If he can blow up the center once in a while and sack the quarterback, more power to him. Casey used to do that in his younger days.
I hope to God Mitchell lets him. The quote that "we don't need Superman" worries me- I'm not fond of the old "linemen as space eaters ONLY" philosophy.
Times have changed. Pressure on the QB is more important than ever- especially pressure up the middle that prevents the QB from stepping up into the pocket
I'm with you on this Jeems...........would Tom Brady rather see Ta'amu playing patty cake with the center and guard or would he rather see 6'-4" and 350 barreling down ready to crush his girly frame............
During the Denver game ......our DL and OLB's spent too much time playing gap control and playing patty cake with the OL...........mirroring Tebow in the backfield.......it was frustrating to say the least.
I think Mitchell is a great coach.........has been for a long time.........but I also think he has to adapt to the times. I think the system has sucked much of Ziggy's pass rush potential out of his game. The guy gets little to zero pressure on the QB. Ziggy has 5.5 sacks in 3 years. Is it the system or the athlete.
Aaron Smith played in the same system as Ziggy, same spot......and after his rookie season AA had 4 or more sacks in 6 of the next 9 seasons, including a pair of 8 sack seasons.....30 sacks in a six year span. Is it the system or the athlete.
When Cam Heyward first started getting snaps he had a handful of plays in which he got some nice penetration....had some pressures on the QB...some hurries. Even a sack. Once he started to learn the system....we saw less penetration. I think this guy can be pretty destructive. He seems pretty powerful as he moves OLmen around when rushing the QB....in the limited opportunity he had. I hope he does not get neutered.
I have to believe that a Dline of Ziggy, Ta'amu and Cam/Keisel can create nice penetration if given more opportunities. I know they will be more destructive if Harrison and Woodley stay healthy.
There were several reasons for the lack of penetration, lack of hurries and lack of sacks from the Dline and front 5 last year.
1. Injuries and suspension to Harrison and Woodley put 2nd level competition at the OLB spots and allowed offenses to control the DE's a little more without the threat of All-pro OLBs to game plan for. These 2 trouble makers missed a combined 11 games.
2. Injuries to both NT's took away a good number of double teams that Casey and Hoke commanded. They combined to miss 13 games. Not sure if Steve Mac saw as many double teams as these big vets........but have to imagine more of the focus went to our DE's.
3. Keisel also missed 2 games due to injury as we lost 26 total games from 5 of the key guys mentioned above. Thats a lot of man power......too much to overcome in the end.
4. Decline of play and effectiveness from Farrior, Foote and Timmons.......which works hand in hand with the play of the Dline. The loss of all the man games from the boys above certainly led to under performing play out of our guys in the middle. Not to mention the rising age and declining speed of the F & F boys.
5. Failure to work our young players into the defensive rotation earlier in their careers made it more difficult for them to be game ready, to perform or play with confidence when called on due to injury. The young guys needed to get worked into the rotation sooner....and need to do so going forward.....especially Ta'amu.
6. I am hoping that Tomlin, Lebeau, Mitchell, Butler and Carnell can do a better job of getting the young guys into the game....as part of the game plan....and not just due to injury. It will benefit all.....and we will have a much healthier and fresher team when the games really count. There are al lot of young guys that should see the field this year and deserve time. There are a handful of aging players that deserve a breather.......especially if we want them around for as long as we would like. The three guys that I think we really need to keep healthy and fresh are Troy, Keisel and Harrison.
I certainly look for Ziggy to have his best year. I believe he and Cam along with Ta'amu will create some match up problems and be pretty destructive for years to come. Especially if Wood and Deebo come back with a fury. I have to believe with a younger Dline rotation that we will be a lot healthier this year than in years past. I think both Harrison and Woodley will rebound and will be playing with an edge coming off down years. More importantly for our two OLB's....I hope they get more snaps off this year as we can work in Carter and Worilds for 5-10 snaps a game....rather than throwing them in after injury or fatigue.
I think the front 5 will have its best year in 3 or 4 years....and believe the biggest question mark of the defense for 2012 will be the play of the ILB's. Hoping Sylvester and Spence can add some youth and speed to the middle of the field....after a few years of aging and slow guys in Farrior and Foote.
And I have to believe that a re-birth of the front 5 will benefit Timmons the most and we will get the monster season that we have all been waiting for. Also think it will allow Troy to roam a bit more......
Think of how well our secondary played last year...given the lack of penetration and pressure form the front 5 this past season. Sure we played some average to poor and young QB's in 2011......but also had the opportunity to get Lewis and Cortez good playing time. I think Ike is still pissed at how the season ended..........I look for his best year. I look forward to seeing what Lewis, Cortez and Brown can do this year. I think this year....as our front 5 becomes a destructive force again.....our tips, picks and turnovers will rise dramatically.
Anyway....what was this thread stared about...........oh Ta'amu. I do not think his weight will be a problem. Like Mitchell says....he will have a great nutrition program and be around an NFL weight and training environment. Looking at the kid.....I do not see an over weight football player. He is big....he is not fat.....he is heavy...but not in a heavy way. If he is 346 pounds looking like he did at the minni camp.........i would have to assume that he sheds a bit of weight in training camp and probably still plays at 335-340 pounds.
Love the fact that he thought he should have went in the 2nd or 3rd round. Make them pay.................better yet.......hoping the staff lets him prove it sooner than later.