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michael89156

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« : March 20, 2012, 11:41:42 AM »

Numbers say Lofton every-down linebacker

 March, 20, 2012

 Source:  ESPN
By Pat Yasinskas
 
There’s a lot of talk out there about how Atlanta free agent Curtis Lofton isn’t a three-down linebacker. At the very least, it’s coming from fans and media members. It also might be coming from teams, as Lofton has been making the rounds, but has yet to sign with anyone.
 
Maybe new Atlanta defensive coordinator Mike Nolan doesn’t view Lofton as a guy he wants on the field on passing downs, and maybe that’s why the middle linebacker was allowed to test free agency in the first place. Maybe other teams are buying into the same theory, and maybe that’s why Lofton hasn’t gotten a big contract.
 



Dale Zanine/US Presswire
Linebacker Curtis Lofton, 50, was on the field for all but 10 of Atlanta's defensive snaps last season.



But I’m wondering if this knock on Lofton is fair and accurate. As far as being fair, I’ll admit Lofton isn’t the best cover guy in the league. But I also don’t think he’s a total liability, unless you put him into one-on-one coverage against someone like New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham. There are a lot of linebackers that struggle with Graham, and that’s why more and more teams are using defensive backs to cover tight ends. In my eyes, Lofton is average (maybe slightly below average) as a cover guy for a middle linebacker.
 
That’s why I’m wondering how the perception suddenly became that he’s horrible in coverage. The numbers say Lofton was good enough to be a three-down linebacker for the Falcons the past three seasons. The numbers say he was good enough to be on the field for more than 95 percent of Atlanta’s defensive snaps each of the past three seasons.
 
I went back and looked them up. Lofton played 99 percent (986 of 996) of Atlanta’s defensive snaps last season. In 2010, Lofton was on the field for 933 of Atlanta’s 977 defensive snaps (95.5 percent). In 2009, Lofton participated in 986 of 1,034 defensive snaps (95.4 percent). The only season he wasn’t a three-down linebacker was 2008. That’s when Lofton was a rookie, and the Falcons also had Keith Brooking and Michael Boley. That season, Lofton played in just 55.6 percent (573 of 1,030) of the defensive snaps. But, after that season, Boley and Brooking were gone, and Lofton was elevated to full-time status.
 
Whatever Lofton lacks in coverage skills, I think he makes up for with his ability as a run-stuffer and a leader. Maybe he doesn’t deserve to be paid like a top-five linebacker. But I think Lofton is a linebacker who can be on the field most of the time.
 
The Saints had him in for a visit Monday, and the Buccaneers are keeping an eye on Lofton’s situation (mainly to see if his asking price drops). The Falcons already have moved on by signing Lofa Tatupu, and they have second-year pro Akeem Dent.
 
But the Saints seem to be looking for someone to replace Jonathan Vilma, and the Bucs aren’t sure if they’re keeping Mason Foster in the middle or moving him to the outside. I say one of these two teams should take a shot on Lofton. He’s an upgrade over what the Saints and Bucs currently have in the middle.
 
For that matter, I also think Lofton is better than what the Falcons currently are planning on going with at middle linebacker. Maybe an Atlanta return remains a possibility, if Lofton's price tag falls far enough.

MasterC25

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« #1 : March 20, 2012, 11:51:46 AM »

Forget about Lofton , he knows the Bucs have money he just want them to dig a little deeper in their pockets. Draft Dont'a Hightower Bigger, Stronger, Faster version of Lofton

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« #2 : March 20, 2012, 12:07:25 PM »

^Would love to draft Hightower but at 5 no way. If we trade down into the mid-first round possibly. No way he'll be there by round two.

The Anti-Java

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« #3 : March 20, 2012, 12:27:16 PM »

Forget about Lofton , he knows the Bucs have money he just want them to dig a little deeper in their pockets. Draft Dont'a Hightower Bigger, Stronger, Faster version of Lofton



Its a dangerous game he is playing though.  If no one bites, he could be playing in the CFL next season.


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MasterC25

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« #4 : March 20, 2012, 12:43:45 PM »

^Would love to draft Hightower but at 5 no way. If we trade down into the mid-first round possibly. No way he'll be there by round two.

MLB's are getting devalued I can almost guarantee Hightower will be there in the top of the 2nd round. Don't think for a second Dom and co. dont know that either

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« #5 : March 20, 2012, 02:04:22 PM »

I wouldnt have thought Bowers would have made it to the second either.

michael89156

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« #6 : March 21, 2012, 12:31:35 PM »

Eagles Acquisition of Ryans Ironic for Bucs

Posted on March 20, 2012 8:05 pm by The Commish




By: Justin Pawlowski
 
The Eagles had been rumored to be in the market for a linebacker this off-season, but many believed they would wait until the NFL Draft and select Boston College MLB Luke Kuechly with the 15th selection.
 
The Eagles pulled the trigger on a major trade today, landing Texans MLB DeMeco Ryans for a 4th round selection and a swapping of 3rd round picks.
 
The Eagles will end up with DeMeco Ryans and the 89th pick in April’s Draft, while the Texans will receive the 77th selection and one of the Eagles 4th round picks.
 
Ryans, 27, has seen his statistics fall off a bit in the past two seasons.  He missed most of 2010 with a torn achilles tendon and never transitioned as well as hoped to Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense.


 


The ironic part of this trade is that the Eagles traded away the 4th round selection they acquired from the Buccaneers in last year’s draft when the Bucs traded up in the 4th round for Tennessee TE Luke Stocker.  There is no secret that the Buccaneers need improvement at linebacker and just saw a very talented young linebacker go for a very small price.
 
The pressure might now be raising for the Buccaneers and Curtis Lofton.  The Buccaneers still have a big need at linebacker and Curtis Lofton is running out of potential destinations.  It sure does seem as though the match is there to be made, but the Buccaneers will not raise their initial offer, so until Lofton comes to his sense, this deal will not get done.




http://www.commishonline.com/?p=3783

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« #7 : March 21, 2012, 12:34:20 PM »

If Lofton doesn't get paid what he wants, his heart won't be in it.  That's a liability and the Bucs would be better off going in a diiferent direction at this point.

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« #8 : March 21, 2012, 12:37:59 PM »

id like an upgrade at MLB, but really, how many here have really broken down curtis loftons game?  how many have broken down david hawthornes (whom it doesnt appear we are interested in).  how much last year was fosters inability to adapt to the NFL vs poor preparation and illfitted schemes?

it is odd to me that we havent contacted more MLBs.  leads me to believe that the team (according to reports) could be high on a guy like lavonte david and fosters ability.

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Bucko40

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« #9 : March 21, 2012, 12:41:36 PM »

I bet he re-signs with the Falcons.

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« #10 : March 21, 2012, 12:48:50 PM »

If Lofton doesn't get paid what he wants, his heart won't be in it.  That's a liability and the Bucs would be better off going in a diiferent direction at this point.

That's not always the case. Some guys hold out for a long time trying to get paid and once they do start playing again, they play hard. Depends on the individual and I don't really know anything about Lofton character wise, but keep in mind that we just signed VJax who held out for almost an entire season with the Chargers a couple years back.


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« #11 : March 21, 2012, 12:49:27 PM »

Everything I have read about Lofton has mentioned his great work ethic and leadership.  I have a hard time believing he wouldn't play his absolute hardest because he got less money then he initially wanted.

Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Until your Good is Better, and your Better is Best!

blind melon

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« #12 : March 21, 2012, 01:08:22 PM »

Take the Saints off his list...

Lol

Who knew how good it would feel as a fan when we now know what it\'s like for our team to have a direction, an attitude, and dare I say an offense?.  

Good time to be a Bucs fan.

Beatles123

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« #13 : March 21, 2012, 01:11:17 PM »

Come on down!!!

This space for rent....*sigh* I trusted you coach.

BucD

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« #14 : March 21, 2012, 01:11:35 PM »

I bet he re-signs with the Falcons.

Pretty sure they've already signed his replacement.  They've pretty much moved on from Mr. Lofton.
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