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View Full Version : Remember when the Giants had good Linebackers?



Riverboat76
11-05-2012, 02:11 PM
Many of you probably weren't around when the Giants had Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson & Harry Carson. Pro-Bowlers, a couple Hall-of-Famers. I'm just old enough to remember them in the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s. Players whose skills complemented one another's. Fearsome pass-rushers alongside stout run-defenders. Players who worked in harmony with one another. Those were the days.

I bring this up because I think the Giant's LB core is the weakest it's been in a long long time. I think yesterday's game really brought it into the light. The Steelers just ran the ball down the Giants throats. And this wasn't on the D-Line. The D-Line came to play yesterday. This is squarely on the LBs. And this is nothing new. The Eagles ran it on us. The Redskins ran it on us. The Cowboys took advantage of the soft underbelly and Whitten had a career game. They don't stop the run, they don't defend the pass and they don't rush the QB. And I said this weeks ago and I will say it again now...I am done with Kiwi at LB. DONE. 16 tackles in 9 games. Virtual invisible. No impact on the games at all. The same can be said for all the LBs, save for Boley who makes the occasional play. The LB group is just too slow of foot and too slow to react.

Just look at all the great defenses over the last decade...they have all had a good LB core. The Ravens, Bears, Steelers & 49ers. Guys with instincts and speed. All-pros and future HOFers, like the Giants used to have. I'm not asking for another LT or Harry Carson, heck I'll take Jesse Armstead and Michael Barrow at this point, but this needs to be addressed in the near future.

Toadofsteel
11-05-2012, 02:26 PM
Remember when the Giants had a 3-4 defense?

BlueBlooded1979
11-05-2012, 02:32 PM
Don't kid yourself. With all of the sub packages in todays NFL the 4-3 de-emphasizes the LBs. DL, CBs and S are simply more important. The Steelers ran on them because the DTs were playing awful and getting blown of the ball. When they tried to run off tackle the DEs did their job. They also seem to have some glory hounds out there looking to strip every ball and sacrificing good tackling. That being said they only needed the offense to score 18 points on their own to win this game.
Outside of the Bears all of those teams run a 3-4 that requires more talent at LB and less at DL. LBs now have to be able to cover before being thumpers.

Riverboat76
11-05-2012, 02:32 PM
Remember when the Giants had a 3-4 defense?

And your point is what? The Bears and 49ers run a 4-3.

Riverboat76
11-05-2012, 02:34 PM
Don't kid yourself. With all of the sub packages in todays NFL the 4-3 de-emphasizes the LBs. DL, CBs and S are simply more important. The Steelers ran on them because the DTs were playing awful and getting blown of the ball. When they tried to run off tackle the DEs did their job. They also seem to have some glory hounds out there looking to strip every ball and sacrificing good tackling. That being said they only needed the offense to score 18 points on their own to win this game.
Outside of the Bears all of those teams run a 3-4 that requires more talent at LB and less at DL. LBs now have to be able to cover before being thumpers.

You can say that all you want, but the Giants LBers were on the field yesterday. The moment the Giants play 4 downlineman and 7 defensive backs Ill take more stock in what you say.

YATittle1962
11-05-2012, 02:34 PM
And your point is what? The Bears and 49ers run a 4-3.

I think his point is the LBs you mentioned played in a 3-4

aside from Carson who played 4-3 for a bit

Riverboat76
11-05-2012, 02:38 PM
I think his point is the LBs you mentioned played in a 3-4

aside from Carson who played 4-3 for a bit

We are missing the point here. The 49ers and Bears run a 4-3, so it is possible to have great LBs in that system. Plus do we really think LT or Harry Carson couldn't fit into a 4-3? Talented players find a way.

brad
11-05-2012, 02:38 PM
I think his point is the LBs you mentioned played in a 3-4

aside from Carson who played 4-3 for a bit

Actually, that isn't quite true... Armstead, Barrow were in 4-3 as was Pepper Johnson for a while... but the point is well taken. LBs aren't as much of a priority in the 4-3 as they are in the 3-4.

Sarcasman
11-05-2012, 02:40 PM
Many of you probably weren't around when the Giants had Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson & Harry Carson. Pro-Bowlers, a couple Hall-of-Famers. I'm just old enough to remember them in the mid-to-late 80s and early 90s. Players whose skills complemented one another's. Fearsome pass-rushers alongside stout run-defenders. Players who worked in harmony with one another. Those were the days.

I bring this up because I think the Giant's LB core is the weakest it's been in a long long time. I think yesterday's game really brought it into the light. The Steelers just ran the ball down the Giants throats. And this wasn't on the D-Line. The D-Line came to play yesterday. This is squarely on the LBs. And this is nothing new. The Eagles ran it on us. The Redskins ran it on us. The Cowboys took advantage of the soft underbelly and Whitten had a career game. They don't stop the run, they don't defend the pass and they don't rush the QB. And I said this weeks ago and I will say it again now...I am done with Kiwi at LB. DONE. 16 tackles in 9 games. Virtual invisible. No impact on the games at all. The same can be said for all the LBs, save for Boley who makes the occasional play. The LB group is just too slow of foot and too slow to react.

Just look at all the great defenses over the last decade...they have all had a good LB core. The Ravens, Bears, Steelers & 49ers. Guys with instincts and speed. All-pros and future HOFers, like the Giants used to have. I'm not asking for another LT or Harry Carson, heck I'll take Jesse Armstead and Michael Barrow at this point, but this needs to be addressed in the near future.

Yeah, it's interesting, for some reason we do not seem to value LBs anymore. Populating your LB ranks with other teams' cast offs and rejects or optimistically signing perceived under valued projects seem to be the order of the day for us as far as the LB corps is concerned.

Riverboat76
11-05-2012, 02:43 PM
Actually, that isn't quite true... Armstead, Barrow were in 4-3 as was Pepper Johnson for a while... but the point is well taken. LBs aren't as much of a priority in the 4-3 as they are in the 3-4.

I guess I'm saying they should be a priority, at least more of a priority than the Giants think. If the job the DLineman in the 4-3 is to put pressure on the QB and to absorb the O-Lineman, then the backers have to be there to stop the run. That hasn't happened.

YATittle1962
11-05-2012, 02:48 PM
We are missing the point here. The 49ers and Bears run a 4-3, so it is possible to have great LBs in that system. Plus do we really think LT or Harry Carson couldn't fit into a 4-3? Talented players find a way.

no I don't think LT would have been the LT we know if he played OLB in a 4-3

Toadofsteel
11-05-2012, 03:08 PM
no I don't think LT would have been the LT we know if he played OLB in a 4-3

If LT was in a 4-3 he probably would have been a defensive end... 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB have very similar duties, the only real difference is that the 3-4 OLB drops into coverage slightly more often than a 4-3 DE who only drops when you rush 3 or you do a zone blitz.

YATittle1962
11-05-2012, 03:23 PM
If LT was in a 4-3 he probably would have been a defensive end... 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB have very similar duties, the only real difference is that the 3-4 OLB drops into coverage slightly more often than a 4-3 DE who only drops when you rush 3 or you do a zone blitz.

and you think Lawrence Taylor would have been as affective with his hand in the dirt dealing with O Tackles on every down ?

I don't

SweetZombieJesus
11-05-2012, 03:31 PM
I miss our LB tradition too, it goes back decades.

But now we have a glut of DEs to replace it -- Strahan, Tuck, Osi, JPP

BlueSanta
11-05-2012, 03:52 PM
And your point is what? The Bears and 49ers run a 4-3.

Actually no, the 49ers run a 3-4.


Here is a link to their starting lineup.

http://www.nfl.com/teams/depthchart?team=SF

Toadofsteel
11-05-2012, 03:55 PM
and you think Lawrence Taylor would have been as affective with his hand in the dirt dealing with O Tackles on every down ?

I don't
I don't think so either, but as a pass rusher he would have played the position serviceably (don't think that's a word but I don't care)... He wouldn't have been a legend, but he would have been a good-to-great player.


I miss our LB tradition too, it goes back decades.

But now we have a glut of DEs to replace it -- Strahan, Tuck, Osi, JPP

This is what I mean with all my 3-4/4-3 comments. LB are basically oversized safeties in a 4-3 system. Their main concern is to stop the run, and cover TE. That said, our LB can't even do that.

joemorrisforprez
11-05-2012, 04:08 PM
If we had good linebackers, teams would beat the living **** out of this team on the ground. That's why the Steelers won.