Bandit ~ Ryan Anderson ~ Alabama Crimson Tide ~ 6021/252
Old Roles are getting dramatically transformed, and virtually every Front 7 ~ or Front 6!! ~ Defensive Job Description is transitioning into an Hybrid Role where the Defender is asked to excel in multiple Roles and in multiple Fronts.
For that reason, and in order to offer NomenClature that speaks not to archaic, obsolete "Positions", but rather to Skill Sets that accurately reflect the dynamic Changes of the 21st Century Game and the Roles they have spawned, I have undertaken to craft Terminology that is designed to break Skill Sets down as they really are.
Defensive Coordinators have, since Time Immemorial, employed highly creative terminology in devising Defenses and in designating Assignments. In that Spirit, I have admittedly indulged myself considerably in devising the following NomenClature. It is undeniably colorful, but I like to think that there's an underlying Logic, as well:
Bandits ~ This is my term, derived from Defensive Schemes, for Players with the WingSpan for the Defensive Line yet who, unlike Dragons, lack the Size to play there regularly, because they can't be expected to Anchor against the Run.
They are thus the right Size though a bit tall to play MidFielder and can generally do so, but I believe are optimally employed as Wild Cards, deployed all over the Formation from Snap to Snap, usually in the murky, shifty region between the Defensive Line and the MidFielders, usually standing up, and generally giving no clue as to their Intentions.
I believe that the Bandit, whatever he's called in a given Formation, stands at the very EpiCenter of the disruptive Changes that Defensive Formations are undergoing today. Their unique combination of Size & Speed offers precisely that Wild Card Variable that I believe is potentially priceless for Defenses to compete and indeed to excel in the incessantly and rapidly evolving Strategic LandScape of the 21st Century. The Prototype would be around 6030/245 or so, I'd say.
As the ultimate Defensive Hybrid, Bandits could quite conceivably Rush the Passer, Blitz the Run, or Drop into Coverage on any given play, and from virtually any alignment on the Line or in the BackField. They won't anchor against the Run very effectively, they won't overwhelm with Power in their Pass Rush, and they're not built to Turn & Burn with WideOuts in Coverage, but they are in fact optimally built to conceivably compete effectively in all three Facets of the Game.
Of course, where and how any given Coach chooses to deploy his Players is his Business. Players that I characterize as Bandits may often or even routinely line up anywhere, on any given Down. My only purpose is simply to identify what I perceive as Skill Sets, to distinguish types, if you will, and perhaps create a universal Point of Reference.
When evaluating Bandits, this is how I break down the Attributes to which I pay most particular attention:
Power: Above all: Core Power. Torso Power is important, but Core Power, from the Knees to the Ribs, is absolutely crucial. All the upper body Strength in the world will still fail if you simply can't dig in your Heels. But Core Power enables an Offensive Lineman to project Power in the Running Game and to reject Power in the Passing Game.
Agility: Launch Velocity, Acceleration, and above all: Fluidity or Core Agility. Core Agility is even more essential to sustained good Health ~ and to sustained good FootBall ~ than Core Power. The ability to react with Serpentine smoothness is a tremendous Asset in all Aspects of the Game, and certainly in the Hand to Hand Combat that characterizes Trench Warfare. All the Power in the World goes only so far if you're lurching around like FrankenStein.
Frame: Vertical Leverage, Hands, Arm Length, and WingSpan.
Combat Skills: Horizontal Leverage, Paw Positioning, Paw Persistence, and FootWork. Above all: Pass Rush Repertoire.
Processing Speed: How quickly and effectively one Reads & Reacts to the Rapidly Roiling Tactical LandScape!!
Motor: Intensity and Stamina: How much Work has been put into Conditioning, and how it manifests itself.
Run Defense: All the Above, applied.
Pass Coverage: Ditto.
Pass Rush: Double Dirty Dog Ditto.
Broken down into SubCategories, it'd go something like this:
* Core Power ~ lower body Power. Core Power trumps Torso Power. Tyrannosaurus Rex had exceptional Core Power.
* Torso Power ~ upper Body Power. Important, but not crucial. T Rex had lousy Torso Power...yet was King.
* Anchoring Strength against the Run.
* Drive Power, Rushing the Passer.
* Fluidity, above all things: Core Agility & Flexibility makes everything possible.
* Launch Velocity ~ Speed into Contact off the Snap.
* Acceleration ~ Short Speed or Quickness.
* Vertical Leverage. Height is crucial, but it's actually better, I believe, to be an Inch shorter than an Inch Taller.
* Hands. The larger the better, generally, but compact is never a bad Attribute in The Trenches.
* Arm Length. Absolutely crucial. He who boasts the longer Arms initiates Combat.
* WingSpan. Arm Length + Torso Width. A more complete Measurement.
* Lateral Leverage. Angles. Getting Square or better with the Target.
* Paw Positioning ~ It's all about Angles & Leverage.
* Paw Persistence ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* FootWork ~ RPMs: Activity & Persistence.
* Pass Rush Repertoire: Variety.
* Reading & Reacting to Offensive Blocking Schemes with Speed & Precision.
* Field Vision: Finding Targets & approaching them effectively.
Power: Extraordinary. Given that I'm grading'm not as a Dragon or a MidFielder, but as an Hybrid who's best deployed near the Line but not necessarily with'is Hand in the Dirt, Anderson exhibits outstanding Anchoring Strength against the Run and equally outstanding Drive Power in'is Pass Rush, proportionately between Torso and Core.
Agility: Marginal. Effective Launch Velocity and sufficient Acceleration and Closing Speed, but awful Fluidity.
Frame: Marginal. Excellent Height/Weight Ratio, but his WingSpan is fatally short.
Combat Skills: Awesome. His Lateral Leverage and Paw Positioning are elite, and his Paw Persistence and FootWork are awesome. His Pass Rushing Repertoire, too, is extraordinarily refined, even by Alabama Standards.
Processing Speed: Phenomenal. If he ever takes up Coaching, I pray to God and Jesus that he joins my beloved Patriots. Lightning Speed Read & React Speed and Precision, and intensely Assignment Disciplined.
Motor: Tremendous Intensity. Tremendous Stamina.
Run Defense: Competitive. Magnificent at The Point of Attack, because of his Power, Combat Skills, and Field Vision. But marginal In Pursuit, because of his Walking Dead Agility. Gotta play this guy in a Wade Phillips 34.
Pass Coverage: Horrific. FrankenStein has better Verticity...and better WingSpan.
Pass Rush: Exceptional. His Fluidity sucks, and his lack of WingSpan will entail many Fails, but his Launch Velocity, his Power, and above all his Combat Skills and his outstanding Motor translate to Impact Player.
Power. Combat Skills. BRAINS. No Fluidity. Strong Side Power or Bust.
I've rarely loved a Prospect more, when breaking out the Red Ink, than I love Ryan Anderson!!
The only reason that I'm breaking out yonder Red Ink, I think, is because The Market has drive Young Anderson's Market Value Sky High simply because he's Alabama Crimson Tide Talent...with the usual Fervor.
I believe that, had he played 2016 with East Carolina or some such College, he'd be generally considered a UFA, and probably a forgettable one, at that...and that I'd be drawing your Attention to'm!!
But because'f'is Alabama Pedigree and his Leadership there, he gets an enormous Boost to'is Stock...And while this is a guy who, in my estimation, earns everything he gets, we're talking, of course, about Market Value...and within that ephemeral Context, I believe that the Value of his Services are a bit overrated.
Ryan Anderson is the kind of Player I want on my Team...although preferably as a Coach!! In any case: I believe that he can make an Impact as a Pass Rusher and as a Point of Attack Run Defender, and that indeed he is virtually certain to do so, owing to his extraordinary Intelligence and Drive...but that his horrible Fluidity means that his Verticity ~ his capacity or'is lack thereof to Flip Hips and Turn & Burn in Coverage ~ will be equally horrible...and that that means that you basically cannot deploy'm on anything resembling Passing Downs, for Fear that he'll get toasted in Coverage.
Having said all that: I believe that Ryan Anderson has an extremely strong Chance of forging a lengthy and admirable Career as a Special Teams Beast and Sub Package Attacking Sam MidFielder.
It's only what I perceive to be'is inflated Market Value that I contest.
Grateful Thanks, as always, for the crucial Work done by the folks at Draft BreakDown!!
None of this is even remotely a Complaint, mind you, but rather a Warning!! Caveat Emptor!