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michael89156

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« : May 11, 2013, 12:02:42 AM »



Position battles to watch this summer

By Chris Burke     SI.com

Posted May 10, 2013





Isaiah Pead, the breakout star of 2013? Only if he can hold off Daryl Richardson and Zac Stacy. (Brandon Wade/AP)
 


Minus a few tweaks here and there, either via trade or by picking through what’s left in free agency, NFL rosters are somewhat set for minicamps. With that in mind, we take a look at a dozen of the more fascinating position battles set to unfold before the regular season kicks off …
 


• T.J. Graham vs. Marquise Goodwin, Da’Rick Rogers and Robert Woods, WR, Bills: In the span of one draft weekend, the Bills went from being extremely thin at wide receiver to having an exciting young nucleus.
 
The Bills could employ a lot of three- or four-receiver looks again this year, with Graham (31 catches in 2012) or Goodwin out of the slot. Woods might have the inside track on the No. 2 spot, opposite Stevie Johnson, but Rogers, an undrafted free agent, is one of the biggest wild cards in the league heading into the summer.
 
Jon Bostic vs. D.J. Williams, MLB, Bears: Who gets the job of replacing legendary ex-Bear Brian Urlacher in the middle of this defense? Williams, signed away from Denver, was the odds-on favorite heading into the draft. There, though, Chicago used a Round 2 pick on Bostic.
 
Both players could wind up on the field — if Bostic wins the job in the middle, Williams and James Anderson may engage in a second position battle at strongside linebacker.
 
• Jarvis Jones vs. Jason Worilds, OLB, Steelers: Longtime Pittsburgh edge rusher James Harrison will be wearing a Bengals uniform in 2013, leaving the Steelers to fill the void he left behind.
 
Worilds alone left them in pretty good shape — the 2010 second-rounder had 5.0 sacks last season and started in place of an injured Harrison three times. Pittsburgh added to its arsenal in Round 1 this year, nabbing Jones after he tumbled down the board a bit. LaMarr Woodley has the other OLB spot locked down, so Jones and Worilds are scrapping for one spot.
 
• Johnthan Banks vs. Eric Wright, CB, Buccaneers: Wright struggled last year, then earned a four-game suspension for violating the league’s PED policy. He still could retain the No. 2 job, with new arrival Darrelle Revis as the team’s lock-down No. 1 guy, though Wright will have to earn it.
 
That’s because Banks comes in after Tampa Bay selected him No. 43 overall and ought to have a chip on his shoulder — he was projected as one of the top two or three corners in the draft, only to slide into Round 2, behind his own college teammate, Darius Slay.
 
Of course, playing in a division against Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans, the Buccaneers may need Banks, Revis and Wright all on the field together plenty.
 
• Isaiah Pead vs. Daryl Richardson and Zac Stacy, RB, Rams: Most NFL teams require at least two viable options at running back to survive the 16-game grind. Still, someone from this group is going to grab the lead as the Rams’ go-to guy in clutch situations.
 
Richardson has the statistical edge, after rushing for 475 yards on 98 carries while spelling Steven Jackson last season. But Pead could be the favorite for the gig — during Peter King’s Super Bowl tweetup, ESPN’s Adam Schefter dubbed Pead his pick for breakout star of 2013. Then there’s Stacy, the 160th overall pick, who’s comfortable on all three downs.
 
• Reed Doughty vs. Bacarri Rambo and Phillip Thomas, S, Redskins: The Redskins badly needed to address their safety spot in the draft, and did so by selecting Rambo (Round 6) and Thomas (Round 4). Thomas could start from Day One at the free safety spot — Doughty is the highly replaceable incumbent there.
 
Rambo, meanwhile, could challenge either at free safety or strong safety, where Brandon Meriweather is expected to start. The Redskins have left open Rambo’s projected position thus far, and his versatility might make him valuable at both safety spots.
 
• Marshall Newhouse vs. Derek Sherrod, RT, Packers: One of a number of tackle battles just in the NFC North alone — Detroit’s trying to figure out its situation, and Chicago may still bail on J’Marcus Webb.
 
In Green Bay, however, it’s Newhouse and Sherrod duking it out (with Don Barclay in the mix, as well). Newhouse started all 16 games for the Packers last season, but did so on the left side, where Green Bay is moving Bryan Bulaga in 2013. Sherrod did not see any action after breaking his leg late in the 2011 season.
 
• Connor Barwin vs. Trent Cole and Brandon Graham, OLB, Eagles: Two of these three guys should start outside in the Eagles’ 3-4 defense. But who’s going to be the odd man out? Cole started 16 games for the Eagles last year, while Graham stepped in and delivered 5.5 sacks after inheriting a starting role late. Despite those numbers, Philadelphia still went out and handed $36 million to Barwin in free agency, a hint that the front office did not want to rely on the Cole-Graham combo.
 
• Jason Campbell vs. Brandon Weeden, QB, Browns: Before anyone argues that Weeden is the better play for the Browns’ future, allow me to point out that Campbell (31) is just two years older than Weeden (29). Sure, it’s probably now or never for Weeden — but what if the Browns have decided already on “never”?
 
Campbell reportedly will be given a “legitimate chance” to wrestle the No. 1 job away. And while none of his career numbers really jump off the page, Campbell did post an 11-7 record as the Raiders’ starter from 2010-11. Cleveland is not nearly as far from being competitive as it has been in recent seasons. Don’t be surprised if new coach Rob Chudzinski chooses the veteran here.
 
And a quick mention of the other QB duels: Buffalo (Kevin Kolb vs. E.J. Manuel), Jacksonville (Blaine Gabbert vs. Chad Henne) and the Jets (Mark Sanchez vs. David Garrard and Geno Smith), for starters, all face decisions on their No. 1 QBs.
 
• Erik Walden vs. Bjoern Werner, OLB, Colts: This ought to be an interesting one with Walden, arguably overpaid in free agency at four years and $16 million, taking on Werner, whom many thought should play DE in the pros. The winner gets to start opposite Robert Mathis at OLB in the Colts’ 3-4 scheme.
 
Walden was underwhelming as a Packer, which is why Green Bay let him walk without any semblance of a fight this offseason. He could hold down the fort, at least early as Werner learns the ins and outs of playing linebacker.
 
• Drayton Florence vs. Josh Thomas, CB, Panthers: If the Panthers again fall out of contention in the NFC South, there’s a good chance that their pass defense will be their undoing. Carolina’s dearth of talent at safety was front and center in our pressing questions piece, and the cornerback spot may be just as troublesome.
 
For now, pencil in a starting duo of Josh Norman and Florence — yes, the same Florence who was cut by the Broncos late in camp and then wound up on injured reserve in Detroit. Captain Munnerlyn could see some starts, too, even if it’s in the slot.
 
Thomas, a five-game starter last season in Carolina, might be the only one capable of shaking up the depth chart at all. The Panthers have to find some answers on their pass defense, so the door is wide open for someone to shine in camp.
 
• Anthony Fasano vs. Travis Kelce and Tony Moeaki, TE, Chiefs: The rookie, Kelce, could win the day here if he stays out of trouble and proves that he can block in Andy Reid’s offense. He certainly has the highest upside here, especially with Moeaki continuing to deal with knee injuries.
 
Fasano has a pretty solid track record with 24 career touchdowns and 205 receptions, spread over seven seasons. Even so, neither he nor Moeaki creates the matchup problems for defenses that Kelce can.

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« #1 : May 11, 2013, 02:00:21 AM »

As they mentioned, its not a either/or competition.  We could see them both on the field along with Revis, quite often.   


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« #2 : May 11, 2013, 04:43:46 AM »

Not on 3rd and goal on the 1. Only one guy can cover the other zone. Probably Banks.


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« #3 : May 11, 2013, 05:51:40 AM »

If Banks can prove to be a competent number 2 then Wright should be the slot corner.  Banks would be better on the boundary. 


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« #4 : May 11, 2013, 07:36:16 AM »

Not on 3rd and goal on the 1. Only one guy can cover the other zone. Probably Banks.

With Banks size and physicality, I would want him in there over Wright in that situation. I think any time it's red zone defense, any down inside the 20, Banks should be out there.


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« #5 : May 11, 2013, 08:22:47 AM »

It´s simple, Banks will be here a long time, Wright is on life support. Play Banks

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« #6 : May 11, 2013, 08:32:34 AM »

Why does everybody think Wright is so bad? He is a decent starter in this league, he just had a lot of issues last year w/ injuries and suspension. I think he will start over Banks at least until the end of the season. If banks beats out wright in camp than we got a steal.

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« #7 : May 11, 2013, 09:21:27 AM »

As they mentioned, its not a either/or competition.  We could see them both on the field along with Revis, quite often.

Although both guys will get snaps I find it hard to believe one of them won't be defined as "starter" and play 75-80% of the game while the other guy play 30-40% of the game.

Hopefully we get a head start on our develpment and Banks will start but if he's not ready you can go with Wright for the first 6 games or so

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« #8 : May 11, 2013, 10:32:24 AM »

let banks and johnson fight for the outside spot.  shade the safety to help.  let wright be the slot guy which is on the field most of the time anyways.  the slot fits wright better i think where he isnt on an island and he can jump routes and use his instincts more.  gorrer gets to sit behind revis and hopefully develop.  lewis and gaitor can hope and pray.  melvin and carr can go to PS or come out of nowhere and ball out.

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« #9 : May 11, 2013, 11:26:09 AM »

let banks and johnson fight for the outside spot.  shade the safety to help.  let wright be the slot guy which is on the field most of the time anyways.  the slot fits wright better i think where he isnt on an island and he can jump routes and use his instincts more.  gorrer gets to sit behind revis and hopefully develop.  lewis and gaitor can hope and pray.  melvin and carr can go to PS or come out of nowhere and ball out.
We live in interesting times.
Wright may not be as bad, nor Banks as good (ready as) we think.
Don't write off LJ just yet either. love his ball skills. He may be well suited for slot. Agree on Melvin, an interesting prospect so we are told.

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« #10 : May 11, 2013, 11:31:16 AM »

Why does everybody think Wright is so bad? He is a decent starter in this league, he just had a lot of issues last year w/ injuries and suspension. I think he will start over Banks at least until the end of the season. If banks beats out wright in camp than we got a steal.

He just isn't very good, that's why. He is a below average CB and has beeen for most of his career. Dude will be gone after this year.


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« #11 : May 11, 2013, 11:54:44 AM »

Why does everybody think Wright is so bad? He is a decent starter in this league, he just had a lot of issues last year w/ injuries and suspension. I think he will start over Banks at least until the end of the season. If banks beats out wright in camp than we got a steal.

He just isn't very good, that's why. He is a below average CB and has beeen for most of his career. Dude will be gone after this year.

What do u mean dude isn't good? He has been decent throughout his career, will he ever be Revis or Haden? No but the dude is a serviceable starter. . Hence the pay check we initially gave him. I do agree that he will be gone by 2014 unless he makes some drastic turnaround. I am just not sure if Banks is going to develope into a stud corner. I believe that Banks=wright but with less starts.

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« #12 : May 11, 2013, 11:55:41 AM »

Why does everybody think Wright is so bad? He is a decent starter in this league, he just had a lot of issues last year w/ injuries and suspension. I think he will start over Banks at least until the end of the season. If banks beats out wright in camp than we got a steal.

He just isn't very good, that's why. He is a below average CB and has beeen for most of his career. Dude will be gone after this year.
We'll see.  Good thing he pooched it last year. The $7M cap hit would have made both the  Revision and Goldson improbable.

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« #13 : May 11, 2013, 11:57:13 AM »

let banks and johnson fight for the outside spot.  shade the safety to help.  let wright be the slot guy which is on the field most of the time anyways.  the slot fits wright better i think where he isnt on an island and he can jump routes and use his instincts more.  gorrer gets to sit behind revis and hopefully develop.  lewis and gaitor can hope and pray.  melvin and carr can go to PS or come out of nowhere and ball out.

Good post. This is ideal

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« #14 : May 11, 2013, 12:17:18 PM »

Why does everybody think Wright is so bad? He is a decent starter in this league, he just had a lot of issues last year w/ injuries and suspension. I think he will start over Banks at least until the end of the season. If banks beats out wright in camp than we got a steal.

He just isn't very good, that's why. He is a below average CB and has beeen for most of his career. Dude will be gone after this year.

What do u mean dude isn't good? He has been decent throughout his career, will he ever be Revis or Haden? No but the dude is a serviceable starter. . Hence the pay check we initially gave him. I do agree that he will be gone by 2014 unless he makes some drastic turnaround. I am just not sure if Banks is going to develope into a stud corner. I believe that Banks=wright but with less starts.

...the paycheck we gave him means nothing. Dom got desperate and vastly overpaid for an average-below average player...hmm..sound familiar? He has not been very good during the span of his career. Period. I mean, did people not see how bad he was last year when he was on the field? Hell, even EJ was better last year. That should speak volumes. He may be a serviceable player, but he should not be starting on the outside. 


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