First off, let me get this out of the way: I was not on board with the selection of Gavin Escobar in the second round. But I’m good now and I'll have more on (2) TE's later. What I'm not on board with is the pundit’s assessment that he’s strictly a pass catching TE either. Though, I think that this pick would have been better used on a defensive lineman, I remember a TE being drafted in the 3rd round by the Cowboys who everyone said was only a pass catcher and he turned out to be a pretty solid all around TE: Jason Witten.
So, specifically, Jonathan Hankins, taken (2) picks later, would have been my pick to address the 1-technique hole that the ‘Boys had going into the draft. As it stands now, Jason Hatcher would start at the point if the season began today. In reality, he’s a place holder, until someone else steps up and claims the gig. Simply put Hatch is a 3-tech. But there are few internal candidates for the job: Nick Hayden, Tyrone Crawford, Rob Callaway and Sean Lissemore.
So, who wins out? I’d like to you guys to hear my case on why Tyrone Crawford wins the starting job as the 1-techinque using (4) points that lead me to a single conclusion, a metaphorical "4 point stance":
"Blue 80": What is a 1-technique? A 1-technique tackle is almost a nose tackle lining up "shaded" to the side of the center or sliding to one of the center’s shoulders. The goal is to take on or split the double team block by the guard and center. So typically, they are less athletic, strong, and stout guys. Not Tyrone Crawford, right?
"Yellow 80": Right. Well, what does a Rod Marinelli 1-technique look like? Let’s look at the (2) comparable defenses that run this version of the Tampa 2. First stop Chicago and Stephen Paea. 6’1", 300lbs. According to his draft profile: "He is as strong as an ox and consistently knocks lineman back on their heels. He takes on double teams and is near impossible to move out of the hole". Next up, Seattle and Brandon Mebane. 6’1", 311lbs. "Very powerful at the point of attack. Stout run stuffer that plays angry that offers very little as a pass rusher". Still not Tyrone Crawford?
"White 80": Well, who is Tyrone Crawford? 6’4" 285 lbs when he was drafted. But according to the Mothership he’s over 300lbs. But what makes this interesting is not that he doesn’t fit what Kiffin and Marinelli USED to do but that he fits they WANT to do now. They want up-the-field disruptive lineman. At over 300lbs Crawford is big enough that he can play the one and take on the double team but he can also penetrate and disrupt. Collapse the pocket and pressure the QB. Not convinced, hunh?
"Go": Well trust your ears. Early in the offseason, I saw a quote from Sean Lee where he said that Coach Kiff told him to watch the Seattle tape to see how they would play this thing. Then I read that Brandon Carr talked to Coach Kiff and got the same feedback. So what did I do? I used my NFL all access pass to watch the All 22 film on a few Seahawks games. And you know what I saw? They didn’t deploy a single guy as the 1 or 3 tech. Instead they had "Left and Right" DT’s. Meaning, depending on the offensive formation before and after shifts either DT would line up at the 1 or 3. Well, well, well…
Interesting! I think this coaching staff will implement the Seattle model here in Big D. And I think a DT combination of Ratliff / Crawford would be better as a "Left and Right" DT’s combination for run stopping and pass rushing than a Ratliff / Hatcher team as a 3-tech and 1-tech that switch sides based on offensive formation.
Crawford wins by a nose (pun intended!) Thoughts?