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View Full Version : LB core (Rivers to WLB)


PalmerToCJ
05-11-2008, 08:50 PM
I have no idea where it was announced but Hobson seems to say it's for sure...

1. LINEBACKERS: Now that No. 1 pick Keith Rivers is written in granite at the WILL for at least the next five years, how do they line up everybody else?

They appear to still be toying with combinations. Dhani Jones, their most experienced backer and designated signal caller, looked to be the WILL before the draft and he has to be on the field some place at the beginning.

He's not really a SAM, but Ahmad Brooks can be at 270 pounds. So they can take Brooks out of the middle, put him at SAM and put Jones in the middle.

Right after the draft there had been some thinking that they could put Rivers in the middle and flank him with Brooks and Jones as Odell Thurman learned the WILL behind Jones. But this way, Rivers gets to stay at the spot he played in college and Thurman can stay in the middle, where he nearly won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2005.

But Thurman hasn't played in a game since and that will make him Tuesday's lead story line. After two years of being on the shelf, just how far away is he going to look?

This is also the first time they line up without Landon Johnson, gone to free agency and Carolina after he started at least 10 games at each backer spot during his four solid seasons. They don't seem to have anyone like that. They've either got the big names who haven't strung anything together yet, like Rivers, Brooks and Thurman, or young veterans trying to get a foothold in the league like Corey Mays and two pickups from Arizona in Darryl Blackstock and Brandon Johnson.

Tuesday also marks the return of the promising Eric Henderson, whose move from defensive end to SAM last year was cut short by a wrist injury in preseason.

Rivers won't be here this week because of rules preventing rookies from practicing until May 20, but he'll be back at WILL a week from Tuesday.

If they switched Brooks to SAM, he would be in a dogfight with one of their most productive young players in Rashad Jeanty, their most experienced Bengal backer with 22 games.

It's unclear who is going to be here for that first workout Tuesday. Jones, on one of his junkets with the Travel Channel, had a hurling match Saturday in Ireland. Thurman is dealing with family matters back in Georgia.

I'm curious to see how things play out. I mean, do you start Jones off in the middle and Ahmad outside? Then just assume/hope Odell takes his spot in the middle back? In the grand scheme of things this is for the best but I'd like to see how things play out. Jeanty would be a FINE backup, both him and Ahmad have yet to prove they can consistantly stay healthy so putting them both outside could be for the best.

I'm hoping beyond hope we can get the big 3 out there for a big chunkload of games.

Aftermath
05-11-2008, 10:29 PM
I hope midway through the season we have Brooks, Thurman and Rivers out there together wrecking everything.

If they pan out, we have one of if not the best young LB corps.

hobbes2053
05-12-2008, 12:20 AM
I hope and fully expect that we will eventually have Rivers at WLB, Brooks at SLB and Thurman at MLB. Thurman is a natural in the middle and i think he needs to stay there, especially since Brooks is athletic enough to play at any of the LB spots. Needless to say, I'm excited to see what happens...

Wootylicous
05-12-2008, 12:32 AM
Rivers is a natural WLB. He's gonna be a beast for the Bengals.

BengalMedic
05-12-2008, 06:50 AM
They can say "granite" all they want, but we all know how soft granite will get when the injury bug bites !!!

StripedWalrus
05-12-2008, 12:41 PM
Guns don't kill people. Keith Rivers kills people.

Rivers, Thurman, Brooks would be a nice Linebacker scheme. Though I fully understand if Jones plays some time before Thurman. Thurman has to get back in the groove of things and get back in shape. Rivers will be a beastly LB hopefully and maybe he can rub off on Thurman and brooks and make them team leaders.

hobbes2053
05-12-2008, 01:07 PM
Rivers, Thurman, Brooks would be a nice Linebacker scheme. Though I fully understand if Jones plays some time before Thurman. Thurman has to get back in the groove of things and get back in shape. Rivers will be a beastly LB hopefully and maybe he can rub off on Thurman and brooks and make them team leaders.

I fully expect Jones to start the season off, but that will soon change when Thurman returns to "himself". I think it would be a bad idea to move Thurman out of the middle, especially since he hasn't played in 2+ years. He is a natural MLB and we need to keep him there.

lost33cause
05-12-2008, 08:45 PM
Who says Odell isn't ready to start now? He's been working out since Feb. with the strength coaches. Instincts are a natural thing so basically its down to learning the playbook. I fully expect Rivers to be the one calling the plays this year so Brooks and Thurman can just worry about making plays. I hope everything works out there but I have confidence in the back ups we have as well.

The entire article is pretty good so in case you don't goto bengals.com often heres the link

http://www.bengals.com/news/news.asp?story_id=6787

themaninblack
05-12-2008, 10:30 PM
ya I've been preaching that too lostcause. Odell will be fine as far as playing football goes but he will need to get into "Football Shape" and the only way to do that is by being at practice which he will be. It's like riding a bike.

Bengals78
05-12-2008, 11:18 PM
Odell is a game changing LB. When he is in offenses have to make sure they know where he is on the field at all times. He will start week one probably through the destruction of opposing teams during preseason.

themaninblack
05-12-2008, 11:47 PM
the only thing that will hold Odell back will be our coaching staff.

hobbes2053
05-13-2008, 12:24 AM
lets hope the coaches dont hold him back because we need him to complete our LB core and make it one of the league's best

Bengals78
05-13-2008, 02:49 AM
I doubt Zim and Fitz would hold Odell back. He should thrive

BengalMedic
05-13-2008, 07:22 AM
I'm happy to see all the undoubted faith in Odell and I for one am hoping everyone is right and that he comes back to be that force. I'm just not willing to put all of my eggs in the proverbial basket. Yes, ability and instincts are just something you have or not, but we are talking about a guy that has been out of football for 2 years now, has gone through some issues in his personal life, and none of us have any idea how that time was spent away from the game. Yes, he has been in with the strength coaches since earlier this year, but what exactly does that do for you. There is a big difference from being in shape and being in "football shape" taking hits day in and day out.

Once again, I'm hoping to see the old Odell wanting to prove something to the fans and organization that have supported him through this time in his life. I'm also hoping he will be the force and attitude this defense has lacked. All that being said, there is just no way to know for sure what we are going to get out of him. All I can say is, I'm hoping and praying for the best out of Odell !!!

AkiliSmith
05-13-2008, 05:45 PM
At OTAs today Jones was at MIKE and Brooks played SAM

So it looks like:
Weak - Rivers
Middle - Jones
Strong - Brooks

Is how we will look to start the season. That is until Thurman gets back up to speed.

PalmerToCJ
05-13-2008, 08:39 PM
Sounds about right. In the grand scheme of things it's the best way to go for all involved.

I think Ahmad could be a good MLB but it's a matter of grasping where he's supposed to be plus he's already worked at SLB here. Then of course Odell is best suited for MLB, I think that's the biggest thing. It'd almost be a crime to put him elsewhere.

I know they keep preaching they're not counting on him but given this setup they're anticipating him taking over the starting gig eventually. What a beautiful thing it would be.

Let me also add that Ahmad at SLB is best because then you have Jeanty backing him up. Jeanty would be a great backup and Ahmad has had trouble staying healthy (last year and his last year in college).

EDIT: I'm assuming Ahmad is at 100% now?

StripedWalrus
05-13-2008, 10:31 PM
I am hoping he is at 100%. If he is he is beastly. I think Thurman is not at the camps right now. His Grandmother (I think Grandmother might be mother) died or is really sick. I can't remember exactly but he is taking care of that right now. He may surprise us all at training camp and be the starter. In which case I would not want to be facing a Rivers, Thurman, Brooks, LB corp.

themaninblack
05-14-2008, 12:05 AM
His grandmother's funeral was on Monday but it looks like he is going to be back this week. It's pretty nice to see them move Ahmad to SLB and Dhani inside because it looks like they expect Odell to eventually become the starter at MLB.

BengalMedic
05-14-2008, 08:30 AM
Well according to the article on the .com site, Brooks still wasn't 100% with his injury and they had Jeanty most of the snaps. They need to ensure they take their time with getting Brooks back. They can hardly afford him being injured for the whole season at this point...

StripedWalrus
05-14-2008, 12:36 PM
yea I saw that too Bmedic. I think if Jeanty and Brooks share time at the spot at the beginning of the season it isnt too bad. Some Brooks is better than no Brooks.

themaninblack
05-14-2008, 04:56 PM
Ya they need to make sure that he is fully healthy and it looks like they are thus far.

Desert
05-15-2008, 12:22 AM
I expect Rivers to do for our LBs what Tatupu did in Seattle, and provide stability so Brooks (providing he stays healthy) and eventually Thurman can make the plays. I hope he'll be our #55 anchor-of-the-defense type for more than a decade, but there are a number of things that need to go right for that to happen. All that said, I'm excited about what he'll bring to the team.

BengalMedic
05-15-2008, 07:25 AM
I expect Rivers to do for our LBs what Tatupu did in Seattle, and provide stability so Brooks (providing he stays healthy) and eventually Thurman can make the plays. I hope he'll be our #55 anchor-of-the-defense type for more than a decade, but there are a number of things that need to go right for that to happen. All that said, I'm excited about what he'll bring to the team.

Minus the whole DUI thing though !!!

themaninblack
05-15-2008, 04:49 PM
Doesn't seem like the type, but then again neither does Tatupu.

Bengals78
05-15-2008, 07:20 PM
I just hope Ahmad stays healthy and he can make the team. Injuries are his biggest problem now.

hobbes2053
05-15-2008, 11:24 PM
I just hope Ahmad stays healthy and he can make the team. Injuries are his biggest problem now.

you and me both. and probably everyone else for that matter ha

BengalMedic
05-16-2008, 07:35 AM
To tell you the truth, I'm getting to a point where I'm more concerned about Brooks than I am Odell. At least with Odell we know what we are going to get if and when he gets back to that level. With Brooks, we have only seen flashes. I want to see him get healthy and then have some consistency on the field. Having him learn a new LB position isn't in his favor at this point either with the groin hurting and limiting him in practice...

StripedWalrus
05-16-2008, 11:27 AM
To tell you the truth, I'm getting to a point where I'm more concerned about Brooks than I am Odell. At least with Odell we know what we are going to get if and when he gets back to that level. With Brooks, we have only seen flashes. I want to see him get healthy and then have some consistency on the field. Having him learn a new LB position isn't in his favor at this point either with the groin hurting and limiting him in practice...

I second that! You are entirely right about Brooks and Odell.

themaninblack
05-16-2008, 04:17 PM
I'd say Brooks was HIGHLY consistent as he only had ONE real game and he was pretty dominant. Pretty high percentage IMO. Kidding aside, I am still concerned about his injuries, they really need to let this thing heal even if it means being out to start the season. Jeanty is no slouch, in fact he's just as good if not BETTER than Ahmad against the run. Ahmad must be healthy because he not only would solidify this defense/lb corps, he has the potential to be the best player on our team on either side of the ball.

PalmerToCJ
05-16-2008, 04:58 PM
In my eyes Jeanty was our best LB in run defense the past two seasons (that saw the field a decent amount anyway). Let Ahmad sit, however long it takes to get 100% then get those three beasts out there together.

Bengals78
05-16-2008, 06:06 PM
Depending on the extent and type of injury, it could be one that just needs to be worked through. Stretch it, practice on it and it will heal in time. Sometimes sitting too long on an injury can make it worse. The muscles tighten and become less flexing and make future injuries more likely. If its his groin, he might just need to do a lot of extra stretching now and play through pain. He sat out a lot last year so its had plenty of rest.

themaninblack
05-17-2008, 02:59 AM
I am sure if he is not playing when the season starts he will be working with the strength/conditioning coaches to work on stretching and all that goes with working that thing back into playing shape. Its not like he will be just sitting and letting it heal or anything like that.

Shere Khan
05-17-2008, 03:53 PM
Who says Odell isn't ready to start now? He's been working out since Feb. with the strength coaches. Instincts are a natural thing so basically its down to learning the playbook.
http://www.bengals.com/news/news.asp?story_id=6787

Yeah, but that's the thing: for as many play O-Dawg made, he was out of position many, many times.

PalmerToCJ
05-18-2008, 01:21 AM
I'll take an out of position Odell over anyone that played LB for us last year.

themaninblack
05-18-2008, 03:01 AM
him being out of position was somewhat overstated as well. It's expected for it to happen as a rookie and I don't think he did it that much more than your average stud rookie does.