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Join Date: 10/29/2018
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Posted: 7/16/2019 6:38:23 PM

The Bills picked up another player looking to switch position. We’ll take a look at safety turned linebacker Maurice Alexander"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections NewsNotesOpinionAnalysisDiscussionPodcastNFL DraftSalary CapNFL Free AgencyNotes2019 Buffalo Bills free agencyAll-22 analysis: Buffalo Bills free-agent addition Matt Milano Jerseys 2019 , linebacker Maurice AlexanderNew,15commentsThe Bills picked up another player looking to switch position. We’ll take a look at safety turned linebacker Maurice AlexanderEDTShareTweetShareShareAll-22 analysis: Buffalo Bills free-agent addition, linebacker Maurice AlexanderThe Buffalo Bills continue their free-agency spending spree. This time, another player looking to make a position switch lands in Orchard Park. Former St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams and Seattle Seahawks safety Maurice Alexander was signed to a one-year deal to play...linebacker. At 220 lbs (per Pro Football Reference) Alexander comes in just a few pounds lighter than Matt Milano. For linebackers, Milano comes in on the lighter end however. Compared to safeties, Alexander is roughly 20 lbs heavier than Micah Hyde and 30 lbs heavier than Jordan Poyer. Coming in firmly between the two positions, it’s likely Alexander will be looking to carve out a role as part of a heavy nickel package. Play 1The difficulty when taking a look at Maurice Alexander using existing NFL footage is a matter of translation. There are a few elements of his play at safety we can use to try to make an educated guess on how well he’ll perform at linebacker. We start with play recognition, and straight-line, downhill tackling. The play recognition and reaction time seems fine on this play. The initial angle is poor and a small correction doesn’t entirely fix it. As a result this tackle is missed, nearly resulting in a touchdown. Play 2This play isn’t a bad parallel to a linebacker role. Maurice Alexander shoots for the ball carrier but is met by tight end Jack Doyle. Alexander is knocked back and then driven sideways by Doyle. As a linebacker, Alexander will have more frequent trips into the trenches. His time at safety didn’t yield many encouraging signs he can take on blocks from tights ends and offensive linemen. Play 3Often the ability to flow sideline to sideline is more important than a backpedal or mirroring complex route trees. Alexander often seemed a half-step behind opponents. Based on his in -between size, Alexander might be asked to sub in more often for coverage (like this) than a traditional linebacker. Play 4Maurice Alexander sees a lane to hit and tries to drive in. Jordan Reed finds success blocking Alexander much like Doyle above. Alexander disengages with a spin and isn’t shy about helping get in on the tackle. Play 5Running in from this distance, Alexander has a chance to choose with lane to attack. He initially appears to select the wrong one but adjusts in time. When the he squares up White Vontae Davis Jerseys , Alexander hits more like a linebacker than a safety. Play 6Alexander sees the play develop quickly enough to limit this to a four-yard gain. A slight miscalculation on the angle and imperfect tackling form means Alexander slides off his opponents. All’s well that ends well here as they reach the sideline. Play 7Again we see good awareness of the play. Alexander cuts through traffic well and gets a decent angle for the tackle. This play was selected to reinforce the last one. It’s easy enough to assume he pulled up to avoid a late hit, but both plays show a similar tackle. This was fairly common for Alexander. SummaryAll of the clips above came from the 2017 season with the Rams. Maurice Alexander spent 2018 with the Seahawks but didn’t see any time on defense. Seattle gave him plenty of snaps on special teams, but were willing to cut ties after one season. As a safety, missed tackles and poor angles were major concerns that routinely crept up. It’s possible the change to linebacker will allow Alexander to focus on less of the field and make positive strides reacting to plays. On the positive side Alexander didn’t seem shy in terms of making contact and often saw plays develop well. UPDATE:Maurice Alexander responded to this indicating injuries were a factor in 2017. Feel free to take my summary with a grain of salt. I''ll look to update further after looking at some 2016 film. On Sunday it’s the battle of the B’s as the Buffalo Bills host the Chicago Bears. The Bills are looking to get back on track after a tough Monday Night Football loss to the New England Patriots while the Bears are coming off a dominate performance against the New York Jets. Ahead of the match-up we talked to Jeff Berckes from Windy City Gridiron to get the scouting report on the team.1) How important was it to trade for a difference-maker like Khalil Mack?Early on, it meant everything. The defense in September was playing lights out. It’s not just what Khalil Mack does on the stat sheet that improved the defense, but what his presence does for the other good players on this defense. He has freed up a lot of advantageous situations for other rushers, and allowed the secondary to make big plays on hurried throws and tipped balls. In short, he’s been the missing piece to this defense. He really is everything he was advertised to be, plus some. He’s been an instant leader with this team and has really helped bring a level of excitement to this squad that has been missing since Brian Urlacher retired. As Bills fans know from a guy like Bruce Smith, there’s a level of fun to look forward to with a truly great player on your favorite squad. I know there are probably a fair number of Bills fans that cheered for Mack in college and we fully open the gates to the great fans of Buffalo to make Chicago their second-favorite team.Unfortunately, Mack hurt his ankle early in the Miami game and, while he tried to play through the injury, he wasn’t at all effective against Miami or New England. The Bears gave Mack the week off against the Jets and may do the same against Buffalo this weekend to rest up for an important divisional stretch coming up. The important part is to get him healed up and ready for the second half of the year.2) How much has Mitch Trubisky developed from last year?Last year the Bears were coached by John Fox who (being charitable here) thought of offense as an annoying appendage to the game—something to be forgotten and looked upon with disdain. There was a rumor that Fox didn’t even know that General Manager Ryan Pace was planning on drafting a quarterback and there was a great reluctance on his part to play Trubisky early. If not for Mike Glennon’s severe incompetence as a starter Vontae Davis Jerseys 2019 , I imagine Trubisky would have sat on the bench all of 2017. All that’s to say I didn’t take too much from Trubisky’s play last year into my expectations this year more than to know he can take a snap and hand the ball off.This year with new Head Coach Matt Nagy, Trubisky was thrown into a modern offense with completely new weapons and has mostly been able to pass the test. With a thin college resume, he has further to go than some of the other young quarterbacks out there in terms of climbing the learning curve, but his athleticism has helped move this offense in the right direction. His best game came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he threw six touchdown passes—something that hasn’t happened since Sid Luckman in the 1940s for the Bears. I’d say the biggest difference that I see from last year to this year is his confidence in making the downfield throw. While the highs have been remarkable, the growing pains are still present. Trubisky will make a few mistakes every game and while that has some Bears fans rushing to judgment, he’s on pace to set team records in yards and touchdowns. At a minimum, Trubisky has shown enough to remain confident that he can develop into a good NFL quarterback.3) What is the biggest difference from this year’s team against last year?Coaching philosophy. Matt Nagy is very different than John Fox and that’s really helped ignite this team. It helps to have much better skill-position players, but there just seems to be a much more open and inviting philosophy with Nagy than the cranky old man act of John Fox. This is Chicago’s version of the Sean McVay / Wade Philips show out in LA – although to be fair, Vic Fangio is a cranky old man and Wade seems like a delightful human being.I think players seem to be having a lot more fun than they were under the Fox regime. For example: Fox seemingly found an offensive spark last year with Tarik Cohen, the water bug / live-wire running back. Fox immediately found a way to glue Cohen’s hands to the bench. Conversely, Nagy sees Cohen and says, “How do I get this guy more involved?” Guys are buying in and guys are having fun. As a fan, it makes it actually enjoyable to watch games.4) What area would you like to see improve on this team?Tackling in the secondary definitely was the difference in the Miami game and contributed to issues in the Patriots game. That absolutely has to get better. That defense also needs to figure out how they play without Mack because even when he gets healthy Youth Tre’Davious White Jersey , he can’t play every snap. Yes, it’s more fun when you can play with your best on the field, but there needs to be some creativity to get pressure when he’s sidelined.On offense, it really comes down to Trubisky’s progression as a young quarterback. I’d like to see him connect on the throws he’s missing, but those don’t haunt my dreams like the bad throws he’s forcing into coverage and / or across his body. I really believe it’s a learning-curve issue and he can get better, but some of the throws he’s made this year??they should come with a warning for fans with heart issues.5) Who has been the Bears’ diamond-in-the-rough this season?That’s a good question. One player that has been emerging that doesn’t really have any buzz at this point is Bilal Nichols. A fifth-round pick out of the University of Delaware, Nichols has really progressed well in his rookie campaign. Depth at defensive line is so important in today’s game and Nichols’s progression has come as a welcome surprise.On offense, I want to point out that Taylor Gabriel is playing very well. A bit of an afterthought to some Bears fans after signing Allen Robinson II to be the WR1 and Trey Burton to be the move tight end, Gabriel was an important signing to bring a speed element to this offense. He’s been good on downfield throws but has also impressed in his intermediate route running and even some big downfield blocks. In fact, he leads the team in receptions. I like his attitude and the experience he brings to this young roster.



Join Date: 7/18/2019
Posts: 2

Posted: 7/18/2019 3:53:14 AM

Thank you for the wonderful topic. You opened it completely from a different angle. It''s nice to read and understand the significance of each word.


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