Are people paying way too much attention to the wide nine? I know we will be using the wide nine a lot but it is also not like we will be lined up in the wide nine on every down or even close to it. Saleh moved the players on the defensive line around quite a bit in the past and I think we will be moving players around even more this season.
Having every player on the defensive line only responsible for a single gap also means our defensive linemen do not have to play traditional roles. We supposedly don’t even need a traditional nose tackle clogging up the middle anymore. Instead we need a guy that aggressively attacks his gap and makes the offensive line react to him which in turn, when done properly, allows the linebackers to fill the gaps without having to go one on one with an offensive lineman.
When you have guys like Deforest Buckner on the field demanding double teams, it also means a defensive end can slip inside and be one on one with an inside lineman. No, there is not going to be a whole lot of conventional about our defensive line. The idea of having two offensive lineman blocking Buckner, two offensive lineman blocking Ford, and two offensive lineman blocking Nick Bosa while only having a single offensive lineman blocking Arik Armstead is pretty exciting because, with seven offensive lineman, the opposing offense will only have room for three players other than the quarterback at the offensive skill positions. (Ok, that was not a great joke. I probably spent way too much time working in the direct sun yesterday.)
I guess what I am getting at is, while we have some basic ideas of how the defensive line is going to lineup, do we really know how Saleh and Kris Kocurek are going to best utilize our talent. I have a feeling the breakdown of the defensive line for the first four games of the season is going to be something to watch closely.
Speaking of watching closely, one player I plan to be watching closely this year is Arik Armstead. I have always felt he was one of the more selfless team players on our defense and he often does not get enough credit for the work he does because of that. It will be interesting to see if Kocurek changes the way he plays the game. A little more selfishness could be what gives him the aggressiveness to take his game to the next level.
Now onto the sizzling hot links:
Adam Rank predicted a 3-13 record for the 49ers in 2019 David Bonilla
Around the League
The NFL would be better off without kickers Charles McDonald
Measuring McVay’s impact on the quarterback position Sosa Kremenjas
These two Seahawk positions are the best in the NFC west Matty F Brown