Chip Kelly let us know today that Vinny Curry will be playing both outside linebacker and defensive end. They need somebody to backup Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham at the outside linebacker position, but Curry will also move back to his familiar defensive end slot.
“[The position switch] doesn’t mean Vinny’s not going to line up on the defensive line in the Atlanta game,” Chip Kelly said.
I think it’s a great move because he’s one of the best football players on the team. I wanted to see them make this move a while ago. They’ve got to get Curry on the football field more because of his ability to get to the passer.
Curry will be a mismatch for any running back to block him at the outside linebacker position. He’s does have a lot to learn about dropping into coverage, but I don’t see much of a difference in Curry dropping in pass coverage or Graham dropping in pass coverage. It’s not the strength of either player. They’re pass rushers and I would rather see them getting after the passer.
I like the fact that playing Curry at outside linebacker will get him on the field more because there’s no such thing as a NFL defense having too many good pass rushers.
Chip said he’s hoping for another great year from Connor Barwin. Hopefully he does lead the NFC in sacks and go to the Pro Bowl. I think Barwin, Graham and Curry are going to get more chances to get after the passer because teams will be throwing the football more.