Eric has good athletic talent to play his position. He has nice feet and solid
change of direction ability to play against the run and defend in the passing
game. He has strong instincts when he settle downs and relies on those
instincts. He is smart and looks to be a leader through his play on the field.
Eric shows good ability to tackle in the open field, which that makes him more
than adequate to play any linebacker position in any style of defense. Eric
takes good angles when he plays inside and reacts quickly to sweeps and screens
on the outside. He shows on film to have good balance and looks to be a solid
teammate working hard in the context of the defensive game plan. Eric can play
at the next level; he just has to have more confidence that he can.
Eric tries to do too much and guesses too often trying to look for the big play
instead of trusting his talent and the game planning. Until he settles into a
game, he takes a lot of false steps and runs around blocks instead of taking
them on, shedding them and making tackles near the line of scrimmage against the
run. Eric has size limitations, but that is no excuse for sloppy tackling like
throwing a shoulder into a runner and not wrapping up on every play. He is small
and he HAS to be a good form tackler on every play or he will not get on the
field except maybe to play special teams.
There is no excuse for poor, sloppy tackling by anyone playing defense of any
size. If you form tackle, there is less chance of injury for the tackler and the
player being tackled. Eric must become a more consistent tackler. He must tackle
on every down like his football career depended on it because it does. Also,
Eric has to stop trying to outplay his talents. He is smart and can cover and
can make tackles, but trying to guess a play and waiting for the snap and then
reacting to the play is going to kill him if he doesn’t just let his football
intelligence direct his talents. When he guesses, he takes false steps and Eric
cannot afford any false steps on the field because he doesn’t have the recovery
quickness to get himself out of trouble when it happens. He is not strong
against the run, but can get better if he wants to. His size limits him to
playing in the style of defense that allows its linebackers to run free and make
plays, but if he learns to tackle better and be smarter against the run, he
should be solid in any style of defense. However, everything depends on his
ability to secure tackles or forget about it…he’s not going to make it.