Will DeMeco Ryans Be On The Field For Three-Downs?BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, Linebackers, News Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
I’m confident that new Eagles middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans will be a tremendous asset to the Birds when it comes to run defense and that alone will be a major improvement over the Birds linebacker play of 2011. Most of the time, the run defense at the middle linebacker position is about instincts, quickness and aggressive which I understand that Ryans has in abundance.
Still one of the keys for how much of a difference Ryans will make in the Eagles defense will be his ability to play versus the pass. He needs to convince Birds defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and the Eagles that he’s the linebacker who should be kept on the field on third down.
Hopefully his injured Achilles tendon is all the way back. The former Pro Bowler needs to be able to move like he did when he was going to Hawaii at the end of the season.
It would be an ideal situation if he’s the linebacker on the field the most because that will mean he’s calling the defenses. He’ll likely be more comfortable than any of the other backers calling the coverages and getting the defense in blitzes on third down. Timing means everything on third down when the defense is trying to catch the quarterback and the offense off balance.
“All you have to do is turn the film on and watch him,” Kubiak said. “He runs the show. Everybody goes to him, they trust him so much and what he’s doing. He really raised Cushing in a lot of ways. … He’s just a guy on the field that gave everybody some calm: ‘Hey, I got it under control. What are we doing? What’s our adjustment?’ DeMeco let us know we got it.”
The defensive quarterback isn’t as important as the offensive quarterback, but he’s still very important. I would like to see Ryans get his hands on more balls than he has in the past. The former Alabama backer has only two interceptions in his career. The Birds need their third down linebacker to be more productive than that.
Ryans needs to get his hands on more balls and I think he’ll have a better opportunity to do that here in Philadelphia than he had during his early years in Houston. The key will be hanging onto the football when it hits his hands.
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