So say you’re in charge a football team. Among your team’s biggest weaknesses is the fact that your defense can not generate a pass rush of any kind. Quarterback after quarterback has all day to stand back in the pocket and pick your secondary apart. This no-pass-rush problem has been a huge issue for several seasons now. You have to solve it if you ever want to contend for a title.
You try lots of things. Free agents, high draft picks, defensive scheme changes…it all fails. The fans, players, coaches, and management are all frustrated beyond belief.
But suddenly…there’s a glimmer of hope. One of your late round draft picks- an outside linebacker - is showing promise. He’s not setting the league on fire, but he’s making plays. He’s getting to the quarterback. He’s a small-school guy who is pretty raw, so there’s lots of room for improvement. Scouts and reporters around the league think that this guy could be BIG…a future star! Possibly a big part of the solution to your pass rush needs!
So let me ask you this: in this scenario, if one of your coaches suggested you move this potential new pass-rushing star to inside linebacker, you’d tell him he was nuts, right? Why would you move him to a position that takes away his biggest strength?
Well, never underestimate the Buffalo Bills when it comes to head-scratching moves. According to Mark Ludwiczak of CBSSports.com, Chan Gailey has confirmed that Arthur Moats will work out at inside linebacker instead of on the outside. Wait, what?
I’m just baffled by this move. If you don’t remember, Moats played inside linebacker during last year’s preseason and was pretty awful. He really found his groove on the outside late in his rookie season. I just don’t see how moving him back to the inside helps anyone.
The only way to defend this is that the Bills simply don’t have enough bodies at outside linebacker at the moment. With Paul Posluszny gone (and no free-agent linebacker to replace him yet), and third-round pick Kelvin Sheppard yet to sign a contract, there really aren’t many inside linebackers on the roster. If this is only a temporary move until reinforcements arrive….it’s still dumb, but I guess it’s understandable.
Now if the thinking is “we don’t need Moats on the outside because we have Shawne Merriman,” I might jump off a bridge. I’m as hopeful Merriman pans out as anyone, but you can’t place even an ounce of faith in that guy yet.
Ugh…I’ll happily eat crow if this all works out for the best, but man, does this seem dumb. We’ll just have to see how it goes.