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Jeffri Chadiha
September 01, 2003
An opposing scout's view
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September 01, 2003

Enemy Lines

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An opposing scout's view

"They lost Al Singleton [at linebacker] and picked up Dwayne Rudd, which I think hurts them. Rudd's not as aggressive or instinctive as Singleton. Plus he's a natural weakside linebacker who's moving to the strong side. Putting him with Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles gives them three weakside linebackers playing alongside one another. Those guys can all run, but I think Rudd will be a weak link....

Switching Dwight Smith from nickelback to free safety is a great move. He has range, and he'll hit you. I see only two problems: When you move to a thinking position and have to call defenses, it can hinder your aggressiveness, and it leaves a hole at nickelback. When Smith was there they could put him on an island and he'd cover everybody. He also allowed [defensive coordinator] Monte Kiffin to send Ronde Barber on blitzes....

On offense Brad Johnson is their most valuable player. He doesn't have a great arm, but he's good at throwing those short crossing routes....

They can repeat, but it will be harder to win it all this year. They have a tougher schedule, and everybody is going to be gunning for them. The key is, Are they still hungry?"