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Mailbag: Why Would Ware Be Better Suited As An End?
SAN ANTONIO, TX
Everyone assumes that DeMarcus Ware will switch to a 4-3 end in the new formation, but wouldn't it make more sense to keep him at ROLB playing a Derrick Brooks type role than having him engage big OL every play?
Nick: How many interceptions have you ever seen Ware get when he drops into coverage? I think the smart thing is to let your great players do the things that have made them great. For Ware, it’s applying pressure on the quarterback and stopping the run, something I think is an underrated part of his game. Not saying he will definitely be more productive in the 4-3, but I think he’s a defensive end in this scheme and not an outside linebacker. At his age, I don’t think you’ll see him making a lot of plays in the open field.
Rowan: If he enters the season healthy from his injuries, Ware should be big enough, fast enough and athletic enough to give opposing tackles problems as a pass-rusher. I know his health is a big question, but he seems much bigger than the typical outside linebacker in that scheme. His athleticism inside could pose a threat, and this way he can do more of what he does best, which is attacking the quarterback.
DENVER , CO
Does this arrest spell the end for Jay Ratliff? He’s a great player but he missed 10 games, got in a tussle with Jerry Jones and he’s got a large contract.
Nick: You point out good reasons that he won’t be here. But it really looks like he will get the opportunity to stay here. I could foresee maybe a revised contract that could help the team out on the cap.
Rowan: It would make sense for him to go, considering how often the head coach praises the importance of having the right kind of players who buy into the right kind of system. As you mentioned, it’s not like he can point to his production the past couple seasons as a reason to keep him around. I’m certainly not saying this is the right move, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay, in large part because of the question marks surrounding who could play defensive tackle in Monte Kiffin’s system.