Ducks’ Linebackers and Drop Ends: Talented and Deep

Cody Carriger (42) brings the heat in the Spring Game.                      Kevin Cline

For those who think the Ducks have problems in the drop end/linebacker corps this fall, I have two words: Cody Carriger. But wait, you say, this guy isn’t even listed on the two-deep!  And that’s exactly my point.  Any team that has a guy who’s 6’6”, 235 pounds and runs 100 meters in 11.4 seconds and doesn’t have him on its two-deep, is not hurting. 

While 11.4 isn’t totally blazing speed, think of De’Anthony Thomas and Cody Carriger lining up on one goal line and racing to the far end of the field.  When DAT crosses the goal line, Cody is only 10 yards behind, and a second later he’s in the end zone.  We’ve all seen DAT burn safeties for more than that in half the distance.  11.4 and a wing span of nearly seven feet are enough to give a QB nightmares on a blitz, or totally neutralize a tight end leaving the line of scrimmage. 

So why isn’t Cody Carriger starting?  First, he’s just a redshirt freshman.  He’s working hard, learning the system, building his strength, biding his time, waiting his turn.  Second, it speaks volumes about the depth that the Ducks have in the drop end/linebacker corps that there are players ahead of Carriger. 

We all know the Ducks like to rotate two lines on the defensive side.  If someone goes down – or even in another year after someone moves on — Cody Carriger will most likely step into the two-deep rotation.  Hungry for playing time, he won’t hold back anything.  When people tempt me to worry about the linebackers, I find this tremendously comforting.  

 

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