Grizzly Tackle ~ Kenny Clark ~ Los Angeles Bruins ~ 6025/315
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:
Grizzlies ~ This is my terminology for the larger, beefier Defensive Tackles, many of whom often see a lot of Snaps at Nose Tackle. Unlike Gorillas, they're not lengthy enough or fast enough for the classic Defensive End gig to be an optimal Deployment, but nowadays can be lined up anywhere. The Prototype'd be about 6015/325 or so.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Grizzlies may often or even routinely line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
When evaluating Grizzlies, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Torso Power is important, but Core Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. All the upper body strength in the world still fails if you can't dig in your heels. But Core Power enables a Defensive Lineman to project Power in the Passing Game and to reject Power in the Running Game.
Agility: Launch Velocity, Acceleration, and above all: Fluidity or Core Agility. Core Agility is even more essential to sustained good Health ~ and to sustained good FootBall ~ than Core Power. The ability to react with Serpentine smoothness is a tremendous asset in all Aspects of the Game, and certainly in the Hand to Hand Combat that characterizes Trench Warfare. All the Power in the World goes only so far if you're stiff and lumbering out there.
Combat Skills: Paw Power, Mechanics ~ Hand Speed & Positioning ~ and of course: Frame.
Intangibles: Processing Speed and Motor. Processing Speed or Diagnostic Velocity is about how quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to how the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape effects Blocking Schemes, and Motor is about Endurance and Drive: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Defense: Power, Agility, Combat Skills, and Processing Speed.
Pass Rush: Power, Agility, and Combat Skills.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Core Power ~ lower body Power. Core Power trumps Torso Power. Tyrannosaurus Rex had exceptional Core Power.
* Torso Power ~ upper Body Power. Important, but not crucial. T Rex had lousy Torso Power...yet was King.
* Anchoring Strength against the Run.
* Drive Power in the Pass Rush.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Frame ~ Arms, Hands, and above all: WingSpan.
* Field Vision ~ Reacting to the Tactical LandScape: It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Processing Speed ~ Field Vision. Rapidly Reading & Reacting to the Offense.
* Motor ~ Intensity and Duration.
* Combat Skills
* Processing Speed
* Combat Skills
Agility: Adequate. Decent Launch Velocity and Acceleration. Mediocre Fluidity.
Combat Skills: Excellent. Marginal WingSpan, but terrific Mechanics and an impressive Pass Rush Repertoire.
Intangibles: Excellent. Terrific Motor and excellent Field Vision.
Run Defense: He's got tremendous Potential as a Run Defender, I believe. He's impressively stout at The Point of Attack, and though he lacks Fluidity, which constrains his Range, his Motor, Processing Speed, and Field Vision add to it considerably. And his Launch Velocity and Power provide a bit of Potential as a BackField Disruptor, as well.
Pass Rush: I see less Potential as a Pass Rusher, but not a complete dearth of it. He has enough Launch Velocity and Power to potentially disrupt the Pocket, and the Pass Rush Repertoire to exploit any Advantage.
Between his shorter WingSpan and his mediocre Fluidity, I could envision'm playing a Decade without getting a Sack.
And I am certainly not on board with the general view that he is an emerging Pass Rush Threat.
However, Clark brings two Attributes to the Field of Battle of which I am extremely fond: Intelligence and Drive.
No kidding, right? But of course my point is that Trajectory acts as a multiplier. Talent without Intelligence or Drive is a waste of Talent, but even a little Talent, maximized by Intelligence and Drive, can create disproportionately huge Results.
Mind you: With that short WingSpan and that lack of Fluidity, I don't foresee Kenny Clark becoming a Pass Rushing Force.
But Combat Skills and Motor go a long way in The Trenches. I think he'll have some Success.
And he certainly looks to become an outstanding Run Defender.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!!