The Chris and Joe Show: Linebacker Offseason Breakdown
In this episode is brought to you by Ziprecruiter weren't a brand new year. The perfect time to think about growing your business with Ziprecruiter ziprecruiter's powerful matching technology analogy scans thousands of resumes to help you find candidates with the right experience for Your Business. ziprecruiter is so effective that four out of five employers get a quality quality candidate through the site within the first day. Try ziprecruiter right now for free at ZIPRECRUITER DOT COM Slash Fox that ziprecruiter dot com slash video Alex ziprecruiter dot com slash box ziprecruiter. The smartest way to hire hello and welcome to the Kristen Joe show presented to you bias be nation and big blue you. I'm Judy Leo. Orange Micro Tom and we are continuing our off season discussions of each position group giving you the perspective for the New York giants and then transitioning running in discussing what you need to know about free agents and the draft class. Today we were talking about the linebacker position. We talked talk mostly about the edge position on the previous show in terms of pass rushers today. We're getting a little bit. More focused on the outside linebackers the inside linebackers and a lot of the issues that the giants are dealing with. And I think Chris you and I can both agree. This is one of the biggest positional holes that the giants have right now is not having consistency and a real major playmaker at the linebacker position. We're going to get rolling right on into this and like we have been doing discussing the positives. It's the first thing the one thing that we really did like from this linebacker group. And that's having pass rush versatility from the outside linebackers now. Lorenzo Carter an ocean's is imminent. We're not really true. Pass rushing linebackers. But they were able to be productive despite not getting a ton of run in a ton one of reps both of them had four and a half sacks Carter had six tackles for loss. And then Zimmer says the most surprising though having that four and a half sacks and then also five tackles for loss to go along with it yes That really is kind of part of the edge position. The way devolving is. Sometimes they're linebacker. Sometimes they're defensive end and I think both of those guys is did show that they can do. Both of those positions depending on the down distance alignment package All of those things that are constantly constantly changing on defense. I was pleasantly surprised by o'shane's images especially towards the end of the end of the year. Now I thought he would. We'd have a fairly short learning curve because he did come out with really Polish technique in hand usage especially coming out of a school like Old Dominion it would be one one thing to expect pollen. polished technique coming out of Ohio state or Alabama but Old Dominion is not exactly a football factory Lorenzo Carter under the fact that they produced so similarly is Great Brasilia's not great for Carter just because you would expect him to produce more to take more of a step in his second year in the NFL. Carter like you said did not really take a huge leap forward but we did see some improvements. I think one the things is though is that they didn't really give as many reps as as as we would have hoped to Carter as he wasn't one of the top positional rep getters At at the at the outside linebacker position but still decent production. I think the bigger positive though is oceans. Inez I think he went a little bit under the radar in in terms of people knowing how well he did do and I think when you talk about how he only got around forty five percent of reps During the season season at his position and he was able to be relatively productive as a rookie and as a third rounder. That is pretty promising. Now in terms of Joe Judges New Philosophy of we're GONNA work with guys in there and help them improve their strengths and work with those strengths to become a better. Football team. Zimmer says could very well well fit that mold of. We're GONNA work with him. We're going to keep getting him better. And then turn him into a defensive weapon. Both of these guys though. I think go in line with the philosophy philosophy of having a good defense that you don't need either of them to be your premier pass rush threat but the best defense is in the NFL right now or good. Because they have depth at pass rushing at the pass rushing position they have different guys can come in and swap out on sub packages in various area situations. That can come in make a play. Go pick up a sack. You don't need them to start every single down if they do happen to draft or sign someone to be be those primary threats yet. You also mentioned first. Attila Eighty and I think that could be where. Lorenzo Carter shines lines you know maybe as a primary pass rusher but more is a guy who can give us some pass rush. Who can be a weapon on passing passing down but also a guy who can play in space yet? I don't know about you but at least for me. Most of Carter's most memorable invest snaps. Came with him playing being in space. Either chasing down a screen pass running with a running back or a tight end doing those things really using his length in athleticism to to kind of occupy that middle of the field area where the giants have struggled so mightily to find any answers so dope maybe with a shifting defensive philosophy maybe the giants will use Carter as more of a defensive weapon like you said and maybe that will be his strength and the other thing too. Is that both of these guys are very athletically are talented. They just need to be more refined on a number of different things. Hopefully the new coaching and in having a new coaching staff a new face in front of them will be able to help cultivate that development in that increase in production over over the next few seasons terms of things we didn't like and this is something that I would say we've harped on for a long time. Now since the beginning of the show is Alec Ogle Tree Keep It plain and simple. Go Right to the source here Alec Ogle Tree Albeit. He's not a bottom tier linebacker in this league but he's not really performing up to the contract contracting. He's being given right now right now. He's earning around eleven million dollars a year. which is one of the top linebacker salaries in the NFL in his performances and and also his availability has not been up to that standard so he only had eighty eighty tackles last year a sack and an interception and he also only played in thirteen games in each of the last two seasons not having him available that often for a full sixteen game stretch understandably? It's the linebacker position but not having that that availability for a guy that is being paid to be one of the top players at his position is truly disappointing and Ogle Sri used to be a much more athletic and explosive linebacker when he was younger in earlier on in his career. But you're starting to see that regress from him. We're starting to see continued injuries. We're starting trying to see him slowdown. We're starting to see his reaction time not being as good as it used to be. Look I alkyl. Trees seems like a great guy but I don't really think that he is the answer. Answer Right now at the Mike linebacker position it really does beg the question of if he should be sticking around or not yet. Definitely you mentioned him slowing down. I think that kind of exposes the big weakness in his game and that is just his mental processing in kind of awareness remember. We'd hoped hoped that his uptick in production. At the second half of twenty eighteen would carry over and he would be able to build on that in twenty nineteen but we really didn't see that he had all those interceptions and although splash plays at the end of two thousand eighteen. But it seems like those really were due to just the giants playing bad backup quarterbacks and all too often way too often way way too often you know we saw Ogle tree just kind of covering grass standing there. While offensive players ran through his zone and him Not Reacting until the player or the ball were passed him. We saw him give up touchdowns just looking completely lost in the defense aunts and you know as his athleticism has started to fade. He can't really make up time like he couldn't like he used to be able to. And and that is really having a negative impact on the defense and then his contract is just kind of hamstrings. The giant salary cap gap position. There's not really any other way to put it feeds making. `Bout twenty two twenty two and a half million dollars over the next two years that it's way way too much for the level of play. The giants are getting and if Al Ghul Tree was making a minimum contracts something around maybe five million it would be worth what you're getting for him but the fact that he's earning over ten million dollars and is one of the higher paid linebackers in the NFL. It puts a lot a strain on the CAP. As as you indicated there and I just WanNa say his regression is a pin amazed from one specific player can remember against the Miami Dolphins were. He was pretty. Much stooped out by Ryan Fitzpatrick was not able to really redirect and pick him up and make that play because he reacts slowly and he cut and moved too slowly onto the other negative. We have here and this one is very clear considering the lack of talent at the position. But it's it's the fact that there's not much depth at linebacker spot and once in the beginning of the season Ryan Connolly who had a really good preseason. He was starting to look good good early on in the year as soon as you went down with the season ending injury. It seems like everything went all to hell because there was no one consistent there were different guys popping in and out and there were a lot of problems in run defense despite having a really good frontline of big space. Eating Defensive Tackles and defensive ends. They weren't able to make plays and it was continually on and off during the season that they weren't able to get consistent play from their linebackers Akerson also Alec Ogle tree was in and out. He missed three games this year. And what other guys had to step in and play there was a A WHO's who of the linebacker linebacker position who is in here. And where are they even from. And you could point the finger rated them and saying they're the big reason why the run defense is not looking so good but if you look at the linebackers that are the depth for them at David Mayo stepped in and played most of the season. He didn't really seem like he was an answer. Dan Buchanan who they signed later on. The season did not really play up to the expectations. That a lot of people had hoped was a James Becher piece that was brought in because he was familiar with him in the Joe Cya Ziya to a more of a special teams guy overall though there needs to be an emphasis in this year's draft of at least taking one guy early on during the later rounds. Yeah it's kind of that way with a number of physicians where you'd love to get the guy at the top of the round in May be Circle back around dull damp and get a guy later on. I think I think there are a few teams where you know maybe having David Buchanan as special teams guys as you know maybe be a depth piece who comes on the field here and there you know if your starter needs to tie shoe or something like that but you do not want to have to be relying on them and really. The giants were in In a position where they had to rely on those guys and it really showed. Now we're GONNA fill you in on the upcoming linebacker free agents to be aware of and also this year's linebacker draft class but before Redo that we're going to take a short commercial break. This episode is brought to you by Ziprecruiter. Where in a brand new year? And it's the perfect nick. Time to think about growing your business but hiring talented new people to expand your team can be frustrating and time consuming. If you're not using ziprecruiter you're the ziprecruiter makes finding the right person for your company. Easy they send your job opening to more than one hundred leading job sites and with their powerful on matching technology ziprecruiter skins thousands of resumes to find people with the right experience and invites to apply to your job as applications come in then ziprecruiter analyzes each one and spotlights the top candidates. So you never miss a great match. ZIPRECRUITER's tools are so effective that four out of five employers. Who Post on Ziprecruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day our listeners can try ziprecruiter right now? How for free at ZIPRECRUITER DOT COM Slash Fox? That's ZIPRECRUITER DOT COM slash V. o X ZIPRECRUITER DOT COM slash clash. Box ziprecruiter the smartest way to hire. There's a new kind of credit card created by Apple. It's called Apple Card and it lives in your wallet APP and in Your Wallet. You can buy things with apple pay or laser etched titanium card. It sets a whole new level for privacy and security and and it gives you daily cash back with every purchase. Oh and you can apply in minutes just opened the wallet APP on your iphone tap the plus button to get started to learn more checkout apple dot com slash get applecart available for qualifying applicants in the United States issued by Goldman Sachs Bank. USA Salt Lake City branch in terms of free agents for this year. It's a bit of a scarce group so nor discussing the offseason game plan for the linebacker a position. There's not a ton of options for them to go out and sign someone we were saying talking before the show that besides the list that we have accumulated here. It's a lot of guys that are over. The age of thirty two that are a bit over the Hump that would essentially be the same quality or worse than Alec Ogle Tree but I think that if they do for their game plan for this position group if they want to be smart about it they should bring in some type of veteran they should bring in somebody that has been around the league because they can help elevate and bring up the the the level of quality for this defense defense kind of like the chargers did this past off season and bringing in. Thomas Miss Davis from the the panthers while their defense wasn't as good as many people had hoped it could be. That's the type of peace that you're looking for. The other thing too here is is drafting. Isaiah Simmons I'm GonNa keep pushing net that addenda. I'm the biggest supporter of Isaiah. Simmons mins to go to the New York giants is anyone that is out there and I know a lot of people on on on twitter and stuff that are part of giants twitter saying they want Isaiah Simmons. Well I am. I'm currently early in that camp and saying that they should get Isaiah Simmons if they don't get him then draft somebody in the mid round. You need to do both getting a young rookie and also a veteran if they want to to fix a glaring issue for this defense yeah it would have been nice to see more Ryan Conley and know whether or not he could be answered going forward forward. You know if the giants could get away with not signing say dangerously thin or calvin noise and be able to put the load on Ryan. Brian Conley to be there Mike. That would be great to know but unfortunately we don't know a whole lot about him. He had a small sample size before he got got hurt. But yeah the the giants absolutely need to add both at an experienced guy and a young guy to their linebacking core Isaiah. It would be great. I think he should be right at if not the top of the list right close to the top of the list of their draft targets. Maybe a pie in the sky. Hope that a couple teams trade in front of the giants in chase young slips down to him then I think we would all be okay with them Passing on on Isaiah Simmons or you know there are awesome mid round prospects which we will get to in in a few minutes here but it's a it's something the giants Absolutely have to address. And if you if you decide to draft Isaiah Simmons I think that would solve not only the issue of having no major town at the linebacker position but it would infinitely elevate eight that position pass just being average. He's incredibly talented. I'm not trying to make him seem like he's some never before seen talent but the fact that he can play playing multiple positions is exactly what you're looking for in an early round early first round prospect at the linebacker position. It's sonic they're drafting someone. That's just straight up. Might Mike linebacker and can't do anything else. He has the versatility to be on the field for all three downs. And you can ask them to move around in any Defensive sub package that you have out there it needs to be properly looked into and also it needs to be a thought process for Dave Gettleman to consider drafting Isaiah Simmons that four spot if if chase young has gone at that point in terms of the free agents that are available the guys that are going to be likely leaving or currently not under contract are currently going to be free agents rather marcus golden is expected to be a free agent. David Mayo Dan Buchanan Cannon devante downs now replacing those guys. There's a very attractive list like I said the ladder. These guys are a bit over the Hump Their on the older side the closest to that thirty range. That's not too crazy is Danny Trevathan from the Chicago bears and then as we do every single week we have have to bring one patriot. That's Kyle. The giants really have had a preference for players players in personnel. In general that that they're familiar with and with Bret Bielema on the defense Joe Judge as the head coach. There's definitely a strong patriots tie so we have to look at Patriots Free Agents and Kyle Kyle Van Noy is a viable valuable linebacker Linebacker free-agent he's less than thirty. He has been reasonably productive. So I think just just like with the majority in the secondary you'll be Kinda have to consider him and then you also mentioned danger Rathan. He has been very good player for a very long time. Also you're completely right there. Just aren't that many really good attractive linebackers out there because good. linebackers are hard to come by especially finally nowadays in the NFL with all of the various demands placed on the physician teams. That have good ones generally. Don't let them go. That's why you see like the contract. Jalen Smith just got over the summer. It's going to be I think rare for Oh really good impact off ball linebackers to hit the market. That's a really good point that you bring up in teams not being willing to relinquish those guys they typically bring bring them in the develop them and then they become huge impact players now if they draft someone early. That doesn't really hit well. No one really wants a linebacker. That's not playing up to his potential. Those guys bounce around you don't really hear much of one other guy though that there's a very good chance that he doesn't end up leaving is cory little in from the Los Angeles Rams he had one hundred thirty four tackles hackles last year. He's only twenty six years old very very productive very very underrated as their lead linebacker on that defense so so somebody that they could very well look into also Patrick on looser from the Ravens. A very good defense coached up by GRUMMAN WHO's one of the best defensive coordinator there's arguably in the League having a guy like that that's that's smart and productive and also on the younger side could very well fit that. That need of a more veteran veteran but also not too old linebacker that the giants could be looking for the Ravens. Do have a really good track record of drafting Ding. End Developing linebackers. Now obviously they add Lewis an art brown they kind of stumbled with but then they had. Cj Moseley end user. He has really stepped in and the fact that he came up as a undrafted. Free agent has become as good as he is as productive as he is. I think that really does speak to the work. The Ravens do in identifying vying end developing those players so if the giants could get a guy who's again that good and only twenty eighty seven years old. That is definitely something they should look into now onto discussing this year's linebacker draft class. We're GONNA continue. Continue to dive deep into Isaiah Simmons and how much I personally love him. I don't know how you feel exactly about Isaiah Simmons. I do know you like him Chris. But every year people that evaluate traff classes have somebody that they the absolutely love and right now. That Guy's Isaiah Simmons for me. I will continue to talk. came up he needs to be a name that needs to be acknowledged in this year's draft class now if they don't happen to get him because maybe the lions take him at three maybe. The giants decided trade. Read back and focus on other things albeit there are some decent quality guys on day. Two and that starts with Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma also troy die. I'm from Oregon. Who is very fast and very athletic? And then also Evan Weaver from cal who recently played at the senior bowl the guy who kind of damned stands out to me is troy part partly Elsa in large part because he caught my eye during draft prep for last year in a kind of broke the heart a little bit when he decided to return to school. He is a very athletic. I'm very active off ball L.. Linebacker keys reasonably similar in build to Isaiah Simmons. He's not quite that athletic but six for for about two twenty five to thirty. That really is the build and the type of linebacker that That we're starting to see really really be successful. You know kind of guide dairies. Leonard was for the A couple years ago a Bobbio creaky was this past year. Now we've I've seen one team come up with basically to defensive rookie of the year caliber players with a very similar type. You know very similar body type very similar game so I think that is something we really should be keying on and trying to identify other thing too. That doesn't need to be acknowledged. There are a couple of players in this year's draft that we've spoken about in pretty good detail that aren't linebackers backers but could be that versatile piece and that is Jeremy Chen from southern Illinois and Kyle Duggar from Lynn. Warn Rhine. Small school guys very very athletics SAFETIES that can move all over the field that are very quick very fast processing and can make big plays now. Duggar had the better senior bowl performance and we saw him make some really really good place during the senior bowl. He was the guy that I really enjoyed watching. He's somebody to keep an eye on the. We'll probably dive a little bit more into during the safeties and defensive back show show but he is someone worth considering because he has that versatility to be that box safety Who can cover? Who can do a number of things besides just being that that bigger box safety? Yeah in both of those guys also have enough size to play at the second level played. Closer to the line a scrimmage while having the athleticism to cover and really be all over the field play back a little bit in coverage of Ridge and then come down rush the passer play the run through be that kind of safety linebacker hybrid nothing. They will be that but they at least have the potential to be considered in that kind of a light right. That is going to be it from us today on the linebacker off season show next X. Show that we're GONNA be giving you as yet another mailbag we're getting back to it. The spite getting slightly away from during the senior bowl trying to get you all that content. Durham the senior bowl. 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