Poe_Boy

Use De'Vondre Campbell athleticism like Minnesota does Anthony Barr

145 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

I have to say I love our draft this year. Besides the fact we drafted my favorite prospect Takk, we choose Riley with our next selection. Drafting Riley allows Quinn to switch Campbell over to the Sam (SLB); thus allowing Quinn to get exotic with his coverage's.

Remember the Sam or SLB role in the 4-3 under base is as follows

Quote

The strongside linebacker typically is aligned on the line of scrimmage. The Sam backer has a key role in containing outside running plays while also being called on to rush the passer, or at times cover. “He has to be long enough to take on a tackle, a tight end or a back and turn the ball back and he could be a blitzer where he has enough rush skills so that he’s closer to a defensive end,’’ Quinn said.

Campbell is 6'4 with 33 5/8" arms.

Campbell has worked with former Falcon and pass-rush guru Chuck Smith, so we'll see if the Falcons use that element of his game. "It's something that I feel like I can take the next step in my game to help me become an even better player because I focus on having no weaknesses," Campbell said. "And that was one of things that I knew I needed to work on, because I have the skill-set to be a dominant pass-rusher." Campbell said he's versatile enough to rush the passer, play all three linebacker spots and even cover slot receivers.

Chuck Smith on De'Vondre Campbell

First I had to teach him a philosophy, an understanding. I gave him a system of what works and what doesn’t work. There are certain rules to the pass-rush. Some things you can do, some things you can’t depending on protection, depending on who you’re going against. There’s a difference between rushing against offensive linemen and rushing a back. There are different situations in the National Football League. We just introduced him to the art of pass-rushing. It’s a learned knowledge; it’s not something you can just jump out there and do.

De’Vondre is still learning, he’s still growing and he still has a lot to learn. But he’s quick. And one of the things that helps as a pass-rusher, in addition to speed, is being able to use your hands. I think that’s one of the things that he learned from me. For every pass-rush move, there are techniques for different hand movements and different things you have to do to have success. That’s the first step in developing the pass rusher: understanding it’s more than just being an athlete, which he’s always been.

Now to how the Vikings use Anthony Barr and how De'Vondre Campbell can use his athleticism to be just as effective

Quote

The way Zimmer is using Barr, a strong-side linebacker speaks to why the linebacker was so highly valued by the Minnesota coaching staff and front office. He has a specialized role that matches up with his strengths as a defender in a way that no other Vikings linebacker can play.

His athleticism and ability to play in space also gives Zimmer flexibility in terms of coverage. It gives the defense more variability, not tipping coverages to quarterbacks before the snap.The Vikings can still play games with Barr as a rusher.

Zimmer frequently does that in many ways. On third downs, he relies heavily on double-A-gap pressure or at least the threat of it.

 

44a081c91bf33d070ae7fea3f95edd93_crop_ex
Credit: NFL Game Rewind

If a quarterback having Barr close enough to hear the linebacker breath doesn’t rattle him a little before the snap, he is either Aaron Rodgers or is deaf.

Not all of these looks lead to both linebackers blitzing. Both can go, both can back out into coverage at the snap or just one could rush. No matter the case, it has an effect. Barr has the athleticism to make it work too.

This is the second step in how Zimmer envisioned Barr in his defense. As an interior rusher or a blitzer, Barr has too much initial explosion and quickness for interior pass-blockers. Blitzes bring out the best in his athleticism, because he was never a highly technical rusher off the edge.

Finding the best role for the young linebacker was the first step for the Vikings in grooming him into a top player.

After the responsibility was passed onto Barr, he took the assignment and ran with it.

Beyond the Vikings’ insightful usage to maximize his talent, there are two reasons why Barr has made such a palpable impact in such a short time.

The first is rather obvious. Barr is a phenomenal athlete, the type teams don’t find at the linebacker position very often. He showed off that athleticism with a spectacular third-down stop against Detroit in a play that provides another little peek into the mind of Zimmer when it comes to Barr’s usage.

 

933b19914f525b4ed25c6b95a62877ce_crop_ex
Credit: NFL Game Rewind

When Matthew Stafford receives the snap, both linebackers bail from the A-gap blitzes they showed. Bluffing the blitz still has its effect. The quarterback is persuaded to find his hot route and the receiver who can bail him out of heavy pressure. That is exactly what Zimmer wants from the Detroit Lions.

Notice the starting positions of the back and Barr. Theo Riddick, a fine athlete in his own right, actually has a head start on the linebacker.

This is where Barr’s uncommon athletic talents come into play. He chases down Riddick to the sideline, meeting him right at the line of scrimmage for a third-down stop.

 

aa4db4dafbfb3c48c8ec494ed6b1421f_crop_ex
Credit: NFL Game Rewind

Few NFL linebackers can be expected to make the play Barr did here. They just lack the range to chase down a back when isolated like this. His ability to chase down Riddick on this play allows Zimmer to play those games at the line of scrimmage, knowing Barr has the speed to recover.

The way he closes in the open field has been the driving force behind a number of plays. Clearly the Vikings saw beyond the way he was used at UCLA, as a rusher primarily, wanting to utilize his open-field speed.

Athletic talents such as Barr are not easily found, and they can be easily projected for NFL production. His on-field play is showing that.

As previously mentioned, the Vikings are emphasizing Barr’s blitzing ability instead of asking him to rush from the edge like a traditional defensive end. His quick first step, ability to slip through the cracks and closing speed to finish plays are wreaking havoc whether he shows blitzes from the line of scrimmage.

One particular play against Buffalo showed the versatility of his blitzing ability. He perfectly timed a blitz from off the ball, flying past the line of scrimmage with momentum already built up. It’s another wrinkle that brings out the best in his athletic talents.

When Barr blitzes, interior rushers simply cannot match his explosive speed and shot-area quickness. No other linebacker on the roster can make the same type of impact via the blitz.

The second reason Barr has made an immediate impact is less obvious but even more encouraging for his future.

Barr has truly learned to play the role of a traditional linebacker. He understands assignments in terms of gap discipline. He picks up on keys to diagnose plays quickly. He is also pursuing with smart angles.

Barr is still raw in coverage. His recognition of routes and footwork moving backward are expectedly a work in progress. Finishing more plays with fundamentally-sound tackling is a must as well. Expect those parts of his game to keep developing as he continues to absorb NFL coaching at a new position.

 

Edited by Poe_Boy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Poe_Boy said:

Chuck Smith on De'Vondre Campbell

First I had to teach him a philosophy, an understanding. I gave him a system of what works and what doesn’t work. There are certain rules to the pass-rush. Some things you can do, some things you can’t depending on protection, depending on who you’re going against. There’s a difference between rushing against offensive linemen and rushing a back. There are different situations in the National Football League. We just introduced him to the art of pass-rushing. It’s a learned knowledge; it’s not something you can just jump out there and do.

De’Vondre is still learning, he’s still growing and he still has a lot to learn. But he’s quick. And one of the things that helps as a pass-rusher, in addition to speed, is being able to use your hands. I think that’s one of the things that he learned from me. For every pass-rush move, there are techniques for different hand movements and different things you have to do to have success. That’s the first step in developing the pass rusher: understanding it’s more than just being an athlete, which he’s always been.

Basically the same thing Freeney told Beasley

Quote

It ultimately didn't take long for Beasley to summarize why Freeney has played such an integral role in Beasley breaking out in his second year. "He's meant so much to me," Beasley said of Freeney. "Bringing him on this team and into this organization has been a great help. He just preaches a work-hard mentality and compete at a high level and the way to prepare yourself each and every week."

"He's like a sponge," Freeney said. "He wants to learn and I am here to help. That is the role of a veteran -- to help the younger guys and advance their careers as much as possible."

When Freeney met Beasley, he saw a player who already was working hard with coaches in the offseason to hone his techniques. Freeney wanted to take things to the next level. His goal was to teach Beasley the finer points of the game: the importance of recognizing formations, the subtle changes in an offensive tackle's stance depending on run or pass plays, the various ways to set up a blocker for a rush that might not come until the next series. As Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett said, "There's so much off-the-field [film room] stuff you can learn from a guy like Dwight."

"I really took Vic under my wing," Freeney said. "Vic is a guy who has lot of the same traits I had when I was coming out of college. I was fast, quick and agile. But the thing is -- when you're young, you don't know much. You just run around and make plays because you're athletic. My thing with Vic was just to try to raise his IQ a little bit, his awareness, when you use different moves, when you don't use certain moves, (that) when you see certain protections, this is what this means so you can do different things."

 

Colin_Pernett and g-dawg like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ummm, wasn't Campbell already playing SAM, strongside contain.... I mean, I know I'm different here, never took to the moniker of Beasley being the primary "SAM". I've never really thought of a "SAM" linebacker with his hand in the dirt 95% of his snaps. To me, they tried Beasley at "SAM" at preseason and never really played him there in the regular season. Anyway, again, I thought when we did have 3 linebackers on the field, Campbell was already playing the "force" role in run fits at least that was his role the entire game "I will not mention on here" game for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Campbell played the Will and Wheeler, who they consider their best blitzer played the Sam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Poe_Boy said:

Campbell played the Will and Wheeler, who they consider their best blitzer played the Sam.

Correct they both did though, Wheeler did play SAM primarily but so did Campbell on occasion. Not every down, depended on personnel, down and distance, etc... The Chiefs game comes to mind, he played strong side almost that entire game, I want to say that entire game. 

Knight of God likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, datchrisb1 said:

Ummm, wasn't Campbell already playing SAM, strongside contain.... I mean, I know I'm different here, never took to the moniker of Beasley being the primary "SAM". I've never really thought of a "SAM" linebacker with his hand in the dirt 95% of his snaps. To me, they tried Beasley at "SAM" at preseason and never really played him there in the regular season. Anyway, again, I thought when we did have 3 linebackers on the field, Campbell was already playing the "force" role in run fits at least that was his role the entire game "I will not mention on here" game for sure.

Mostly Wheeler. Vic took a couple of snaps at SAM, Devondre took a few, but it was mainly Wheeler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, datchrisb1 said:

Ummm, wasn't Campbell already playing SAM, strongside contain.... I mean, I know I'm different here, never took to the moniker of Beasley being the primary "SAM". I've never really thought of a "SAM" linebacker with his hand in the dirt 95% of his snaps. To me, they tried Beasley at "SAM" at preseason and never really played him there in the regular season. Anyway, again, I thought when we did have 3 linebackers on the field, Campbell was already playing the "force" role in run fits at least that was his role the entire game "I will not mention on here" game for sure.

 

23 minutes ago, datchrisb1 said:

Correct they both did though, Wheeler did play SAM primarily but so did Campbell on occasion. Not every down, depended on personnel, down and distance, etc... The Chiefs game comes to mind, he played strong side almost that entire game, I want to say that entire game. 

No. Campbell didn't play SAM last year. You're probably thinking of him shifting that side some in nickel, but that's not a true SAM in this scheme. The SAM comes off the field in nickel in favor of the 3rd CB.

 

For the OP, a better comp and expected usage would be to look up how Seattle used Bruce Irvin. It's the exact same role in the exact same defense after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yall read this:

 

Quote

There are different situations in the National Football League. We just introduced him to the art of pass-rushing. It’s a learned knowledge; it’s not something you can just jump out there and do.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of Bruce Irvin, I enjoy taking every opportunity to point out his attitude is exactly what we don't want on this team.

His comments from October 2013, praising the move from LEO to SAM as saving his career:

Quote

 

The Seattle Seahawks made a surprising decision this offseason to convert Bruce Irvin from defensive end to strong-side linebacker.

Seattle elected to move Irvin off the line of scrimmage and better utilize his speed and athleticism at linebacker.

Irvin believes the position change has been a big positive for him so far this season.

“I tell (linebackers coach) Ken Norton (Jr.) everyday ‘you saved my life. You saved my career making me a linebacker.’ I thank him every day and I just got to keep working hard to make him feel like he made the right decision,” Irvin said.

“Bruce had a fantastic game for us. he was all over the place, he had eight (solo) tackles, and he had a sack and a forced fumble and a pick,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “He just looked really comfortable playing the position and all of the different things that we’re doing with him. If there was a thought that this was an experiment at one time, it’s totally working out and we’re really excited about what he’s doing.”

Irvin initially was a safety at Mount San Antonio before being moved to the defensive line. He believes the move to linebacker allows him to show off more of his ability.

“I think it shows that I’m capable of doing more than just coming in on third downs or passing situations and rushing the passer, I can drop (into coverage). I’ve got a chance to show I can make open field tackles. Man-to-man containing the running backs, rushing the tight ends and the running backs. It’s more of a complete position than being a specialist as I was last year.”

 

 

But then in March of 2015, the cried about the SAM position holding him back from reaching his potential:

 

Quote

"I honestly felt if I stayed in [Seattle’s] system, I don’t think I would ever be the player I think I can be in this league, being a pass rusher. SAM outside linebacker is cool," Irvin said. "But you can do your job the whole game at SAM linebacker and you have two tackles. I just want to be utilized more and get put in position more to make plays. I really think Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton are going to do a great of allowing me to do that."

Part of the problem, Irvin said, was dealing with more rushers coming in and being pushed into a linebacker role, where he was forced to play more coverage. 

"I was drafted to be a pass rusher. The situation in Seattle, they brought in Cliff Avril my second year and Michael Bennett," Irvin said. And I was kind of pushed into a linebacker role, which I didn’t complain. I just went with the flow. But I think Jack Del Rio and Coach Norton are really going to let me rush more. I don’t have a problem rushing, but I prefer to go forward more than I go backwards.

"Coach Del Rio watched film on me and he said he noticed I’m in coverage a lot. And he said that’s one of the things he wanted to change, was having me go forward more than I go backward."

"I haven’t even scratched what I know I can do. Like I said, Seattle kind of limited me in that defense. I did the best I could do, but I haven’t scratched my surface. I’m far from it," Irvin said. "I feel like I got a lot more great years and a lot more to prove.

According to CSN Bay Area, Irvin was in pass coverage for close to 19 percent of his snaps over the past two seasons, but he still had success getting to the quarterback when given the opportunity. The first-round pick had 11.5 sacks over the past two seasons and 22 sacks overall across four seasons.

 

What a flip-flopping whiner. BTW, he got one more sack in Oakland last year than he averaged his last two years in Seattle. I'm so glad we didn't sign him when he talked about wanting to come to Atlanta as a free agent last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good post and great point. I would love to see how Campbell would handle that role. He was a very capable blitzed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RandomFan said:

Speaking of Bruce Irvin, I enjoy taking every opportunity to point out his attitude is exactly what we don't want on this team.

His comments from October 2013, praising the move from LEO to SAM as saving his career:

 

But then in March of 2015, the cried about the SAM position holding him back from reaching his potential:

 

What a flip-flopping whiner. BTW, he got one more sack in Oakland last year than he averaged his last two years in Seattle. I'm so glad we didn't sign him when he talked about wanting to come to Atlanta as a free agent last year.

Well, think part of the 2015 quote may just be him saying what the new fan base wants him to say. Just sounds like athlete speak for, "well came here for more money, but I can't say that, so I'll talk about opportunity to make more plays in my new home." Don't follow other teams closely enough to know if he was complaining before he left Seattle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this isn't a blitz heavy team, but I like the opportunities they can have now.  With 3 fast backers and some interior penetration.

Add the man coverage that Quinn found the team could play pretty well last year, and some blitzes will have time to get home.

 

I'm very interested to see this year how much standard cover 2/3 we play vs man.  We have the horses for a lot of it now.  If Rico improves his range by recognizing quicker, or we can get more range at FS otherwise, tons of options open up.

quickzero and atlbaby like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, datchrisb1 said:

Correct they both did though, Wheeler did play SAM primarily but so did Campbell on occasion. Not every down, depended on personnel, down and distance, etc... The Chiefs game comes to mind, he played strong side almost that entire game, I want to say that entire game. 

Campbell didn't play SAM. Only WILL

Knight of God likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought Zimmer ran a 3-4 defense? Or maybe he used to. We have the personnel, with the Poe signing, and drafting Riley, to run a base 3-4 if we ever wanted to, which I don;t think Quinn has ever tried any 3-4 packages, but I'm an offensive guy, and defer to KOG and other defense Gurus for defense knowledge. I have thought Devondre would be a really good 3-4 olb/edge guy, like Clay Matthews. I think Watt may be strictly a 3-4 OLB pass rusher, Devondre has the skill set to play either, and if he had more size could play with his hand in the dirt at DE. If Brooks Reed could make that change Devondre definitely could get up to 240-250 and have success there. He seems to play best with fewer responsibilities, when he can focus on a particular assignment and pin his ears back. I would like to see more mlb blitzes this year with Deon and maybe Riley on occasion. I think Riley may play SAM this year, and use him like we did Weatherspoon last year. Any word about Weatherspoon at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, ATLSlobberKnockers said:

I thought Zimmer ran a 3-4 defense? Or maybe he used to. We have the personnel, with the Poe signing, and drafting Riley, to run a base 3-4 if we ever wanted to, which I don;t think Quinn has ever tried any 3-4 packages, but I'm an offensive guy, and defer to KOG and other defense Gurus for defense knowledge. I have thought Devondre would be a really good 3-4 olb/edge guy, like Clay Matthews. I think Watt may be strictly a 3-4 OLB pass rusher, Devondre has the skill set to play either, and if he had more size could play with his hand in the dirt at DE. If Brooks Reed could make that change Devondre definitely could get up to 240-250 and have success there. He seems to play best with fewer responsibilities, when he can focus on a particular assignment and pin his ears back. I would like to see more mlb blitzes this year with Deon and maybe Riley on occasion. I think Riley may play SAM this year, and use him like we did Weatherspoon last year. Any word about Weatherspoon at all?

Zimmer did coordinate a 3-4 for a few seasons when Parcells took over the Cowboys and retained him as DC, but he has been a 4-3 guy for the bulk of his career. Some of his sub stuff and pressure packages do have a 3-4 flavor to it however.

I never say never but I don't see any way Riley plays the SAM. The SAM in this scheme is unique from other 4-3 systems in that he plays on the line of scrimmage on top of the tight end every down. It's a dirty work position. You basically want a guy with a lot of length and that tweener/defensive end body type. To get his nose bloody and set the edge vs. the run. That's not Riley at all. He's a space player.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

33 minutes ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

Zimmer did coordinate a 3-4 for a few seasons when Parcells took over the Cowboys and retained him as DC, but he has been a 4-3 guy for the bulk of his career. Some of his sub stuff and pressure packages do have a 3-4 flavor to it however.

I never say never but I don't see any way Riley plays the SAM. The SAM in this scheme is unique from other 4-3 systems in that he plays on the line of scrimmage on top of the tight end every down. It's a dirty work position. You basically want a guy with a lot of length and that tweener/defensive end body type. To get his nose bloody and set the edge vs. the run. That's not Riley at all. He's a space player.

Does this mean Vic moves back to LEO if Campbell switches to SAM?

Edited by ShadyRef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, PeytonMannings Forehead said:

Zimmer did coordinate a 3-4 for a few seasons when Parcells took over the Cowboys and retained him as DC, but he has been a 4-3 guy for the bulk of his career. Some of his sub stuff and pressure packages do have a 3-4 flavor to it however.

I never say never but I don't see any way Riley plays the SAM. The SAM in this scheme is unique from other 4-3 systems in that he plays on the line of scrimmage on top of the tight end every down. It's a dirty work position. You basically want a guy with a lot of length and that tweener/defensive end body type. To get his nose bloody and set the edge vs. the run. That's not Riley at all. He's a space player.

Yep, Riley already said in his radio interview that the Falcons plan on playing him at WLB.

7 minutes ago, ShadyRef said:

Does this mean Vic moves back to LEO if Campbell switches to SAM?

No, since Vic never actually played SAM. Reed is still the LEO, Vic is still a nickel left DE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1.) Barr is a lot better than Campbell. That's why Barr was drafted where he was drafted and Campbell was drafted where he was drafted. 

2.) There are only so many snaps in a game and so many players on the field. The Falcons have a pretty deep front 7 and just added two new players who were drafted higher than Campbell. The wind probably isn't blowing for more snaps for Campbell. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Summerhill said:

1.) Barr is a lot better than Campbell. That's why Barr was drafted where he was drafted and Campbell was drafted where he was drafted. 

2.) There are only so many snaps in a game and so many players on the field. The Falcons have a pretty deep front 7 and just added two new players who were drafted higher than Campbell. The wind probably isn't blowing for more snaps for Campbell. 

Barr and other early round linebackers was drafted ahead of Justin Houston, but that does not mean Houston can not do the same thing a first rounder can do. Campbell has the athleticism to be a good Sam backer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Cole World said:

Barr and other early round linebackers was drafted ahead of Justin Houston, but that does not mean Houston can not do the same thing a first rounder can do. Campbell has the athleticism to be a good Sam backer.

Of course he does. Sam is the most insignificant position in the 4-3. That's why that guy comes off the field when they bring in the 5th DB. 

There are 50 players in the NFL with similar athleticism to Campbell. He's nothing special. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Flying Falcon said:

Yall read this:

 

 

wait a second

 

you're telling me we can't just draft a pass rusher and they immediately put up a 15 sack rookie season???

 

I've lived a lie

Clark likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Summerhill said:

Of course he does. Sam is the most insignificant position in the 4-3. That's why that guy comes off the field when they bring in the 5th DB. 

There are 50 players in the NFL with similar athleticism to Campbell. He's nothing special. 

That's not true. He comes off the field because an extra receiver came onto the field and that's why the extra corner was needed. The SAM is mostly a run stopper. That's why he plays on the strong side. Most teams will run on the strong side because it has an extra blocker on that side. Hence strong side. Has absolutely NOTHING to do with insignificance. If teams stayed in 2 wr sets he'd never come off the field. By your logic the next insignificant player is the WLB because he comes off the field in dime situations and only ONE linebacker stays on the field. 

Knight of God likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Summerhill said:

1.) Barr is a lot better than Campbell. That's why Barr was drafted where he was drafted and Campbell was drafted where he was drafted. 

2.) There are only so many snaps in a game and so many players on the field. The Falcons have a pretty deep front 7 and just added two new players who were drafted higher than Campbell. The wind probably isn't blowing for more snaps for Campbell. 

It doesn't work that way man. The round someone was selected in doesn't mean they are better. Tom Brady was a 7th rounder so stop that nonsense. What about the undrafted players that became hof'ers?? 

 

And campbell may absolutely have more snaps. He will play SLB in base and move over to WLB in nickel. Campbell's role is about to increase. Not decrease. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now