RoverBack ~ Keanu Neal ~ Florida Gators
For that reason, and in order to offer NomenClature that speaks not to archaic, obsolete "Positions", but rather to Skill Sets that accurately reflect the dynamic Changes of the 21st Century Game and the Roles they have spawned, I have undertaken to craft Terminology that is designed to break Skill Sets down as they really are.
Defensive Coordinators have, since Time Immemorial, employed highly creative terminology in devising Defenses and in designating Assignments. In that Spirit, I have admittedly indulged myself considerably in devising the following NomenClature. It is undeniably colorful, but I like to think that there's an underlying Logic, as well:
Rovers ~ RoverBack is my term for what Earthlings refer to as "Strong Safeties". I don't find the employment of "Safety" as a moniker for a Position to be nearly as demeaning as "LineBacker", mind you, but it's still a pretty lame term for a Gladiator, if you ask me. The Prototype would be somewhere around 6000/210, or thereabouts.
Rovers are of course Hybrids, in that they are tasked equally with Run Defense and Pass Defense.
When evaluating RoverBacks, this is how I break things down:
Agility: Acceleration, Ricochet, Fluidity, and Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!!
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Coverage: Agility and Processing Speed.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Ricochet ~ How crisply and how rapidly one breaks in a new direction.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness. Closing Speed.
* Verticity ~ The Ability ~ or lack thereof ~ to Flips Hips and Turn & Burn in Pass Coverage.
* How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the developing Play.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Processing Speed
Processing Speed: Impressive. Exceptional Run Defense Field Vision and adept in Coverage.
Run Defense: Phenomenal. Exceptional Field Vision. Tremendous Core Power, exceptional Fluidity, and impressive Combat Skills, navigating Traffic. Terrific Closing Speed, excellent Tackling, and violent, vicious Hostility!!
Pass Coverage: Impressive. Effective Processing Speed and impressive Closing Speed in Zone Coverage. Exceptional Verticity ~ that's Turn & Burn Acuity, Earthlings!! ~ in Man Coverage, though with mediocre Long Speed.
Defenses are increasingly responding to 21st Century Offenses by going to Nickle or Dime Deployments far more often than just a few Years ago. The Sub Package is the New Base, Brothers & Sisters!!
Hence, the Value of the RoverBack, a naturally Hybrid Player all along, is on the Rise.
And Keanu Neal seems to me to be custom built to thrive in this Tactical Environment.
And my God, is he Driven. Keanu Neal doesn't have the Long Speed to match up effectively with the fastest WideOuts and HalfBacks, but he can play effectively in Man Coverage against most, and he can excel in Zone Coverage against just about anyone. And in Run Defense, he has the Potential to develop into a terrifying and dominant Force.
And lest I mislead you: He'd've been a 3 Down Player and potential Star in any Era.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the invaluable Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!