By John Turney
|Von Miller: NOT an "edge" player?|
It is my understanding that the AP voting panel received this instruction via email:
Below is a list of specific defensive players and their defined positions for our new All-Pro ballot.
Vic Beasley Jr.
So, apparently Von Miller is in a different category than some other OLBers like, for example Vic Bealsey, Jr. who is listed as an outside linebacker by the Atlanta Falcons and NFL.com:
Miller, under this format will probably be unanimous, or very near to it, at one of the three linebacker spots. Therefore, my prediction will be wrong about the new designation because I trusted that the AP would allow the voters to choose where they saw a player fitting into the voting, i.e. if he was a edge or OLBer.
Perhaps the AP didn't want one player in two positions as happened last year, and they have ensured it doesn't, but it does ensure lighter competition at OLBer but putting Miller, Alexander, even Clay Matthews there and not in a pile of "edge" players some of whom are far more similar to Miller and Alexander and Matthews than the defensive ends listed, who almost never drop into coverage.
Having seen tons of plays by both Mack and Miller, I feel confident that they are playing the same spot. When they are in a 3-4 or 30 defense, they are linebackers, with Mack moving sides more often and when they are in a 4-3 (40 nickel or 40 dime usually) they are defensive ends, again with Miller usually on the left and Mack both sides. My thoughts would be the same for Beasley, Suggs, Kerrigan, Perry, Orakpo and others.
Maybe there are differences I am not seeing, but from what I saw, Miller dropped into coverage some, not a lot, but not an insignificant amount, either and so did Mack , Ford, Houston, Beasley and Suggs and the rest of his "peers".
Would love to hear comments on this one.