that don't retire early regularly give you 7+ years of elite play, and they don't seem to get hit with as consistent of level of career altering injuries, and their level of play is just much more consistent and not as volatile as positions like RB. 

Now I don't say all that to say that you should be reaching for inferior talent just because most great defenses have great LB play, there is surely something to be said about maximizing value by finding the guys in the 2nd-3rd round range and such that out produce the guys drafted earlier, but that's every position. I'm just saying I wouldn't lose a ton of sleep losing a 27-28 year old RB because he wants to be the highest paid at his position, I would have nightmares if I lose one of the best MLB in the game at that age because he wants the same thing. 

And lastly there is a very good chance I have formed this opinion and appreciation of the LB position because I am a Raider fan, and I would argue that LB has been the spot we have ignored the hardest and had the toughest time finding even solid LB play. And for a team that has struggled as much as we have to find talent everywhere that is truly saying something lol. I can't remember the last time we had a LB I truly thought was even pro bowl caliber. And while I will take an elite pass rusher (be it DE, OLB in a 3-4 or a DT) over a LB, I'm not positive I would take an elite CB over an elite MLB if given the choice. 

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16 hours ago, Mr Raider said:

, I'm not positive I would take an elite CB over an elite MLB if given the choice. 

That's one of the worst decisions you could ever make in team building, across all sports. 

I get your frustrations over the Raiders LB woes, but in no way would an elite MLB be more valuable to them than an elite CB. 

I'm with you on Safety being an underrated position though. 1. CB  2. S  3. DI  4. EDGE  5. LB - My ranking. 

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2 hours ago, DreamKid said:

That's one of the worst decisions you could ever make in team building, across all sports. 

I get your frustrations over the Raiders LB woes, but in no way would an elite MLB be more valuable to them than an elite CB. 

I'm with you on Safety being an underrated position though. 1. CB  2. S  3. DI  4. EDGE  5. LB - My ranking. 

I said I might, and it would depend on what the rest of my roster looked like. If I have a solid group of corners, like a guy that is probably best suited to be a high end #2 and good depth, and an elite DL I'll take the Patrick Willis/Ray Lewis/Bobby Wagner over the Jalen Ramsey/Revis/etc. I am of the opinion that corners jobs are highly dependent on the DL playing good football. And one elite corner doesn't do as much good as an elite MLB if the rest of my corners are bad. We have seen situations where one elite CB is playing at an extremely high level but just gets avoided while teams have success picking on the other corners. 

I will agree that if given the choice of an elite CB unit/Secondary or an elite LB core, I want the secondary. But I'd want the elite DL about all else. 

It's not in a vacuum though. I'm just saying I think an elite MLB is so slept on that in certain situations and certain roster construction situations an elite MLB could be more beneficial than a spot that gets a lot of love in CB. And I wanted to note, I'm really talking about an elite MLB. I value the WLB and especially the SLB significantly less. 

I totally disagree with edge being the 4th most valuable position to a defense though. To me it's quite clearly 1 or 2. I also think the scheme you're building plays a big part and has to be considered. If you're running a zone heavy scheme or a 3-4 CB can be less important than if you want to rely on man heavily and in a 3-4 ILB isn't quite as valuable. I'd say in most cases if were talking about the importance of the position among the elites at those positions (and I will say I prefer a 4-3 defense if I was in charge of running everything top to bottom in this hypothetical situation)

1. 3T - Nothing more valuable to a defense than an Aaron Donald/JJ Watt/Chris Jones type. They are also the most rare though. 

2. EDGE - Ever so slightly behind an elite DT. Really kind of a 1A and 1B type of situation but I avoid ranking things that way. 

3. MLB 

4. CB 

5. FS 

6. WLB

7. SS

8. NT 

9. SLB 

 

Edited by Mr Raider
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1 hour ago, Mr Raider said:

I am of the opinion that corners jobs are highly dependent on the DL playing good football. And one elite corner doesn't do as much good as an elite MLB if the rest of my corners are bad.

How are CBs dependent on the defensive line but LBs aren't?...

One elite CB can erase a WR, take away half of the field, contribute against the run, free up your Safety, etc. 

I really think you're idealizing what an elite MLB is truly capable of. There's a reason modern defenses are fielding LBs less and less. Even if they're the best coverage LBs around, their DCs still don't want them consistently mismatched against WRs and other freak show pass catchers masquerading as TEs. Which is what the league's best OCs and QBs aim to do. Dynamo receiving talents like McCaffrey at HB love getting isolated against a LB too. And the best sideline to sideline off ball Linebacker is still way less effective if you don't have a defensive line capable of letting them cleanly operate. 

A great/elite MLB/ILB is a luxury for today's game, not a necessity.

Pressure can be schemed, coverage can't. Build your defense back to front(CB is King) and prioritize interior pressure over exterior. If you can identify elite talents at LB or EDGE great, if not- just utilize a platoon approach. You don't need to overextend yourself for do it all players at either spot. Rotate your run/coverage/pass rush specialists depending on the situation. 

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10 hours ago, DreamKid said:

How are CBs dependent on the defensive line but LBs aren't?...

One elite CB can erase a WR, take away half of the field, contribute against the run, free up your Safety, etc. 

I really think you're idealizing what an elite MLB is truly capable of. There's a reason modern defenses are fielding LBs less and less. Even if they're the best coverage LBs around, their DCs still don't want them consistently mismatched against WRs and other freak show pass catchers masquerading as TEs. Which is what the league's best OCs and QBs aim to do. Dynamo receiving talents like McCaffrey at HB love getting isolated against a LB too. And the best sideline to sideline off ball Linebacker is still way less effective if you don't have a defensive line capable of letting them cleanly operate. 

A great/elite MLB/ILB is a luxury for today's game, not a necessity.

Pressure can be schemed, coverage can't. Build your defense back to front(CB is King) and prioritize interior pressure over exterior. If you can identify elite talents at LB or EDGE great, if not- just utilize a platoon approach. You don't need to overextend yourself for do it all players at either spot. Rotate your run/coverage/pass rush specialists depending on the situation. 

I mean they are dependent on the DL to an extent as well, in pass coverage where the CB is dependent on them, but a DL that isn't great at rushing the passer can still be great at taking on blockers, demanding double teams, and keeping the LBs clean. Meaning that even if they are leaving something left on the table in pass coverage the LB can be a force stuffing the inside run, getting sideline to sideline and erasing those big plays, and blitzing up the middle and helping nullify some of the issue the DL has in creating pressure. 

CBs are dependent on the DL, but the biggest asset they bring is pass coverage, so if the DL can't create pressure the CB often times can struggle and when they struggle it's much more difficult to scheme up ways for them to impact the game in the others aspects the way a LB can. You aren't going to see many elite corners blitzing the A gap and getting pressure, or being a huge part in neutralizing inside and outside runs, etc. Not to mention the aspect of the MLB being the QB of the defense and making sure everyone is aligned right, make sure everyone understands their assignments, etc. 

And lastly, even where LBs can be dependent in pass coverage the same way corners are, I would argue it's not to the same level of dependency, because corners are more regularly going to be in coverage deeper down the field, covering faster runners, they are going to regularly be left out on that island on long developing plays and have to hold up. Most of the time your elite MLB is going to be in coverage against a TE, RB, maybe a slower, shifter slot receiver. They still need the DL to get pressure, but it's easier for them to hold up in their assignments if the DL isn't because they are responsible for less ground, covering players that are typically targeted on quicker routes or last resort check downs. 

I would argue a LB is more dependent on the DL occupying blockers and commanding double teams to impact the run game but those defensive lineman are much easier to acquire.

I will give my response to the other points in a couple hours. Got some stuff I need to take care of before the work week starts back up. 

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