Michael Casagrande’s article yesterday throws out a possibility at linebacker I haven’t heard mentioned before concerning Reuben Foster and Reggie Ragland:
It also might turn into a scenario similar to the one [C.J.] Mosley had with Nico Johnson. From 2010-12, Mosley specialized more with passing teams because of his speed and ability to drop into coverage. Johnson was more of a downhill tackler who was used in run-stop situations.
Whether this is likely option or not, I do not know. We do know that Foster has had to work on strengthening his pass coverage skills. We don’t know a) who the superior run-stopper is (though one would assume Foster) and b) we don’t know how much better Ragland plays against the pass as compared to Foster.
I’ve never liked this sort of tag-teaming. Ultimately, like with dual quarterbacks, splitting time usually signals to the opponent what you are doing and allows to adjust more easily. It’s preferable, at least to have a player on the field that can play in all situations.
The Mosley-Johnson type combo also works better when the defense is able to control the tempo of the game; that isn’t always the case anymore. With hurry up offenses all the rage, it’s harder and harder to get defenses adjusted on the fly.