2012 NFL Draft
Thursday, April 26 – Saturday, April 28, 2012
Keith Butler RE 3rd Round Pick Sean Spence
3rd Round – 86th Overall
Is Sean Spence and inside or outside linebacker?
He is going to be inside. They (Miami) have played in a 4-3 front, but it’s a different front than ours. We see him as an inside linebacker.
Are the days of Levon Kirkland playing the buck long gone? He seems pretty small?
I wouldn’t say that. This guy is smaller than Levon Kirkland. Sean is a very instinctive, fast, quick kid that is very smart. He is probably best served if we can cover him up. What I mean by that is; if you look at James Farrior, he played the last four or five years at 230 pounds and when you get older like that, it’s best to be playing at 230 pounds as opposed to 235 pounds because he knows the game well enough that he is going to act fast enough and he can use the techniques and knowledge of the game, he doesn’t have to be as heavy. It’s better for him so he can keep his mobility, because that’s more important than anything else. This guy has that mobility.
Is this guy a buck?
I wouldn’t call him a buck, no. The buck linebacker has to be a little bit bigger and take on the guards more. We cover our linebackers up pretty good. What I mean by that is, we let them scrape and run to football a little bit more instead of coming downhill and taking on isos. The day of the iso with the middle linebacker is almost gone. Everybody is using tight ends as fullbacks and sometimes they use them when trying to lead and sometimes they don’t. A lot of stuff today is mis-direction and trying to fool you or out-number you one way and then give you a different look coming back the other way. A lot of that requires the ability to read from the linebackers now-a-days, not so much to get down and stuff a hole. Sometimes you have to do it on the goal line when you have to take on a big running back, but we’re taking on Ray Rice, we’re not taking on Jerome Bettis anymore.
Are you happy with what you have at inside linebacker right now?
Yes. I think we can always get better. You lose a guy like James Farrior, which you’re never going to replace because of all the intangibles he brings to the table, that’s just impossible to replace all of that. We feel good about who we have inside right now and we’ll have to grow and learn as we go.
Where is he in terms of being NFL-ready?
He’s going to help us on special teams. He’s not going to start at “mack” linebacker over
James Farrior used to talk about how complex the “buck” linebacker position is. Who do you have in the pipeline there?
The pipeline is going to be Sly (Sylvester Stevenson).
Larry Foote is a very capable starter for us, and there won’t be much dropoff by having him in there. Our two outside guys are good players, as you know.
Does Sylvester have long-term starting potential?
I need to see more from him. He might think he does, but he has to convince me first.
Do you see Worilds at inside or outside linebacker?
Worilds played outside for us last year and did a great job. Can he play inside? Maybe he can. We’ll see. We might give him a look at that. Right now we need him at outside.
Did they ask if you wanted Hightower and did you say, ‘No, we’re good’?
No, I didn’t say that. (Laughter) I didn’t say that and whoever said I said that wasn’t exactly telling the truth. I didn’t say that. They didn’t ask me. I was kind of standing on the table a little bit, but they didn’t ask me.