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IDP General Admission

I'm baaaccckkk. Yes, it's time again for another season of IDP General Admission. Here at FBG's, we try to provide the best IDP information and articles found on the Net. IDP leagues, especially in Dynasty format, are more and more popular, and you can tell just be visiting our IDP forum in the message boards section. Whereby last year at this time you would rarely see more than one or two posters inside the IDP forum at any one time, you regularly see closer to a dozen readers in there with dozens of posts per day as opposed to just a couple last year. In short, the IDP nation is taking off.

My General Admission column focuses on some of the game breakers on the defensive side of the ball. Those guys that make the big plays that often change the outcome of the game. I also try to point out some important changes teams are making on defense to keep you up to date. At the same time, I try to provide a simple summary of IDP players and who is looking good.

I appreciate the feedback and support I've received from my readers. Keep it coming. My column will try to reflect what you need and I consider myself to work directly for you. Let me know what you'd like to see different from me. Make suggestions. One important point, though, is that I try to offer something a little different than what FBG's already covers with IDP writers like John Norton, Aaron Rudnicki and Bob Magaw. Your suggestions should keep that in mind.

So let's kick off the week one material...

It began in Foxboro as New England beat the Raiders 30-20. It was Patriot DE Richard Seymour who came through in the clutch in the third quarter with New England clinging on to a three-point lead. The two-time All-Pro Seymour twisted his way toward center Jake Grove, forcing him towards QB Kerry Collins. The move helped DE Jarvis Green to pop the ball loose and NT Vince Wilfork caught it in mid-air for the INT. Corey Dillon scored three plays later for New England and they never looked back...

Seymour, who seems to make a lot of big plays, is coming off a down year after his eight sack, 57 total tackle season of 2003. In 2004 he had only five sacks and 39 tackles. But he's only 24 years old (soon to be 25) and the future remains bright for Seymour. Seymour had 6-2 tackles in the opener...

One thing to remember about Seymour and the Patriots is that they moved from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense early in the game with the Raiders. The move was likely made to help fill the gap caused by the loss of Tedy Bruschi and Ted Johnson. But the more New England uses a 4-3, the more valuable IDP player Seymour could become. Keep an eye on this one...

The new look defense of Kansas City shined from the outset of their 27-7 victory over the Jets. Rookie LB Derrick Johnson looked very impressive with 8-1 tackles and a sack and with 7-2 tackles and a sack, newcomer veteran Sammy Knight seems to have a nice new home with the Chiefs...

Last year's rookie DE sensation Jared Allen started off where he left off last season with a sack. Allen had nine sacks as a rookie last year for the Chiefs...

Speaking of rookies, Jets safety Kerry Rhodes looks like the real deal with 10-1 tackles in his first NFL game...

Jacksonville surprised Seattle with a 26-14 win opening day. One of the reasons for the win for Jacksonville was the play of unsung second year player LB Daryl Smith. Smith, who had a nice rookie year in 2004, showed why the coaches think so highly of him with five tackles and a diving interception. Look for more good things out of Smith this season...

Youth might be served for the Cincinnati Bengals this season, as rookies David Pollack and Odell Thurman helped lead their Bengals to a 27-14 win over the Browns. Each led the team with six solo tackles, with Thurman adding a sack and assisted tackle. The fiery LB Thurman provided a couple of the biggest hits in the game and Pollack added punch off the bench at both DE and LB positions. Although their play was far from mistake free, look for bigger and better things from this pair of rookies as the season develops...

Don't look behind you, Sean Jones, but Chris Crocker appears to have tightened his grip on the safety position opposite Brian Russell. With 8-2 tackles and a sack in their loss to the Bengals, the Cleveland safety situation could be moving towards more time for Crocker. With Russell, Crocker, Jones and rookie Brodney Pool all hoping for time, perhaps none will stand out in IDP leagues, but if one was going to, you'd have to say Crocker looks like the best bet, especially in a value play...

LB Will Witherspoon could be a great play this year. In Carolina's 23-20 loss to the Saints Sunday, Witherspoon showed off his speed and ended the game with 10-1 tackles. Witherspoon has improved his tackle numbers in each of his three NFL seasons and looks to increase that number again this season. In 2004, he had over 100 total tackles...

Although they lost to the Saints, the bigger loss for Carolina was the knee injury to DT Kris Jenkins. He is lost for the season. Jenkins also missed most of 2004 due to injury. Jenkins was an integral part of the Panther team that reached the Super Bowl two years ago and the team is not the same without him...

The injury to Jenkins also hurts linemate DE Mike Rucker. Rucker's ascendancy to NFL greatness has been directly aligned to playing next to Jenkins. Jenkins came to the Panthers in 2001 and was healthy through 2003. In the two seasons before Jenkins arrived, Rucker did not have more than three sacks. In the three seasons Jenkins was healthy, Rucker averaged more than ten sacks. Last year, with Jenkins missing over 12 games, Rucker had only 3.5 sacks...

Bears star LB Brian Urlacher missed out on the Pro Bowl last season after missing seven games. He appears to be on the road to Hawaii this year with 8-1 tackles and a sack in Chicago's opening day 9-7 loss to the Redskins...

Bears DE Adewale Ogunleye had a disappointing season last year for the Bears after getting big bucks as a free agent. He's hoping to make amends this year and prove to Chicago he was worth the money spent on him. In the opener, O-Gun had five tackles, a sack and forced a fumble...

Redskins MLB Lemar Marshall could be stepping nicely into the role previously occupied by Antonio Pierce. Pierce had 112 total tackles last year for the Redskins before moving on to play for the Giants. On Sunday against the Bears, Marshall had 6-2 tackles and an interception...

Safety Darren Sharper paid immediate dividends in his first game as a Minnesota Viking. He scored more than the entire Vikings offense with his first quarter 88-yard interception return for a touchdown. It was the only time the Vikings reached the end zone all game in their 24-13 loss to Tampa Bay...

Sharper added 7-2 tackles with his interception and it was the only bright spot in an otherwise abysmal performance by the team. Sharper, who turns 30 in October, had his eighth career touchdown Sunday, the most among any NFL defensive players since Sharper entered the league in 1997...

Dolphins LB Zach Thomas is an absolute tackling machine. I praised him much of last season as he was gathering 20% more tackles than any other defender and despite missing over three games, Thomas still finished fourth in the NFL in total tackles. In Sunday's 34-10 win over Denver, Thomas' tackling skill was again on display. He had two stops on Tatum Bell in a key goal-line stand in the second quarter in the kinds of plays none do better. Thomas ended the game 8-6 tackles and despite just turning 32, he's playing as young as ever...

On the final play of the game, stud Miami DE Jason Taylor had a game's worth of stats. With just four seconds on the clock and Denver at Miami's 15-yard line, Taylor got a hold of QB Jake Plummer and took him down. Tackle and a sack. Prior to going down, Taylor knocked the ball out of Plummer's hands. Forced fumble. He then picked up the fumble. Fumble recovery. He then returned the fumble 85 yards for the score. Touchdown. That's a tackle, sack, forced fumble, recovered fumble and a touchdown all on one game-ending play...

It was Taylor's 5th career fumble recovery for a touchdown, tying him with Jessie Tuggle for the most in NFL history...

Rams DE Leonard Little had less than ten sacks in a season last year for the first time since 2000. With his legal problems hopefully behind him, expect more this season. In the Rams 28-25 loss to San Francisco, Little had two sacks and a forced fumble to go with 3-3 tackles...

49ers DE Bryant Young, recently moving from DT to DE, had three sacks, all in the first half. That's as many as he had all last season and he hasn't had four or more in a year since 2000, back when he regularly approached ten sacks every season...

In his first game as a Dallas Cowboy, ex-Brown's CB Anthony Henry made his presence felt with 10-2 tackles and an interception in the Cowboys 28-24 win over San Diego. His interception was only the eighth Henry has had since his rookie season in 2000, when he had ten. Henry also deflected five passes, including two in the final minute as San Diego was deep into Cowboy territory...

Henry's fellow CB Aaron Glenn, also a Cowboy newcomer after coming over from Houston last year, got an interception in the end zone in the final seconds off QB Drew Brees to clinch the victory for the 'Boys...

In a weekend that seemed to be highlighted by guys making impacts after changing teams, ex-Redskins MLB Antonio Pierce played well for his new team, the New York Giants, as they beat Arizona 42-19. Pierce had 7-4 tackles and a half-sack...

The Cardinals got good play from second year WLB Karlos Dansby. In his rookie season, Dansby proved to be a playmaker with 60 tackles, five sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and three recovered fumbles. In Sunday's opener, Dansby kept it up with a sack and two interceptions to go with 3-0 tackles...

The Indianapolis Colts defense could surprise some this year and they seem to be loaded with playmakers. Highest amongst them, of course, is DE Dwight Freeney. But in the Colts 24-7 win over Baltimore Sunday, others took the limelight. The Colts LB's all generated nice numbers. SLB David Thornton had 6-2 tackles. MLB Gary Brackett had 8-2 tackles and a pair on interceptions. And WLB Cato June had 7-2 tackles and an interception. He returned the interception 30 yards for the score...

Undersized Colts DE Robert Mathis had a breakthrough season last year in his sophomore campaign with 10.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and three recovered fumbles. Some thought it was a bit of an aberration, but the Colts must do what they can to keep him on the field and have considered using him more as a LB. On Sunday, Mathis had a sack and a forced fumble to go with 3-1 tackles...

Colts DT Larry Triplett added two sacks to go with 7 solo tackles. His two sacks were one more than he's recorded in his previous three full seasons with the Colts...

Until next week...

Please e-mail me with any feedback or comments at baker@footballguys.com

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