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Old 05-10-2009, 08:30 AM   #1
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Default How will Ayers fit in Nolans Defense

Hi Guys sorry if there is a similar thread. I there is can you let me know thread name. I basically am not really familar with Nolans Defenses from the Ravens or the 49ers and I've been trying to look at all the posts to see if any body can provide some good insight into how ayers will fit. Some posts say he'll be a 5 technique DE some say he will be a rush OLB some say he will be a hybrid combination of both. I'm assuming they'll try to use him like Justin Smith or Adalus Thomas because the builds are similar but i really have never watched them or are sure how they will be used. Can any body post something or maybe lend their knowledge to this situation.
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Old 05-10-2009, 08:44 AM   #2
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I'm not sure either, hopefully this kid will be a stud, from what I hear he has the potential to be really good.
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Old 05-10-2009, 09:44 AM   #3
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Probably won't answer you question completely, but this should be a step in the right direction:

http://www.orangemane.com/BB/showthread.php?t=76570
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:04 AM   #4
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Premier, I've seen much of Nolan's defense and I believe Ayers will be used like Justin Smith was in San Francisco last year in the role of the Joker. Generally the Joker is versatile and effective in helping to set other guys up for big plays.

My guess is that Ayers will be listed as the starting SOLB in the 3-4. I think you'll see him play that position, as well as 3-4 DE, 4-3 DE and even some 4-3 DT depending on the circumstance. Last year, Nolan played Smith at all of those positions and in a recent interview, Ayers said he's been working with Don Martindale (LB Coach) and Wayne Nunnely (DL coach). Because Ayers has limited-to-no experience in coverage, is a rookie, and the Broncos have better coverage LBs in DJ, Boss and Woodyard - I imagine the Broncos will move him around to have him rushing the passer as much as possible and limit his coverage responsibilities. Also keep in mind that Nolan almost exclusively used a 4-man DL in passing situations so we could see Ayers and Dumervil at the DE spots with Kenny Peterson and Darrell Reid at DT on 3rd downs. This would allow the Broncos to go with two of the three LBs listed above to provide an effective pass-covering LB corps in the nickle and dime packages. I think the greatest challenge will come when teams pass and particularly, play-action pass, on 1st and 2nd downs if Ayers is at SOLB. Assuming the other OLB is likely to be Dumervil or Reid - neither of the OLBs would be experienced in coverage and unless both are blitzing - one will have to play in space. It'll be interesting to see how quickly those guys come along because if team's are picking on us in those situations we may need to move guys around and get Boss or Woodyard on the field.

All-in-all, I expect him to move around quite a bit - in hopes of creating opportunities for Dumervil, Reid and others.

Last edited by montrose; 05-10-2009 at 10:08 AM..
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:35 AM   #5
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Premier, I've seen much of Nolan's defense and I believe Ayers will be used like Justin Smith was in San Francisco last year in the role of the Joker. Generally the Joker is versatile and effective in helping to set other guys up for big plays.

My guess is that Ayers will be listed as the starting SOLB in the 3-4. I think you'll see him play that position, as well as 3-4 DE, 4-3 DE and even some 4-3 DT depending on the circumstance. Last year, Nolan played Smith at all of those positions and in a recent interview, Ayers said he's been working with Don Martindale (LB Coach) and Wayne Nunnely (DL coach). Because Ayers has limited-to-no experience in coverage, is a rookie, and the Broncos have better coverage LBs in DJ, Boss and Woodyard - I imagine the Broncos will move him around to have him rushing the passer as much as possible and limit his coverage responsibilities. Also keep in mind that Nolan almost exclusively used a 4-man DL in passing situations so we could see Ayers and Dumervil at the DE spots with Kenny Peterson and Darrell Reid at DT on 3rd downs. This would allow the Broncos to go with two of the three LBs listed above to provide an effective pass-covering LB corps in the nickle and dime packages. I think the greatest challenge will come when teams pass and particularly, play-action pass, on 1st and 2nd downs if Ayers is at SOLB. Assuming the other OLB is likely to be Dumervil or Reid - neither of the OLBs would be experienced in coverage and unless both are blitzing - one will have to play in space. It'll be interesting to see how quickly those guys come along because if team's are picking on us in those situations we may need to move guys around and get Boss or Woodyard on the field.

All-in-all, I expect him to move around quite a bit - in hopes of creating opportunities for Dumervil, Reid and others.
At 6'-3" 272 lbs Ayers is way too small in weight to play 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DT. He's just barely big enough to play a 4-3 DE. Justin Smith was 6'-4" 290 pounds that's why Nolan was able to move him around like he did. Make no mistake Ayers wil be playing OLB in a 3-4 or DE in a 4-3.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:37 AM   #6
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At 6'-3" 272 lbs Ayers is way too small in weight to play 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DT. He's just barely big enough to play a 4-3 DE. Justin Smith was 6'-4" 290 pounds that's why Nolan was able to move him around like he did. Make no mistake Ayers wil be playing OLB in a 3-4 or DE in a 4-3.
It's not uncommon to push a 280 pounder inside on passing downs if he plays with good leverage.

I think he will play a lot of DE this yr.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:40 AM   #7
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Also Ayers frame looks pretty big. I think he will be 285 when it is all said and done. Won't be for another 18 months or so but I do think he get's bigger.

That is unless they really see him as an OLB then he probably stays where he is at.

For some reason though I see him ending up mostly at DE.
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Old 05-10-2009, 10:43 AM   #8
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It's not uncommon to push a 280 pounder inside on passing downs if he plays with good leverage.

I think he will play a lot of DE this yr.
I believe that's quite possible in a 4-3 line up. There's a reason that the ideal DE in a 3-4 is usually 6'-3"+ & 290-300 in weight. Ayers before camp can possiblely gain the weight but how long can he hold on to it.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:20 AM   #9
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Nolan almost exclusively used a 4-man DL in passing situations so we could see Ayers and Dumervil at the DE spots with Kenny Peterson and Darrell Reid at DT on 3rd downs.
Fascinating approach there .... nimble, quick D-line.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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Ayers is gonna be a pass rushing linebacker and an end on a 4 man front

I remember McDaniels saying he "plays bigger than his size", so I guess it is possible he could also move around to 3-4 end or 4-3 tackle, but the fact he is working with Martindale, and Martindale did say he "was his guy", means he is gonna drop back at times.

Hopefully his senior bowl performance was just the tip of the iceberg
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:51 AM   #11
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I remember McDaniels saying he "plays bigger than his size", so I guess it is possible he could also move around to 3-4 end or 4-3 tackle.
I remember McD saying that too. I thought it meant Ayers would be a 3-4 DE . The Denver Post reported he would be a DE, but then went back on that and said SOLB. So I dunno.

What I do know is, we are so weak at NT and 3-4 DE, I wouldn't be surprised if Nolan basically scraps the 3-4 for now ... maybe just throws an unbalanced line with one DE backing off and standing up in select situations. We have virtually no D-linemen for a 3-4 ... maybe Marcus Thomas and Kenny Peterson at DEs, but that's about it. Ron Fields, at 315 pounds, with his FIVE career starts, does not inspire confidence.


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Hopefully his senior bowl performance was just the tip of the iceberg
This part kinda scares me ... Robert Ayers and Tyson Jackson both just FLEW up the draft boards in the weeks leading up. I drafted Ayers at pick #36 in the OM Mock just a month before the draft, and at the same time Tyson was picked in mocks to go to us at 12 or even 18.

This scares me because, this was such a poor draft for D-linemen, maybe these guys jumped up so dramatically because there were so few linemen. I wonder where these two would be slotted in a normal D-line draft year.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:10 PM   #12
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At 6'-3" 272 lbs Ayers is way too small in weight to play 3-4 DE or a 4-3 DT. He's just barely big enough to play a 4-3 DE. Justin Smith was 6'-4" 290 pounds that's why Nolan was able to move him around like he did. Make no mistake Ayers wil be playing OLB in a 3-4 or DE in a 4-3.
Jarvis Green for many years was listed at around 270 pounds for the Patriots and he was a starting DE for them.

I believe McDaniels referenced in one of his press confrences that you don't have to be 300 pounds to play DE in a 3-4, you could be a "Jarvis Green" type of DE.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:25 PM   #13
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Fascinating approach there .... nimble, quick D-line.
Eh...Marcus Thomas?

Why do I keep seeing Darrell Reid mentioned as a starter? He was a UDFA and he's been a backup his entire 5 years in the NFL. He's a special teams ace. That's ALL he is. Yet I continue to see him penciled in as starting. If Darrell Reid is starting on this defense we have bigger problems that I realized. I'm not even sure if he makes the team or not, let alone starts.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:30 PM   #14
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Eh...Marcus Thomas?

Why do I keep seeing Darrell Reid mentioned as a starter? He was a UDFA and he's been a backup his entire 5 years in the NFL. He's a special teams ace. That's ALL he is. Yet I continue to see him penciled in as starting. If Darrell Reid is starting on this defense we have bigger problems that I realized. I'm not even sure if he makes the team or not, let alone starts.
Because all reports from mini camps have him and Dumervil starting at OLB.

Not defending Reid, but James Harrison was also a UDFA and backup for 5 years.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:36 PM   #15
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Eh...Marcus Thomas?
When I said "nimble" I was referring to montrose's projected situational line of Dumervil, Reid, Peterson and Ayers.

But I do think MT is pretty nimble for a DT, even for a 3-4 DE.

The prototypical 3-4 DE is now Justin Bannan of the Ravens (CU Buffs, baby). I think MT's skill set compares pretty favorably to Bannan. And like Justin, he can move inside some ... Bannan slides over to spell Ngata at NT, maybe MT can do that some.


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Why do I keep seeing Darrell Reid mentioned as a starter? He was a UDFA and he's been a backup his entire 5 years in the NFL. He's a special teams ace. That's ALL he is. Yet I continue to see him penciled in as starting. If Darrell Reid is starting on this defense we have bigger problems that I realized. I'm not even sure if he makes the team or not, let alone starts.
Agreed ... all this ballyhoo for both Reid and Ron Fields is confounding to me.

Fields has 5 career starts, and now we're gonna stick him at the all-important NT position? Man I hope Powell puts on a few pounds to play some there, and/or Chris Baker makes good real quickly.

Like you with Reid, I just don't trust Fields. Not yet anyway. Nolan knows him well, so I suppose there's merit there, but still ... 5 starts in 5 years, and now he's our NT?
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:42 PM   #16
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Because all reports from mini camps have him and Dumervil starting at OLB.

Not defending Reid, but James Harrison was also a UDFA and backup for 5 years.
They had Jarvis Moss starting at OLB for a while in minicamp. Minicamp means absolutely nothing. Ten minutes into their first full contact drill at training camp, anything done in minicamp won't even be remembered.

You can always find a story somewhere of some no-name that beat the odds and did something like Harrison did, but I don't think wildly improbable exception to the rule means we ought to assume Reid goes on to do something similar.

It's just as likely we see Tim Crowder starting as we see Reid starting.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:50 PM   #17
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When I said "nimble" I was referring to montrose's projected situational line of Dumervil, Reid, Peterson and Ayers.

But I do think MT is pretty nimble for a DT, even for a 3-4 DE.

The prototypical 3-4 DE is now Justin Bannan of the Ravens (CU Buffs, baby). I think MT's skill set compares pretty favorably to Bannan. And like Justin, he can move inside some ... Bannan slides over to spell Ngata at NT, maybe MT can do that some.



Agreed ... all this ballyhoo for both Reid and Ron Fields is confounding to me.

Fields has 5 career starts, and now we're gonna stick him at the all-important NT position? Man I hope Powell puts on a few pounds to play some there, and/or Chris Baker makes good real quickly.

Like you with Reid, I just don't trust Fields. Not yet anyway. Nolan knows him well, so I suppose there's merit there, but still ... 5 starts in 5 years, and now he's our NT?
Exactly. Fields is another guy whose been a career backup. He's here because Nolan's familar with him and he was available. I'm really hoping this Baker kid comes in here with a chip on his shoulder and somehow manages to beat out Fields at NT. That would give us bigger size and probably more talent, albeit less experience...at the NT spot. Then put Thomas at RDE and Powell at LDE. That's a line that goes 310, 325 and 315. Powell has the physical strength to play the RDE spot and he made his rep in college stopping the run. Thomas is more of a penetration guy so you get a little more pass rush off the right side. Fields spells Baker at random whenever the kid is struggling. Who knows how it ends up but that seems to make the most sense right now. This whole D-line is a huge unknown right now.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:22 PM   #18
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Premier, I've seen much of Nolan's defense and I believe Ayers will be used like Justin Smith was in San Francisco last year in the role of the Joker. Generally the Joker is versatile and effective in helping to set other guys up for big plays.

My guess is that Ayers will be listed as the starting SOLB in the 3-4. I think you'll see him play that position, as well as 3-4 DE, 4-3 DE and even some 4-3 DT depending on the circumstance. Last year, Nolan played Smith at all of those positions and in a recent interview, Ayers said he's been working with Don Martindale (LB Coach) and Wayne Nunnely (DL coach). Because Ayers has limited-to-no experience in coverage, is a rookie, and the Broncos have better coverage LBs in DJ, Boss and Woodyard - I imagine the Broncos will move him around to have him rushing the passer as much as possible and limit his coverage responsibilities. Also keep in mind that Nolan almost exclusively used a 4-man DL in passing situations so we could see Ayers and Dumervil at the DE spots with Kenny Peterson and Darrell Reid at DT on 3rd downs. This would allow the Broncos to go with two of the three LBs listed above to provide an effective pass-covering LB corps in the nickle and dime packages. I think the greatest challenge will come when teams pass and particularly, play-action pass, on 1st and 2nd downs if Ayers is at SOLB. Assuming the other OLB is likely to be Dumervil or Reid - neither of the OLBs would be experienced in coverage and unless both are blitzing - one will have to play in space. It'll be interesting to see how quickly those guys come along because if team's are picking on us in those situations we may need to move guys around and get Boss or Woodyard on the field.

All-in-all, I expect him to move around quite a bit - in hopes of creating opportunities for Dumervil, Reid and others.
Montrose thanks alot thanks everyone because i was lost this does help me.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:25 PM   #19
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They had Jarvis Moss starting at OLB for a while in minicamp. Minicamp means absolutely nothing. Ten minutes into their first full contact drill at training camp, anything done in minicamp won't even be remembered.

You can always find a story somewhere of some no-name that beat the odds and did something like Harrison did, but I don't think wildly improbable exception to the rule means we ought to assume Reid goes on to do something similar.

It's just as likely we see Tim Crowder starting as we see Reid starting.
You asked why people were mentioning Reid as a starter, I told you.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:49 PM   #20
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You asked why people were mentioning Reid as a starter, I told you.
True...I suppose I was expecting a reason that made sense.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:49 PM   #21
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If he plays DE In the 34 I'm sure it will be almost exclusively on 3rd and passing downs.
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Old 05-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #22
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True...I suppose I hadn't met my quota of "being a dick" moments for the day yet.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:03 PM   #23
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I'm thinking we need to remeber some names: How about Ryan McBean, Nic Clemmons, and.....a future pro bowler named Carlton Powell......

Why do I keep seeing Darrell Reid mentioned as a starter? He was a UDFA and he's been a backup his entire 5 years in the NFL. He's a special teams ace. That's ALL he is. Yet I continue to see him penciled in as starting. If Darrell Reid is starting on this defense we have bigger problems that I realized. I'm not even sure if he makes the team or not, let alone starts.[/QUOTE]

Darrel Reid could have trouble making this team if this Thomas, and Powell, and Ayers, and some of our other studs step up...........
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:13 PM   #24
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True...I suppose I hadn't met my quota of "being a dick" moments for the day yet.
Fine...you're a smartass so why don't you explain it.
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Old 05-10-2009, 05:18 PM   #25
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I'm thinking we need to remeber some names: How about Ryan McBean, Nic Clemmons, and.....a future pro bowler named Carlton Powell......

Why do I keep seeing Darrell Reid mentioned as a starter? He was a UDFA and he's been a backup his entire 5 years in the NFL. He's a special teams ace. That's ALL he is. Yet I continue to see him penciled in as starting. If Darrell Reid is starting on this defense we have bigger problems that I realized. I'm not even sure if he makes the team or not, let alone starts.
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Darrel Reid could have trouble making this team if this Thomas, and Powell, and Ayers, and some of our other studs step up...........
Agreed. Powell especially seems promising. He's a powerful guy flying under the radar since he was on IR last year, but his run stuffing record in college is impressive and he's got the physical measurables to play the DE spot. I think Marcus Thomas could be ready to step up too but Reid has had a long time to prove something and hasn't. If he does so...great...but the reasons for optimism that he becomes anything more than special teams material are bogus at this point.
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