Onto the LB's!
2011 - LB's
16 G, 142 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 0 FF, 2 INT, 7 PDF
14 G, 81 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, 1 PDF
15 G, 51 tackles, 0.0 sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT, 1 PDF
7 G, 15 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT, 0 PDF
1 GS, 14 G, 15 tackles, 0 sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT, 0 PDF
Other than Laurinaitis our LB play was terrible, once again. James Laurinaitis continues to improve and has been playing at a pro bowl level since his rookie year. Entering his last year of his rookie contract, he needs to be locked up long term. The additions of Poppinga and Leber did not help one bit. Leber was horrible and was released midway through the season. Poppinga played because we had nothing else, but wasn't even decent. The only other LB that contributed in any way was Chris Chamberlain who had his ups and downs.
2012 - Projections
16 G, 145 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 1 FF, 1 INT, 5 PDF
16 G, 92 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 3 FF, 0 INT, 4 PDF
16 G, 62 tackles, 1.0 sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT, 3 PDF
16 G, 21 tackles, 0.0 sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT, 1 PDF
13 G, 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 FF, 0 INT, 0 PDF
Aaron Brown / Alex Hoffman-Ellis:
11 G, 11 tackles, 0.0 sacks, 0 FF, 0 INT, 0 PDF
Laurinaitis will be the consistent rock and QB of the defense that we have come to expect. Hopefully this time around he doesn't get snubbed from the pro bowl for overrated and old players like Brian Urlacher. Jo-Lonn Dunbar will start opposite of Laurinaitis and will have plenty of opportunities to make a name for himself. He is a good player, and a hard hitter who should help seal the edge and stop the run. Rocky McIntosh and Mario Haggan will split time for the last starting spot. I think McIntosh is a good player who was playing out of position. If he can go back to his production from a few years ago he will be a steal. The rookies wont get much, if any, playing time other than ST. I have Sammy Brown down with 2.5 sacks because he is a monster at the pass rush, and he can be a hypbrid 3-4 OLB type of player.
I believe the 2012 LB corps has a huge advantage. The additions of Dunbar, McIntosh, and Haggan are big. We gain 2 starters, ST players, and a veteran presence. I am looking forward to a big improvement at the OLB position, and for this team to be solid in stopping the run.