Sub-Packages

Posted: March 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 55 Comments »

Who’s excited to talk about sub-packages? I know I am.

What we’re talking about are different sets than the base unit.  On defense this is the Nickel, Dime, or other variation.  Could be 4-2-5, 3-3-5, 2-4-5, 4-1-6, or something we’ve never even thought of.  On offense this would be a 3-WR set or 4-WR set or 2-TE set or something like that.  The options get really crazy there.

Andy Reid was creative on offense, but I never thought of him as doing a good job with different packages.  Think about the Saints.  They throw to Lance Moore in the slot.  They throw downfield to Joe Morgan (or Devery Henderson or Robert Meachem).  Marques Colston gets jump balls.  Darren Sproles is used on the perimeter.  Jimmy Graham is the one guy that moves around all over.  The Saints may seem to have defined roles, but due to good design by Sean Payton and good execution by Drew Brees, you can’t stop them with any consistency.

Think about the way the Packers spread the ball among several WRs, an athletic TE, and the other misc receivers.  They’re able to involve a lot of skill players.

We always found ourselves asking why Riley Cooper, Clay Harbor, and the backup RBs weren’t involved more. Andy mixed in other players, but not with the kind of regularity that let them have defined roles and develop as hoped.  The offense was great when it worked, but was highly erratic.

I expect Chip Kelly to be better with sub-packages.  He has stressed that he wants players who can be used in a variety of ways.  This desire for versatility leads me to think he’s hoping to mix in everyone and be less set in a base offense.  I bring this up because it ties in to the Tavon Austin discussion we had.

Several people raised the concern that having Austin, Mac, and DJax on the field at the same time would mean the Eagles were really small.  That would be somewhat true.  But that assumes that Kelly would play them together most of the time.  What if you line up James Casey and either Arrelious Benn or Riley Cooper out there?  You could put Austin in the slot with 2 big guys outside of him and then run a WR screen to that side.

I expect Kelly to mix and match players to find the right combination.  He could go big with Benn, Cooper, Casey, Celek, and Shady on the field at once.  He could go small with Mac, DJax, and Austin out there.  Heck, imagine if Damaris Johnson was there as well.

Chip wants mis-matches.  Andy tried to get them by play design more than personnel combinations.  I’m hoping Chip is better in this area than Andy was.  And as far as going small…this is not such a bad thing if it is used right.  Remember how deadly the Rams were with Holt, Bruce, and Az-Hakim?  You need to get the ball to those guys quickly and let them take advantage of their RAC skills.  Andy was slow to embrace the WR screen, but that did start to work well the last 2 years.  I would hope the Eagles can continue that and maybe even get better in that area.  It will help to have Jason Peters out there leading the way instead of Dunlap/Bell (the horror, the horror).

On defense, sub-packages will also be important.  I’ve talked about how the Eagles could almost go with one set of players for the 3-4 pass rushers and another set in the 4-man fronts (base Nickel, Dime).  You could start Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham in the 3-4 and then go with Vinny Curry and Trent Cole in the 4-3.  Or you could switch that up to find the best possible duos.

Football is so specialized these days that you aren’t going to be in base sets but about half of the time.  Heck, might even be less.  This has to affect your personnel decisions.  Think about the argument of Star Lotulelei vs Shariff Floyd.  Let’s say we’re in the base 4-3 Under.  Floyd would probably be the 3-tech DT.  Fletcher Cox would be the 5-tech DE.  Now you go to the Nickel, let’s say a 4-2-5.  Do you have Cox as the NT and Floyd as the 3-tech in this set?  Understand that the NT would play a shade alignment and would be attacking upfield, not eating up blocks.

If you draft Lotulelei, he would be the 5-tech DE in the 4-3 Under with Cox playing the 3-tech role.  In Nickel sets, Lotulelei would be the NT and Cox would stay as the 3-tech.  These are the kinds of possibilities you must consider as you make plans for how to build the team.  Keep in mind…there is no right/wrong answer.  You’re just trying to figure out who you want to add and then how you want to use your players.

* * * * *

Q&A

Chip mentioned ankle flexibility.  What is he looking for?  You need players who can bend and turn.  This happens at the waist, knees, and ankles.  Some guys have “table legs”.  This is when the leg just doesn’t bend much.  I don’t know how to describe what you’re looking for exactly, but you can usually pick out stiff ankles pretty quickly.  Watch players get in their stance.  You can see flexibility there.  Watch then cut and turn.  You can absolutely see who has stiff ankles.

How does Austin compare to DJax?  Different players.  DeSean is a pure WR.  Austin was a WR/RB hybrid.  He had 21 carries against Oklahoma this year.  For his career, he was 109-1031-6.  That’s a fair amount of run plays for a WR.  While at Cal, DeSean had 24 runs and 1 TD.  He was used strictly on end arounds.  Austin was used on run plays and not just trick stuff.  He’s much more comfortable in traffic and working the middle than DeSean.

If we trade down, could we go for a G?  Possible, but doesn’t seem likely.  Part of the attraction to drafting an OT is that he could replace Peters if need be.  The OG would free up Herremans to slide to LT (with Kelly at RT), but you don’t get the overall value.  If Chip/Howie think that Warmack or Cooper can be elite, maybe we go for them anyway.

What about Alex Okafor?  The good version, I’d love to have.  The guy from the bowl game was terrific.  Unfortunately, he’s an inconsistent player and that is the big knock on him.  Failed to stand out at the Senior Bowl.  Struggled against top competition.  Talented player, but underachievers from Texas rarely pan out in the NFL.  Caveat emptor.

Competition at P/PK?  The Eagles are very high on Alex Henery.  He’ll have some camp competition, but nothing overly serious.  Matt McBriar should get a serious challenge.  I don’t know if they’ll draft a Punter, sign a top UDFA, or add a veteran, but McBriar needs good competition.

_


  • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

    andy was funny like that. he was def never good at moving offensive players around, and when he did he would but avant in the backfield at RB lol like avant is explosive enough to worry defenses

    • TommyLawlor

      Andy was a tease. He would do good things here and there, but not with any consistency. The guy does know how to design pass plays, though.

      • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

        hey tom, did foles run an uptempo no huddle offense in college?

        • TommyLawlor

          They did some of that, but I’m not sure how much.

          • GGeagle21

            if I remember correctly, they did run a nice amount of Hurry up…Foles also seemed ok at it this past year…I remember one play in one of fOles first starts…hurried the team up to the line, called a play, read the defense, audible and checked into a quick screen that Burned the defense for like 12 yards and a 1st down…it was something so simple, yet I thought to myself, VIck would have never been able to do that

          • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

            interesting.

    • nicolajNN

      I think he did well creating mis-matches with Westbrook, but other than that not so much

      • http://www.hazepiffbudweedcheeba/blazeituppleasepeacetocheeba.com micksick

        true. he put westy all over the place.

        • Sb2bowl

          Westy was a special player; I think he is the reason that Reid fell so in love with the 3rd round “project” player…….. a guy with possibility, but with bust potential as well (look at our history of 3rd rounders under Reid after Westbrook)

  • nicolajNN

    How does different personnel groups work and tie in with the hurry up offense? I know part of the idea is to prevent the defense from making substitutions, but what about the offense can you change groups or individual players between play?

    • ACViking

      As soon as the offense changes personnel, the refs MUST let the defense decide whether to make matching substitutions.

      At that point, it’s think it’s all about anticipating match ups and defensive calls.

      And it’s damn hard for defenses to find 4-5 DBs who can cover 4-5 WRs. So defenses compensate by trying to the force the QB to make a quick decision which leads to a pass short of the 1st down marker.

      • xeynon

        Another thing that’s worth noting is that having players who can play multiple positions like Casey and Benn allows you to change formations without making substitutions. With those two guys, Celek, McCoy, and Jackson as the five skill guys on the field, the offense could go 3 WRs, 2 TEs/1 back, any of the various 2 back sets, or even a “heavy” 2 TE/2 back package, assuming Benn can hack it well enough as a second TE to hold a backside block. Add another versatile player like Tavon Austin into the mix and you have even more options. Makes it tough on the defense, particularly when you’re getting to the line and running off a new play every 20 seconds as Kelly’s no huddle aims to do.

    • TommyLawlor

      Running sub-packages would be an alternative to the no-huddle or you would leave one sub-package on the field for several plays at a time and then rotate a new group in.

  • Baloophi

    I must admit I’m disappointed that a blog post about sub packages has absolutely no discussion of deli meats or the Soviet fleet.

    • ACViking

      You’re think of Koch’s Deli by U-Penn. By the time you got home to eat your enormous sandwich, the owners had filled you up with free meats and cheese while waiting in line.

      The Soviets did the same with borscht.

      • GGeagle21

        Wow…I literally never ran into anyone who knew about Koch’s deli….That place was like the highlight of my Drexel career…Koch’s is a Philly GEM!!!

        • xeynon

          Didn’t go to either Penn or Drexel myself, but was born and raised in the Philly area and spent some time in Lansdowne, Delaware country. My mother still works at a school not far from Koch’s and trust me, everybody in the area knows about it, not just students at those schools.

      • austinfan

        Koch’s is still there?
        That takes me back decades to my Penn days.
        “Have a highball at nightfall . . . ”
        Of course, after the 4th highball, no one remembered the words to the rest of the song.

    • TommyLawlor

      I should have talked more about the Red October and how it will be key to our playoff hopes. The caterpillar drive was designed by the naval version of a sport science coordinator.

  • austinfan

    Cone drill and short shuttle are crude measures of flexibility, short shuttle more in terms of being able to explode into a change of direction, the cone drill a matter of keeping your hips low and continually shifting your weight as you change direction. Like most drills, you learn more from a bad performance (you practiced that for two months and you still suck?) than a great one. One interesting thing I’ve noted, the top box safeties tend to run very fast cone drills, maybe because they need to be able to quickly change direction to track RBs and slot WRs.

    I think wants players on both sides of the ball who can competently fill mutlple roles, so he’s not signalling his intent, Casey for example can line up at FB, split out as a “F” or even a WR, or even in-line as a TE. So putting him on the field doesn’t tell the defense what you’re gonna do. Barwin can line up as the predator or drop into space. Sopoaga has experience at NT and the “5″. Cox as he fills out could probably line up at all three spots.

    One reason he might prefer Richardson to Floyd is height, with a taller DL you can have them attack gaps or pretend to, stay on the LOS and get their hands up while someone else is hitting a gap – again, ways of keeping the QB and the OL guessing.

    Since Chip likes to hurry up and keep the other team’s base defense on the field, he probably wants a base defense that isn’t as vulnerable to that tactic.

  • nopain23

    Hey T

    To me the FA additions provided more questions than answers. We signed a rush OLB, a couple of safeties a couple of DB’s and a NT. However, Jordan a rush OLB, Milliner a DB and Star a NT/DT are still in play at 4 and then there’s Geno ( want no part of him by the way). This draft is both thrilling and terrifying at the same time. Where do Cole, Curry and Graham fit in the new scheme
    ???? Last year we ( iggles fans) were pretty much split between Cox and Luke “skywalker”. This year it’s a free for all. Fisher or Star is the safe pick, Geno is the riskiest and Jordan has the “WOW” factor. With Connor and Jordan on the field at the same time that would be the top OLB duo in the league from day 1. Both guys can cover and rush the passer. I say draft Jordan and let those two wreak havoc on the NFC east for the next 5-8 years especially with RG3 in the division..

    • ACViking

      Generally, commenters are giving Geno a good beating.

      But what if — and no one’s seems to talk about it (yet) — Geno’s scouting report says “accurate, good touch, quick decision maker”?

      Now I understand that at this point, Geno’s decision making — especially during WV’s latter-season losing streak — was disappointing.

      But what about accuracy and touch down field. (Not 1-10 yards.)

      I defer to the opinion’s of others on those two characteristics.

      [AUSTINFAN . . . where are you?]

      But to my way of thinking (relying on Bill Walsh’s views and 45+ years of watching the likes of Norm Snead, Rick Arrington, Pete Liske, Mike Boryla, Randall R-Peete, B-Hoying, and even Donovan and Jaws) . . . accuracy is what separates even damned good from the very great QBs.
      ___________________

      Anyway, I leave it to others better able to evaluate Geno’s accuracy.

      ‘Cause if Geno’s damned accurate, what’s the argument for passing on him — besides decision-making?

      His WV team had 21 other guys plus a HC who’s favorite play was a pass BEHIND the LOS.

      • GGeagle21

        I don’t know man…Geno scares me. I don’t see him functioning that well in anything short of a crystal clear pocket, and that’s not something he will always get in the NFL…for someone so athletic, I still think Foles throws on the run better than Geno does, and I’m pretty certain it will take some time for Geno to get used to keeping his eyes down field when on the run from pressure, something that Foles was freakishly able to do right off the bat under the harshest conditions..I can’t help but imagine where Foles would have been drafted had he spent his career under center, working with what Geno had to work with…Conversly, had Geno been on that bad Arizona team that Foles tried to put on his back, I don’t see any way that we would be talking about Geno as a 1st round pick..of course this is a subjective and imaginary post that I could never back up with Facts…I just don’t have much belief in Geno or EJ…nOt that I’m sold on Foles being the answer, but it only costs us 3rd round chump change to see what we can turn Foles into…Geno and EJ, for me, are sooo not worth using the 4th pick or having to give away picks trading up to try and get EJ….I keep getting this feeling that the niners will snatch up EJ anyway

      • austinfan

        My problem with Geno is that he played worse as the opposing defense got better, the smaller the windows, the more cautious he became. Now that may have been coaching, but the guy he reminds me of in the pros is Alex Smith. Geno has a better arm than Smith, but both QBs lack confidence, and don’t make the difficult throws. They don’t force interceptions, but they’re not the guys I want driving down for two scores in the 4th quarter. Now Smith showed some gumption in the 2011 playoffs, so maybe Andy can turn him into more than a caretaker, and the same with Geno. But that makes him a project, someone you have to bring along carefully, and you don’t use the #4 pick on project QBs.

        Of course, Chip may see a QB who’d thrive in his system, where he doesn’t have to make a lot of tough throws or go through a complex progression. On the other hand, if his system is so QB friendly, why use a top pick on one?

      • Ark87

        People act like it is safe to pass on Geno, but if we pass on him and the guy turns out to be a franchise QB for say…Buffalo while we clearly don’t have a QB…shew. If we go through the 2014 season and we still don’t have a franchise QB, people will be glaring back at this draft.

        So Chip and Howie either have to hope someone takes him before us, or we pick up an All-Pro in his stead.

      • xeynon

        ‘Cause if Geno’s damned accurate, what’s the argument for passing on him — besides decision-making?

        Didn’t see a lot of WVU last year (not much of a college FB fan), but my understanding is that he really struggled against heavy pressure. This is true of all QBs of course, but some get the yips worse than others in a chaotic pocket. Accuracy and good decision making aren’t much use if they go out the window when a guy is afraid of taking a lick.

    • Mac

      I’m intrigued with trying to get lane johnson or kyle long from this draft.

  • ACViking

    Re: Specialized Sub-Packages — the More Things Change . . .

    Back in 1972, the Redskins’ brilliant but paranoid head coach George Allen — an M.O. that could apply to Bill Belichick, whose coaching tree traces to Allen — invented the first “sub-package” on defense.

    He installed the first “Nickel DB” and birthed the first 4-2-5 package, removing MLB Myron Pottios and alternating DBs Ted Vactor and Leslie “Speedy” Duncun (both of whom also took turns on PR and KR) as his “Nickel Back.” Neither Vactor nor Duncan, at that point in his career, were starter quality. But they were better in coverage than the lumbering Pottios.

    And the first major change to the arms race since the T-formation was installed was born.

    The Nickel was soon countered. And by an equally brilliant offensive football mind.

    By 1976, one of the great architects of the modern passing game, then-St. Louis Cardinals coach, Don “Air” Coryell made the 3 WR, 1 HB and 1 TE package a standard part of his 3rd down arsenal. Coryell would pull FB Jim Otis and insert WR Pat Tilley in the slot (who looked like, was built like, and played like Wes Welker). On the outside, the WRs were the great Mel Gray and Earl Thomas. At TE was JV Cain (big and fast for those times; like a Jimmy Graham). The HB was the multi-weapon Terry Metcalf (Westbrook before Westbrook).

    Equally notable was the Cowboys’ installation of the Shotgun formation in 1975 with RB-receiving specialist Preston Pearson replacing Robert Newhouse. (The irony of the Cowboys’ offensive creativity under Tom Landry is that he was defensive coach by training.

    And no one but Landry ever used the complex “Flex” defense, except Landry’s former assistant Dick Nolan when he was the 49ers HC from ’68-’75.

    I’d surmise that was because for nearly 20 years the “Flex Defense” required — and Cowboys found — tall, long, athletic DLs — yes, Long and Tall — like 6’5 HOF DT Bob Lilly, 6’6″ DT Jethro Pugh, 6’6″ DE George Andrie, 6’4″ DE Willie Townes, 6’5″ DE Larry Cole, 6’5″ DE Pat Tommey — and then the likes of 6’9″ Ed “Too Tall” Jones, 6’5″ Harvey Martin, 6’4″ HOF DT Randy White, and 6’6″ DT John Dutton.

    There’s something to be said for defense filled with long, tall players across the front. (Chip Kelly, are you a student of Tom Landry? Maybe. Just Maybe.)

    ____________________

    By the late ’70s, the 4-2-5 and 4-1-6 package was a central part of most NFL defenses. Just as the 3-WR package on offense and sub-packages involving receiving specialists at RB had to be.

    Vermeil’s 1980 Eagles used Rodney Parker as his slot WR in place of FB Leroy Harris. And RB Billy Campfield would often replace Wilbert Montgomery at HB on passing downs. (Parker caught a long TD in the 1980 SB that was called back because WR Harold Carmichael was flagged for moving toward the LOS as he came in motion form the left just before the snap. Sealed the outcome of that very depressing afternoon.)

    On passing downs back in the ’79-’81 period, Dick Vermeil’s Eagles’ 3-4 base defense, under D-Coordinator Marion Campbell, changed up to a 4-man front. And late in games, Campbell sometimes even used a 3-2-6 defense.

    Vermeil’s 1980 SB team made the following changes for the 4-2-5:

    LDE 6’8″ Dennis “Big Foot” Harrison slid inside from LDE to LDT; NT Charlie Johnson came out of the game for RDT Kenny Clarke; ILB Bill Bergey — playing on a weak left knee injured in ’79 — came out in favor of LDE Claude Humphrey; and LOLB John Bunting was replaced by “Nickel Back” Richard Blackmore. The RDE remained Carl “Big Daddy” Hairston. And the LBs were ILB Frank Lemaster and ROLB Jerry Robinson. The other DBs were LCB Roynell Young, RCB Herm Edwards (MM-I), Safties Randy Logan and Brenard Wilson.

    On long 3rd downs, the Eagles went to their 4-1-6 with ILB Lemaster coming out for DB (and former UCLA QB) John Sciarra. And late in games, Campbell used his 6 DBs, and 2 LBs — Lemaster and Robinson — but pulled DT Big Foot Harrison, flooding the passing lanes with the Eagles 8 best pass-defenders.
    ______________

    So T-Law’s surely right. NFL offenses and defenses are more and more specialized — both in scheme and personnel.

    But like Chipper Kelly’s said, these schemes — or least their foundations — have been around for a while.

    It’s an arms race. So . . . hey, hey, hey . . . let’s be careful out there.

    • Flyin

      I have no humanely idea how you produce these awesome historic recounts of the Eagles and the rest of the league. Thank you.

    • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

      I up-voted this comment before I read it all the way through, because I knew it would be great. Thanks again, AC Viking.

    • TommyLawlor

      Was that an intentional Hill Street Blues reference? if so, awesome.

      And great info, as always.

    • GGeagle21

      impressive Intel. Thank you for sharing

    • Sb2bowl

      AC as in Atlantic City? If so, I’m up in Northeast PA, would love to catch an Eagles game with you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.verhoog Matthew Verhoog

    The WR Screen worked well, except when Maclin fumbled the ball.

    • TommyLawlor

      Jeremy Maclin never makes mistakes. Quit telling lies.

    • wilbertmontgomery

      Watching the FishDuck.com tutorials on Chip’s offense at Oregon, I think the WR screen will be a major factor in whatever Chip decides to do in the NFL. He seems to be hedging his bets on the read option as a base component of this offense but the WR screen accomplishes a very similar thing without exposing the QB as much. Once you can convince the D that you are going to run the ball one direction through tendency, which might actually be easier to do in the NFL than in college, you have space and numbers on the backside – not to mention you start to make the defense second guess themselves with regard to what they believe they know about your tendencies. This gives your power run game an advantage as the game and season wears on. I’m very excited about this approach to offense.

  • Flyin

    Thanks for addressing ankle flexibility. To hear Chip Kelly get that specific on what he looks for intrigued me. I felt like it was an underlying qualifier for good bend, agility and being able to turn the corner. I just get the sense that Chip seems to take things one step further. Analyzes things a little deeper, maybe a little different than the norm.

  • Mac

    Still sayin i like the value of Goodwin in rd 3.

    • TommyLawlor

      Great speed, good potential.

  • GGeagle21

    Casey and Benn on the field together is the sub package that will allow Chip to puppet Master opposing DC’s, pulling their strings all day long. The versatility of Benn and Casey are extremely valuable to Chip…

    as for Defense, I have to believe that we will be in a lot of 4-2-5 as our Nickle package…Can you imagine our Nickle LB speed if we can throw Kendricks and DIOn Jordan out there together on 3rd? It also makes sense to go to that 4man front on 3rd down since Sopo will come off the field, and we have so much 4-3DE experience on our roster…..The sub packages under chip will be a thing of Beauty. GOOD TIMES..scratching and surviving…Good tImes lol

  • mark2741

    Ankle flexibility *is* huge. I have very poor flexibility and didn’t realize just how bad until a few months ago, when I developed a bad case of insertional achilles tendonosis. On rest, physical therapy, and tons of mobility work now as a result. But I’m excited to get this thing healed because my mobility is now through the roof, and the doc/PT says my soccer game should be immensely improved as a result.

  • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

    With such a large coaching staff, nutritionists, sports scientists, and a team of collage artists to make up Chip Kelly’s wacky signs during the game, space on the sideline will be at a premium this season. That’s why I think Kelly will draft Travis Kelce to complete his “Bearcat Package,” a group of highly conditioned two-way players who will never leave the field. Introducing:

    DE/FB Trent Cole
    C/ILB Jason Kelce
    OLB/WR Connor Barwin
    TE/SS Brent Celek
    TE/OLB Travis Kelce

    Needless to say, these guys will also play special teams. Due to his advanced age, Cole will be permitted to hold on field goals and PATs.

    • Anders

      Wouldnt Barwin be OLB/TE as that was what he was in college? T Kelce should be TE/DT

      • http://twitter.com/alex_karklins Alex Karklins

        These players will move all over the formation and will refuse to be pigeonholed! My position designations are a concession to the TV networks for player introductions, nothing more.

  • Lukekelly65

    Jamie Collins is a mid round guy that interests me. i watched him againist Nebraska and there are some plays the guy flashes and makes a great play or shows great speed but then other plays hardly even fires off the ball and on run plays he needs to get off blocks quicker but the guy has a ton of talent I think if he gets coached up and has a vet infront of him to teach him the ropes he could turn out to be a good player and a real steal in the mid rounds

    • D3FB

      Unfortunately Collins is probably going to go in the late first or second.

  • GGeagle21

    Vollmer signed with the Patriots.. SIGH. Hopefully howie stops playing chicken and signs winston

    • A_T_G

      Do we know that they wanted him? I know some fans were hoping we would get him, but did we hear any official interest from the team? I certainly don’t think you can say we were too cheap or passive in free agency.

  • Cliff

    When the Oregon Ducks entered the national media spotlight under Kelly, I remember reading a NY Times essay on Chip. The article described his fast-paced practices, but also mentioned that there is a “rhythm” to the way he calls plays on offense so that one play is designed to end with players on the “correct” side of the field to begin the next play. Supposedly, that allows Oregon to keep moving down the field at a much quicker pace in the no-huddle.

    So, my question is – is this a common thing when teams run a no-huddle?

  • austinfan

    Thinking about subpackages:

    Offense

    - will the 2 TE be the base formation, or two backs? Is Casey the FB?

    - will both DeSean and Maclin be on the field in base formations? That would hurt your running game

    - will a “jumbo” formation be a package? Cooper, Avant or Benn as the WRs/2 TEs and Brown in the backfield?

    - will there be a smurf package? DeSean and Maclin with D Johnson in the slot?

    - Does Harbor even have a role anymore?

    Defense

    - 4-3 under the base formation, Thornton-Sopoaga-Cox-Cole with Barwin at SLB?

    - 4-2-5, pull Sopoaga, Thornton inside to DT, Graham/Curry to LDE, Barwin rotates with Cole at RDE? Add a true “3″ as a designated pass rusher and move Cox to NT?

    - 3-3-5, Barwin stays at SLB, Cox to NT, Thornton/Sopoga to the “5″, Cole as a pass rushing 3-4 DE?

    It would look like drafting a DT who can pass rush as well as a NT would be priorities in the draft, provides more flexibility on defense.

    Wonder if they’d also want to look for an Adrian Wilson type SS/LB clone for subpackages, you’d be looking for a 4.6/220 lb safety with good hips?

    • A_T_G

      I would think you could find a role for Harbor in that jumbo package you mentioned. One less WR, Harbor as the second TE and Casey as the fullback.

      • Mac

        Do you guys think Harbor will be 100%? I like Harbor and what he brings to the team, but that was a nasty back injury last year.

    • mlopy

      Cooper Taylor in the 6.-7. round, could potentially be an Adrian Wilson type