Ok, the title has only a little bit to do with an article I recently read. I came across an article at Real Football 365 about Marques Douglas, which mentions that in the offseason, Douglas is a motivational speaker.
That's as good a segue as I could think of to the article. The article is basically meant to illustrate the fact that every year players come after Marques Douglas's starting job and every year he battles them off. All this in spite of being a relatively undersized defensive end. Aside from the glaring error stating that Douglas and Melvin Oliver top the 49ers DE depth chart (that would be Bryant Young), the article is definitely meant to show some of the strengths of Douglas.
Although he's considered a relatively weak pass rusher, stopping the run is where he excels. The Scouts, Inc. report at ESPN.com says,
So it leaves the question out there, what kind of contribution does Marques Douglas bring to the table in 2007? Considering the 3-4 requires the defensive line to open up holes for the linebackers, will a 280 pound lineman be able to do that?
With Ray McDonald joining the competition and Joe Cohen potentially moving from DT to DE, there will certainly be plenty of competition for Douglas. I definitely see a lot of platooning happening along the defensive line. The team wants to spell Bryant Young on occasion to keep him fresh so that could mean a rotation of upwards of 5-8 guys at the defensive end spot, especially if you factor in linebackers lining up down there on occasion (Haralson, Lawson, Moore, etc...).
The struggles of the defensive line last year are well known and don't need to be rehashed. It's going to simply be a matter of who steps up in the preseason and once the season gets going. It'd be nice to have a clearcut three-some at the tackle and end spots. While BY, Franklin and Douglas might be that 3 to start, I definitely see plenty of rotating going on down there.
The question is, will it benefit the new defensive scheme?