August 9, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey (22) is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Joselio Hanson (21) and linebacker DeMeco Ryans (59) during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
Last year, when Jim Washburn introduced his wide 9 technique scheme for the defensive line, the pass rushers flourished and the LBs struggled. Much of that struggle was blamed on scheme, but I always argued that the LBs just not being very good certainly played into that as well...
Whether you blamed the scheme or the players more, I bet you never heard any of the Eagles LB corps from last season demonstrate an understanding of how to expect from the wide 9 the way DeMeco Ryans did to Dan Graziano.
"When you're in the Wide, sometimes you can get an offensive lineman up on you quicker, versus the 3-4 under front we played in Houston," Ryans said. Sometimes the 4-3, with the guys being wide, the tight ends will have free releases up the field. So you have to be cognizant of those guys getting up on you a lot faster than they would if the end was in tight. Once you recognize the formation and see how they're set up, depending on where the end is playing, you have to kind of understand how that tight end is going to release. And with the end being out wide, the tight end definitely can't go wide. He has to come up and inside on you, and most of the time he has free release."
He certainly gets it... Now let's see if he can get the rest of the group to understand it as well.