It’s Not All Good
You can’t do a breakdown of Ramik Wilson without watching the Kansas City Chiefs game against the Tennessee Titans. That game exposed some very clear flaws when it comes to the Chiefs run defense, and with Wilson individually. However, as always, the tale of the tape shows much more than the narratives would have you believe.
First off, this game showed exactly what I have said for a while now. Ramik Wilson is not a “stack and shed” linebacker. That means he isn’t suited to be the inside linebacker responsible for engaging blockers to open an attack lane for his counterpart. In fact, that has been the case even when he played next to Derrick Johnson. However, that is also not the job description of the spot DJ plays. That needs to be remembered when evaluating Wilson as his heir-apparent.
Unfortunately, with Justin March having been out for most of the year, the Chiefs really did not have anyone suited for that role. Wilson was playing out of position, but even that was better than having DJ Alexander there. While Alexander is an excellent Special Teams player, he is not ready for a prominent defensive role. His inability to attack blockers left Wilson exposed far too often.
The other end of this is that Chiefs fans tend to misinterpret what it is Derrick Johnson does on the field. If DJ’s counterpart isn’t able to attack blockers, he is left in the same situation that Wilson faced versus the Titans. He is able to be swallowed up by larger blockers and driven out of the play. That has been a major reason for the Chiefs struggles against the run this year.
Hopefully this has been a learning experience for the Chiefs coaching staff and front office. They have players that can fill that “stack and shed” role. Unfortunately, both Josh Mauga and Justin March have been unavailable this year.