Mosley's development on the fast trackPosted on August 22, 2014 by Slater Jackson
Ravens Rookie C.J.Mosley has turned heads in training camo and won the starting inside linebacker position. His raw athleticism is 2nd to none as the explosive linebacker is a tackling machine. A legitimate sideline to sideline defender, Mosley through 2 pre-season games has shown flashes of his potential but still has some developing to do.
Mosley is developing at an incredible rate but his diagnostic deficiencies are masked most times by his great athleticism. In last week’s game against the Cowboys on running plays Mosley was excellent playing downhill towards the point of attack. Where he was found out was in play action and screens, Plays where the time for diagnosis directly correlates in yardage gained by the offense. For example, on the Cowboys scoring drive they converted a 3rd and 8 with a running back screen. In this play Mosley dropped back covering the tight end and by the time he realised it was a screen the running back had already converted the 3rd down. Mosely made a great tackle on the play where he turned back towards the play and exploded away from a blocker and made the tackle. Mosley showed on that play that if he can see it he can make a play but was stalled by an inability to sniff out the screen. A rookie error that Mosley will not easily make again as the lesson has been learnt.
One of Mosley’s greatest strengths may also be holding him back at this stage of his development. His speed and agility allow him to react quickly when he recognises something but it has him over pursuing play action too hard and being consequently being out of position. This is a typical of rookies and common growing pains that must be endured by any inside linebacker acclimating themselves to the NFL.
The positives to come out of all of this is that Mosley is playing through these mistakes and continuing to make plays regularly. With 2 more pre-season games where Mosley will likely see a large amount of time in the 3rd but a reduced role in the 4th, he has lots of time to be prepared for the start of the season. Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees will be sure to put Mosley in situations that he can flourish in when the regular season begins until he is ready to shoulder the full load. Either way it plays out, the Ravens have a great prospect in Mosley who could possibly be the leader of the defense in the foreseeable future.