Today in our Five Questions With series, we're talking with the SB Nation site that covers the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, On The Banks, about the 4th round draft pick of the Chicago Bears, Khaseem Greene.
Windy City Gridiron - After playing a couple years at safety, Greene made the switch to linebacker, so his coverage skills are obviously a positive for him. The Chicago Bears figure to be a predominately zone defense again this year, while at Rutgers did their defensive scheme ask him to play a lot of zone from his OLB position?
On The Banks - Greene played the weakside linebacker position, which did not have very much in the way of coverage responsibilities.
WCG - Was he asked to blitz often at Rutgers?
OTB - More than he would at most schools, although less so last year. Greg Schiano's defenses took traditional Tampa 2 concepts but ramped up the pressure significantly. Blitzes could and often did come from any position, including the linebackers. That was less apparent last year with Schiano's departure to the NFL.
WCG - In Chicago Greene will initially be the back up to starting weak side linebacker Lance Briggs, did Greene play any middle or strong side OLB at Rutgers?
OTB - He saw time in nickel and dime packages, but his primary position has been almost exclusively on the weak side.
WCG - One of the negatives I read about Greene was his inability to fight off blocks, was that something he improved on from his junior to his senior year?
OTB - I think it was still an issue. The big area of improvement from his junior to senior seasons was it seemed like his nose for the ball, which was already a strong quality, improved even more. Greene not only can force turnovers, he has an ability to do so at opportune moments.
WCG - The general consensus from people that have followed the Rutgers program was that the Bears got a steal in the 4th round, do you share that optimism?
OTB - Not necessarily. I think Greene went exactly where he should have. Greene is a good player who is a little overrated because he played in a scheme that put him in a position to make plays. The weakside linebacker was the marquee playmaking position in the Rutgers defense. He can develop into a solid starter in time, but I would set expectations at a more realistic level. He very much has his flaws including the aforementioned issues with shedding blocks
Thanks again to the guys at On The Banks!
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