Thursday, April 10, 2008

Man in the middle

Lots of talk of Nick Paden coming in at middle linebacker. Lets look at that position.

Paden is expected to replace Dante Floyd as the team's starter in the middle. Floyd was a leader for the team last season. Although it was a dismal performance by the defense in 07, Floyd was a bright spot. He made over 100 tackles on the year, got in the backfield often and created turnovers.

He was also a ball of fire on the field. He had a motor mouth that didn't stop moving and often got the team fired up even in the most trying of circumstances.

Will Paden be Floyd? Obviously not identical. He will have to bring certain intangibles to the lineup however. He will have to play tough against the run. Floyd was a bit undersized last season and we all know how NMSU defended the ground game. Paden will have to step in and bring a certain toughness to the middle and be stout against the point of attack and blocking. He will also have to be adequate in coverage assignments. Will Paden be asked to blitz a lot this year. It seems like everyone will. But there will be times he'll be asked to drop back and provide help in the secondary.

Replacing Floyd's leadership and fiery nature will be difficult. Paden will be asked to fill big shoes. No one said playing middle linebacker was easy.


Anonymous said...

The offense continues to get all the attention while, the defense continues to be the huge question mark.

We have an offense that can get us to a bowl game but, the defense will need to get some key stops along the way in order to go bowling.

This is the third straight year that we've talked about a bowl game and we have a great bunch of Seniors to get us there.
Third times a charm?


Anonymous said...

I'm worried about special teams. We had a tough time getting 3's and XP's and it made a difference in some games. Hope they're addressing issues like kickoffs, FG's and PAT's because we'll be in a position to win close games (remember Nevada last year) and will need a good Kicker, plus it will help the defense out tremendously if the opponent's offense is starting out further back.

Anonymous said...

Each player brings their own special tools to the table.

Nobody thought after Cottrel we would get a decent Mike either.

Anonymous said...

What about that Jeff Lucas kid? He came in pretty heralded from Ohio last year.
Any word?

Teddy said...

Lucas got some snaps at Saturday's scrimmage. It seems like Dunn is trying to figure out his personnel. Everyone got snaps and different lineups were shuffled in and out. This defensive unit is still trying to put the pieces together in many respects.

Anonymous said...

Teddy I agree, and it looks like we have some decent depth at LB!! So once these guys start going just attacking instead of thinking so much this defense will be much improved IMHO!!