The Local Hit TV Show, Law Offices of Howard and Morrison, is entering it's third season.
There is not a linebacking tandem in the entire NFL that can do the things that these two do.
In 2007 they combined for 217 tackles, 10 interceptions, 21 passes defensed and 2 TDs.
I am thinking that 2007 is just the tip of the ice burg for these two.
At only 24 years of age, Thomas Howard, MAY be the best young linebacker in the League...Period.
His combination of speed and playmaking ability can turn any interception into 6 points.
He will need to work on his block shedding and tackling in order to be, UNDOUBTEDLY, the best young linebacker in the League, but, keep in mind that he is entering ONLY his third season.
That in itself is enough to get me HYPED.
Another thing that gets me HYPED is that one of his top competitors for BEST young linebacker in the League is his teammate, Kirk Morrison.
Morrison is the heart and soul of this defense and he lets it all hang out on every play.
Last season, his third in the League, at 25 years old, he made BIG PLAY after big play.
For as much as Thomas Howard showed a penchant for turning his big plays into six, Kirk Morrison showed an ability to stop drives that were headed for 6!!!
Morrison made some great picks in the end zone and made the defensive play of the year when he single handedly stopped Kansas City on 4th down to seal a victory.
With Warren Sapp's paperwork still NOT filed and the fact that there are 3 potentially DOMINANT defensive linemen at the top of this year's draft, it is possible that, this defense can turn around in a HURRY.
If it's Chris Long on one side and Burgess on the other the offense can forget about moving the pocket.
If they select Glen Dorsey then they will stay in the 4-3 and he can team with Sapp (Hopefully), Warren and Sands to fill the VERY weak middle of the defense.
If Sedrick Ellis is the pick AND the Raiders land a hard hitting SS and a true middle linebacker in either the draft or free agency, the Raiders can move from a 4-3 to a 3-4 throughout the game and allow the linebackers and safeties to make all of the plays on the field.
Sedrick could team with Warren Sapp in the 4-3 and there would be more heat up the middle on the quarterback than I can recall seeing in Oakland, pretty much, ever.
Imagine Sapp AND Ellis playing half of the game in the opposition's backfield, with Burgess and Clemons rushing up the edges.
Now, Imagine Thomas Howard blitzing/stunting the QB. His speed would have him wreaking havoc, every game.
I am getting hyped about our young defense (I'll get to more of that tomorrow at reason #7) with Kirk Morrison and Thomas Howard at the core of my enthusiasm.