Ramifications of a DJ Smith Takeover at Linebacker
Bishop’s six years experience gives him an edge over D.J. Smith for the starting position, but statistically speaking, D.J. won’t create a dropoff in production.
Despite Bishop getting the nod as the starter throughout much of 2011, it was really a “linebacking by committee” type of situation. Smith played in all 16 games last season and started three of them (NY Giants, Oakland, Kansas City). Against the eventual Super Bowl champs (man it hurts to say that), D.J. has 8 solo tackles, and he intercepted a Carson Palmer pass against the Raiders.
Don’t Hit the Panic Button Yet
It isn’t time to get worried about the season yet. Smith will probably do a fine job. Really, on defense, our bigger issues are in the passing game anyhow. Smith will likely takeover where Bishop left off and our preseason focus will be on pressuring the QB and figuring out our CB dilemna.