With the advent of the spread offense and its reliance on standard three and four wide receivers sets, will the strongside linebacker become an endangered species?
After reading this piece in today’s AJ-C, it’s something to ponder.
Akeem Dent’s position is in danger of becoming obsolete.
And he is not alone. More and more strongside linebackers are being pushed out of the game because of the increased three- and four-wide-receiver sets in college offenses these days. So Georgia has decided to try to do something about it.
Dent is being cross trained at the inside ‘backer position. Justin Houston was moved from linebacker to defensive end – and is grateful for the opportunity.
“The last couple of games last season, we only used one [strongside], and he barely played,” said Justin Houston.
Houston was at strongside linebacker last season. But for various factors, including less of a need for strongside linebackers, Houston was moved to defensive end.
“I see now the [strongside] that we did have playing [Dent], he is working more at inside, so I am happy that I made the decision to move,” Houston said.
All of which makes you wonder how far this trend will go. If you configure your defense for small, speedy types who can keep up with these spread sets, it would seem to open you up to other problems. In the land of the dime package, the power running game is king, so to speak.
4 responses to “Trying to make a Dent”
On your last point…that is a good question. This would seem to place a higher value on wr’s that know how to block and are willing to do it. This is where a Tony Wilson type can really have an impact, beyond the stats. I’m envisioning Georgia spreading the field themselves, but not to throw per se, but to open up the field for Moreno or King.
Hopefully every team in the SEC will configure their defense solely to defend against the spread. That can only help our offense. If Knowshon gets in a 1-on-1 situation with some skinny CB downfield…
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