Quick question on inside linebackers.

Hey guys, I'm going through linebacker prospects in the upcoming draft, and I just want to make sure I know what traits I should be looking for. The Colts obviously run a 3-4, with two inside backers. From what I understand, the two inside backers are different and play different sides of the formation, depending on the location of the tight end. The strong side backer is known as the Ted. Ted's good in pass coverage and a little smaller than Mike, the weak inside linebacker, who has a high football IQ and is strong against the run.

From what I understand, we already have a very good Ted in Jerrell Freeman. This means that we should be looking for a better Mike, either in the draft or in FA. This guy should probably be at least 6' 1 and heavy enough to take punishment (and give it) while defending the run.

Another poster recently mentioned that the goal of the 3-4 defense is to separate the duties of the secondary from the responsibilities of the front seven as much as possible. The front seven should only have to worry about stopping the run (and, later, rushing the passer) and the secondary should only have to worry about defending the pass.

That brings me to my question: How much do pass coverage skills matter in a Mike? Obviously he would ideally be perfect, but considering that he has to be heavier, this doesn't seem entirely feasible.


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