The Tray Blackmon non-dilemma
Coach Tommy Tuberville said it's an endurance thing; that Blackmon can't possibly play 70 snaps at middle linebacker and handle special-teams duties ... all in the same day.
Defensive coordinator Paul Rhoads said it's a fluke.
I think they're both correct in certain ways. Blackmon always has been weakest when asked to play the pass. Though he's a ferocious hitter and a fearless player, Blackmon's skill set doesn't dovetail flawlessly with Rhoads' philosophical inclinations.
Rhoads prefers to use linebackers in passing situations, which doesn't exactly play into Blackmon's strengths. That's a big reason why you see Bynes playing so often; he's a better cover guy.
Will this change? Not sure. We know Blackmon is a big-time hitter who can change games with what I'll call a "spectacle collision." We also know that coaches had no need to increase injury risk for games against Monroe and Southern Miss.
Still, Blackmon made his reputation in high school as a pass-rushing force. If Bynes keeps progressing at this rate -- refining himself as a full-featured middle linebacker -- I don't see how Blackmon's role is going to expand.
Blackmon's weakness isn't going away.
Photo credit: Todd Van Emst/Auburn University
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