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Mr. Kotter
04-25-2009, 10:58 PM
Don't be surprised if you hear the names Terrance Knighton, Sammie Lee Hill, Chris Baker, or Vaughn Martin on Sunday's Draft by the Chiefs....

You haven't really heard of them? Neither had I....

:hmmm:

Maybe Glenn Dorsey will break the mold. Maybe he can put on 20-30 lbs and play NT in the 3-4--and still remain disruptive. Or maybe Haley and Pioli will give him at least next year to prove himself...or maybe they'll draft one of the 3-4 remaining 3-4 NT prospects tomorrow, and/or don't be surprised to see Pioli send Dorsey packing if some 4-3 team is willing to buck-up and pay us what he's worth.

Anyway, here's an article that explains WHY we will be looking for a "real" NT tomorrow, or over then next year. Bottom-line? It's the most crucial position in the 3-4. And I'm convinced Dorsey is unlikely to do what we need him to do for it to "work"....

Part 2 (role of the NT in the 3-4): http://steelerstoday.com/?p=3256


FTR...the other two "parts" of this article, are also very enlightening for those who aren't too familiar with the 3-4 Defense...

Part 1 (intro to the 3-4): http://steelerstoday.com/?p=3210

Part 3 (role of DEs in the 3-4): http://steelerstoday.com/?p=3324


The 3-4 and the Steelers’ draft (part 2)
March 23, 2009
By Donald Starver

In part 1 of this series, we did a primer on the 3-4 defense. We talked about the unique characteristics of the 3-4, and how it impacts the type of players the Steelers select in the draft. In this installment, we’re going to take a look at the most important position on any 3-4 defense; the nose tackle.

The nose tackle is the central figure in any 3-4 defense, and is one of the most difficult positions to find. There just aren’t many athletes that have the unique characteristics needed to play nose tackle.

Nose tackle is probably the most physically demanding position in football. His primary responsibility is to control the “A” gaps. Those are the two openings between the center and the guards. The nose tackle must hold his ground and not allow himself to be pushed back into the linebackers. If the nose tackle is unable to do this, his team will be susceptible to running plays.

The nose tackle must be prepared to face a double-team on every single play. This means the nose tackle must have tremendous stamina and endurance. Taking on two offensive linemen who both may weigh over 300 lbs. is no easy task. To do it for a full 60 minutes requires excellent conditioning, despite carrying around tremendous bulk.

This is one of the reasons why Mike Tomlin was so hard on Casey Hampton during the Steelers’ 2008 training camp. Tomlin knew that Hampton could not afford to be out of shape. The concern was not his weight, since the extra weight might actually prove helpful at nose tackle. Rather, the concern was with Hampton’s endurance. There is a very thin line between being an immovable, athletic nose tackle, and being a fat, out-of-shape slob.

That’s one of the reasons that NFL teams don’t simply import 600 lb. sumo wrestlers and plug them in as nose tackles. While those guys may have the necessary girth, they don’t have the other attributes needed to play nose tackle.

The nose tackle must have tremendous size, powerful arms and legs, excellent stamina, durability, mental toughness, lateral quickness, solid technique, and an ability to generate maximum leverage. In addition to all of this, the nose tackle must also have a unique mental profile. He has to be completely selfless . He must understand that while he will have to perform a more physically demanding task than any other player on his team, he will seldom be recognized for his work. His best efforts will rarely show up in the statistics. Moreover, the linebackers will receive all of the glory, even though the nose tackle actually does the heavy lifting.

3-4 nose tackles don’t have to be as fast as 4-3 defensive tackles, since they are not tasked with generating a pass rush like 4-3 tackles are. In the 3-4, that responsibility fall to the linebackers.

The ideal nose tackle will be proficient at reading and reacting to offensive plays. He must be able to quickly diagnose a play and know where the ball is going. He must have quick lateral movement to fill either “A” gap before the runner can get through it.

The standard for nose tackles was probably set by Ted Washington. At 6′5″, 365 lbs., Washington was an immovable man-mountain. One AFC personnel director said that Washington “was huge, had long arms, and you couldn’t budge him. He could hold off a 320 lb. lineman with one hand and make the tackle with the other”.

Current notable 3-4 nose tackles include the Steelers’ own Casey Hampton (6′1″, 325 lbs.), the Chargers’ Jamal Williams (6′2″, 348 lbs.), the Browns’ Shaun Rogers (6′4″, 350 lbs.), and the Ravens’ Haloti Ngata (6′4″, 345 lbs.). Hampton is smaller than the others, but his low center of gravity and powerful legs allow him to generate tremendous leverage.

As a side note, you may have noticed that the AFC North is filled with big, powerful nose tackles. This is why Sean Mahan was not a viable center for the Steelers. He just wasn’t big enough to handle the huge nose tackles that he had to face in the AFC North.

The thing that makes it even harder to find a potential 3-4 nose tackle is that most colleges play a 4-3 defense. Few college players have experience holding the point of attack. Instead, most college tackles are asked to penetrate gaps and provide a pass rush. They are skilled in moving forward, and are seldom asked to stand firm.

In the 2009 draft, there are only a handful of potential NFL nose tackles. Two of them play for Boston College.

Boston College’s B.J. Raji is the top defensive tackle in the entire draft. At 6′2″ and 334 lbs., he is viewed as a good candidate for either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme. Raji dominated linemen at the Senior Bowl. At Senior Bowl practices, he dominated highly rated offensive linemen Alex Mack and Max Unger.

Raji’s Boston College teammate, Ron Brace, is also viewed as a potential 3-4 nose tackle. Brace is 6′3″ and 329 lbs. However, because he played next to Raji, Brace never had to face double-teams. It is unclear how well he will handle the double team. Moreover, Brace had recurring back injuries in 2008. That is not a good sign for someone his size.

Sammie Lee Hill of Division II Stillman (Alabama) College is considered another nose tackle prospect. Hill is 6′4″ and 328 lbs. However, the caliber of competition that he played against raises questions as to whether Hill can hold his ground against NFL linemen.

Michigan’s Terrance Taylor (6′0″, 308) was once viewed as a decent nose tackle candidate. However, Taylor struggled in the East-West Shrine Game. That raised questions in some scouts’ minds. Additionally, Taylors’ conditioning has been questioned.

As we said earlier, top tier nose tackle candidates are rare. Three of the four candidates mentioned above have significant question marks, and only Raji is viewed as a “sure thing”. Raji will probably be drafted in the top 10 picks, and will not be a candidate for the Steelers

Mr. Kotter
04-25-2009, 11:08 PM
All three of those articles in the thread starter....are well worth your time, if you are not too familiar with the 3-4 defense.

DaFace
04-25-2009, 11:08 PM
I thought they were planning for Tank to play NT and Dorsey to play DE. Am I crazy?

Smed1065
04-25-2009, 11:09 PM
I thought they were planning for Tank to play NT and Dorsey to play DE. Am I crazy?


Unless you count rumors.........

Reaper16
04-25-2009, 11:09 PM
Sammie Lee Hill, motherfuckers. Unfortunately, the big increase in teams running the 3-4 is going to drive his value up by as much as a round.

BigChiefFan
04-25-2009, 11:10 PM
Why not just take Raji?

Crush
04-25-2009, 11:10 PM
I think there is a consensus that Dorsey will be playing NT. However, no one knows what they are doing.

Crush
04-25-2009, 11:12 PM
Why not just take Raji?


The 3-4 DE is almost important as Raji. Also, Raji has potential character issues.

MoreLemonPledge
04-25-2009, 11:12 PM
I thought they were planning for Tank to play NT and Dorsey to play DE. Am I crazy?

I was told that Dorsey has gained weight and will be workingat NT for the time being. Didn't ask about Tank. This was about 3 weeks ago.

Amd before the "OK, gang", my source was a Chiefs D lineman.

Mr. Kotter
04-25-2009, 11:12 PM
I thought they were planning for Tank to play NT and Dorsey to play DE. Am I crazy?

There...seems to be wide-spread disagreement about that...surprise....heh. ;)

Personally, I think Dorsey at DE and Tank at NT make as much or more sense than the reverse....but, frankly, neither is a proto-typical 3-4 player. Dorsey is too short, and "squat" while Tank would need to put on 20-40 lbs....to play a stereo-typical spot along the 3-4 front.

Training camp will be very, very....interesting. :hmmm:

BigChiefFan
04-25-2009, 11:14 PM
The 3-4 DE is almost important as Raji. Also, Raji has potential character issues.Key word being ALMOST.;)

Crush
04-25-2009, 11:14 PM
Training camp will be very, very....interesting. :hmmm:


Yep and I love it.

Mr. Kotter
04-25-2009, 11:14 PM
Why not just take Raji?

He had "issues"....in a "rebuilding year" maybe Pioli and Haley thought, "well, let's try Dorsey or Tyler there....while we acquire the right personnel."

Seems to be a real waste of Dorsey, especially, unless we can get fair-market value for him.

:shrug:

Crush
04-25-2009, 11:16 PM
Key word being ALMOST.;)


Precisely, plus there are still some NT prospects out there. This will be the first time in a long time that I am really looking forward to the second day of the draft. I can't wait.

xbarretx
04-25-2009, 11:20 PM
I think there is a consensus that Dorsey will be playing NT. However, no one knows what they are doing.

Dorsey will be fine. Haley talked about Dorsey when he was discussing the Jackson pick.

Gosh, while i understand that were all trying to scrub the CP era off us.....theres no need to reach for things to complain about. Is it that hard to accept that maybe just maybe our new FO might know a thing or two....about a thing or two? theres no reason to suggest Glenn will be put in as NT, if he is then maybe it works and maybe it doesnt but nothings changed. hes still tallented and was the best of last years class. why not wait and see what he does with a coaching staff who isnt afraid of winning games. :hmmm:




Kotter, i concur that NT is primo but it just confirms A) they already know who will be NT on our roster or B) they are/will try to bring one in. :)

Mr. Kotter
04-25-2009, 11:21 PM
Precisely, plus there are still some NT prospects out there. This will be the first time in a long time that I am really looking forward to the second day of the draft. I can't wait.

The only real NT prospects left....seem to be those I mentioned in the thread-starter....

Terrance Knighton, Sammie Lee Hill, Chris Baker, or Vaughn Martin

Every one of them is a project of sorts though. Maybe we should have looked more seriously at Tank Johnson....heh.

I'd bet we draft at least one of them some time tomorrow....

wild1
04-25-2009, 11:22 PM
anal pubes?? ROFL

xbarretx
04-25-2009, 11:25 PM
The only real NT prospects left....seem to be those I mentioned in the thread-starter....

Terrance Knighton, Sammie Lee Hill, Chris Baker, or Vaughn Martin

Every one of them is a project of sorts though. Maybe we should have looked more seriously at Tank Johnson....heh.

I'd bet we draft at least one of them some time tomorrow....

that would be sweet but they may go for MJ in the third :toast:

Mr. Kotter
04-25-2009, 11:26 PM
.... theres no reason to suggest Glenn will be put in as NT, if he is then maybe it works and maybe it doesnt but nothings changed. hes still tallented and lead last years class. why not wait and see... :)


I appreciate your optimism. I hope, if Dorsey indeed does try to play NT....that it works.

I'm just looking around the league, past and present....and don't see any 3-4 NTs who possess his physique and skill set. Maybe he'll break the mold. I hope he does. I'm just not optimistic, and would like to see us recoup some value for his high-pick status from last year.

Regardless, we do NOT give him away. At the very least....he competes for a spot, despite the apparent "misfit" for the new scheme.

xbarretx
04-25-2009, 11:28 PM
I appreciate your optimism. I hope, if Dorsey indeed does try to play NT....that it works.

I'm just looking around the league, past and present....and don't see any 3-4 NTs who possess his physique and skill set. Maybe he'll break the mold. I hope he does. I'm just not optimistic, and would like to see us recoup some value for his high-pick status from last year.

Regardless, we do NOT give him away. At the very least....he competes for a spot, despite the apparent "misfit" for the new scheme.

you know me Kotter, blind optimism always :p

my actual optimism comes from keeping the tallent of Dorsey and if need be snagging a NT project. i think if we do that, then Pioli and Haley have a good idea as to that persons chances.

Crush
04-25-2009, 11:31 PM
Dorsey will be fine. Haley talked about Dorsey when he was discussing the Jackson pick.

Gosh, while i understand that were all trying to scrub the CP era off us.....theres no need to reach for things to complain about. Is it that hard to accept that maybe just maybe our new FO might know a thing or two....about a thing or two? theres no reason to suggest Glenn will be put in as NT, if he is then maybe it works and maybe it doesnt but nothings changed. hes still tallented and was the best of last years class. why not wait and see what he does with a coaching staff who isnt afraid of winning games. :hmmm:




Kotter, i concur that NT is primo but it just confirms A) they already know who will be NT on our roster or B) they are/will try to bring one in. :)


I wasn't complaining about Dorsey as NT. I was just stating that everything is speculation until training camp. I agree, though, let us see what the guy can do.

Mr. Kotter
04-25-2009, 11:32 PM
that would be sweet but they may go for MJ in the third :toast:

Michael Johnson has fans.....but with Jackson in the First Round, I doubt it.

I'm thinking less likely MJ, than JM....as in Jamon Meredith, as a RT....he and BJ could bookend our O-Line for the next 10-12 years.

:hmmm:

:toast:

xbarretx
04-25-2009, 11:35 PM
I wasn't complaining about Dorsey as NT. I was just stating that everything is speculation until training camp. I agree, though, let us see what the guy can do.

sorry crush, that was directed towards the Dorsey haters :toast:

xbarretx
04-25-2009, 11:36 PM
Michael Johnson has fans.....but with Jackson in the First Round, I doubt it.

I'm thinking less likely MJ, than JM....as in Jamon Meredith, as a RT....he and BJ could bookend our O-Line for the next 10-12 years.

:hmmm:

:toast:

the moral to that story is day 2 is going to be VERY exciting :) so many chances and opportinuties left :clap:

Crush
04-25-2009, 11:38 PM
No worries, I am just excited about this team for the first time in a long time.

xbarretx
04-25-2009, 11:40 PM
No worries, I am just excited about this team for the first time in a long time.

ill rep to that my friend!

RustShack
04-25-2009, 11:42 PM
I think the line goes like this.

Dorsey-Tank-Jackson

Mr. Kotter
04-25-2009, 11:44 PM
I think the line goes like this.

Dorsey-Tank-Jackson

With McBribe, Boone, and Edwards "rotating" in....

That's MY thought....but a whole lot of folks seem absolutely convinced that Dorsey is gonna swallow a big ass turkey or ham, and play NT--effectively, even....

:shrug:

Crush
04-25-2009, 11:47 PM
That's MY thought....but a whole lot of folks seem absolutely convinced that Dorsey is gonna swallow a big ass turkey or ham, and play NT--effectively, even....


He needs to start now.

http://img504.imageshack.us/img504/6725/200807140608231.jpg

Reaper16
04-25-2009, 11:52 PM
We need some LBs, so we should get Brandon Carr to gain weight so that he can play LB. /analogue

Or we could play players at the positions where they're going to be effective. That sounds better to me.

Crush
04-25-2009, 11:53 PM
LMAO purple monkey ballwasher

Smed1065
04-26-2009, 12:05 AM
I thought they were planning for Tank to play NT and Dorsey to play DE. Am I crazy?


Unless you count rumors.........

MoreLemonPledge
04-26-2009, 12:23 AM
With McBribe, Boone, and Edwards "rotating" in....

That's MY thought....but a whole lot of folks seem absolutely convinced that Dorsey is gonna swallow a big ass turkey or ham, and play NT--effectively, even....

:shrug:

I don't think he's going to be really effective, but that's their plan right now. He is penciled in as their NT.

Mr. Kotter
04-26-2009, 12:24 AM
I don't think he's going to be really effective, but that's their plan right now. He is penciled in as their NT.

LINK??? :shrug:

MoreLemonPledge
04-26-2009, 12:25 AM
LINK??? :shrug:

No link. I heard it directly from a Chiefs Defensive lineman.

Of course nobody will believe me, but I trust that source a lot better than speculation.

Mr. Kotter
04-26-2009, 12:26 AM
No link. I heard it directly from a Chiefs Defensive lineman.

Of course nobody will believe me, but I trust that source a lot better than speculation.

Guess we will see. Until I hear it/see it from Haley and/or his staff...it's just more "speculation."

Just sayin'.... :hmmm:

MoreLemonPledge
04-26-2009, 12:27 AM
Guess we will see. Until I hear it/see it from Haley and/or his staff...it's just more "speculation."

Just sayin'.... :hmmm:

I'm not saying it's going to stick. I don't really see how it could.

ChiefsCountry
04-26-2009, 12:36 AM
I think Dorsey gets the try out at nose tackle this year if not they go for Curry next year.

McBride - Dorsey - Jackson

Mecca
04-26-2009, 12:38 AM
I think Dorsey gets the try out at nose tackle this year if not they go for Curry next year.

McBride - Dorsey - Jackson

Cody not Curry...

And Dorsey is way to short to be playing end in a 3-4.

MoreLemonPledge
04-26-2009, 12:40 AM
I think Dorsey gets the try out at nose tackle this year if not they go for Curry next year.

McBride - Dorsey - Jackson

McBride is at OLB. I heard it from the same source, and apparently he was seen working with the LBs.

"saw Tamba Hali working with the linebackers Saturday morning. Is this a hint that a move to the 3-4 is no longer rumor"

- Kent Babb, KC Star (twitter)

Mecca
04-26-2009, 12:42 AM
McBride is at OLB. I heard it from the same source, and apparently he was seen working with the LBs.

"saw Tamba Hali working with the linebackers Saturday morning. Is this a hint that a move to the 3-4 is no longer rumor"

- Kent Babb, KC Star (twitter)

Turk McBride playing OLB is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard.

salame
04-26-2009, 12:44 AM
Turk McBride playing OLB is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard.

YES

Mr. Kotter
04-26-2009, 12:44 AM
Turk McBride playing OLB is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard.


Pioli is gonna give McBride and Hali "jet-packs" to help 'em out.

Like from the "Jetsons" or Star Wars, dude.

Mecca
04-26-2009, 12:45 AM
YES

If I see him playing OLB this DC immediately passes Gunther in the retard scale.

MoreLemonPledge
04-26-2009, 12:48 AM
Tamba Hali playing anywhere sucks. But he would fit at OLB as well as he would at DE in a 3-4.

salame
04-26-2009, 12:48 AM
He seems to be pretty inept most times
It's not like the cardinals had a consistently tough defense

Mecca
04-26-2009, 12:49 AM
He seems to be pretty inept most times
It's not like the cardinals had a consistently tough defense

I got called names for pointing out how little he got out of his talent in Arizona.

salame
04-26-2009, 12:52 AM
I got called names for pointing out how little he got out of his talent in Arizona.

It seems like there a few people here who are lacking knowledge.

Mecca
04-26-2009, 12:55 AM
It seems like there a few people here who are lacking knowledge.

Nah man I was told I'm a moron that overrates Arizona's talent.

DaneMcCloud
04-26-2009, 01:00 AM
Pendergast sucks fucking cock.

Gibbs slups down the excess cum.

Tim Krumrie is the the guy they're sucking off.

When they're done, Haley punches them all in the face, then brings back a batch for Pioli.

Because he's the biggest cocksucking fool of them all.

nathanKent
04-26-2009, 01:44 AM
Pendergast sucks ****ing cock.

Gibbs slups down the excess cum.

Tim Krumrie is the the guy they're sucking off.

When they're done, Haley punches them all in the face, then brings back a batch for Pioli.

Because he's the biggest cocksucking fool of them all.

Wow.... You sure do know your gay porn.

htismaqe
04-26-2009, 05:52 AM
Nah man I was told I'm a moron that overrates Arizona's talent.

Pendergast underachieving with his talent and you overvaluing the amount of talent Arizona has are NOT mutually exclusive.

htismaqe
04-26-2009, 05:53 AM
McBride is at OLB. I heard it from the same source, and apparently he was seen working with the LBs.

"saw Tamba Hali working with the linebackers Saturday morning. Is this a hint that a move to the 3-4 is no longer rumor"

- Kent Babb, KC Star (twitter)

McBride could have been working with the LBs for any number of reasons.

Moving Hali to OLB makes sense. Putting McBride anywhere other than DE simply doesn't.

milkman
04-26-2009, 06:33 AM
Cody not Curry...

And Dorsey is way to short to be playing end in a 3-4.

While height is an issue, the bigger issue is lack of lower body strength.

TheGuardian
04-26-2009, 06:49 AM
Pendergast underachieving with his talent and you overvaluing the amount of talent Arizona has are NOT mutually exclusive.

FTW.

Thank you.

DTLB58
04-26-2009, 07:42 AM
All three of those articles in the thread starter....are well worth your time, if you are not too familiar with the 3-4 defense.

Yes they are.

Rep Mr. Kotter :clap:

whoman69
04-26-2009, 10:50 AM
If nothing else we need to draft another tackle for depth. Despite the articles statement that they need endurance, a 330 lb man is just not going to be able to stay out there for every snap.

JASONSAUTO
04-26-2009, 10:58 AM
If I see him playing OLB this DC immediately passes Gunther in the retard scale.

why not wait to see HOW he would play there

Micjones
04-26-2009, 10:58 AM
I'd expect Tank to play NT and Dorsey to be the UT.

htismaqe
04-26-2009, 11:33 AM
I'd expect Tank to play NT and Dorsey to be the UT.

There is no undertackle in a 3-4.

TheGuardian
04-26-2009, 11:35 AM
There is no undertackle in a 3-4.

Tell that to Darnell Dockett, who played the UT in a 3 man front. You know, the exact scheme we will be running?

Nightfyre
04-26-2009, 11:37 AM
Tell that to Darnell Dockett, who played the UT in a 3 man front. You know, the exact scheme we will be running?

If there is an undertackle, doesn't that make it a four man front by definition?

Nightfyre
04-26-2009, 11:39 AM
On the other hand, switching from 34, 43, 44, and 46 formations could be fun. I mean, think of how confusing that would be to opposing offenses.

TheGuardian
04-26-2009, 11:41 AM
If there is an undertackle, doesn't that make it a four man front by definition?

Yup. Which is where the end comes into play. The end will be more of a stand up/hybrid guy. Basically this team is going to flip flop between 30 and 40 fronts. And we're going to do that using the flex end. Dockett slid back and forth between end and under tackle depending on the play call. so we might see some two gap 3-4 from time to time, but I don't believe that is going to be the base defense.

MoreLemonPledge
04-26-2009, 11:56 AM
Yup. Which is where the end comes into play. The end will be more of a stand up/hybrid guy. Basically this team is going to flip flop between 30 and 40 fronts. And we're going to do that using the flex end. Dockett slid back and forth between end and under tackle depending on the play call. so we might see some two gap 3-4 from time to time, but I don't believe that is going to be the base defense.

Not being a dick, but did you hear what scheme we're running or are you basing it off of Arizona last year?

keg in kc
04-26-2009, 11:56 AM
Apparently they're fitting Hali for that position. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Maybe if he can get healthy he can look more like the player he was in 2006. I'm just not sure he's athletic enough to be much of a threat. They're going to have a much stronger line in general, though, I think.

I'm still not completely sure what they're doing, though. When they talked about playing Jackson away from the TE yesterday, that didn't sound like the under. And then they talk about playing Dorsey outside today. Would that make Jackson the flex? That doesn't seem right. You'd think he'd be playing left of Dorsey in that front, not right of the formation. Unless I'm confusing myself trying to piece together wtf they're saying.

htismaqe
04-26-2009, 12:19 PM
Yup. Which is where the end comes into play. The end will be more of a stand up/hybrid guy. Basically this team is going to flip flop between 30 and 40 fronts. And we're going to do that using the flex end. Dockett slid back and forth between end and under tackle depending on the play call. so we might see some two gap 3-4 from time to time, but I don't believe that is going to be the base defense.

Right.

I said there's no undertackle in a 3-4. And there isn't.

When Dockett is in the 3T, there's someone outside of him, making it a 40 front.

htismaqe
04-26-2009, 12:20 PM
Not being a dick, but did you hear what scheme we're running or are you basing it off of Arizona last year?

He's basing it off of that, as well as his own experience (I'm guessing he either played, or coached, or both) and the skillsets of the guys we've brought in.

Mr. Kotter
04-26-2009, 02:39 PM
Yes they are.

Rep Mr. Kotter :clap:

Yeah. What I thought was cool....was the HISTORY....I didn't realize it originated with the Steel Curtain years, nor the inticricies of the Parcells vs. LeBeau approach to the 3-4. I learned some things for sure.

SenselessChiefsFan
04-26-2009, 03:10 PM
Don't be surprised if you hear the names Terrance Knighton, Sammie Lee Hill, Chris Baker, or Vaughn Martin on Sunday's Draft by the Chiefs....

You haven't really heard of them? Neither had I....

:hmmm:

Maybe Glenn Dorsey will break the mold. Maybe he can put on 20-30 lbs and play NT in the 3-4--and still remain disruptive. Or maybe Haley and Pioli will give him at least next year to prove himself...or maybe they'll draft one of the 3-4 remaining 3-4 NT prospects tomorrow, and/or don't be surprised to see Pioli send Dorsey packing if some 4-3 team is willing to buck-up and pay us what he's worth.

Anyway, here's an article that explains WHY we will be looking for a "real" NT tomorrow, or over then next year. Bottom-line? It's the most crucial position in the 3-4. And I'm convinced Dorsey is unlikely to do what we need him to do for it to "work"....

Part 2 (role of the NT in the 3-4): http://steelerstoday.com/?p=3256


FTR...the other two "parts" of this article, are also very enlightening for those who aren't too familiar with the 3-4 Defense...

Part 1 (intro to the 3-4): http://steelerstoday.com/?p=3210

Part 3 (role of DEs in the 3-4): http://steelerstoday.com/?p=3324


The 3-4 and the Steelers’ draft (part 2)
March 23, 2009
By Donald Starver

In part 1 of this series, we did a primer on the 3-4 defense. We talked about the unique characteristics of the 3-4, and how it impacts the type of players the Steelers select in the draft. In this installment, we’re going to take a look at the most important position on any 3-4 defense; the nose tackle.

The nose tackle is the central figure in any 3-4 defense, and is one of the most difficult positions to find. There just aren’t many athletes that have the unique characteristics needed to play nose tackle.

Nose tackle is probably the most physically demanding position in football. His primary responsibility is to control the “A” gaps. Those are the two openings between the center and the guards. The nose tackle must hold his ground and not allow himself to be pushed back into the linebackers. If the nose tackle is unable to do this, his team will be susceptible to running plays.

The nose tackle must be prepared to face a double-team on every single play. This means the nose tackle must have tremendous stamina and endurance. Taking on two offensive linemen who both may weigh over 300 lbs. is no easy task. To do it for a full 60 minutes requires excellent conditioning, despite carrying around tremendous bulk.

This is one of the reasons why Mike Tomlin was so hard on Casey Hampton during the Steelers’ 2008 training camp. Tomlin knew that Hampton could not afford to be out of shape. The concern was not his weight, since the extra weight might actually prove helpful at nose tackle. Rather, the concern was with Hampton’s endurance. There is a very thin line between being an immovable, athletic nose tackle, and being a fat, out-of-shape slob.

That’s one of the reasons that NFL teams don’t simply import 600 lb. sumo wrestlers and plug them in as nose tackles. While those guys may have the necessary girth, they don’t have the other attributes needed to play nose tackle.

The nose tackle must have tremendous size, powerful arms and legs, excellent stamina, durability, mental toughness, lateral quickness, solid technique, and an ability to generate maximum leverage. In addition to all of this, the nose tackle must also have a unique mental profile. He has to be completely selfless . He must understand that while he will have to perform a more physically demanding task than any other player on his team, he will seldom be recognized for his work. His best efforts will rarely show up in the statistics. Moreover, the linebackers will receive all of the glory, even though the nose tackle actually does the heavy lifting.

3-4 nose tackles don’t have to be as fast as 4-3 defensive tackles, since they are not tasked with generating a pass rush like 4-3 tackles are. In the 3-4, that responsibility fall to the linebackers.

The ideal nose tackle will be proficient at reading and reacting to offensive plays. He must be able to quickly diagnose a play and know where the ball is going. He must have quick lateral movement to fill either “A” gap before the runner can get through it.

The standard for nose tackles was probably set by Ted Washington. At 6′5″, 365 lbs., Washington was an immovable man-mountain. One AFC personnel director said that Washington “was huge, had long arms, and you couldn’t budge him. He could hold off a 320 lb. lineman with one hand and make the tackle with the other”.

Current notable 3-4 nose tackles include the Steelers’ own Casey Hampton (6′1″, 325 lbs.), the Chargers’ Jamal Williams (6′2″, 348 lbs.), the Browns’ Shaun Rogers (6′4″, 350 lbs.), and the Ravens’ Haloti Ngata (6′4″, 345 lbs.). Hampton is smaller than the others, but his low center of gravity and powerful legs allow him to generate tremendous leverage.

As a side note, you may have noticed that the AFC North is filled with big, powerful nose tackles. This is why Sean Mahan was not a viable center for the Steelers. He just wasn’t big enough to handle the huge nose tackles that he had to face in the AFC North.

The thing that makes it even harder to find a potential 3-4 nose tackle is that most colleges play a 4-3 defense. Few college players have experience holding the point of attack. Instead, most college tackles are asked to penetrate gaps and provide a pass rush. They are skilled in moving forward, and are seldom asked to stand firm.

In the 2009 draft, there are only a handful of potential NFL nose tackles. Two of them play for Boston College.

Boston College’s B.J. Raji is the top defensive tackle in the entire draft. At 6′2″ and 334 lbs., he is viewed as a good candidate for either a 3-4 or a 4-3 scheme. Raji dominated linemen at the Senior Bowl. At Senior Bowl practices, he dominated highly rated offensive linemen Alex Mack and Max Unger.

Raji’s Boston College teammate, Ron Brace, is also viewed as a potential 3-4 nose tackle. Brace is 6′3″ and 329 lbs. However, because he played next to Raji, Brace never had to face double-teams. It is unclear how well he will handle the double team. Moreover, Brace had recurring back injuries in 2008. That is not a good sign for someone his size.

Sammie Lee Hill of Division II Stillman (Alabama) College is considered another nose tackle prospect. Hill is 6′4″ and 328 lbs. However, the caliber of competition that he played against raises questions as to whether Hill can hold his ground against NFL linemen.

Michigan’s Terrance Taylor (6′0″, 308) was once viewed as a decent nose tackle candidate. However, Taylor struggled in the East-West Shrine Game. That raised questions in some scouts’ minds. Additionally, Taylors’ conditioning has been questioned.

As we said earlier, top tier nose tackle candidates are rare. Three of the four candidates mentioned above have significant question marks, and only Raji is viewed as a “sure thing”. Raji will probably be drafted in the top 10 picks, and will not be a candidate for the Steelers

Do you see the size of Hampton? 325lb, 6-1. Guess what? Dorsey can easily get there.

Jason Ferguson is similr in size. Dorsey will add a few pounds and play NT.

Cormac
04-26-2009, 03:13 PM
Do you see the size of Hampton? 325lb, 6-1. Guess what? Dorsey can easily get there.

Jason Ferguson is similr in size. Dorsey will add a few pounds and play NT.

Why do people think measureables equate to ability?

Mr. Kotter
04-26-2009, 03:14 PM
Do you see the size of Hampton? 325lb, 6-1. Guess what? Dorsey can easily get there.

Jason Ferguson is similr in size. Dorsey will add a few pounds and play NT.

I guess we'll see. They haven't targeted these NT types...afterall, so either they think Dorsey or Tyler can do it, or they are just waiting until June FA or next year to address it, I guess.

htismaqe
04-26-2009, 03:18 PM
Why do people think measureables equate to ability?

If not his size, then what makes you think he can't play NT?

The ONLY criticism I've heard so far is that he's not big enough.

So which is it?