In general, NFL inside linebackers have become smaller, faster and quicker over the years, a concession to the greater emphasis on the passing game. Inside linebackers no longer are asked to just be run stoppers. The ability to contribute in the pass rush and in coverage also are important as more and more offenses throw the ball with higher frequency than they run it. In 2017, four teams threw the ball at least 200 more times than they ran it. As a result, the line between inside and outside linebackers has been blurred in many defenses, especially with the increased use of sub packages.The good news for teams looking for help at inside linebacker is that several in this year's crew project to both spots.Danny Trevathan is an impact player when he's on the field, but he has missed 11 games in his two seasons with the Bears. Even though Trevathan missed four games last year (one because of a suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit), he still led the team with 89 tackles.Because of … [Read more...] about NFL draft preview: Will Chicago Bears find a fit at linebacker in the first round?
General nfl news
Behind the backdrop of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, head coaches and general managers are meeting to discuss plans ahead of the draft and free agency. On Wednesday, several teams decided to part ways with some notable players. Many of the moves were expected. Chicago Bears, for example, released reserve quarterback Mike Glennon. After starting the first four games of the season, Glennon was benched for lackluster play in favor of first-round rookie Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears signed Glennon in March 2017 to a three-year deal with $18.5 million guaranteed. The Bears also announced they would cut linebacker Willie Young, a productive pass rusher who, at age 32 and coming off a major injury, did not fit into the team’s future plans. The Bears now have more than $80 million in salary-cap space. The Carolina Panthers released longtime running back Jonathan Stewart. The 30-year-old is the team’s all-time leading rusher, despite only rushing for 1,000 rushing yards … [Read more...] about NFL News: Mike Glennon, Jonathan Stewart And Other Big-Name Players Released
This week a table at Elmo’s Steak House or a Marriott lobby barstool in downtown Indianapolis will help grease the skids of the impending NFL news avalanche coming next month. That’s when free-agency decisions, led this year by the sweepstakes for Kirk Cousins and possibly Case Keenum, will be finalized. Before the opening bell on March 14 is this week’s annual scouting combine at Lucas Oil Stadium, a six-day affair where more than 300 draft prospects are medically, physically and psychologically tested. The combine essentially acts as the league’s premier offseason convention for all things NFL. “You’ll see everyone in the NFL within a four-block radius,” said Blake Baratz, a Minneapolis-based player agent at The Institute for Athletes. Hundreds of young athletes wear self-identifying lanyards, on the backs of which are scribbled NFL teams, sometimes with a hotel room number and time. That’s where and when general managers, coaches and … [Read more...] about At scouting combine, Vikings lay groundwork for free agency, NFL draft
There hasn’t been much NFL news since it was reported that the Washington Redskins would trade for Alex Smith and move on from Kirk Cousins, but this could just be the calm before the storm. A couple of star players that have spent their careers with just one team might be headed elsewhere when free agency officially begins in March. If the latest trade rumors are any indication, the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos could both deal perennial Pro Bowl players that were keys to their recent Super Bowl runs. Both teams had disappointing 2017 campaigns and missed the playoffs. Seattle failed to reach the playoffs after a stretch of five years in which they won at least one postseason game. The “Legion of Boom” was plagued by injuries, and it might not be long before the unit is broken up. Safety Earl Thomas indicated that he has his eyes on joining the Dallas Cowboys when he becomes a free agent in 2019. There were rumors a year ago that the Cowboys and Seahawks might … [Read more...] about NFL Trade Rumors: Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos Could Deal Perennial Pro Bowlers
It’s been nearly two weeks since Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti met with reporters and put a date on the team’s long-established general manager succession plan. It will be next offseason when Eric DeCosta officially takes over for Ozzie Newsome.Bisciotti was asked only one other question about the arrangement during his State of the Ravens address. There was a lot of ground to cover with Bisciotti, who rarely does interviews, and I’m not sure the Newsome news and its significance had completely set in yet to those in the audience at the Under Armour Performance Center.There will surely be other times and places to ask questions. Newsome is expected to speak to reporters this month at the NFL scouting combine. Newsome and DeCosta have both been traditionally available at a news conference before the draft.I’d like to know:» What will Newsome’s exact role be going forward?» Will the Ravens hire an assistant general manager from the outside to work … [Read more...] about Ravens news, notes and opinions on GM succession plan, more receiver options, QB talk