Is Robertson a 3-4 nose tackle?

Despite the perception of many on the outside that Dewayne Robertson isn't an ideal 3-4 nose tackle, Mike Tannenbaum doesn't agree.

"I thought Dewayne had a really good year last year," said the Jets GM. "He's in a position that you can't always quantify his production."

It is hard to quantify the production of a 3-4 nose tackle. They are required to do a lot of dirty work, often tying up offensive linemen, so the linebacker's can make plays. It seemed like Robertson struggled in this area of the job. Not due to a lack of effort, but because he's not the size of a typical 3-4 nose tackle. He's around 320 pounds, and many 3-4 nose tackles are in the 340 area. He's not the type of space-eater, like San Diego's Jamal Williams, you generally see at the position.

The majority of the scouting community considered Robertson a 4-3 defensive tackle coming out of Kentucky. That is actually why the Jets picked him, to play the three-technique position in their 4-3 front under former coach Herm Edwards. The Warren Sapp role, if you will.

So with that being said, does Tannenbaum truly think Robertson is the answer at 3-4 nose tackle.

"What I said earlier, I stand by," said Tannenbaum. "I thought he had a really good year last year. I thought he did some things that are really hard to quantify statistically. But I thought the defense improved as the year went along. I thought he made plays. I thought he did a lot of good things chasing guys down."

Yes, there is no arguing he did a good job chasing guys down. Robertson has amazing speed and quickness for a defensive tackle. He can certainly run down ball-carriers, but is he big enough to tie up two offensive linemen on a consistent basis? Considering how often Jon Vilma and other linebackers were attached to offensive linemen, this is debatable. He doesn't deserve all the blame for linebacker's issues, but some.

"The attributes we're looking for, techniques, whatever it could be in terms of two­-gapping. Dewayne did a lot of things really well within the confines of the system," said Tannenbaum "Certain games you can look at where I thought Jon played very well, in particular. Over the course of the season, I think as an organization we're really happy how the defense improved, got better. We think that's a place we want to start this year and try to continue to improve. Both Dewayne and Jon played well. We expect them and the defense to improve."

They better. The run defense was a weakness most of last year.

And it's still a major question whether Robertson is a 3-4 nose tackle. Not by any fault of his own.

It is illegal to reprint this story on any message board or website. Violators are subject to legal action.


Jets Insider Top Stories