One of the more interesting stories, I think, as we head toward training camp is what will BB do with this front seven? With the pick of Collins, there's lots of speculation that we're headed back to a 3-4. Maybe. But when I look at the DLs, I don't see a lot of guys who look like traditional two-gap style DEs. Wilfork, of course, can be a two-gapping NT and Kelly is another versatile guy who could play a lot of two-gap, but when you look at the DL the one thing that stands out is how many of the guys on the roster right now are really edge type players--lighter and faster than typical two-gappers.
My take is BB is going to continue the evolution toward a faster, more versatile front seven (or even front eight, since I think safeties will often play like LBs.). He'll probably play two DTs in the center who, along with Spikes, will create a powerful, run-stopping core of the defense. But around that core, I see a lot of guys who are going to be hard to categorize as either LBs or DEs. In fact, I think the defense is going to be full of hybrid type players--guys who seem like blends of DEs and LBs and also guys who seem like blends of LBs and Safeties. I don't think it's going to be easy to characterize this as 3-4 or 4-3. Instead, I'm seeing a defense who's hallmark is flexibility, with a lot of guys who can attack the LOS or drop back into coverage. Can't wait to see what BB does, but I think we'll see some interesting innovation from him this season. Don't expect the ordinary!