Grizzly Tackle ~ David Reader ~ Clemson Tigers
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: Mediocre. Not bad for'is Size, mind you, but his Launch Velocity, Fluidity, and Acceleration are all mediocre.
Combat Skills: Mediocre. His Persistence varies, and his Mechanics are pretty raw.
Intangibles: Awful. Poor Field Vision and lousy Conditioning. And impressive Motor, but no Stamina.
Run Defense: Reader has the Potential to develop into a dominant Run Blocker at the Point of Attack, if he develops his Combat Skills and Field Vision, but his Range will be a Liability until he gets into better shape.
Pass Rush: He's almost universally considered a Pass Rush Liability and a Run Defense Specialist, but his Power is so intense that if he ever develops his Agility and Combat Skills, he could make an immense Impact.
I believe that with him the line between Top 10 and UFA is perilously thin.
On the one hand, he's a Mess: His Combat Skills are mediocre, his Field Vision is awful, and his Conditioning is lousy.
And he walked out on his Team, last Year.
On the other hand, his Power is phenomenal, and he flashed enough Fluidity that I'd bet cold, hard Cash that if he gets into shape and stays there, Fluidity would become a decisive Strength...And if he were to develop his Combat Skills and Processing Speed while improving his Conditioning, his potential Impact would be awesome.
He could become an absolutely demolishing Run Defender at The Point of Attack, with surprisingly decent Range, and while I wouldn't expect a lot of Sacks, his kind of Power, supplemented by impressive Fluidity and a more developed Repertoire of Pass Rush Moves, would transform him into a disruptive, marauding, BackField Terror.
But is it likely that he thus develops? No. As I see it, that is a very long Shot. His combination of Issues with Conditioning, Combat Skills, and Field Vision do not by any means persuade me that there's no way that he's got the Intelligence and Drive to invest the load of Time & Training that stands between him and Success. We don't know his whole Story, but losing a Father, as he did in 2014, can mess up anyone. But neither am I inspired to bet heavily on'm.
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!!