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leeroybuc93

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« : November 25, 2006, 12:58:50 PM »

I have noticed several of you have recently started pining for Branch.  My question is why?  He's going to be a nice player in the John Henderson mold, but not the Warren Sapp mold.  He has only one sack this year.  We all agree we need a pass rushing DT but this guy isn't him. 

IanD15

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« #1 : November 25, 2006, 01:05:12 PM »

I agree

bradentonian

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« #2 : November 25, 2006, 01:26:36 PM »

I agree that a guy like Branch is a bit of a departure from what we normally have on the line.  But what makes the defense successful is not necessarily sacks (although they are great), but a combination of an outside pass rush with a DT on the inside that collapses the pocket, forcing the mistakes that our LBs and DBs capitalize on.  Not only is Branch a great run-stuffer, but he has tremendous strength and is excellent at collapsing the pocket, usually against double teams.  This frees up a less-talented guy like Wyms or Hovan to make the sack if possible, but also helps to force the QB mistakes that this defense thrives on.

Also, although I'm not a big fan, he also has the size to anchor a 3-4 look if we decide to experiment.


naplesbuc

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« #3 : November 25, 2006, 01:30:57 PM »

He's more than just a run stuffer.  He was a RB in high school and is very fast for his size.  He has more than 1 sack.  I don't care who you put at DE if you don't get push up the middle and disrupt the pocket the overall pressure from the d-line will not improve.

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« #4 : November 25, 2006, 01:33:53 PM »

As you saw in the Ohio State game Branch is an opportunist. He was there to pounce on a fumble and he made a couple other plays just by being aware of his surroundings.  That was a knock on McFarland is that he didn't see what was going on other than what was right in front of him.  Branch has a ton of experience at the top level of college football.  He doesn't take plays off, and plays hard from start to finish.  He would be a solid anchor player. He's not flashy but he would be a guy who anchors the defense and allows other players to do a lot of things.

The Bucs defense starts at DT.  Everything else builds from there.  If we have an opportunity for a high draft pick we need to spend that on a guy who is going to be the foundation for the rebuilding of this defense. If there is a DT who can be that guy we have to take him.

Also, DTs are not going to be a deep position, and if we are looking to get a great one during the draft we may have to get him in the 1st rather than the 2nd.

Of course when the Bucs are drafting high in the first round they are looking for leadership. They desperately need the next generation of leaders and if you don't get one with this pick you are in trouble.   You have to look beyond the talent.

Finally I think Bucs fans will have more patience with what Gruden is trying to do if he shows he is going to go all out to rebuild the D, even if they don't return to a top five defense next year.  Of course I'm subject to changing my mind as the draft gets nearer.  Jeez its still a half a year away!


leeroybuc93

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« #5 : November 25, 2006, 01:35:34 PM »

He's more than just a run stuffer. He was a RB in high school and is very fast for his size. He has more than 1 sack. I don't care who you put at DE if you don't get push up the middle and disrupt the pocket the overall pressure from the d-line will not improve.

It depends on where you look.  Some stats say one sack and some say 2.  Either way it's the only sack/sacks he has in his career.

leeroybuc93

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« #6 : November 25, 2006, 01:38:00 PM »

As you saw in the Ohio State game Branch is an opportunist. He was there to pounce on a fumble and he made a couple other plays just by being aware of his surroundings.  He has a ton of experience at the top level of college football, he has a good head on his shoulders.

The Bucs defense starts at DT.  Everything else builds from there.  If we have an opportunity for a high draft pick we need to spend that on a guy who is going to be the foundation for the rebuilding of this defense. If there is a DT who can be that guy we have to take him.

Also, DTs are not going to be a deep position, and if we are looking to get a great one during the draft we may have to get him in the 1st rather than the 2nd. 

Finally I think Bucs fans will have more patience with what Gruden is trying to do if he shows he is going to go all out to rebuild the D, even if they don't return to a top five defense next year.

But he is still a drastic departure from what we usually do on the line.  He's a very heady guy as you say, but is that worth overreacting and drafting a guy that doesn't really fit what we do?  I wouldn't be opposed to playing him at NT, but then we'd still be in dire need of a UT.  I just don't see how he fits.

naplesbuc

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« #7 : November 25, 2006, 01:39:56 PM »

He has a lot more sacks than that.  He had 7 coming into this season:

http://michigan.scout.com/2/561694.html

Alan Branch stats:
In 2005 Michigan's top defensive lineman started final 10 regular season games and played in all 12 contests, contributing career highs of 31 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
In Branch's career he has appeared in 24 consecutive games and has made 10 starts along defensive line. He has 36 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks and one fumble recovery during his career.

leeroybuc93

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« #8 : November 25, 2006, 01:48:37 PM »

He has a lot more sacks than that. He had 7 coming into this season:

http://michigan.scout.com/2/561694.html

Alan Branch stats:
In 2005 Michigan's top defensive lineman started final 10 regular season games and played in all 12 contests, contributing career highs of 31 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
In Branch's career he has appeared in 24 consecutive games and has made 10 starts along defensive line. He has 36 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, seven sacks and one fumble recovery during his career.


I guess they're counting assists.  According to this he has 2 solo sacks in his career.

http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/playerDetail.jsp?yr=2006&org=418&player=80

naplesbuc

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« #9 : November 25, 2006, 01:50:12 PM »

If Bucs do end up with a high enough pick to take Gaines Adams then he would be the right pick but right now he is projecting top 3.  If Bucs end up in bottom half of the top 10 that might be right where Branch is projected.  If not then trading down to pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd round pick is always possible too.

Branch is projected to be a DE in a 3-4 scheme so he is definitely not a NT.  If the Bucs did take him Hovan would stay right where he is.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2006/football/nfl/11/17/mich.osu.pauline/index.html

Alan Branch/DT/Jr: In a year void of talent at the defensive-tackle position, Branch stands head and shoulders above all the rest. A dominant lineman, he has potential as a conventional tackle or as a defensive end in a 3-4 alignment. Should Branch enter the draft, he is top-10 material.

leeroybuc93

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« #10 : November 25, 2006, 01:51:40 PM »

He's got 31 solo tackles in 2 years and 54 tackles total.  That to me is a space eater.

leeroybuc93

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« #11 : November 25, 2006, 01:58:09 PM »


Branch is projected to be a DE in a 3-4 scheme so he is definitely not a NT. If the Bucs did take him Hovan would stay right where he is.


Yeah but when you look at what a 3-4 DE does and our UT you get similar type roles. Branch might be a Richard Seymour type player in his career and if I can get that sort of player, I always want him.

I won't dog him at all if he's that good. 

naplesbuc

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« #12 : November 25, 2006, 02:06:47 PM »


Yeah but when you look at what a 3-4 DE does and our UT you get similar type roles. Branch might be a Richard Seymour type player in his career and if I can get that sort of player, I always want him.

Precisely my point.  Branch is not a run stuffer/NT.  Rather he is a massive but quick and athletic DT.  This is not that different from where Sapp was when he put on all the weight except that Branch is 6'6".

I know Monte likes smallish DT's because of quickness but if you can get a guy who's presence is large plus he is effective in the pass rush too it's like the best of both worlds.

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« #13 : November 26, 2006, 01:43:14 AM »

Well, if Branch can take on an and control two offensive lineman then that would leave the other three defensive lineman to me one one with and offensive lineman throwing in the blitz from time to time would mean we would actually get to the quarterback rather then having them picked up all the time. at 6'6 331 pounds his is huge with better quickness and laterial movement the Vinve Wilfork had and most people wanted Wilfork a few years back. So if this guy can come in and help out out in anyway i am all for bringing in anybody that can help this team even if its the waterboy at this point  anyhelp is good help

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« #14 : November 26, 2006, 02:03:31 AM »

Someone mentioned that he has the frame of a John Henderson. Is this supposed to be a critique? Because JOhn Henderson is on a very short list of best DT's in the league. He's not perfect with technique - but I think technique can be taught. YOu can't teach someone to be 6'6, 331 and have the speed of Branch. I don't think Julius Peppers, or Mario Williams, or even Simeon Rice for that matter, necessarily have the best technique of any DE in teh league. I think Strahan has better technique, but those guys are as good becaue they are physically superior athletes.
 
I won't complain about Adams - but BRanch is a monster.
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