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The Players I am Watching- Linebackers

By greyghost1225
8/29/2019 12:32 am
All Right with the season rolling to a close it is time for my favorite position, linebackers. I am not an owner that sits down and dissects a bunch of individual numbers. I look at certain things in regards to linebackers and fortunately we have Smirt211 for more detail and to lay out his attributes that he likes. I like 3 basic categories when it comes to linebackers.

1. Speed- I like fast linebackers, there have been times that my linebackers are faster then my db’s believe it or not.
2. Strength- I do look for defensive line strong, but like to try to equal or at least in the neighborhood ow my speed.
3. Run Defense- I am old school and believe that linebackers should be good against the run, the higher the run defense the better.

I put some thought into tackling, but am willing to drop down to a 40 in tackling on occasion, it all depends on the other attributes. I like certain characteristics and most of the time try to stick to these.

Without further hesitation, here is Smirt211, a well renown owner and a pretty nice, unless disagrees with me, just kidding.

Let me be the first to say that I'm not scientific. A lot of what I do in MFN is based off feel
and reactionary to results/data points. I believe the easiest way for me to explore "The World
Of Linebackers" is to extract from my starting triad and to give you a glimpse into my mindset.
Here we go!

MLB - Anthony Carr

Height: 5' 11"
Weight: 237 (3% below average)
Age: 24
Experience: 3
From Start: +10/-2
This Season: +10/-2

Max Speed 88
Acceleration 88
Strength 79
Intelligence 88
Discipline 78
Tackle Ability 74/84
Strip Ball 24/42
Pass Rush 70/87
Run Defense 60/88
Punish Receiver 65/86
Zone coverage 75/96
M2M Coverage 84/96
B&R Coverage 63/74

Analysis: We'll look at it in terms of what I'm looking for him to grow into. The Middle
Linebacker should be your best all-around athlete in the position set. My starting point is
to acquire a high speed, head on a swivel rover whom can cover ground at lightning speed. Think 75+ speed and acceleration with a target of acquiring 80 in each category. You're shooting for high marks everywhere in each category but you have to accept hits somewhere. In order to get the prototypical MLB'er I desire I'll punt kick strip ball and B & R since he'll be off the defensive line most of the time! Punish Receiver is also something I'll take at a reduced rate, however, that means maxing out at Tackle Ability, Run Defense, Pass Rush and both M2M and Zone Coverages. Think of the MLB as a whirlwind main disruptor on your defense. Therefore, you want him barreling in on runs, halting them in their tracks and even if not accumulating sacks...pressures and errant mis-fires from the QB a result of his constant pressure.

WLB - Rick Meyer

Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 241 (2% above average)
Age: 25
Experience: 4
From Start: +8/+1
This Season: +8/+1

Max Speed 82
Acceleration 85
Strength 78
Intelligence 73
Discipline 73
Tackle Ability 78/87
Strip Ball 57/85
Pass Rush 70/73
Run Defense 91/100
Punish Receiver 15/15
Zone coverage 82/95
B&R Coverage 69/96
B&R Coverage 69/96

Analysis: Speed requirements same as MLB with 75+ in each category and 80 being the mark to shoot for. You just don't want to traverse into the 60's territory. 70/70 as a bottom baseline for Speed and Acceleration is perfectly fine. In fact, in a re-consideration you may need to settle on the basement 70/70 in order to attain excellence at the rest. Critical for the WLB is Pass Rush, Run Defense and the trio of Coverage ratings. (B & R included here since the WLB will be at the defensive line in some formations) Where do I accept the hits on WLB? Punish Receiver at the pinnacle of the list and then Strip Ball followed by Tackle Ability. You simply can't have it all, therefore, it's a toggle game. Less speed means pinned out Pass Rush, Run Defense with high Strip Ball and/or Tackle Ability. Elite Speed translates to superior Pass Rush but maybe coverage pulled back a little. I opened up my portion of the article how a lot of MFN is based on feel. The objective is to put a WLB out there whom is going to do damage. QB Pressure, Pass Lane Disruption, Backfield Run Implosions. Just get a player whom is a difference maker at this position with an identity and you'll be fine.

SLB - Adrian Ledesma

Height: 6' 1"
Weight: 241 (0% above average)
Age: 25
Experience: 4
From Start: +6/+2
This Season: +6/+2

Max Speed 80
Acceleration 50
Strength 77
Intelligence 74
Discipline 67
Tackle Ability 66/82
Strip Ball 34/39
Pass Rush 82/85
Run Defense 56/71
Punish Receiver 60/91
Zone coverage 44/54
M2M Coverage 55/64
B&R Coverage 35/35

Analysis: Here's where you make concessions with what should be your 3rd Best Linebacker and your reinforcement chess piece. (place him into your MLB #2 and WLB #2 slots since the SLB appears in much less formation sets than his positional counterparts) I possess 80/50 speed here but again it's a toggle situation. Lets say you have yourself a 60/60 speed SLB then you'll want 95+ Pass Rush and roughly 90+ Run Defense to offset the speed decifit. Since the SLB will be an all purpose Linebacker for you the goal will be to have him set up with attributes which can slide in and cause nearly the same disruption as your starting MLB and WLB. If you achieve 75+ Speed and Acceleration you'll still want the Pass Rush to be the chief vital and maxed out as possible but you can pull back on items such as Strip Ball and Tackle Ability. SLB will be encroaching on the defensive line a lot, therefore, aim for B & R coverage or like I did here...attain high end Punish Receiver for Ball Separation/Incomplete Passes on 50/50 balls. At this juncture you're 3 Linebackers in so you're not going to be fielding an All-World baller. You've got to find the perfect brew to mix in with your MLB and WLB and in coalition form a triumvirate which will repel the opposition's run game and short passing strategies as best as humanly possible in order to achieve optimum MFN success.