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rrogers
09-07-2004, 04:18 PM
Leber last year had a lot of miscues and stupid penaltys. I think this is his break out season. The ability this guy has he can easily get 13-14 sacks and a pro-bowl bid. He just has to play within his game and don't let the offensive line take him out of his game.

Bolt21
09-07-2004, 04:27 PM
Let's see if he can have a repeat performance of his rookie year vs. the Texans when he sacked Carr three times. Get 'em Ben!

shocku
09-07-2004, 04:29 PM
what's not to like! this kid is great.

SanLuisFan
09-07-2004, 04:33 PM
I've always liked what I've seen of this kid.

Rip
09-07-2004, 04:35 PM
Up until a few weeks ago, he was my favorite LB, but with the play of Cooper (and philips) he has moved down on my list. But he is going to be a good one, and with Cooper and philips (and hopefully Derrick johnson/Kirk Morrison) we are going to have a great LB core for a long LONG time.

joelbolt
09-07-2004, 04:41 PM
I have noticed this year when Marty has been asked by the media who the team leaders are he has mentioned Leber amongst others. I can think of two occasions Marty saying this in the last Month. I would like to see him have a great game against the Texans, let’s see if he has their number.

SDRaiderH8er
09-07-2004, 05:08 PM
I think he finally got out of that Sophmore Jinx, he should be Okay in the 3-4

xnet
09-07-2004, 05:10 PM
All I know is that I will be watching our Linebackers closely because their play is the key to our defense this season. Hopefully Leber picks things up a notch, but then again they all need to. Cooper and Philips are my two favorite backs at this moment.

SuperCharger
09-07-2004, 06:02 PM
I was glad to see Ben "Leber alone she's with me.." get that strip against SF. Especially, after he got his clock cleaned in the previous game against Seattle. I expect him to be one of many bullets in Wade's arsenal this seasons act of futility. Unlike last season. IMO ALL the LBs are on a mission this year. :bolt:

boltfan4sho
09-08-2004, 12:41 AM
Everyone points to our LB's as the strongest position. Although strong, I think they might be a little over rated. I saw a lot of pass coverages blown by LB's at the Cardinals game. Only thing is that Edwards wasn't playin that night. Obviously he is the leader of this group and possibly the whole defense. As far as Leber is concerened. He has so much potential. I feel like he hit a wall last year, but should turn a corner andcome into his own in the 3rd year. Hopefully we see the LB's come up with a good handfull of sacks in texas!

joelbolt
09-08-2004, 10:39 PM
Chargers.com took some time out with Leber today. Here's his Q&A. Enjoy!

http://www.chargers.com/news/headline_detail.cfm?news_key=1855

Reena
09-08-2004, 10:45 PM
All I know is he had a 14 sack season in my madden franchise, and if life has taught us anything at all, it is that MADDEN NEVER LIES

compubolt
09-08-2004, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by: boltfan4sho
Everyone points to our LB's as the strongest position. Although strong, I think they might be a little over rated. I saw a lot of pass coverages blown by LB's at the Cardinals game. Only thing is that Edwards wasn't playin that night. Obviously he is the leader of this group and possibly the whole defense. As far as Leber is concerened. He has so much potential. I feel like he hit a wall last year, but should turn a corner andcome into his own in the 3rd year. Hopefully we see the LB's come up with a good handfull of sacks in texas!


That last SF game when Edwards played quieted some of the worries I had in term of the LB's pass coverage. In the first 3 games, the pass underneather was always open for a good gain. It looked like SF knew that cause one of the first pass plays went underneather, but Edwards was right there. I think once the LB's see enough passes this season, they will begin to either pop the ball up for grabs or make an INT themselves. I am fine with edwards for pass coverage but godfrey worries me but they will use him as the run stuffer mostly I am sure.

I think Leber will put it all together this season.

Boltfan921
03-30-2005, 05:50 PM
I think Shaun Philips would be better to play, especially in passing situations, but what is ur guys take on him?????????????????????????????????

guimcharger
03-30-2005, 06:00 PM
Leber is a solid LB. Phillips is the future and could likely take his spot this year but Leber is a good LB.

conair103
03-30-2005, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by: guimcharger
Leber is a solid LB. Phillips is the future and could likely take his spot this year but Leber is a good LB.

yes

GdoubleE
03-30-2005, 06:09 PM
Leber is the future at his position unless they find someone better. Philips will eventually replace Foley and most likely will share time on passing downs with Leber or Godfrey. You can't cut a guy like Leber out of your team because he is young and shows promise and is around the ball all the time.

Leber has better coverage skills than Philips and all Philips has to offer right now is his ability to get to the QB. That is what he was drafted for. Look for him to get more playing time but not as much as Leber will have again this year.

It will be interesting to see which LB the Chargers draft to shore up the middle this year.



Go Bolts!!!

Boltfan921
03-30-2005, 06:12 PM
They had donnie edwards and randall godfrey! they do not need a ILB now, but since they are aging, then maybe get one to groom

foty89
03-30-2005, 06:20 PM
He is somewhere in between, a solid player who will do a good job, but not make a lot of huge plays either. He is a solid player overall.

Go Bolts!
i/expressions/SDG_Bolt.gif i/expressions/SDG_Bolt.gif i/expressions/SDG_Bolt.gif

Boltfreek
03-30-2005, 06:21 PM
I agree with the statement about Leber always being around the ball. At this level everyone has
tremendous talent but there are always a few intangibles that makes a player very good if not
unspectacular. Leber is one of those unselfish players willing to sacrifice his own own stats to push a play in another direction so that someone else can make a play. His value really is only addressed on Tuesdays when they review film.
Given his age, character and above average skills, still have a great deal of value for us. At least for now.

BOLTERFAN
03-30-2005, 06:24 PM
I do not know why people are so hard on Leber. The guy flat out makes plays. He is no pro bowler, but I believe he is the most underrated player on the defensive side of the ball. He is as tough as IRON as well. I do not think I have ever seen him hurt. Leber is a very good LB.

GdoubleE
03-30-2005, 06:26 PM
Which one is it Boltfan921? They need one or don't? They already let Moreno go so I look for then to grab an ILB to back up Godfrey and Edwards because they are getting old and I have heard numerous rumors that Godfrey will retire after next season.

Someone like my favorite Robert McCune from Louisville could be a great fit as an ILB in the 3-4. He has tremendous speed and hits like a mack truck. Unless of course Derrick johnson is available at 12th overall then we could take McCune in the later rounds.


While Johnson is certainly not the best tackler he is truly a great playmaker in the mold of Donnie Edwards. I would love to have him at the 12th overall pick. That would be great value and provide us with the best Lb in the draft.


Go Bolts!!!

IgorUnchained
03-30-2005, 06:26 PM
Like Ive said several times, I wasnt ever all that impressed by Leber until I saw him play against the Colts and the Jets. If he plays like that next year, I say start him and play him....the guy was all over the place and in on almost every play. I have high hopes for Shaun Phillips next year too, but I dont know if he is ready to start over Leber yet....time will tell.

jtzsd43
03-30-2005, 06:32 PM
A lot of people are counting Leber out as if he is a weak link in our LB corp. He isn't, he just isn't as flashy as Foley or Edwards. Leber is a good LB and so is Shaun Phillips. When Foley retires Phillips will take his spot and continue the tradition (OK it's only been one season so far) of fantastic blitzed from the weak side.

eeks2284
03-30-2005, 07:28 PM
Phillips is an awesome talent but is still learning the LB position.. he IS NOT an everydown LB yet.. hell I don't even know if Roosevelt Colvin (the NFL player Phillips most resembles) is an everydown LB

Leber IS an everydown LB and is definitely not a weak link like Wilson was last year

Our LB core has awesome depth right now and should only get better with the draft

and another thing.. Foley just got an extension, Godfrey will retire after this year and Foley and Edwards shouldn't retire for another 2-3 years

Cooper is a solid option for spelling Godfrey or Edwards this year.. hopefully Wilhelm will keep progressing

Getting an uber-pass rusher like Merriman would be great but it's definitely not a necessity.. I believe that Ball and Phillips will step up their game

JerryinCA
03-30-2005, 07:36 PM
Yeah I don't know where some of the negative talk about him has come from either. He's a great player and works his butt off on every play. He's not flashy or one who tries to get the spot light on himself by kicking dirt on players after he tackles them or doing some kind of crazy dance, he goes about his business and gets the job done. I think he's kind of like Donnie in that way, a guy who goes out there and does his best every down but doesn't do it in a way that seems like he's trying to stand out above everyone else. I know he may have missed a tackle or two last season but the same can be said of every linebacker on the squad, I think he's just as good as any of the others we have out there on the field and I do agree with who ever said earlier he's probably our most underrated player on defense. Hell he could have made a hell of a play for us during that playoff game if the jets blocker wasn't holding onto his arm and shoulder of his jersey for what seemed like 6 seconds without it being called. He's the kind of player I like on a team, more substance than flash who knows he doesn't have to kill someone to tackle them and I hope he stays on as a starter for a long time to come.

twism512
03-30-2005, 07:57 PM
leber has started all but a couple(2-5) of games since he was drafted in the third round in 2001(right?)
hes a flat out stud
hes the future
he will never be a big name
but neither is donnie
he will prove his worth this season
just as he did everyother one
if you guys realy think phillips as the starter
we could go
2-5
with
williams
and
olshanksy
at the line
otherwise
KEEP Leber

HeadTrip
03-30-2005, 09:02 PM
He isnt a terribly great LB. He is adaquate to start, but he is not ever going to be anything more than "decent". To compare him to Donnie is sacrilage i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif.

GdoubleE
03-30-2005, 09:24 PM
Ben Leber after Three years

190 tackles 10 sacks and 3 fumbles


Donnie Edwards after three years

244 tackles 8.5 sacks 3 ints and 4 fumbles




Not really that sacreligous is it? While he might not be the talent Donnie is he is certainly better than decent. I believe the guy said he was similar in character to Donnie. He is a guy that goes about his business without drawing much attention to himself.

Not alot of linebackers in the league are as good as Donnie who has recorded over 100 tackles in 8 of his 9 seasons as an NFL player.

Meanwhile James Farrior a more than decent LB had just 149 tavkles 3.5 sacks and 3 fumbles in his first three years.

Even JR just had 219 tackles in his first three years


Considering all of this I must say Leber is well on his way to beiong an above average LB in this league and we are lucky to have him.


Go Bolts!!!

Boltfan921
03-30-2005, 09:36 PM
I did not mean, to start phillips every down yet, I meant should leber not be on passing downs.............................. anyhow leber is a unselfish player like the rest of the team and is a good run stopper, but other than that he is just average. He is a good overall player whom I respect and would have him start over phillips, except on passing downs.

HeadTrip
03-30-2005, 09:48 PM
I dont care about the numbers... whenever i watch the guy he is messing something up. He misses a lot of tackles and is not overly quick... he cant recover very well. He is a role player who will not succeed without stars around him IMHO.

GdoubleE
03-30-2005, 09:57 PM
Cool that is your opinion aint nothing wrong with that.



Go Bolts!!!

JerryinCA
03-30-2005, 10:46 PM
Originally posted by: HeadTrip
I dont care about the numbers... whenever i watch the guy he is messing something up. He misses a lot of tackles and is not overly quick... he cant recover very well. He is a role player who will not succeed without stars around him IMHO.

I haven't seen Ben miss any more tackles than anyone else on this team to be honest with you. I have seen him miss some but nothing that would make him stand above anyone else in that area. I can tell you I've seen him make some great tackles too just like everyone else on our team.

I remember one that really stands out in my mind was that bronco game from his rookie season that we won in OT. I believe the running back tried to cut back and go the other way or it was a reverse but either way Ben was the only player who stayed home to make sure the play didn't go back to that side of the field, well the play ended up coming around going his way and he made a great one handed open field tackle by grabbing the guys foot and bringing him down for no gain. If he hadn't made that stop it would have been a TD because nobody else was anywhere near the play. I don't mean to imply that you have to go back 2 years to see him do something important lol but that one has stuck out in my mind ever since I saw him do it. In that same game Junior and Donnie both wrapped up Clinton Portis around the waist and he broke free from both of them at the same time and ran the ball in for a TD so even the greats miss tackles.

HeadTrip
03-30-2005, 11:02 PM
I think he will keep improving and be a suitable LB, but I still do not think he has any great playmaking ability. I think Philips can develope into something much more.

Something stands out in my mind from that game too... we once had Donnie and Junior in the same defensive backfield i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif.

JerryinCA
03-30-2005, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by: HeadTrip
I think he will keep improving and be a suitable LB, but I still do not think he has any great playmaking ability. I think Philips can develope into something much more.



Something stands out in my mind from that game too... we once had Donnie and Junior in the same defensive backfield .

Yeah we had them both and our defense still had a hard time stopping people down the stretch lol. I know I'm going to get blasted for saying this and I didn't feel this way when it first happened but I think our defense is better off without Seau now. He obviously wasn't the same player and I do think his ego had gotten a bit on the large side. He always gave his best but I saw several games his last year here where he could have made a play and didn't them seemed to point the finger at someone else right away to try to shift the blame and to me that's not the way to go about things. I could care less about his off the field issues as far as his womanizing goes, that's between him and his family but looking back on it now I think Butler actually made the right call in letting Junior go when he did.

williams76
03-30-2005, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by: guimcharger
Leber is a solid LB. Phillips is the future and could likely take his spot this year but Leber is a good LB.

totally agree.

mgpretzel
03-30-2005, 11:34 PM
I feel Leber is solid. he is not a playmaker or a star. but he is a guy that does stuff so others can finish the play. he is not a weakness. but Phillips I htink this year will start to push Leber for more time.

drangus
03-30-2005, 11:35 PM
leber belongs on the inside with edwards--

he is too vulnerable in space because he either fails to recognize plays or thinks too much and doesn't react--

he is also very stiff in space which is why we see him miss so many tackles

he has zero ability to get to the quarterback and in the 3-4 that is the linebackers job especially the outside linebackers--

it doesn't make sense for leber to continue on the outside--

if he is in the long term plans of the team they will move him inside were he will have less responsibility and can focus on penetrating gaps to stop the run--

if used properly leber could be a decent player--

right now he is too inconsistent with his coverage and tackling--

honestly, I don't see why phillips can't do at least as good as leber--

if phillips doesn't start next year it will only delay his development--

phillips has already shown more versatillity in spot duty than leber has in three years on the outside

kingporterblood
04-01-2005, 08:19 AM
I think he is solid LB who is always hawking the ball no matter where the play is.

mgpretzel
04-01-2005, 09:34 AM
I think he is solid LB who is always hawking the ball no matter where the play is.

Thats true. he is alwys going 100% but he is a litle slow in the pass. that is his biggest weakness. I like Leber because he trys. that is all I want from a player a guy who will gives it his all no matter the score. However Phillips is the future! and is gonna push Leber for time.IMO

ND48DC
04-01-2005, 09:39 AM
Leber is neither a strength nor a weakness. We could do better, but we could also do worse. I'd prefer a better pass rusher at OLB, but Leber is solid enough that if we don't bring in a replacement I will still be happy with him satisfied.

BlueandGoldRush
04-01-2005, 10:24 AM
I dont care about the numbers... whenever i watch the guy he is messing something up. He misses a lot of tackles and is not overly quick... he cant recover very well. He is a role player who will not succeed without stars around him IMHO.

Agree with Headtrip. Leber missed a ton more tackles than any other LB on the team, without a doubt. I had high hopes for him going into last year, but was disapppointed. As critical as some of you are with guys like Davis and Jammer, I'm surprised many of you give Leber a "free ride". IMO, he's servicable, but was the weakest of our LBs last year.

GdoubleE
04-01-2005, 11:01 AM
I dont recall Leber missing that many tackles. He does lack lateral speed but he does cover tight ends nicely. He plays a different position than Phillips does. Phillips in the WILL linebacker in the 3-4 same as Foley. Playing over the TE is different and requires more from the LB than the skills Phillips has. Since most teams use a tight end most of the time then you will see that the SAM linebacker will have less tackles and sacks that the WILL backer.

Noticeably because of having to shed the tight ends blocks on running plays and having to cover him on passing plays. Leber is always around the ball but he can't always get there first because of the position he plays.

Compared to other SAM BAckers in the 3-4 he ranks as follows

58 tackles 2 sacks

Mike Vrabel played for the best defense in the league so obviously thier LB corps is far better than ours

71 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

Clark HAggans SAm Backer for Pittsburgh number one rush defense in the league

37 tackles 6 sacks

Jason Babin SAM backer for the Texans

63 tackles and 4 sacks


As you can see this position will not generate as many sacks or tackles as the other OLB position in the 3-4 and Leber is not that bad when looking at him stacked up against the opposition.

McGinnest had 9.5 sacks
Foley had 10
Porter had 7
Wong had 7


The only exception to this trend was Adalius Thomas of Baltimore who had a whopping 8 sacks and 72 tackles but we all know he is the least of the Linebackers in that crew which is THE best in football. Suggs on the other side had 10.5 sacks the most of the WIL backers.

For his first year in the 3-4 Leber performed admirably. Don't make me go through each of these players first season in a 3-4 defense to prove that to you too.


But I know Headtrip could care less about actual stats and that is his perogative. For the others in here that actually like having facts to base opinions off of this should give you some insight to Leber and his production.


Go Bolts!!!

BlueandGoldRush
04-01-2005, 11:49 AM
He missed a BUNCH of tackles last year. Stats don't tell the whole story. I'm not talking about his production on paper. That mean's very little. I just think he was our weakest starting LB last season in terms of talent and contribution.

I know he's not going to get the sacks that Foley does, just by virtue of his position, but that doesn't excuse the many times where I saw him in position to make a play, and either fail to shed a 1-on-1 block, or just miss the tackle. I also disagree about him covering TEs well. Good TEs eat him alive.

I'm not saying he's a bum, I just don't think he's a long-term answer at the position. Do you really think Leber is as good as Babin? Sure, you can say he's "not that bad", but that's not good enough, if you ask me.

TBOLTZCALI
04-01-2005, 11:51 AM
I think we can definitely upgrade there. like many said, he is solid but not a star. he was showing some promise his rookie year but then fell a bit since then.

HeadTrip
04-01-2005, 12:55 PM
Actually I do love stats to tell you the truth. When you look at lebers, he looks better than he actually is IMHO. I love the fact that he is high effort, therefore he can contribute no matter what, but he simply doesnt have the talent to be a star IMHO. His physical attributes are lacking.

I do think he could be a pretty good ILB though. His lack of agility and quickness wouldnt hurt him nearly as much.

toveyyy
04-01-2005, 01:10 PM
They had donnie edwards and randall godfrey! they do not need a ILB now, but since they are aging, then maybe get one to groom

He's on our team, Boltfan. And he's perfect for our 3-4 defense. I like Phillips too, he's even quicker than Leber.

boltzman3
04-01-2005, 03:21 PM
leber plays his heart out.is a good lb......he replaced the over hyped moreno.he will become a solid veteran.bringing in a rookie to dispell him is a mistake our defense is very young, and leber is a part of it.the rookie will have to learn the 3-4 deffense and that could take 2 seasons.no leber is here to stay.i like what he shows on the feild.the formula woks , don;t tweek with it.no rookie will upgrade over leber...he si young and only getting better..stop the whining and let the deffensive players keep the chemistry they have now.lets not disrupt the deffense with some rookie wondering around the feild guessing were he should be.!.draft for the future yes. but the olb position in the 3-4 is dificult at best.in the 3-4 the olb must know where to be , not thinking about is assignment.reaction must be , instaniously.thinking cause missed assignments and gives up big plays.

guimcharger
04-01-2005, 03:28 PM
leber plays his heart out.is a good lb......he replaced the over hyped moreno.he will become a solid veteran.bringing in a rookie to dispell him is a mistake our defense is very young, and leber is a part of it.the rookie will have to learn the 3-4 deffense and that could take 2 seasons.no leber is here to stay.i like what he shows on the feild.the formula woks , don;t tweek with it.no rookie will upgrade over leber...he si young and only getting better..stop the whining and let the deffensive players keep the chemistry they have now.lets not disrupt the deffense with some rookie wondering around the feild guessing were he should be.!.draft for the future yes. but the olb position in the 3-4 is dificult at best.in the 3-4 the olb must know where to be , not thinking about is assignment.reaction must be , instaniously.thinking cause missed assignments and gives up big plays.

Leber didn't replace Moreno. Moreno is a MLB and Leber has always been a OLB. Leber replaced Orlando Ruff in 2001. We already have young competition for Leber with Phillips. Leber is a solid LB but can be upgraded. I won't shed a tear is Leber starts again but I won't if he doesn't.

GdoubleE
04-01-2005, 09:04 PM
I can see exactly your point that his position can be upgraded but I was not defending that. i was defending that "Leber is a bum". Every position on this team can stand to be upgraded with a couple of exceptions where I dont thin you'll find a better player than we currently have.

This upgrading the position talk is all I have bneen talking about for the past month. WE should all know that the safety positions can and should be upgraded.

We talked ad noseum over the Jue signing and how he might be decent and capable but I say why settle for that when you can upgrade through making a shift in the secondary and also upgrading the SS position at the same.

Funny how some see the need for the upgrade scenario for this position but not all the positions.

DAng it draft the best safety available and move Kiel to where he is better suited to play FS. Upgrade both positions at the same time. I was flamed for it because some want to believe in fairy tales.


Go Bolts!!!

boltfan805
04-05-2005, 11:19 PM
Ben is the QB KILLA!

JerryinCA
04-05-2005, 11:55 PM
Finally some love for Ben lol, he's a much better player than people seem to be giving him credit for lately in my opinion.

IgorUnchained
04-06-2005, 12:06 AM
Ill second that!

I am really pulling for Phillips this year so it is hard, but Leber gets alot of respect. He is a great guy who plays his heart out on the field. I wish I could have seen all of the Bolts games last year so I could see why some people are so down on him, because the ones I saw......especially later in the season, he was an animal and honestly reminded me of the great linebackers. He was around the ball on every stop. It didnt matter where the ball ended up he was in the pile when all was said and done. I like that in a player.

Shaun Phillips and Ben Leber will square off in the off season and the best man will win, but the backup will still be huge on special teams and as a reliever or situational player.

GdoubleE
04-06-2005, 09:43 AM
Leber's biggest weakness is shedding blocks to make the tackle on inside runs or off tackle. He sometimes disappears because he has problems disengaging from the bigger tackles in the NFL.

IN the last Jets game you could tell he was being held on most every play. He does have trouble with lateral quickness. While not as bad as Foley he is still pretty slow getting out to the sidelines to turn the play back inside.

Nothing that I have seen from Philips would lead me to believe that he would be better in these areas than Leber. Leber's position demands more of the LB than Foley's position does. Occasionally Foley will not rush the passer however most of the time that is all he does.

I believe that is where Phillips is best suited to play at this point. If we drafted a LB or signed an ILB like JAmie Sharper we could then afford to move Edwards out to Leber's position.

I say if Derrick Johnson is still available at the 12th spot there is no way for my money that I would pass him up unless there is someone that can benefit the team more like Braylon Edwards, which is more than unlikely, still available.

Derrick Johnson is the ultimate utility LB and would be a great addition to our defense. He is just one of the players I would take before Thomas DAvis in this draft. He is fast enough to be solid in coverage and prolly give us a few ints. He does have the straight line speed and strength to rush the passer and is all over the field making tackles. He has a knack for getting in the backfield to make tackles.

What would this look like come draft day?
12-Derrick Johnson
28-Thomas Davis or Pool whoever is available
61 Jonathan Babineaux-DE Iowa

I dont think he will fall to us but if he does we could seriously have a great defense here next year with this type of draft.

In most of the mocks lately Spears has been either picked early usually by WAshington or Detriot or has dropped way down to the 20's because of his lack of consistancy.


Go Bolts!!!

Chargeroo
04-06-2005, 10:35 AM
Many of the members of this forum have said that they don't think of Johnson as the right type of LB for this team. Here's an article that's very informative on the LB positions in the 3/4 defense, it seems to agree with those that think Johnson doesn't fit well into our defense -


__________________________________________________ ______

Shawne Merriman vs. Derrick Johnson
By Rob Curtis
Date: Apr 5, 2005

The tide seems to be split between the fumble forcing skills of Derrick Johnson as opposed to the speed and ferocity of Shawne Merriman. Which player is the better fit for the San Diego Chargers?

GENERAL PASS PROTECTION

I am going to outline the traditional pass blocking responsibility of a 3-4 rush line. To simplify this, I am going to limit this discussion to strongside (with the TE) and weakside (without the TE). On some occasions, the TE will go in motion. In this case, the blocking responsibilities simply switch sides. Sometimes you will see teams line up in two TE sets for blocking purposes. This provides more traditional one-on-one responsibility, but is rare.

The 3-4 OLB has significant pass rush responsibilities basically acting like a hybrid DE in 4-3 pass rush lines. They also need to be athletic enough to cover the pass. Wade Phillips has generally used the 3-4 OLB in very traditional roles. He has the "drop" (Leber) and "rush" LB (Foley).

Some general blocking principals include:
• The LT takes on the ROLB, while the LG slides over to take on the RE.
• Generally, you have the RILB act in coordination with the ROLB (rush LB) and cover the empty flat.
• The Center takes on the NT with the RG potentially helping and reading any blitz from that side.
• The RT takes on the LE.
• The TE generally goes out in pattern and the LOLB goes with him or chucks him on the line before rushing the passer.

GENERAL RUN BLOCKING

It is a little more difficult to identify the blocking schemes from a running perspective. However, both OLB have outside contain and are responsible for turning RB’s into the rest of the defense. The 3-4 ILB has B gap responsibility, but the open side ILB (RILB) usually is the beneficiary, because he is generally protected by the natural flow of blocking schemes.

Shawne Merriman: ROLB

I do not view OLB as a hole on this team; however I do think the team needs to utilize the “drop” LB more as a pass rusher. Steve Foley’s versatility helps this situation. He is capable of being the “drop” LB and while he was a productive rusher, he lacks the speed you want in the primary rush LB. Merriman has more explosion, burst, and speed than Foley. In my opinion, he could provide 12 to 15 sacks from the ROLB position and the Chargers could be less predictable with their “drop” and “rush” positions.

“I can run with any back or any tight end,” Merriman said. “And at the same time I can go against any tackle. Whatever teams want to do with me is fine with me and I can adjust to it."

Derrick Johnson: LILB

The Chargers system is predicated by creating traffic to free up the RILB, Donnie Edwards. Against the pass, he is the primary cover LB when we rush Foley. Against the run, he is often the responsibility of the FB or a lineman who chucks a lineman and then slides down to Edwards. In many cases, Edwards does not get touched. Teams often depend on traffic to take him out of the play and he is very good at wading through that traffic.

The LILB is more of a complementary player. This player needs to be able to take on the RG and shed blocks on weakside runs. He also needs to be able to take on the FB on strongside runs when they double Jamal. Problem is that Derrick Johnson does neither of those well. He also freelances and runs around blocks, which is potentially devastating in this system creating holes the sign of craters and forcing the LE and LOLB to make plays 5 to 7 yards down the field.

“They run away from me a lot sometimes,” said Johnson. “I'm probably stronger at just going and chasing the ball down sideline to sideline.”

CONCLUSION

In the end, the system fits Merriman’s skill set and he not only improves the rush LB position, but brings the potential versatility to expand the role of the drop LB. Johnson is not big enough or strong enough to be a hybrid DE, so OLB is out. As an ILB, his primary weaknesses are really the primary things we look for in an ILB. In the right system, Derrick Johnson is going to be a very good player. He has the potential to be a pro bowler, but this is the wrong system. It is a slam dunk for Merriman.

“I just want to be in the scheme that uses all of my physical talents,” said Merriman. “The best way to help the team would be for me to use the height and the speed and the strength that I have to the benefit of the whole defense.

jtzsd43
04-06-2005, 12:36 PM
Yeah I think Ben is gonna be a great LB. He's playing solidly now but will get better with each year. Soon he'll be out resident stud LB.

timlinson21
04-06-2005, 10:16 PM
I like Leber, He's fast and has a great potential. he'll be alright.

GdoubleE
04-06-2005, 10:27 PM
Many of the members of this forum have said that they don't think of Johnson as the right type of LB for this team. Here's an article that's very informative on the LB positions in the 3/4 defense, it seems to agree with those that think Johnson doesn't fit well into our defense -


__________________________________________________ ______

Shawne Merriman vs. Derrick Johnson
By Rob Curtis
Date: Apr 5, 2005

The tide seems to be split between the fumble forcing skills of Derrick Johnson as opposed to the speed and ferocity of Shawne Merriman. Which player is the better fit for the San Diego Chargers?

GENERAL PASS PROTECTION

I am going to outline the traditional pass blocking responsibility of a 3-4 rush line. To simplify this, I am going to limit this discussion to strongside (with the TE) and weakside (without the TE). On some occasions, the TE will go in motion. In this case, the blocking responsibilities simply switch sides. Sometimes you will see teams line up in two TE sets for blocking purposes. This provides more traditional one-on-one responsibility, but is rare.

The 3-4 OLB has significant pass rush responsibilities basically acting like a hybrid DE in 4-3 pass rush lines. They also need to be athletic enough to cover the pass. Wade Phillips has generally used the 3-4 OLB in very traditional roles. He has the "drop" (Leber) and "rush" LB (Foley).

Some general blocking principals include:
• The LT takes on the ROLB, while the LG slides over to take on the RE.
• Generally, you have the RILB act in coordination with the ROLB (rush LB) and cover the empty flat.
• The Center takes on the NT with the RG potentially helping and reading any blitz from that side.
• The RT takes on the LE.
• The TE generally goes out in pattern and the LOLB goes with him or chucks him on the line before rushing the passer.

GENERAL RUN BLOCKING

It is a little more difficult to identify the blocking schemes from a running perspective. However, both OLB have outside contain and are responsible for turning RB’s into the rest of the defense. The 3-4 ILB has B gap responsibility, but the open side ILB (RILB) usually is the beneficiary, because he is generally protected by the natural flow of blocking schemes.

Shawne Merriman: ROLB

I do not view OLB as a hole on this team; however I do think the team needs to utilize the “drop” LB more as a pass rusher. Steve Foley’s versatility helps this situation. He is capable of being the “drop” LB and while he was a productive rusher, he lacks the speed you want in the primary rush LB. Merriman has more explosion, burst, and speed than Foley. In my opinion, he could provide 12 to 15 sacks from the ROLB position and the Chargers could be less predictable with their “drop” and “rush” positions.

“I can run with any back or any tight end,” Merriman said. “And at the same time I can go against any tackle. Whatever teams want to do with me is fine with me and I can adjust to it."

Derrick Johnson: LILB

The Chargers system is predicated by creating traffic to free up the RILB, Donnie Edwards. Against the pass, he is the primary cover LB when we rush Foley. Against the run, he is often the responsibility of the FB or a lineman who chucks a lineman and then slides down to Edwards. In many cases, Edwards does not get touched. Teams often depend on traffic to take him out of the play and he is very good at wading through that traffic.

The LILB is more of a complementary player. This player needs to be able to take on the RG and shed blocks on weakside runs. He also needs to be able to take on the FB on strongside runs when they double Jamal. Problem is that Derrick Johnson does neither of those well. He also freelances and runs around blocks, which is potentially devastating in this system creating holes the sign of craters and forcing the LE and LOLB to make plays 5 to 7 yards down the field.

“They run away from me a lot sometimes,” said Johnson. “I'm probably stronger at just going and chasing the ball down sideline to sideline.”

CONCLUSION

In the end, the system fits Merriman’s skill set and he not only improves the rush LB position, but brings the potential versatility to expand the role of the drop LB. Johnson is not big enough or strong enough to be a hybrid DE, so OLB is out. As an ILB, his primary weaknesses are really the primary things we look for in an ILB. In the right system, Derrick Johnson is going to be a very good player. He has the potential to be a pro bowler, but this is the wrong system. It is a slam dunk for Merriman.

“I just want to be in the scheme that uses all of my physical talents,” said Merriman. “The best way to help the team would be for me to use the height and the speed and the strength that I have to the benefit of the whole defense.


Im not sure what all of that has to do with Derrick JOhnson being a better LB than Leber and being able to fill that slot. Opposite Foley. I do believe that having him at the sam position would be great for our defense.

Go Bolts!!!

JoeMcRugby
04-06-2005, 10:58 PM
Gdub,

That analysis has a lot to do with Johnson taking over the opposite LB from Foley.

Leber's position requires that the LB takes on the TE and other blockers head on, not run around them. Running around blocks (apparently Johnson's specialty from what I've heard - I'm by no means an expert on him) would be catostrophic to the Chargers defensive scheme.

Then again, maybe in addition to the Chargers moving their starting strong safety to free safety and filling in their strong safety spot with a rookie (Thomas Davis), the Chargers may also be looking to move their Pro Bowl (should have been) ILB or OLB players (Edwards and Foley respectively) in order to make room for the work out hero Johnson. One thing for sure, Johnson is not physically capable of playing either Godfrey's or Leber's positions. Those complimentary LB postions go against every strength that Johnson has and expose every weakness in his arsenal.

boltfan805
04-06-2005, 11:56 PM
Yeah I think Ben is gonna be a great LB. He's playing solidly now but will get better with each year. Soon he'll be out resident stud LB.
This LB is groomed by Seau and conditioned by Edwards. If you think there is a better LB in the NFL, we are in for a debate. This guy is held over 95 percent of the time. MOSTLY double teamed. Please stand behind Ben, He gives his ALL on EVERY play!
GO Chargers!

Chargers99
04-07-2005, 01:31 AM
Ben will be fine.

sdchrger
04-07-2005, 07:58 AM
Great article Chargeroo. Really breaks down who we have and what we could use. If we could get Merriman he could take over the SAM or rush OLB, and Foley could end up being Godfrey's replacement. He has the size and strength to be that run stuffing ILB. If Phillips continues to develop, then you're looking at 5-6 linebackers that can cover and rush. The Patriots have won 3 Super Bowl, in no small part, because of the strength and versatility of their linebackers. Heck, they did it last year without cornerbacks.

DJ will be a stud linebacker in this league, but he needs to go to a 4-3 team. He would not be a fit for us.

sonorajim
04-07-2005, 02:28 PM
To me, Leber looks to be a solid journey level OLB. I like his spirit and tenacity. I don't like the fact that he's slow to the outside, doesn't shed blocks well, and is a very low percentage pass rusher. I doubt that he came anywhere near the QB in 95% of his rush attempts. He rushed the QB at least 5 or 6 times a game. What was his sack total? The production at LOLB was just adequate. Bring in Merriman or Pollard.