In the Starting Line-Up
burned in the first quarter, defense went solid in the 2nd and shut them downSo did Vrabel and Ninkovich. That's not a coverage LB spot. Those guys weren't good at that.
In fact, Nink was so raw at that kind of a thing, NE ran a 4-3 in 2011, some of the time if not most. They got burned by Tebow in Denver and went to the 3-4 in the second half to contain that, but they were a 4-3 team. No covering needed out of a 4-3 for the OLB because he's a DE. Not saying it never would happen, but it's not a main function of a 4-3 DE.
Setting a strong side edge is. That's the priority, IMO, to isolate the opponent so that their run game is essentially not a help to the QB by the 2nd half. That's what this D Line needs to focus on. Some good old school 3-4 run D. Don't turn it over, create a turnover and you probably win with a good edge.
Also, I don't want my 3-4 OLBs that concerned with covering the RBs at least past the flat, unless you want to use Dugger more as Big Dime guy and use him on the weakside in a McClellin/Flowers role. Move him all over the line if there is a hint the ball is going to the RB on a play that looks like a pass to the RB kinda play. Playcalling is as important as scheme and talent as well.
I think BB is not using the Phillips/Dugger thing better, or at least it came off underused in Game 1. Mix in some zone and have those 2 guys moving around a lot more.