When NFL offensive coordinators draw up plays, many times they design them to entice defensive players with a fake one way, then they’ll run the play to the other side. The success of these plays are predicated on the gullibility of the defensive players.
These plays are designed like mouse traps where some cheese dangled in the trap to lure would be suckers. Eagles new linebacker Ernie Sims is known for his speed and aggressiveness, but he’s also known for his gullibility. In other words, Sims is known eating the cheese.
The book on him is that he can be influenced to move out of position. He’s outstanding when it’s a matter of him using his speed and aggressiveness to attack a play right at him or run somebody down from behind, but he struggles with misdirection plays.
The Packers know Sims because they played against him twice a year when he was in Detroit. They know you can sucker him to the strong side by faking a strongside run then bringing quarterback Aaron Rodgers back to the weakside on bootleg plays with tight end Jermichael Finley running a drag route across the field.
Hopefully Sims has been schooled by his coaches on how to avoid eating the cheese. The former Lion says he’s been studying the Packers and has a good feel for what they do. He believes he’ll be able to avoid being influenced to move out of position.
The former Lion should continue to be aggressive but he’s got to recognize the warning signs when team are trying to bait him to move out of position.
Most of the time the offensive linemen give away the play and he will be able to see this, if he studies their stances. Once the big guys get tired during a game, they could careless whether they’re giving away the upcoming play. They’re sucking air and focusing on doing their jobs.
Sims will play a key role for the Birds defense because he and middle linebacker Stewart Bradley stay on the field during nickel plays. He’s got to make some big plays for the Birds by either causing some fumbles with big hits, picking off passes or sacking quarterbacks.
He’s got to play smarter than he was in Detroit, where he was able to snag only one interception and garner only two quarterback sacks in four years of play. Sims must be more productive here and that will start by not eating the cheese.